Saturday, November 6, 2010

Historic Preservation Participatory Urban Intervention Art Project

ARTVULUPS hosted a participatory urban intervention art project this past Thursday during the Riverside Art Walk.
Carolyn Schutten did a great job conceptualizing the idea!! She emailed me to participate because she knows that I have experience with installation and with the public. I loved it the minute I heard about is right up my alley!

The project was "What is historic preservation?"
Participants began by asking the question, "Who decides?" what historic preservation is. They then tied the yarn from point to point toward the answer to the ending question, "What is saved?"

Participants will move through the space creating their idea of historic preservation by creating a "web" of stakeholder visions, thus making art. Hopefully people would encounter "walls" and create tangled opposing viewpoints, maybe even bump into each other in order to exemplify conflict, negotiation and compromise to really show how personal and individual values are in relation to planning and historic preservation.
There was no one answer, nor any right or wrong answers.
18 points were on display to mix and match answers:
Human Experience
Urban Planners
Too Much
Not Enough
WILD CARD - any response not there. We asked people to write down what was missing, a few that I remember were Gays, Family and Corporations. HHmmmm.
Smart Group, Riverside!!
I helped Carolyn with some nuts and bolts prior to the event, and then showed up to help engage the passer-by to participate and get their juices flowing to help create the "communication web" of yarn. The event was SO fun. People really loved it, and were very intrigued at how it looked at first glance. Once we shared with them the concept, we let them loose to start contributing to the dialog, and ultimately help build the installation.
The weather was absolutely gorgeous at a comfortable 68 degrees with an ever so soft breeze!!

My only wish is that we could do it for a longer period of time. Although it was quite ethereal and mysteriously invasive under the ambient night light, we only had 3 hours of intervention to make the piece. I think it would be great to do it again during a day-time long event and really get the visibility, participation and ultimately a bigger web created!

ARTVULUPS (Art as a Vehicle to Understand Land Use Planning and Sustainability) is dedicated to teaching planning and sustainability through art processes and learning through artistic collaboration. The first phase has just been completed!

15 artists were paired with 15 planners to create art based on the elements in the Riverside General Plan. (I am responsible for creating art regarding Air Quality).
The works will be on display at the Riverside Arts Council Projects space from December through February. In addition, there will be several public programs that will take place throughout the next year and leading up to the American Planning Conference in Santa Barbara, fall 2011.

Thanks go to the Riverside Metropolitan Museum, Teresa Woodward, Carolyn Schutten, Joe Berryhill and Miguel Vasquez. Images by Leora Lutz.

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