Archives for category: exhibition

Power of 8 is a collaborative project developed by Anab Jain, a designer whose work investigates intersections between digital, biological and sociological fields. Her current efforts investigate design alternatives that impact present development practices and experiment with the collective expression of imaginative urban forms. In this project “8 people from different walks of life work together to build a public conversation about their individual aspirations for a desirable future.”

Power of 8 blurs overlapping space between the public and private sphere and carries my interest for a variety of reasons. In part it is open source and participatory in nature, it makes use a variety of cognitive mapping techniques and explores the development and social expression of urban form in relation to fantasy. Beginning with a series of workshops the crew of eight share their ideas and formulate imaginative visions of the future.

The project is of particular interest because it has manifest as a part of the art world. It is funded by the Arts Council England, presented within the gallery environment, and extends traditional roles for artists, designers, and other professionals; emphasizing transdiciplinary approaches to the development of the urban fabric.

The approach taken is one that begins exclusively and unfolds in the public realm. While typical design-build projects dictate urban morphology from the top down this project is inclusive, moving from the ideas of its eight original participants to the public, facilitating in the process of imagining alternatives to the existing urban fabric. While public participation did not occur from the onset, the shift from private to public practice was planned and implemented at an early stage in the life of the project. Preliminary results of the project workshops were presented to the public during a gallery opening and a large abstracted map of Brentford, the area surrounding the gallery, became a central interactive component to the exhibition. The idea was to “engage with the local people by situating some of our imagined scenarios over the map, and inviting them to do the same.”

The incubation period, during which the professional crew initiated the process and developed individual and collective visions, could very well have provided a successful way to show that images of the future need not be limited in scope. Ideas that emerged from the workshops appear to have included a wealth of creative proposals and initiated a creative response from the public.

“Over the course of two days we had a steady stream of participants ranging from the radically activist to the playfully naive populated this map of their local area of Brentford with walking houses, snow stimulators, solar powered airships, public free boxes, trees that could talk to one another, new wireless connectivity, new species of underwater organisms and human spinning tops. The table was transformed into a landscape of fantasy and possibility in what appears to be a distant edge suburb of London.”

Following the exhibition ideas generated through the Power of 8 project are intended to move freely through the public realm. “After October, the work will discursively enter the public domain, and each collaborator will be able to have equal ownership over the material and disseminate it in a way that suits him/her best.” In this way the project will have seeded the landscape with ideas of the future, opening the local community to the creative potential of collectively imagined landscapes and inspiring new visions for the future.

In essence this project exemplifies an optimistic and inclusive approach to the development of our shared habitat. It combines the creative potential of forward thinking professionals with that of everyday citizens, those who share in the lived experience of the city and its infrastructure, to produce a collective expression of the future.

to see more visit: The Power of 8


Climbing brothers Tiago and Gabriel Primo have been living on display since May of this year. Their vision for the exterior wall of a local gallery in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil has literally taken on the life of these two artists/climbers.

Apparently images of big wall climbing and the bivy ledges that climbers use to camp out on these, often multi-day vertical expeditions have creeped into the art scene of Brazil. But this time there is no big wall, just an urban niche now filled with the amenities that you would usually find in the comfort of your own home.

This is not the first time the art scene has taken a page from the journals of the climbing community. Artist Matthew Barney, in one of his ‘Creamaster‘ films put his rigging and construction man T.J. Davey to work as a stand in, climbing the proscenium of an opera house in Budapest. There is also the moving structural mass of 2000 bamboo supports “Big Bamboo” by the Starn brothers making its way through the old Tallix foundry in Beacon, NY.

Perhaps these two have brought a new edge to the use of climbing equipment and techniques in art, by publicising their life 14 hours a day for nearly four months. Apparently Taigo and Gabriel spend the majority of their time interacting with the public. Which renders some questions related to my current interests. Through the publicity of their lifestyle, that which is typically private, are these brothers blurring the distinction between the private and public spheres? And could this be called public art? Perhaps not, but I am inclined to wonder, if they began dialogues related to housing issues, which they have been asked “How much is the rent?” by a passerby, and if they then opened a public dialogue related to such a topic in the streets of Rio, would it then become public art? While this may not be the purpose of their work, and it seems as though activism is the last thing on the minds of these two, their actions do generate questions and blur the divisions of public/private domains. What can be seen, and is probably more important than the questions I am posing, is simply how much fun it would be if there were more vertical access and exposure in the Urban landscape. Sure it presents liability issues and would probably incur serious legal ramifications if not authorized by the art world, but perhaps that is one of the best things about the art world. It’s diverse, experimental, and has enough authority to provide spaces and legitimacy for the otherwise irrational but all to human forms of expression and acts of freedom.

Brothers Taigo and Gabrial plan to continue this exhibition and lifestyle through mid August. After which the home on a rope will come down and another, perhaps more grounded exhibition will take place.

Brothers Taigo and Gabriel Primo as their installation.
image via: associated press

The Red Door Gallery will open this Friday with new work by Matt Lively. “Home” features his most recent work on the Wind Chill Factory. To see more poke through the label “Wind Chill Factory on this blog” you can also visit some of the following links:

Matt Lively : official site :

The Red Door Gallery

“Home” @ Red Door Gallery

Opening Night Reception : Friday : April 17th , 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Red Door Gallery
1607 West Main Street
Richmond, VA 23220

Play, Art, Installation… It all comes together when you get a glimpse of work like the Big Bamboo Project of Mike and Doug Starn. Recently featured in the New York Times this installation emerges from the stochastic action of climbers articulating the artists’ vision. Mike and Doug are brothers who have been active in the New York scene for nearly three decades. Their studio is currently located in what used to be the Tallix foundry in Beacon, NY.

The Starns have chosen a non-linear approach to construction allowing for evolution of form. A prominent emphasis on emergent structure eases the rigor typically involved with such a large architectural mass. The work is composed of roughly 2000 bamboo poles lashed together with nylon rope. It is generated through a multitude of incremental decisions decentralized through loosely coordinated behavior of eight to fifteen climbers roughly governed body the Starn brothers. Charged with the movement of its laborers the piece will begin to crawl through the space as the makers remove bamboo supports from the far end and replace them in the front. Such a dynamic approach to construction and structure alludes to living systems. Ongoing reviews point towards these organic reflections and ideas noted by the artists take into account self healing, adaptive and chaotic properties.

Inviting a playful response and an active role for viewers the Starn brothers encourage visitors to climb through the mass to reach a platform constructed some 50 feet above the floor, framing the work from above.

On a personal note. I hope to get up to Beacon and climb Big Bamboo on my next trip up north. Ive got to thank Robin Sedgwick and her son for passing this one along. It appers that some of my past work quickly came to mind when they got a glimpse of this in the NY Times. Big thanks!

Big Bamboo will be open to visitors from May 15 – 18 from 11am – 4pm.

Be sure to check out more via the following:
Starn Studio – Website

New York Times article
Vernissage TV
New Space New Focus @ Art Miami

I mean really, what fan of art who loves taking a minute from the hustle of the world would pass this is up? I have written a little on the idea of urban play and this pretty much pegs its union with art. As part of The Unilever Series the Tate exhibited the work of Carsten Holler from October 2006 to April 2007. This work is one that could certainly be appreciated at a distance. I’m sure you get the impression and if you have a great imagination you could probably day dream about sliding down these tubes. But, the best part is that you can. These works are perhaps only fully experienced by actually taking them up on their offer. The aesthetic is in the motion and act of sliding down these spiraling conduits.

The Bronx Museum has teamed up with Design Trust to host a design competition aimed at gathering ideas for the future of the Grand Concourse. Exemplifying how organizations are taking on the task of improving urban environments. This is an open call to anyone who can come up with a vision of the future for this portion of Bronx’s urban fabric.

“This international ideas competition solicits bold visions that describe how the Bronx and the Grand Concourse can evolve in coming decades to cope with pressing needs for housing, green space, and transportation.
Winning proposals will be exhibited at The Bronx Museum of the Arts starting in November 2009. Honorable mentions will be on display at the exhibition and on this website.”

What makes this so interesting?

Partnership between the Bronx Museum and Design Trust:

This project not only bridges public and private practice, engaging local governments and private companies, it expands the role of the museum and the artist. Traditionally, in a very brief and narrow sense, museums exhibit works of art as end products and artists make them. But the exhibition that will be presented in the Bronx Museum is different. Selected proposals will be on show and while these may not be complete plans for urban design they may very well influence the future urban environment of the Grand Concourse. They are images, representations of what could very well become a tangible infrastructure. On that note the exhibition opens an intriguing path for public feedback, putting the big ideas up for all to see means that those who do catch a glimpse can respond. Is the museum going to be recording public response? I doubt it, but it is certainly a interesting shift in the role of the museum and I am sure the images of Grand Concourse’s future will prompt an interesting dialogue.

An expanded role for artists interested in the Urban Environment.

Art is often retro fitted onto the existing urban fabric. It takes a side seat, if any, to the design and planning role. This project opens the door for artists. It takes into account the value of art, innovation and creative vision. This competition challenges traditional design and development practices engaging diverse professions, providing a venue for exhibition that places the products of the competition in the domain of art, and opens the door to artists. This elucidates evolving processes in urban design and marks emergent inclusions of art, a valued role for the artist, and the sifting landscape of design professions. Urban design becomes art and the scope of the artist’s influence acquires a new lens.

The Jury:

The jury here epitomizes the diversity of this project and its potential. Comprised of architects, planners, artists, a sociologist and an editor this jury covers a great spectrum of professionals.

Some notable Jurors just to get the picture:

Susan Szenasy :
Editor-in-Chief of Metropolis
TATS CRU : Bronz based professional muralists

Wilhelm Ronda : Director of Planning and Development for the Office of Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión.
Tim Rollins : Artist, Founder of Art and Knowledge Workshop
Dr. Clara E. Rodríguez :
Professor of Sociology at Fordham University’s College at Lincoln Center.
Walter Hood : Professor and former Chair of the Landscape Architecture Department at the University of California, Berkeley.
Stan Allen
: Dean of the School of Architecture at Princeton University.

It is great to see the explosion of design competitions in recent years. All are bringing imaginative ideas to the front of urban design and I look forward to charting this evolution of urban environment. I am certainly pleased to see the inclusion of art and the expansion of the artists role from a passive to active one.

To see more visit:

Intersections : Grand Concourse Beyond 100


What is the possibility for a home to be delivered; prefabricated and placed onto a site, ready to inhabit. Many of the ideas, presented in short among the frames of this youtube video, claim to be working for these very goals and certainly they are. But, we do already have some instances of this. Many of them actually.

What is the implication of superimposing a prefabricated home onto its landscape? What environmental considerations are overlooked when approaching the idea of habitation in this way? Can you keep is from looking like this when the storm comes?

Can we change the patten of the neighborhood? Can we keep it from looking like this?

In this day and age with rising energy concerns and projected populations reaching the tens of billions, one can be sure that addressing housing is of critical importance. The challenge here as it appears to me, and as it is framed in this short video, is to generate housing that is low cost, low energy, self-sustaining, durable, portable, perhaps even modular, and to top it off preserve the diverse nature of our individuality while integrating as a unit into the greater ecology. Can this be done with today’s technology and imagination? Yes, but meeting all of these demands takes more than swank marketing and catch phrases. It takes a genuine interest in humanity, imagination and capital. Perhaps the architects and designers in the video have just that. Perhaps the future of housing as we know it, is truly changing. You buy it, they deliver it, you live in it, you love it!

And if your as creative as these guys maybe the new verision.21c will give you some room for experimentation.