Spend a night sleeping with an artist!

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

An art gallery in DUMBO isn’t the coziest place to spend a week, but it certainly could be worse.

The eco-provocateur/artist Mary Mattingly will be unveiling a prototype of her ambitious “Air Ship Air City” design at the art gallery “Smack Mellon” this week, and six volunteers will actually live in the elevated “flock house” for seven days each.

As Mattingly described it, the wheeled structure, which can hold up to 10 people, will be built on scaffolding and feature hanging gardens, a water collection system and hammocks. The 10-foot high house will even have a convenient escape plan in case of a global warming-induced natural disaster.

“In case of rising water and resulting flooding, a kayak landing with 55-pound barrels underneath — doubling as buoys and compost bins — will be affixed to the scaffolding,” Mattingly said.

Mattingly plans to keep the space open to the public during the “Condensati­ons of the Social” exhibit so that gallery-goers can get a feel for what she sees as the inevitable future: one in which water levels have risen to a point that humans must live in mobile “bird’s nests.”

“ ‘Flock house’ is an airborne habitat that imagines, projects, and adds another level onto the city’s skyline,” Mattingly explained. “[It envisions] a future dependent on mobile cities, while the elevated habitat will be able to cope with rising sea levels.”

If the exhibition sounds ambitious, that’s nothing compared to Mattingly’s original design, which proposed a self-sustaining elevated house on the roof of a building on Flatbush Avenue, complete with chickens, a laboratory and “human nest outdoor couches.”

Previously, Mattingly had lived in her Waterpod — a floating barge straight out of Kevin Costner’s “Waterworld” that also featured — you guessed it — chickens.

“Condensati­ons of the Social” at Smack Mellon [92 Plymouth St. at Washington Street in DUMBO, (718) 834-8761] will run June 19 through Aug. 1. For info, visit

Updated 1:53 pm, June 14, 2010
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your community:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!