MICHELLE TSE

The Art Market

"Calling up the ghost of Marx, one way to see money is as accumulated labor… the idea that one person’s labor is more valuable than another is peculiar. The art market is in some sense an exquisite instrument for determining the relative value of different people’s labor… It is as if artists are in their studios all day minting currency, and the art world is a market for evaluating these different currencies from their tiny competing countries. Seen this way, art is a kind of money, beautiful money."        - Sal Randolph

   Can the marriage of financial value and cultural value strengthen the correspondences and relationships of a neighborhood community? What would be a good NYC area to begin to strategize such a relationship for a new banking model?

   An up and coming neighborhood in Fulton Mall, Brooklyn comes to mind. Situated at the intersection of three distinct neighborhoods, walking distance from the Barclays Center and BAM, it is important to consider the role of artists and techies, who are often the first indication towards neighborhoods of transformation; the first wave of migrants to interject on a neighborhood. In fact, one of the new nicknames for the area is The Tech Triangle. Therefore, architecture must anticipate social and environmental change in order to endure the shifting context of a neighborhood.

   This proposal takes advantage of a site that suggests a landform form of a building parcel and begins to think about how architectural form can meld into the function of a bank that explores the idea of art and technology as a form of social currency. It asks whether we can trust to use artworks, and artistic production as collateral. My design aims to act as a marker for conceiving a new way of formulating the value between art, banking and community, serving the cultural and financial desires of this neighborhood. The building explores a dynamic collaboration between bankers artists and their surrounding community, melding the current ecologies of the neighborhood with the changes anticipated and already starting to take place in and around our site.

Spring 2013
Mentor: Lindy Roy
(project selected for archive)