Tag Archives: intervention

TRACK: A contemporary city conversation

12 May
Ahmet Öğüt, “The Castle of Vooruit,” 2012.*
a contemporary city conversation
12 May–16 September 2012S.M.A.K.
B-9000  Ghent, Belgium

T +32 9 240 76 60


Curated by Philippe Van Cauteren and Mirjam VaradinisTRACK is a unique art experience in the public and semi public space of the city of Ghent. It offers surprising, enriching, and unexpected encounters with the city, its history, and its inhabitants and incites to reflect upon urban realities and the contemporary human condition in a broader sense. Thirty five international artists were invited to conceive new art works that are strongly rooted in the urban fabric of Ghent but link the local context with issues of global significance.

The two curators Philippe Van Cauteren and Mirjam Varadinis took the time to select exemplary locations in the wider city centre of Ghent and invited artists who have an affinity with the thematical context of those places. The selected artists used the local reality as a fertile source of inspiration and the results of their in-depth explorations are not simply traditional works of art, but artistic projects in all different media that embrace the social, economic, cultural, and political conditions of the city and the times we live in. Their works call for participation, interact with the different communities in various ways, and leave permanent traces.

TRACK is conceived as a universe of parallel narrations, occurences and (hi)stories. It consists of six clusters that offer a historical, cultural, architectural, and mental cross-section of Ghent and the idea of a city today. Each cluster has its own distinct atmosphere and touches upon a specific issue like mobility, religion, migration, economy, language, science, and city changes.

TRACK invites the audience to explore the exhibition in various ways. Visitors do not have to follow a given linear trail but are free to choose their own personal TRACK through the clusters and the city. Each visitor thus creates a different kind of narration, based on his or her background and the way they are approaching the exhibition. This free and multi-layered perception corresponds to our globalised world and the idea of plural realities happening at the same time.

TRACK is welcoming everybody to visit the exhibition and to be inspired by the visionary potential of art.

TRACK was initiated by S.M.A.K. It continues the tradition established by the large-scale exhibition projects Chambres d’Amis (1986) and Over the Edges (2000), which installed contemporary art in the context of the city and entered into direct dialogue with the public.

Participating artists
Adelita Husni-Bey, Ahmet Öğüt, Alexandra Bachzetsis, Alon Levin, Bart Lodewijks, Benjamin Verdonck, Christina Hemauer & Roman Keller, Christoph Büchel, Cyprien Gaillard, Danh Vo, Emilio Lopez-Menchero, Erik van Lieshout, Erwan Mahéo, Javier Téllez, John Bock, Lara Almarcegui, Lawrence Weiner, Leo Copers, Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan, Mark Manders, Massimo Bartolini, Mekhitar Garabedian, Michaël Borremans, Michaël Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset, Mike Bouchet, Mircea Cantor, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Pawel Althamer, Peter Buggenhout, Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Pilvi Takala, Simona Denicolai & Ivo Provoost, Superflex, Susanne Kriemann, Sven Augustijnen, Tadashi Kawamata, Tazu Rous, Tercerunquinto, Teresa Margolles, Tobias Putrih, Yorgos Sapountzis

Read the TRACK Manifesto at www.track.be.

Media relations
Ms. Els Wuyts
T +32 92 240 76 47

*Image above:
Ahmet Öğüt, The Castle of Vooruit, 2012. Copyright S.M.A.K.


Roach Memorials: Mini monuments to our fallen, ubiquitous urban cohabitators

4 May

Reposted from: http://www.juxtapoz.com/Current/a-roach-remembered-bug-memorials

You know those people who get really mad if you step and/or kill a bug? Well, they will love the work of Minneapolis’ Carmichael Collective, who created this mini-street installation, A Roach Remembered, with the tagline: “This is a tribute to a cockroach that lived its life to the fullest. 2012 — 2012. RIP little buddy.”

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Plant tags for public interpretation

4 May

Reposted from: http://www.juxtapoz.com/Street-Art/plant-style-tags-for-sidewalk-fixtures


Carmichael Collective is a company based in Minneapolis, Mn that creates projects for the sake of creativity, simple objective right? Using the same idea of plant tags, used to identify and educate about a particular specimen, but using them on everyday sidewalk fixtures we are all familiar with. Apparently from the information on these tags, all these objects are ok in varying degrees of the sun!



Reviving America’s walkscapes

22 Feb

Matt Tomasulo is confronting the default culture of the American automobile. He is hoping to simply remind urban-bound Americans (specifically those in Raleigh, NC) of how accessible their cities can be through walking. His tactic – activist signage. The signs themselves are apparently illegal, and as such, they raise an interesting issue about the possibilities and problematics of democratizing urban planning – even simply public information about walking distances.

More information:



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UCHCP Team meet with Bert Crenca, Director of AS220

31 Jan

On Saturday 28 January 2012, the UCHCP project team met with Bert Crenca, Director of AS220 – Providence’s international renowned unjuried and uncensored art space and community. The ongoing work of AS220 in working with urban communities and artists and in revitalizing the city through the development of dilapidated historic properties in downtown Providence was a remarkable and inspirational case study for the project team in thinking about the impact that collective creative action can have on the form and manifestation of urban life.

Opening of the Providence Postcard Project

25 Jan

A love letter to, and ongoing exploration of, the city of Providence

Lower Lobby Gallery | Granoff Center for the Creative Arts | 154 Angell Street | Providence, Rhode Island

Opening reception: January 27, 2012 – 5:30pm

1000 postcards – 100 photographs – 22 neighborhoods. “The Postcard Project,” by artist Betsey Biggs, explores the familiar souvenir medium of postcards as a source of reflection by the residents of Providence on what meanings the city holds. Beginning this week, the project will be distributing pre-addressed, postage-paid postcards featuring photographs taken by Biggs during her visits to the neighborhoods of Providence. Local residents and members of the general public are invited to pick up postcards at Providence Community Library locations throughout the city, write to the Postcard Project, and share their own stories about the many places of Providence.

Biggs has designed the project to explore the many layers of both memories and imaginative associations that particular places in Providence hold for its residents. By using a combination of person-to-person engagement and postal circulation, the project spotlights the ideas of exchange and correspondence and their roles in the production of historical narratives. In the artist’s own words, “Cultural heritage is a palimpsest of recollections, associations, and stories; I have a particular interest in canonizing the personal, ephemeral, inconsequential stories that are often left out of heritage practices, and hope to create something beautiful out of these evanescent materials.”

Starting January 27, the images and stories of the returned postcards will be on display in the lower lobby gallery of the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts on Brown University’s campus, 154 Angell Street. Join us for the opening party to meet the artist, pick up a postcard and share your own stories on January 27 from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm.

This commission has been realized as part of the Urban Cultural Heritage and Creative Practice international research collaborative organized by Ian Alden Russell, Curator, David Winton Bell Gallery in collaboration with Prof. Sue Alcock, the Joukowsky Institute of Archaeology; Prof. Steven Lubar, the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage; Prof. Rebecca Schneider, the Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies.

“Repo History”

5 Dec

REPOhistory existed from 1989-2000

REPOhistory began in Manhattan in 1989 as a study group of artists, scholars, teachers, and writers focused on the relationship of history to contemporary society. It grew into a forum for developing public art projects based on history and a platform for creating them. For the past ten years REPOhistory’s goal has been “To retrieve and relocate absent historical narratives at specific locations in the New York City area through counter-monuments, actions, and events”. The work is informed by a multicultural re-reading of history which focuses on issues of race, gender, class and sexuality. We choose to create public art because we wanted to expand the audience for art by going outside the confines of the museum and gallery structure. By choosing to create work with strong, alternative social commentary we are drawing on a tradition in art that is often ignored; the legacy of the Berlin Dadaists, Russian Constructivists, the New York Photo League and contemporary organizations like Political Art Documentation/Distribution (PAD/D), Group Material and Grand Fury.

Through 6 major public projects and many smaller events, REPOhistory has continued to pursue this goal as an artist/scholar cooperative, along the way adding to its goals “to raise questions about the construction of history, to provide multiple viewpoints that encourage viewers to think critically, to explore how histories and their interpretations affect us today, and to engage with specific communities in order to facilitate their efforts to construct their own public histories”.

We believe that the arts are important to all aspects of society. The relationship between art, culture and society is often confused, vague and ambiguous. In the USA it has sparked the “Cultural Wars” of the 1980s and the early 1990s. Even today there are many members of the US Congress and Senate who want to abolish the National Endowment for the Art and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The arts will always be controversial. Societies change and the arts can be a powerful way of expressing these changes. However, the arts are essential for helping individuals find their place within society and for shaping a collective cultural identity.

Current Members Neill Bogan, Jim Costanzo, Tom Klem, Janet Koenig, Lisa Maya Knauer, Cynthia Liesenfeld, Chris Neville, Jayne Pagnucco, Leela Ramotar, Greg Sholette & George Spencer

Lapsed Members Ayishe Abraham, Todd Ayoung, Stephanie Basch, Betty-Sue Hertz, Carin Kuoni, Kara Lynch, Alan Michelson, Mark O’Brien, Lise Prown, Megan Pugh, Tess Timoney, Sarah Vogwill, Dan Wiley & Jody Wright

Steering Committee Neill Bogan, Jim Costanzo, Tom Klem, Lisa Maya Knauer & Cynthia Liesenfeld

REPOweb Jim Costanzo, creative director, Cynthia Liesenfeld, WebMistress
web developers: Sharon Denning, Russet Lederman, David Sansone with additional help from John Manick

With much sorrow we mourn the passing of our friend and colleague Ed Eisenberg.

Check out their work here: http://www.repohistory.org/work.html

“The Howling Mob Society”

5 Dec

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A Howling Mob Approach to History

The Howling Mob Society (HMS) is a collaboration of artists, activists and historians committed to unearthing stories neglected by mainstream history. HMS brings increased visibility to the radical history of Pittsburgh, PA through grassroots artistic practice. Our current focus is The Great Railroad Strike of 1877, a national uprising that saw some of its most dramatic moments in Pittsburgh.

Looking out over the burning Strip District from the safety of his office in Pittsburgh’s Union Station, Thomas Alexander Scott must have been humbled. Only days before, as president of the Pennsylvania Railroad, Scott famously suggested that impoverished and striking railroad workers be given “a rifle diet for a few days and see how they like that kind of bread.” Now, with the local Pittsburgh militia all but mutinied and the State Militia rapidly retreating, he must have wondered if his hard-line stance had backfired…

We’re imagining here what the events of July 21st and 22nd, 1877 must have looked like to one of that era’s most prominent robber barons. This approach follows a tradition of reporting history from the point of view of a powerful, moneyed elite. It is the last you’ll see of that perspective here. While the mainstream media—both past and present—frame events in terms of their effect on national economic interests, the Howling Mob investigates history through the experiences of common, working people.

“The I-75 Project” by Norm Magnusson

5 Dec

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I just happened upon a rather intriguing public art intervention project by artist Norm Magnusson. The “I-75 Project” found Magnusson installing industry grade public historical markers along Interstate 75. While the form and aesthetic of the markers are consistent with traditional, institutional, “authorized” markers, the texts Magnusson has written for the markers exploit this familiarity with historical authorization to give voice to critical perspectives on culture in the United States. The moments recorded are neither “important”, “singular” or “historical”. Rather they are an acknowledge of the monumental that arises out of an accumulation of moments of everyday, overlooked and omitted cultural experience.

Read more about the project here: http://www.aldrichart.org/exhibitions/past/magnusson.php

Magnusson’s project is most reminiscent of the approaches of Repo History to a collaborative and meaningful engagement between history and contemporary art. Read more about Repo History here: https://urbanheritages.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/repo-history/

It is also reminiscent of the work of Shaun Slifer and his Howling Mob Society project in Pittsburgh. Read a post about his project here: https://urbanheritages.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/the-howling-mob-society/