WIKIREUSE is a 2007 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., (aka Ether-Ore) for its Turbulence web site. It was made possible with funding from the Jerome Foundation.
As superstores abandon buildings in order to move into bigger stores, what will become of the walls that they leave behind? It is within the answer to this question that we are seeing the resourcefulness and creativity of communities across the United States, as they struggle to deal with a challenge that is emerging all over the country: the empty big box store. Through travel, the study of community, and exploration of the urban landscape, Julia Christensen has been researching the way people build their towns amongst the increasing presence of corporate real estate, creating the context for their own lives.
Julia Christensen began investigating how communities are reusing the big box in the winter of 2002. Since then, she has been traveling around the country, visiting the sites and meeting the people who are making these transformations possible. She has been collecting a growing collection of photographs, interviews, stories, and documents relating to the renovations, and giving the stories back to the public, through presentations, art shows, and writing.
Her book, Big Box Reuse, will be published by MIT Press in November of 2008.
Julia made the original Flash site of this project in 2004. It is incredible how quickly things change in the big box landscape--owners and uses turn over quickly, so she wanted to make a new site that not only got the information up to date, but allowed multi-users to contribute to the database of big box reuse. This wiki site is being developed as that update, through a commission from Turbulence, in 2008. Julia has imported the information from the original site into this version, and put a date (2004). The map, found here, contains nodes where big box reuse has been documented, either by Julia, by a user, or by a newspaper article at the location.
The original Flash site of this project can be found here.
Users may submit nodes at their own locations by emailing information to: firstname.lastname@example.org.