As installation artists, we are constantly dealing with the idea of temporary space. Our work does not exist permanently, but in a designated space for a specified period of time. It is not saleable, archival (except through photos of it) nor can it be hung on a wall or placed on a pedestal. It is not made with traditional, more permanent artistic media. By its very nature, it is temporary. It is evolving.
When choosing a site for our work, we incorporate the context of the place as well as our own experiences and impressions into our work. During a visit to Detroit, we were struck by the peculiarity of the neighborhoods--one or two inhabited houses on a block of empty or deteriorating buildings; blocks that were now mostly grass, where building had been torn down; empty buildings dozens of stories high just blocks away from vibrant cultural centers and diverse, bustling neighborhoods; artists everywhere; reinvention palpable. We looked for clues that might tell us which buildings might be inhabited--cars in the driveway, plants on the porches, mowed lawns, running air conditioners. There was something mysteriously romantic about it; the city itself seemed to be shifting, even ephemeral.
Drawing largely from Detroit's suburban migration, we created a drawing of a map of Detroit on the gallery floor using chalk markers. Over the duration of the exhibition, the foot traffic wore away paths in the floor, rendering some of the neighborhoods or city blocks invisible while others remained untouched.