Sam Lavigne and Tega Brain: New York Apartment
For this project, artists Sam Lavigne and Tega Brain created a website that advertises a fictitious New York City apartment for sale that covers more than 300 million square feet and spans the five boroughs. Compiled from actual online real estate listings, the artwork collapses the high and low ends of the market, architectural periods and styles, and neighborhoods and affordability into a single space that cumulatively creates a portrait of New York's living spaces and the real estate market. Like a standard real estate ad, the listing shows the price, number of bed- and bathrooms, and square footage, all of which are updated weekly based on the city’s aggregated real estate listings. Also featured are images and videos of the rooms, features, and amenities; a mortgage calculator; and four versions of a 3D virtual tour of the apartment's floor plan, imagining it as two different vertical towers, a flat landscape, and a pyramid. The artwork highlights both patterns in the language, look, and feel of real estate advertising, as well as the range of class and diversity of lifestyles and values of its target group.
Sam Lavigne (b. 1981) is an artist and educator whose work deals with data, surveillance, cops, natural language processing, and automation. His work often takes the form of online interventions that surface the frequently opaque political and economic conditions that shape computational technologies. He has exhibited work at Lincoln Center, SFMOMA, Pioneer Works, DIS, Ars Electronica, the New Museum, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Tega Brain (b. 1982) is an Australian-born artist and environmental engineer whose work examines how technology shapes ecological relations. She has created wireless networks that respond to natural phenomena, systems for obfuscating fitness data, and an online smell-based dating service. Her work has been shown in the Vienna Biennale for Change, the Guangzhou Triennial, and in institutions like the Haus der Kulturen der Welt and the New Museum, among others.