Materials: Steel, aluminum, wood, motors, handcart, car battery, custom electronics.

Dimensions: 8 x 2.5 x 2.5 feet

Installation view from Downtown Toronto, various locations. July 2002.

Photos: Victoria Scott
Permitted Space was a project in which a group of street-identified (homeless) young women created an electronic/mechanical public sculpture. The goal was to introduce the concept of technologically-mediated public art work and interventions to these women and work with them in my studio to create a sculpture based on their own ideas of how to interact with the public and ease social barriers.

The result is a mobile puppet theatre (office tower), with a mechanised 'Boss-Puppet' who responds to your wishes and threats. We, the 5 women (Neltashi, Nikki, Sunshine, Mirium & Freedom), myself, and facilitators Krystal Kraus & Mike Steventon, brainstormed around the concept of 'exchange'. Based on these conversations, the women decided through guided consensus what they would like to create. We worked collaboratively for 4 weeks and then presented it for 2 days at various locations on the streets of Toronto.

Passersby were asked to write down their desires and complaints to the 'universal-boss' and insert their message into the machine. The 'boss' responded to each person with one of three programmed (and improvised) personal messages.
Thanks to: Beat The Street, The Ontario Arts Council
& InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Centre.