Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Hobo Tent

Well, that's not what it is really. lol. Just my little nickname for it I guess. If you haven't already guessed I was inspired by nomadic shelters. Actually it began as a serious case of spring fever. When I get spring fever it just means I want to clean all my closets out and get rid off all the junk I never use and yet somehow accumulate to ridiculous proportions. Living in a small apartment just doesn't make that easy. (Side thought: I'm scared to see how much I could accumulate if I ever lived in a big house, yikes). To be fair, a lot of the clutter came from school projects and excess supplies, etc that just got tossed in a corner, and with the last weeks of school being so busy I never bothered to put anything away.

BUT ANYWAYS I ramble. Needless to say I needed to get rid of some stuff. And somehow this got me thinking about how ridiculous it is that I/We/generalized Western Culture have evolved to this point where so much pointless crap fills up our lives and to what purpose? None. Cue the several nights of research and googling of nomadic cultural habitations. I mean, these guys carried their lives on their backs (in some cases literally) and certainly didn't feel less fulfilled because they didn't have this or that. It just wasn't a concept to have anything that didn't serve a specific purpose to their lives and survival. Now I know that in many cases, different time, different place, different values, but its really the value of simplification that I find myself trying to instill in my life...sort of. To a certain extent....I do have a bit of weak spot when it comes to art supplies haha.

But anyway here's the concept: I wanted to make my own nomadic-style shelter using crap from my own apartment (more on this in a minute) that is totally non-essential to my life - sort of a juxtaposition of values, making something that would normally be an integral part of life (i.e. shelter) out of superficial unnecessary material (not that clothes are unncessary - I'm glad we have clothes, I'm not sure I'd be comfortable in a naked society...yeah not that evolved I guess) but the sheer amount of clothes that I have and then never wear is just stupid. .....well I thought so anyway, until I realized I didn't have enough clothes with which to actually make my shelter oops. Thankfully I have a lot of helpful friends/family/acquaintances who were more than willing to give me their unwanted clothes (so the concept is still solid!) and now I have this...


Here's it in a few building stages


The structure is made from pvc pipes that I drilled holes into and then wired together to make a rough lean-to sort of shape. Ideally I wanted it to be a bit more geometric but the math was confusing and I got headaches...yeah not good. Anyway simple is better. As you can see in the next picture it filled up my entire living room - a bit difficult to work on indoors unfortunately.


And a bunch more pictures of it from a few angles, and even inside ooooh though I'll say now the inside pictures don't do it justice. I filled it with all the leftover clothes so it felt a bit claustrophobic really giving a visceral feel to how much stuff we have in our lives that we don't need but the pictures don't convey it at all.

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 A big thanks to Geo, Stacy, Cyndy, Shannon, Jenn, Nicole and the random person from freecycle that gave me a bunch of jeans! You made it possible!!!

I fluctuate between thinking it really hits on what I felt when I came up with this idea and thinking it looks like a hobo tent....hopefully my classmates will think the former when I present it tomorrow! Last day of class! Crazy!


  1. What an awesome idea. After moving halfway around the world and back again, I am amazed at how much and how quickly I can accumulate clutter and useless stuff.

    Congrats on your last day of class!

  2. Great concept and well executed - just like all of your art!

  3. You know, my kids would love your "hobo tent"! and I bet we have just as much excess clothing... heck you should see the living room. The laundry basket exploded, but we still all have full drawers.... Great statement and a great way to demonstrate it!


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