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Poeticizing the Urban Apparatus

New York, NY  The Center for Social Innovation, Starrett-Lehigh

August 13- 15th, 2013

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 “The city is . . . poeticized by the subject: the subject has refabricated it for his or her own use by undoing the constraints of the urban apparatus and, as a consumer of space, imposes his or her own law on the external order of the city” (Michel De Certeau The Practice of Everyday Life Vol. 2: Living and Cooking, 1998, 13).

Social Innovation refers to a variety of activities that seek to change, modify, remake, and adapt existing practices in order to transform and strengthen civic society.  Despite a great interest in the topic, how the city itself provides an organizing form for the transformation of cultural practices and their reception remains underanalyzed.  By studying how scenes enable urban interaction and are generative of social change, this conference will engage new perspectives on cultural practices central to social innovation. In this context, innovation is dialectical in relation to time, social in its creation of a relationship among participants, and decisive in its appeal to new modes of engagement and action.

We welcome work that explores the diverse strategies and tactics aimed at transforming city life by reconfiguring social interaction, refashioning public spaces, extending the sensory experience of the city, developing new modes of activism and social change, as well as related topics.

Possible topics include:

  • The particular connection between city life and fashion and other modes of stylistic innovation.
  • Practices of construction and renovation that revivify the urban built environment.
  • New techniques or approaches for representing the urban experience in a range of media —film, television, literature, art practices and theatre, and others.
  • Cultural events and institutions designed to facilitate new forms of political participation, community formation, and environmental sustainability.
  • The peculiar temporality of innovation and the tangle of past, present and future in innovative practices; historical antecedents for contemporary cultural innovations.
  • Merging categories and lines of division in innovation: public/private space, digital/print culture, the avant-garde/the popular.
  • New modes of political economic organization and commerce—for example, pop-up retail, supper clubs, and gift economies.

The normal presentation format will be a 20-minute talk as part of a panel of 3-4 speakers followed by questions and discussion. Proposals for other forms of participation (performances, exhibitions/screenings, roundtables) will also be considered.  The conference will be held at the Centre for Social Innovation’s new space in the Chelsea neighbourhood in New York City, on 24th Street and 11th Avenues.

Short Conference Program

Poeticizing the Urban Apparatus: Scenes of Innovation

TUESDAY August 13th

1:00-2:00 pm

2:00-2:50 pm
Elke Grenzer, Director, Culture of Cities Centre
Eli Malinsky, Executive Director, New York City, Center for Social Innovation

Plenary Address
Alan Blum, Executive Director, Culture of Cities Centre

S1            3:00-5:00 pm Panel 1 Gentrification & Panel 2 Art and Culture
                 5:00-8:00 pm Wine and Cheese Cocktail & Presentation “I’ll Be Your Mirror”: The Downtown New York  Collection at NYU by Marvin Taylor (Director, Fales Library & Special Collections, NYU) 

WEDNESDAY, August 14th

S2             9:00-10:45 am Panel 3 Specific City Scenes & Panel 4 Representing Urban Experience

S3            11:00 am-12:45 pm Panel 5 Translating Entomophagy & Panel 6 Design/Event

12:45-1:45 pm Lunch

S4            1:45-3:30 pm Panel 7 Aesthetic Works & Panel 8 Publics/Practitioners

S5            3:45-5:15 pm Panel 9 Collectives/Conflicts & Panel 10 Narrative Spaces

7:30-10:00 pm             Future Food Salon

THURSDAY, August 15th

S6            9:45-11:30 am Panel 11 Scenes/Theory & Panel 12 Specific Cities

S7            11:45-1:30 pm Panel 13 The Commons & Panel 14 (Un)Natural Objects

1:30-3:30 pm             Brunch and Scenes of Innovation Roundtable Discussion

3:45-5:00 pm             IASCC Meeting

All meetings and events will be held at the Centre for Social Innovation, Starrett-Lehigh

601 West 26th Street Suite 325, New York, NY 10001

Full Conference Program

Poeticizing the Urban Apparatus: Scenes of Innovation

Tuesday August 13th

1:00-2:00PM Registration

2:00-2:10PM Welcome

Elke Grenzer, Director, Culture of Cities Centre

Eli Malinsky, Executive Director, New York City, Center for Social Innovation

2:10-2:50PM Plenary Address
Alan Blum, Executive Director, Culture of Cities Centre

3:00-5:00PM  Panels 1 & 2

Panel 1: Gentrification

Erin Siodmak (Hunter College, USA) & Josh Scannell (CUNY Graduate Center, USA)  Up the Punx? ABC No Rio’s Oppositional Politics and the Gentrification of NYC’s Lower East Side

Judith DeSena (St. John’s University, USA) Expressions of Gentrification

Luìsa Veloso (Lisbon University Institute, Portugal) You Should Look Better: Proposals for Renovating Urban Public Space

Jerry Krase (Brooklyn College NY, USA) Selling the New Brooklyn (Again)

Panel 2: Art and Culture

Anh-Thu Ngo (Harvard University, USA) Public Art in Vietnam

Francesco Bondanini (University of Granada, Spain) Art, Activism, and Participation on the Borders of Europe

Mariana Botero (Rhode Island School of Design, USA) Re-Writing the City

Han Zhang (York University, Canada) Translating Urban Cultures in Tibet

5:00-8:00PM  Wine & Cheese Cocktail

“I’ll Be Your Mirror”: The Downtown New York Collection at NYU

Presentation by Marvin Taylor Director, Fales Library & Special Collections, NYU

Wednesday  August 14th

9:00-10:45am Panels 3 & 4

Panel 3: Specific City Scenes

Kieran Bonner (St. Jerome’s University, Canada) Cafés and Coffee Shops: The Politics of Taste and the Taste of Politics

David Coyles (University of Belfast, Northern Ireland) Re-place: The Titanic Rebranding of Architecture and Space in Post-Conflict Belfast

Carolyn Duffey (San Francisco Art Institute, USA) Port-Au-Prince: Space, Place, and the Revolutionary Poetics of “Grand Rue”

Emily Roehl (The University of Texas at Austin, USA) Public Art and the City: Walker Art Center’s “Open Field”

Panel 4: Representing Urban Experience

Tabea Michaelis  (HafenCity University Hamburg, Germany) Randonnée of Possibilities: An Artistic Research Approach on the Programmatic Space of Possibilities in Wilhelmsburg

Bernd Kniess (HafenCity University Hamburg, Germany) Hotel as a Method? A DIY Low-Budget, High-Quality Community-Run, Luxury-Hotel and “University as Marketplace” in the Neighbourhood

Bernd Kniess & Ben Pohl  (HafenCity University Hamburg, Germany) Working Worlds – Exploring Wilhelmsburg:  A Performative Videographic Approach

Ben Pohl & Hans Vollmer (HafenCity University Hamburg, Germany) Being Embedded: A Research Within Spatial and Economic Practices of Local Embedded Gastronomic Entrepreneurs

10:45-11:00am  Break

11:00-12:45pm  Panels 5 & 6

Panel 5: Translating Entomophagy

Marianne Shockley (University of Georgia, USA) Ethical Foods and the Potential for Edible Insects

Dave Gracer (Independent Scholar, USA) Entomophagy Deconstructed: What We’re Talking About When We Discuss the Problems with Insect Consumption

Louis Sorkin (American Museum of Natural History, New York)  Entomophagy: Another Buffet Line

Panel 6: Design/Event

David Koren (Executive Producer, Figment, USA) Figment

John Lauermann (Clark University, USA)  Urban Events as Temporary Urbanism: Planning and Designing For Events in the City

Mike Blockstein (Public Matters, USA)& Jeremy Liu (Creative Ecology Partners, USA) Towards an Ethics and Aesthetics of Place

Helen Yung (Culture of Cities Centre, Canada) Marginalia: Making Visible the Epistemic Journey of Artistic Research

12:45-1:45pm  Lunch

Sample the food trucks downstairs or take a walk on the High Line – entrance in front of building

Wednesday  August 14th

1:45-3:30pm  Panels 7 & 8

Panel 7: Aesthetic Works

Jean-François Côté (UQAM, Canada) Pathos-Ethos-Logos: Working at the Margins of the Metropolis

Amparo Lasén (University Complutense of Madrid, Spain) Loud Cell Phones and Videoed Choreographies as Modes of Engaging the City through Listening

Saeed Hydaralli (York University, Canada) Innovation and Urban Mobility: Are We There Yet?

Joyce E. Sanchez (Instituto Tecnològico de Artes, Ecuador) Ethnology of an Urban Pedagogy of Interdisciplinary Art. Promoting a Social Didactic in the City

Panel 8: Publics/Practitioners

Jeremy Liu (Creative Ecology Partners, USA) De-Industrializing the American Dream, One Social Network at a Time

Hiroko Kikuchi & Jeremy Liu (Creative Ecology Partners, USA) Creative Determinants of Health

Stephen Gambescia (Drexel University, USA) Running the Urban Landscape: Reconstructions of Risk

Marjan Verstappen (OCAD University, Canada) Mindfulness Technologies in ACT Therapy: Mobile Experience Lab at OCAD University

3:30-3:45am  Break

3:45-5:15PM Panels 9 & 10

Panel 9: Collectives/Conflicts

Scott Tate (Virginia Tech University, USA) Creative Confinements and Contestations: The Role of Art and Culture in Enabling or Transcending Urban Boundaries or Divisions

Michael Cumming (Ambitious City, Canada) Innovation in Urban Design Using Distributed Social Processes

Stefka Lubenova (York University, Canada)  Through or Head-On: Toronto’s Union Station Redevelopments

Panel 10: Narrative Spaces

Nate Mickelson (CUNY, USA) “Not with my hands/but with my imagination”: City Poetry and Spatial Practice in Lewis MacAdam’s The River

Antje Budde (University of Toronto, Canada) The Beauty of the Real(ity): How Street Scenes Make (Multi-Media) Performance

Martha Jane Nadell (Brooklyn College, USA) Imagining Brooklyn: Narratives of Space in Contemporary Fiction


Future Food Salon

Thursday  August 15th 9:45-11:30am  Panels 11 & 12

Panel 11: Scenes/Theory

David Toews (York University, Canada) The Power of the Contemporary Scene

Nadia Anderson (Iowa State University, USA) Pop-Up!  Time Check: Inverting the Apparatus of Post-Disaster Development

Uta Gelbke (Graz University of Technology, Austria) Zero Points of Resistance

Steve Bailey (York University, Canada) Innovation Between Heresy and Transcription

Panel 12: Specific Cities

Friederike Schroeder (University of Hamburg, Germany)Informality as Strategy: Experimenting with Urban Space in Guangzhou, China

Katharina Wischmann (University of Hamburg, Germany) & Michelle Catanzaro (University of Western Sydney, Australia) In/Visible Urban Contestations: Visual Explorations in Hamburg and Sydney

Ajay Gandhi (Max Planck Institute, Germany) Looking Without Seeing: Deliberate Forms of Obscurity in Delhi

Eric Erbacher (University of Münster, Germany) This Marx the Karl: Popular Music as a Catalyst for Social Innovation in Chemnitz, Germany

11:30-11:45am  Break

11:45-1:30pm  Panels 13 & 14

Panel 13: The Commons

Payal Arora (Erasmus University, Netherlands) Bridging Architectures of Innovation: Mapping the Urban and Digital Commons for a More Integrated Perspective

Francisco Cruces Villalobos (Grupo Cultura Urbana, UNED, Spain) Madrid Cosmopolis: Emerging Urban Practices and the Rise of a New Common Sense

Bruce Janz (University of Central Florida, USA) Digital Place and Urban Space

Panel 14: (Un)Natural Objects

Kelsey Speakman (York University, Canada) Long Live the Queen: Bee Stories of Love, Loss and Survival

Vladimir Mikadze (McGill University, Canada) Contemporary Cities and Place-Deviation: The Space-Contestation Practices of Urban Gardeners

Aidan Dahlin Nolan (New York University, USA) Community Canoe: Re-membering our Relationship with Urban Wetlands

1:30-3:30pm  Brunch
Scenes of Innovation Roundtable Discussion

3:45-5:00pm  IASCC Meeting