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photo and cover (c) Marie Combes, les fugitives series

IMAGING DETROIT September 21, 2012, 6PM -- September 22, 2012, midnight Perrien Park, Detroit

The Metropolitan Observatory for Digital Culture and Representation (MODCaR) is pleased to present Imaging Detroit. Equal parts international film festival and pop-up agora, Imaging Detroit is an open assessment and contemporary anthology of Detroit’s national and international image. Both curated and untamed, it features a broad spectrum of film and print media casting Detroit as an urban protagonist. In and on Detroit, screenings and exhibitions are combined with conversations between urban analysts, filmmakers, Detroiters, economists, policy makers, activists, and other expert DJ’s (Discourse Jockeys). Imaging Detroit aims to spark a conversation about the many ways Detroit has been portrayed over the last decade. It stages public debate and open speculation on how the power of image making may be projected toward the production of a new urban imaginary. In assembling a varied collection of works and guests, Imaging Detroit reveals the possibility of an ephemeral urbanization. The pop-up agora offers the city a 30-hour assembly and debate, turning Perrien Park into a vibrant civic space, complete with screenings, conversations, exhibit, food and leisure.

About MODCaR: The Metropolitan Observatory for Digital Cultural and Representation is a research organization interested in the representation of urban conditions and analyzing the role of visual media in its effects on cities’ form, identity and culture. Their charge is to explore the complex relationship between experience, the constructed image, meaning and the public. 3


6 SESSIONS, 68 FILMS On Saturday, September 22nd from 10 AM until dark, the FORUM is hosting a series of public conversations. Here the image of Detroit is in the spotlight – its construction, meaning, contradictions, and projected power. Over the course of six open discussion sessions, we will engage Detroit’s local and global image, and speculate about the consequences of its diffusion. Each session, framed around emergent topical themes, will begin with a half-hour screening of excerpts culled from films showcased in their entirety in the Screening Pavilion. The six half-hour screenings will be followed by 45 minute public conversations led by invited Discourse Jockeys. Imaging Detroit’s Discourse Jockeys are representatives of diverse expertise –Detroiters, urbanists, economists, filmmakers, activists, policy makers, artists, architects, and others– who will help spin the discussion by sharing their insights, impressions, and interpretations. Over the course of the public discussions, this event aims to explore how images of Detroit shape our perceptions of the city. Public participation is encouraged.

Everyone I Know, 2012, Brandon Walley



10:00 AM OUT

11:15 AM Some view the arts as catalytic salvation in slumped urban landscapes. Others consider artists as instrumental in the frontline of gentrification and its associated social inequities. Detroit, broadcast as the new destination for an international cultural vanguard, finds itself at the fulcrum of the debate about the gains and costs of artsdriven regeneration – both symbolic and material. The following films, irrespective of their position, situate Detroit in a transformative moment. CULTURE NOW! weighs in.

(1990) Harvey Ovshinsky (1999) Andrew Dosunmu (2002) Paul Justman (2006) Gary Bredow (2010) Chris Metzler, Jeff Springer (2011) Patrick Nation, Daniel Higginson (2011) Joe Warwick

David Adler Cezanne Charles Cornelius Harris Andrew Herscher Miguel Robles-Duran Brandon Walley

(2011) Sharad Kant Patel (2011) 4exit4 production (2012) Stephen McGee (2012) Brandon Walley (2012) Gary Bredow & Per Franchell

#creativeclass; #culture; #hipsterphilia; #hipsterphobia; #gentrification; #socialclasses; #segregation; #detroitbiennale; #artasmoneycatcher; #makemoneynotart; #neoluddites; #culturalglut; #subculturewars; #motown; #technocity 7



11:30 AM OUT

12:45 PM (2008)

Forty square miles of vacant land a quantitative if disputable swath that points to the radical scope and scale of Detroit’s greatest resource: open space. To some, the surplus of available land should be made productive, while to others, the value of the land lies less in its fertility than in the freedoms it affords. The following films provide examples of what the uniqueness of Detroit’s landscape can provide.

Nicole MacDonald (2010) Florent Tillon (2010) Single Barrel Detroit production (2011) Marc MacInnis (2011) Brad Osantoski (2012) Power House production (2012) TheSeventhLetter production

Asenath Andrews Margi Dewar Dan Pitera Christophe Ponceau Nicole MacDonald Craig Wilkins Gary Wozniak

(2012) Tom McPhee (2010) Single Barrel Detroit production

#vacantland; #landasnaturalresource; #urbanagriculture; #terroir; #landschaft; #hipsterphilia; #crisisexploitation; #spaceischeap; #landisenergy; #territorialliquidity; #neoluddites; #urbanwildlife; #organiclife; #freerange; #nostalgia; #40vacantmi2; #DIYurbandesign; #urbanwildlife 8

Detroit Ville Sauvage, 2010, Florent Tillon



02:00 PM OUT

03:15 PM

We Almost Lost Detroit, 2012, Andrew Smart

(2010) Stephen McGee (2010) Thalia Mavros & Brendan Fitzgerald (2011) Jonathan Cherry (2011) Alex Gallegos (2011) Michael Selditch (2012) Andrew Smart (2012) Philip Lauri (2012) 4exit4 production (2012) Power House production (2012) The Atlantic Cities production (2012) J. Michael Vargas

Cheap land, cheap rent, available workforce, intrepid minds, and low competition have prompted Forbes Magazine to call Detroit a “platform for entrepreneurial explosion”. Real, contrived, compulsory, propagandistic, partial, prophetic, profit-ic, networked? Is Detroit’s reboot material or imaginary, individual or collective? Discuss.

David Adler Oren Goldenberg Harvey Ovshinsky Mitch McEwen Miguel Robles-Duran Noah Stevens

#tacticaloptimism; #rerenaissance; #landofopportunities; #startups; #popupcity; #artsincorporated; #tabularasa; #eventscape; #crowdsourcing; #crowdfunding; #entrepreneurialexplosion; #toosmalltofail; #tappingpotential; #survivaloftheslickest 10



03:30 PM OUT

04:45 PM (2005) Michael Chanan & George Steinmetz (2010) Julien Temple (2010) Alexandre Touchette (2002) Kyong Park

The frenzied dissemination of images featuring Detroit’s ruination has, indisputably, reached an unprecedented high. The subject of lament for some, sublime fetishism for others, the aesthetization of Detroit’s decay has figured prominently in both national and international media – bestowing an almost canonical stature on a city that’s anything but complacent about its relationship to melancholy, nostalgia and symbolic loss. What are the consequences of the contemporary infatuation with images of sublime obsolescence? Is the designation of a pornographic realm productive or reductive? What’s next?

(2000) Kyong Park (2009) Roland May (2012) Sabine Gruffat (2008) Al Profit (2004)

Sabine Gruffat Andrew Herscher Adam Hollier John Patrick Leary Mitch McEwen George Steinmetz

Kelly Parker (2011) Daniel Falconer (2012) Fox 2 production (2006) Brandon Walley

#detroitus; #postamericandream; #ruinpornisso2010detroitisnow; #ruination; #urbicide; #crisisexploitation; #urbex; #Piranesianbling; #sublime; #fooddesert; #bankrupcity; #doomsdaytourists; #neofeudalism; #nostalgia; #melancholia; #entropy; #postindustrialtitillation 11

We Are Not Ghosts, 2012, Mark Dworkin & Melissa Young



05:00 PM OUT

06:15 PM (2006)

Detroit is often represented as the new frontier for the entrepreneurially-minded who, irrespective of economic hardship, play by the rules of free and fair competition. At the same time, the city’s activists, inhabitants and impresarios have revealed an unprecedented spirit of collaboration. The following films present Detroit as a self-organized economy foregrounding community and unequaled solidarity.

Supreme (2009) Mascha & Manfred Poppenk (2010) Michael Pfaendfner (2011) Detroit News production (2012) Carrie LeZotte & John Gallagher (2012) Nora Mandray & Hélène Bienvenu (2012) Oren Goldenberg (2012) Ben Wu & David Usui (2012) Mark Dworkin & Melissa Young (2012) Stephen McGee (2012) 4exit4 production (2013) Andrew James

David Buuck Vince Carducci Margi Dewar Khalilah Gaston Shea Howell Nora Mandray Christopher McNamara #DIYpublicinfrastructure; #selfdetermination; #wemakecommunitynot$; #grassrootheaven; #solidarity; #acupunctureurbanism; #iKant; #yesican; #fixitsociety; #communalgrounds; #bartereconomy; #crowdsourcing; #resilience; #emergenturbanism; #hackerspace; #TAZ; #collaborativeeconomy; #altruisticcooperation; #selfgovernance; #stateofbecoming; #freeforall; #selforganizingeconomy; #autonomy; #civildisobedience; #neoluddites; #intrinsicmotivation; #offthegrid; #homestead 13



06:30 PM OUT

07:45 PM (2006)

In spite of or perhaps on account of recent socio-economic adversities, representations of Detroit project an unparalleled spirit of resilience. An independent, self-reflective sense of achievement permeates the visual and narrative structure of many recent projects, underscoring the exhilarated pleasure of pride in the face of sometimes intolerable struggle. Is it pride on steroids? Or worse, hubris? Or is it a warranted sense of collective accomplishment given the city’s exceptional social, political, and cultural contributions projected far beyond its material bounds?

Jack Cronin (2009) Carrie LeZotte (2010) Thalia Mavros & Brendan Fitzgerald (2011) Garen (2011) 4exit4 production (2011) 4exit4 production (2012) Erik Proulx (2011) Nora Mandray & Hélène Bienvenu (2012) Iain Maitland (2012) Oren Goldenberg

Romain Blanquart Adam Hollier Shea Howell Marshalle Montgomery Jerry Paffendorf Sultan Sharrief Pastor Steve Upshur

(2012) The Detroit Journal (2012) Lester Spence & Kofi Boone

#iamdetroit; #wemakedetroit; #tacticaloptimism; #utopiafound; #nostalgia; #hockeytown; #313; #motorcity; #theD; #SperamusMelioraResurgetCineribus, #risefromtheashes 14

Dillatroit, 2012, Oren Goldenberg



25 HOURS, 15 MINUTES, 45 SECONDS Detroit is in the limelight. Nationally. Internationally. Few cities fuel a more remarkable abundance of conflicting and evocative representations. And few cities harness the paradoxical contemporary fascination with tactical opportunism and inexorable ruination with more noticeable panache.

In the face of Detroit’s diffused celebrity, MODCaR has collected an extraordinary inventory of documentary films and videos featuring the city of Detroit as protagonist. Imaging Detroit’s SCREENING ROOM program features a combination of invited and submitted works which aim, through magnitude and range, to produce a pluralistic, collective, nuanced, timely, and ultimately transformative portrayal of a heterogeneous city.

Friday, September 21 06:00 PM Bilal’s Stand, Sultan Sharrief, 2010 (85min) 07:25 PM Lean, Mean & Green, Carrie LeZotte & John Gallagher, 2012 (12min) 07:37 PM King Band Interviews, Iain Maitland, 2012 (7min) 07:44 PM Street Fighting Man, Andrew James, 2013 (16min trailer + excerpt) 08:00 PM I Have Always Been A Dreamer, Sabine Gruffat, 2012 (78min) 09:18 PM Theatre Bizarre: Documentary, Gary Bredow & Per Franchell, 2012 (5min trailer) 09:23 PM Motor City Pride, 4exit4 production, 2011 (8min) 09:31 PM Detroit: Making It Better for You, Kyong Park, 2000 (10min) 09:41 PM People Mover, 4exit4 production, 2011 (18min) 10:00 PM High Tech Soul: The Creation of Techno Music, Gary Bredow, 2006 (64min) 11:04 PM either half(way) or 6 mile, Ellen Donnelly, 2009 (3min) 11:07 PM Redefining Dreamland, Brad Osantoski, 2011(74mins) Saturday, September 22 12:21 AM Urban Roots, Marc MacInnis, 2011 (90min) 01:51 AM Detroit: Murder City, Al Profit, 2008 (83min) 03:14 AM The Detroit Journal: True Stories about Real People, The Detroit Journal, 2012 (16min) [Pending permission]

03:30 AM Detroit Beautification Project: Chapter 1, The Seventh Letter Production, 2012 (10min) [Pending permission]

03:40 AM Reinventing Detroit, J. Michael Vargas, 2012 (8min) [Pending permission] 03:48 AM Detroit Rising (episodes 01: How Detroit is Rising & 02: Detroit’s Creative Potential), the Atlantic Cities production, 2012 (7min) [Pending permission]


Saturday, September 22, continued... 09:00 AM The Kresge Foundation: 37 Artist Profiles in Detroit, Stephen McGee, 2012 (26min)

09:26 AM Detroit Bike City, Alex Gallegos, 2011(14min) 09:40 AM Detroit Ville Sauvage, Florent Tillon, 2010 (80mins) 11:00 AM A City to Yourself, Nicole MacDonald, 2008 (24min) 11:24 AM Total Detroit, Niegel Smith (6min) 11:31 AM 9 Businesses, 4exit4 production, 2012 (7min) 11:38 AM Melbourne’s Detroit, Narda Shanley & Sky Seely, 2012 (9min) 11:47 AM Sounds Like Detroit, Angela Last, 2012 (7min) 11:54 AM Fallow City, Berenika Boberska (5min) 12:00 PM Brewster Douglass You’re my Brother, Oren Goldenberg, 2012 (28min) 12:28 PM Detroit: What Will It Take?, Alegra Pitera, 2012 (2 min) 12:30 PM The VooDooMan of Heidelberg Street, Harvey Ovshinsky, 1990 (27min) 01:00 PM Conversation with Harvey Ovshinsky 01:20 PM Lemonade: Detroit, Erik Proulx, 2012 (18min) 01:38 PM Robocop Was Filmed Mostly in Dallas, David Gazdowicz, 2003 (5min) 01:43 PM The Packard Dogs – A Study of Contrasts, Tom McPhee (12min) 01:55 PM Coda Motor City, Kelly Parker, 2004 (16min) 02:11 PM Detroit Ruin of a City, Michael Chanan & George Steinmetz, 2005 (92min) 03:43 PM I Am From Detroit, Lester Spence, 2012 (9min) 03:52 PM We Are Not Ghosts, Mark Dworkin & Melissa Young, 2012 (53mins) 04:45 PM Regional Roots, Carrie LeZotte, 2009 (27min) 05:12 PM Nine Days Without Water, Stephen McGee, 2012 (13min) 05:25 PM Vacancy, Brandon Walley, 2006 (6min) 05:31 PM Everyone I Know, Brandon Walley, 2012 (5min trailer) 05:36 PM pulping detroit: on the road 2012, J.P. Maruszczak, 2012 (5min) 05:40 PM Grown in Detroit, Mascha & Manfred Poppenk 2009 (60min) 06:40 PM Creative Catalyst: Detroit and the Abandoned Packard Plant, Sharad Kant Patel, 2012 (9min)

06:49 PM Invisible City, Jack Cronin, 2006 (11min) 07:00 PM Real Scenes: Detroit, Patrick Nation & Daniel Higginson, 2011(19min) 07:19 PM Hill, Ben Wu & David Usui, 2012 (8min) 07:27 PM Détroit: Un Rêve En Ruine, Alexandre Touchette, 2010 (52mins) 08:20 PM Detroit in Overdrive (episodes 1&2), Michael Selditch, 2011 (90min) 09:50 PM I Pity the Fool, Brent Coughenour, 2007 (90min) 11:20 PM Deforce, Daniel Falconer, 2011 (86min)




Nicole MacDonald, 2008 (24min)

Amanda Le Claire, 2012 (in production)

In 1950, when Detroit was the auto production capital of the world, there were 1,849,568 people in the city. Today there are half that many remaining. Everyone’s heard of the crumbling infrastructure that follows a shrinking, post-industrial city like Detroit. But what about the increase in space for outdoor art, less traffic, little gridlock, the return of urban wildlife and green space, and some of the pluses of having a city to yourself?

Detroit is a place that attracts a certain type of individual. Someone that’s both tough and independent. That’s especially true for the women who have chosen to stake their claim in one of the nation’s most complicated cities. Fearless, talented, and ambitious, these women are shaping Detroit’s future.



Stephen McGee, 2012 (6min)

Chris Metzler & Jeff Springer, 2010 (15min)

09/22 @ 11:00AM

After the decline of the auto industry, riots, rampant crime, and urban decay, the city of Detroit has been struggling to find a new identity. Looking to inspire change, artist Tyree Guyton began to use paint and found objects to transform 2 city blocks into a provocative and colorful art installation. The art project on Heidelberg Street has since become a mecca for artists and stands as a symbol of Detroit’s ongoing artistic renaissance.




Murat Eyuboglu, 2011 (10min)

Philip Lauri, 2012 (44min)

“Is Detroit the next Berlin? Naw, I don’t think so.. Detroit is its own place, with its own history. It is magical and it is wild. There’s a sense here that Detroit has lived through a nightmare and is continuing to pick up the pieces and build for a better future. There are so many racial wounds here, but I see prejudice increasing all over the world. We fear the unknown.” - Shara Worden

The global economy is in crisis. More and more businesses are outsourcing their manufacturing. And former industrial towns-- whether they’re in Ohio, Mississippi, or Poland-- are left asking the question, ‘What comes after the factory?’ For questions like this, the best answers come from the people who have been there. Detroit, Michigan has been running on fumes since the fall of the auto industry and Poland’s textile industry in Lodz has been hanging by a thread since the fall of communism. In both cities, their populations have fled, their unemployment has spiked, and now, they’re both on the front lines of re-building their economies. After the Factory presents an opportunity to learn from these two diametrically different cultures as their entire way of life transitions to something new. Stories from the citizens are inspiring. Ideas from community leaders are thought-provoking...

ART IN DETROIT Stephen McGee, 2011 (11min)




Sultan Sharrief, 2010 (85min)

Garen, 2011 (4min)

Bilal – a Muslim high school senior in Detroit – works long hours to keep up both his grades and his family’s long-owned taxi stand. “The Stand” has been the family’s social and financial hub for sixty years, and now Bilal is destined to carry the torch. Yet despite a series of setbacks at home, Bilal secretly submits a college application and takes up ice carving in order to win a scholarship. Now he is forced to decide whether to continue running The Stand – the only life he has ever known – or take a chance at social mobility. Based on a true story, Bilal’s Stand radiates warmth, humor, and originality. In depicting a struggle that is all too common today, the film captures the emotion and authenticity on issues rarely brought together on screen.

Official Music Video

09/21 @ 06:00PM


Oren Goldenberg, 2012 (28min) A look inside the historic buildings, introducing the viewer to lifelong residents, activists who fought to keep the projects open, and squatters—themselves former residents—who struggle to stay warm through Detroit’s harsh winter.




Tom Putnam & Brenna Sanchez, 2013 (in production)

Samuel Bayer, 2011 (2min)

BURN is a feature documentary about Detroit, told through the eyes of Detroit firefighters, who are charged with the thankless task of saving a city that many have written off as dead. Firefighters have an up-close view of the best and worst in any city. This is especially true for Detroit. Detroit is a picture of the future of American industrial cities in a post-industrial age: one foot in a prosperous past, with an uncertain next act, struggling to survive in a changing economy. BURN follows the crew of Engine Company 50 — one of the busiest firehouses in America. Located on Detroit’s blighted east side, E50 stands at ground zero of the city’s problems. Every day, these firefighters face injury, disablement, and death. But they come back, day after day, resolved to make a difference. They’re certainly not here for the money—their starting salary is $30,000 and they haven’t seen a raise in 10 years. BURN tells the story of these exceptional individuals who, despite the challenges and dysfunction, believe in their city and are attempting to make a difference every day.

Chrysler Ad featuring Eminem


FOX 2’s Charlie LeDuff takes on an epic challenge of golfing his way from 8 Mile Road to Belle Isle... literally. It’s a par 3,168, 18-mile, single hole course. The 46-year-old Pulitzer Prize winning writer carries only four clubs in his bag while facing extraordinary hazards that took years to form. He strokes his way through grassy fields, abandoned houses and crumbling landmarks. The half-way houses on this course are real. On the loop, Charlie interacts with the gallery, capturing the spirit of the people of Detroit. No Mulligans here, you play it as it lies. 23



Kelly Parker, 2004 (16min)

Sharad Kant Patel, 2012 (9min)

In the car manufacturing city Detroit, there is only a vestige of a public transport system. The 22 percent of all households that own no car are practically immobile, physically and socially trapped.

Artist perspective on decay vs creation within Detroit.



Alex Gallegos, 2011(14min)

Stephen McGee, 2012 (6min))

“There’s not many things better than riding a bike in life,” says the owner of Corktown Cycles in this short doc offering a fresh new vision of downtown from a two-wheeled perspective. Gas prices, health concerns and just plain fun are covered as compelling reasons for bicycling by, among others, members of the East Side Riders bike club and participants in a Critical Mass group ride event. ..[A]captivating collage by Detroit filmmaker Alex Gallegos. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press

Artists and historians explore and photograph Detroit’s abandoned buildings in hopes of protecting them from the wrecking ball. Accompanying article: newsweek/2010/09/08/urban-explorers-makethe-city-a-playground.html

09/22 @ 01:55PM

09/22 @ 06:40PM

09/22 @ 09:26AM




09/22 @ 11:20PM

09/22 @ 03:30AM [pending permission]

Daniel Falconer, 2011 (86min)

The Seventh Letter Production, 2012 (10min)

Deforce is a chronicle of one city’s long struggle with political oppression. Once the engine of America, Detroit remains a proud city—rich with local triumphs and individual achievements, but known best for its overwhelming quality of life challenges. This film reveals that these present challenges are indeed forged of the past. If nothing changes in our cities, they will shape this country’s future in ways that benefit no one.

The Detroit Beautification Project assembled artist’s from around the globe. With the the common goal to bring vibrancy back to one of America’s greatest cities.



Michael Selditch, 2011 (135min)

Nora Mandray & Hélène Bienvenu, 2012 (in production)

Detroit in Overdrive is a three-part mini series which depicts the rebirth of an American city that has been devastated by adverse economic conditions - ranging from a loss of jobs and businesses to crumbling schools and infrastructure. We see students studying advanced automotive technology and robotics, to home-grown rock star Kid Rock opening a local beer brewery, to a street artist paving a road with old, discarded shoes and much more.

Detroit je t’aime is an interactive web documentary that depicts the story of a disenfranchised city. Between creativity, resource sharing, urban farms, recycling and a healthy dose of DIY attitude, Detroit may very well be the urban model of the future.

09/22 @ 08:20PM


DETROIT LIVES (3 episodes)


Thalia Mavros, Brendan Fitzgerald, 2010 (31min)

Kyong Park, 2000 (10min)

Once the fourth-largest metropolis in America—some have called it the Death of the American Dream. Today, the young people of the Motor City are making it their own DIY paradise where rules are second to passion and creativity. They are creating the new Detroit on their own terms, against real adversity. We put our boots on and went exploring.

A gritty tapestry of images on the destruction of Detroit, a city struggling to sustain its communities in the face of global economic greed. The video’s “drive-by-shooting” style is emblematic of the mythology of Detroit as both the “Motor City” and the “Murder City.” It offers street-level views of the urban clashes between inner-city realities and suburban myths.

09/21 @ 09:31PM



09/22 @ 03:48AM [pending permission]

09/22 @ 02:11PM

the Atlantic Cities production, 2012

Michael Chanan & George Steinmetz, 2005 (92min)

episode 01: How Detroit is Rising (2min) episode 02: Detroit’s Creative Potential (5min) episode 03: The Faces Behind Detroit’s Rebirth (4min) episode 04: The Businesses That Will Lead Detroit (4min) episode 05: The Future of Detroit (5min)

With the participation of Detroit artist Tyree Guyton, French sociologist Loïc Wacquant, Detroit-born writer Dan Georgakas, Detroit photographer Lowell Boileau, and local residents, the film looks back over the history of the city in the twentieth century: over the rise and fall of the social system identified by social theorists as ‘Fordism’; the way the city was shaped by the automobile; and its decline following the deindustrialisation which began in the 1950s, leaving it ill-adapted to the postFordist society of the epoch of globalisation...

You’ve heard the story of the city’s downfall. This is the story of its comeback.




09/22 @ 01:51AM Tretch5000, 2012 (3min)

Al Profit, 2008 (83min)

An aerial encounter of Detroit

The story of Detroit’s history of violence and its portrayal in the national media. Filled with archival film & TV footage from the rum wars of the roaring 20s to the drug wars of the 80s and 90s, to the corruption of Jimmy Hoffa.



09/22 @ 07:27PM

09/22 @ 09:40AM

Alexandre Touchette, 2010 (52mins)

Florent Tillon, 2010 (80mins)

Détroit, once the “Paris of the Midwest,” is today a city in ruin. Hard hit by the crisis, it has become the symbol of the abuses of the American model, a metropolis that increasingly recalls the third world and resembles a bombed-out city in certain places. For 25 years, the director followed the daily lives of people who live in this world regulated by unemployment, segregation and violence.

A documentary exploring the rise and fall of Detroit. Compiling historical footage and interviews with the city’s residents, this meditative documentary looks at a city reclaimed by nature and resettled by 21st century urban pioneers.




Allegra Pitera, 2012 (2min)

Mascha & Manfred Poppenk 2009 (60min)

A video exploration. Can Detroit be seen through a sense of wonderment?

Grown in Detroit focuses on the urban gardening efforts managed by a public school of 300, mainly African-American, pregnant and parenting teenagers. In Detroit alone, there are annually more than 3,000 pregnant teenagers who drop out of high school. As part of the curriculum, the girls are taught agricultural skills on the school’s own farm which is located behind the school, in what used to be the playground...



Oren Goldenberg, 2012 (4min)

Brandon Walley, 2012 (5min trailer)

Official Music Video “DILLATROIT” the official video from the new J Dilla album entitled “Rebirth of Detroit”. The single “DILLATROIT” features Supa Emcee, Nick Speed and Guilty Simpson produced by J Dilla.

Everyone I Know is a feature length documentary that showcases dozens of uniquely varied Detroit bands, post garageboom, captured live from venues in & around the city. This preview’s predominate focus is on the initial night of production where 18 bands sweated it out back to back to back at the legendary PJ’s Lager House. The name of that event, URGH! A Detroit Music War, was a homage to the 1982 cult classic URGH! A Music War.

09/22 @ 12:28PM

09/22 @ 05:40PM

09/22 @ 05:31PM




David Gordon Green, 2012 (2min)

Michael Pfaendfner, 2010 (13min)

Chrysler Ad, featuring Clint Eastwood

A made-in-Detroit tale of love, goats and taxidermy. They’ve been tagged as pirates, bikers of the lake, hippies, misfits, outcasts and even radicals. Whether dressing in prom gowns while they race or bellowing their battle cry “Huj, Huj Harja”, they stand in stark contrast to the pretentious yacht club crowd at any given regatta. These are the sailors and crew of the Detroit Sail Club. Drive through the overgrown, vine-covered gate and you’ll find a place like no other. Once guarded by a bearded billy goat named Nemo, the Detroit Boat Works is home to the Detroit Sail Club. The club shares space with the rusted steel skeleton of a former brick factory, a decommissioned Detroit fire engine, the remains of a sunken schooner, a repurposed school bus and dozens of castoff sailboats awaiting new owners ready to breathe life into them once again.

FALLOW CITY 09/22 @ 11:54AM

Berenika Boberska (5min)

Fallow City is a fictional near future scenario – a proposition for the abandoned suburbs of Detroit. Shown as a stop motion animation of a large physical model of archetypal suburbia (based on Hamtramck ), the project imagines transformations over time, which re-purpose or mis-use the suburban forms. A fallow season, as in the practice of agriculture, creates an interruption where unusual uses and forms can flourish. How would this strategy look if applied to the city?




Ellen Donnelly, 2009 (3min)

Single Barrel Detroit production, 2010 (8min)

Rounding the corner from Santa Maria onto Telegraph Road, residential gives way to commercial. The curb cut reveals this; regularly spaced and similarly formed on the residential side, they are less frequent and more accessible on the commercial. Designed to accept vehicles traveling at faster speeds, they open to temporary parking lots or gas stations, both of which bleed into one another visually, if not physically. Rounding the corner from 6 mile to Woodbine Avenue, commercial gives way to residential. The irregularity of building form yields to the precise duplication of housing stock. The first facade becomes the rest, save for minute evidence of personalization. The curb is punctuated every 40 feet to make way for the family car, which reveals more about consumer preference, financial status and personality that the houses ever could. On the outskirts of Detroit, this site is neither fully residential nor commercial, neither city nor suburb; but a spatial, formal and programmatic threshold.

A vacant structure in Detroit’s Midtown is now breathing new life thanks to the hard work of some volunteers from one local agency. Ryan Schirmang, a creative project manager at Team Detroit, helped organize the Hanging Gardens, the first vertical garden project on an abandoned building in Detroit.

This video produces new ways of viewing the site while simultaneously surveying its conditions by capturing ground, elevation and sky in three separate but synchronous views. The site is transformed in unexpected ways; the video allowing for new conceptions of shared ground and occupation in contrast to the rigid lines drawn by property politics in American culture.

Andrew Dosumu, 1999 (50min)

09/21 @ 11:04PM


Hot Irons provides a rare look into the social culture of African-American hairstyling, as explained by five Detroit hairdressers in preparation for the Hair Wars convention. Aided by striking cinematography and a brilliantly eclectic soundtrack, Dosunmu captures the hopes and pressures of the men who were laid off from the automobile industry and now compete for recognition and respect in the fantastically creative world of black hair styling.




Gary Bredow, 2006 (64min)

Ben Wu & David Usui, 2012 (8min)

High Tech Soul is the first documentary to tackle the deep roots of techno music alongside the cultural history of Detroit, its birthplace. From the race riots of 1967 to the underground party scene of the late 1980s, Detroit’s economic downturn didn’t stop the invention of a new kind of music that brought international attention to its producers and their hometown. Featuring in-depth interviews with many of the world’s best exponents of the artform, High Tech Soul focuses on the creators of the genre -- Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson -- and looks at the relationships and personal struggles behind the music. Artists like Richie Hawtin, Jeff Mills, Carl Craig, Eddie Fowlkes and a host of others explain why techno, with its abrasive tones and resonating basslines, could not have come from anywhere but Detroit.

Allan is the caretaker of one of the few remaining structures that still stand at the old Packard Plant. Years of neglect have resulted in massive decay in this Albert Kahn designed factory. But, it has its own kind of beauty and for Allan is the place he calls home.

09/22 @ 07:19PM

09/21 @ 10:00PM




Lester Spence & Kofi Boone, 2012 (9min)

Sabine Gruffat, 2012 (78min)

The last iteration of the Detroit Renaissance narrative regales us with stories of independent artistic minded entrepreneurs who, by dint of their energy and creativity will re-imagine Detroit. Our project “I am From Detroit” critiques one of the problematic ideas embedded in this narrative by juxtaposing contemporary representations of Detroit against the simple statements of Detroiters past and present. Our project uses digital video to engage Detroit’s diaspora in the reclamation of the city’s meaning and identity, using a split screen to juxtapose their narratives, with montages of popular media-derived images. The simultaneity of the presentation is a commentary on intentional, unintentional, and sometimes serendipitous conflicts and resolutions, which are the hallmark of community dialogue.

I Have Always Been A Dreamer is a documentary travelogue and film portrait of two cities in contrasting states of development: Dubai, UAE and Detroit, U.S.A. Within the context of a boom and bust economy, the film questions the collective ideologies that shape the physical landscape and impact local communities. Though these cities represent two different economic eras (Fordist and PostFordist), both cities vividly illustrate the effects of economic monocultures and the arbitrary consequences of geopolitical advantage. The film serves as a visual documentation of these two cities as indexes of political, cultural and economic change while tracing the ways each city’s development is tied to technologies of communication, production, labor, and consumption.

09/22 @ 03:43PM

09/21 @ 08:00PM




Brent Coughenour, 2007 (83min)

Jack Cronin, 2006 (11min)

In an effort to improve its image for the nationwide attention brought to the city by the hosting of the 2006 Super Bowl, the city of Detroit began demolishing long-vacant buildings, hastening the natural slow decay caused by decades of industrial collapse. As the city dismantles itself, clues to its past resurface. Collections of scraps sifted from rubble—an archeology of unanswered questions—combine to tell a surrogate narrative filled with missing pieces and forgotten motives, old letters, photographs, and home movies. Fractured moments occurring on one summer day echo events from thirty years earlier. The day is sunny, but it is humid, and clouds are gathering. It is going to rain.

Invisible City was filmed in Detroit over the course of three years. Inspired by Italo Calvino’s Le città invisibili, in which the Italian author suggests that what constitutes a city is not so much its physical structure but the impression it makes upon its visitors. The film is loosely organized into four segments representing spring, summer, fall, and winter.

09/22 @ 09:50PM

09/22 @ 06:49PM


Iain Maitland, 2012 (7min)

In this video students from a Detroit High School Marching band answer questions about the past, present and future.




Carrie LeZotte & John Gallagher, 2012 (12min)

Erik Proulx, 2012 (18min)

Turns the lens on the possibilities of urban cities around the world. Using the thesis laid out in Detroit Free Press writer John Gallagher’s Reimagining Detroit, the documentary will look to Detroit’s future, and, by extension, to the future of cities everywhere. For while Detroit may be the nation’s poster city for urban dystopia, it shares its predicament to a greater or lesser degree with dozens of cities. Population loss and industrial collapse scar cities around the globe, not just a handful of towns surrounding the Great Lakes. Inspiration for the future using regional and international images will showcase the possibilities of urban change that include positive city shrinkage, urban agriculture, and daylighting streams. Interviews directly with urban heroes about the work they do will talk about what has been accomplished and what the future can look like.

“Lemonade: Detroit” is a film about the disarming resilience of a city that can no longer rely on a single industry for its livelihood, and the entrepreneurial strengths of those who are reinventing themselves and their communities. Instead of sensationalizing blight, “Lemonade, Detroit” will sensationalize hope, told through the intensely personal stories of those who are turning the city into what it will become.

09/21 @ 07:25PM

09/22 @ 01:20PM

MOBBING ON ANGELS’ NIGHT Nora Mandray & Hélène Bienvenu, 2011 (4min) Detroit is not on fire anymore for Devils night, the night just before Halloween. At least not in Northwest Detroit, where the GMOB’s are riding their fancy DIY bikes! Bike Mike, Bo, all the Grown Men On Bikes are having fun paddling, connecting Detroiters from all four corner of the city. That’s Detroit and that’s the way we do it!




Romain Blanquart, 2012 (41min)

Narda Shanley & Sky Seely, 2012 (9min)

More than 3,300 people have been murdered in the City of Detroit since 2003. In this Detroit Free Press documentary, meet some of the families who have lost loved ones to homicide, are searching for justice and trying to come to terms with their losses. Watch as hard-pressed Detroit homicide investigators juggle heavy caseloads in their hunt for killers.

What on earth could two gals from Melbourne, Australia, know about Detroit? Are there similarities of spirit, architecture, decline and renewal or do we have nothing in common with a city halfway around the world? “Melbourne’s Detroit” is a short film produced in Australia for Imaging Detroit that examines the similarities and disparities between Melbourne and Detroit.

09/22 @ 11:38AM




Ben Whalley with BBC Four production, 2008 (60min)

4exit4 production, 2011 (8min)

Documentary looking at how Detroit became home to a musical revolution that captured the sound of a nation in upheaval. In the early 60s, Motown transcended Detroit’s inner city to take black music to a white audience, whilst in the late 60s suburban kids like the MC5 and the Stooges descended into the black inner city to create revolutionary rock expressing the rage of young white America. Extensive archive footage and contributions from top names of the time. Cultural production juxtaposed with the rise and fall of the auto industry. A lot of driving through city. “In the 60s Detroit had it’s moment.” Iggy Pop? “This was the manufacturing center of America and thus the World. And if you wanted it built, we built it in Detroit.” Wayne Kramer “Detroit, Michigan. A Midwestern Blue-Collar City”-Narrator “You ride down the streets here. It looks like Lebanon or something.” With contributions from Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, George Clinton, Martha Reeves, John Sinclair and the MC5.

“Detroit is a city that truly appreciates your contributions and having you here”. For members of Detroit’s GLBTQ community, that appreciation is manifest. Whether through activism, business ownership, historic preservation, or as cultural curators, the gay community is changing the landscape of the city. Here are just a few of the faces of Detroit’s vibrant GLBT community.

09/21 @ 09:23PM

PEOPLE MOVER 09/21 @ 09:41PM

4exit4 production, 2011 (18min) A short film capturing 24 local artists, cooks, thinkers and musicians as they came together to showcase Detroit’s spirit, performing inside the train one day in April.




4exit4 production, 2012 (7min

Stephen McGee, 2012 (13min)

A local business is the heart of a community, a place that helps creates relationships between residents and lets them directly impact a city’s economy. In Detroit, small businesses are rapidly taking root in neighborhoods all over the city. From coffee shops and galleries, to bakeries and custom sneaker designers, 4exit4 highlights nine businesses that are changing the conversation of the community.

“More violence led back to my neighborhood than any other neighborhood in Detroit.... In this neighborhood, people are living like they are on their ninth day without water, and on the tenth day they die. I didn’t want to die, so I left, went to the water, drank some and brought it back and started a boxing gym.... These kids need a push in the right direction” - Coach Khali

09/22 @ 11:31AM

09/22 @ 05:12PM

PONY RIDE Order & Other production, 2012 (3min) Ponyride is a study to see how the foreclosure crisis can have a positive impact on our communities. Using an ‘all boats rise with the tide’ rent subsidy, we are able to provide cheap space for socially-conscious artists and entrepreneurs to work and share knowledge, resources and networks. We purchased a 30,000 square-foot warehouse for $100,000 and offer space for $0.10-$0.20 per squarefoot, which includes the cost of utilities.




J.P. Maruszczak, 2012 (5min)

Patrick Nation & Daniel Higginson, 2011 (19min)

Pulping Detroit begins on the road, 387 miles over 8 mile or as Kerouac writes its anywhere road for anybody anyhow. A Detroit on the road video cartography constructed as a transmedia script of urban questions and hanging non sequiters. The 15 min film with accompanying storyboard urban maps will envision a new detroit architectural vérité. The film will be developed as an (intercity) mashup employing cartographic masks, googling motion graphic performances and Detroit street view panoramics. An iphone/app production of Whats your road man? of Detroit tech-nomadism: shoot/sample, cut/paste, mix/ match urbanism.

Real Scenes is a series of films, supported by and conceived with Bench, in which we explore the musical, cultural and creative climate within electronic music’s key destinations. We’ll look at the role singular figureheads—producers, DJs, promoters— play in making their city’s music scene a point of world-wide interest. We’ll also look at places, spaces and inspirations, seeking out the essence of what gives these hyper-local scenes a truly global resonance. You can’t talk about electronic music without mentioning Detroit. The city’s DJs and producers birthed the genre we now call techno. Detroit, however, has always had a creative streak, due in large part to the boom and subsequent bust of the auto industry. Quite simply, Detroit is a city of extremes, and its music reflects that. Detroit’s importance in the global electronic music scenes is often referred to in the past tense. With the recent emergence of Kyle Hall and other young Detroit producers, however, it’s clear that a spark remains. When we visited, we found a number of artists with their eyes (and ears) firmly set towards the future. After our time there, it’s clear that Detroit will endure and innovate for years to come.

09/22 @ 05:36PM

09/22 @ 07:00PM




Brad Osantoski, 2011(74mins)

Carrie LeZotte, 2009 (27min)

Detroit was at the heart of the 20th-century’s revolution in industry and labor organization. It now faces many complicated struggles that are being seen around the rest of the country. Redefining Dreamland tells the story of the city today through the eyes of its current residents. Rather than submitting to all of the typically negative media surrounding Detroit, this film explores where the positive action is taking place, and where it could be leading Detroit into the future.

Covering 300 years of history, Regional Roots uses the immigrant experience as an introduction to the diverse landscape of Detroit. From the earliest French and German settlers to today’s growing communities, immigrants continue to shape the region in pursuit of the American Dream.

09/21 @ 11:07PM

09/22 @ 04:45PM


09/22 @ 03:40AM [pending permission] J. Michael Vargas, 2012 (8min) Detroit, Michigan. A city with a rich history of industry and music, now a city hit hard with economic depression and unemployment. However, one new industry in the state is breathing life and giving hope to the area. Film. The Michigan Film Incentive is responsible for bringing 69 films to the state in 2009, and more slated for 2010. Reinventing Detroit is a film about how a city can take those that were employed in the automotive industry and giving them a new opportunity, a fresh start. ...




Julien Temple, 2010 (76min)

Aaron Chilen for Power House production, 2012 (6min)

When the filmmaker Roger Graef approached me last year to make a film about the rise and fall of Detroit I had very few preconceptions about the place. Like everyone else, I knew it as the Motor City, one of the great epicentres of 20th-century music, and home of the American automobile. Only when I arrived in the city itself did the full-frontal cultural car crash that is 21st century Detroit became blindingly apparent. Leaving behind the gift shops of the “Big Three” car manufacturers, the Motown merchandise and the bizarre ejaculating fountains of the now-notorious international airport, things become stranger and stranger. The drive along eerily empty ghost freeways into the ruins of inner-city Detroit is an Alice-like journey into a severely dystopian future. Passing the giant rubber tire that dwarfs the nonexistent traffic in ironic testament to the busted hubris of Motown’s auto-makers, the city’s ripped backside begins to glide past outside the windows.

Tony Miorana talks about building DIY parks and coming to Detroit to start the Ride it Sculpture Park Skate extravaganza in the Power House Productions neighborhood.

SEE IT THROUGH Melodie McDaniel, 2011 (1min) Chrysler Ad, text by Detroit poet Edgar Albert Guest.




David Gazdowicz, 2003 (5min)

Jonathan Cherry, 2011 (2min)

Robocop was filmed mostly in Dallas looks at the connection and disconnection that the blockbuster film “Robocop” has with the city of Detroit. A tongue in cheek tour of settings that might have been used in the making of the film takes you through the emotion of the scenes as you explore the locations, drawing subtle attention to the fact that “Robocop” was in fact NOT shot mostly in Detroit.

Photographer / Filmmaker Jonathan Cherry spent a week capturing the spirit of the city of Detroit in this short film, set to a poem by Edgar Albert Guest, resident of Detroit in the early 20th century and Michigan’s only Poet Laureate.



Supreme, 2006 (5min)

Angela Last, 2012 (7min)

Music Video “Slow Down” represents the struggles that inner-city youth are faced with today. Based on true events, the song features the voices of Xiomara and participants from a Summer Program at the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation.

Sounds Like Detroit operates at two levels. Playing with the visual and musical representation of Detroit, it asks: what is generic and what is unique about Detroit? Does its uniqueness perhaps lie in its ability to reflect back the commonalities people want to see? What is the ‘spirit of Detroit’ and can it be present in other places?

09/22 @ 01:38PM

09/22 @ 11:47AM




Paul Justman, 2002 (116min)

Andrew James, 2013 (16min trailer + excerpt)

Standing in the Shadows of Motown recounts the story of The Funk Brothers, the uncredited and largely unheralded studio musicians who were the hand picked house band by Berry Gordy in 1959. They were the band who recorded and performed on Motowns’ recordings from 1959 to 1972. The film was inspired by the 1989 book Standing in the Shadows of Motown: The Life and Music of Legendary Bassist James Jamerson, a bass guitar instruction book by Allan Slutsky, which features the bass lines of James Jamerson.

Street Fighting Man is a character-driven documentary that follows three inner-city men – each a generation apart – as they seek to define their lives in post-industrial Detroit. Deris Solomon is a young single father who wants to leave behind a high-risk life on the streets; Luke Williams is a middle-aged man remodeling a former crack house after being homeless for several years; and James “Jack Rabbit” Jackson is a retired police officer struggling to save his neighborhood from crime after the local police station is dissolved. Through the stories of these men, the film unflinchingly reveals how hard it can be to build a future when everything seems to be crumbling around you. Street Fighting Man shares the lived experiences of the people who call Detroit home. As Luke collects cans and acquires reclaimed materials to make an old home new again, Jack Rabbit must stand up to violent young criminals who were once children in his neighborhood. Meanwhile, Deris has to decide how he will provide for his daughter: by struggling to get an education, or by selling drugs like many of his peers. For each of these men, it is a war of little battles, often waged at home, at school, or in the streets. And ultimately, their three narratives collapse into one, telling the tale of one man as he attempts to make it through his youth, midlife, and old age in post-industrial America.

09/21 @ 07:44PM

THE MAKESHIFT DETROIT Stephen McGee, 2010 (10min) A film about branding Detroit city and the entrepreneurial role needed.




The Detroit Journal, 2012 (16min)

Stephen McGee, 2012 (26min)

After a lifetime of desperation and addiction, William Foster shares his story. Years of homelessness, drugs, and eventual incarceration led him on a path darker than many could survive, but William found the light. This is his story. A Detroit story.

In Detroit, the city that became the national symbol of the 2008 recession, art thrives. As the vacant lots and crime get national attention, the scene on the street level takes advantage of the significant unique surroundings making for world class poets, photographers, painters and musicians. Art X Detroit is pleased to present a short video series by Emmy award-winning filmmaker, Stephen McGee, featuring 37 Kresge Artists. This video is the collection of all (37) 45 second films that were originally released once a day for 37 straight days in early 2010. The artists featured are in the performing, literary and visual arts and are all part of the 2008-2010 Kresge Arts in Detroit Fellowship Awardees and Eminent Artists. This series focuses on the work, theories, practices and influences of the artists as well as the state of Detroit. The deadline given to the filmmaker was 1.5 months to create, shoot, produce and edit (37) 45 second films and then 1.5 months to create (37) 2-3 minute films of each artist.

09/22 @ 03:14AM

09/22 @ 09:00AM

THE MOTOWN EFFECT Joe Warwick, 2011 (15min) A documentary exploring the social impact Motown Records had on American society and Civil Rights during the 60’s and 70’s.




Tom McPhee, 2012 (12min)

Oren Goldenberg, 2012 (1min)

The Packard Dogs is a study of contrasts with the iconic ruins of the Packard Plant serving as the setting for differing views about what constitutes a stray dog problem. Kresge artistaward recipient and Detroit native Bruce Giffin and Packard Plant Steward Alan Hill share their perspectives on the dogs of the Packard Plant. This short story is part of the American Strays Dog Census & Film Study being conducted by the World Animal Awareness Society - in the city of Detroit. The is proud to present another of the more than 40 mini docs that will be released leading up to the launch of the feature documentary, AMERICAN STRAYS.

Trailer for the “Rebirth of Detroit”, a new album featuring unreleased music from the late producer, as well as Detroit’s finest emcees and musicians who have both worked with and/or been influenced by J Dilla.

09/22 @ 01:43PM


Gary Bredow & Per Franchell, 2012 (5min trailer) For the last decade, a derelict neighborhood in Detroit has played host to an incomparable Halloween masquerade: Theatre Bizarre. It is completely illegal. No permits. No insurance. No boundaries. It has consistently operated without incident or indictment… until 2010.




Donna Terek for the Detroit News production, 2011 (5min)

Harvey Ovshinsky, 1990 (27min)

Last fall, the California-based magazine “Juxtapoz” gave a grant to Detroit’s Power House Productions to buy four abandoned houses on Moran Street south of the Davison in Detroit. The magazine of contemporary and underground art chose six artists and set them loose to turn those houses into works of art.

Profile of a young Detroit artist by the name of Tyree Guyton and his efforts to revitalize his neighborhood with art that he finds and makes.

09/22 @ 12:30PM




Niegel Smith (6min)

Marc MacInnis, 2011 (90min

My teenage years were spent in Detroit. A city in continual decline. One that refuses to lose itself to those who fetishize its ruins. It’s been 10 years since my return. I do it carefully. Can I speak for this place where I no longer live? Yes. And I’m taking you with me. I invite you to walk with me in Detroit. We’ll start in New York and hop on a plane to the Motor City. I’ve got some shit to work out--you too? Pack your baggage. We’ll come back with less. For 3 days and 2 nights, we’ll sculpt, listen, light and sing. We’ll give ourselves to decay and possibility through techniques derived from cultural anthropology, performance art and experimental theater. We will make monuments with our bodies in response to public spaces; project words on to abandoned buildings to give them voices; volunteer at an urban farm to feed the hungry; and cleanse one another with the help of Tanaka Min ritualistic practices.

The film follows the urban farming phenomenon in Detroit. Urban Roots is a timely, moving and inspiring film that speaks to a nation grappling with collapsed industrial towns and the need to forge a sustainable and prosperous future.

09/22 @ 11:24AM

09/22 @ 12:21AM

WE ARE NOT GHOSTS 09/22 @ 03:52PM

Mark Dworkin & Melissa Young, 2012 (53mins Detroiters are reinventing the old Motor City as a vibrant new self-sustaining and humanscaled city for a post-industrial world.



09/22 @ 05:25PM


Brandon Walley, 2006 (6min)

Andrew Smart, 2012 (4min)

Vacancy is a visual exploration of the Detroit’s Madison Lenox Hotel and its demolition.

Official Music Video



Kyong Park, 2002 (5min)

Andrew Zago, 2011 (6min)

Words, Images and Spaces. A Language for a New City.

XYT: Detroit Streets is a suite of ten short films, presented in an installation format, documenting streets of Detroit through a new digital process of Zago Architecture’s invention. These films reorder the mechanics of depth and movement to draw out the pervasive, but ephemeral atmosphere of Detroit’s extraordinary urban condition.


GALLERY 1 PRINTER , 2 WALLS, 800 SQ FT The GALLERY is an active work in progress. At the center of two exhibition walls a printing station extends an invitation. to print and post impressions of Detroit. Ink, paper, and an assistant are provided. Please share your views and images, be they are archival, social, personal, communal, critical, or otherwise.




100 BOOKS, 1 LIBRARIAN The LIBRARY showcases a range of printed material, both broadly distributed and selfpublished, that figures Detroit as narrative or visual luminary. The assembled genres are wide-ranging: historical, projective, photographic, architectural, speculative, comic, etc. Formats extend from local self-published pamphlets to high-end foreign art presses. The LIBRARY also features work that has had limited public exposure: reports from academic studies and conference proceedings, artists’ books, journals, etc. The content of the library is a curated combination of eminence, inconspicuousness, notoriety, opportunism, activism, and self-reflection.

Press, 2010) Nancy W. Barr, John Gallagher, Carlo McCormick, eds., Detroit Revealed: Photographs, 2000-2010 (Detroit: Detroit Institute of Arts, 2011) Stefano Boeri, Philipp Oswalt, Marjetica Potrc and Peter Lang, Urban Ecology: Detroit and Beyond (Hong Kong: MAP Book Publishers, 2004) Kevin Boyle & Victoria Getis, Muddy Boots and Ragged Aprons: Images of Working Class Detroit, 1900 – 1930 (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1997) Ben Bunk, Drawing Detroit: (east by southwest) // a book of colorful possibilities (Detroit: BUNKhead, 2010) Edmund Burke, Three Nights in Detroit (Edmund Burke: 2008) John Carlisle, 313: Life in the Motor City (Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2011) Tina Croley, ed., Joy Ride: 10 Years of the Woodward Dream Cruise (Detroit: Detroit Free Press, 2004) Mort Crim & Susan VanDeRyt, Greater Detroit: Renewing the Dream (Memphis, TN: Towery Publishing, 1997) Mary Desjarlais, Bill Rauhauser: 20th Century Photography in Detroit (Livonia, MI: Saint Paul’s Press, 2010) Cheri Y. Gay, Detroit Then and Now (San Diego, CA: Thunder Bay Press, 2001) John Gallagher, Reimaging Detroit: Opportunities for Redefining an American City (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2010) Steve Hughes, Stupor: A Treasury of True Stories (Detroit: Supor House, 2011) Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre, The Ruins of Detroit (Göttingen, Germany: Steidl, 2011) Andrew Moore, Detroit Disassembled (Akron, OH: Akron Art Museum, 2010) Julia Reyes Taubman, Detroit: 138 Square Miles (Detroit: MOCAD, 2011) Kati Rubinyi, Detroit City Map (Kati Rubinyi: 2008) Robert Sharoff and William Zbaren, American City: Detroit Architecture, 1845 – 2005 (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2005) John Sobczak, A Motor City Year (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2009) James W. Tottis, The Guardian Building: Cathedral of Finance (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2008) Katherine Yung and Joe Grimm, Coney Detroit (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2012) Arthur M. Woodford, This is Detroit, 1701–2001: An Illustrated History (Grand Rapids: Great Lakes Books, 2001) Pamphlets, Course Books, Portfolios: Lori Brown & Brett Snyder, After Autopia: Visions for Light Rail in the Motor City (Syracuse University School of Architecture, 2010) Bjoern Dittrich & Marius Gantert, Re: Detroit — Intensifying Peripheral Urban Landscapes (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany: Thesis Project, 2012) Andrea Hansen and Toni Griffin, New Geographies for Detroit (Harvard GSD, 2011) Andrew Herscher, How to Recuperate an Urban Crisis: A Glossary of Urban Figurations of Detroit Focusing on Art, Ruins, Wilderness, Apocalypse and other Cultural Imaginaries (Detroit: Detroit Unreal Estate Agency, 2012) Gabriel Mihalea, 2150 : Detroit : Global Human Heritage (2012)



FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 21, 2012 6:00pm-8:00pm: Rob Theakston

8:00pm-10:00pm: Todd Osborn

Rob Theakston was born at Sinai Hospital in

There are lots of stories about DJ and producer

Detroit to a mum and dad. For the next 27 years

Todd Osborn (no e, mind you). They are, unfortu-

of his life, he lived in innumerable cities around

nately for your ego and ours, all true. Our Lego-

the Detroit metropolitan area before taking a

sculpting, electron microscope-owning, Japanese-

position at the University of Kentucky. He comes

speaking uber-producer puts his joy of life and the

home at every opportunity that avails itself. But

art of making into his music. Todd fixes and flies

that’s not why you’re reading this biography.

planes, has fabricated a video game kiosk out of

Rob got his start as a DJ at his high school radio

hospital equipment, and is finishing his hovercraft

station and hasn’t looked back, hosting shows on

as we write this. We could call him house music’s

WQBR, WEMU, CJAM, WCBN and most recently

Macgyver, but that would be obvious. I guess

WRFL. His first night club residency was in the

we just did.Todd has been championed across

study at Motor, and from there went on to work

the board, by everyone from Gilles Peterson to

with Ghostly International during its salad days.

Aphex Twin (he records as Soundmurderer for

A co-founder of the popular Dorkwave parties,

his Rephlex label), from UR’s Mad Mike to Warp’s

he has performed live at the Detroit Electronic

Flying Lotus. But such accolades should be taken

Music Festival and MUTEK. He currently co-runs a

lightly; after all, Todd just wants to have a little

record label (EMA Communications) and has done

fun and get some time in on the dance floor. Like

consulting for several other record labels. Rob

Todd, we should all get (more) busy.

also served as Associate Editor at the All Music Guide ( from 2000-2007.


SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 22, 2012 8:00pm-9:30pm: Richie Wohlfeil

9:30pm-11:00pm: Thinkbox

Richie Wohlfeil makes his way around one way or

Founded at the end of the 1990s, Thinkbox is

another. If it’s not as a dj at events like this, he’s

a multimedia collective whose interests lie in

curating his radio show on Hamtramck’s AM 1610

the exploration and the development of the new

(CONTACT Sundays 9pm to 11pm); or found gig-

modalities of audiovisual diffusion in the context

ging around town with DANNY & THE DARLEANS,

of live performances. The collective is comprised


of six members who reside on both sides of the

as a drummer; or tending his shop in Hamtramck,

Canadian-American border, dividing their time

a used record and book shop called LO & BEHOLD!

between Windsor and Detroit. Thinkbox was

Records & Books that also publishes books from

selected as one of URB Magazine’s “Next 100

time to time. At this event, Richie will be playing

Artists for 2004”. Collective and/or solo member

some rare Detroit Soul & R’n’B 45s from his

performances have occurred at the following

record collection.

venues and festivals: Movement (Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival), USA / Cranbrook Museum of Art, USA / New Maps Festival, Montreal / Deep Wireless Festival, Toronto / Vancouver New Music’s Dangerous Currents Festival/ Ann Arbor Immedia Festival, USA and MUTEK, Montreal. An exhibition of Thinkbox’s works was hosted at the Art Museum of Windsor in 2006. The collective self-released two compilations and have gone on as individuals to release music on such labels as Kranky, City Center Offices, Overlap and Planet E. This will be the first performance under the Thinkbox moniker in nearly 5 years, with tonight’s performance featuring members Christopher McNamara, Steve Roy and Rob Theakston.




of Photojournalism Contest, 2012 New York Photo Festival, National Headliner Awards and was nominated for an Emmy by the Michigan Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.For the past three years Romain has also been working on Can’t Forget The Motor City, a photographic project documenting Detroit with photographer Brian Widdis. Romain loves Detroit, most of the time!


David Adler is a London and NY based economics writer and critic. He is author of the behavioral finance book Snap Judgment (Financial Times Press, 2009) and co-editor of the anthology Understanding American Economic Decline (Cambridge University Press). He is also producer of the PBS NOVA documentary “Mind Over Money” (2010) also about behavioral economics. David Adler is interested in the intersection of arts and economics, which he has written extensively about, most recently for Frieze Magazine. Adler has produced numerous arts documentaries for the BBC. He was a participating artist in the 3rd Athens Biennale 2011 (curators Xenia Kalpaktsoglou, Poka-Yio and Nicolas Bourriaud); Currently David Adler is actively documenting a little known photography system in US prisons featuring photographs taken by prisoners for prisoners using prisoner created fantasy backdrops. He exhibited these at the Clocktower Gallery in NY this summer. His project has been profiled in the Huffington Post, Aperture, Vice, Art Info, and other arts publications.


David Buuck is a writer who lives in Oakland, CA. He is the founder of BARGE, the Bay Area Research Group in Enviro-aesthetics, and co-founder and editor of Tripwire, a journal of poetics. The Shunt was published in 2009 by Palm Press, and Army of Lovers, co-written with Juliana Spahr, is forthcoming from City Lights. Publications, writing & performance samples, and further info available via


Vince Carducci is Dean of Undergraduate Studies at College for Creative Studies in Detroit and publisher of the blog Motown Review of Art. He combines aesthetics and social science to investigate fields of cultural production. He is currently surveying ways in which aesthetic communities in Detroit construct what sociologist Eric Olin Wright terms “real utopias.” His work has appeared in scholarly publications, such as Canadian Journal of Sociology, Journal of Consumer Culture, Logos, and Radical Society, and many periodicals, including Art & Australia, Artforum, Art in America, Eye, Huffington Post, Metro Times, PopMatters, and Sculpture. He received a Kresge Arts in Detroit Literary Fellowship in 2010. He holds a BFA in art practice from Michigan State University and an MA in liberal studies from the New School for Social Research. He is currently completing a dissertation in sociology from the New School.


Asenath Andrews, the founding principal of Catherine Ferguson Academy, is a native Detroiter with degrees from Olivet College, Wayne State University and did PhD. studies at University of Michigan. She was most recently honored by Newsweek’s Daily Beast as one of the 150 Fearless Women in the World, Toyoto Mother of Invention and by Fast Company Magazine as on of the League of Extraordinary Women.


Romain Blanquart (b. 1973, France) is a visual journalist living in Detroit, MI. He studied photojournalism at the Rochester Institute of Technology and for the last 11 years he has been a staff photographer at the Detroit Free Press. His most recent video documentary Living With Murder deals with the toll of homicides in Detroit. It received an Edward Murrow Award and was recognized by the National Association of Black Journalists, Best


in outcomes following abandonment under the same market conditions. Themes in her work relate to strengthening deteriorated neighborhoods and addressing issues facing declining regions. Her new book (co-edited with June Manning Thomas), The City after Abandonment, will be published in fall 2012 by University of Pennsylvania Press.


Cézanne Charles is Director of Creative Industries at ArtServe Michigan where she directs policies and programs that support individual creative practitioners. Charles is an artist and curator and co-founded the hybrid art & design practice rootoftwo in 1998 (with John Marshall). From 2004 to 2007 she was Executive Director of New Media Scotland, the nation’s art and technology development organization. From 2000 to 2003 she gained valuable leadership experience with Culture Works, the Arts Council and United Arts Fund for the Greater Dayton, Ohio area. She was guest Assistant Editor for the July 2009 edition of LEONARDO, Journal of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology, lead curriculum partner on the 2011 Rust Belt to Artist Belt conference and served on the planning committee for the 2009 Creative Cities Summit 2.0. In 2011, she served as art committee chair for the Friends of Modern and Contemporary Art Auxiliary of the Detroit Institute of Arts annual fundraiser Sync: Art Meets Technology. Charles is a member of the Programming Committee at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. She is an active presenter and invited participant at statewide, regional, national and international forums on the creative industries, art and new technology. She is a member of the Upgrade! an international network of gatherings concerning art, technology and culture.


Ms. Burt Gaston received a Master’s of Urban Planning degree from the University of Michigan where she studied how the influence of media, design and popular culture “remake” urban communities and was recognized by the Network of Commercial Real Estate Women for her academic accomplishments. A resident of Detroit’s Arden Park-East Boston Edison neighborhood, Burt Gaston has worked in Detroit as an urban planner, program evaluator and real estate practitioner for twelve years. After stints at the Downtown Detroit Partnership and State of Michigan Land Bank, she was named Deputy Director of Vanguard Community Development Corporation, a community development organization located in Detroit’s historic North End. Her expertise and perspective has contributed to several noteworthy projects including Ice House Detroit, Declare Detroit and the redevelopment of Capitol Park. Her work has been also been featured in New American City Magazine, I Am Young Detroit, Model D and the Detroit Free Press.



Margaret Dewar is Professor of Urban and Regional Planning in the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Dewar teaches courses where students work with community-based organizations and city agencies to develop plans to strengthen neighborhoods in Detroit and Flint. Dewar’s research concerns what cities become following abandonment, a major transformation affecting large numbers of cities in the United States in which urban planners usually have little role. Her particular interest is in identifying political relationships, institutions, laws, and other factors that make a difference

Oren Goldenberg is a filmmaker living and working in Detroit. He is the director and producer of the feature documentary about Detroit Public Schools, Our School, and the documentary Brewster Douglass, You’re My Brother, about the historic public housing projects. Recently, Oren has been making shorter films and installations that explore spatial change in his neighborhood. He owns Cass Corridor Films and spends his spare time organizing his community at the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue and practicing Kung Fu


Harris has built strategic partnerships with companies in Berlin, Madrid, Kobe, and Paris. Representing a broad cross section of genres from techno, rock, hip-hop, jazz, and beyond, AEM handles project management, working with festivals, independent film, and venues on specific projects. Today Harris continues his work in entertainment and media, building bridges with local government entities such as the Detroit Works Project and the Detroit Entertainment Commission with an eye towards helping the region to improve how it leverages its creative capital.


Sabine Gruffat is a digital media artist living and working in North Carolina. She received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and MFA from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. Currently Sabine is an Assistant Professor of Art at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Sabine’s films and videos have screened at festivals worldwide including the Image Forum Festival in Japan, the Split Film Festival in Croatia, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, The Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival, the PDX Film Festival in Portland OR, the Dallas Video Festival, Migrating Forms in New York, The Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago, and The Gramercy Theater in New York. Her photographs and installations have been shown at the Zolla Lieberman Gallery in Chicago, Art In General, Devotion Gallery, PS1 Contemporary Art Museum, and Hudson Franklin in New York, Brissot-Linz Gallery in Paris,and the Centro Cultural Telemar in Brazil. Her documentary film I Have Always Been A Dreamer (2012) portrays two cities in contrasting states of development: Dubai, UAE and Detroit, U.S.A. Currently she is developing and producing a three-screen installation inspired by the first performance of The Rite of Spring.


Andrew Herscher is Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Michigan. He also co-founded the Detroit Unreal Estate Agency, an open-access platform for research on urban crisis using Detroit as a focal point. Among his current projects on Detroit are The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit, an exploration of the alternative urbanism that has emerged in the wake of Detroit’s economic decline, forthcoming from the University of Michigan Press in November 2012, and The Atlas of Love and Hate, a compendium of tendentious, repressed, subjugated and incongruous geographic knowledge of the city inspired by the work of the Detroit Geographical Expedition.



Cornelius Harris is the label manager (and occasional MC) for the iconic Underground Resistance Records as well as founder of Alter Ego Management. Over the years he has taken many roles in both UR and working with techno music originator Juan Atkins, doing vocals for tracks like Transition and Technology Gap, acting as MC for the UR live shows and handling the visual aspect of shows for the electronic supergroup Galaxy 2 Galaxy and Atkins’ Model 500. Prior to this he was a freelance writer, published in the MetroTimes as well as national and international music publications such as URB, Code, and Dance Music Report. Alter Ego Management has grown to represent artists from and in Detroit as well as the east and west coasts and as far away as Barcelona and Tokyo. Through AEM,

Adam Hollier was born in Detroit, Michigan. Adam attended all Detroit public schools. He received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University in Industrial and Labor relations. He then earned a Master of Urban Planning from The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Adam served as the district director for State Senator Buzz Thomas, Chief of Staff for State Senator Bert Johnson and as volunteer coordinator for the East Biloxi Relief and Recovery Center in Biloxi, MS after Hurricane Katrina. During his tenure in public service with Senators Thomas and Johnson, Adam was instrumental in gaining “wins” for his community. Adam also serves on the Northend Central Woodward Governance Board, Michigan Youth in Government Alumni,


Board and Vanguard Community Development Corporation board of Directors. Adam has been very involved with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and coaches American Youth football with the Detroit Dolphins.

view of familiar Detroit scenes, these collages hopefully offer a reverence and concern for the way we perceive the city’s past


Nora Mandray was born in Southern France and received a Fulbright scholarship to study producing and directing at UCLA film school. While in Los Angeles she worked as a creative producer with award-winning New York and L.A.-based commercial production companies. Prior to coming to the U.S., Nora studied at the Institute of Political Science in Paris and also worked for the Cannes Film Festival. Today Nora is passionate about impacting change through documentary and uses journalism as another tool of raising awareness. She’s currently collaborating with Hélène Bienvenu on a year-long documentary about the changing landscape of Detroit.


Shea Howell has been a Detroit activist form more than 3 decades. She works with youth, artists and community-based development. She lectures on issues of social difference and peace and writes a weekly column for the Michigan Citizen. Her most recent work is on political ideology and community transformation. She is a co-founder of Detroit Summer and of the BCNCL. She is a professor of Communication at Oakland University.


John Patrick Leary is Assistant Professor of English at Wayne State University, where he teaches U.S. and Latin American literature. He is completing his first book, A Cultural History of Underdevelopment: Latin America in the U.S. Imagination. He lives in southwest Detroit.


Mitch McEwen is Principal of A. Conglomerate, an emerging design practice based in Brooklyn, as well as Founder of SUPERFRONT, a non-profit supporting public engagement with experiments in contemporary architecture. The Akademie Schloss Solitude has granted her a residency fellowship in architecture for 2012-2013, and she has been nominated for the 2012 United States Artist Fellow award in architecture and design. ArtNews profiled Mitch as a Designer to Watch in 2011. Since founding SUPERFRONT in January 2008, she has curated more than fifteen exhibits and published 5 exhibition catalogues integrating architecture with other disciplines from the arts and the built environment. She has created workshops for the New Museum and Bard College and lectured at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Association of Architecture Organizations, Polytechnic Universty of Puerto Rico and elsewhere. She has taught at Columbia University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. She holds an MArch from Columbia GSAPP and AB from Harvard.


Nicole Macdonald was director of the Detroit Film Center, a non-profit media arts group that shared resources and encouraged independent story-telling by offering lowcost film and video classes, screening local and international work, and renting-out equipment to its members. Since then, Nicole has taught video classes to youth and adults at the downtown Detroit YMCA, with the intention of encouraging media accessibility. Nicole has also worked with the Detroit Area Film & Television to produce animated shorts with Michigan high school students, and has led visual art workshops for incarcerated youth and adults through the Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP) at University of Michigan. With a background in visual arts, Nicole has participated in regional group art shows, focusing on 3-dimensional landscape paintings. Most recently, she has been producing photo collages that combine current photos of Detroit with turn of the century etchings. Aiming to give a different


in 2006 and launched an annual film festival in Detroit which showcases cutting edge indie films from around the world. She was featured in the 2008 edition of Who’s Who in Black Detroit. In 2012, Marshalle became the Dean of the Awesome News Taskforce-Detroit.


Christopher McNamara is a film and video artist who divides his time between Windsor, Ontario and Ann Arbor Michigan. His work has been shown in galleries and museums throughout Canada including Western Front in Vancouver, YYZ and Mercer Union in Toronto, Galerie B 312 in Montréal, the Khyber Art Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the Macintosh gallery in London, Ontario, the Art Gallery of Hamilton and at the Art Gallery of Windsor. More recently McNamara had a solo exhibition at Binz 39 in Zürich, Switzerland, was featured in the Shrinking Cities Project at Kunst Werke in Berlin. In June 2009 he presented “Some More Cities” at the Sherwell Art Centre in Plymouth, UK. His video, Establishing Shots premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam and was subsequently screened at Independent Film Festival Boston, the Ann Arbor Film Festival and at the Projection Gallery in Liverpool, UK. He has performed at international festivals including Mutek (Montréal), Spark (Minneapolis) and Detroit Electronic Music Festival (Detroit). His most recent projects include “On Location” – a 4 screen media installation as part of the 50th Anniversary of the Ann Arbor Film Festival at Gallery Project, Ann Arbor and “Falling In Place” – a solo exhibition at the Thames Art Gallery (Chatham, ON) and at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery (Oshawa, ON). In addition to his video work, McNamara works with three distinct audio art collectives: Thinkbox, Nospectacle and Noiseborder Ensemble. McNamara is a Lecturer IV in the Department of Screen Arts & Cultures at the University of Michigan where he teaches courses in New Media production.


The Detroit News has described Harvey Ovshinsky as “one of this country’s finest storytellers.” Harvey was just 17 yearsold when he founded The Fifth Estate, one of the country’s oldest underground newspapers. Since then he has been awarded broadcasting’s highest honors, including a national Emmy, a Peabody, a duPont - Columbia University Award, and the American Film Institute’s Robert M. Bennett Award for Excellence. While director of production at Detroit Public Television, Harvey helped supervise the production of the Oscar-nominated documentary, “Who Killed Vincent Chin?” The Metro Times has described Harvey’s career as “a colorful and fantastic voyage, at times brave and visionary.”


After dropping out of high school and earning a BFA in New Jersey, Jerry Paffendorf moved to Portland to make art, and then followed his interest in emerging technology to the University of Houston-Clear Lake where he earned a Masters of Science in Studies of the Future. From there he got busy as a futurist and internet creative, first working with the nonprofit Acceleration Studies Foundation in LA, and then joining a startup based in DC called the Electric Sheep Company where he began making and studying new experiences in 3D virtual worlds. He co-founded Wello Horld in Brooklyn where he helped invent the coolest realtime social internet software you’ve never heard of. That venture capitalfueled adventure ended, appropriately, in San Francisco. Always building on past experience, lifelong passions, and a sense of where the web is going, in early 2009 Jerry moved to Detroit because his “spider senses were tingling” with the opportunity to help weave a collective internet experience into the fabric and regrowth of a great American city.


Marshalle Montgomery has worked to bring together diverse communities in Metro-Detroit for over a decade and considers it to be her passion and life’s work. “I believe in using my time, talent, resources and energy to create a positive change in the world around us.” Marshalle grew up in Inkster, Michigan and currently resides there. She is also a filmmaker who co-founded Trinity Film Coalition, L.L.C.


for the French jewellers, Cartier, specialising in the design of their boutique interiors, as well as events for their international branches. Alongside the designer Adrien Rovero, he is co-curator of the Lausanne-Jardin 2014 festival.


Dan Pitera is a political and social activist masquerading as an architect. He is presently the Executive Director of the Detroit Collaborative Design Center at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture. Mr. Pitera holds the position that the sustainability and regeneration of any neighborhood lies in the hands of its residents. He is currently co-leading the Civic Engagement process for the Detroit Works Long Term Planning. Mr. Pitera was a 2004-2005 Loeb Fellow at Harvard University. Under his direction since 2000, the Design Center won the 2011 and 2002 Dedalo Minosse International Prize and was included in the US Pavilion of the 2008 Venice Biennale in Architecture. The Center was awarded the 2011 SEED Award, the 2009 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Design Excellence for the St. Joseph Rebuild Center in New Orleans, the NCARB Prize in 2002 and 2009 and was included in the international exhibit/conference ArchiLab in 2001 and 2004 in Orleans, France. Mr. Pitera gave the keynote address at the Planning Institute of Australia’s National Congress and at Portugal’s equivalent to HUD, in Lisbon. He has lectured and taught extensively throughout the North America, South America, and Europe. He likes “fallout shelter” yellow…


Miguel Robles-Duran is an urbanist, Director of the Urban Ecologies graduate program at the New School/Parsons in New York, Senior fellow at “Civic City”, a post-graduate design/research program based in HEAD Geneva, Switzerland and cofounder of “Cohabitation Strategies”, an international non-profit cooperative for socio-spatial development based in New York and Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Robles-Duran has wide international experience in the strategic definition/coordination of transdisciplinary urban projects, as well as in the development of tactical design strategies and civic engagement platforms that confront the contradictions of neoliberal urbanization. He recently co-edited/authored the book Urban Asymmetries: Studies and Projects on Neoliberal Urbanization that reviews the dire consequences that neoliberal urban policies have had upon the city and discusses possible alternatives to market-driven development. Robles-Duran’s areas of specialization are design/research interventions and strategies in uneven urbanization and areas of social urban conflict, urban political-economy and urban theory.


Christophe Ponceau trained as interior architect at the Boulle School in Paris, and received his DPLG Architecture degree, before pursuing landscape studies with Gilles Clément. In 2000, he created the Great Hall of La Villette’s opening exhibition: ‘Planetary garden’. He later founded his architectural consultancy with Mélanie Drevet, working on public and private projects. With the French Pavilion for the International Expo 2008, held in Zaragoza, Christophe fused his skills and knowledge, creating a project that united set design with landscape art. He regularly works at the Villa Noailles in Hyères, and has recently completed the gardens of the Christophe Pillet designed Sezz Hotel in St Tropez, as well as the Olivier de Serres Gardens at the Domaine du Pradel. He is currently working


Sultan Sharrief’s debut 16mm feature Bilal’s Stand heralds the arrival of its filmmaker as a new voice in American independent cinema––Filmmaker Magazine. Recently selected as one of the Top 25 New Faces in Independent Film, Sharrief seeks to develop socially relevant content while empowering others through the process of filmmaking. Beginning at the young age of 19 years old, he produced an MTV Movie Award-nominated film, The Spiral Project. Sharrief is currently in development of another feature that tackles current social issues, You Gotta Want It. Today,


Sharrief continues to direct the EFEX program, is on the board for the historic Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor and the Magic Wand Foundation which empowers youth to live their dreams.


Steve Upshur is a pastor, a brother, a father, a son, and a servant and friend of many. He found Jesus and was instantly delivered from drugs in 1974 by God. Today, he leads the congregation of Peacemakers International, a little storefront ministry located on Detroit’s Chene Street.


George Steinmetz is the Charles Tilly Collegiate Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan. He has also been Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago (1987-1997) and the New School for Social Research (2008) and a fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. His book The Devil’s Handwriting: Precoloniality and the German Colonial State in Qingdao, Samoa, and Southwest Africa (2007) won a number of prizes. He has also written Regulating the Social: The Welfare State and Local Politics in Imperial Germany (1993), and is currently completing the book Imperial Intellectuals: Sociologists as Theorists, Advisers, and Critics of Empire, 1940s-1960s. His edited books include State/Culture (1999); The Politics of Method in the Human Sciences (2005); and Sociology and Empire (2013). He received the Lewis A. Coser award for Theoretical Agenda Setting in Sociology from the American Sociological Association. He codirected the film Detroit: Ruin of a City.


Brandon Walley is a filmmaker and multimedia artist whose work is predominately abstract and nontraditional in nature. His films have been received at international film festivals and art galleries, including the Ann Arbor Film Festival (Best Michigan Filmmaker Award), the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, the Museum of New Art Detroit, the Silent Speed Film Festival (Best of Show), the Iowa City Experimental Film Festival (Honorable Mention), and the Media City Film Festival in Ontario. Brandon is deeply imbedded in the arts and cultural community of Detroit, where he is active in neighborhoods improvement projects through art and cultural programs. Present and past involvement include: Corktown Cinema (current Program Director,) Detroit Projection Project (current Co-Director and Co-Founder,) Imagination Station (current Development Director,) City Year Detroit (Graphic Design) and Detroit Film Center (former Director.) He has instructed moving media based art classes at College for Creative Studies, YArts of Metro Detroit, Detroit Film Center as well as High School and Primary Schools. Brandon also has professional experience in post-production in television broadcasting, and has been contracted to produce music videos, commercials and theater.


Noah Stephens is a photographer, essayist and founder of The People of Detroit Photodocumentary––a media project dedicated to dynamic, interesting people in the storied birthplace of American auto manufacturing. Since its inception in April 2010, TPOD has received national and international attention. Portraits from the project have appeared in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Fast Company and other national publications. In early 2011, a creative director saw the project on and hired Noah to shoot an ad campaign for McDonald’s Corporation in Shanghai, China.


Dr. Craig L. Wilkins, AIA currently serves as the director of the Detroit Community Design Center at the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning and teaches in both the architecture and urban planning departments. An ACSA Collaborative Practice Award recipient, his book The Aesthetics of Equity: Notes on race,


space, architecture and music won the 2008 Montaigne Medal for Best New Writing and the 2009 National Independent Excellence Award for Social Change. Recently described by C.C. Sullivan of Smart Planet as hip hop architecture’s most articulate thinker, Dr. Wilkins has written and lectured on a variety of topics, from the relationship between race and space at Stanford University to the prospects of architectural activism at the University of Cape Town. In 2010, he was a member of the inaugural group of artists to receive the Kresge Fellowship for literature and has also been awarded a residency at the historic Anderson Center in Minnesota.


Gary Wozniak has spent his entire adult career in the financial arena. With close to 30 years of hands on consulting, training and leadership experience he has helped hundreds of companies achieve economic success. In addition, Gary has owned several business ventures from restaurants to the health care arena. He has a unique ability to analyze a client’s financial condition and make recommendations regarding strengths/ weaknesses, stability and the potential for capacity building. As the lead author of the RecoveryPark project in Detroit, Gary has brought together a coalition of 100+ government, education, non-profit and forprofit entities to vision a 2,400 acre community development and large-scale metropolitan agriculture project. Over 3.5 years in the making, RecoveryPark is poised to define what “triple bottom line” urban projects will model themselves after in the coming years. This project offers insight into financially self-sustainable models offering lifestyle options that end population losses in core city neighborhoods while attracting employment opportunities that will eventually fuel further development ideas.





MODCAR’s fellowship program advances new modes of urban representation and visual analysis. The fellowship is open to artists, architects, urbanists, theorists, and thinkers engaged in innovative modes of image production and dissemination related to contemporary cities. The fellowship program is not geographically or disciplinarily biased. And we encourage applications working with wide range of visual mediums, including, but not limited to video, photography, installation, performance, and film. Fellows receive support in their research and experimentation. The annual program culminates with an exhibit and publication of the work.

Marie Combes lives and works in Paris, France. She is a visual artist whose work – operating at the intersection of video, photography and installation – engages questions of perception, perspective and urban imaginaries. She has exhibited widely in Europe and the United States. In collaboration with Patrick Renaud, she is the co-founder of Studio Combes & Renaud. More at

DAVID BUUCK David Buuck is a writer who lives in Oakland, CA. He is the founder of BARGE, the Bay Area Research Group in Enviro-aesthetics, and co-founder and editor of Tripwire, a journal of poetics. An Army of Lovers, co-written with Juliana Spahr, is forthcoming from City Lights. Publications, writing & performance samples, and further info available via

ANGELA LAST Angela Last is an artist, musician and geographer based in London, who works on the production of alternative imaginaries and experimental public engagement methods. Her Mutable Matter project, which started as part of her PhD research in geography, utilizes interactive art practices in the production of tools for amplifying spatial imagination and political agency. More at mutablematter.


Marie Combes, Les Fugitives, 2012 W




Imaging Detroit is made possible through the generous backing of a Research on the City Grant from the Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning, along with additional support from the University of Michigan. We have been touched and humbled by the help and encouragement that we have received and by the collective energy that we have encountered. The following is a brief and incomplete list of thanks.

The Greening of Detroit National Public Radio Mark’s Carts John Langs Chris Brown Hostel Detroit Mercedes V Mejia Pete Murray Melinda Anderson Jaquelin Kirouac Joe Geiger City of Detroit

Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning Office of the Vice President of Research, U of M Dean Monica Ponce de Leon Research on the City Tom Bray Digital Tools Lab Devin Mudd Digital Planet Parks and Recreation Department, City of Detroit Detroit Mayor’s Office Detroit Public Schools, Office of Real Estate Detroit Design Festival

We are indebted to the energy and intelligence of our DJ’s (both disc and discourse) who have made time to participate and share their expertise, and to all of the artists, filmmakers, designers, and writers who have submitted or authorized the content of our program. The MODCaR Team: Missy Ablin, Lauren Bebry, Virginia Black, Gorham Bird, James Chesnut, Anais Farges, Brittany Gacsy, Allen Gillers, Jennifer Komorowski, Erika Lindsay, Will Martin, Didi Masse, Danielle McDonough, Anthony Pins, Christopher Reznich Project consultants: Jayna Zweiman, Lada Adamic, Steven Christensen

Directed by: Anya Sirota, Mireille Roddier & Jean Louis Farges. 76

Imaging Detroit is a MODCaR 2012 project


Imaging Detroit Program  

The IMAGING DETROIT program guide/ project catalogue. Between September 21st and 22nd, 2012 the Metropolitan Observatory for Digital Cultur...

Imaging Detroit Program  

The IMAGING DETROIT program guide/ project catalogue. Between September 21st and 22nd, 2012 the Metropolitan Observatory for Digital Cultur...