Where is public?
What we do in public?
What is owned by the public?
How do we regard public?
|This is a list of selected example projects and organizations relevant to the concept for the Office for Public Culture.|
Index (click the links or scroll down the page to browse all of the examples)
Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry - Ball State University
Provisions: Research Center for Art and Social Change
Project Row Houses, Houston
Arts + Public Life, UChicago
Institute for Public Knowledge at NYU
Grand Central Art Center - Cal State, Fullerton
Arts Research Center - UC Berkeley
Institute Without Boundaries
Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life
EARN: european art research network
Ghana ThinkTank: Developing the First World
Design 99/ PowerHouse
Located at Ball State University, the Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry provides distinctive, rigorous, and transformative immersive learning experiences for Ball State students. Each year, four faculty members are chosen to lead teams of 15 students in interdisciplinary, immersive seminars.
The comprehensive Center supports a range of activities for students and faculty, though the primary projects are more student-centered than the focus of the Office of Public Culture concept. While projects incorporate creativity in the process and products, the Office of Public Culture's work would be more centrally focused on studio inquiry as a consistent context for it's supported work.
Provisions Learning Project is a research, education and production center investigating the intersections of arts and social change. Provisions is a leading voice advancing knowledge and promoting understanding of a wide-range of social topics, and producing innovative models to critically investigate issues surrounding these topics. With its extensive library, public programming, and research opportunities, it supports artistic, intellectual, and activist endeavors that explore the social dimensions of contemporary culture. In 2011, Provisions opened a research center for arts and social change at George Mason University’s School of Art
Project Row Houses is a non-profit arts organization established by African-American artists and community activists in Houston's Third Ward.
Project Row Houses was built around five pillars established by artist John Biggers: art & creativity, quality education, relevant architecture, social safety nets, and economic sustainability. The project was founded in 1993 by artist and community activist Rick Lowe, who is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and Creative Time's Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change.
Arts + Public Life builds creative connections on Chicago’s South Side through artist residencies, arts education, and artist-led projects and events. Many of the programs were envisioned by artist Theaster Gates. Gates is busy developing multiple cultural projects that mix urban planning, studio practice, community development, and innovations in the forms of public culture. These include the Dorchester Projects, the Stony Island Arts Bank, and the Rebuild Foundation
Photograph by Takashi Morizumi from the IPK exhibit: "Fukushima 3.11: After One Year,”
The Institute for Public Knowledge (IPK) brings theoretically serious scholarship to bear on major public issues. The Institute supports numerous ongoing projects and working groups including the Journal Public Culture, an interdisciplinary journal of transnational cultural studies. It nurtures collaboration among social researchers in New York and around the world. It builds bridges between university-based researchers and organizations pursuing practical action.
The scope and scale of the Institute are much broader than the Office of Public Culture concept, though the topics they focus on represent viable areas of inquiry for the Office of Public Culture.
Grand Central Art Center is dedicated to the investigation and promotion of contemporary art and visual culture: regionally, nationally, and internationally through unique collaborations between artists, students, and the community. Center is the result of a unique partnership between the university and the city of Santa Ana. Located ten miles south of the main campus in the heart of downtown Santa Ana the art center is a mixed residential, commercial and educational complex. The art center is a 45,000 square-foot, half-city block deep and full city-block long, three-level structure and houses: live/studio spaces for visual arts graduate students, the Grand Central Gallery, the Project room, the Grand Central Theater, Watermark Press, the Gypsy Den Café, a Sales Gallery, classrooms and computer lab, and a studio and living space dedicated to the center’s international artist-in-residence program.
Innovative design and fiscal planning resulted in unique academic-public-private partnerships and a sustainable operations budget. Again, Grand Central operates at a huge scale compared to the Office of Public Culture concept, but the Center's organizational strategy and contemporary curatorial focus are exemplary.
Directed by Shannon Jackson, The Arts Research Center is a very good example of a comprehensive arts-centered research approach. The Center supports a range of effective programs.
The Research Teams represent a range of areas of focus for OPC projects. They also develop charrettes, salons, seminars, symposia, and conferences, and have fellows and artists in residence. Again, much more comprehensive and broad in scale, but the focus of programs and mix of public and institutional objectives is exemplary.
Founded by Designer Bruce Mau, the Institute Without Boundaries is a Toronto-based studio that works towards collaborative design action and seeks to achieve social, ecological and economic innovation.
Recognized for the exhibition Massive Change the Institute exemplifies many of the features of the Office of Public Culture idea; interdisciplinary inquiry leading to broadly legible results. They are also have a unique institutional structure with affiliations to educational, cultural, and commercial partners. Their current project is the World House Project The Institute without Boundaries is affiliated with the School of Design at George Brown College.
Imagining America is a consortium of universities and organizations dedicated to advancing the public and civic purposes of humanities, arts, and design. It was founded in 1999 at University of Michigan and is now housed at Syracuse University.
Michigan ArtsEngine (at University of Michigan) drives transdisciplinary collaborations among the professional arts, architecture, and engineering units on University of Michigan’s dynamic North Campus. In 2010 With the support of the Knight Foundation, they hosted a national gathering to advocate for the integration of artmaking throughout America's Research Universities. The Keynote presentations by Shirley Tilghman, President of Princeton University, and Nancy Cantor, Chancellor of Syracuse University were particularly relevant to the benefits of University-generated cultural projects that engage civic life. Many of the programs and resources are applicable to engaging new publics with new ideas about culture. The work started at the Michigan Meeting continues on the website Arts Practice at Research Universities
Michigan Arts Engine was recently awarded a $500,000 Mellon Foundation Grant to continue the work that was initiated at the Michigan Meeting and "create the first comprehensive guide to best practices in the integration of arts practice in U.S. research universities."
The european art research network was established to share and exchange knowledge and experience in artistic research; foster mobility, exchange and dialogue among art researchers; promote wider dissemination of artistic research; and enable global connectivity and exchange for artistic research.
African Immigrants hired to attend the mostly white ZKM opening, based on El Salvador's solution for lack of diversity.
Founded in 2006, the Ghana ThinkTank is a worldwide network of think tanks creating strategies to resolve local problems in the "developed" world. The network began with think tanks from Ghana, Cuba and El Salvador, and has since expanded to include Serbia, Mexico and Ethiopia. In a recent project, they sent problems collected in Wales to think tanks in Ghana, Mexico, Serbia, Iran, and a group of incarcerated girls in the U.S. Prison system.
Photo:Teddy Cruz, Manufactured Sites: Housing Urbanism Made of Waste, 2008 participating artist in the project Mixplace Studio
Slought Foundation ('Sl-aw-t') is a non-profit organization that engages the public in dialogue about cultural and socio-political change. We occupy a unique place in the institutional landscape, one that is positioned in relation to the changing status of public culture and the public sphere. The organization has an inherent flexibility that enables it to move from the margins to the center as it undertakes collaborations with a range of partners including artists, communities, universities, and governments.
The "values" page of their website says, "We aim to foster a new form of institution, one that imagines culture as a forum for advocacy as well as the exchange of ideas, images, and events. We aspire to rehabilitate trust in institutions by moving beyond preservation or display, engaging the public in intimate dialogue about topical issues and shared concerns."
One of their programs Mixplace Studio is an experiment in the Mantua neighborhood of West Philadelphia that brings together non-profit organizations to develop new approaches to housing and public culture.
SUPERGAS, The Land, Cheing Mai, Thailand
SUPERFLEX is an artists' group founded in 1993 by Jakob Fenger, Rasmus Nielsen and Bjørnstjerne Christiansen. SUPERFLEX describe their projects as Tools. A tool is a model or proposal that can actively be used and further utilized and modified by the user.
The Yes Lab ia a series of brainstorms and trainings to help activist groups carry out media-getting creative actions, focused on their own campaign goals. It's a way for social justice organizations to take advantage of all that we Yes Men have learned-not only about our own ways of doing things, but those we've come in contact with over the decade and a half we've been doing this sort of thing. The Yes Lab has offices and workshopping space at NYU's Hemispheric Institute in New York.
The Experimental Station is an independent, not-for-profit incubator of innovative cultural projects and small-scale enterprises. Its facilities provide essential resources enabling vulnerable initiatives to stabilize and flourish. Areas of primary interest include, but are not limited to, art, ecology, cultural criticism, independent publishing and alternative models of education. The station includes Blackstone Bikes project, 61st Street Farmers Market, and the Invisible Institute.
Erik Jutten Powerhouse design rendering
Detroit Artists Mitch Cope and Gina Reichert founded Design 99 to investigate new modes of contemporary art and architectural practice. They have inhabited storefronts and currently are reclaiming and rehabbing various houses in their neighborhood. This includes the Powerhouse that is completely off the grid and has been the site of the beginnings of a collaboration with the Dutch arts organization Fonds BKVB to bring international artists to the neighborhood. Erik Jutten from 2012 Architects from Rotterdam blew out a side of the roof to make room for alternate living and studio work in the Powerhouse.
Mitch Cope lectured at the Civic Studio project in the Creston neighborhood in 2006.
This model of slow progress and collaboration using multiple material and capital resources could be deployed in the implementation of space use for the Office of Public Culture. Grand Rapids has seen a significant share of foreclosures and many of these structures are in disrepair.
The Waffle Shop is a neighborhood restaurant that produces and broadcasts a live-streaming talk show with its customers and operates a changeable storytelling billboard on its roof. The shop is a public lab that brings together people from all walks of life to engage in dialogue, experimentation and the co-production of culture. The project functions as an eatery, a TV production studio, a social catalyst, and a business. Our customers are our funders, audience, and participants as we film during open hours, inviting interested patrons to express their unique opinions and personalities.
The Waffle Shop is supported by the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University and operates with the labor of Work Study students from the University along with other capital and in-kind support.
The waffle shop is an example of a full-fledged cultural project that operates between the university and the public. Similar projects might be possible in the mix of projects and facilities with the Office of Public Culture.
Conflict Kitchen is a take-out restaurant that only serves cuisine from countries with which the United States is in conflict. The food is served out of a take-out style storefront, which rotates identities every 6 months to highlight another country. Each Conflict Kitchen iteration is augmented by events, performances, and discussion about the culture, politics and issues at stake with each country on which we focus.
Another site-based, ongoing cultural project in Pittsburgh.
For more examples see the more examples page.
|This is an expansive list of links to projects and resources relevant to the concept for the Office for Public Culture. Selected Examples is an annotated list of 17 relevant examples. |
CIVIC FOUNDATION INITIATIVES
PROJECTS AT UNIVERSITIES