Title: Institute for imagining NY - Code: K9B4D1
Contest: NY / 2012
By: Miles Fujiki

Views: 4588 Likes: 2




Institute for imagining NY

Institute for Imagining New York In the uncertain city, brute economics dictates physical form and experience. This truth is entrenched in the collective imagination to the degree that it becomes nearly impossible to think of a future urbanity not premised on profitability. Any alternative imagination evaporates. But in New York, a shrinking group of city dreamers—artists, writers, historians, lunatics, futurists, architects, urban archeologists, mystics, skateboarders—resists this condition. Feeding on the history of a place, its atmosphere and material state, they produce alternative realities that are gradually woven into New York. These realities are both firmly grounded in the city and constantly drifting above, below, into the past, into the future.

In reaction to the dismal and exploitative future presented, the city dreamers establish the Institute for Imagining New York. This loose collective seizes the overgrown plot on Lafayette and Great Jones—defined by a high-rise frozen in mid construction, a dilapidated billboard, and contradicting memory of street patterns. The Institute is both a physical and ideological enclave where past future imaginations are condensed and new imaginations of past, present, and future are catalyzed.

Above all, it is not a reliquary but a reactor core. It arises out of the dire act of re-establishing the seriousness of imagination, which has been relegated to fantasy, childishness, or impracticality. Dreamers, city atmospheres, and artifacts of imaginations—volatile elements—collide within spaces of study, reflection, and production.

Editing and straining the city to particular elements provokes radical re-imaginations of the whole in the form of ideas, texts, images, media, and machines. City atmospheres: light, sound, and weather, are filtered through the skin of the Institute, creating zones of intensified fragments. Research, collaboration, thinking, and making within these slivers of urbanity give rise to histories of New Yorks that could have existed and promises that might be.

All work must leave the enclave to confront the city.

What does the city dream of? An urbanity of networks and flows, masking or commodifying difference in the lean logic of transaction? The Institute, a porous rock standing above the streetscape, confronts this smoothness. Its urban ground is a sloped streetscape occupied by chess players, skatepunks, sunbathers, fruit stands. The streetscape reaches its lowest point at the edge of the street, exposing a sectional cut in the city. Thirty feet below the street is the well. Water filtered from the site dampens noise, and the view is limited to the tops of buildings and trees. From below the city, a wedge of the sky.

Fist and hubcap-size holes in the concrete skin sift light and winds outside the forum entrance. Closest to the streetscape, the forum is a gathering space for the Institute and a wider public. Above it are the studios, workshop, and publishing house. In the workshop, thin tin wall panels mediate the sounds of the Institute and the city, vibrating with the bite of machinery and the low rumble of trains.

Above the spaces of material production is a void. Its floor is a raised ground of pebbles and wild vegetation open to the weather. Hovering in the void, the archive is the heart of the Institute. In the irregular concrete walls, physical artifacts—drawings, photographs, texts, sculptures, machines, films, sound recordings, as well as digital files—are collected. Small cells for studying the materials are pulled from the archive.  Punctures in the archive and cells provide views to watertowers, odd corners, future skylines: mythic areas of parallel reality.

In this island of resistance, imagination is invoked as a serious mode of production and engagement. Histories mix with futures, realities mix with alternatives. City dreamers and the public once again re-imagine and remake their city.



Title: Institute for imagining NY

Time: 13 giugno 2012
Category: NY
Views: 4588 Likes: 2

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