Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Eating in Public & Historic Waikiki

EATING IN PUBLIC / Gaye Chan + Nandita Sharma

In November of 2003 we planted twenty papaya seedlings on public land near our house in Kailua, Hawai'i. In doing so, we broke the existing laws of the state that delineate this space as 'public' and thereby set the terms for its use. Our act has two major purposes: one is to grow and share food; the other is to problematize the concept of 'public' within public space....

{ Part 1 : Autumn }
{ Part 2 : Winter }
{ Part 3 : Spring }
{ Part 4 : Summer }
{ Part 5 : Spring/Summer/Autumn }
{ Part 6 : Winter }

Eating in Public is an anti-capitalism project in Hawai'i nudging a little space outside of the commodity system. Unlike Santa and the State, they give equally to the naughty and the nice. They do not exploit anyone's labor. And they do not offer tax-deductions. They are, in all the word's various definitions, free. Following the path of pirates and nomads, hunters and gathers, diggers and levelers, they gather at people's homes and plant food on public land. They currently have two ongoing free_stores and a website.

"Sowing the seeds of awareness" / Honolulu Star Bulletin

"Store's open — and free" / Honolulu Advertiser

"Eating in Public" in Constituent Imagination: Militant Investigations, Collective Theorization

Historic Waikiki

Historic Waikiki is a project by DownWind Productions, a collaborative of artists, writers, teachers and activists who examine the impact of colonialism, capitalism, and tourism in Hawai'i. We distribute information and agitprop commodities through the marketplace and e-commerce to help tourists and locals alike understand our complicity in the decimation of Hawaii's land and people, and to imagine different relationships with each other and with our own desires and longings.

DownWind is subjected to everything that happens and happened upwind. When hunting, it is recommended that you position yourself downwind of the hunted.

Waikiki: A History of Forgetting and Remembering is a work of art, critical history, and investigative journalism that assumes the unlikely form of a coffee table book. Written in an accessible style, the book creatively draws from historical text and images to tell the story of Waikîkî’s transformation from a self-sustaining community to one of the world’s most popular and overdeveloped vacation destinations.

The result is an innovative collaboration between an art historian and an artist. Written by Andrea Feeser, the text is carefully researched and masterfully woven, using literary metaphors alongside documentary evidence and historical narrative. Artist Gaye Chan contributes lush and haunting imagery that at once serves to illustrate the text and questions the veracity of photographic evidence.

Equally satisfying for a Hawaiiana enthusiast or a cultural studies scholar, a visitor or a long-time Hawai‘i resident, the book offers little-known facts about Waikîkî as well as theoretical and poetic reflections on the very process of memory and history making.

Download Table of Contents (PDF)
Download an excerpt from the book, Chapter 3 - Ala Wai (PDF)

Gaye Chan @ Creative Capital

"Where Spouting Waters Ebb" / Honolulu Weekly

"Room for a View: Projects influence how we see Waikiki" / Malamalama

"Real-time and Digital Communication in and about Contested Hawai'i: The Public Art Project Historic Waikiki" / Andrea Feeser

THERE THERE / Gaye Chan + Nandita Sharma