CEC Artslink presents Publicly Creative: A Public Art Workshop. Public art is a fast-growing discipline with many unexplored opportunities for artists and communities. This workshop is a hands-on intensive introduction to the field, outlining resources, logistics, opportunities, and examples of successful collaborations. Recognizing artistic initiative as a valuable asset and a catalyst for a dialogue and transformation, we will explore how site-specific collaborations in varied cultural, geographic and political areas can influence business, social awareness and economic development. Encouraging close inspection of the particular issues faced by a specific New York community chosen by the participants, the workshop and the resulting public art work(s) will provide a unique platform for the participants and the public to explore and appropriate the city’s landscapes.

May 9, 2011

Idea for a project...

It was really nice to meet everyone today and to learn about your different backgrounds and artistic practices.

I was thinking about the broad space of Lower Manhattan, a storied area of New York City and also a place that has changed vastly over hundreds of years. In terms of New York as an urban environment, I am interested in the history of the city's inhabitants and the ways they have shifted the meaning and uses of urban space.

For this workshop, an idea I am considering is a historical street game, something along the lines of a scavenger hunt. Passersby will encounter clues about the histories of Lower Manhattan, and can participate in directions sketched on walls, sidewalks, etc. in order to discover past narratives and insert their own experience in the process.

What do you guys think?


  1. I love your idea. And it sounds very interesting to me in terms of some parts related to my idea. I am interested in vanished sites or buildings in which many individuals have their own histories. I have observed many places disappearing under the logic of capitalism especially in urban area, Seoul, South Korea. And I heard that New York is not very different.

    So, my idea is making a kind of public guide tour program, which introduce the personal memories regarding the lost sites. It could be a building, a shop, a park and even a bench. After researching the disappeared scenes in Manhattan, I am thinking of asking the people, who have their own memories about those lost places, to be tour guides. Like normal tour guides, they may lead audiences to the sites (of course, are now vanished) and explain their histories with standing in front of new building or site, which replace the actual proofs of their memories. So viewers may view the new landscape with listening to the stories about old one.

    I think that history part can be our common interest. Of course I need to know what history you are specifically talking about. Just one thing that I am worrying about for my idea is time. You know, to make a successful work regarding some sort of history, researching is most important factor in the work to be complete well. Therefore, I wonder if I or you could finish that much of work within the lest of 3days. However, I like your idea. I want to hear more about it in detail.

  2. I like it. Could also work nicely with audio. Could post a phone number where anyone can record a memory. Later, another number to listen to stories of a place . . . The first few stories could be solicited; the rest could happen organically, over time. For example: http://yellowarrow.net/v3/projects_secretny.html
    Also, idea of projecting what used to be there, such as:

  3. I lived in lower Manhattan for 30 years before I moved to the Bronx a couple of years ago. When I return to downtown, particularly Hudson Street there is a feeling of longing or loss. These feelings are fueled in part by what seem to be a lot of preconceived notions about the Bronx and a rivalry amongst the boros. In my work I use maps and mapping ideas a lot. I love the way studying maps is a form of travel and gaining knowledge. I have often seen little markers on the sidewalks, usually stenciled, a phrase or an image. They always seem whimsical and mysterious. My idea is to make a little stencil of a map of the Bronx with the words "The Bronx is Here", or the "The Bronx was Here" or something. On the inside it is a little homage to my past, on the outside it is the idea that we are not so far apart.

    To respond to Anna's and Kuantaeck's ideas, I see them both as processes of mapping history, or making physical and visible the intangibles of past, as if history were another country that we can travel to. I also like the idea that a journey implies future, and that a traveling to History brings it not only to the present, but to the future. Perhaps the scavenger hunt could include small maps, of all the other places that will be referenced in the search.

  4. The idea that places can have memory are induced by the nostalgia that people connected with those places bring. It is universal that wherever people are from they have a string of physical places connected to their personal history. I like your project because it motivates interest in other peoples' stories, and their connection to the places in their lives. Those participating in the scavenger hunt and/or Kwaentack's tour will relate to others paths on some level.