Object Ethnography Project & Stewardship Treaties for Barren Island

Stewardship Treaties for Barren Island
Sunday, May 6, 3:00-4:30pm

Inline images 2

From the 1850s until its last inhabitants were forcibly evicted in 1936, Barren Island was a community built on trash. It housed both the stinking rendering plants and disenfranchised inhabitants who processed waste from Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx. Today, the detritus of what was once Barren Island litters the shores of Deadhorse Bay in south Brooklyn. The area has been designated a protected historical site, but without financial support to secure the area, thousands of New Yorkers flock to scavenge its shores every year.

I will entrust the art-artifacts of Barren Island to stewards of the history and culture of Barren Island. Any member of the public can become a steward by co-writing a stewardship contract, or Treaty, that designates the terms of care. The terms of these Treaties are open, but they must include plans to care for the artifact for the next two hundred years, and they must maintain some sort of public access given that the artifacts are part of the heritage of many New Yorkers and belong to the commons.

This project is being supported by Trade School, and is limited to 15 participants. Sign up to participate here:http://tradeschool.coop/newyork/class/#237

The Object Ethnography Project
Online, anytime

Each of the objects in the Object Ethnography Project have been donated by ordinary people. Each object has a story attached.
All these objects are available for exchange. You, or anyone else, can trade for any object by offering a new story about it. What attracts you to the object? What will you do with it? How will the object spend its time in your possession?
Once a story has been offered for exchange via email or post, the object will be mailed to its new owner. These objects and their stories will become the basis of a research project to see how narrative influence worth, economies, and circulation. Participate in an exchange here: http://objectethnography.wordpress.com

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