the chair incident

2011

On August 25, 2011 around 12:00am, three men exited the city bus in front of my apartment.  One urinated in the street while the other two proceeded past my building and onto my neighbors’ porch.  One of them decided to throw my neighbors’ chair into the parking area and then left, only to return a few seconds later to steal the chair.  I followed them down the road for about a quarter of a mile hoping they would leave the property on the sidewalk.  They did not.

This project investigates the social gesture of charitable action through replacing a negative experience of being robbed, with a positive experience of receiving a gift.  For the gift, I wanted to upgrade the old plastic chair to a handmade piece of furniture.  The old chair was manufactured without regard for the personal life of the one who would own the chair in the future.  The new chair would be one built with love, and with regard for the specific owners in mind.  In the same way the thieves disregard for others is mimicked in the manufactured chair they stole, the chair to be gifted would reflect care for my neighbors through its handmade quality.