Mobile Homes: ‘Camper Kart’ Still Has Folks Dreaming of a Shopping Cart Home

Friday, January 2, 2015, by Jenny Xie
ck1.jpgPhoto by Kevin Cyr via PSFK

Over the years, the oddball idea of plopping tiny dwellings atop tricycles has been explored time and time again, often as earnest attempts at inhabitable architecture, other times as commentary on social injustice. Brooklyn-based artist Kevin Cyr, who also boasts a tricycle home on his resume, has done both with another familiar but perhaps even trickier vehicle. Cyr’;s “Camper Kart,” a marginally livable “pop-out” dwelling sitting at the throne of a regular supermarket shopping cart, was first built a few years ago, but the project continues to spur reflections on housing, whether that’;s by driving conversation at an exhibition on homelessness or inspiring alternate versions.

Completed after a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2009, the canvas dwelling includes a front and back “door,” pop-out panels on the side, and basic supplies for survival. Though functional, “Camper Kart” is a one-off sculptural piece that’;s now part of the West Collection, a body of 1,200 works by young artists that regularly loans out to various museums and universities.

Just a few months ago, the project was included in California State University, Fullerton’;s “Seeing the Invisible: Life on the Street,” an exhibition that sheds light on the plight of the homeless. “I went looking for art that conveyed a message of need and advocacy,” said Joanne Mace, the exhibit’;s curator. Indeed, “Camper Kart,” with its foundations so conspicuously weighed down by the components of the dwelling, is instantly reminiscent of the encumbered carts that haul around the multifarious belongings of homeless people in urban areas.

In Mace’;s exhibition, “Camper Kart” serves to highlight the cramped, paltry living conditions of the impoverished. But similar to say, the tiny house movement, Cyr’;s project also seems to have sparked desires for a downsized, simplified lifestyle. Just look at this photo posted on Cyr’;s own Instagram account, below. Though this version of the “Camper Kart” looks far less structurally sound than the original, Cyr deems it far superior to other recreations. “Let’;s make a compound!!!” cries a comment below that Instagram post. Perhaps more and better “tiny-houses-on-shopping-carts” are on the way.

I get a lot of emails from people who recreate the Camper Kart, but this one blows them all out of the water. #camperkart #noboss #noclock #noproblems

A photo posted by Kevin Cyr (@kevincyrstudio) on Sep 9, 2014 at 7:02am PDT

ck2.jpgPhoto by Kevin Cyr via PSFK

ck3.jpgPhoto by Kevin Cyr via PSFK

ck4.jpgPhoto by Kevin Cyr via PSFK

· Shopping Cart Camper Calls Attention to Housing Issues [PSFK]
· Anybody Up to Bed Down in a Home Built Atop a Tricycle? [Curbed National]
· These Wheeled ‘Makeshift Dwellings’; Represent Injustice [Curbed National]
· All Mobile Homes posts [Curbed National]

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