Artisphere Plans Parking Space Party

by ARLnow.com September 14, 2011 at 2:09 pm 3,864 48 Comments

Rosslyn’s Artisphere (1101 Wilson Blvd) is planning to transform two parking spaces outside the cultural center into a “tranquil lounge space” on Friday.

The event is being held as part PARK(ing) Day, “an annual, worldwide event that invites citizens everywhere to transform metered parking spots into temporary parks for the public good.”

In addition to the lounge itself, Rosslynites will be treated to a performance by dance artist Sarah Levitt between 5:00 and 6:30 p.m. See the press release about the event, after the jump.

In cities around the globe on September 16, 2011, artists, activists and citizens will temporarily transform metered parking spaces into public parks and other social spaces, as part of an annual event called “PARK(ing) Day.” Artisphere has partnered with Apartment Zero, Dance Exchange and the Rosslyn Business Improvement District to bring this event to Rosslyn and transform two parking spaces in front of Artisphere into a tranquil lounge space to relax and enjoy from 8:30am to 6:30pm. Dance Exchange will perform a site-specific version of their dance work, Hammock, from 5pm to 6:30pm.

Originally invented in 2005 by Rebar, a San Francisco-based art and design studio operating at the intersection of art, design and ecology, PARK(ing) Day challenges people to rethink the way streets are used and reinforces the need for broad-based changes to urban infrastructure. Since 2005, the project has blossomed into a worldwide grassroots movement: PARK(ing) Day 2010 included more than 800 “PARK” installations in more than 180 cities in 30 countries on six continents. This year, the project continues to expand to urban centers across the globe. “Artisphere is excited to work with our partners to help re-imagine the possibilities of the urban landscape,” says Artisphere Executive Director José Ortiz. “We remain committed to sharing art with the largest possible audience and Park(ing) Day provides an opportunity to activate art outdoors through design and performance in Rosslyn.”

Against the backdrop of a contemporary relaxation experience created by multi-disciplinary design and curatorial studio Apartment Zero, Dance Exchange will perform“Rest Easy,” a site-specific installation element of Hammock in which Dance Exchange artist Sarah Levitt will seek rest in repetition from 5pm-6:30pm on September 16. The stage version of Hammock strips away the high-tech production elements of modern performance, instead focusing on the human body and the stage space they inhabit. Choreographed by Dance Exchange artists Sarah Levitt and Benjamin Wegman, Hammock explores rest as a defiant and aggressive act. The artists describe their process as one that “shifts between rest and productivity, talking and silence, being seen and disappearing, virtuosity and ‘that doesn’t look like a dance,’ changing the world and giving up for good.” Hammock was originally commissioned by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as part of Performing Arts for Everyone at the Millennium Stage for its debut on September 8 and 9, 2011.

PARK(ing) Day is an “open-source” user-generated invention created by independent groups around the globe who adapt the project to champion creative, social or political causes that are relevant to their local urban conditions. More information on Rosslyn’s PARK(ing) Day can be found at www.artisphere.com and a global map of all participating cities are available on the PARK(ing) Day website, at www.parkingday.org.

  • I think I’ll just BBQ in my driveway.

    • Novanglus


  • Riley




    • ClizzleDizzle



      Too…Much..Open Source…Green…happy.

      Does not compute.

  • wat

    Does everyone still have to pay the parking fee

  • jack

    Spots on either side will continue to be ticketed by Arlington County (while their county vehicles idle, empty and double-parked on Wilson).

  • ClizzleDizzle

    From their site. The answer is to call the police.

    Q: Is this legal?
    A: Sometimes yes, sometimes no. The specifics depend on your local legal codes and it is your responsibility to check the law. In San Francisco it appears to be legal to do other things in a parking spot besides park a vehicle, but in some municipalities (New York City, for example) alternate activities are expressly prohibited. It’s up to you to be informed and flexible when it comes to obeying your local law. Past participants have reported that maintaining an attitude of community service, generosity and inclusion has helped assuage the concerns of local authorities. It also helps to inform any law enforcement official that you encounter about your intentions to leave the parking spot in a better/cleaner condition that you found it. So be prepared to clean up after yourselves, and hey, why not sweep the whole block! After all, it’s your city.

    We are not aware of anyone being arrested for participating in PARK(ing) Day, though there have been reports of PARKs being shut down by the authorities, usually following a complaint from a neighbor.

  • J

    This is ridiculous. Arlington County has plenty of parks and green spaces. I hope they are ticketed for not paying the meters and going over the time limit. Enough is enough. Go across the street to the open green space on the corner of Wilson and Lynn. PS- it is not a lounge if there are no cocktails.

    • Agent Michael Scarn

      Take it easy, booster seat.

      This is just a simple (and rather tactful) effort to show people just how much space actually gets taken up by vehicle parking spaces. Of course we still have our parks, forests and ballfields for recreation. It’s just nice to think outside the box every now and then.

      And since they’ll all be physically lounging in the spaces, I bet my next five paychecks that they won’t have a problem remembering to feed the on-site meter.

      • ShirliMan

        Anyone know the time limit on the meters at this location? It is illegal to add more money money to the meter once the time limit has been reached.

  • Bluemontsince1961

    “Rosslyn’s Artisphere (1101 Wilson Blvd) is planning to transform two parking spaces outside the cultural center into a “tranquil lounge space” on Friday.

    The event is being held as part PARK(ing) Day, “an annual, worldwide event that invites citizens everywhere to transform metered parking spots into temporary parks for the public good.””

    Parking spaced into a “tranquil lounge space”?!?!? “Transform metered parking spots in to temporary parks for the public good”?!?!?! Good night nurse, they’ve gone off the deep end.

  • KalashniKEV

    Wouldn’t they kind of want to lay low? I mean… they’re pretty much the biggest symbol of corruption in the history of Arlington.

    This type of foolishness is exactly what will trigger their inevitable demise… and they will use it as an excuse to shield themselves from the financial truths.

    I will be calling the police on Friday.

    • ClizzleDizzle

      Good for you! The most frustrating part is that these idiots lounging outside all day probably do it with our tax money. I doubt that any of them has a job.

    • Bluemontsince1961

      Got for it, Kev! This type of foolishness is beyond ridiculous! Maybe we should all close off our streets and turn them into “tranquil lounge spaces”.

      • KalashniKEV

        I’ll bet it’s really tranquil to work there… and yet the very mention of the name conjures up anything but tranquil thoughts in my mind!

        I just keep seeing Fisette handing that giant check over to his people.


        • Bluemontsince1961

          Doesn’t do a lot for me either. It would be one thing if a private foundation funded it and maintained it, but in tough economic times like the past three years, it sure seems like one great big waste of money that should have been used for road repairs, opening up former schools back as schools to hold the larger number of students, etc. Things that all Arlingtonians, regardless of political persuasion need. Who needs an Artisphere in Arlington when just across the Potomac is the Kennedy Center and all the art galleries and theaters anyone could ever want?

          • KalashniKEV

            Instead of losing $$$$ every-single-day they should put in an establishment that actually serves the community and MAKES money instead of losing it.

            I’m just wondering when they will pull the plug…

          • Bluemontsince1961


          • KalashniKEV

            If they turned it into an indoor pistol range with just 8-10 lanes they could charge $20/hr per lane and stay packed every night of the week, and all weekend long. BOOM. I just turned ArtisFAIL into a huge money maker and provided an additional service to the community.

            They could even have state-of-the-art “GREEN” sound abatement and air filtration. This is starting to sound like a Home Run!

  • ShirliMan

    “This is ridiculous”

    Exactly what I was thinking.

    • ShirliMan

      hmmm, meant to put that under J’s comment

  • brendan

    last i checked the massive, publicly subsidized, building that we just finished spending millions on was hardly being used. And now they want to have a some kinda interpretive dancing on the street? maybe the county can build them a $700,000 bus stop to hold it in.

    • SomeGuy

      Very well stated, Brendan.

  • Novanglus

    It’s an art installation, right? Just include two running iPark devices and some wheels, and rearrange the furniture every two hours.

    Enjoy! I’ll be sitting in a couch in my garage.

  • bb

    I for one suggest an alternative: beat them to the spaces, install a velvet rope, maybe throw in a DJ and a disco ball and have a bouncer standing outside of it.

    “You’re not on the list.”

    • KalashniKEV

      How about dropping a quarter in the meter and telling them, “You’re in my space. Move out.”

      (as you slowly enter the tranquil dance party with your vehicle)

      • Bluemontsince1961

        Heeheehee. Imagine the “outrage” at the interruption of their tranquil, interpretive dance. Meanwhile, the dedicated teacher that lives next door to me is dealing with a fubared APS system for lessons, paperwork, etc., and an overcrowded classroom. All that money for the white elephant that could have been used to reopen former schools to alleviate class trailers and overcrowding with the increased number of students. Ah, but we must have our tranquil interpretive dance on the street and fubar all the traffic and parking, musn’t we?

  • Rosslynite

    Well, they can’t seem to get anyone to go inside Artisphere, so I guess it makes sense to see if they cannot attract folks to the street in front of the place. Baby steps.

  • KalashniKEV

    OMG how funny would it be if they threw a TEA Party in one of the adjacent spaces?

    They wouldn’t even need protest signs- just point across the street and say, “LOOK at this complete nonsense funded by Arlington County appropriating your hard earned income!!!”

    • Novanglus

      Love it! Put siding on a pickup truck so it looks like a colonial ship, park in the next space, dress up as Wampanoags and stand in the bed throwing boxes of tea at them! Now that’s art!

      • Novanglus

        Or did you mean a table with a tablecloth and a hot water and tea bags and scones and such? That’d work, too. “Shall I be mother, Lady Nesbitt?”

    • Bluemontsince1961

      A TEA party in an adjacent space …that would be the cat fight of all cat fights, heads would explode all over the place.

    • Clarendon

      TEA party is opposed to all publicly owned parking spaces/roads etc aren’t they ? Parking spaces are not in the constitution!

      • Novanglus

        You’re right, no public property. We should rent out a conference room in the skyscraper above and throw tea from there. Much greater “impact”.

  • Bob

    Arlington – Takoma Park With Deodorant

    Sometimes when I come to this site, I read something that makes me think I possibly went to The Onion site instead. This was one of those articles.

    • Bluemontsince1961

      “Arlington – Takoma Park With Deodorant” – that’s a good one, Bob!

  • I hope someone gets a bunch of cars to take over all of those spots before they can move their “art” in place.

    In lieu of that, gets some of the homeless to camp out on the sofas.

    • KalashniKEV

      Why wouldn’t the homeless protest this too? Money wasted on Artisphere means no year-round 24/7 check-in and concierge at their Bum Hotel.

  • steve85

    Special Music by…..”The Crickets” bc nobody will be there

    • good one

      Best laugh of the day. Will they be cheered on by the sound of one hand clapping?

  • Johnny Utah


  • Wayne Kubicki

    The press release above was put out by the Rosslyn BID. It refers you to http://www.artisphere.com for more info.

    Unless I missed something, the Artisphere website says nothing about this event!

    Anyone curious about how much this event is costing Arlington taxpayers?

    • KalashniKEV

      Why worry about a nose bleed when you’re suffering from a massive arterial hemorrhage?

  • YTK

    Artisphere– the biggest exhibit of a waste of money and space

    • Bluemontsince1961

      I’ve lived in Arlington all but the first six months of my life and I cannot remember anything in Arlington as big a waste of money and space, or as big a white elephant.

  • Aaron

    We’re an hour and a half into their scheduled event, and there’s been no update, no pics, no video? We need our daily dose of fluff or the pent-up snark might explode all over the site, potentially spewing bile all over serious stories like hit-and-run accidents.

    • Bluemontsince1961

      Maybe the sudden cool spell slowed them down and they haven’t warmed up enough to come out and shake their booties…..errrrr….come out and do their “interpretive dance” so Rosslyn will have a “tranquil lounge space.”

  • josh johnson

    I walked by and asked about this event from the participants….it looks like all the items were donated…the lounge furniture, the grass, the dance company’s time, the movers to deliver everything, etc..so no money was spent. The only “loss” was one day of income on two meters in a city of thousands of parking meters. Sounds like no big deal to me….no sure why this requires such an intense response.


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