This research and photography project is an attempt to develop a typology of dwindling “vacant” spaces of Bushwick, Brooklyn. Of course so-called “vacant” land isn’t really vacant. It lacks the all-encompassing artifice associated with consistently maintained, human-centered habitats. It’s also void of certain culturally recognized markers of progress, from cement and steel foundations masking and stabilizing the earth below, to the promise of rising property values for contiguous real estate. But it’s full of many other things. Looking beyond plastic bags, candy wrappers and the occasional abandoned mattress, the companion species that flourish in humanity’s shadow come into focus, filling these “empty” spaces to the brim.
This project lays the groundwork for the Feral Landscape Lobby by tracking and documenting “vacant” land and the species that live in and on it. The project is ongoing and will include an online map, photo database, collection of plant photos and a selection of herbarium specimens.
Some sites regenerate in pauses between maintenance or construction, while others disappear beneath concrete.