neighborhood: gowanus | space type: silliness | active: 2009 | link: website
update, Aug 2011: Macro|Sea, the brains behind this amazing project, are at it again. In conjunction with 3rd Ward, Artists Wanted, The Danger, and chashama, they’re putting on The Palms, “a late summer ode to the Boca Raton Resort Pools of the 1940s (with more music, spectacle and hedonism).” It’s not actually in Brooklyn, but I headed to Queens to see it, with Leila of everydaytrash, of course (read her take on it here). I thought it was totally fun! DJs and lounge chairs and fancy cocktails and a lobster roll truck—and, of course, the pools, which are pretty amazing to behold. Here’s a few pix by Maximus Comissar (but with my crappy camera).
My brilliant friend Leila, one of my main blogging inspirations, writes an amazing garbage blog called everydaytrash.com. In 2009, she and two other trashies (visible trash and Ruby Reusable) started Decorative Dumpster Day, “the biennial holiday during which we take a moment to think about where we are depositing our waste by posting photos on blogs of decorated trash receptacles,” and this year she invited me to participate. Of course the first thing I thought of was the Dumpster Pools, which I’ve read about, but sadly never got to see. It’s one of the projects that caused the idea for Brooklyn Spaces to start percolating in my head, though, and I’m happy to pay tribute to a fantastically cool idea.
ReadyMade Magazine broke the story. Inspired by a similar project in Georgia by Curtis Crowe of Pylon, in 2009 a trio of designers called Macro|Sea (Jocko Weyland, David Belt, and Alix Feinkind) decided to create functional guerilla art by repurposing Dumpsters into swimming pools. According to the group, the point of the project was to show that “with not too much expense, you can creatively reuse what is basically considered urban detritus and make something really cool and fun and also fairly easy to put together.” The Dumpsters were donated by a construction company, and then cleaned, sealed, lined, and filled with water—all in only twelve days. The pools opened on July 4th, 2009, and the group held very exclusive, invite-only pool parties all summer in a rented lot on the Gowanus Canal, which, in addition to the three pools, featured a BBQ grill, lounge chairs, a changing cabana, and a bocce ball court.
In August 2010, the project was replicated in Midtown Manhattan, by invitation from Mayor Bloomburg. Macro-Sea has future plans to take the project on the road and set up Dumpster pools in strip malls all across the country, starting in Atlanta. With such a terrific intersection of practical reuse, summer fun, and serious silliness, the Dumpster Pools were a perfect Brooklyn summer project well worth sharing with the rest of the country.