a while back a friend of mine picked up a fluorescent green couch from the basement of his building and said to me, "i bet this couch has been cycling around this building since the 70's". i find coffee makers, toasters, shorts, bookshelves and records in my basement all the time. we live in similar buildings: small old holding maybe fifty apartments each and they are full of people who fascinate and perplex us. my apartment building is full of mostly retirees and drunk kids who are all friends. i found a crappy shop class coffee table in my basement and it's covered in stickers. lots of them are from portland things and many more have hello kitty and many more have profanity. i put a couple of stickers on it myself because i like to think about things and how they relate to human history and i like to add to the legacy of little things like this, especially since it's ugly and i don't intend to keep it when i move out of my apartment in february.
i also like to think about apartment buildings as little micro-societies because they each contain their own dynamic. we're stuck with these people because we can hear their music and fighting and you have to wonder how many of these hands have held this coffee maker. and for the most part you'll never know totally who these people are.
so anyway how this manifests into a project starts with my basement. the mailboxes and washers are down there so everyone's been but you rarely see others down there with you. it's a common area to leave old things that you don't want anymore. i have made stickers that i'm going to put on my furniture that i leave in the basement of my building (starting with a hideous gigantic orange armchair from the 70's that i'm getting rid of tomorrow) that will direct people to a blog that will ask them questions about their life in the apartment building...and maybe about their identity to their neighbors (e.g. "i am the one whose smooth jazz you can always hear"). hopefully the next owner of the chair will find the project interesting and tell me that they have the chair and maybe something about themselves. the blog is http://whosetablewereyou.blogspot.com and if it kicks off and turns out to be interesting the blog will eventually be turned into notes taped up in the basement of my building.