Daily Archives: September 24, 2013


Reimagining the Urban: Rebecca Novick

That’s Not My BART Stop: One of the Triangle Lab projects we’re producing right now is called Love Balm for My Spirit Child. It’s a series of performances sharing testimony from mothers who have lost children to violence. We’re calling this series “site-specific” because they’re performed on the spots where each murder took place. Site-specific in its strictest definition means a performance created specifically for a non-traditional space, often using physical characteristics of that space, or of the community who gathers there, to influence what the performance will be. In a more general or lazy way, we often use “site-specific” to simply mean “not performed in a theater.”

Continue to read…


Reimagining the Urban: Irene Chien

In mainstream US media, “urban” is a pervasive euphemism for black, a way to register but not directly point at African-American culture within the post-racial political paradigm of colorblindness. “Urban music,” “urban fiction,” “urban comedy,” and “urban entertainment” are all ways to identify media made by, featuring, and marketed primarily to African-Americans without directly naming them. “Urban” in this sense gives value to at the same time it disavows the authenticity of black bodies, voices, and “street” experiences that now circulate globally in the form of hip-hop identity and aesthetics.

Continue to read…


Reimagining the Urban: Susan Moffat

In the Bay Area and beyond, ambitious creek and wetland restoration projects aim to return landscapes to an earlier, more “natural” condition. The scientists designing the projects know that it is impossible to restore a landscape to a pre-human condition when the entire watershed has been radically altered, and they make many nuanced choices in order to enhance habitats. But the public often believes the goal is to put a site back to “the way it was.”

Continue to read…


Reimagining the Urban: Margaret Crawford

In the early 1990s, I started working with scholars, urban designers, photographers, and writers on a project exploring everyday urban life in Los Angeles. In 1999, we published Everyday Urbanism as a guide to investigating the “as-found” character of the city. We identified everyday urban space as a rich and complex public realm created by the multiplicities of daily experience– trips to supermarkets, the commute to work, journeys that included wide boulevards and mini-malls, luxurious stores and street vendors, manicured lawns and dilapidated public parks.

Continue to read…


Reimagining the Urban: Linda Haverty Rugg

During the last decade a new field has emerged that increasingly is referred to as the Environmental Humanities. Environmental Humanities research centers often originated either in literature departments, because of the ecocritical movement in English Literature and American Studies, or in history departments, where the field of environmental history emerged after c. 1980. Other contributors to this field have come from inherently interdisciplinary fields such as geography, the digital humanities, gender studies, anthropology, and the history of technology.

Continue to read…


Reimagining the Urban: Shannon Jackson

In cross-disciplinary gatherings at ARC, we have found it worth going over territory that we all think we know, to review the staples, the bread and butter of our fields, in order to expose blindspots and to jostle ourselves into new perspectives on the heretofore obvious. But should I really reflect on the term “public”? when so much ink has been spilled on this subject historically…and from so many quarters recently? For this particular session, I guess I think I will, especially because the term is one that links some elements of environmental planning to key questions in humanist debate and artistic practice. Teresa Caldeira and I have named our forthcoming course for the GUH project “City, Arts, and Public Spaces” partly because the domain of ‘public’ ‘space’ seems a clear area of overlap between our fields.

Continue to read…


Reimagining the Urban: Ava Roy

In my experience, one of the most unique and profound joys of working site-specifically is developing an intimate relationship with the elemental forces of the environment. While striving to build a coherent world and intricate structure (and to clearly tell the story of the play), within the sweeping scale of massive outdoor sites is challenging enough. The challenge is intensified by the completely unpredictable atmospheric input – while rehearsing and performing, we find ourselves in searing heat or bone-chilling damp cold, we face blasts of powerful winds off the Pacific, we are in turns shrouded in fog, then squinting into blazing sun…

Continue to read…

ava-fortpoint03_small