Livin' For the City 2009
wood, carpet, fencing
Hartmann Center Gallery, Bradley University
Peoria, IL

As with art, one may ask, what is the purpose of cats, and how can we assess their value? Unlike other domesticated animals, such as horses or cows, they have no applied use in contemporary American culture. Cats are unpredictable and generally not easy to train. They may be static, sleeping up to 20 hours a day, or highly active at odd hours. Unless one is involved in breeding or competitive showings, a cat’s value depends completely on personal, purely emotional, projection.

For this installation SIMPARCH worked site-specifically, taking cues from the Hartmann building’s interior—wall-to-wall carpet, including carpeted walls, so carpet became a key element in this cat-friendly installation. Cats could operate, play, and lounge at will. The intention was to create a Catopia by using “catastrophic urbanism” as inspiration, complete with poor planning and unrestrained development. Taking a cue from the Theater Department that occupies this building, this plush pseudo city is a stage set awaiting its performers.