A Parliament of Neighbors

May 13, 2023

What does it mean to be a neighbor?


In about two weeks, I assembled some ideas I’d been kicking around about reinvention into an exhibition called “A Parliament of Neighbors” for a local inventive art exhibition and creative space that did a temporary pop-up at the Lloyd Center Mall in Portland. The interesting thing about the space is that it took shape in a mall that’s mostly dead, but used to be a vibrant third place in the city. My first few jobs as a kid were at malls in New Jersey, so there’s something surreal about being in a space that feels not that distinct from the malls I grew up with, and recognizing them as places we imagined would always be with us.

My talk & a collaborative space are available online. I mostly tried to wrestling with some fairly big ideas around policy, the ways neighborhoods are constructed, boundaries and inclusion. I’m still really interrogating my own thinking about these ideas, but I appreciated having a timeboxed and public space to process these ideas and to give others things to think about. The prompts about reinvention and world-building really resonated with me, as I think we often think about these topics as sci-fi concepts and to bring them to our streets felt really timely.