Art in the Contested City w/ Emily Foreman
Thursday, September 16, 7:30pm
Please join us this Thursday, September 16 as we continue our programming series Open-Sourcing the City: Invited and Uninvited Participation. In the last event, professor/author Miriam Greenberg established the relationship between city branding and urban development agendas like Bloomberg's "Luxury City". Against this backdrop, how can cultural creatives and spatial practitioners participate productively? What are constructive forms of critical engagement?
Drawing from her own practice and from first-hand research, artist/activist Emily Forman will take us on a visual tour of the contested Neoliberal City, highlighting the ‘uninvited participation’ of its discontent inhabitants; grandmothers, squatters, and artists, joined together in a shared struggle for spatial justice.
First we will go to Chicago, where the mythic ‘Department of Space and Land Reclamation’ catalyzes a flurry of public interventions around hyperreal governance and runaway gentrification; and where an anonymous PR campaign nearly threatens to implode the City’s careful rebranding of its controversial public housing policies.
Then we visit ‘Miles de Viviendas’, a social center and ‘Pirate University’, housed in a squatted police barracks in seaside Barceloneta; where the neighbors bring culture to the barricades, defending themselves against immanent displacement and tourist-driven Disneyfication using bottom-up urban planning, critical cartography, tactical textiles, and creative direct action.
About Emily Forman
Emily Forman is a cultural activist who prefers that her art, politics, practice, and theory be woven snugly into the fabric of everyday life. She often works collaboratively on public interventions, hybrid documentary projects, and on self-organized convergences like ‘The City From Below’ and ‘Pilot TV: Experimental Media for Feminist Trespass.’ While she aims for ‘realness’ in a world of elaborate fiction, she has been accused of ‘harboring hostages’, of ‘disrupting master plans’ and other utopian intransigence. She is the co-editor, along with Daniel Tucker, of ‘Trashing the Neoliberal City: Autonomous Cultural Practices in Chicago 2000-2005.’ She can be found working at multiplefronts.org