Futurama. Progress made visible.
Ideas for making cities more fun.
The art installations edition.
Here's a treat from WebUrbanist, a portfolio of a dozen or so art installations worldwide that enliven new, old and abandoned buildings alike.
In Bristol, England, artist "FilthyLuker" installs inflatable octopus tentacles to enliven this unnamed building for a June 2009 exhibit.
In curating Sydney's Luminous Festival, musical producer Brian Eno lit up the sails of the Opera House with a variety of images as a statement about global heating and the role artists can take in raising awareness about it.
The "Crossword Puzzle Apartment Building" in Lvov, Ukraine. Tourists and denizens find questions for each day's puzzle at museums, cinemas, fountains and other local points of interest around town. At night, special lights show the answers.
For his 2006 exhibit of architecturally-related works at Austria's Museum Moderner Kunst, artist Erwin Wurm added an external installation, "House Attack," a house embedded in the MUMOK's roof.
Artist Brian Goggin, joined by about 100 volunteers, created "Defenstration" (to throw out of a window) at this abandoned four-storey tenement building in San Francisco. The clocks, chairs, tables and other furniture attempting to escape the building reflect the mood of this skid-row district at the corner of Sixth and Howard Streets.
Courtesy: WebUrbanist: Urban Design, Culture, Travel.
Adding spark to a neighbourhood is ArtZuid (Aug. 16 - Oct. 26, 2009), named for the Oud-Zuid (Amsterdam South) district close to the city's museum quarter. The free open-air exbibit, complete with an arts workshop for children, is an effort by locals to bring a dash of postmodern sculptural mirth to their comfortable but overlooked quarter. Neighbours joined to raise donations and recruit artists for this installation of 30 large-scale pieces that take advantage of a tree-lined park framed by the historic Apollolann and Minervalaan boulevards.
Erwin Wurm's re-welded Volkswagen van, its angles conveying the kinetic power of a twist. Wurm designed the "House Attack" shown in the previous gallery.
A recent cast of Auguste Rodin's 1902 bronze scuplture "Le Penseur."
Futurama is in tribute to GM's pavilion at the 1939-40 World's Fair, whose theme was "Building the World of Tomorrow." Arguably the last of the great World's Fairs, the exhibition marked a time of North American confidence in the future as it emerged from the Depression. The 700-foot Trylon spire and adjoining Perisphere orb, as large as a city block, were embraced by New Yorkers as whimsical mascots. The spirit of optimism managed to eclipse the ominous signs of looming conflict in Europe and the Pacific Rim.
Makes me wonder what 10 historic events I would want to have witnessed, the '39 Fair being among them. The Chicago World's Fair of 1893 (World's Columbian Exposition) would be another. Napoleon crowning himself Emperor. Hearing FDR give his "Four Freedoms" speech on the radio. Sitting in on just one of Plato's lectures. Watching Rembrandt put the finishing touches on The Night Watch. Watching Robert Moses explode in a phone call with biographer Robert Caro when The Power Broker first appeared in bookstores. Champlain embarking on yet another expedition, still deeper into the Canadian wilderness, till he reached Lake Simcoe, the furthest extent of his explorations. Being close enough on the Mall on Aug. 23, 1963 to hear King's voice...And, of course, bumping into Shelley Long as she walked off the set of "Cheers" for the last time to tell her she was making a big mistake.
What are your Top 10?
For the purposes of this blog, the inception of the Great Recession in the U.S., the epicentre of the crisis, is taken as the start date for the global slump. The U.S. has been in recession since December 2007.