City as Material

September 7, 2009 by  

City As Material, 1st Walk

Exploring GF Watts Commemoration of Heroic Sacrifice, Postman's Park London

This week we begin teaching a course on the city as material for artistic practice with students from Vassar College‘s International Program in London. We’ve planned it as a co-creative course, intending to act as facilitators and guides to the students in devising and conducting their own investigations of the city and creating their own interventions. The students will be creating a blog to document their activities, as well as publishing eBooks about their individual projects.

The course is fortnightly (from early September to the beginning of December 2009), based in our studio in Clerkenwell, from where we’ll engage in walks, watching, making, drawing, discussing and eating.

From our course introduction (eBook A4 | US Letter PDF 240Kb),

The focus for this class will be in considering the role of the city as material for artistic experimentation and creation. Only inadequately understood as “public art,” urban interventions produce public space where it does not exist, foster new modes of urban citizenship and participation, render legible the force of political and financial power shaping the global city, expose the mutability of “public” and “private” entailed by new media transformations of social space, create alliances between varied urban stakeholders, challenge the zero-tolerance policies of the increasingly securitized city, and broaden the repertoire of political resistance and direct action. In addition to contemporary practice the course will consider the rich histories of urban intervention by artists in London and elsewhere.


7 Responses to “City as Material”

  1. Edmund Baxter on September 9th, 2009 12:10 pm

    This person might be of use to you: just over the road on the Strand

    Dr Mark Miodownik
    Head of Materials Research Group
    Engineering Division
    King’s College London
    Strand, London, WC2R 2LS
    United Kingdom

    Tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 2442

  2. Giles Lane on September 11th, 2009 1:07 pm

    Thanks Ed, I’ll pass it along to the students.
    Thanks also to Marie, who took some great photos of our first walk and blogged about ittoo:

  3. Giles Lane on October 6th, 2009 4:50 pm

    the students have now set up their research blog for the project:

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