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
Download the free map, interact and find out more at newpublicsites.org/sites/station-north-avenue-celebration-station.
“Spontaneous Interventions“, the official U.S. presentation at the 13th International Venice Architecture Biennale, represents a spirited movement for improving cities through DIY innovation and playful direct action. Walking through Venice’s tree-shaded Giardini during the preview of the Venice Architecture Biennale, the first thing I saw as I approached the American pavilion was a huge projection of my face framed by the Palladian building’s central entry way. I couldn’t help but laugh – how did my work as a radically pedestrian, New Public Sites tour guide end up here, in Venice, as one of many incredible projects representing of the United States? The dérive will always take us to unexpected places…
99% Invisible premieres episode on New Public Sites
A “tiny” radio show about design and architecture
explores the Neverending Story of naming
invisible sites in everyday public space.
Click here to listen to, “Names vs The Nothing”, 99% Invisible‘s latest story by producer Sam Greenspan featuring Graham Coreil-Allen on New Public Sites.Just beyond east Baltimore’s resounding I-95 – O’Donnell Street overpass lies a sprawling estate of weathered travel centers, including an unexpectedly beautiful grassy hill turned Elightened Elevation that serves as an unglamorous gateway for Baltimore’s Chinatown bus travelers. 99% Invisible radio show producer Sam Greenspan and I recently rode our bikes to this marginal zone and explored some of its invisbile sites and overlooked features. Created with help from the show’s host Roman Mars, “Names vs The Nothing” uses the storyline from 1984 epic fantasty film, The Neverending Story as a metaphor for the New Public Sites investigation. Go to 99percentinvisible.org to listen to the episode online, download the mp3 and subscribe to the podcast with iTunes.If you like 99% Invisible and want to hear more independently produced public radio, please considering donating the the 99% Invisible Kickstarter. The campaign only has three days left to reach its goal of 5000 supporters!
Artist Graham Coreil-Allen celebrates the inclusion of his New Public Sites interventionist walking tours project in the Venice Architecture Biennale with the rollout of a new platform for online participation: newpublicsites.org.
New Public Sites in Spontaneous Interventions
U.S. Pavilion at the 13th International Venice Architecture Biennale
August 29 – November 25, 2012
New Public Sites’ new online platform: newpublicsites.org
[Baltimore, MD – June 2012] — Situated within disparate zones of overlap, contradiction, ambiguity and interstice, the ongoing New Public Sites project consists of playful walking tours, radical maps and poetic typology that investigate the ways in which invisible sites and overlooked features exist within our everyday environment. The New Public Sites walking tours will be included in Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good, the official U.S. presentation at the 13th International Venice Architecture Biennale. Organized by commissioner and curator Cathy Lang Ho of the Institute for Urban Design, with Ned Cramer and David van der Leer, the exhibition features an array of direct action strategies for improving the urban public realm, represented through a system of interactive hanging banners and pedestrian installations. More details to follow on New Public Sites walking tours in Venice later this summer.
From Venice to virtual, New Public Sites is expanding radical pedestrian discourse both internationally and online. Created in collaboration with artist, curator and designer Tobey Albright, newpublicsites.org is the living collection of recent and on-going New Public Sites investigations into our everyday public spaces. The online typology organizes these liminal public spaces into a system of sites, components, qualities and concepts, indexed and described through maps, terms, definitions, images and videos. The scalable website can be viewed both on computers and smart devices. New Public Sites walking tour participants and the public at large are invited to explore the collection, comment on types and upload their own sites and definitions to the growing interactive map.