Taino Towers courtyards | 221 E. 122nd St.
By Yasmin Hernandez
Bateyes I AR project features Taino Towers, an affordable rental housing community. Named after the Taino, the indigenous people of Puerto Rico (and also of Cuba, Jamaica, and Hispaniola), this building is one of the last large-scale, state-guaranteed affordable-housing complexes to have been constructed in East Harlem. In contrast to the typical public housing projects in the city, Taino Towers apartments include ample living spaces. For this project the artist uses AR to digitally recreate a Taino ceremonial plaza (commonly known as batey) over this contemporary urban courtyard. Bateyes I shows viewers some aspects of the cultural heritage of El Barrio that informed the layout of our public spaces, and encourages them to consider the following question: How do spaces carry ancestral memories?
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