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IMAGING DETROIT


CONTENTS FOREWORD 03

IMPRESSIONS/Jayna Zweiman 70

INTRODUCTION/Anya Sirota 08

COUNTER-EXPERIMENT/Angela Last 74

MODCaR/Jean Louis Farges 16

STATESIDE/Mercedes Mejia 82

THE SITE/mos 20

GOING LIVE/Erika Lindsay 86

NEIGHBORS 26

DDF/Melinda Anderson/Jakki Kirouac 88

WORKING DRAWINGS 28

OUTSIDE IN/David Buuck 92

BUILD! /James Chesnut/Chris Reznich/Allen Gillers 30

NETWORK/Missy Ablin 96

THE LIBRARY/Allen Gillers 42

NEW SPIRIT OF CAPITALISM/David Adler 104

THE GALLERY/Marie Combes/Jean Louis Farges 46

OFF THE GRID/Gorham Bird 106

THE FORUM/Mireille Roddier 52

THE TEAM 109

SCREENING ROOM/ Missy Ablin 64

ACKNOLWEDGEMENT110

POP UP SNACK BOYS/Allen Gillers 66

CREDITS 111


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forEwOrd This is the story of Imaging Detroit, a pop-up agora and open air mediatheque. It took place in Detroit’s Perrien Park over the course of 36-hours on September 21st and 22nd of 2012, though the preparatory prelude was launched much earlier that spring when we received a Research On The City grant from Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning. The goal of the research, and by extension the event, was to study the relationship between Detroit’s media and material urbanity. Now it started from a deceptively simple premise. The past decade had witnessed Detroit’s arrival into the mediatized limelight as a seemingly limitless source of polemical buzz. Not surprisingly, images of Detroit went

places. They traveled with unequivocal transnational oomph, through documentary and biennale circuits alike, complicit and instrumental in all sorts of mimetic narratives. So why not hijack that representational energy? Why not project that image back? And in so doing, why not open a productive, uninhibited, public dialogue about the power of images and their consequences on urbanity. And let’s do it live. Step one: we would bring together the most comprehensive, though invariably partial, anthology of Detroitcentric media -- its documentaries, photography, music videos, and printed matter. Step two: we would make them publically available for scrutiny in a civically-spirited, accessible place. >>


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ANYA SIROTA MIREILLE RODDIER JEAN LOUIS FARGES

>> Next: we would invite a series of local, national, international discourse jockeys – thinkers, writers, economists, activists, artists, policy-makers, bureaucrats, architects, urbanists, landscape architects, music aficionados, academics, and entrepreneurs – to help initiate the open assessment. The result would be both an experiment in fieldwork and a methodological complot for collecting the broadest and most inclusive analysis of the material at stake. To make this work, we would need a site – one fuzzy enough not to ferment associations with the imagistic sensibilities of ubiquitous ruination, tactical optimism, unbridled entrepreneurialism or any of the other tropes that define Detroit’s perceived persona. We would side with the possibilities of a landscape in all of its coming-un-doneless, porosity and informality. And we would

insert the temporary infrastructure necessary to signify and enable civic accommodation, serendipitous encounter and conversation. In material form this would amount to a screening pavilion, a library, gallery, forum, suspended ball and food lot. In the process of making Imaging Detroit, we were able to explore the extraordinary networks that have been established in a city that is anything but neutral, to meet some of the critical makers behind the images, as well as to connect with those featured in the frame, and to speculate about the power of representation in a dispersed urbanity. This book brings together some of our thoughts and impressions about our intervention and methods, which in our view are critical to engaging research in the city. We hope that you enjoy it.


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INTRODUCTION ANYA SIROTA

08 08

Imaging Detroit was an joyful experiment, research strategy, and situational encounter that spanned a number of concentrated months, but found public and material expression over the course of a two-day media festival in a park on Detroit’s Near East Side. The project started with two parallel, but interrelated explorations. First, we wanted to make sense of the extraordinary influx of representations and mediatized attention that Detroit has recently garnered. At the same time, we planned to lay bare the position of social networks in dispersed urban environments – with Detroit as case study. The intersection of the research would allow us to reflect upon

how images of Detroit are produced, disseminated and consumed, and to speculate about the generative power of representations in the material environment. Our gamble with representation started with the assumption that a city as dispersed, punctured, and dilated as Detroit cannot count on serendipitous social and spatial proximities. Its urbanity, spread over an extended territory, would seem antithetical to the pleasures of chance-comingup-on-ness, and consequently would require extensive virtual or tangible networking, a kind of hyperconnectivity, to animate the realm of public happenstance. Understand Detroit’s networked logics and operational social systems, and >>


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Marie Combes/ Serie Les Fugitives


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>> you gain access to a more consequential field of intervention – a seductive and critical idea for any architect, planner, artist or activist concerned with engaged work in the city.

grid there is little material access to media networks – both televised and interactive – and with the additional burden of a forty percent illiteracy rate, even the dissemination of printed matter proves ultimately illusive.

Out of context, there is nothing particularly disarming about Detroit’s dispersal. Its inner-city density is no more dissolved or diffuse than, say, Atlanta or Denver. In fact, a great number of American cities, drawing little alarm or attention, are designed to sustain densities far thinner than Detroit. The city’s particularly challenges are situated firmly in the realm of the socio-economic, so much so, that the idea of virtual hyperconnectivity emerges, quite simply, as myth. There are unquestionably infrastructural and virtual hubs. But, with more than fifty percent of Detroit’s population living off

Paradoxically, Detroit is one of the most imaged cities on earth. Its representations – now standards of the coffee-table-sublime – travel far beyond the city’s physical boundaries, responding to a collective contemporary infatuation with urban obsolescence, aestheticized decay, and the abstraction of economic wreckage. The images of Detroit come invariably with accompanying narratives, which whether explicit or inferred, often move between fantastic extremes. Some lament the irrecoverable symbolic loss of capital cache. Others fetishistically exalt tactical opportunism. But more than >>


>> a mere delivery system for melancholy, nostalgia, or DIY gestalt, these images project complex and contradictory meanings that precede any tangible experience of the city itself. And yet Detroiters often do not get to see them or comment. So there’s the rub. To proceed with an analysis of Detroit’s mediatized image without local input would serve to reinscribe the rift between the framer and the framed, the subject and its constructed significations. Instead, we would aim to collapse these binaries and to enable feedback from multiple contingencies. This would require a common ground. A meeting place. An inclusive cultural infrastructure. And to that end, we set out to facilitate an event as anthology and public agora. For its purposes, we would collect of all of the documentary and photographic media produced on

the subject of Detroit over the past ten years. Then we would access its symbolic, semantic, and projective meanings collectively. Imaging Detroit was, therefore, as much an event as a research strategy that aimed to minimize subjective distanciation, to create a space of dissensus where the staged disjunction between representation, discourse and experience could be exposed. And I think we may have achieved this. Bringing together hundreds of representations of Detroit with national and international speakers from a myriad of disciplinary perspectives, inviting neighborhood participation, engaging Detroit’s government and cultural agencies – we produced interactions, however uncomfortable, between radically different contingencies. The dialogue that emerged was amazing.

Producing Imaging Detroit required countless decisions. And in conjunction with media analysis, the evolving mechanics of the project formed the very basis of our research. The texts in this book assemble some of the people, processes, connections, mishaps and evaluations that we have reflected upon since Imaging Detroit was staged. The collection is invariable partial. And we believe that our ongoing research and engagement with help fill in the blanks.

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MODcaR JEAN LOUIS FARGES

The Metropolitan Observatory for Digital Culture & Representation

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To produce Imaging Detroit we decided to structure a discrete institutional platform, one which we called MODCaR – The Metropolitan Observatory of Digital Culture and Representation. This approach would allow us to operate authoritatively but with a blank slate and without any symbolic associations. To align ourselves with an existing institution would mean to transfer figurative baggage, to risk alienating some, affiliating ourselves too closely with others. It would mean also plugging into an existing network and its irrecoverable backstories. We wanted to trace the project’s arrival and projected ascendency on the virtual scene – produce our own diagnostics and situate ourselves as research specimens.

Starting an institution would require a name, preferably an acronym - one neutral enough to sound official, but also friendly and approachable. We settled on MODCaR for its fuzzy connotations and domain availability. We designed a website, and wrote a mission statement: The Metropolitan Observatory for Digital Cultural and Representation is a nomadic research organization predicated on the idea that urban experience is conditioned by images. We study how images of cities are produced, diffused, and perceived. We understand that image-making patterns are unstable, semantically charged, sometimes floating, and that the representation of place may precede or surpass aspirations toward authoritative transcription. Our charge is to explore visual narratives at the national


and international scale and to render explicit the complex relationship between experience, the constructed image, meaning and the public. The Observatory’s mission is twofold. First, we aim to produce and sponsor events that stimulate dialogue and interest in urban representation. We believe that image-making is a powerful tool for communication and impact; consequently, we seek to understand the mechanisms of contemporary media, digital culture, and networks. In parallel, our goal is to produce analytical tools for the understanding of urban representation and in support of self-organizing, emergent systems. We also launched a fellowship program, and selected three fellows from three distinct disciplines and geographies. >>

17 Brittany Nicole Gacsy/ MODCaR product design


>> We structured a virtual gift shop. And then we began to track. We tracked traffic on Google. On Facebook. We came up with strategies to gain a following on Twitter. As MODCaR, we were networking, studying the conventions, grammars and idiosyncrasies of public and imagistic communication. We put out an open call for participation: Imaging Detroit is a collective event and a public assemblage. Between September 21st and 23rd, 2012 the Metropolitan Observatory for Digital Culture and Representation will host an unprecedented open assessment and contemporary anthology of Detroit as local and global image. This 48-hour long temporary screening, exhibition, and performance venue - in Detroit and on Detroit - will MODCaR web traffic geolocated/06.12-09.12


serve as a catalyst for the exploration of the city’s manufactured meanings. Invited DJ’s (discourse jockeys) will help mix the discussion for the occasion. INVITATION TO PARTICIPATE: We are delighted to extend an invitation for public participation. Imaging Detroit casts its call widely. The project seeks to collect and juxtapose both an anthology of existing visual documentation on Detroit and alternative visions that have not been made public, or are yet to exist. Videos, films, slides, photographs, and performance proposals are welcome. WHY DETROIT? Detroit’s image is not neutral. Layered, complex, and charged, it occupies an unparalleled locus in the global imaginary. And while this fact is not new, its power is unequivocal, situating Detroit as a symbolic test site for the reconfiguration of the collective urban

experience. In this scenario, the cumulative image precedes the city, conditions our very perception of it, and suggests that the self-reflexive embrace of this effect may have transformative potential. Imaging Detroit is a platform for the exploration of the generative competencies of the city as representation, in all of its dissonance, hybridity, permissiveness, serendipity, mutable anatomy, and cultural possibility.

visual anthropology, docufiction, salvage ethnography, performance, experimental narrative, agitprop, still photography, new forms of visualization, other. Please provide a link to a preview. In your submission also include your name, contact information and short bio. Proposals should be sent to either our postal or email addresses. Final submissions due on September 1, 2012.

SUBMITTAL GUIDELINES: Proposals are due on August 3rd, 2012. Send us a single page with no more than 200 words. Include a title, your media and scale or length of your work. Indicate if there are any specific requirements for staging or viewing the material. We are accepting projected media in a number of categories: low-tech short shorts, short, medium-length, and feature. Content may include: documentation, direct cinema,

Imaging Detroit is made possible through the generous support of a Research on the City Grant from Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning Then submissions started to come in…

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THE SITE M.O.S. FILTER

Perrien Park, corner of Chene Street and Warren Avenue, on Detroit’s Near East Side - here situated within a collection of impressions selected from conversations with passersby and neighbors during the construction of Imaging Detroit

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Chene Street used to be bustling. Anything you wanted could be purchased here. It was a commercial bloodline in Detroit – really alive! Some of the older residents say it could rival Broadway in New York City, I don’t know if that’s true. But, people would come here to shop, eat out, listen to music... now that might be hard to believe. Near Perrien Park – there is one small grocery store left where you can buy a slice of pizza, and it’s amazing that they are still in business. There is still an economy here. But it involves everything prohibited, illegal. It’s a tough environment. Northeastern High School was located in the empty lot across the street from Perrien Park. And when school got out, all the kids would come hang out in the park. Now many of them were musicians, incredible musicians. And many of them ended up being a part of Motown and its history. They would play music in the park, sometimes late into the night. Of

course, Northeastern has been demolished. Nothing but an empty lot left. But the graduates from Northeastern still get together for their yearly reunions here. There is no building. Just memories. And that’s maybe enough. Garvey In The Park Celebration is something that happens here in Perrien Park. The event has moved around, but it does take place here now. Families, vendors, shoppers, drummers and musicians come together for an all day party. There’s spoken word, drumming and dancing. Vendors are selling food, jewelry, clothing. They say that strikes happened here, and other protests. The neighborhood was packed, and Perrien Park was a central place to meet. I think the meat packers held a really big strike here in the 30’s. Warren Avenue was an unspoken boundary. The Polish community lived >>


>> to the North. The African American lived to the South. And Perrien Park was literally a green zone. A meeting place – where people could walk their dogs together, listen to music together. Where things got blurred. I personally rarely stepped foot south of Perrien Park. For a really long time. The National Guard was camped here in 67. Things were tense.

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Sure we use gazebo. We’re hosting a birthday party here now, we’ve been coming here for years. There used to be electricity out here, and we would bring our barbeque. Now we also bring this small generator, so we can light the area after dark. The city cuts the grass here twice a year. At the beginning of the season and at the end. Now that is not often enough, and mid

summer, you literally can’t tell what hiding in the grass. So often the neighbors come out and cut it themselves. Make it usable. Give the dogs a place to run. When the high school reunions take place, they cut the grass in preparation for the event. If you look over across the street at the 26 acre lot where the school used to stand it looks a lot like this park. The lot is for sale now and completely open, and its mowed pretty often. But the activity happens here in Perrien Park and not across the street. That’s a funny thing about this piece of land. It might not be as kept as it once was, but people still know that it’s public land, and that has meaning. So they are more likely to use it, to take care of it, to look out for it.


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NEIGHBORS


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WORKING drawings


BUILD! JAMES CHESNUT CHRISTOPHER REZNICH ALLEN GILLERS

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Imaging Detroit was a deployable cultural infrastructure – built off site, trucked in, and assembled over the course of several weeks in Perrien Park. Our aim was to build big, fast, light and cheap, to use simple, vernacular materials and assembly logics, and, most importantly, to deploy onsite construction as public interphase - visible and accessible. Building as public process would allow us to create a presence, to render the project gradually legible and, however contemporary or alien in form, contextual through relational bonds. The resulting support that we received, both moral and manual, was moving and critical to the success of the project. Building big in this context, was not conceived solely as an act of pomp >>


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>> or spectacle, it was a tactic to create a visible indicator of programmatic emergence on the expansive six acre site - to have the structure work as marker and public invitation. To inflate the scale of the intervention while working within a clear budgetary framework, we planned to supersize a skeletal system and insert a series of programmatic pockets. We soon realized that using metal scaffolding would prove unfeasible due to the material’s resale value (a provocation to scrap). Consequently we turned to stick frame construction - studs, screws and plywood sheathing – a ubiquitous building technique securely outside of the recycling market. Using dimensional lumber we fabricated trusses and walls, connected the elements with rafters, and

produced four distinct programmatic spaces. We worked off site to design, test, and adjust the structure prior to the final installation. This strategy of preemptive assembly and deinstallation enabled us to strategically tweak the components of the “pop-up”, insuring that it could, in fact, be raised quickly and without incident. To build at a consequential scale, we developed step by step procedures. First, we would layout the parts – plates, sluds, cords and webs; next, assemble the elements horizontally on the ground; stand and brace; connect to constituent components; and finally, paint the plywood surfaces “hot lips” pink. The programmed spaces (cinema, gallery, forum, and library) were, thus, linked together by a system of trusses, rendering the overall aggregate porous, playful, and inclusive.

It was critical to us not to enclose the program in a series of pavilions, not produce thresholds, not to segregate the landscape in any way. The project was tactically sited in order to ensure maximum programmatic fluidity, exchange, accidental encounter, which much like the organization of the construction unit itself remained mutable in scale and charge from design to realization. But perhaps the most compelling thing about working with stick frame construction is that the materials and methods so easily plug into Detroit’s residential fabric. When Imaging Detroit was deconstructed, its sheathing and framework were redistributed to community organizations for the reconstruction of porches and sheds. So hints of pink remain…


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the sign JAMES CHESNUT

40

When planning a media festival on a six acre park, where do you begin? How do you announce the project without seeming invasive? How do you render the coming attraction visible without disturbing the informal uses and layered emergent programs on a complex site populated by various discrete groups? How do you use the site to both bypass and engage mediatization? In the case of Imaging Detroit, we started with a sign - a ten foot high, sixty foot long stud and plywood structure designed to indicate that something new was in the works. The sign, produced through an anamorphic projection of Imaging Detroit’s letters onto the oblique surfaces of a triangulated truss, was positioned at

the intersection of Warren Avenue and Chene Street. The sign’s privileged vantage point both emphasized the entrance to the park and when askew created a graphic sense of motion for passing pedestrians and vehicles. The sign went up six weeks before the event itself, presenting us with our first opportunity for public engagement with local residents, passers-by, police officers, religious leaders, and news organization. Many were concerned about the risk of putting up a sign so far in advance of the event itself, warning that in a park as generally overlooked as Perrien, securing durability, no matter how ephemeral, would be a difficult task. The park showed signs of ordinary neglect – broken street lights, cut


wires, tall grasses. From neighbors, we learned that typically the park was landscaped twice a season, but that often times local residents would help with the intermittent maintenance themselves. We learned, too, that Perrien Park was an asset to its neighborhood and used frequently by the local residents. Almost immediately after the sign was installed on site, the park witnessed the arrival of regular maintenance crews. Grass was cut regularly, and the garbage removed. Some residents attribute this to the event and the presence of the sign. The sign remained in its original condition on maintained landscape for nearly six weeks until just days before the event.


42


THE LIBRARY The curatorial project for Imaging Detroit’s librarians was to showcase as broad a range of printed material as possible, including both widely distributed and self-published titles that figure Detroit as protagonist or visual luminary. The assembled genres were similarly wide-ranging: historical, projective, photographic, architectural, speculative, comic, personal, anonymous etc. Formats extended from local self-published pamphlets to high-end foreign art presses. The Library also featured work that has had limited public exposure: reports from academic studies and conference proceedings, artists’ monographs, journals, etc. Carefully Curated works were combined throughout the library’s

shelves with the freely submitted and donated, thereby adding an overlay of the untamed with the manicured. The content of the library is a curated combination of eminence, inconspicuousness, notoriety, opportunism, activism, and self-reflection. The ultimate collection offered a kaleidoscopic vision of Detroit – past, present and future – at Perrien Park’s northeastern entrance. For many visitors, this vision acted as the event’s threshold, and allowed visitors to peruse the varied titles individually before joining the collective

ALLEN GILLERS


45


the GALLERY

46


Marie Combes/ Serie Les Fugitives


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49

Marie Combes/ Serie Les Fugitives


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51

MODCaR’s Simple Guide to the Picturesque/ Jean Louis Farges


THE FORUM MIREILLE RODDIER

52

Producing the Imaging Detroit anthology involved screening hundreds of contemporary documentary works, each with a storyline that, aside from a few notable ones, asserted itself as an authoritative portrayal of Detroit. Some of them were even produced purely to counter previously propagated depictions. From the collection of films, a handful of predominant narratives emerged, loosely organized around six different themes: Culture Now!, Productive Pastoral, Reboot, Post-America, DoIt-Together and Pride, respectively centered around: the role of the arts in the economy of the city, the surplus of vacant land as a resource, Detroit as the ideal “platform for entrepreneurial explosion,” Detroit

as world-headquarters of ruin porn, self-organized community building, and lastly, Detroiters’ incomparable spirit of resilience and pride. These themes became the basis for six different collections of screenings, which were edited into 35-minute segments of shorts, trailers and excerpts. The intention was not only to make these representations public and accessible to Detroiters, but more importantly to run them by the local public and receive its feedback and commentaries. By explicitly projecting the representations of Detroit in the city, a strange mise-en-abyme was staged which enabled the possibility to frame the artifice of the narrative constructs themselves. The margins for either credence or suspended >>


54


>> disbelief were removed, as the images reflected back from international filmmakers and global productions were confronted with the reality of the instant, the city, and its subjects. The Detroit public, which had been actively invited over the course of the previous months, was as essential to the forum as the films projected. If Detroit has served as a mirror to the filmmakers wanting confirmation of the narratives they projected upon it, the public reflected those projections right back into questions, activating the site into a choreographed moment of truth. Between the films and the public, thirty-two experts were invited to mediate and orchestrate the conversation. As the third

indispensable component of the forum, the Discourse-Jockeys engaged the conversation through the relation between their own expertise and the constructed images discussed. The six original and over-generalizing narratives de-multiplied into thirtytwo points of view, refining nuances in the differing attitudes. Each of the six screening sessions was followed by a conversation led by five or six of the carefully curated DJ’s. Each panel maximized the potential for face-toface dialogues that rarely find form in physical space, let alone in public space. Engaged in the discussion were theorists and practitioners, insiders and outsiders, elected officials and anarchists, moneymakers and Marxist critics, Detroiters and foreigners,

media moguls and iconoclasts, cultural producers and neo-Luddites. Debate ensued, sometimes between DJs, sometimes between a DJ and a public participant, and tensions undeniably manifested in unedited tonal and facial expressions. Staging the spatial relations between the films, the public and the DJs, the pop-up architecture of the event attempted to instigate the paradoxical nature of the forum. Public microphones, as well as a multitude of yellow MDF-capped Sonotube seats of varying heights were scattered through out the freshly cut grass, inviting the public and the DJs to informally seat and exchange ideas and point of views, free of imposed hierarchal structure. >>


>> Television screens were mounted on a wall that functioned as both the focus of attention during the screenings and an informational backdrop during the conversational sessions. The forum was also framed by the “barnacle wall”, which filtered the afternoon light, producing a simultaneously grand yet incredibly modest environment for a set of sessions that showed no trace of paradoxical deficiencies: between Detroit as its subject, its object, and its site, the forum reified the very space of Derridean différance, existing both as signifier and signified, occurring after the films yet before the cameras, producing synthesis as data. As architects, our attempt was to activate to the best of our abilities, a space of democracy—a space that, in the words of Chantal Mouffe, cannot

consist of pure consensus but must include dissent and disagreement: an agonistic public space. “In a pluralist democracy, such disagreements should be considered legitimate and indeed welcome,” she writes. “They provide different forms of citizenship identification and are the stuff of democratic politics.”1 For Jacques Rancière, the space of dissensus is more precisely located between two types of pedagogies, ethical immediacy and representational mediation. It’s positioned in the conflict, as he writes, between sense and sense, “between a sensory presentation and a way of making sense of it, or between several sensory regimes and/or ‘bodies’.”2 The intentions behind the design of the forum as an event-space, were precisely to enhance the possibilities of this dissensus, through the conjunction

of the three processes that, according to Rancière, define the paradigm of a critical art when enacted concurently: “first, the production of a sensory form of ‘strangeness’; second, the development of an awareness of the reason for that strangeness and third, a mobilization of individuals as a result of that awareness.”3 The strangeness was certainly by design, was inevitably experienced, awkwardly acknowledged and intensively discussed. As for the outcome of its mobilization, it’s too early to tell, but the seeds were planted. ____

Chantal Mouffe, “For an Agonistic Public Sphere” in Okwui Enwezor ed., Democracy Unrealized (OstifildernRuit, Germany: Hatje Cantz Publishers, 2002): 89.

1

Jacques Rancière, “The Paradoxes of Political Art,” in Dissensus: On Politics and Aesthetics (Continuum, 2010): 137.

2


57


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61


What we all need to be working on is a larger agenda, which isn’t about how to market Detroit. We should be thinking about how to transfer the knowledge that has been produced here, which might actually be unique. -- Miguel Robles-Duran

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64


the SCREENING ROOM MISSY ABLIN

Of documentaries produced in the past decade featuring a city-as-protagonist Detroit is a contendor for if not the star of the decade. Seeking to anthologize Detroit’s diffuse celebrity we began its curatorial process with a list of over 100 documentaries, films, and music videos. The initial inventory would provide non-stop screening for a week. And our progamming was scheduled to run for two days. To narrow things down, we spent weeks screening material accessible and contacting filmmakers for works not available in the public domain. We aimed to collect a range of contemporary works - diverse in format and content - in order to produce a pluralistic, collective, nuanced and timely portrayal of a

heterogeneous city. To this end we cast a wide call for submission of both new and existing work, unedited or highly polished. Submissions came in from New York, Turkey, Melbourne and other dispersed locations. They came from folks who found our call for submission on Bustler, Facebook, Twitter and from chance meetings with filmmakers working in Detroit. Without a budget allocated for screening fees, our ultimate compilation of fifty some films came from those willing to donate to the dialogue. The Screening Room ran continuously for 25hours:15minutes:45 seconds, projecting back onto Detroit the images and narratives created about it. Free and open for all to watch and discuss.

65


66

Ji Hye Kim/San Street


pop up snack boys ALLEN GILLERS

Everyone loves food. For Imaging Detroit MODCaR partnered with Mark’s Carts to bring tasty treats to Perrien Park. The perfect compliment to our ephemeral urbanity, food carts were parked on the Grandy Street edge of the site offering a wide range of epicurean delights. Meat lovers, Vegetarians and Vegans alike, everyone had a chance to join in a communal meal. To make the food accessible to everyone, the Pop-up Snack boys spontaneously emerged, trays in hand, passing out generous samples throughout the day. The Snack Boys’ main objective was to avoid lines of any kind, and to offer a friendly alternative to other common methods of food distribution. Neither soup kitchen, nor formal affair; it was simply an inclusive continuation of the public dialogue over food.


The celebratory discourse threatens to allow those outside of the city to be like, “well there’s even less reasons now to allocate tax resources, look they’re doing fine, didn’t you see all of these amazing inspiring videos?

-- DAVID BUUCK

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69


70


JAYNA ZWEIMAN impressions from a Los Angeles media consultant on the outside working in

My main charge at Imaging Detroit was to create and use social media and communication strategies to bring people to a park that only its neighbors knew for an unusual event that was dependent on participation. It was a multilateral effort of creating digital places and spaces, organizing dozens of hours of films and discourse jockey- led programming, and physically designing and building

Imaging Detroit that brought hundreds of people together one drizzly September weekend. The combination and play between different ways of approaching and reaching people was evident in the diversity of participants. From moving back and forth between pavilions some of the people I met were neighbors, a fireman, a DJ from Camaroon, a professor from New York, a person >>

71


>> who lives at the Packard plant, a teamster, and someone with a goal of turning open land in Detroit into a fish farm. Every so often, a person driving a car along Warren Avenue would slow down and shout out to me, “Hey, What is this?” We would talk, and sometimes, she would join.

72

Imaging Detroit was an alternate ephemeral reality. The new physical environment Imaging Detroit created was an architecture that was typologically hard to place. Because it wasn’t a bus stop, a gas station, a

library, there was no clear precedent of how exactly to move through it, how to be in it. Because of its freshness, there was more possibility for people to meet, watch, relax, talk, and listen. Networks of academics, filmmakers, business people, community leaders, neighbors, students, unemployed folks, musicians, designers, and architects converged in one spot. It involved building relationships and spaces to culminate in a weekend of interactions in Perrien Park. Imaging Detroit became a node.


73


COUNTER-experiment detroit ANGELA LAST

Mutable Matter, Metropolitan Observatory of Digital Culture and Representation Fellow 2012

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‘So, what brings you to this place of Post-Fordism?’ Somewhat confusingly, I was asked this question not in Detroit, but at a Jamaican food stall in Hulme, Manchester. Having literally just returned from Detroit, this felt like an odd reprise – as did seeing the ruined entrails of the Hulme Hippodrome where my band was performing at a fundraiser for Youth Village. It seemed like an apt place to write something on a very different festival, Imaging Detroit, which was put on at Detroit’s Perrien Park byMODCaR, a ‘coalition of builders, writers, designers, photographers, teachers, filmmakers, landscapers, graphic designers and students’ founded by architects Mireille Roddier, Anya Sirota and Jean Louis Farges and sponsored by the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of

Architecture and Urban Planning (TCAUP). Having lost my notes somewhere in the dark while fiddling with the film projector, I have to reconstruct things from memory. (I hope I do get the chance to listen back to all of the panels, although there were many irretrievable informal conversations going on in the park, between and amongst Detroiters and visitors.) For those who have not read my earlier posts, I participated in the Imaging Detroitfestival as a MODCaR fellow, contributing a short ‘illustrated podcast’ called ‘Sounds Like Detroit’. The festival aimed to draw attention to – and discuss – what could be described as a ‘representation war’ over the city. So far, the people at MODCaR have unearthed over 150 documentaries on the birthplace of


Fordism, most of them produced in the last few years: by activists, artist, film-makers from inside and outside Detroit, and, more recently, by big corporations. About fifty of those films were debated by the Imaging Detroit audience and so called ‘discourse jockeys’ (moderators/discussants) under the six most prominent film themes: Culture Now!, Productive Pastoral, Reboot, Post-America, Do-it-together and Pride. Since these representations continue to affect Detroiters in a myriad of ways, the discussions often became very agitated and emotional. Due to my inability to give a summary of the entire event, I will focus on the term that most stuck with me: experimentation – a term that is currently proliferating in academic and activist circles, an empassioned

example being Doreen Massey’s recent call for experimentation at the‘Maps for an Island Planet’ event. Detroit has often been described as a socio-economic experiment. Its mythical chief experimenter, Henry Ford, has become associated with the proliferation of a new mass production system, technological innovation, intrusive worker control (through the company���s own ‘Sociological Department’), encouragement of working class property ownership and the staging of Ford’s own version of industrial history in the Greenfield model village. Detroit’s infrastructure, characterized by isolated neighborhoods (dis)connected by freeways, counts as a combined experiment in car culture promotion and racial segregation.

At Imaging Detroit, experimentation featured strongly as a theme in both panels and films. While some people saw themselves as victims of capitalist/corporate/white American experimentation, others asserted the role of the experimenter. Those that regarded themselves as experimented on often voiced hope for an influx of either large or small businesses in order to normalise the city. The experimenters, on the other hand, made clear that Detroiters were not powerless guinea pigs, but in fact leading the way in matters such as civil rights, workers rights and alternative imaginaries against corporate America. Obviously, no neat separation between experimenters and experimented could be traced, as people frequently felt part of both positions: as victims of a ‘shock doctrine’ approach to >>>>

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>> public services (to use the words of activist Shea Howell who, I think also suggested that ‘those people who keep arguing for less government involvement in their lives should all move to Detroit!’), and as people who are honing tactics against and beyond it.

experimenters such as her, the African symbolises the ‘we/us/our whereas the American signifies ‘I/me/mine’: ‘As long as you keep functioning as an individual, we can’t even take advantage of the blight to take control of our community, to build what it is that we won’t build.’

So why Detroit? Coming across to me from the different and differing voices during the festival was a sense that it is exactly this history of inequality and aggressive advertisement of individualist consumer culture that serves as a provocation to try something else. Audrey Hunter, an interviewee in the film ‘Détroit, un rêve en ruine’, gave an example of the inspiration that many black activists in the city draw on: the tension between the concepts they associate with ‘African’ and ‘American’. For

This image was occasionally evoked against the perceived media stereotype of Detroit as being ‘full of enterprising young white people and… then there are these ‘soulful’ black people’ (discourse jockey Cornelius Harris). The question of control, or rather the struggle over control of representations of the city, was crucial to many debates. This struggle, to me, was particularly made present through the series Detroit: Overdrive: loud, fast and ultra-high definition (the biggest file

size in the whole programme), this adrenaline-inducing documentary comes as slick and corporate as it gets. Sponsored by General Motors and aired by the Discovery Channel’s ironically titled Planet Green, this documentary is clearly produced as a counter-narrative to both economic blight and alternative economics. It is interesting that, while many ‘blight’ stories seem intended mostly as cautionary fables for audiences outside of the city, Detroit: Overdrive sought to inspire both inside and outside. Advertised in downtown Detroit on huge billboards, the posters claimed: ‘This is your story – we are just telling it!’ And what is the story? Detroit as the continued seat of All-American commerce and innovation, now turning out products such as Kid Rock’s ‘Badass’ beer and Motor City themed designer jeans. >>


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>> This strategy, to quote ‘discourse jockey’ and photographer Noah Stephens, can be summarised as: ‘Gentrify the popular imagination of Detroit.’ This may raise alarm bells with people in cities such as London where gentrification has very negative associations with misguided development, rarely benefitting those it claims to support, e.g. Docklandslike social segregation or higher rents forcing out the original population, something which, according to local film-maker Oren Goldenberg, is already happening in some parts of Detroit. In the case of Detroit: Overdrive, and documentaries in this vein, it felt as if the over-the-top, big budget representation of innovation as a driver of prosperity had been wheeled out as a piece of heavy artillery against the ramshackle army

of comparatively lo-fi images of ridicule, doom and utopian visions (although, it has to be said, some low budget ‘gentrification’ attempts also exist). Like the media wars during the American presidential elections, the struggle for the supremacy of visions appears to be in full swing: whose vision will take hold of the popular imagination? Will alternative experiments stand a chance against the corporate PR machine? And what do these experiments consist of ? The latter question seems to be the most difficult, as it became evident from listening to all of the panels. There was a feeling that people from outside Detroit were attracted to the city precisely for this experimentation, but often just ‘parachuted in, talking and doing nothing’ (audience comment). In the first panel, the

suggestion was made for Detroiters to network with other ‘experimental spaces’ in the world, to learn from one another’s unique strategies against common problems, and to disseminate this knowledge (e.g. discourse jockey Miguel Robles-Duran). Here, Sabine Gruffat’s film ‘I have always been a dreamer’, an unlikely comparison (at first glance) of Detroit andDubai, provided food for thought. In this sense, Imaging Detroit did feel like a moment of learning and experimentation, albeit on a small scale. How much experimentation took place and will take place by its participants? This is difficult to track and perhaps an irrelevant question. What seems, on the other hand, more relevant, is that Detroit, as a place of exchanging and working on visions is, indeed, ‘open for business’.


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if only the people who really don’t want government in their lives would come here, they’d find out what its like, and could resettle the city. - Margi Dewar


STATESIDE MERCEDES MEJIA

Michigan National Public Radio

Film festival shines spotlight on Detroit

People are making a lot of movies about Detroit these days. More than 60 of those films will be screened this weekend at an outdoor film festival in Detroit’s Perrien Park. Organizers hope to spark conversation about how Detroit is seen by Michiganders, and the rest of the world. 25 hours, 15 minutes and 45 seconds of film, documentaries and music videos - all about Detroit.

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“It’s kind of wild how many [films] have been made in the last 3 or 4 years...I wasn’t aware it was on this scale,” said filmmaker Nicole Macdonald. She was born and raised in Detroit. Her documentary A City to Yourself will be in the festival.

A lot of the films are what you’d expect. There are stories of abandonment, stories about crime, but there are also films about Detroit’s pride, and there’s some of the bizarre side of the city. The film festival is all of these images put together in one place. Anya Sirota is an Assistant Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. And she’s one of the festival’s organizers. “We’ve sort of made a cocktail, but we don’t know what it’s going to taste like,” Sirota said. She says the event is kind of like a neighborhood block party, with some movies, food and music. But, instead of DJ’s - they’ll have discourse jockeys - who move around the crowd getting


conversation going about the images people are seeing. “We’ve put in some ingredients we’ve invited some people, they all have different perspectives. We don’t know what the result in conversation is going to be,” Sirota said. This whole idea started because international filmmakers from Paris and London where coming in to make movies about the city, but Detroiters weren’t getting to see them. “Detroit is such a mirror that reflects back what one wants to see,” said Mireille Roddier, an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Michigan. “And in that sense the productions that come from California are so very optimistic. Reflections that come >>

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Christopher McNamara of Thinkbox


...international filmmakers from Paris and London were coming in to make movies about the city, but Detroiters weren’t getting to see them... >> from Europe are obsessed with the fall of capitalism in the most predictable way. The reflections that come from Detroiters are very much about pride,” she said. But the festival organizers are not just going to watch the movies. As architects and urban designers, they’re going mine those films for data. They want to know who’s making those images, what parts of the city are represented most, and what kind of city do those movies reflect.

voices and faces,” he said. He’s also my partner, by the way. Like the other organizers of the festival he doesn’t know if residents are going to show up. But there is at least one local who’ll be there. Ralph Laviolette lives near Detroit’s eastside. He says movies about Detroit matter. “I think what they see and what they take pictures of are reality. And this is just the way it is….But a lot of us, don’t want to accept the truth,” said Laviolette.

James Chesnut is an architecture graduate student at the University of Michigan.

The film festival, Imaging Detroit runs Friday through Saturday in Detroit’s Perrien Park.

“We want the community to see how their city has been represented through both locals and international

//BROADCAST SEPTEMBER 20, 2012


GOING LIVE! ERIKA LINDSAY & MARTY KEETER

Digital Planet enabled Imaging Detroit to go live by providing an interactive video feed, internet interface and by supplying digital access to Perrien Park, a site typically off the network map.

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First, the park was wired. An open Wi-Fi network was available for access by all, and a closed network was set up for project volunteers. This on site participants to upload images and texts to social media over the span of the project. Next, two digital cameras were perched high in the tree canopies, enabling virtual visitors to access and even fight for control over

what the camera focused on. Users logged in from all over the world and down the street to play a remote part in the event by monitoring the activity on site. Having the ability to share a controllable video feed on Imaging Detroit’s not only animated the website, but engaged far flung participation and demonstrated how far-reaching this project became. Finally, a Tweet-Station was set up to engage all that came to the park; those that may not have had network access were able to become part of the digital discourse, sparking further dialogue.


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Devon Mudd/Digital Planet


DETROIT DESIGN FESTIVAL MELINDA ANDERSON & JAQUELIN KIROUAC Annually the Detroit Creative Corridor Center sponsors the Detroit Design Festival. Imaging Detroit was one of 66 projects featured in DDF2012. We spoke with Melinda Anderson and Jaquelin Kirouac of DC3 about DDF and its impact on the cultural landscape of the city

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Q: Tell us a little bit about what the Detroit Design Festival is. MELINDA ANDERSON: DDF is a design experience that takes place over five days in Detroit and it happens throughout a number of neighborhoods. This year we featured 66 events from so many different design avenues. The festival was created to highlight the design talent that we have here in Detroit, and we feel that this is really important. Other cities have these festivals, and thought why don’t we have one. So DDF was our answer to that question. Q: Is there a level of optimization? Is there an ideal scale for the festival? Or, is every year different? MA: We think about it as quality verses quantity. And we find that in

the last few years it’s been a little overwhelming for people – the volume of featured events. And so what we did purposely this year – is we scaled down the festival to really increase the quality, and to encourage collaborations, and meaningful collisions. So like Imaging Detroit in its work with the community and its partnerships – we really wanted to encourage that kind of collaboration, to foster it. Q: Tell us about the feedback that you have received and how it’s informing the way you are planning next year’s event. MA: A lot of the feedback has been about how people feel that the Detroit Design Festival is so scattered throughout the city. And


so we attempted to have nights that focused on clustering. We did try to dictate where these events could be, but we can’t control all of them. We did focus on creating a density, and we are planning on encouraging more proximity in the future. But we are also going to continue letting it grow organically. I feel like sometimes some of the best events and surprises were in neighborhoods that we would never have thought of. So it’s going to be a mixture. You know, it’s partly curated, partly crowd sourced. And I think that we are going to try to keep it around 60-ish events.

we don’t have what you would call a clear ‘design district’ or area where everyone is located. So for example, if we had really tried to cluster the neighborhoods, if we had been really staunch and strict about that, then projects like Imaging Detroit would never have been able to be part of it because the project was off the beaten path. But that was part of its charm. I think that it’s great that there are so many festivals – in Hart Plaza and in Midtown and in other neighborhoods – but it is important to highlight some areas that maybe do get overlooked. I thought it was great that

JAQUELIN KIROUAC: You know, we are working with the landscape of the city, and there are areas where things are little scattered in the city – and

Imaging Detroit was exploring new territories somewhere a little bit different and somewhere that was a little bit of a challenge to find >>

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>> for those who are not familiar with the area. And so I think that in addition to making it a user friendly experience, where people feel comfortable and safe, and can go knowing what to expect, it is cool to be able to push some of the boundaries, and tp have people leave their comfort zone to go somewhere new. MA: I think also, another part of the feedback was about our ability to curate experiences, and to give people navigational tools… so that instead of people feeling overwhelmed, we are going to offer suggestions, almost adventures for people next year to make it easier for them to access the festival.

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Q: How do you track the volume of people attending the event?

MA: Jackki was really instrumental in getting things on Facebook – to start tracking and asking questions through those platforms. Getting feedback from planners on their attendance, and sometimes, guessing, too. We do want to do a better job of tracking, but it’s a little tough because it’s not all contained in one area. Q: Is there an estimate on how many people attended the Detroit Design Festival this year? MA: Our estimates are about 12 to 15nthousand this year. Last year we had 10 thousand. But having a better tracking system is key. JK: It’s important to think about how formal we want to get with the question of tracking. Some of the

events, like Imaging Detroit, for example, or Lincoln Street Art Park are difficult to track. How many people drove by and saw your sign, or walked and interacted with it when you were still building? So there are things that you stumble upon, or are surprised with. Lincoln Street Art Park had a sensory experience where you really could have gone there anytime. So should we have a volunteer stationed there to count people with a clicker? Maybe. Maybe not. Some of the events lend themselves to having someone at the door counting and reporting back specific numbers. But, yes, some of it is open. Q: What are the tangible benefits from the event outside of the week of programming?


MA: Some of the exciting things that people reported to us were that through DDF people were able to gain a lot of new partners, to make connections. We also heard that DDF gave them an outlet to present new projects, and that they’re starting to think about DDF for next year, considering how they can improve things. To me the goal of is to provide a platform to showcase work that’s happening through the city. And I think that DDF really does that. I’m really proud of work that emerges. People talk about the festival and its tangible benefits. Some design galleries having experienced more sales during this time, some have reported new fans, and just the people to people interaction is key.

Q: Do you think that the mission of DC3 or the design festival has adjusted itself based on the iterations? MA: I think that we have always been clear in what DDF is, and have allowed it to grow organically. It is very shaped by the city. I feel our festival is different from what could see in Design Philadelphia or The London Design Festival. So we really try to stay true to that and true to Detroit.

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OUTSIDE IN DAVID BUUCK

Over the course of the two day festival, David Buuck, poet, urbanist, performance writer, and MODCaR fellow conducted field research. These are some of his notes. David lives in Oakland, California.

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Responses to field research questions: What annoys you about what outsiders think of Detroit? People who make money off of Detroit without that money staying or returning here. “The Ruins of Detroit.” That it’s scary. The propagations of fear. The “just get your act together” attitude and “give us some cars”. 90% aren’t at the table. Access & distributions of representations. Gap between Detroit proper and the suburbs. Why does it take a Super Bowl to get people to come in. If the city shuts down, outsiders are like, “oh well.” Why bother bailing out. People are more interesting than buildings. Ruin porn.

How would you like to see Detroit represented to outsiders? Come see all of it before you judge or make opinions. It’s no different from any other city; everyone has similar struggles. Realize that it’s always changing. Acknowledge the scale and the richness of the culture. Open-source radio, free wifi, etc. — give free access to other voices. Get neighborhoods involved. Should be represented better than this. Pride in auto industry —came back, like Kid Rock says. More. Show me some people. Real Detroiters.


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What does a defeated class do? Reclaim the future start with food & thicker chains be open to tweaking who mowed the lawn off and popping people power — Detroit : September 2012 David Buuck


NETWORK MISSY ABLIN

In an effort to connect with the social network of Detroit, MODCaR joined Facebook. Slowly we made friends. People ‘liked’ us from nearby, Detroit, Ypsilanti, New York, and from afar Japan, Algeria, Chile and more. To increase our reach we began ‘liking’ organizations spanning Detroit’s film and arts communities, civic and regional pages, film festivals throughout Michigan as well as a range of national and international pages with whom we wanted to connect. Liking pages allowed us to post calls for participation, festival updates and stimulating imagery to

we tweeted @Invincible, who eventually followed us; we tweeted @BreezeeOne and were thrilled when she tweeted back...

create a digital buzz in Detroit for Imaging Detroit. We posted calls for submission on all of our newly liked pages. People ‘liked’ our calls for submission. Those who ‘liked’ MODCaR, ‘liked’ and ‘shared’ the imagery and video we posted to our page. Our reach peaked when we created an event page extending an open invitation to Imaging Detroit, 268 confirmed they were ‘going.’ In total, we ‘liked’ 211 Detroit Organizations and Businesses. We ‘liked’ 37 European organizations and 30 blogs without national boundaries. That’s 75% in Detroit, 25% outside


printed material was distributed to local businesses, door to door, and kept on hand on construction site in order to interface with public


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>> Detroit. While making an earnest effort to connect digitally with Detroit, our webpage saw visitors more frequent from London than Detroit proper. From Paris than the greater Detroit metropolitan region. MODCaR also joined Twitter, a more challenging communication platform. On Twitter we tweeted at people and institutions. We mentioned them in tweets. We retweeted their tweets. We slowly established a following. Twitter’s network logic proved more idiosyncratic, its language more demanding, and its conventions more opaque. We got a hang of it eventually.

We tweeted at Invincible who eventually followed us. We tweeted at Breezee One and were thrilled when she tweeted back. And so it went. We were terrifically pleased with the fan base that we were able to build and with the connections that we made. At the same time, it is worth noting that an estimated 60% of the population in the city of Detroit does not have access to the internet, and a significant number of people live without any connection to the grid. What’s more, an illiteracy rate of 47% creates an important barrier to printed communication. This is to say, in

parallel with our virtual network, we were challenged to develop strategies for connecting in unique conditions of Detroit’s material realm. We discovered that locally, nothing trumps consistent presence and accessibility. In Detroit, many networks, or at least the important ones, are still built face to face and over time.

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Lada Adamic/ ImagingDetroit Facebook network visualization


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MODCAR and ‘the new spirit OF Capitalism’ DAVID ADLER

invited discourse jockey, economics writer and critic

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In their book, “The New Spirit of Capitalism,” the French economic sociologists Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello argue capitalism has entered a 3rd phase characterized by a network based form of organization made up of autonomous agents. They argue that capitalism has now “abandoned the Fordist hierarchal work structure of the 1970s,” characteristic of 2nd phase capitalism. Boltanski and Chiapello’s analysis, though written for a French audience, has applications to understanding contemporary management science, artistic practice, and urban planning. As they write, “we are witnessing the formation of a new city where the tests that matter involve loosening or strengthening connections in a network world.” And central to this new city, and the network world, is the project.


Imaging Detroit was similarly cross disciplinary, involving films about Detroit, commented on by discourse jockeys from around the world. Moreover, it took place in the epicenter of the Fordist model, and in a city still reeling from its demise. The abandoned massive Packard plant was only a short drive away from Perrien Park. Discourse jockeys at Imaging Detroit were obsessed with finding a way forward for Detroit, but Imaging Detroit itself is the way forward – though seemingly a short lived project, this is precisely the new projective city described by Boltanski and Chiappelo. As they write, “When they engage in a project everyone concerned knows that that the understanding which they are about to contribute is to last for a limited amount of time…

It is precisely because the project is in transient form that it is adjusted to the network world. By multiplying connections and proliferating links, the succession of projects has the effect of extended networks… The extension of the network is life itself whereas any halt to its extension is comparable to death.”1 Imaging Detroit was more than a structure, and forum: it was a creative solution for a city trapped in postFordist despair. Everyone involved in the project helped build new networks, something people living in Detroit often lack. According to the Boltranski and Chiapello framework, the definition of a successful project is one that gives rise to new projects. This will be true for MODCaR and I look forward to its next iteration.

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Boltanski, Luc and Chiapello, Eve, “The New Spirit of Capitalism”, Verso, 2007, pp 110-111.

1


off the grid GORHAM BIRD

When event infrastructure is well planned, executed, synthesized – it is rendered invisible – folded seamlessly into the programmatic flow of things, a non-issue. The inverse is also true. One oversight, one glitch and the scenography can come undone, conspicuously foregrounding the mechanics of the project rather than the alluring content.

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Designing the Imaging Detroit’s popup agora and ephemeral mediatheque required planning - lots of it - and a good deal of strategic groundwork in order to make the project’s intended uncanny intersections materially plausible, their staging unperceivable. As temporary as it was, Imaging Detroit was a complex physical insertion in the public realm of a city

manifestly in want of basic shared amenities and services. To operate we would require space, energy, sanitation, security, equipment, food, and other fundamentals for a large scale collective gathering in the open. Would the event borrow from an existing public system and impoverished tax base; stay clear of the city’s infrastructure and services, and run our own autonomous, private system; or, at least conceptually, fuel our own’s surplus back into the city’s? From our very first discussions, we had consciously promised ourselves that we would not extract capital out of Detroit. The reality combined all three scenarios, but our attitude matched the latter. By infrastructure, we understand here all shared amenities— physical, energy, service-based: all


of the mechanisms without which there would not have been an event, yet which operated backstage, as inconspicuously (if not as quietly) as possible. We are incredibly grateful to the City of Detroit for allowing us to install in Perrien Park. John Langs of Project Green House and Chris Brown, City Manager were critical to the launch and fruition of the project, and we are so thankful for their help in processing the paperwork and securing permission. The pavilions were made possible through the generous support of a Research On The City Grant from the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. We brought electricity to the park using 5 generators, which ran for 36

hours straight, powering televisions, projectors, computers, webcam, and audio systems, as well as lighting the site with spots and disco ball. Thaddeus Lindsay kindly lent us his generator when one of our failed, and helped keep ours running. The basic services were brought to the site from vendors who provided temporary garbage and recycling cans, as well as portable toilets. The event was staffed with three security officers at all times. We made sure that the security staff was local to the area in order to command confidence and accessibility. Mark’s carts provided food trucks, which were accommodated on site’s existing hardscape. The vendors operated tirelessly throughout the

event, bringing warm food to an area where there is a dearth of available retail. The park was wired by Devin Mudd of Digital Planet and Doral Goforth of CIISC in Lansing, providing us with a twitter station, free wifi, public broadcasting capabilities, and video feed. In the picnic area, spool table were donated by Pete Murray.

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TEAM Imaging Detroit was a collaborative and exploratory project made possible by the assembly of an extraordinary team of staff, students and alumni from the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. The ambition and scale of the research and programming required the formation of distinct units of expertise, and although the units were shape-shifting, certain critical affiliations emerged. The following is a rough breakdown of the constituent groups who worked tirelessly with volunteer experts and consultants to make Imaging Detroit a reality.

Design Build Unit: James Chesnut/ Christopher Reznich/ Allen Gillers/ Lauren Bebry Technical Guru: Tom Bray The Rhizomatics: Erika Lindsay/ Marty Keeter Film Curation: Missy Ablin/Erika Lindsay Public Image: Allen Gillers Librarians: Allen Gillers/Virginia Black Event Manager: Brittany Gacsy Safety: Gorham Bird Research: Will Martin

Graphics: Tony Pins Web Design: Anais Farges Volunteers: Nate Doud/Jennifer Komorowski/Danielle McDonough Pop Up Snack Boys: Nate Oppenheim/Matthew Story/Max Obata/Angela Last/Allen Gillers


THANK YOU Alan and Cynthia Reavis Berkshire Monica Ponce de Leon John Langs Chris Brown Milton Curry Tom Bray Marie Combes Angela Last Devin Mudd Doral Goforth Marty Keeter Mercedes Mejia Ji Hye Kim Thaddeus Lindsay Melinda Anderson Jakki Kirouac Joe Geiger Pastor Steve Upshur Celeste Layne Ritchie Harrison

Lynnetta Shaw Shalena Garrett Brandon Walley Noah Stevens David Adler Asenath Andrews Vince Carducci Cezanne Charles Oren Goldenberg Margi Dewar Craig Wilkins Romain Blanquart David Buuck Khalilah Gaston Mitch McEwen John Patrick Leary Shea Howell Nora Mandray Nicole MacDonald Andrew Herscher

Cornelius Harris Sabine Gruffat Dan Pitera Miguel Robles-Duran Sultan Sharrief Christopher McNamara Marshalle Montgomery Jerry Paffendorf Harvey Ovshinsky Christophe Ponceau Gary Wozniak George Steinmetz Anais Farges Patrick Renaud Patrick Beauce Nathan Doud Todd Osborn Rob Theakston Steve Roy Ritchie Wohlfeil


credits Info Graphic for page 18: Missy Ablin Project Drawings for pages: 28 & 29: Brittany Nicole Gacsy Construction Documents for page 38 & 39: James Chesnut Pamphlet Design on page 98: Allen Gillers Network diagram for page 100 & 101: Lada Adamic Photos : Anthony Pins

p. 6, 7

Brittany Nicole Gacsy

p. 17, 43, 54, 71, 74-75, 78, 97

Erika Lindsay

p. 37, 84

Jean Louis Farges p. 9, 13-15, 20, 23, 26, 30-33, 35-36, 41, 43-47, 50, 51, 58, 66-69, 80, 87, 90-91, 105-106

Lauren Bebry

p. 2, 4, 36, 42-43, 57, 62, 63, 71, 73, 82-83

Marie Combes

p. 48-49

Mercedes Mejia

cover, p. 1, 10, 27, 56, 62, 64-65, 70, 77, 93, 102-103

Missy Ablin

p. 34, 60, 61

Christopher Reznich

p. 53

James Chesnut

p. 94

Directed: Anya Sirota, Mireille Roddier, Jean Louis Farges www.modcar.org


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A TAUBMAN COLLEGE OF ARCHITECTURE & URBAN PLANNING RESEARCH ON THE CITY PROJECT

MODCaR


IMAGING DETROIT