What You Are Seeing:

Starting in 2003 I committed to the idea of creating a luxury apartment in the mall. Over the course of the years to come I systematically coordinated the movement of the core elements that start to define a home.  The space in the mall achieved a base-level of comfort, with enough amenities to qualify itself as a livable domestic space.  Life from within the mall was committed to the pursuit of normalcy and the purchase of objects and clothing that would help define me an active participant in the great things the mall has to offer.  The apartment was a superb space for hosting guests and I only regret that we didn’t have a working toilet.  I will do my best to share thoughts about its creation and the aftermath with regular writing here.

Very Brief History:

The mall was built through the years of 1997-1999.  It is located between downtown Providence and the mill district where I live.  I watched every beam of the mall as it was raised.  During its construction I identified the 750 sq. foot space that the apartment currently occupies. The space was used to store materials during the mall’s construction and remained classifiably underutilized and abandoned once the mall opened.

During the Christmas season of 2003 and 2004, radio ads for the Providence Place Mall featured an enthusiastic female voice talking about how great it would be if you (we) could live at the mall.  The central theme of the ads was that the mall not only provided a rich shopping experience, but also had all the things that one would need to survive and lead a healthy life.  This, along with a wide variety of theoretical musings about my relationship to the mall - as a citizen and public artists - provided the final catalyst for making the apartment. 

From those Christmas seasons to the present, I have spent the time to quietly create this space and occupy it from time to time.  I cannot emphasize enough that the entire endeavor was done out of a compassion to understand the mall more and life as a shopper.  It has been my utmost priority to not disrupt the security forces working at the mall, and I have gone to great lengths to make sure that my project did not interfere with their work. 

Plans to finish the kitchen, install the wood flooring, add a second bedroom and replace the outdated cutlery were put on permanent hold recently as I was apprehended leaving the apartment.  The security personnel who took care of the situation did so in a fluid and professional manner.  I admit to being caught off guard after four years, and apologize for not being as forthcoming immediately with information regarding my work.

Thank You:

Thank you mall.  I have grown exponentially from having this opportunity and it has been a major and most valuable part of my life and imagination.  In the future I hope to share some of my experiences and observations with a wider audience and can only say that living in the mall is great.  I am saddened that I am not allowed to ever return to the mall again, but I understand.  The mall made me think very carefully about what we buy.


First and foremost I extend my most sincere apologies to the fine folks at General Growth Properties and specifically to the security staff at the Providence Place Mall.  I have always firmly believed that you do an incredible job and have remained professional and consistent.  This apartment was never designed in any way-shape-or-form to undermine the great work that you do. I recognize that it exists far outside the spectrum of expectation and as such - no fair, discriminatory, or level headed staff person would have expected something like this to occur.  It is important to me that you know that I have a great deal of respect for the work you do and I am very sorry that I wasted some of your valuable time today.  This project is in no way a critique on security or what defines safety in contemporary society.

In addition, my thanks goes out to the Providence Police Department for being a model of civility, fairness, good humor and professionalism.  Again, I am embarrassed that I chewed up so much of your time in the steps necessary to help assess what transpired.  I genuinely appreciate the honest and straight-forward candor of all those I have met and want you to know that I really admire the manner in which you have handled this peculiar case.

If you have any questions I can try to answer them:


Something I Have to Share:

The Apartment in the Mall was never intended to be specifically an ‘art’ piece, it was a home, an escape and an oasis away from a significant task that was consuming my life at the time.  During the four years that we were building and living in the mall, my days were consumed by the creation of a memorial for all those who lost their lives at the World Trade Center.  Starting the week after September 11th, we began drawing the portraits of every single firemen and airline passenger on the buildings of Manhattan, life-size with tape.  The 500 portraits, and their corresponding web pages took over five years to finish. It involved over 30,000 hours of computer time making the website and was completely unfunded. 

Upon its completion for the fifth anniversary we did everything we could to try to let the families know we had spent so much time with their loved ones and to share The Hope Project with them.  Sadly, our efforts to let people know failed.  The whole endeavor was too complicated, had taken too long and, since the drawings were temporary, there remained no physical evidence of our work.

I only mention this because we have been receiving phone calls from relatives, spouses and friends of the people from the World Trade Center disaster who we had spent the time to remember.  These calls have been emotional, enthusiastic and moving.  They are discovering The Hope Project through this site, and all the attention paid to our home in the mall.  I find it wonderfully odd that the very thing we used to find solace, excitement and a place to rest away from that project is the very thing that is leading them to it.

If you know a loved one, friend or acquaintance who was deeply moved or affected by a loss at the World Trade Center, please tell them about The Hope Project.  It was created as an act of remembrance and a celebration of their lives.  We are very sorry it took us so long to finish it and that we failed to share it successfully earlier.  But, from the phone calls, I have learned that the efforts are appreciated and that it still has some resonance.

Some frequently asked questions:

Yes, I have done other secret installations: The Tunnel.

Yes, our group has undertaken other massive projects: www.tapeart.com/hope

No, I am not homeless. Yes, I have a job. www.tapeart.com