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A public art project in development
Clothes_Line is based on the premise that clothes hanging out to dry in any kind of a landscape or interior environment provide insight into the lives of the people who own that clothing. Clothesline Stories interviews people about their clothes and then displays their stories within a unique and compelling environment.

Collaborators: Wenqi Li, Gail Bennett, Bill Tunnicliffe
We began our artistic partnership at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP).   Our collective work is at the intersection of storytelling and emerging media. Projects are often infused with playfulness and revolve around human interactions, documentary practices, installation design, and found choreographies in public spaces.  We are interested in and committed to immersing people in dynamic environments that result in creative engagement, spontaneous performance, and personal discovery.

Clothes_Lines was inspired by a discussion we had about the cultural associations of clotheslines. Whether in India or Singapore, Mexico or the U.S., as we travelled, we have been fascinated by the endless variety of colors and types of clotheslines observed. They create persistent public images of how local residents interact with architectures and plants, revealing a fact of inhabitation. They are seen as physical natural boundaries between residential districts and working districts. However, in the U.S. there are approximately 19 states that have banned exterior clotheslines. While it's not officially addressed in the Housing and Maintenance Code in New York City, a license must be purchased before hanging clothes on a clothesline.
Team member Wenqi grew up in China. In our initial discussions, Wenqi talked about his impressions when he first came to New York City and saw that clotheslines were missing from the landscape. "In China, hanging clothes at the balcony is a very common part of the landscape. You can always tell the history of a district from the presentation of clothes. It could be a big family of three generations living together, or young professionals living together to split the rent. You cannot really tell if a building is residential or commercial. We saw the ritual of hanging out the laundry as a common connection for people of many cultures.”
Clothes_Lines is an immersive and effective way to neutralize our differences while celebrating our similarities through an experience we all have in common - wearing clothes. It also reflects the synthesis of our development as artists, teachers, and parents. This deeply interactive project combines ingredients of documentary filmmaking, set design, community participation, new forms of storytelling, and emerging technology.

First public exhibition at ITP 2018 Summer Camp Show