woman crossing road portfolio

FINAL binding portfolio 1

Exurban Roulette Volume I & II (work in progress), two volume flipbook (480 pages per volume), 5’ x 8’ books

Exurban Roulette (work in progress) is a two volume flip book meant to call attention to how car-dependent development patterns, in addition to damaging the environment, put the lowest income members of our society at risk.  This piece chronicles three Hispanic women running across a highway to get to work in a Northern Virginia exurb.   The highway divides a primarily low-income neighborhood from fast food restaurants, strip malls, and outlets on the other side, with no sidewalks in between.  Throughout the day, low-income residents dart across the highway to get to low-wage jobs.  The local newspaper frequently reports pedestrian deaths here and elsewhere in this wealthy car-dependent exurban community.  The artist lives and drives within this exurb.

This video will be projected onto the blank wall of a highly visible big-box store adjacent to the highway interchange where it was filmed.  Exurban Roulette makes visible a low-income population, who is unable to afford cars in a car-dependent terrain.

Exurban Roulette is part of a suburban art initiative called Exurban Rethink, a series of art interventions to influence development patterns in one of America’s fastest growing suburbs – Loudoun County, an exurb of DC.  This project utilizes art and information-sharing to help leaders/residents contemplate suburban reinvention, bridging academic research and on-the-ground implementation.

Suburbs, home to 69% of Americans, are the largest per capita greenhouse gas contributor.  As one of America’s fastest growing suburbs, Loudoun suffers from car-dependency, resource-intensive construction, inequality, and ecological degradation. Yet there is opportunity for bold vision – a suburban built environment that powers itself, cleanses itself, transforms waste, provides wildlife habitat, produces food, deeply satisfies inhabitants, and fosters equality.  Exurban Rethink includes three art interventions and a slideshow/discussion forum to reshape this DC exurb’s future development.

Timed to coincide with the revision of the County’s Comprehensive Plan that will influence its next 20 years, art and information sharing will help leaders/residents contemplate suburban reinvention. The project will bridge visionary academic research and local on-the-ground implementation.  It is influenced by MIT’s Future of Suburbia Initiative that is inventing “land tenure models…to ensure that suburbs become the frontier of innovation…” and answer what “innovations and productive systems will be embedded within suburban development to allow for self-sufficiency… a net producer of food, water, and energy?”

Exurban ReThink Art Interventions 

  • Exurban Roulette