Urban Renewal Laboratory
A collaborative investigation of urban history, memory and experience.
Artists are often used by urban developers as indicators of rising property
value, but they are seldom included in the decision-making process. URL
is an opportunity for artists to collaborate with urban planners and architects
in exploring the (re)development of urban space, and in developing a unique
vision of urban experience.
The URL project is an exhibition at Southern
Exposure gallery, a Web piece, a catalog,
and lectures and events.
Exposure gallery will run from May 8 to June 20, 1998. Projects
for the exhibition include Contours of the
Hidden Noise, La
Vida Povera de San Pancho, Monument
Physical Hygiene, The
Radiant City, and Territory .
The exhibition will also include off-site
installations which will become a part of the urban landscape and
involve the public by chance encounter.
piece ("Multifrisco") functions
on its own, and will also be a component of the gallery project.
The core feature of this piece is an interactive map composed of several
layers, to one of which the public is invited
to contribute stories, images, and sounds.
will serve to document the project and, like the Web piece,
will extend the exhibition's life past gallery de-installation.
During the exhibition (May-June, 1998), URL will produce
a series of lectures
and events that will address issues of urban renewal.
These talks will feature project participants, cultural historians and
Friday, May 8, 6-8pm, Southern Exposure
The Urban Renewal Laboratory: Seeing the City Anew
Wednesday, May 13 7:30 pm $5/$3 members and students
Examining urban space from a historical, cultural and aesthetic perspective,
this event presents a dialogue between two leaders in the field of urban
theory and urban planning.
Margaret Crawford: Chair of the History and Theory Program at
the Southern California Institute of Architecture, Ms. Crawford's research
is focused on the 20th Century American built environment. She edited
The Car and the City: The Automobile, the Built Environment and Daily
Life in Los Angeles and the forthcoming Everyday Urbanism and is the author
of Building the Workingman's Paradise: The Design of American Company
Towns. She is currently working on a book on informal public spaces
in Los Angeles.
William Versaci has over 20 years of experience in planning and management
of building projects. He is currently assisting owners in development
of commercial office, high-rise housing and hotel projects in downtown
San Jose. He has respresented owners and tenants in planning and
construction of facilities for NEC Electronics and Menlo Logistics,
He also managed programming, space planning and interior design for restoration
of Oakland City Hall and the U.C. Berkeley Computer Science Building.
Saturday, May 16, 1:00-3:00pm
1098 Valencia at 22nd in front of the Social Security building-
A performative public intervention utilizing photography as a means
of investigating gentrification in the Mission District. Participants
are photographed with a pinhole camera onto postcard paper which is instantly
developed and given as a "souvenir" to the insta-tourist. The "souvenirs"
will feature pre-exposed text on previous histories and events in the Mission,
supplied by the magazine South to the Future.
Agents of Change
Thursday, June 4, 7:30pm, Southern Exposure
$5/$3 for students and SoEx members
This workshop and panel discussion brings together several members
of the infrastructural, commercial and political agencies that chart the
form of the city--from sanitation engineers to travel agents--to discuss
how the urban structure and environment function.
Activism in Urban Planning: The Mission Creek
Green Belt and Bike Path
Nathan Brennan, Superintendent of Bayside Operations for the Water
Pollution Control Division of San Francisco's Public Utilities Commission.
For twenty one years he has worked in the wastewater industry, including
working for two years in Alexandria, Egypt. He holds a bachelor of
science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California
Paul Lord, Senior Planner for the San Francisco Planning Department.
Mr. Lord is heavily involved in crafting solutions to the redevelopment
of industrial lands in our post-industrial econonmy. His projects
include: base closure and reuse of the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard;
land use and zoning for Van Ness Avenue, mid-Market and South of Market;
and special studies into live/work, the economic impact of the arts, and
citywide travel behavior. Previously he served as Economic Planner for
the Marin County Planning Department and as Truckee Planning Director.
Diana Mejia, Senior Project Manager for Housing Development at Mission
Housing Development Corporation, who works on large-scale affordable housing
developments for low-income families and seniors. She holds both
a master's degree in City Planning from M.I.T. and a Real Estate Development
degree from Columbia University. Diana has spent her entire career
working in the non-profit sector providing direct social services, tenant
advocacy, organizing, and/or housing development.
Saturday, June 6, 1:00pm
7th and Channel Streets.
Come by bike
In the 1800s, Mission Creek was a navigable stream flowing roughly
along what are now Harrison and Division Streets, from the core of the
Mission Industrial Zone to Mission Bay. Local artists and activists,
led by the Madrina Group housed in Project Artaud, will conduct a tour
along the route of the underground river, and will discuss their proposal
to convert an old railroad right-of-way along Mission Creek into a bikeway
and greenbelt. This bike and walking tour begins at the harbor mouth (7th
and Channel) and moves upstream along Division to an early crossing of
Mission Creek at Center Street (16th) and Harrison. Installations,
kiosks and staged events along the river route will be educational, but
entertaining antics may prevail.
participants: Raveevarn Choksombatchai, Margaret Crane, Harrell
Fletcher, Erika Olsen Hannes, Scott MacLeod, Anita Margrill, Julio Morales,
Natasha Ogunji, Kevin Radley, Jon Rubin, Alison Sant, Jacques Servin, Valerie
Soe, Richard Sommer, Zane Vella, Fan Warren.
Scott Noren, Judy West, Andrea Feeser, David Lawrence, Anthony Mickens.
Curators: Mike Blockstein
and Michael Brown.
coordinator: Megan Wilson.
Urban Renewal Laboratory is supported by generous grants from the
Creative Work Fund, the Graham Foundation and the National Endowment for
Related sites (please
feel free to suggest more):
The History of San Francisco