Situation Drive: Complexities of Public Sphere Engagement

While it reads like a master’s thesis, this weekend conference at Cooper Union will probably the best thing you experience this month. I say that only because the brains behind the curtain are known to do some great stuff…. Cooper Union (self-explanatory), Creative Time (a la Doug Aitken at MOMA and many other multi/cross/inter-disciplinary urban-scale projects) and in Site (focuses on stimulating artistic practices that challenge the terms ‘public,’ ‘urban,’ and ‘border’ all taking place on the San Diego-Tijuana border.. seriously, these guys put art in the desert). Anyway, the conference poses the question: What is at stake today in terms of public domain experiences? Brush shoulders with Dennis Adams, Doug Aitken, Doug Ashford, Judith Barry, Ute Meta Bauer, Mark Beasley, Bulbo, Teddy Cruz, CUP (Center for Urban Pedagogy), Tom Eccles, Peter Eleey, Hamish Fulton, Gelitin, Joseph Grima, Maarten Hajer, David Harvey, Mary Jane Jacob, Nina Katchadourian, Vasif Kortun, Laura Kurgan, Rick Lowe, Markus Miessen, France Morin, Antoni Muntadas, Kyong Park, Vong Phaophanit, Michael Rakowitz, Paul Ramirez Jonas, Osvaldo Sanchez, Saskia Sassen, Allan Sekula, Shuddhabrata Sengupta (Raqs Media Collective), Michael Sorkin, Javier Tellez, Nato Thompson, Anthony Vidler, Anton Vidokle, Judi Werthein, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Mans Wrange. Most, if not all, are really accomplished in their own right and by smashing them together in panels like “The Frictions of a Public Domain Experience” and “Anti-Spectacle/Spectacle” there might be some good conversation, a little tension and maybe (I’m hoping at least) a few fist fights. Nothing like a couple of intelligent bespectacled folks pulling hair. Okay, that won’t happen….. but I promise it’s actually better than watching Jerry Springer.

May 12-13 Free!
The Great Hall, Cooper Union
7th St., between 2nd and 3rd Ave.

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