There is so much cleverness and creativity anchoring MONTH2MONTH, a month-long interactive life-art installation kicking off tonight in New York, that it’s hard to know where to start. But since we are a media blog, the Monday May 9 event “Of Bubbles and Bubbles” featuring a certain senior editor is as good a place as any:
Join Fusion’s Felix Salmon for an evening of champagne and the economics of the the New York housing market at MONTH2MONTH’s ‘luxury’ apartment in Gramercy Park. Salmon, a well-known writer on the economies of nearly everything, will share his expertise in the connoisseurship of champagne and residences among New York’s high-priced society.
The bad news is that the free Salmon event only has a capacity of 30 guests and is sold out. The good news is the talk and subsequent MONTH2MONTH offerings, which are staggered across May at eight different New York apartments, will be live-streamed. Other potential highlights include “Gentrifiers Anonynous” (May 14), during which the duo Brooklyn Hi-Art Machine will encourage attendees to confess their “sins of gentrification,” and “The Rent Is Too Damn High” (May 21), where comedians will examine the economics of apartments shown in TV series like Friends.
The pair of artists responsible for the project, Jen Dalton and Bill Powhida, have done several other cool events like this before, but this is their first since 2012. MONTH2MONTH also includes a series of fully comped four-day stays at the host apartments, based on a lottery-pick process that mimicked a New York affordable housing application process. From a recent item in Brooklyn Based:
“It was not easy by any stretch of the imagination,” said Powhida, who has made his own affordable home one of the project sites. “It’s been a really delicate negotiation to get anyone to open up their home and share their space with the public…”
About 60 people applied to be residents and eight were chosen in the lotteries, four residents for stays in “affordable” apartments and four for stays in “luxury” apartments. Applicants who claimed to make more than $150,000 per year were directed to a second, optional page prompting them to upload private financial documents, an invasive process that the hundreds of thousands of people who apply for affordable housing each year are more than familiar with.
“It got really in the weeds,” said Dalton of the second application page. “In really small type at the bottom it says that you didn’t actually have to do this, but we hoped that it would spark a feeling.”
The housewarming that kicks things off tonight, Salmon’s speech on Monday and all other Saturday-through-Tuesday event components during the month of May start at 6 p.m. At press time, the final ones are still being finalized.