Brooklyn For Brooklyn

By Sekiya Dorsett

Project Description
Brooklyn For Brooklyn is an interactive installation which allows the user to experience a simulated drive through BedStuy Brooklyn particularly Bedford Avenue and Lewis Avenue. These two avenues have experienced the most transformation. During their drive, they will be given options to visit landmarks that have changed over the past 6 years and hear and experience video from residents and storekeepers about the history of the community.

Artist Statement
I am a visual storyteller. Through the medium of film and various digital tools, I craft stories that engage the participant in new ways of thinking. I believe storytelling allows you to ask the hard conversations that you may not be able to have with individuals in the real world. Story allows us to organize our information in humanistic, creative and digestible terms.

All my inspiration is taken from my struggles. As an immigrant living in New York, I am used to feeling out of place but being behind the camera has not only helped me to reclaim my place in the world. My filmmaking has also allowed me to reflect the world around me and craft my own stories. As a queer woman of color, I have many labels but one label I take seriously is that of an artist. My work has always personally reflected my experience delving into gender, race, sexuality and immigrant issues.

The project, “Transformation and Conversation” is my way of creating a visual representation of gentrification/development. As a new Brooklyn resident, living in Brooklyn for almost 5 years, I have seen the rapid changes to my neighborhood but I was not able to put it into a visual medium that others can see it. However, I did interview residents on a Brooklyn Block and asked their viewpoints. Many residents, new and old to the neighborhood, told their story. As a new homeowner, I also have a new perspective of displacement and renting which also allows me to lend a new viewpoint to this conversation.

My project lends on new technology of Google maps that allows the user to step back in time. The project also seeks to help others understand the changes by placing the participant inside the world.

As a new artist participating in interactive art, I want to directly connect to viewer and allow them to post a response and gain information about the particular story or topic. I also want them to walk about with new information and experiences. I believe interactive installations are a great way to immerse the user into the subject matter so that they can explore it first hand.

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