heavy trash

my class mate presented a "artivism" case study on this group today. i hope i can interview someone from their group for thesis.

Heavy Trash is an anonymous arts organization of architects, artists, and urban planners. Heavy Trash creates large, disposable art objects that draw community and media attention to specific urban issues. By explaining a particular urban problem and suggesting a solution, Heavy Trash seeks to provoke dialogue among citizens.

check out their manifesto and all the comments pro/con heavy trash and pro/con gated communities...which isn't the only issue they "act on" but...its amazing how intense people get with anonymous comments. clearly people love it or HATE it...


pocket property

i'm fast at work on the case study i'm doing for my architecture and the landscape course...we could either analyze our studio project...or an 'architectural' project which addresses some of the issues we have discussed in class about the "transgression and fluidity of architecture and landscape" (those are jeff hou's words). i chose to look at one of these "is it architecture?/or is it art?" type projects that i'm obsessed with. so, i'm analyzing Andrea Zittel's "pocket property" c.2000 which is essentially a building and a land mass which she builds and inhabits as social commentary. on her site she writes:

The A-Z Pocket Property was in part a result of a true desire to create my own personal “intimate universe”. But it is also a dark humored commentary on the way in which our culture constructs and then capitalizes on a human desire for freedom, autonomy, and isolation. Living in American suburbs makes one aware of how land is "packaged" as a consumable product and sold off like products on a supermarket shelf. Likewise, in some futuristic manifestation, the Pocket Property is foreseeable as a product, which could be mass-produced to satisfy peoples craving to be in control of their own intimate universes.

strange bungalow indeed.


ruby osorio

i just read the new issue of art papers and i'm feelin this girl. i think i'll add her to my side bar next to Ghada.

she appropriates "girliness" and stereotypical ideas of femininity to communicate a sort of "every thing is not as it seems" sense of reality. if you look closer at the images. the article talked about how she teeters on the "outsider art" realm and the more "high art" scene. which is a concept i have yet to fully comprehend...but...

i like seeing work like this and reading about artists like this because it gives me some inspiration that interdisciplinary interests can be reconciled and communicated in a creative means...thats the thing about art...it can be personal...yet relevant to other people's experience.

i don't know if architecture is "personal"...i mean, it is subjective in the sense that we bring our personal and culturally derived aesthetics to the design...but ultimately its for other people. whereas art you can make for yourself and care less what other people think...not that i wouldn't b/c i just care too much in general. but the expectation is that architecture has to be "responsible" to the public. not that i want to 'disregard' the public...i'm all about the public!

anyway, i digress. ruby is hot. i 'm feelin ruby. lately, i've been thinking that an academic career could give me the kind of hybridity and freedom i'm looking for. i could be disillusioned...but perhaps a ph.d. is next. in what though? so far i have my eye on these two: CUNY environmental psychology and i'm kinda digging this Ed.D. program at Columbia in art & art education because it is equally art practice as in actually creating real tangible work be it built or whateva....but the thing is, i would be coming from more of a public art for public education/consciousness raising standpoint not really the k-12 thing so i have to figure out if that fits.

black people love us

oh really? i'm in btw. classes so i don't have time to comment on this but i thought i would throw it up here for reactions in the meantime.

internet art? does the identity of the author matter? offensive insanity or creative satirical commentary? on what exactly? does it matter?

my gut reaction=W.R.O.N.G. i will count the ways for you, um...later....

take two, a little more:

there's a link to a NYT article here
( i can't find the original article.) i guess this circulated a while ago. again, i'm late and obvlivious. but the authors described this project as social activism. the italian and jewish siblings with a black step-mom argue, "There is a mistake that people have made about the division of labor, It's like racism is something only people of color can think about. Feminism is something only women can think about. But it's important for white people to get involved in the critique too."

i agree that the conversations should not be onesided and should be holistic but...a lot of things have to be considered also, the medium, the audience etc...
on another note, i guess black people love us is along the lines of damali ayo's rent-a-negro.com. damn artists. always stirrin shit up =). i think its interesting how this stuff gets integrated into the lives general public...does it go over as just another random forward in somebody's inbox...for instance what's the conversation between me my grandma when it shows up in her inbox. these guys also did that rejection line thing. i know people who use it and have no idea that its tongue in cheek, or art, or commentary on the "democratic potential of the internet" or anything.

paretti started or is involved in this rather compelling organization eyebeam



someone i know showed me his city noise log (for lack of a better term?) today. its kinda cool surfing thru the images...i love looking at the city through other people's eyes...

budapest october! i'm there dude.


got this in my inbox this morning from liz. i'm all over it! well...i might not make it to budapest. but... the "jujitsu architecture" workshop in particular...man, i wish i could. maybe i could come up with some kind of paper worthy of becoming a panelist...so i could get some expenses paid! i'd be happy just to attend though. i should at least contact them...maybe i could get some interviews for my thesis.


thesis again

so.........after some blood, sweat and tears (not neccessarily in that order) i actually did submit my thesis intentions on friday. Its official Dr. Sharon E. Sutton is my chair, and my other mentor/committee member is Dr. Jeff Hou.

my preliminary title is:

Intersections of architecture, art and activism:
an investigation of hybrid typologies of resistance in the built environment ( i realize this is a bit wordy)

with this thesis i hope to investigate/challenge the mainstream separation between architecture, art and activism. i will analyze how architecture and art have combined in contemporary contexts to oppose or support a given issue or cause through three-dimensional interventions in the built environment. i will utilize comparative analytical study of hybrid architecture and art projects, which resist normative social values. through this study, i hope to create an evaluative framework for categorically understanding their transgressive relationship and relevance in the discourse of architecture and activism. i'll try to do this, by establishing an initial typology of activist hybrid architecture and art based on review of the literature and then refine the model by interviewing a selection of community activists, (activist) architects, and (activist) artists. i initially wanted to have another step of producing some of this "hybrid" in response to an issue...to help "test" its validity (e.g. do people see it as an activist act? did it affect anything or anybody?) but...that's nixed. that maybe something i do on my own as just me, working in a hybrid activist way...but this sets a foundation for why and how i do that. and i'm fine with that.

its a start. but boy. i see this is going to be a serious feat. i've got a long way to go...i'm excited about it but also worried. while i'm way passionate about this topic, i haven't much experience in research. this program is geared toward design...not research. we have the option of a design thesis or research thesis (there is some overlap in either option in some cases). i feel like up until now, i've had practice and been prepared to design but not so much research . so i'm going to have to jump some major hurdles on the learning curve to really be able to be as productive as i need to be. i realize that's partially why i have a year...and the support of my mentors. i'm super excited!

International Tent City Day

happy belated international tent city day. saturday we (7 students from my design activism class) held a charrette with 6 tent city 3 residents, and roughly ten other miscellaneous students, staff and faculty to redesign their kitchen tent. the kitchen tent is pretty damaged and in need of repair. the poorly framed palette like floor is unstable, nails and bolting for the floor are problematic since it has to move so often, the tables with food inside start rotting from rain entering the tent, the metal post connections are held together with duct tape. we separated in 3 groups and came up with some pretty feasible design alternatives. the day was just frankly magical! the TC residents and guests melded really well no one seemed disrespectful or presumptious. we all worked together as equals to try to solve a the problem at hand. at the end, one of the residents commented about how UW students have done stuff FOR them before but never actually involved them in the process and invited them to do it WITH them. that statement just made the whole day worth it. we'll have to figure out how to get $ to excute the building portion of the project after finals...buti just feel so enthusiastic and hopeful about using design in service for humanity....anyway, enough mushy-ness.... i'll post some pics as soon as i get some from people who were there and actually USED their cameras.


kind of like?
so those images are from a student design/build public art project at UW. its right in front of the administration bldg last spring. and here's what they had to say about it at www.studypublicart.org:

"This project was commissioned by the Seattle Department of Transportation for a large traffic median site near the University of Washington Campus and the U-District neighborhood and business district. The students designed and built a public art environment using steel and a concrete path that reflects the spirit of the university and the district, serving as a node and meeting place for the two. The theme of the artwork is the power of a voice to create community, dialogue, or change. The podium element inspires the voice; the table implies successful communication; the overturned table implies activism, change, or revolution. Quotes from renowned world leaders and social activists surround the space on eight steel benches. The title of the work is "Give Voice"."

in an anonymous course we talked about whatit means to people...was it successful in creating the counter narrative that we thought it intended to? we thought it was literally supposed to be a place for protest. and somebody made the hilarious analogy b/c its so fixed and bronzed that it looks more like a memorial to a protest...like those bronze baby booties. an example of what happens when you designate a place for resistance. almost nobody goes through there and there definitely haven't been any protests there. but now that i read what they had to say about it....it doesn't neccessarily seem to be a place literally for protest. with their use of the word "theme" i kind of get the impression that it is not a place for action but in a way a celebration of action???

cant figure out how to get these all in one post...

more from same project

student design build public art on campus


community arts network

this site is hot. not the design...the information. it runs so deep and its organized! from articles, to tools and other resources, theory, practice, opportunities. dude, its all there. i can't wait to pick thru all of it. it will be useful too in some of my thesis research too. okay back to catching up on work...