Saturday, August 25, 2012

Dead Malls

A photo essay by Ned Hepburn capturing the hulking carcasses of abandoned shopping malls has been making the Internet rounds. Here are just four of 84 Pictures of Dead Malls.

So here's my idea. Recruit a guerilla team to re-inhabit one of these abandoned malls for an afternoon or a weekend, and do post-apocalyptic, post-capitalist things there. Extraordinarily non-commercial things!

  • Set up a storefront where people sing tenderly to you.

  • ...and another where they decoratively paint your money and then give it back to you.

  • Repurpose a toy store as a place where kids invent games for other kids to play.

  • Ban smart phones and other devices from a video game store, install comfortable chairs, and make it a place where strangers talk to each other. Or read books.

  • In the food court, offer delicious campfire cooking. Pay for your food with art you've created at an abandoned H.R. Block.

  • Have people dress as security guards who will stop and question anyone who seems troubled or unhappy.

I'm actually seriously considering this (I've done similarly ambitious pranks before, but those are stories for another day). It'd certainly be timely, with the much-awaited launch of "Revolution" TV series coming up in a few weeks:
"Revolution takes place in a post-apocalyptic future. Fifteen years earlier, an unknown phenomenon permanently disabled all advanced technology on the planet, ranging from computers and electronics to car engines, jet engines, and batteries. People were forced to adapt to a world without technology..."

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