Chairing New York

Chairing New York, 2018, Queens Museum, installation view, digital prints, 14”x 17” each



Chairing New York” is a growing archive and an ongoing saga of hundreds of snapshots, depicting discarded and displaced chairs on the street of New York City artists find during their daily life walks. They encounter discarded chairs as a repeating pattern emerging from city life in a variety of styles and forms that reflects the local social-economical and cultural diversity.  The discarded chairs, one hand, are generic and interchangeable, on the other, they are uniquely transformed through their individual use. The chairs signify the abundance of goods in the current fast wasteful culture exposed to the public eye for the last time before the garbage removal. The project considerers options for the chairing, being active and in charge while rethinking a passive role in the consumerist cycle.


“ There is a strong emotional element connected to an abandoned chair. We see the chairs as a metaphor for the diverse people living in New York. They evoke personal lives, strengths, and weakness, they can be fragile, and broken, while still useful and beautiful. ”


Chairing New York” is part of a larger body of work where Mildes use walking as a purposeful activity. They undertake regular walks in nature and urban environment, where they engage in “cultural foraging”,  similarly, as hunter-gatherers, mapping and collecting facts and objects, both natural and man-made.  They serve them as a resource for developing narratives concerning environmental complexity, unconcealing the relations of the sites.


Related projects “In Loving Memory” “Looking for a Home