Station North Avenue walking tours a drifting success
After gathering around the kiosk and handing out maps, we drifted through through the New Public Sites of North Avenue. Among four varied tours, one night, three day, three warm, one cold, we faced a perpendicular extreme, indulged retail adventure and climbed an enlightened elevation – all in the name of radical pedestrianism. Full project page here, pictures below.
Join us for New Public Sites – Station North Avenue, a series of free walking tours through seven collections of invisible sites and overlooked architectural and psychic features along North Avenue in the Station North Arts District.
Organized in conjunction with Invited: Celebration Station October 21 – November 11, 2012
MICA Studio Center Gallery
Sheila & Richard Riggs and Leidy galleries
113 W. North Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21201
Reception and Graduate Studio Center Open House
Sunday, October 21, 2–4 pm, followed by walking tour at 4pm
New Public Sites – Station North Avenue is free walking tour through seven collections of invisible sites and overlooked architectural and psychic features along North Avenue between Greenmount and Howard Streets. Using terms and ideas from the New Public Sites field guide and free walking tour maps available in the gallery, participants are invited to drift through Station North, identify different types of “invisible” public spaces and experiences, and then upload them to newpublicsites.org. Along the way, the tour features places such as a billboard-framed vacant lot identified as “Clear Channel Commons”, North Avenue’s impressive median strip, which is likened to “Barrier Islands”, plus a selection of Anniversary List businesses. The ongoing New Public Sites project pushes pedestrian agency, interprets aspects of the everyday and investigates the negotiable nature of the built environment.
WALK TOUR SCHEDULE
Sunday, October 21 – 4pm
Saturday, October 27, 3pm
Saturday, November 3, 3pm
All walking tours are free and open to the public
Meet at the New Public Sites Kiosk
MICA Graduate Studio Center
113 W. North Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21201
“Spontaneous Interventions“, the official U.S. presentation at the 13th International Venice Architecture Biennale, represents a spirited movement for improving cities through DIY innovation and playful direct action. Walking through Venice’s tree-shaded Giardini during the preview, the first thing I saw as I approached the American pavilion was a huge projection of my face framed by the Palladian building’s central entry way. I couldn’t help but laugh – how did my work as a radically pedestrian, New Public Sites tour guide end up here, in Venice, as one of many incredible projects representing of the United States? The dérive will always take us to unexpected places…
Pondering this with amusement, I wandered closer, through Interboro’s orange-cubed court yard and finally inside the first of four galleries filled with the Freecell’s interactive, hanging banners. On display are 124 projects, each an example of small scale: grassroots, guerilla, tactical and participatory actions for improving cities. While the phrase “American intervention” might evoke questionable military action in a far off country, Spontaneous Interventions captures something quite the opposite. From pop-ups parks in the fragments of public space to appropriated street signs and open-source apps for everyday visionaries, Spontaneous Interventions is proof that drifting for fun, innovating for peace and building for good is an American practice that we can truly be proud of. Together we celebrate voluntary urbanism for the common good.
In addition to contributing documentation my hanging banner (see below), I was also asked by Guggenheim curator David van der Leer to present my “wildest dreams are for American city of the future” in a video piece by filmmaker Kelly Loudenberg. Kelly came down to Baltimore and interviewed me at my home in Baltimore, Mirkwood. Above is my delivery of Infinite Freedom for New Baltimore. Architizer wrote about it here.
Seeing the projects of Spontaneous Interventions and meeting so many talented interventionists was incredibly inspiring. I am still deeply honored and excited to be recognized for my involvement in this nascent and exciting architecture and social movement. Out of 55 national participants we were one of three Special Mentions, along with Poland and Russia, in the competition for the Golden Lion for Best Pavilion, which was ultimately won by Japan. Partnering with the Institute for Urban Design, exhibit Commissioner and Curator Cathy Lang Ho, and Co-curators David van der Leer and Ned Cramer, Editor-in-Chief of Architect magazine, have masterfully of represented the zeitgeist of U.S. tactical urbanism and done us interventionists all a huge service by elevating the work on an international stage. While we may not need “the institution” to approve of our direct actions, the legitimacy that comes with the SI show will no doubt help us propel our projects towards future success and ultimately make our cities better places for living. Special thanks to urban sociologist Gordon Douglas for nominating New Public Sites.
99% Invisible premieres episode on New Public Sites
A “tiny” radio show about design and architecture explores the Neverending Story of naming invisible sites in everyday public space.
Click here to listen to, “Names vs The Nothing”, 99% Invisible‘s latest story by producer Sam Greenspan featuring Graham Coreil-Allen on New Public Sites.
Just beyond east Baltimore’s resounding I-95 – O’Donnell Street overpass lies a sprawling estate of weathered travel centers, including an unexpectedly beautiful grassy hill turned Elightened Elevation that serves as an unglamorous gateway for Baltimore’s Chinatown bus travelers. 99% Invisible radio show producer Sam Greenspan and I recently rode our bikes to this marginal zone and explored some of its invisbile sites and overlooked features. Created with help from the show’s host Roman Mars, ”Names vs The Nothing” uses the storyline from 1984 epic fantasty film, The Neverending Story as a metaphor for the New Public Sites investigation. Go to 99percentinvisible.org to listen to the episode online, download the mp3 and subscribe to the podcast with iTunes.
If you like 99% Invisible and want to hear more independently produced public radio, please considering donating the the 99% Invisible Kickstarter. The campaign only has three days left to reach its goal of 5000 supporters!
99% Invisible Karaoke Jam & New Public Sites Listening Party
Metro Gallery / 1700 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201
Saturday, July 28. Doors: 8pm. Show: 9pm followed by karaoke
99% Invisible, an award-winning radio show about architecture and design, wants you to sing along with the launch their third season. Hear the world premiere of a new episode, “Names vs. the Nothing,” featuring a New Public Sites tour of the Baltimore Travel Plaza, chat with San Francisco-based host Roman Mars (via Skype), and belt out your favorite karaoke tunes into the wee hours. Curated by 99% Invisible producer Sam Greenspan. Karaoke Jockeyed by Graham Coreil-Allen.