Tag Archives : public space


Reimagining the Urban: Kimberly Richards

The complexity of the discourses about the city, arts, and public spaces has prompted me to reflect upon the merits, necessities, and challenges of interdisciplinary work. In order to assess the strategies that are being employed in the Bay Area to navigate this difficult terrain, I traced the conference’s discussion around collaboration and recorded when the prefixes “inter,” “cross” and “trans” were used so as to reveal something about the nature of the “connections across the arts and public space.”

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Reimagining the Urban: Christina Gossmann

The last session of the day, What is the “Bay” in the Bay Area? Creating Nature, acknowledged the elephant in the room—the Bay—but it also revealed the ambiguity of ownership surrounding this, “our” Bay. From Brad McCrea’s mention of changing legal rights (“Most things you can do on land, you can’t do in the Bay.”) to Louise Pubols’ historical account of the Emeryville shoreline as a “junky throw-away space” where artists/students/people were not afraid of “messing up,” we caught a glimpse of an immensely complex puzzle: public nature.

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Reimagining the Urban: Alex Werth

One of the themes that we’re exploring in our seminar—entitled “The City, Arts, and Public Spaces,” and planned in conjunction with Reimagining the Urban—is that of publics and publicness. (See Shannon Jackson’s post for an overview of these many-sided concepts.) As a budding geographer, and a scholar of urban public space, I began the semester with the view that public space is public in the sense that it is, in theory, open to universal use, and that, to that effect, it is also a space in the sense that it is inhabitable.

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Reimagining the Urban: Teresa Caldeira

“Street art” is the umbrella expression to refer to several forms of intervention that use the streets as their domain. It covers not only visual productions such as graffiti and tagging, but also performances like skateboarding, parkour, and break dance. The literature on street art is extensive and framed by a reference to mainstream artistic production. “Is graffiti (or tagging, or skateboarding) art?” seems to be an unavoidable question addressed again and again and consistently answered affirmatively. In my research, this approach is secondary.

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ART/CITY: Mary Ann Merker

“In relation to the arts and civic life, the question I am wrestling with right now is…” leveraging funding due to the budget problems currently in place with local governments. The silver lining in this money challenge is the new partnerships we have been able to forge with community agencies that are not the “usual suspects.”

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