O Me of Little Faith

O Me of Little Faith

Living in the Mall

Just in time for Christmas Eve…I’m a few weeks late to the story, but it seems a 37-year-old artist and his friends practiced some civil disobedience by moving into a mall in Providence, Rhode Island, and actually living there for several weeks at a time. They started the experiment in 2004, finding an empty 750 square-foot storage space — which, weirdly, no one used or ever noticed — and filling it with normal apartment-y stuff, including Crate & Barrel furnishings and a couch. They ate after-hours at the Food Court. They were getting ready to install hard-wood floors when mall security came across an online video of the apartment.


In punishment, the artist, named Michael Townsend, has been banned from the mall. So don’t get him any Cinnabon gift cards this Christmas.

You can see photos and video of the experiment at Townsend’s website. Read more about it at The Providence Journal.

The good news for people like me is that there’s a great metaphor here about shopping and consumerism and how people live. Yep, this will find its way into a book or talk at some point. Of that you can be certain.

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posted December 25, 2007 at 9:11 pm


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