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Monthly Archives: 10/2013

Kimberly Richards: Collaboration

Posted on by Alex Craghead
Filed under: Reimagining the Urban,

As part of the ongoing campus initiative Global Urban Humanities: Engaging the Humanities and Environmental Design, the Arts Research Center co-sponsored the Reimagining the Urban: Bay Area Connections Across the Arts and Public Space on September 30, 2013. Participants have been asked to submit a blog post "on a keyword you see debated in the Bay Area arts, policy, and planning landscape." This posting is by Kimberly Richards, a first year PhD student in Performance Studies at UC Berkeley. This post was originally published on the Arts Research Center blog, Muses.

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.” This approach was, in part, inspired by the final line of the conference program, which asks, “what is the potential and what are the limits of cross-arts, cross-sector coalition-building … and what new skills and platforms are required to facilitate it?” This loaded question acknowledges that tensions can be high when we move across these boundaries; nevertheless, there remains a sense in which navigating these movements and discovering and inventing new strategies and modes of collaboration are, in fact, the preferable—if not the only—way in which to “reimagine the urban.”

Over the course of the day we heard from artists and academics, designers, and commissioners, civic activists and arts administrators, and several of these presentations were collaborative in form. We celebratedintersections of artists with communities, publics with spaces, and artistic performance in site-integrated places. We learned about the cross-pollination of audience experience within We Players’ performances and the geographic specificities of building crossroads in the Tenderloin district. I admired the transparent maps that showed the movements of the city’s transportation and the efforts to produce transparent agendas at 950 Center for Art and Education. Vocabulary that indicated movement across, between, and amongst artists, communities, and places saturated the discussion, revealing the essential need to work together, forge partnerships, and build bridges across different and multiple disciplines.

The benefits of collaboration were clearly articulated by Andy Wong and Deborah Cullinan, who shared their vision for 5M–an intersectional place designed to facilitate idea creation across traditional boundaries. Cullinan admitted that collaboration requires complex negotiation, but “If we are not going to see each other across boundaries, we’re not going to see solutions to the problems.”

Reimagining the urban is an intensely local project, and there are pragmatic and political justifications for building from the ground up, but if we really are all one ecosystem, and we’ve accepted that we need to work across boundaries, what collaborations might we seek beyond the legal boundaries of the bay? How can we translate and interpret good ideas in other urban centers to suit the needs in our community? Who are theinterlocutors that can and should be mobilized, and what spaces do we need to create in order to facilitate these cross-cultural collaborations?


Christina Gossmann: Public Nature?

Posted on by Alex Craghead
Filed under: Reimagining the Urban,

As part of the ongoing campus initiative Global Urban Humanities: Engaging the Humanities and Environmental Design, the Arts Research Center co-sponsored the Reimagining the Urban: Bay Area Connections Across the Arts and Public Space on September 30, 2013. Participants have been asked to submit a blog post "on a keyword you see debated in the Bay Area arts, policy, and planning landscape." This posting is by Christina Gossmann, a second year in the Master of City Planning program at UC Berkeley. This post originally appeared in the ARC blog, Muses.   The last session of the day, What is the “Bay” in the Bay…


Katie Bruhn: Layers of Reciprocity

Posted on by Alex Craghead
Filed under: Reimagining the Urban,

As part of the ongoing campus initiative Global Urban Humanities: Engaging the Humanities and Environmental Design, the Arts Research Center co-sponsored the Reimagining the Urban: Bay Area Connections Across the Arts and Public Space on September 30, 2013. Participants have been asked to submit a blog post "on a keyword you see debated in the Bay Area arts, policy, and planning landscape." This posting is by Katie Bruhn, a first year PhD student in Southeast Asian Studies at UC Berkeley. This post originally appears in the Arts Research Center blog, Muses. Throughout the daylong symposium, “Reimaging the Urban,” two particular keywords continued to…


Megan Hoetger: Long-Term

Posted on by Alex Craghead
Filed under: Reimagining the Urban,

As part of the ongoing campus initiative Global Urban Humanities: Engaging the Humanities and Environmental Design, the Arts Research Center co-sponsored the Reimagining the Urban: Bay Area Connections Across the Arts and Public Space on September 30, 2013. Participants have been asked to submit a blog post "on a keyword you see debated in the Bay Area arts, policy, and planning landscape." This posting is by Megan Hoetger, a second year PhD student in Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies at UC Berkeley. This post was originally published on the ARC blog, Muses. The long-term is a durational temporality. If I set this against…


Leslie Dreyer: (In)equality Inevitable?

Posted on by Alex Craghead
Filed under: Reimagining the Urban,

As part of the ongoing campus initiative Global Urban Humanities: Engaging the Humanities and Environmental Design, the Arts Research Center co-sponsored the Reimagining the Urban: Bay Area Connections Across the Arts and Public Space on September 30, 2013. Participants have been asked to submit a blog post "on a keyword you see debated in the Bay Area arts, policy, and planning landscape." This posting is by Leslie Dreyer, a first year MFA student in Art Practice. This post originally appeared in the Arts Recearch Center blog, Muses. Dr. Shannon Jackson, who co-organized Reimagining the Urban, opened the symposium with questions including, in summary:…


Hallie Wells: Spontaneous

Posted on by Alex Craghead
Filed under: Reimagining the Urban,

As part of the ongoing campus initiative Global Urban Humanities: Engaging the Humanities and Environmental Design, the Arts Research Center co-sponsored the Reimagining the Urban: Bay Area Connections Across the Arts and Public Space on September 30, 2013. Participants have been asked to submit a blog post "on a keyword you see debated in the Bay Area arts, policy, and planning landscape." This posting is by Hallie Wells, a third year PhD student in Anthropology at UC Berkeley. This post originally appeared in the ARC blog, Muses. What is spontaneity if not serendipity—a surprisingly pleasant encounter, saying yes to adventure, walking up the…


Alex Werth: Community

Posted on by Alex Craghead
Filed under: Reimagining the Urban,

As part of the ongoing campus initiative Global Urban Humanities: Engaging the Humanities and Environmental Design, the Arts Research Center co-sponsored the Reimagining the Urban: Bay Area Connections Across the Arts and Public Space on September 30, 2013. Participants have been asked to submit a blog post "on a keyword you see debated in the Bay Area arts, policy, and planning landscape." This posting is by Alex Werth, graduate student at UC Berkeley. This post originally appeared on the Arts Research Center blog, Muses. One of the themes that we’re exploring in our seminar—entitled “The City, Arts, and Public Spaces,” and planned in…


Martha Herrera-Lasso: Bridges

Posted on by Alex Craghead
Filed under: Reimagining the Urban,

This post was originally published on the Arts Research Center blog, Muses. Raquel Gutiérrez invites us to map the room around us: who is here and how long did it take us all to get to 2150 Allston Way. For a moment, we acknowledged the morning’s journey that brought us to this place, and maybe even the bridges we had to cross to get here. Throughout the day bridges came up again and again in the form of projects, conversation, opportunities, performances and partnerships. Deborah Cullinan invited us to think of alleys as bridges, as spaces of circulation; she spoke of…