A cold winter of public art proposal writing means a hot summer of playful urban exploration! I am honored to announce that I am an inaugural recipient of a Rubys Artist Project Grant for my forthcoming participatory video tour series, SiteLines. In addition, I will be staging HopXcotch Rivalry as part of the Field Day program at the Artscape festival in Baltimore this July.
SiteLines: Radical Tours of New Public Sites!
Situated within the invisible sites and overlooked features of our everyday urban environment, my ongoing New Public Sites project tests the boundaries of pedestrian agency, interprets the overlooked and banal, and investigates the negotiable nature of public space. SiteLines will be a translation of my radical walking tours and urban design research into sharable videos and a gallery installation. Feature dramatic shots of public space and pedestrian interactions therein, the videos will present a compelling portrait of Baltimore and its civic space potential. The entire SiteLines season will be be released on the New Public Sites YouTube channel on a periodic basis, then shown at a Baltimore gallery alongside “non-site” sculptures of found materials, an immersive map installation and large posters of poetic New Public Sites nomenclature. As a season of social video and multimedia installation, SiteLines will show local and online audiences how a practice of radical pedestrianism can reinvent invisible public space.
HopXscotch Rivalry: A cross-hopping, street race for two!
HopXcotch Rivalry will be two extreme hopscotch courses crossing for one action packed, two person race. Inspired by the success of my Hopscotch Crosswalks in downtown Baltimore, I’m staging this new project to bring playful pedestrian action to the middle of Artscape’s Field Day programing along Charles Street. Participants will start at competing ends of the yellow and teal hopscotch paths and must jump fast while staying on track. The two 50’ long courses meet at the middle, presenting an opportunity for racers to bump each other of course. The easy-to-understand and play game will be enhanced with organized hopscotch tournaments at scheduled times throughout the Artscape weekend.
I am presenting artist talks on my on my work dealing with creative placemaking locally today and up in NYC on Monday. Today I am presenting to the Preserving Places course in UMBC’s IRC Fellows Programs. Monday I am delivering a talk and critiquing with students up in NYC as part of the Public Project speaker series offered by the Pratt Graduate Communications Design department. Public Project operates as a collective of faculty and students engaged in the topic of design for social impact and what it means to have a social practice. If you are in NYC Monday and want to hear more about my work, please join us for this public event!
Creative Placemaking Talk Public Project
144 West 14th Street
7th Floor, Room 707
New York, NY 10011
Construction of the Hopscotch Crosswalk Colossus at the corner of Eutaw and Lombard Streets in downtown Baltimore is now complete. As the public continues to show their excitement in person and online, I thought I would share a few initial shots and a little background on the project. My project is one of three sets of artist-designed crosswalks made possible by Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts for the Bromo Seltzer Arts & Entertainment District. To the BOPA open call, I responded with the following proposal:
The Monumental City is played by giants among many – the business person, the bird, the worker and you. Hopscotch Crosswalk Colossus is an intersection of four oversized hopscotch-court-crosswalks, each featuring a quintessential Baltimore path-print. Featuring the shoe, the bird track, the boot and the footprint, the project is a monument to the people who populate the Bromo Tower Arts & Entertainment District and make Baltimore The Greatest City in America.
North Side: The Shoe - The Towering Businessperson skips east approaching downtown skyscrapers. East Side: The Bird Track - The Superbird Champion hops south heading to Camden Yards and The Raven’s Walk. South Side: The Boot - Wobbling west The Worker passes through a former garment district built by labor. West Side: The Footprint - The Hippie Artist bounces north with abandon towards lofty digs in the Bromo Tower Arts & Entertainment District.
With seventeen participants discovering invisible sites with abandon, the Balto East Bike Tour proved to be a rolling success. In a spirit of radical pedestrianism, we stuck together for more than an hour and a half and over four plus miles while navigating traffic conditions from serene to challenging. Thanks for everyone who participated for your bravery and endurance, and asking thoughtful questions and offering helpful commentary. From the Cork Seer Crossing and Greektown Alleydrift to Expressways Amalgamated and the O’Donnell St Bohverlook, we explored an array of public spaces while learning from our everyday surroundings and each other. Special thanks to The Creative Alliance for hosting the event and Liz Donadio for documenting the ride.
Take a guided bicycle tour from Highlandtown to the Travel America Center and back, that will explore how the urban design of “invisible” public spaces affects our everyday experiences of eastern Baltimore. The tour will investigate the architectural dynamics and social conditions that make places such as the Eastern Avenue Underpass and the O’Donnell Street Interchange as mundane and confounding as they are fascinating and beautiful. A version of this tour was featured on the podcast 99% Invisible. All participants will receive a limited edition, signed 11″ x 17″ tour map.
Check out the collectable New Public Sites print, Shards of Site, at the Print/Collect opening on Saturday, July 13, from 8-11pm at Current Space in Baltimore.
Print/Collect is an independent publication that showcases eight artists working in Baltimore by circulating an affordable portfolio of limited edition prints. Each portfolio within the edition of 125 is available for $200 and includes eight 16″x20″ prints plus a 64 page catalog. The catalog features interviews and images that provide background information on the participating artists. Print/Collect is curated by curated by Jennifer Coster and features artists Colin Benjamin, John Bohl, James Bouché, Cindy Cheng, Graham Coreil-Allen, Chris Day, Andrew Liang and Molly Colleen O’Connell.
“Spontaneous Interventions“, the official U.S. presentation at the 13th International Venice Architecture Biennale, has made its U.S. debut at the Chicago Cultural Center where it is currently representing a spirited movement for improving cities through DIY innovation and playful direct action. The original exhibition received over 178,000 visitors in Venice, and earned a Special Mention from the Golden Lion jury, the first time the United States has been honored in the history of the Venice Architecture Biennale. Now the spirit of direct action to improve cities embodies by New Public Sites and other project carries on in Chicago. Learn more about Spontaneous Interventions and New Public Sites at www.spontaneousinterventions.org and newpublicsites.org. Click here for Opening Week Programs.
Station North Avenue walking tours a drifting success
After gathering around the kiosk and handing out maps, we drifted through through the New Public Sites of North Avenue. Among four varied tours, one night, three day, three warm, one cold, we faced a perpendicular extreme, indulged retail adventure and climbed an enlightened elevation – all in the name of radical pedestrianism. Full project page here, more pictures at newpublicsites.org.
Join us for New Public Sites – Station North Avenue, a series of free walking tours through seven collections of invisible sites and overlooked architectural and psychic features along North Avenue in the Station North Arts District.
Organized in conjunction with the Invited: Celebration Station October 21 – November 11, 2012 MICA Studio Center Gallery Sheila & Richard Riggs and Leidy galleries 113 W. North Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21201
Reception and Graduate Studio Center Open House Sunday, October 21, 2–4 pm, followed by walking tour at 4pm
New Public Sites – Station North Avenue is free walking tour through seven collections of invisible sites and overlooked architectural and psychic features along North Avenue between Greenmount and Howard Streets. Using terms and ideas from the New Public Sites field guide and free walking tour maps available in the gallery, participants are invited to drift through Station North, identify different types of “invisible” public spaces and experiences, and then upload them to newpublicsites.org. Along the way, the tour features places such as a billboard-framed vacant lot identified as “Clear Channel Commons”, North Avenue’s impressive median strip, which is likened to “Barrier Islands”, plus a selection of Anniversary List businesses. The ongoing New Public Sites project pushes pedestrian agency, interprets aspects of the everyday and investigates the negotiable nature of the built environment.
WALK TOUR SCHEDULE Sunday, October 21 – 4pm Saturday, October 27, 3pm Saturday, November 3, 3pm
All walking tours are free and open to the public Meet at the New Public Sites Kiosk MICA Graduate Studio Center 113 W. North Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21201