Treehouse residency is an unconventional residency program for artists, creatives, activists, thinkers, builders and makers. Our residency is set in a homemade “tree house”- an indoor, lofted bed and living area set in an outcropping of a stairwell within our 7-person collective house in Bedstuy, Brooklyn. We provide our residents with housing and free food throughout their residency. Your stay with us is 100% free. Our residents propose and work on a creative project that serves: our house, its inhabitants, its guests and/or its neighbors.
We believe strongly in the power of alternative models of economy- barter, exchange, etc. By providing free housing and free meals we are giving the gift of being about to live in NYC (one of the most expensive cities in the world), essentially for free. But we, as inhabitants in this giant crazy city of New York, treat our home as a kind of respite from this craziness. We are all busy folks, and the one thing that New York takes away from you (aside from money) is time. This is why we ask our residents to devote their time and energy to a creative and functional vision they have that sustains our household and hopefully the artist as well in its creation.
What kind of projects are we looking for?
Ideally, we would like our future residents to consider the house itself and all the activity that goes on there (and its vicinity) as their pallet, their materials, their canvas. We are looking for projects that thoughtfully and creatively navigate between both practicality and aesthetics. Fixing the plumbing would be too practical. Sculpting casts of all the people living in our collective, would be too aesthetic without a practical element.
Don’t be fooled though- practicality can be quite an expansive concept! Eating, drinking, showering, sleeping and going to the bathroom are only a few of the most obvious practical functions within a house. A household, those living within it, and those who visit it, have a wide variety of needs, interests and desires. Systems can be created that facilitate important and sustaining conversation. One-on-one therapy sessions can be created by those with psychological training.
Also don’t be fooled- aesthetics can be quite an expansive concept as well! Paintings, sculpture and music are not the only things that are artistic. A bed-frame can be made with aesthetic considerations. And this isn’t just making it pretty and decorative. One can design something in response to a question, or a mysterious quality about the world. One can make a bed that collects dreams. One can make a kitchen that records food preferences and analyzing consumption habits.
Our residency program lasts for 1 month (starts the first of the month and ends the end of the month).
A large majority of the food in our household is shared and a majority of that food is found outside of grocery stores in trash receptacles a few days before the food actually goes bad. If you are not comfortable with this, you can provide your own food. We hold freegan values close to our hearts, but we are not 100% a freegan household.
We are a cooperative. This means that everyone has to put in a certain amount of time and effort into the running of our household. This can look like many things. It can be helping out with dumpster diving food on nights we do this. It means attending our bi-monthly house meetings. It can mean cooking a big meal for everyone once in a while. It can mean hanging out and singings songs together. We expect our residents to be a part of our household for the month they are here and to help out with all of these aspects of communal living.
Sadly, we do not have money in our budget to accommodate travel. But NYC is a highly traveled-to location. Use this to your advantage! Craigslist has a section called “rideshares”. There are many cheap buses all throughout the northeast. Cheap flights can be found far enough in advance. Hitchhiking might be out of favor because it is seen as “dangerous”, but a lot of its dangers are hyped up.
We are currently accepting rolling applications for July through December 2013.
Our Application is due May 13th 2013
We are photographers, activists, storytellers, documentary filmmakers, visual artists, musicians, bicyclers, mushroom foragers, beekeepers, gardeners, philosophers, and such. We moved in together on October 1st 2012. We are having a great time living, laughing, making, building, thinking, eating and being silly together. The core group of 3 people that had the idea to build this cooperate all met at Occupy Wall Street in the fall of 2011. We are united by a shared love of each other, and a shared idea that this world can be a better place if we act and think in ways that will make it so.