Thursday, January 27, 2011

Marjorie Garber, "After the Humanities," Feb. 23

“Consistently our shrewdest and most entertaining cultural critic.” –Jonathan Culler

“The liveliest, wittiest, and most scintillating of writers about culture.”—Catherine R. Stimpson

The U-M Institute for the Humanities presents
The 2011 Marc and Constance Jacobson Lecture
“After the Humanities”
A Lecture by Marjorie Garber, Harvard University
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
6:00pm at Rackham Amphitheatre

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Beginning research

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments maintains an excellent database, which is also the first resource SAND usually mentions. 


If you click on "Data and Maps - By Community", you'll find Detroit (Wayne County), as well as a list of their most frequently requested data sets.


It's all HERE.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


An excellent piece in Guernica on ruin porn, Detroitsploitation and three classic Detroit narratives: Detroit as metonym, the Detroit lament, and Detroit utopia.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

(un)biased imagery

Talking about privileged perspectives started me thinking about Illinois' recent decision to allow civil unions but disallow gay marriage.  Some saw this as a step towards greater equality between the alternative and mainstream sexualities, but many others considered it a blow to the movement for equal rights for every person, let alone those detractors protesting government recognition of any nontraditional union.

In talking about how to present this issue in a provocative way to get people to think about the role of gender in state-sanctioned relationships, the question was raised: what if we don't posit one type of relationship above another?  What if we present all relationships, same-sex and opposite-sex, as equal, and let the viewers choose their points of view? 

The issue: CNN's coverage

Things To Do: A Collection

By Mishayla Binkerd & Liezel Pimentel

Value of College Education?

45% of Students Don't Learn Much in College

A new study provides disturbing answers to questions about how much students actually learn in college – for many, not much – and has inflamed a debate about the value of an American higher education.

The research of more than 2,300 undergraduates found 45 percent of students show no significant improvement in the key measures of critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing by the end of their sophomore years.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ken Robinson at TED

This is another talk by him on the same subject which might also be of interest to you!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Privileged Viewpoints

Mireille introduced me to the work of a few artists relevant to our discussion in studio earlier today. Some very intriguing installations dealing with privileged viewpoint and/or calculated light sources. I'm intrigued by the use of this technique to test or perhaps enhance the sensitivity of the public's ability to pay attention (or to pay closer attention). I was struggling with the possible topics of discussion for such a technique...what might it ask? how does it communicate? who is it speaking to? or how can it grow?

Artist - Felice Varini
Artist - Georges Rousse
Artists - Tim Noble & Sue Webster

Detroit (along with the entire rest of the world I guess) has an issue when it comes to the vagrant, the homeless, the poor. In fact, the world has many issues pertaining to the mistreatment or misfortune of humanity itself. This world has problems...and naturally the human race itself is plagued by many. Some of humanity's issues are more prevalent in certain areas of the world compared to others...but all involve people...individuals who have names and faces...personalities and souls. However, as our lives become busier and more consumed by the world, those people that are in desparate need can easily become invisible. Passing by we may miss them completely, or perhaps catch only a glance. They are there but our eyes are closed to them.

In utilizing a privileged viewpoint technique along with stencil grafitti and applique techniques, I am pondering how to bring to the public's attention the issues (and individuals) that we can so easily forget. Can we introduce, for instance in Detroit, "the poor" into a passing moment and perhaps into the subliminal. The idea revolves around the notion of "opening your eyes." The pieces of the images are separated and askew until one passes into the priviledged view and the image slowly becomes comprehensible. The image of a human being, with a face, looking at the viewer.

On the city as classroom

The Exploding School