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Funky Craftsman Cottage by Division

Flynn Casey

Rose Dickson

Sam Wildman

Thursday, June 18, 2015, 6 pm

Airbnb rental


“You just carry your body from point to point to point and those points are endless and those points are everywhere. For me, that bubble of comfort in which you exist talks about an eventual future where we just have a cushion of air that surrounds us. There is no enclosure, there is just a buffer of air that keeps us comfortable and that thing can spring up at any moment where we stop.”

Aaron Taylor Harvey, “Everything That is Solid Melts Into Airbnb” (panel discussion at Swiss Institute, New York, New York, September 24, 2014).

Having lost our permanent exhibition site in SE Portland, it would seem that RECESS now occupies urban space according to the same nomadic and improvisational model promoted by Airbnb™. Exhorting the utopian “potential of Airbnb™,” Aaron Taylor Harvey, an Airbnb™ employee on the Environments Team, envisages a new social reality wherein “more and more space,” can turn into “shared space,” so that  “space can become perpetually occupied,” and, “Times Square becomes a place full of homes instead of nightmare tourist traps.” However, Harvey’s enthusiasm belies the risk that this not-so-distant future entails dissolving, or, at least, dislocating, local communities to make way for a mobile flow of renters who will pay the high costs of living in cities. Once all space becomes “shared,” cities, and the dense social networks they accommodate, may cease being hospitable to artistic communities. Moving In seeks to intervene into the nomadic condition proffered by Airbnb™ by using “shared spaces” as sites for emboldening local artistic communities and as a way of imagining how such communities might persist in the face of urban renewal.


Additionally, Moving In seeks to investigate the aesthetics and social functions of domesticity in the city today. Airbnb™ is one of innumerable disruptive technologies that have emerged in recent years to make good on the theoretical claim that the private citizen is neoliberalism’s ideal entrepreneur. While the domestic sphere has a rich history in relation to consumer culture, Airbnb™ has rendered domestic space a commodity in and of itself. The strict photographic protocols enforced by Airbnb™ mean that users can scroll through nearly identical images of well-lit interiors to choose the most favorable environment for their stays. With Portland’s well-branded culture of DIY craft and environmental consciousness, the  Airbnb™ offerings here display a tension between, on one hand, the globalized universality ensured by Airbnb™’s pictorial conventions and, on the other hand, the proliferation of driftwood furnishings, locally sourced smorgasbords, vintage bicycles, and the like. The kind of domesticity that sells Portland in the pages of contemporary lifestyle magazines such as Kinfolk appears in Airbnb™ listings as a sticky residue of local culture.


We are curious about the tension between this artisan market for home care goods and furnishings alongside a changing art market. This polarized art market contains a wealth of practices that rebuke the commodity form while at the same time, a generation of young artists wholly embrace the collapse of their work into the consumer market. What does it look like for these works to occupy this well-lit domestic space?


The first iteration of Moving In bears traces of circulation within systems of value production, as in Flynn Casey’s work; and, in the case of Rose Dickson’s photography, mediates the fragmentary perception of urban space under the conditions of perpetual construction; and, in Sam Wildman’s empty realtor signs, renders the material supports of the housing market as ghostly apparitions.




Flynn Casey (b. 1992, Honolulu, HI) is an artist and curator living in Portland, OR. Recently, his work was included in a group exhibition at the Arthur Gallery (Oberlin, OH) titled Post-Internet is Dead. In 2014, Flynn participated in a group exhibition at Cawein Gallery (Forest Grove, OR) and was included in a PDF publication with AMUR Initiatives. Flynn is the co-director and curator of Muscle Beach, a curatorial project based in Portland.


Rose Dickson is an interdisciplinary artist based in Portland, Oregon. She received her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2012. With support from Oregon Arts Commission, Rose was recently an artist in residence at Organhaus Art Space, Chongqing, China and Studio Kura Residency, Fukuoka, Japan. Rose has exhibited works in Portland, New York, Boston, Paris, Rome, Venice, Helsinki, Chongqing and Fukuoka. Her work is in the collection of Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Museum of American History.


After graduating from RISD, Sam Wildman began working at Cornish College of the Arts, between the Art and Exhibition Department ­­ with students, faculty and staff. Sam has been striving to facilitate an interdisciplinary research driven culture where collaboration and professionalism are the modus operandi. He was invited to speak at the New Foundation on the films of artist Hito Steyerl. He recently collaborated with artist Gail Grinnell on “Angle of Repose”, a large scale installation at the Boise Art Museum, sponsored by the Paul G. Allan Foundation and reviewed in Sculpture Magazine. He co-­created Be Vintage with artist Eric Olson: a project sponsored by City of Seattle and mentioned in the Slog. Most recently his work was included in “Poker Night”, an installation curated by Rob Rhee in an Airbnb and reviewed in the Stranger and City Arts. Upcoming shows include the Bath-haus Biennial, Organic Produce, and Nepo 5k 2015.




After losing our headquarters in 2014, RECESS began to explore the effects of rising rental and real estate costs on arts workers in major cities along the West Coast of US and Canada, as well as how the resulting nomadic lifestyles and dispersed communities shape artistic production. With Moving Out, we intend to foster a new sense of regional identity by showcasing artists and projects that respond to these conditions both directly and indirectly. We also hope to build a model for what a curatorial program might look like in times of growing economic precarity and a lack of fixed resources.


Moving Out  is supported in part by The Precipice Fund, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts, The Calligram Foundation, and the Regional Arts and Culture Council.



Please connect...

info [at] recessart [dot] com

Thank you... Precipice Fund, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and Calligram Foundation/Allie Furlotti