(Artists Village in Northwest Detroit; Dotty Wotty house, Heidelberg Project; Hygienic Dress League, Steve and Dorota Coy; Tyree Guyton’s faces, Heidelberg Project)
I am finally starting my site/blog. A new friend, Michael, I met in Detroit is to credit for this since he’s the first person to actually go to my url and tell me it was “broken” (i.e. totally empty, “coming soon”). Thanks, Michael.
Currently, I am working quite a bit on my dissertation project on, broadly, art and politics. I’m looking at three different art pieces by three different artists in three different cities (Waiting for Godot in New Orleans, Paul Chan, New Orleans, 2007; The Heidelberg Project, Tyree Guyton, Detroit, 1986-present; and The Artist is Present, Marina Abramovic, New York, 2010). I am interested in the ways that performative (performance, theatre, installation, participatory, site-specific) art affects, engages, and upsets us. Sometimes such experiences are transformative or calls to action or deeply affective; they change us. They also impact the spaces/locations where they occur, even when they are temporary or ephemeral.
However, art and artists often figure into processes of gentrification and (re)development, even as they often struggle against it. The image, idea, aura, or affect of “artness” is itself transformative and value-producing when operationalized by pro-development interests.
More to come on this, but that’s the basic piece. I’ve done a bunch of interviews and will post photos and pieces of writing as I work. The first thing I post after this will be about Detroit since I just got back from a research trip there. Enjoy and please comment. I love feedback and help.