What's the latest trend in New York City real estate? Over the course of the summer and fall of 2013, artist Mary Mattingly constructs and occupies Triple Island (2013), an outdoor sculpture overlooking the East River. Situated in the newly developed Pier 42 public park—a waterfront area flooded by Hurricane Sandy in 2012—the sculpture rests on buoyant 55 gallon drums, which allow it to float in the event of rising sea levels. Mattingly and friends build Triple Island out of a mix of recycled, donated, and custom-made materials. The three main structures—a living space, greenhouse, and community garden—together form a system for living off the grid in the densely-populated Lower East Side. A self-described apocalyptic thinker, Mattingly views the project as an experimental model for an imagined future where environmental degradation and collapsed economies render current ways of living in urban areas untenable.
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