The Accommodation Desk 2015

The_Accommodation_Desk_the_ledger Emma Wise_The_Accommodation_Desk_participatory_art_Redfern_Biennale_2015

The Accommodation Desk is an ongoing travelling participatory art project that had its origins under the stairs at Articulate project space as part of Pillow Talk 2015. For Pillow Talk, I began collecting and swapping stories of how people accommodate themselves – in Sydney, now one of the most expensive housing markets in the world, and elsewhere – and how people’s accommodation experiences have changed over time. For the Redfern Biennale 2015, which took place in March around several blocks of low-rise public housing in Redfern, I sat at a desk under a tree and again talked to people about their accommodation past and present, this time recording the details in an informal ledger. I recorded, with their permission, the date, cost, type and location of their accommodation and how many hours they work/ed to pay for it. Locals and visitors to the area mingled around the desk. Two friends who had known each other for a couple of years sat down for a chat and by the time they got up again they had agreed to live together, one to move into the two-bedroom flat recently leased by the other. I will be taking this project on the road, around Sydney, around Australia, and overseas.