Michael Townsend Explains His Rhode Island Mall-Living Art

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You, like the rest of the great internet republic, likely saw that story floating around about Michael Townsend, the artist who snuck into a Rhode Island mall and setup a home in a long-forgotten storage room, while simultaneously documenting the world of mall culture. But until we’d visited Defective Yeti and had been passed along to the artist’s site, we’d only heard from him secondhand. It’s an interesting story and has some details that slipped past the “ain’t this weird” new reports, but doesn’t really go too deep into the actual ideas behind the “art” being created therein. The video up at the top of the page doesn’t help things either, as it just lends to that idea that’s been lingering in the back of your head since you initially heard of all of this: “are we sure this is ‘art’ and not just some guy that found a space and thought it would be nutty to put a couch and a tv in there and then decided to call it ‘art’?” And with that, we leave you to think, as we return to our own secret habitat.