Tag Archives: placemaking

Streetmapping: Artist Lian Bell from Out of Site Festival 2007

23 May

In the summer of 2007, artist Lian Bell took to the pavement of Dublin to better get to know her neighbourhood. Although it’s a little while ago, I love this public art intervention/collaboration for its simplicity and foundation on talking, helping and sharing the city’s public space.

The entire intervention debrief is reproduced here in full courtesy of Lian Bell.

Dean Street pavement, Dublin
Sunday 26 Aug
12pm-6pm 

I planned to draw a map in chalk on the pavement of the Liberties area of Dublin, by asking passers-by for advice. The Liberties is an old area of the city full of intricate streets which have seen vast development recently and which looks set to continue at a hectic pace. The local community is an eclectic mix of older people, people who’ve lived locally their whole lives, immigrants, students and young professionals moving in to newly built apartment blocks. There is a lot of social housing in the area, with the reputation of being one of the poorest parts of the city centre, as well as having a recognised drug problem. However, parts of the Liberties are being gentrified and local businesses combine traditional markets (Thomas Street and Meath Street) with architecture and design studios, art galleries and antique shops (Thomas Street and Francis Street).

I moved into an apartment on Francis Street recently and don’t know the layout of the area at all well. To draw a map, I’d need a lot of help from passers-by. I was a little worried that if it didn’t work, or if something negative happened I would still be living around the corner. I did an hour of mental preparation before I headed out. It was a warm Sunday afternoon at a busy intersection with a wide pavement. Businesses nearby were open – a video, tanning and internet shop, a bookmakers, two pubs (Fallon’s and Nash’s), a Spar and a gallery.

As soon as I’d written a sign on a sandwich board (Hello. I’m drawing a map of the area. Can you help?) someone stopped and asked what I was doing. A young man living locally who was so enthusiastic about the idea even before I’d opened a box of chalk I was quite surprised. He promised to return later in the afternoon and even to bring me some water.


I drew the opening part of the map: what I could see from the pavement of the intersection and the street signs that were visible. I marked where we were with an X. Though I do know many of the main roads (probably about 15% of the map) and their names, I only wanted to fill in what people told me to, with the spelling mistakes, the warped scale, the missing streets.

Apart from one bathroom break, from about 12.15 to 5.45 I had about four 5 minute breaks – the rest of the time was filled with talking to people, explaining the project and filling out the map. In terms of getting people involved the event was far more successful than I had imagined it would be. People stopped and talked for long periods of time, argued with each other about the layout and names of streets, phoned and texted friends for help, returned through the afternoon, went to get other people to come and help, went to find out the names of streets they had forgotten. There were no negative comments (to me anyway) and the enthusiasm people had for the idea was a little overwhelming.


I regret not having more time to take stock of what was going on, maybe make a note of some of the stories and local history that people came out with and ask more about specific things that arose.

Attitudes towards the map ranged from puzzle-solving to friendly competition. Some people focuse¬d on how to make sections join up, some wanted to have their street put on it, some wanted to just make sure they added some street or placename to it. Some people sounded concerned with my request for ‘help’, asking if I needed directions. A couple of people offered maps.

All kinds of people stopped – tourists, locals, Dubliners, immigrants, kids, architects, a local historian, a couple of junkies, an alcoholic street artist, students. Irish, French, Swedish, German, Polish, American. Men came back and forth from the two pubs. A passer-by insisted on giving me 5 euro. Someone bought me a coffee. A young man from the bookies and a young woman working in a gallery around the corner came back throughout the afternoon. People chatted to each other around me.

Someone started talking about how there wasn’t enough street art in the area. A woman living in Blackpitts said the council should have a ‘real’ map of the area carved into the pavement – she was always giving directions to people who were lost around the area. Someone suggested varnishing the chalk map to the pavement. Some people were happy for me to cheat the map in the areas where the scale didn’t match up, others got me to rub out bits that were wrong.

The first man came back and talked about doing a version based around disabled access. One woman marked in a local food co-op with its opening times. One kid wrote his name in a corner. A man marked the layout of a local derelict church and an underground river. I gave a couple of boxes of chalk to kids and one to the street artist, who said he liked to draw Vikings and then played Raglan Road on a tin whistle for me.

At 5.45pm I packed up. Someone in the doorway of Fallon’s offered me a pint, but I was tired and went home. 





-Posted courtesy of Lian Bell

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TRACK: A contemporary city conversation

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

T +32 9 240 76 60
info@track.be

www.track.be
Twitter

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
els@smak.be

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

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Creative Placemaking: Providence, The Creative Capital, Fact or Fiction?

7 May

Thursday, May 24, 2012 from 5-7:30 PM (ET)

5-6pm – Reception
6-7:30pm – Panel Presentation & Discussion

 

Individual artistic practice can transform individuals. Bring those individuals together, with shared space, programs and experiences, and the transformation expands. The arts animate our communities, bring people together to share common experiences, stimulate our imaginations and help us foster a rich and varied quality of life.

The public value of the arts is an ongoing debate. There are those who believe that intrinsic benefits of the arts experience, such as aesthetic pleasure and captivation, have only private, personal value. Many believe, us among them, that both individuals and communities benefit from the arts.

On May 24th, AS220 and Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism will host the Pell Lecture, an annual lecture honoring the late Claiborne Pell, who represented Rhode Island in the United States Senate from 1961-1997. He is best remembered for being a champion of education, the arts and humanities.

The panel will discuss the role of arts and culture as a tool for revitalizing communities, looking at the structure and dynamics of community arts infrastructure.

The 2012 Senator Pell Lecture on Arts & Humanities, hosted by Mayor Angel Taveras, presented by AS220 and the City of Providence, with Special Guests:
Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD, Colin P. Kane, Manya K. Rubenstein, representatives from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the City of Providence, Moderated by Marc Joel Levitt

Investigating the power of arts and culture to recharge and rebuild communities.

Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD, is a senior research associate in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Center at the Urban Institute (UI) and director of UI’s Culture, Creativity and Communities Program. Her research expertise includes neighborhood revitalization and comprehensive community planning, the politics of race, ethnicity and gender in urban settings, and the role of arts and culture in communities. Her projects in cities throughout the United States have explored the role of intermediaries in comprehensive community planning, the characteristics of place that lead to cultural vitality, the measurement of arts and cultural vitality and the integration of new topics into policies and programs concerned with quality of life.
Dr. Jackson’s work has appeared in academic and professional journals as well as edited volumes in the fields of urban planning, sociology, community development and the arts. She has been a speaker at numerous national and international conferences focusing on quality of life, changing demographics, communities and cities of the future, and arts and society. She currently serves on the boards of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, the National Performance Network and the Alliance for California Traditional Artists. Formerly, she was on the board of the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation and the Fund for Folk Culture. Jackson earned a doctorate in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles and an MPA from the University of Southern California.

Colin P. Kane is Chairman of the 195 Commission, a Rhode Island workgroup tasked with the redevelopment of 40-acres in downtown Providence created by the relocation of Interstate 195. Preliminary planning and engineering studies on the former Jewelry District highway lands are underway. The Commission will buy and sell land, lead rezoning efforts, plan infrastructure and guide the redevelopment of 40 acres that is newly reconnected to the heart of the city by the relocation of the highway.
Kane is also the lead partner at Peregrine Group, LLC for project transactional activities, project planning, asset acquisition and sales, leasing, financial analysis, permitting/due diligence, and debt/equity capitalization. Recent projects include the acquisition, planning, and financing of Rumford Center (as a principal owner), a $40 million mixed-use redevelopment of a 9-building, 8 1/2 acre mill campus, the acquisition, permitting, financing and project management of The Ocean House, a $150 million seaside hotel and residences, and ongoing asset management of the American Locomotive campus, a 200,000 sf office mill adaptive reuse. Prior to helping found Peregrine in 2001, Kane worked as a Development Manager for Gilbane Properties. Kane currently serves as Admiral of the RI Commodores, appointed by Governor Lincoln Chafee.

Manya K. Rubinstein is co-founder and publisher of Outpost Journal, an annual non-profit publication on art, design and community activism in smaller cities, as well as Bandit Consulting, an online marketing consultancy. Prior to that, she worked at Google for 3 years as a Senior Analytical Lead and before then at CondeNast, with stints at PAPER magazine, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and CondeNet. She is currently an associate partner at Social Venture Partners RI, as well as an advisory board member for The Wooly Fair Art Carnival and the Institute of Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts. Rubinstein holds an MBA from Columbia University, an MA in Media Studies from the European Graduate School, and a BA in comparative literature from Brown University.

Marc Levitt is a writer, storyteller, educator, radio and TV host, filmmaker and audio artist living in Wakefield, RI and NYC. He has won awards for his story recordings, for work in his unique musical/narrative historical storytelling style, for his work in radio and for his work in the arts and in the humanities.
A 1971 graduate of Cornell University, Levitt has also created the nationally recognized Charles Fortes Elementary School Museum-in-a-School Project and the educational philosophy called Site Specific Education. Marc has performed, lectured and given workshops throughout the United States and around the globe.


Sponsored by RI Council for the Humanities, The John Nicholas Brown Center for the Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage; Durkee, Brown, Viveiros, Werenfels Architects; Barbara Sokoloff Associates; The Hotel Providence; and Trinity Repertory Theater.