Tesla store as installation art

From the imaginatively named The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, the Tesla store:

Answers the question, “What if you asked an artist to create a car dealer installation for Chinati in Marfa, Texas?”

A couple of doors down, a shop offered bracelets with inspirational messages. What were the two most inspiring messages, meriting a featured location just outside the shop door? “Survivor” and “I Am Enough”:

Perhaps my students will get together and give me an “I am way more than enough” bracelet to commemorate their time with me this semester! (And, of course, “Survivor” bracelets for themselves!)

What do Americans love to do most these days? According to the Amazon 4-star store, play Xbox and Nintendo Switch:

The mall doesn’t have quite the burned-out apocalyptic feeling of a Boston-area mall, but there were some vacancies and the place was fairly empty on a weekday afternoon:

I don’t know why U.S. malls can’t go in the Chinese direction and rent space to after-school programs (upper floors of all the malls in Shanghai that I visited).

Loosely related, a sign in a shopfront at a strip mall 10 minutes south:

But wouldn’t a much better way to fight natural selection, rather than wearing a mask that is about 11 percent effective (surgical; population-wide; “In the intervention group, 7.62% of people had COVID-19-like symptoms, compared with 8.62% in the control group.”) or 0 percent effective (cloth), be to stay home and/or restrict one’s in-person shopping to outdoor kiosks? If avoiding COVID-19 is our priority and we are going to #FollowScience by wearing a non-N95 mask, why not #FollowScience all the way by staying home?

11 thoughts on “Tesla store as installation art

    • We have empty shelves in supermarkets and supply chain issues. A taste of what reality is going to look like once The Party gets 99.9% in fair and secret elections!

    • Anonymous: I have an idea… ration coupons for new Tesla purchases. Surely, the question of who gets a Tesla 3 before the currently offered September 2022 delivery date would be better settled by a qualified government planner than left to the chaos of the market.

    • @Suzanne Goode: It is because the end game for TSLA is to eliminate showrooms and automobile dealerships except for a smattering of showbiz stark minimalist showcase spaces that make the philosophy crystal clear.

      TSLA wants everyone to order their cars online with the Grand Vision of eliminating car dealerships entirely over time. Car dealerships are a waste of energy and a wellspring of pulchritude. Nobody needs them in TSLA’s version of the world.

      In many places around the country, automobile dealerships are the “anchor stores” of their communities – with the sales staff, service departments, and all the people who take care of the cars. They are usually prominent members of the Chamber of Commerce and they provide things like scholarships and regularly donate to their communities. Therefore they have influence in those communities.
      TSLA wants to take them out completely and then they will run their own philanthropy to replace them, and TSLA will inherit the local political muscle those dealerships used to represent. It’s simple.

      That’s also why almost nobody can service TSLA cars. They do not make any provision for it. Independent service shops for their cars are almost nonexistent and TLSA does not (to the best of my knowledge) support them in any way.

      They want to TRANSFORM the way that not only vehicles are manufactured, but SOLD and MAINTAINED as well. If a few hundred thousand or million or two jobs have to disappear to save the planet, well – that’s how it goes!

    • If Sundar Pichai worked for TSLA, I could do a great impression of his accent and everything would be very simple and clear in the Newspeak of Banality that all tech. companies have adopted following Google’s lead:

      [Undertone of Indian accent]:
      “Buying a car should be simple and easy. You see the car you want, select it with a button and authorize the payment. The car arrives and you drive it.”

      Dealerships don’t need to exist in TSLA’s world. They’re obsolete legacy brick-and-mortar businesses that have to go to save the planet and make way for our glorious electrified future.

    • @Suzanne Goode: As an example of TSLA’s service and ownership philosophy in action, I belong and contribute to a number of internet forums where various makes and models of electric and hybrid cars are discussed. The TSLA forums are almost never used – nobody posts anything! There are no questions asked, nobody fixes their own TSLAs or attempt to. All of it is handled through TSLA. Occasionally you get someone who tries to ask a question about some accessory or whether the new color fits their home decor, but otherwise, the entire “ownership experience” of a TSLA is centered around a philosophy where the owner knows as little about the car as possible, and does almost no work on it at all.

      I’ve been watching for well over a year now and that behavior has not changed. These are not cars people work on. They have someone at TSLA do it.

    • And I’m sorry for the multiple posts, but here’s an interesting comparison: It’s well-known to his fans that Jay Leno’s fascination with cars (and maintaining, collecting, storing, driving and working on them) began because he worked in a high-end luxury car dealership in the Boston area in his youth, selling driving (among other things) various Rolls Royce models.

      Well, in TSLA’s world, the source of Jay Leno’s early enthusiasm for cars would simply never exist. Jay Leno is a dinosaur of the automobile world, and he’s getting on in years, not getting any younger, and everyone must Make Way for Progress. It’s as simple as that. This is a REVOLUTION.

  1. “I don’t know why U.S. malls can’t go in the Chinese direction and rent space to after-school programs (upper floors of all the malls in Shanghai that I visited).” Indeed great synergy as suburban shopping centers are rarely crowded except weekends and Friday evenings. There were a few Gymborees & similar children’s fitness studios in enclosed shopping malls in the DC area, but for sure lots of excess capacity which was never exploited.

  2. The lion kingdom’s last memory of Fl*rida before chasing the job market west was Clearwater mall being absolutely desolated in May. They seemed to be used once annually, during xmas season. All of new England migrates down during xmas season, then goes back to its socialist utopia.

  3. I was in a MA mall anchored by a Macy’s where the foot traffic has dwindled to the point that everything except the main entrance is closed. The satellite stores outside the mall are still trying to hang on, some are doing OK, but the Sears that used to be there (along with its automotive shop that used to do things like tires and oil changes closed years ago – we bought two sets of tires there over the years.) Inside, on a warm and sunny Friday afternoon that used to be a mall magnet, the sales staff in all the stores outnumbered the customers by what I estimate was a 2.5:1 ratio. The mall is beautiful, the stores are well-stocked and earnestly staffed. They want to sell things and it’s a nice place, but there’s almost nobody buying.

    I had been in the Menswear Department looking for a sports jacket, tie, slacks and shirt but could not locate a single member of the sales staff to give me a hand with measurements, so I took the Down escalator and walked through the fragrance and cosmetics department on my way out. If I had wanted to buy fragrances, cosmetics and accessories like watches with a few thousand dollars it would have been a bonanza because of the discounts being offered. Instead, all the well-stocked display booths were tended by a few sales staff members, and three of them tried to sell me cologne on my way out the door.

    I was heartbroken for the last one: she was an older woman, in her late 50’s probably, but very well dressed, proud of herself and her job, and she tried very gently but insistently to sell me a $100+ bottle of cologne. I know her manager was watching. I’ve been there. I told her: “Ma’am, I really appreciate your effort here and I wish I could buy this right now, but I’m not here for cologne at the moment. It smells really good though – I love it – and you picked it out perfectly.” [I won’t name the brand, it wasn’t Paco Rabanne.]

    She said: “Well, at least let me give you a sample.” I demurred and she insisted. Finally I said: “OK thank you very very much.” And I took out a $20 bill and said: “Here, please take this also.” She refused and gave me an extra sample.

    It was the saddest shopping experience in a Macys in my entire life. I took the samples, thanked everyone again with a wave and a smile and headed for the exit. As I made my trek all the way back to the to the main entrance, of course, there are these kiosks with those $5 pay-as-you-go massage chairs. I have some problems walking long distances right now and also needed to make a phone call, so I sat down in one of them. Super comfortable. I looked around the mall and thought: “This is all going to go away.” and I was just overcome with emotion. I couldn’t stay there, I had to get up and leave.

    I’ve worked retail in my life and I know that the most depressing thing you can possibly experience as a dedicated staff member in a beautiful store is to have nobody there who is interested in buying anything.

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