I Wish This Was

New Orleans, LA

Interactive public art project that invites residents to share their hopes for vacant buildings. Chang placed boxes of free stickers in businesses around the city and posted thousands of stickers on vacant buildings across New Orleans, so anyone walking by could fill one out. The stickers are vinyl and can be easily removed without damaging property. Responses ranged from the functional to the poetic: I wish this was… a butcher shop, a community garden, a bike rack, a place to sit and talk, an affordable farmer’s market, a taco stand, a donut/flower shop, full of nymphomaniacs with PhDs, a source of tasty healthy food I could afford, my art gallery, your dream, Heaven. Part of the Ethnographic Terminalia exhibition at Du Mois Gallery, New Orleans. Those interested in using the stickers can purchase revised versions here or print their own by downloading these files. After seeing the results, Chang worked with Dan Parham and Tee Parham to develop a more robust tool in the form of Neighborland, a nation-wide tool to help organizations and residents collaborate on the future of their communities.

2010, New Orleans. Vinyl stickers, permanent markers, vacant buildings. 4.5″ x 3″ each. To those concerned about the subjunctive mood (“I wish this was” vs. “I wish this were”): Long discussions on the topic suggest that both usages are acceptable. This project is about striking up a casual conversation in the city.


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