Providence, RI
Jewelry District

Where to see #2(HB)

#2(HB) is an installation that uses defunct billboards in downtown Providence, Rhode Island. These billboards are caught in limbo. Previously serving as an advertisement platform along Interstate 195, their future is now undetermined, a result of the decade long IWAY project, the re-routing of I-195 in Providence.

Our urban landscape is constantly changing, we adapt by taking a detour on the commute to work, or forcing a new trail through the grass when a sidewalk is blocked. We don’t acknowledge what these changes mean because we must disconnect from our landscape in order to move through it efficiently. A billboard off the highway becomes a weightless message floating in the sky, as we completely forget about the underlying structure of steel, lights and electricity that support it.

#2(HB) utilizes billboards, a part of I-195’s detritus (bridges, billboards, on & off ramps, roads and fences). One billboard shows the writing end of a #2 pencil; the other shows the eraser. The square grid backgrounds are apparent from specific locations, while a complete pencil is perceived from another. The pencil spans across the two billboards, transcending the space of the Jewelry District, it creates intimacy between the viewer and Providence skyline. The pencil has the ability to create, manipulate and erase, the grid organizes and defines; characteristics that parallel the change that is currently happening to the Jewelry District. The erasing of I-195 creates the canvas for new structure(s) to be drawn.

As the Jewelry District changes to accommodate the public’s needs, these billboards help reconnect individuals to their urban-landscape through responsive and permeating imagery.

Many thanks to