Assembly Required is an art collective founded by artists Danielle Durchslag and Ryan Frank that explores contemporary ritual through dynamic, visual and interactive installations. We believe traditional rituals like Sukkot can be used as a creative foundation to fashion inspiring spaces for both religious and secular communities.
Our current project, A Wandering Sukkah, is a public art installation in the form of a mobile sukkah truck that will tour New York City in the fall of 2015. The sukkah truck will park in locations in all five boroughs during the week-long holiday of Sukkot, opening its roof to New Yorkers of all backgrounds for a unique experience of curated sky views and urban solace.
The Invisible Dog Art Center, a professional home for both artists, will host the sukkah’s construction in its backyard before setting it off on its week-long journey.
What is a Sukkah?
During the Jewish holiday of Sukkot Jews are commanded to build a sukkah, or hut, and eat and sleep inside the temporary structure for seven days, in memory of their time wandering the desert. According to Jewish law, sukkahs must be made from natural materials and have a partially open roof, so that visitors may see the sky.
Our Previous Work
A Wandering Sukkah is our second project as the artistic collective Assembly Required. Our first, A Sukkah Salon, launched in the fall of 2013. We invited 8 other artists to join us in creating a structure that was both sukkah and art exhibition on Danielle's apartment balcony in Manhattan.
The installation was open for the week of Sukkot and served as a place of religious observance and creative exploration, bringing secular and religious communities together for shared dialogue. A Sukkah Salon welcomed many visitors and received great press. Now we've decided to do it again in 2015 on a much more ambitious scale! Instead of inviting guests into our home, we will bring our installation to the city of New York for all of its residents to experience and enjoy.
Many New Yorkers are familiar with Mitzvah Tanks, the Lubavitch Orthodox vehicles that invite passing Jews inside to engage in religious ritual. Lubavitchers believe each Jew who adheres to Jewish practice helps beckon the messiah.
Inspired by this NYC tradition, A Wandering Sukkah also employs a vehicular delivery system, but for all New Yorkers, regardless of their religious identity. The artists believe each person who enters their sukkah emerges a calmer and more contented urban citizen, helping to change the energy of New York City for the better.
Why New York?
Because of New York City's large Jewish population, sukkahs can be seen throughout the five boroughs during Sukkot. Even though most New Yorkers routinely see sukkahs, very few step inside. This year, we plan to change that! We need your help to make this Sukkot a meaningful week for all citizens of this great city.
How Can You Help?
Your funds are vital to us realizing this project. We need money to pay off the purchase of our truck, purchase car/project insurance, buy building materials for sukkah construction, hire interns, cover marketing and promotion costs, and pay for gas and parking over the course of our week-long installation. You can help us further by promoting this kickstarter campaign on social media, and, of course, by visiting our sukkah truck this fall! Join our growing Wandering Sukkah community.
We are truly grateful for your help! Here are some of the rewards we're offering as a token of our appreciation for your donations.
A Wandering Sukkah Post Card sent to you!
A limited edition fine art photo print of our favorite sukkah sky view from our week long adventure (example below)!
Various Experiential Sukkah Truck Adventures! Your donation could score you a sukkah truck ride, a personalized invite when we're near you, or even a 3 hour visit from the sukkah truck to a location of your choice.
Special thanks to Lucien Zayan, Risa Shoup, and Naimonu James and The Invisible Dog Art Center for their tremendous wisdom and help with this project. Our thanks to our fiscal sponsor, the New York Foundation for the Arts, to the fabulous Lily Harants for all her hard work, and to the great Geoff Shelton for making our video.
Risks and challenges
We realize any public project and especially one involving a vehicle will pose challenges -- but we feel we have done our homework and are ready to tackle them. Sukkot is about transition and we will address every problem we encounter with patience and fortitude. In the coming weeks we will begin to program our tour and while the exact dates and locations are TBD, we are committed to going to all five boroughs over the week of September 27th - October 4th. Stay tuned!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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