Month: December 2010

Confront the Art.

I went to Dallas last month for a family event and was *blown away* by the Dallas Museum of Art.  In particular, it has this incredible Center for Creative Connections that takes a more innovative approach to helping visitors think about artworks and technique.  Close to my heart, the exhibition on view at the C3 galleries when I was there was called “Encountering Space.”  In the museum’s own language: the exhibition “presents works of art from the Museum collections and asks visitors to consider how space is used to invite engagement, raise questions, and create meaning. As viewers begin to encounter works of art this way, they are no longer passive observers but active participants.”  Awesome, right? Ok here are some pics.  The first is from the C3 exhibit, and the second is from the Nasher Sculpture Gallery, an independent sculpture garden and gallery across the street from the DMA in what the city has called its “cultural district”. This James Turrell is absolutely exquisite, it’s the first I’ve seen in real life. Last is a …

knock for neighbors: food happenings in the home

I talk a lot on this blog about food happenings, informal economies, and cultural tourism.  So when my friend Molly invited me to attend one of the pilot dinners for her Knock for Neighbors project, I jumped at the chance. Knock for Neighbors combines off-the-beaten-path tourism experiences with convivial community practices by sponsoring a network of residents who host visitors in their homes for dinner and conversation.  This project is similar to Denmark’s Dine with the Danes (which has itself inspired a number of spinoffs), and has rural precedents in the practices of agritourism and farmhouse dinners, but what is really unique about KfN is the way it imagines not just a tourist experience, but also a neighborhood one.  Knock on a door, meet a neighbor — this is a way for people to get to know each other and see their world through different eyes, whether they are from another country or right next door. The dinner I attended was convivial and surprisingly un-awkward given its entirely uncurated collection of guests.  Molly’s food was …

Experiments in pop-up democracy

You’re probably wondering what I’m up to these days, since it’s certainly not writing on this blog.  Well, a lot actually!  I’m working on a lot of projects for school that build on the topics I write about here, like historic preservation and economic development, informal food economies, public art happenings, and, of course, politics.  Speaking of which, I have started working on a project on experiments in “pop-up democracy,” which takes the artist interventions I admire and imagines how they could be transformed to serve a more direct political purpose such as encouraging voter turnout and educated community input into planning decisions.   You can see my proposal for a pop-up democracy framework on Participedia (which is awesome and you should check out). Next step: making something pop up!