Gentrification Guilt Meter

A gesture-based interactive installation that confronts complicity towards gentrification
Gentrification Guilt Meter (2014) is a gesture-based interactive installation that asks the user to confront their feelings regarding their complicity in the gentrification process. The experience resembles a personality quiz where the user is confronted with images related to the gentrification process and asked to make choices based on their emotional reactions.

The version developed during the UnionDocs Collaborative Studio is a proof of concept prototype. The beta release of the piece is scheduled for 2015.

Director’s Statement

After doing months of extensive research and consulting reputable academic sources from Columbia University, the NYU Furman Center and administrators responsible for New York city policy, we came to the conclusion that the gentrification is a chaotic concept that is ill-defined because many ‘diverse interrelated processes are aggregated under this ideological label’ (Rose, 1984). This made us realize that understanding gentrification in a quantitative way is inherently flawed because of the confusion surrounding conflicting models used to categorize the processes. Thus, the genesis of this project came from a desire step away from quantitative models and interpret gentrification in a way that is honest to our personal experience. As artist interlopers, we are acutely aware that we are considered outsiders and perceived in a negative light because we are part of the change that is occurring in this neighborhood. What can we do to mitigate our impact? As we embarked on further research regarding the topic, we we interviewed original residents that stated part of the problem with new residents is the lack respect and consideration they show to their neighbors. Using this as a starting point we decided to make an interactive self-help quiz with a goal to prompt new residents to confront their uncomfortable feelings, biases and provide them with tools to be less abrasive with their everyday behaviors when joining a changing neighborhood. Our satirical approach to this issue does not spur any major policy changes to the housing market or paradigm shifts the field of gentrification research, however, the piece is successful in illuminating the tensions with this emotionally charged subject, thus creating a place for honest and frank dialogue; a paramount first step for inspiring social transformation.

— Joyce Wong

Team

Joyce Wong

Joyce Wong

Joyce Wong is an award-winning director working in film and interactive media. Her work has been supported by the Canada Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council. Her films have screened at Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, CFC’s Worldwide Shorts Film Festival, Montreal World Film Festival, Hawaii International Film Festival, San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, and Hong Kong International Film and Video Awards. She graduated from York University with a BFA in Film Production in 2007. In 2008, she was one of the six emerging directors from Canada selected to take part in the Berlinale Talent Lab. Most recently, she worked as an Interactive Producer at the CFC Media Lab on projects such as the ideaBOOST accelerator and BODY/MIND/CHANGE.

Daniel Wilson

Daniel Wilson

Daniel Wilson is a multiple media artist, expanding filmmaking practices into performance, written word, digital publications, and installations.

Wilson’s work has been exhibited at galleries and festivals internationally, including Bunkier Sztuki in Kraków, Broadway Media Center in Nottingham, The European Independent Film Festival in Paris, culturaDigital in Rio de Janeiro, and the Copenhagen Art Festival, MoMA PS1 and the DUMBO Arts Festival. He was a co-founder of the one-year pop-up non-profit artspace MMX in Berlin during 2010. Wilson has been supported by the Ontario Arts Council, the National Film Board of Canada, GRAND NCE and the Canada Council for the Arts.

John Larson

John Larson

Born and raised in South Dakota, John Larson is a photographer and filmmaker who graduated from the University of South Dakota with a BA in Journalism and Media in 2011. Currently, he is based Brooklyn, New York and working as the Studio Manager at Kitty Guerilla Films. Previously, he worked as an associate producer and cinematographer on the ITVS and Sundance Channel funded feature-length documentary Warrior Women.

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Delaune Warren is a Brooklyn based filmmaker, teacher, and activist. She is currently producing a feature length documentary and teaching filmmaking and media literacy throughout New York City. Elizabeth is a founding member of the nonprofit FILMMAKERS without BORDERS and holds an MA in International Affairs with an emphasis in Media and Culture from The New School.

Joyce Wong

Joyce Wong

Joyce Wong is an award-winning director working in film and interactive media. Her work has been supported by the Canada Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council. Her films have screened at Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, CFC’s Worldwide Shorts Film Festival, Montreal World Film Festival, Hawaii International Film Festival, San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, and Hong Kong International Film and Video Awards. She graduated from York University with a BFA in Film Production in 2007. In 2008, she was one of the six emerging directors from Canada selected to take part in the Berlinale Talent Lab. Most recently, she worked as an Interactive Producer at the CFC Media Lab on projects such as the ideaBOOST accelerator and BODY/MIND/CHANGE.

Daniel Wilson

Daniel Wilson

Daniel Wilson is a multiple media artist, expanding filmmaking practices into performance, written word, digital publications, and installations.

Wilson’s work has been exhibited at galleries and festivals internationally, including Bunkier Sztuki in Kraków, Broadway Media Center in Nottingham, The European Independent Film Festival in Paris, culturaDigital in Rio de Janeiro, and the Copenhagen Art Festival, MoMA PS1 and the DUMBO Arts Festival. He was a co-founder of the one-year pop-up non-profit artspace MMX in Berlin during 2010. Wilson has been supported by the Ontario Arts Council, the National Film Board of Canada, GRAND NCE and the Canada Council for the Arts.

John Larson

John Larson

Born and raised in South Dakota, John Larson is a photographer and filmmaker who graduated from the University of South Dakota with a BA in Journalism and Media in 2011. Currently, he is based Brooklyn, New York and working as the Studio Manager at Kitty Guerilla Films. Previously, he worked as an associate producer and cinematographer on the ITVS and Sundance Channel funded feature-length documentary Warrior Women.

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Delaune Warren is a Brooklyn based filmmaker, teacher, and activist. She is currently producing a feature length documentary and teaching filmmaking and media literacy throughout New York City. Elizabeth is a founding member of the nonprofit FILMMAKERS without BORDERS and holds an MA in International Affairs with an emphasis in Media and Culture from The New School.

Credits

Creative director and technologist: Joyce Wong
Co-producer: John Larson
Co-producer: Elizabeth Warren
Co-producer: Daniel J Wilson

UnionDocs Collaborative Studio Director: Toby Lee

UnionDocs Artistic Director: Christopher Allen

2013-2014 Collaborative Fellows: Alexandra Lazarowich, Anne-Katrine Hansen, Arisleyda Dilone, Chloe Zimmerman, Daniel Wilson, Danya Abt, Elizabeth Warren, Janna Kyllästinen, John Larson, Joyce Wong, Samantha Richardson, Stanzi Vaubel

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