Category Archives: Inhabiting

Drawing in the NYC Flock House – Cassidy Hobler

“I am getting a new perspective on the world with this project, that everything can be used, but people just throw stuff away.”  Cassidy Hobler

I met Cassidy at Bemis Center to check in on her paper making project, look at resource books that are on large tables in the gallery, and reflect on her experience drawing in the NYC Flock House.

She described her stage with paper making.  “I want to start doing it. I imagine a paper making recipe card with very simple text written on small paper cards.”

She has everything she needs – paper, cotton scraps from t-shirts, a processor to pulverize the recycled materials.  “On walks I have gathered plants, but it takes a ton of them to cook down. But I have paper.” She still needs a large tub to dip the screen into the pulp.

She suggested that we look at polyhedron templates . They are free to use, and you can print them out. This might be a layer in the Palimpsest composition. (

Cassidy Hobler drawing in the NYC Flock House at Bemis Center - Old Market

Cassidy Hobler drawing in the NYC Flock House at Bemis Center – Old Market

Cassidy shared with me the sketches and drawing of a Flock House she created in the NYC Flock House.

“Inside is different.  Bigger.  Drawing was nice, nice to sit.  The shell is flimsy and people can see you, but I felt I was in my own space.  Definitely.”

She started with sketches “to find out how to make the shapes.”

Sketch 1 - triangle shapes and door

Sketch 1 – triangle shapes and door

Sketch 2 - 3-Dimensional concept of shape within shape

Sketch 2 – 3-Dimensional concept of shapes within shapes


“In my drawing, I was envisioning how doors and windows would open and close, how water would flow to the plants. I separated utilities and structure.” (Utilities are a triangular supporting scaffold above the inner structure which is circular with triangular opening.)

Flock House Drawing, July 3, 2014 - Cassidy Hobler

Flock House Drawing, July 3, 2014 – Cassidy Hobler

Drawing in the NYC Flock House – Omaha Flock House exhibit at Bemis Center

July 1, 2014

“I have been up cycling from discarded materials, and making art from them since 2004. It’s something I really enjoy. I am also a big supporter of the “Tiny Houses” movement.” Tyler Kessel

Cassidy, Tyler and I met at Bemis Center in Old Market to set up the first phase of the Palimpsest project.

Responding to 7 questions

Responding to 7 questions

We began by answering 7 questions about Flock House. We hope many visitors will use these questions to think about Flock House, and share their ideas. Our writing fed discussion about Flock House as structure, creative space, and shelter.

As structure: Open and free, Little or No Facade, Constructed of Recycled, Up-cycled for a “New Used” approach in making Functional Art. Flock House is Radical and Useful, Intriguing and Mystical, Exposed Metal and Wood, Organic and Industrial. These qualities are Futuristic Functional. The NYC Flock House is highly Tactile, sculpted wood, a Lantern, Platform, lifted up from street level, a Movable foundation. These are highly Urban structures. This question about using recycled materials, “Is there more waste than structure on the planet?” Useful, discarded materials = Abundance?

As creative space: Inviting. Not a place to live. No storage. Not really weather tight – Exposed. A place you want to enter, do something you want to do. A work space. No where. Non where. A place of Discovery. A place of Creative Solutions. Aquaponics. Water filtration. Rain capture. Growing plants for food and beauty. Why are we so ignorant of these basic systems, so dependent on obscure utilities?

As shelter: How would I bathe, use the bathroom? If many houses installed in a Flock, would these practical issues be solved communally?  A shared kitchen, shared dining, central toilets and bathing? Is a completely self-sufficient Flock House a necessity for the first stage? How will this idea evolve as more people build them and discover how to use them? Are we talking about the need for shelter for the Less fortunate? Or about purging our material space to Less clutter and stuff? Is Less a virtue or a loss?

We go to the 4th and 5th floors at Bemis. We find small boxes for the art materials we will place in the Flock House for visitors to use. Cassidy finds boxes to use as screens when she begins to make paper. She leaves us carrying materials for paper making.

Cassidy leaves with boxes, newspaper and recycled materials from Bemis Center.

Cassidy leaves with boxes, newspaper and recycled materials from Bemis Center.

Tyler is ready to draw inside the Flock House. He selects pens, pencils, markers. He uses 6 x 6 paper cut from a Bristol pad.

Tyler Drawing FH 7-1-14 2

I felt I could mix elements of art and line work that are out of my comfort. I think I'll build one of my own."

“I felt I could mix elements of art and line work that are out of my comfort. I think I’ll build one of my own.” Words and drawing by Tyler Kissel.



Neil Griess interview in Flock House – Old Market

Hi, all!

I wanted to reach out to the group that worked on the Flock Houses to see if there was any interest in being interviewed about the project?  While I was only around for the design and construction process here and there, one thing that I did do is take several audio recordings during the install day at the Bemis.  My intention is to make a sound piece during my residency at the Bemis location, collaging the material that I have already recorded with new recordings that I will make during my stay.  I want the final piece to be a documentation of the project, and I really think interviews with those involved would enrich that!


I was happy to be interviewed by Neil about my Flock House experience. I was also eager to return to the Flock House in Old Market and participate as a guest in Neil’s residency.

Bringing electric power through window of Okada building.

Bringing electric power through window of Okada building.

When I approached at 3 pm on July 27, 2014, I saw Alex feeding electric power to the Flock House for Neil to use for his sound equipment. Later I spoke with Neil about the unfinished structure. It is not yet self-sustaining, with its own electric power, water supply and sanitation. Perhaps this was overly ambitious. Planning, preparing materials and assembling two Flock House Omaha structures was an enormous undertaking. I began to focus on its value as a structure. A sculptural composition of triangles. A shelter to house a series of residencies.

Neil posiitons the recorder on a tripod, then attaches a wind sock.

Neil positions the recorder on a tripod, then attached a wind sock.

As Neil set up the sound recorder and microphones, I sat in a chair looking at the walls.  First, I noticed that someone finished painting the wood trim to the triangular doors. I remembered starting this small painting project, working until we locked the doors in darkening light. I remembered my hands working the stain into the trim with the brush. I thought of other hands continuing the following day. I like the idea of an open process, where one person can work, and another pick up the task later to continue. Much is accomplished if many do even a little.

As my eyes scanned the walls, I realized that my brain was organizing the triangles into shapes. Two triangles connected along their base made a diamond. Six triangles joined at the apex formed a hexagon. In this unique structure there are no 90° angles. No rectangles or squares. Only triangles, diagonals, and walls at strange angles to the floor. It was stimulating and even comfortable. I wondered how this environment might undergird creative work we would undertake here.

As I answered Neil’s questions, I began to look forward to spending more time in this space.  It did not feel incomplete or imperfect because of what was missing from the original plan. It felt just right. Even powerful.