City Souvenirs, 2013
Porcelain, steel and public participation, Dimensions Variable
Ongoing Collaboration with Nicole Seisler
City Souvenirs is a public art project that blends social practice, conceptual craft, and the use of walking as a tool for making art. Liene Bosquê and Nicole Seisler collaborate on this work in order to create tangible connections between people and place, and to investigate the subconscious ways in which the city and its inhabitants influence each other. Our embroidered uniforms, handmade steel cart, and blocks of wet porcelain distinguish us as we walk through cities in search of signature architectural details that visually and culturally define a place. By making direct impressions of these hallmarks in clay and inviting passersby to do the same, we build collections of objects that, much like clay tablets of the earliest societies, become records of particular moments in history. One side of each ceramic object shows crisp details of architecture and design while the other side retains the lines and marks of the hand; the raw clay is a conduit that heightens the individual’s sensation of touch and physical connection to their surroundings. This interaction enables pedestrians to perceive the textures and surfaces of the city with a new awareness and sense of discovery. As the collection of City Souvenirs amasses, so too does the evidence of our haptic relationship to public space. Over the course of the past three years, we have taken our mobile project throughout Chicago and New York City, with a focus on neighborhoods where immigrant populations have historically influenced the architecture and growth of that specific area.