City Lab: Transforming Cities through Innovative Cultural Action
City Lab: Transforming Cities through Innovative Cultural Action is a panel discussion and workshop that explore how thinking like an artist can improve urban life through collaborative and cross-disciplinary projects. Speakers include Marcus Faustini, Marcos García, and Osvaldo Sánchez; the moderator of the panel is George Yúdice. The panel discussion takes place on April 3 and the workshop on April 5.
Based respectively in Rio de Janeiro, Madrid, and Mexico City, the art and culture activists Faustini, García, and Sánchez lead initiatives modeled on the methods of art that enable local inhabitants to transform their cities by operating outside of the boundaries of traditional professions or disciplines. The resulting projects have generated innovative ways to improve urban life at the local level by having neighborhood residents identify issues to be tackled, and then collaborate with professionals and non-professionals alike; all the parties bring different sets of knowledge and skills. We can see these initiatives as putting into practice the French philosopher Jacques Rancière’s observation that art consists of a third element, existing between the two parties of artist and spectator, and owned by no one. In these cases, however, the third element or the art might be said to be the aesthetic process itself, the mediation by which residents, professionals, and artists discover cross-disciplinary ways of working together that might not otherwise have emerged. Conventional collaborative art projects and professional approaches to urban problems generally lack this complex synergy.
Faustini, García, and Sánchez discuss their respective initiatives and the context of their local urban environments, as well as the new types of cultural institutions they direct, in a panel on the evening of April 3, moderated by Professor Yúdice. On April 5, the three directors lead a workshop on creative approaches to citizen empowerment. While considering specific tactics and methodologies relating to Miami, the workshop focuses on exchanging ideas with residents, and initiatives that seek to transform the cities in which we live.
City Lab: Transforming Cities through Innovative Cultural Action is part of the series A City of the People, organized by MOAD and curated by Rina Carvajal, Executive Director and Chief Curator. It is made possible by the generous support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.