Oct 142014

AmerTec building by Chayo Frank59187290

Oct 142014

Urban branding: the Hialeah Hiccup souvenir. Integrated within our focus 2 (citizenship and human relation to place) On the basis of previous work by Hiccup members Ernesto Oroza and Gean Moreno (on the general commercialization of souvenirs and their erasure of community specificity), we will launch a quest for the Hialeah souvenir. Now a manufacturing and distribution center of generic souvenirs of other places, Hialeah is a city that remains invisible in the souvenir-consuming circles. By both deconstructing the souvenir-fetish and engaging diverse groups of community residents in a quest to re-imagine their city and themselves, we will address the double consciousness of our industrial, decaying community. On a second phase, HICCUP will collaborate with local souvenir factories to produce and commercialize objects of labor, practice, and locality that are at once aesthetic and place-making, while generating a reflection over representations and self-representations.


Oct 142014

Community outreach through a bimonthly bulletin (2,000 issues/8 pages), distributed free of charge through Hialeah (1/4 of issues mailed to rotating random addresses). Both as an aesthetic object and an informational tabloid, it will feature fixed sections (an editorial, local cultural news, a Spanish crossword puzzle, and a guest, bilingual column) and a single-issue focus and format, documenting various text-based materials (photo albums, restaurant menus, store catalogues) according to content. Content will feature our research-in-progress, chronicles and reports on Hialeah-based cultural practices (e.g. cake making, quince parties, garden santo placement, remittance-generated consumption), new forms of urban settlement (from trailer parks to low-income gated communities”) and of engagement with nature (e.g. tree demolition in favor of outside concrete surfaces).

Precedent project here


Oct 142014

Benches constitute the minimum common denominator for sociability. Hialeah is a city with a scarcity of spaces for informal sociability. Our goal is twofold. Firstly, to promote convivial and neighborly exchanges and dialogues, as well as a culture of leisure that includes “ shooting the breeze,” enjoying the passing of time and de-stressing, and is typical of the Caribbean and Latin American cities, towns, and villages where the immigrant population of HIaleah mostly come from. Secondly, on the basis of observation of current usage, we seek to further existing uses and thus make explicit a specific Hialeah bench culture.

Mapping is in process at our Panoramio’s page

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 4.27.44 PM

In addition, by zeroing in on street benches we are able to access the city from new vantage points, as benches intersect with advertising and aesthetic practices, transportation patterns, notions of time and value, etc. We decided to document the existing benches in the city and map them, along with an audiovisual approximation to the experience of both looking and using the bench, by including photography and audio of and from the benches and locate them in a city map as well as on google earth. In our expeditions through sidewalks and community center parks, we observed not only a scarcity of benches, but that these respond to three types:
1- the display/waiting bench (e.g. to wait for the bus, or for a car wash), which might be either public or private, and is often located in a space without shade and on the verge of traffic and pollution. This bench often carries paid advertising.
2- the spectators’  bench (e.g. around a baseball field or a children playground); and
3-the didactic bench, normally located in public recreation areas, facing a sign containing a list of prohibitions (e.g. no littering, no drinking, etc).

We are planning several activities, as emerging from these observation, including:

1- Further the potential of advertising/waiting benches by turning them into supports for visual and sonic art (by city artists, whether emerging, youth, and established), as well as for information of community interest.
2- Research the potential constituencies for bench usage, and the ideal indigenous design that would promote collective use and leisurely exchange.
3- Generate new configurations and arrangements for both existing and new benches, to be intervened and/or designed.2