About the Project

Building Sweeps was a site-specific action in which Michael Bramwell cleaned the public areas of a city-owned Harlem tenement building for a year. Revealing how the simple actions of sweeping, mopping, and maintaining a space affect a neglected building and its occupants, Building Sweeps was one artist’s attempt to activate social change on an individual level.


By blurring the boundaries of art, performance, and cultural activism, Bramwell enlisted the support of the building’s residents to advocate for the superintendent’s contracted return to performing the services Bramwell had taken up during his absence.


Photograph courtesy of Michael Bramwell




Michael Bramwell

Building Sweeps