This project is targeted to begin in the initial stages of the Poughkeepsie Middle Main Revitalization project. The thing that struck me as interesting is that Matthew Slaats said that even if they had a community meeting for the residents of middle main, no one would show up. Judging on the present level of engagement in the Middle Main community, I thought that this installation would be appropriate in that it requires very little participation with the work itself. It would cause engagement within the community between its residents reacting to the changes in their space.

The aim of the knitwear is to clearly mark the territory of Middle Main, embracing that fact that it is the only part of Poughkipsee that has the cold, utilitarian streetlights instead of the ornate ones in the other part of town. Introducing color into the neighborhood is a celebration of the residential space.

DESIRABILITY: Because this is more of an installation art piece, there is little engagement with the residents of Middle Main and the work itself. The participation would be among the residents, talking about the changed aesthetics of the neighborhood that appear during the day and persist throughout the night. The purpose of the installation is to add color and vibrancy to the neutrally colored neighborhood with bold bursts of colors from the knitwear during the day and the floodlights within the abandoned buildings at night.

FEASIBILITY: I can buy the yarn from a Michaels/Pearl Paint/fabric store here in NYC, for the Pratt knitting club to knit the covers for the streetlights. Because covering the entire lamppost would require a cherry picker, I propose to produce 10-foot tall knit coverings that will be taller than the residents.

I found a couple of options for solar-powered floodlights online that we could install inside the abandoned buildings/storefronts. The best one seems to be these:

To change the color of the light, I can cover them in different colors of cellophane. I can even buy a couple of mirrors and place them in positions that would help magnify the light created by the solar-powered floodlights. I was thinking about BLUE, PURPLE, GREEN, ORANGE, and YELLOW lights. Each floor could be a different color or the whole building can glow in one color.

I can maybe team up with Kelly on this in order to produce the light/ colored window coverings on abandoned storefronts?

Because the buildings are abandoned, we can either chain down the lights or superglue them to whatever surface.

I would need to find out how many light posts and abandoned buildings/storefronts there are that I can easily get into to install the indoor colored floodlights.

VIABILITY: The only cost for this project would be for the light fixtures, the yarn, and the colored cellophane. The floodlights will be solar-powered so it won’t cost anything to power them, no need for a generator

Referring to the lights and knitwear corresponding to different stages of development in the buildings, I would love to be able to mark progress and have the lights change colors on different days and have the knitwear be a marker for progress. However, the slow development that will take years and to completely revitalize the area would require constant visits to Poughkipsee (which is kind of impossible as I’m in grad school).

I would need to look at the area again in order to assess the long-term sustainability of this installation.