OPEN is a temporary overhead textile installation that exploits one of Hayes Valley Art Works’ (HVAW) core attributes: open-ness. The empty lot is large, exposed, and features views of surrounding buildings, San Francisco City Hall, the sky, and beyond. The expansive feeling of standing in an open, sunny, unprogrammed space in San Francisco is unique and increasingly scarce in a densely built city. HVAW is also open in another sense: it is open to the public and is intended to be a community resource. Yet open-ness also creates discomfort, and HVAW’s open-ness is constrained: the site is surrounded by chain link fence and is only open during conscripted hours. The open-ness of HVAW can create discomfort for neighbors because the site is informal, unmanicured, unpredictable and open (to the public). Yet OPEN also speaks to the possible anxiety of neighbors over losing open-ness. Once the site is developed into housing, neighbors will lose light, views, trees, and space. As a design, OPEN / OPEN features flaps cut into a nylon sail that open and close in the wind, creating an experience of permeability. Wind and sun may pass through, and passersby may peek through the flaps. The piece is designed with visibility and high contrast color in mind, and invites pedestrians to stop and experience the site.
was displayed during October and November 2016 as part of the site-specific art show “Present Ground.”