Over by Macy’s on the Lower Level
“The Changing Rooms: Change Your Social Status ~free snacks~ “
The significance of installing this piece in the Southwest Center Mall (formally known as the Red Bird Mall) is due to the up and coming re-gentrification of the area. This mall was formally labeled a “dead mall”, situated in a moderately low income area. However a recent promise to invest $50 million dollars into the mall has encouraged additional investors to begin the process of buying up low income properties and thus, change the social status of the neighborhood.
Doug Land. artist and local resident said, “Growing up in South Dallas, and working in North Dallas, several things become apparent: I could always count on getting free snacks up North, but the South had more culture.”
On a budget of $500 (including the ~free snacks~) the installation featured two spaces, a “Have’s” and a “Have-not’s”. Each space featuring distorted visions of poverty and wealth, with a weekly question posted on each side. The Changing Rooms, featured separate snacks, culturally appropriate to each economic representation. The visitor (or participant) was encouraged to consume the snacks and respond to the prompt on the wall.
Obviously and perhaps not obviously each of the Changing Rooms had a camera to record the visitors utilizing the space. Using hunting cameras, Art Skoop recorded any participants in the room, by baiting them with the promise of ‘free food’, much in the same way that hunters bait prey, to set up a shot.
The footage was combined, edited and uploaded to this website (via YouTube), so that the experience of watching visitors exchanging social status and environments, can be viewed beyond the length of the installation.