Art and the City: Worlding the Discussion, Transcending Territory

Wednesday, 10/04/17
494 Wurster Hall

“Art and the City: Worlding the Discussion, Transcending Territory”
Jason Luger
City & Regional Planning, UC Berkeley
Wednesday, October 4, 12:00-1:30pm
Cal Design Lab, Wurster 494, Wurster Hall

The city is a nexus of global flows, ideas and social movements. Art is one lens through which to explore these global flows - urban space and art are inextricably linked. Yet, this relationship is complicated: there is no consensus among urban theorists as to what constitutes urban space, or where exactly researchers should go to find it. Likewise, art is simultaneously bound to territory and a-territorial, circulating through global networks in real-time. Therefore, questions around how to understand critical art and its relationship to "place" in diverse terrains become compelling, also with consideration of the positionality / reflexivity necessary in thoughtful research.

This presentation and discussion will explore these questions by drawing upon research conducted on authoritarian Singapore, and will engage with broader themes of urban space, critical art, and differing political frames, challenging the "east, west" and "liberal / illiberal" binary and highlighting challenges (methodological, ethical) for further research. I will also overview the upcoming Spring 2018 Global Urban Humanities Seminar "Populism, Art and the City" which will engage with many of these themes and concepts.

Luger is an urban geographer with research interests focusing on global urban social movements and activism, authoritarian urbanism, urban policy, and economic development. He is also a planning consultant with global experience in the public and private sectors in economic development and neighborhood revitalization. Before joining the City Planning faculty at Berkeley, Luger offered courses in urban studies and planning at the University of San Francisco and San Francisco State University, as well as courses on global cities in the UK / US Fulbright Summer Institute at King's College London.

Jason is the co-editor of the volume Art and the City: Worlding the Discussion through a Critical Artscape (Routledge, 2017), and his research has been featured in academic journals such as CITY, Antipode, Geoforum, the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, and Media and Culture. He is Assistant Editor at the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies (2016-2017). His doctoral thesis involved field research in Singapore from 2012-2015.