Monday, July 19, 2010

[Yasmin_discussions] hybrid city as interface - and introductions

Dear list,

A colleague introduced me to this list and I am delighted that it
is starting up! Glad to meet everyone and be part of the discussion.I am a
writer with educational background in architecture, film, art and
philosophy. I founded the Wireless Art Group in San Francisco in Novermber
2009, to bring together many minds and practitioners over
the prospective changes that wireless can bring to urban culture. My
recently completed PhD dissertation, which I began in Australia and finished
in California, on place and identity making practices in mobile culture and
urban space, is now complete.

In that research, I study and discuss numerous projects: the public
authoring work of Proboscis, Urban Tapestries:, to name a
few - but moreover, the cell phone as a source of 'co presence' for
subcultures and underserved communities functioning in their own language,
arguing, rightly or wrongly, their potentials for cities, civic engagment,
artmaking and so forth.

Here is a recent festival -- first of its kind for San Francisco --which I
have collaborated on as a curator --and which took place in San Francisco,
June 11-13th, 19th, 2010.

The event's "location" from inception to completion, was the controversial
site of the Tenderloin, both a harbor for transience, crime, homelessness
and social services, for those of you unfamiliar, as well as site of many
nationally famous charitable organizations - the Y and Glide church. It's
border along Market Street is slated for extensive redevelopment to create
an arts and cultural center between Civic Center and Market.

The festival took place at Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, in storefronts
on Market and in the TL, at Tenderloin Tech Lab, and the Luggage Store
street front space. A symposium was held at KQED on Data Visualization art

I invite you to look at the festival website for information. It was a great
success. We had dozens of people visiting the 10 projects dispersed
throughout the Tenderloin, and while I am generally a politicized skeptic of
gentrification resulting from 'art' projects in areas where many poor people
live and struggle - I was relieved to learn of the many substantial
community organizations thriving in the TL and their interest in art, so
personally, it was both rewarding and enlightening to me as we had paired
artists with desiring community groups to collaborate or projects and do

We had many interesting urban planners, architects, artists and community
organizers involved in data visualization - Stamen Design, for example,
and there linger for me, numerous questions and issues around mapping, data
data visualization, and citizen media.

We hope to conduct another City Centered project next year.

I also add, at end, a link to the recent Towards a Just Metropolis
conference at UC Berkeley Department of Regional and Urban Planning, where
technological apparatus was hardly a focus, but GIS, GPS, etc are just
beginning, I would say, to influence these
unique designers. I was impressed, frankly, by the number of activists,
involved in the conference, and the level of political interest in city
planning. MITs Senseable Medialab which had been featured at GAFFTA during
City Centered, conducted a workshop hands on, and I was part of a panel on
Blogging the Virtual City - the effects of which, I am still, humbly sorting

I look forward to reading more posts and content.


Molly Hankwitz
Contributing Editor, NewmediaFIX, <>


**mobile research - architecture**
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