DISPLAYCED puts Columbia’s gentrification and displacement of the Manhattanville community on display, literally. Asking what traces of Manhattanville’s past remain and what was fully erased, the work contends with the numerous scales of displacement, from families to local businesses to entire community networks. In comparing multiple time periods, disputes, and phases of change, DISPLAYCED also grapples with the many nuances that come with displacement on such a large scale: the discrepancies of settlements, the other various agents of change and exploitation, as well as the archives that remain lost.
The work uses an empty display case as both a physical and virtual signifier. Physically, the display case suggests a curated museum space as well as the effect of sheer absence. Jarring and peculiar, visitors are encouraged to go up to these cases where they can scan a QRcode to take them to an augmented reality on their phones, whereby they can see objects, buildings, and stories from various pieces of Manhattanville that no longer remain. While primarily clustered around the Manhattanville campus, some of these cases are dotted along the walk from Columbia’s main campus, suggesting a longer tour that takes into consideration Columbia’s ever-growing domain.