(n)IMBY Hobart-Gary

20 slip cast porcelain transferware boxes, each 3inx3inx7in 2015- 2017
Hobart and Gary are adjoining Indiana communities that were both being targeted by GEO Inc., one of the biggest prison companies in the world, as a site for a new 800 bed for-profit detention center for the Midwest.

With Concerned Citizens of Hobart and Gary we reimagined the prison site as a park. My drawings for the decals on the boxes are based on the park vision and activists’ photographs of their organizing. Each participant received a box with their own image, to instigate conversation and support their determination to stop the for-profit prison. The boxes’ sides show an organinzing meeting and an idealised vision of the prison site as the community would wish it to be used.

Key community members include Sandy O’Brien, Tom Dubois, Darlene Vassil, Bob Krebes, Rev. Charles Strietelmeyer in Hobart, and Sam Love in Gary. Visioning in collaboration with community members and urban designer Evgeniya Plotnikova.

A federal solicitation put out by ICE for expanded prison space in the midwest states that anywhere within one hour’s drive from the Downtown Chicago ICE office will do. I made and distributed a map describing this ‘Radius of Speculation’ and its source, with the support of the Weinberg-Newton Gallery. The solicitation set off a feeding frenzy of prison profiteers, which has seen prison companies CCA and GEO vying for sites in Illinois and Indiana. My (n)IMBY projects highlight successive battles between these prison companies and local immigrant and citizen communities, to support community organizing and alliances.