Owner Occupy

Tasmanian oak dowel, galvanised pipe fittings, copper saddles, cotton duck fabric.
Minimum dimensions of a dwelling machine:
1.2 L x 1.2 W x 3.2 H (m)
Dimensions of map:
5.7 L x 3.3 W (m)

Fugitive Structures, commissioned by Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Sydney, 2015.

Owner Occupy: Terra Nullius Ad Infinitum questions the basic relationship between dwelling and ownership in contemporary Sydney. The project looks at the legal fiction of empty land on on which all of contemporary Sydney’s property ownership is based.

The dwelling-machine is the architecture for this possible alternative Sydney. The basic premise of the dwelling-machines is that who ever occupies them, owns them. The vulnerability of the structures resists ownership of space by anyone other than those who inhabit it at that given time. Behind the structures a map of Greater Sydney looms. Seen from the perspective of this new colonial movement it is a map of land open for occupation. As with the early colonial maps all reference to prior occupation has been erased. Here only the real estate tag lines remain.

The dwelling-machines, a kind of operable vehicle for personal space and self expression, are a direct representation of current modes of extreme individualism. Within this system however, the limited size and extreme operability of the units open new opportunities for collaboration, sharing and conviviality. Here the lightness and optimism of real estate language and interior design aesthetics are repurposed to sell a very different idea: the end of real estate itself.


2015 Fugitive Structures Catalogue

Owner Occupy, 2015, Heidi Axelsen and Hugo Moline, commissioned by Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Sydney.

Owner Occupy (detail), 2015, Heidi Axelsen and Hugo Moline, commissioned by Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Sydney. Image by Brett Boardman.

MAPA Art + Architecture
Heidi Axelsen + Hugo Moline.   ︎    ︎   

An art and architecture collaborative working between the social and the spatial.