I am Genevieve Belleveau, a social practitioner and artist living in Brooklyn, NY. My work encompasses a broad range of methods and mediums to challenge the accepted modes of operating within the structure of civilized society. I have been exhibited internationally from large scale immersive installations in Sweden to intimate gatherings of feminist visionaries. I was recently called "the Queen Bee of the Brooklyn contemporary art scene" by Interview Magazine and have a rich history of working collaboratively with artists, night life organizers and creatives from all walks of life.
I have worked as an Mister Softee truck driver in Manhattan for 6 years and more recently as a truck manager for the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck. I consider my experience with mobile vending to be foundational to this endeavor and consider my knowledge of truck mechanics, street culture, traffic laws and general hustle essential to the success of this project.
photo by Angelina Dreem
This progression in my work is a natural extension of my growing concerns with networked culture and the toll it takes on individual spirituality. The idea of the online acting as a divine space has influenced my work for the past 3 years and is now coming to fruition as the New Ascetic; a tonsured monk avatar I enact on my social media that urges others to examine the roles that the internet plays in their lives and offers helpful suggestions on how to mediate modern age metaphysical dilemmas.
My companion, Cuckoo, the teacup cat
The contributions of donors will help me fund an RV that is efficient and modest but can protect myself and my teacup cat, Cuckoo, from the NYC elements. It will also serve as a hub for outreach projects with the community and with my peers.
I am asking for my goal amount in order to purchase, license, insure and inspect a 20' mobile home. I am looking at models that are post 1980 for maintenance reasons and that are all-inclusive so I won't have to purchase an additional vehicle to haul a camper. I have been looking at used mobile homes on Craigslist in the $2,000-4,000 range. I cannot ensure that the purchase will be made in state so I am also accounting for license plates/title (est. $45), state inspection (est. $35), a years worth of insurance (est. $500) and the purchase of a NYS reduced cost solar panel (est. $250) to minimize emissions from a propane generator. Any additional funds will be used to modify the RV with a simple sanctuary aesthetic, inside and out.
My timeline for moving into the RV is based on finding my dream home-on-wheels, but I am aiming for mid January 2014.
Example of a beautifully modified RV mobile home
In the spirit of a traditional monastery, I will include social outreach as a part of my life in the RV. As part of an ongoing study in civil disobedience I have begun dumpster diving as a part of my practice and would like to devise a way to use my vehicle to donate recovered food to shelters or under-resourced members of the Brooklyn community. If you are unfamiliar with the practice and logic behind dumpster diving and food reclamation I suggest the insightful and smart documentary Dive! .
Additionally, I have been recovering gorgeous flowers from the trash and
using them in recent artworks as floral healing and generally spreading
good-will around the city by handing them to people I strike up
conversations with. I'd like to use the Monastery as a place to perfect
the art of Ikebana flower arrangement and offer this form of meditative healing to others.
OK, HOW CAN I HELP?
Any amount helps to defray the cost of this investment. Due to the price of rent in NYC I have been unable to save very much for this transition and while I am I comfortable with the challenges of making it work on my own, your donation would help me realize the very highest and best iteration of this dream.
If you are unable to contribute please feel free to share with friends who can. If you know any press outlets that might be interested in covering this story that would also help, as my mission is not only monetary, but metaphysical: I want to challenge people to re-examine the way they have been programmed to live and discuss alternatives for these lifestyles. In exploring this project I hope to establish guidelines for one way to live outside of the grid while still embracing the sacred nature of urban space.