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Vol. I, No. 1.

MATTRESS FACTORY | 500 SAMPSONIA WAY | PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA | SUMMER 2011

In the popular imagination the term neighborhood conjures up ideas of home, community and even common identity, but is this really so? How often do such images capture the complexity and conflictual nature of living together, of sharing space, of negotiating difference and of creating consensus? This exhibition reconsiders the classical concept of neighborhood and the deliberation of how we live together, framing social and political formation as complex and incomplete, universal and particular, representative and invisible. The title refers to a difference of translation and the deliberation of how we live together, through an assertion of the role of oneself in the existence of neighborhood. In the late 1940s writer Oscar Handlin began to research a history of immigrants in America only to realize that ‘the immigrants were American history.’ i In The Uprooted Handlin charted the long and grueling passage to America and the building of ties and communities. As he wrote ‘Becoming an American meant therefore not the simple conformity to a previous pattern, but the adjustment to the needs of a new situation.’ ii During the late nineteenth century, Pittsburgh was a central destination for such generations of immigrants who carved out a living while working in the steel mills, iron, glass, and other factories along the three famous rivers. Often called ‘The City of Immigrants’, the city offered the promise of economic prosperity in the land of the free and the land of opportunity. While this massive influx has not been repeated during the late twentieth or twenty-first centuries, neighborhoods such as Squirrel Hill and Polish Hill acknowledge the historical formations of communities to a site, city or nation according to ethnic, cultural and religious affinities. Today in Pittsburgh, it is common for people to define their home not by city limits but by neighborhood boundaries. Thus the idea of neighborhood not only informs a sense of belonging, but an identity beyond that of the cultural, ethnic, religious or social. In this sense neighborhood operates as a space in which there is a juxtaposition of difference but also a potential for alternative forms of community not based on identity but on the common. Or as Portuguese writer Miguel Torga proposed can we consider the universal as the local without walls? Increasingly over the past twenty years, there have been discussions on the notion of the ‘other’ within cultural debates; but how do these discussions interplay with ideas of locality, community and formation of communities, with the figure of the neighbor? Perhaps as Stuart Hall proposes it is the acknowledgement of a ‘lack’ rather than the proposal of a singular universal value which counters the idea of any ‘pure difference’, ‘The moment you take the radical inadequacy, the ‘lack’ of your position into account, there is a broadening, a widening, an ethical reach for that which is different from you but which also constitutes you.’ iii Can the figure of the neighbor propose an alternative to the dichotomy of friend or enemy? A stranger yet to be a friend? As Eric Santner enquires ‘Is the neighbor understood as an extension of the category of the self, the familial, and the friend, that is, as someone like me whom I am obligated to give preferential treatment to; or does it imply the inclusion of the other into my circle of responsibility, extending to the stranger, even the enemy?’ iv With the tenuous implosion of economic relations between the international community, accompanied by the proliferation of new struggles among refugees, migrant workers, and other partial citizens, the idea of the neighborhood is perhaps key to how we read the world. This exhibition explores the conceptual framework of neighborhood containing the complexities of both local and global interrelations and includes events, installations and video-based works, which present differing points of departure and reflections upon the idea of neighborhood. From Diane Samuel’s interest in the relationship between an individual and their constitution, Dawn Weleski’s training of citizens to literally fight for their issue in a wrestling ring, or Glenn Loughran’s re-imagining of early ‘Squatter Sovereignty’ proposals, each of the artists’ works open up debate and discussion of the current state of play and anachronistic possibility regarding the future of the neighborhood. GEORGINA JACKSON, Curator

Ferhat Özgür, Mum: 1954 and 2011, 2011 Georgina Jackson is a curator and writer. From 2005 until 2008 she was Exhibitions Curator at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane where she co-curated TACITA DEAN (2007), Ellen Gallagher Coral Cities (2007) and was assistant curator on Beyond the White Cube: a retrospective of Brian O’Doherty/Patrick Ireland (2006) and The Studio (2006). Recent curated exhibitions include; Colin Crotty Gemeingeist, Goethe-Institut, Dublin, Nothing is impossible (Karl Burke, Rhona Byrne, Brian Griffiths, Bea McMahon, Dennis McNulty), co-curated with Mark Garry, Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, (all 2010); Declan Clarke Loneliness in West Germany, Goethe-Institut, Dublin, 2009; IF YOU COULD CHANGE THE WORLD AT LAST, co-curated with Jonathan Carroll and Mark Garry, Goethe-Institut, Dublin; Giles Round XLOMFCNHNGNCINUDCWGENMMNCH, Four Gallery, Dublin, 2008; Ronan McCrea Medium (The End), Return Gallery, Goethe-Institut, Dublin; Left Pop - bringing it back home - a special project for the second Moscow Biennial, co-curated with Nicola Lees, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow, 2007. She is a research scholar at the Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media, Dublin, where she is undertaking a Phd. She is a member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) and has written for numerous journals such as Art & the Public Sphere and Printed Project.

how we live together the role of oneself in the existence of neighborhood

The Mattress Factory’s Curator in Residence Program is supported by a generous grant from the Fine Foundation. Neighbo(u)rhood is supported by Culture Ireland, and the Pennsylvania Humanities Council. The Mattress Factory’s artistic program is supported by the Allegheny Regional Assets District, The Heinz Endowments, Roy A. Hunt Foundation, Richard King Mellon Foundation, and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Published on the occasion of the exhibition Neighbo(u)rhood at the Mattress Factory, May 13 – August 21, 2011, curated by Georgina Jackson. Editor: Georgina Jackson Designer: Shannon Knepper Articles by Timothy Cook, Silvia Duarte, Denise Edwards, Glenn Loughran, Khet Mar, Bill Peduto, Emily Talen and Dawn Weleski Exhibition Guide Texts: Georgina Jackson Timeline researched and compiled by Georgina Jackson Cover photography: Matthew Rutledge Installation photography: Tom Little I would like to thank the artists, Barbara Luderowksi, Michael Olijnyk, Owen Smith, Danny Bracken, Karla Stauffer, Kevin Clancy, Rory McRae-Gibson, Shannon Knepper, Lindsay O’Leary, Abby Vanim, Emily Craig, Liz Keller, Shannon Berkheiser, Gina d’Amico, Madeleine Cooney, Slim Cessna, Sam Morrin, Ashley Hickey, Catena Bergevin, Claudia Giannini, Lynn Dalton, Molly Tighe, Ray Zarzeczny, Kelsey Patsch, Maria Mangano, Duncan Horner and Israel Vasquez. In the development of this project there has been great generosity with time and ideas from a number of people, I would especially like to thank Kimberly Bracken, Will Thompkins (The Pittsburgh Project), Dave Deilly (Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild), Keith Hapsberger (Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild), Dr. Robert Cavalier (CMU), Dr. Laurence Glasco (University of Pittsburgh), John Carson (CMU), Katherine Talcott, Astria Suparak, Brian O’Neill (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), Janera Solomon (Kelly-Strayhorn Theater) and Randy Gilson.

i

HANDLIN, Oscar (1951) The Uprooted, New York, Grosset & Dunlap, p.3 HANDLIN, Oscar (1951) The Uprooted, New York, Grosset & Dunlap, p.186 iii HALL, Stuart (2001) ‘Modernity and Difference: A Conversation between Stuart Hall and Sarat Maharaj in HALL and MAHARAJ, Annotations: Modernity and Difference, No. 6, Iniva, London, p.51 iv ZIZEK, Slavoj, SANTNER, Eric and REINHARD, Kenneth (2005) The Neighbor Three Enquiries in Political Theology, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, p.6 ii

PITTSBURGH: A TIMELINE | 19,000 years ago For thousands of years, Native Americans inhabited the region where the Allegheny and the Monongahela join to form the Ohio | 1669 French explorer/trader Robert de La Salle made an expedition down the Ohio River from Lake Ontario and Quebec. | By 1700 The Iroquois held dominion over the upper Ohio valley; other tribes included the Lenape, or Delawares, who had been displaced from eastern Pennsylvania by European settlement, and the Shawnees, who had migrated up from the south. | 1717 Michael Bezallion, Pennsylvania fur trader, passed the future site of Pittsburgh en route from Illinois country to Philadelphia and described the site at the meeting of the rivers in a manuscript. | 1748 German Conrad Weiser is the guest of Delaware Indian Chief Shannopin at the mouth of Two Mile Run


City Council Wrestling

both motorists and pedestrians. One of the primary goals of the project was to improve the area for all users, including bicyclists and pedestrians.

The following are a series of questions posed by Denise Edwards (resident, District 8) and Dawn Weleski (artist, City Council Wrestling creator) to Bill Peduto (Councilman for City Council District 8) on the urban development currently taking place in the East End of Pittsburgh.

DE/DW: Some of the folks that live in the area cannot afford to shop at these new retail locations but are looking to find employment with these businesses. How has the city worked to guarantee jobs at the new Target for local residents? CP: The city has worked closely with the developers and Target throughout the process to ensure that neighborhood job fairs are held and that local residents are given priority in any hiring decisions.

DE/DW: What role did city council play in bringing a store like Target to East Liberty? What was your role as councilperson of District 8? What is the best way, as a resident that is affected by these changes, to responsibly educate myself on these issues and participate in a dialogue with my local government? CP: The Council approved the TIF (tax increment financing) for Penn Circle reconstruction which was part of what secured the Target store. We worked closely with the developer to resolve issues raised by neighbors and followed the existing East Liberty Community Plan. The best way to get involved and educate yourself would be to join a community organization, community development corporation, or other neighborhood group. DE/DW: Through some of the recent developments in East Liberty, residents have been displaced from their homes. Is urban redevelopment sometimes synonymous with gentrification and is this happening in East Liberty? If not, what are the differences? CP: Redevelopment doesn’t need to be synonymous with gentrification if it is handled properly. These major decisions, which impact entire neighborhoods, must be made on Main Street, not Grant Street. In the case of the current redevelopment along Penn Avenue in East Liberty we have used the community plan as our framework and the guidance has come from the ground up, not from the top down. DE/DW: I remember reading in the Tribune Review about the discussion to establish East Liberty as a neighborhood improvement district. Through this designation, there were worries that the small business owners in the area would bear the responsibility for fees related to services such as graffiti removal and sidewalk cleaning. What was the outcome of this discussion? What other services would this designation provide to East Liberty? Who would be employed to do this work? CP: The East Liberty Neighborhood Improvement District (NID) is still pending. Under Pennsylvania law a NID can only be initiated by the community itself, it is not a government decision. The Board of Directors of the NID will be responsible for working with business owners to determine what services should be provided, who will be employed, and what share everyone will pay. These arrangements are worked out directly at the community level and serve as a selfassessment by the community about what it needs. DE/DW: Two words: parking and pedestrians. My personal experience, as well as that of many that I know, is that it’s more difficult to walk through and park in the area over the past two to three years since development has begun. How will these retail shops serve the residents of the area if we are dodging motorists to make it to these destinations? What is the solution to parking in the area? CP: The government funding that went towards the reconstruction of Penn Avenue included significant bike and pedestrian improvements such as curb bumpouts, re-timing of lights, and streetscape improvements such as benches and trees. Additionally, the Port Authority busway entrance was made safer for

DE/DW: I’ve heard rumors that the Highland building will be renovated as a hotel and parking complex. Is this true? Do we need another hotel within ½ mile of these locations (Bakery Square and at the entrance of Bloomfield)? CP: We don’t yet know the plans for the Highland building. The URA (The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh) owns the property and the Mayor has given exclusive negotiating rights to Walnut Capital. Council has not been informed of any negotiations or decisions. The URA Board is comprised entirely of Mayoral appointees. City Council has no

Is urban redevelopment sometimes synonymous with gentrification and is this happening in East Liberty? oversight. These kinds of projects are typically market-driven so if a developer has completed a study showing that a hotel would be profitable then it makes sense, but as I mentioned we don’t yet know the plans for the building. The building has been vacant for a long time so any smart redevelopment is a good idea and will mean jobs and economic activity for the neighborhood. DE/DW: East Liberty was historically a thriving retail and entertainment district for the city. However, recent history has seen failed attempts to reestablish East Liberty as a shopping district. How is this new plan different? CP: The recent redevelopment efforts are based entirely on the community’s own plan. I think the major difference in this instance is that the process has been community-driven and has not come from the top. Successful small businesses have been opening in East Liberty lately such as the Shadow Lounge and we hope this redevelopment will encourage more to move in. DE/DW: Many folks that live around me are not so keen on the re-branding of East Liberty and Shadyside as the “East End” or “East Side”. What can the residents of the area, not just small and large business owners, do to make sure that the branding of the area is also representative of its history and its current residents? CP: The most important thing is to make sure the community is involved in every level of the process of redevelopment. The government can’t tell anyone what to call a neighborhood, that is up to the people who live there and the people who own the core businesses. The best thing you and anyone else who is interested can do is get involved with a local organization. Let the developers and the Mayor know how you feel. DE/DW: How are residents of the area invited into emotional and financial

ownership of this new development? Whose responsibility is it (CDCs, city council, developers, the residents themselves) to make sure that citizens of any city across America are a part of the process of inevitable redevelopment? CP: I think all of the above must be involved. Elected officials are chosen to represent the residents of their district and in my district no development occurs without going through a community plan and receiving significant input from nearby residents and community groups. I view these things as partnerships. Community groups are the cores of our community and are populated by incredibly talented people who give freely of their time and energy to make their neighborhoods better places. I have great respect for the people who get involved in these groups and I always make sure they have a seat at the table.

tax relief, zoning changes, or regulations on the size of new developments. Planning and design are therefore needed to help channel these policies and investments into a diversity-sustaining environment rather than one of constant conflict and tension between competing interests.

DE/DW: Thank you Councilman Peduto. CP: Thank you Denise and Dawn.

A fourth reason design is important is that inattention to design – the absence of any thought given to place quality – could undermine diversity. Social diversity is often fragile, sensitive to context. This means it can be destabilized. There are recognizable ways that the form, pattern, structure (i.e., the design) of places has thwarted the maintenance of social diversity, for example by failing to accommodate new development appropriately. As previously outlined, the tools of urban planning and design, like zoning, street standards and other kinds of regulations, have consistently played a role in undermining diversity. To reverse this requires paying more attention to planning and design.

Design for Diversity

By Emily Talen Arizona State University In the context of city planning, design is about proposing change to urban form – streets, spaces, blocks, group of blocks, districts, or entire neighborhoods. Of special interest are the uses, locations and patterns associated with these forms. The kind of design that is most relevant to social diversity is the kind that acknowledges the underlying social realities and possibilities of a place, a street, a block, or a neighborhood. Social dimension and complexity are relied on to generate design insight and potential. The creative role of the designer is to learn how to translate and communicate that potential. The worthiness of a project is judged by its social impact – specifically, whether it supports or undermines social diversity. Design for diversity draws from the traditional fields of urban planning and urban design. It draws from urban planning because of the social principles planning espouses – i.e., the lessening of social inequality is central to the urban planner’s code of professional conduct. It draws from urban design in that it is concerned with intervening in the built environment. Design for diversity merges the aesthetic interest of urban design with the social objectives of urban planning. It is a way of making the urban designer’s proposals more firmly rooted in social justice, and the urban planners’ concern with social justice more design-based. There are a number of reasons why planning and design of the built environment are critically important for social diversity. First, diverse neighborhoods tend to have a high number of physical transitions. Juxtapositions of difference are visible because in a diverse place there are different kinds of people doing different kinds of things. This can often be a cause of stress, particularly since the meaning and implication of various physical elements can get accentuated in diverse neighborhoods: boundaries can take on special significance, connectivity can clash with a heightened need for privacy, or visual coherence can conflict with diverse tastes and styles. Second, diverse neighborhoods are often the target of policies aimed at either increasing investment or slowing down displacement. Public and private investment takes place alongside rent control,

Third, design can act as a catalyst for focusing people’s attention on the public realm. This is particularly important in diverse places since maintenance of social diversity requires special attention to the public realm. If neighborhood issues are framed in civic terms, residents may be motivated to think about their similarities and connections rather than their differences and conflicts. It keeps the discussion more broad, instead of focusing on particular populations (like gentrifying “yuppies”, recent immigrants, or the homeless). Design puts the public realm literally in view.

For these reasons, design strategies in diverse neighborhoods take on special significance. It’s not just about putting in a new facility, having more locallyowned businesses, or developing a certain kind of housing. It’s about directing those efforts toward the explicit goal of supporting diversity.

Design neglect It has been said that “Every minute detail of urban design determines whether the creative geniuses in our minds are welcomed or excluded from participation in city life”. Design affects all kinds of non-physical realms, things like choice, access, opportunity, interaction, movement, identity, connection, mix, security, and stability. Environmental psychologists and human geographers have documented that people are deeply affected by place, that environments can have a profound impact on human behavior and feelings, that spaces can be thought of as embodied, gendered, inscribed, or contested. Designed spaces are capable of conveying, reinforcing, and even legitimizing social divisions. Racial identity, for example, has a certain physical expression, tied up in things like freeways and urban renewal. Despite these known interactions, the linkage between design and social goals like diversity is often ignored. While it’s right to be cautious about the relationship between social phenomena and the built environment, the translation of social diversity to principles of physical planning and design seems unnecessarily underplayed. Books that connect urban planning and diversity often avoid design completely. Given the way in which physical solutions have been cast as cure-alls throughout much of planning’s history, critics are right to guard against letting planners get away with “place” remedies at the expense of people, institutions, and political process. And yet, entire books on the benefits of neighborhood planning will include barely a mention of the critical importance of design or place. And the usual array of recommended policies to alleviate the

inequitable “geography of opportunity” leave out the design dimension almost entirely. Policies like mixed income, fair share, and mobility housing programs are more often than not articulated in terms that do not address physical character and the design of place. Social scientists have an interest in pointing out the connections between physical environment and social phenomena, often focusing on the strong links that can be made between social and spatial isolation. They often emphasize neighborhood as the context of social problems, from high unemployment, to crime. But their interest is not the design of neighborhoods and cities, and when social scientists speak about the “context” of neighborhood they are speaking about the traits of the people who live there. They may emphasize the political economy of place or the social production of space, but this excludes any specific recommendations about the design of place or space. In the social sciences, the physical environment is relied on as an explanation for social segregation, but whatever remedies are proposed steer clear of its rehabilitation. City Planning, whose purview specifically includes the rehabilitation of the physical environment, has not spent much effort filling in this missing perspective. Witold Rybczynski recounts the history of planning’s retreat from

...the tools of urban planning and design, like zoning, street standards and other kinds of regulations, have consistently played a role in undermining diversity. design, asserting that planning’s many design mistakes – superblocks, high-rise public housing, slum clearance, government complexes – and their astounding failure caused planners to withdraw from the task of city design altogether. Planners now “mediate, animate, negotiate, resolve conflicts, find the middle ground”, which may be “honorable”, but “it leaves the creation of an urban vision entirely to others”. Detachment from the physical context of diversity may be related more generally to the loss of localized form as a context for production and consumption. We consume without being affected or inhibited by the context of production, including whatever behind-the-scenes

SATELLITE LOCATION Glenn Loughran with The Saxifrage School Squatter Sovereignty The General Will 2011 As the final element of his project, Loughran has collaborated with The Saxifrage School, an organization which aims to offer a university education for $5,000 a year within vacant neighborhood spaces by 2014, and to open ‘The General Will’ in an empty pub space opposite PNC Park on the Northside. During the month of May and June a series of lectures, talks, and events will take place in this public pedagogical project which confuses the notion of education as sited only within prescribed places. Offsite location: The General Will, 120 Federal Street, Pittsburgh (opposite PNC Park) For up-to-date listings of events see http://www.facebook.com/event. php?eid=198196436888597

The Saxifrage School The Saxifrage School is a college redesign project based in Pittsburgh, PA. They are working to create a new model that focuses more simply on the main purposes of higher education. By integrating into a neighborhood and creating partnerships with community organizations, their courses will meet in non-traditional, underutilized spaces rather than expensive academic buildings. These courses will be part of a fouryear accredited bachelor’s degree program that will require students to undertake a dual-major degree program and an all-college language fluency study. The dual-major program will include a balance of both practice and theory; students will study both a technical skill and a liberal arts discipline. By simplifying the model and offering a more interdisciplinary curriculum, they will offer students a college education that allows them to graduate with valuable academic and technical skills as well as without debt. For further information see saxifrageschool.org

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS Dr. Robert Cavalier, Georgina Jackson and Dawn Weleski Tuesday, May 17, 2011, 7PM. Galleries open at 6PM. Led by Curator Georgina Jackson, panelists Robert Cavalier, (author of Approaching Deliberative Democracy) and Dawn Weleski, will engage in discussion on citizenship, the language of community and neighborhood, and how we consider our individual roles within these constructs. This event is free and open to the public. FILM SCREENING & PANEL DISCUSSION The Pipe (2010) Thursday, June 9, 2011. Film at 7PM, brief discussion to follow $10 (free for MF members and CMU students) In one the most dramatic clash of cultures in modern Ireland, the rights of farmers over their fields, and of fishermen to their fishing grounds, has come in direct conflict with one of the worlds most powerful oil companies. When the citizens look to their state to protect their rights, they find that the state has put Shell’s right to lay a pipeline over their own. The Pipe is a story of a community tragically divided, and how they deal with a pipe that could bring economic prosperity or destruction of a way of life shared for generations. As a follow-up, panelists Brian O’Neill, Seamus Nolan, and moderator Dawn Weleski will lead a discussion with audience members about community conflict, activism, and the parallels we find between the story of The Pipe and current events in our own region. BIRD ORCHESTRA OF PITTSBURGH Sunday, July 10th, 2011, 6PM and 7PM Performances by: Big Experimental Bird Orchestra of Pittsburgh & Kid’s Incredibly Daring STRAY BIRDS: FULL MOON AT THE MATTRESS FACTORY Friday, July 15th, 2011 Taketeru Kudo and Michael Pestel at sunrise and noon 8PM (full moon performance with Big Experimental Bird Orchestra of Pittsburgh) Discover our avian neighbors by joining “birdmusician” Michael Pestel, legendary Pittsburgh musician Ben Opie, worldrenowned Butoh dancer Taketeru Kudo, members of Syrinx Ensemble, together with The National Aviary, the Allegheny Commons Initiative, and the Mattress Factory to celebrate birds, bird sound, and bird movement. FACTORY 14s OPENING EXHIBITION: WHO ARE YOU? Friday, August 5, 2011, 6-8PM FREE Party with the amazing teenage artists who participate in our summer art course, Factory 14s. Together with their artisteducator, Cheryl Capezutti, students will display, perform, and generally tell the story of their intensive 4-week introduction to installation art. COMMUNITY ARTLAB CELEBRATION Wednesday, August 10, 2011, 6-8PM FREE Help MF artist educators provide ample fanfare for the children who participate in our summer classes and for their amazing artwork. This event includes artist presentations, exhibitions, performances, refreshments and is open to the entire community. WRESTLING EVENT Dawn Weleski’s City Council Wrestling at ‘When Worlds Collide’ Saturday, August 13, 2011, 7:30PM Lawrenceville Moose Lodge 120 51st Street, Lawrenceville City Council Wrestling will culminate in a rhetorical and physical wrestling match, between citizens and council members costumed as their own rhetoric, at a local wrestling ring, Lawrenceville Moose Lodge. For information on this exciting event see http://www.citycouncilwrestling.com/

ONGOING

ART OUTDOORS West Park at Lake Elizabeth Every Thursday, June 2-September 1, 2011, 4-6PM FREE Join the Mattress Factory in participatory and collaborative projects related to the outdoors and installation art. We’ll provide a new project each week! While you’re there, take advantage of free kayaking provided by Kayak Pittsburgh and Venture Outdoors!

Pitt News, 09/09/1968. Courtesy: University of Pittsburgh, University Archives Information Files.

(present day Lawrenceville). | 1753 November 23, George Washington recounts his arrival at the meeting of the rivers and proposes that the site would be well suited for a Fort. | 1754 February 17, William Trent and militiamen begin to build a fort and call it Fort Prince George. | April 17, The French take possession of the half-built fort and build Fort Duquesne. They celebrate mass on the site. | 1758 November 24, British forces led by General John Forbes captured Fort Duquesne from the French. | December 1, General Forbes names the camp Pittsburgh after British prime minister William Pitt | 1761 April, census counts 322 people and 104 houses. | 1783 The German Evangelical Protestant (Congregational) Church, formed in 1782, build a one room space making it the city’s oldest church. | 1784 The laying out of the ‘Town of Pittsburgh’ was

2000 Pittsburgh’s population is 334,563. This includes a foreign born population of 18,874 or 5.6% of the total population. | 2006 Pittsburgh’s population is 312, 819 | 2007 Pittsburgh named the ‘Most Livable City in the United States’ by Places Rated Almanac. | 2009 Jovenes Sin Nombres, a progressive Latino youth movement, is founded. | 2010 Pittsburgh’s population is 305,704


University. It has been understood for a long time now that a college education is an entrance to the reputational economy. Harvard = good reputation, Penn State = average.

By Glen Loughran and Timothy Cook The following email conversation took place between Glenn Loughran and Timothy Cook while they were rejuvenating a center city sports bar in Pittsburgh into a temporary school/cultural center called ‘The General Will.’ The General Will project is a testing space for a longer project of college redesign and rethinking that has been developed over four years by the Saxifrage School committee. The bar will host a scheduled series of events that are both pedagogical and artistic throughout the month of May, as part of the Neighbo(u) rhood project at the Mattress Factory. GL: So Tim, you have been working on the Saxifrage School project for almost four years now. Can you tell me how you went about setting it up, what was the reasoning behind the concept, and what does Saxifrage mean? TC: Well... The Saxifrage School has slowly gone from pencil notes on the backs of envelopes to a legitimate organization with 20+ team members and a strategic plan for development, hopefully to open in 2014. I would have given up the work at numerous points if not for a lot of encouragement from people who are constantly excited about our ideas. I mean, starting a college is a pretty lofty project. The scope of it is often overwhelming. Who starts a college? It has been propelled by sheer willpower, volunteer support, and word of mouth. A project like this only works because the problem we are addressing—the cost and relevance of the University—resonates strongly with almost everyone. To be honest, most of the ideas for this project come from my own ineptness. After graduating from college, I realized the things that I needed the most—food, shelter, transportation, the dollar bill—I was ill-equipped to provide. There I was at 22 years grown and I couldn’t grow a single tomato, fix my car or bicycle, or maintain my house, let alone build my own. I’ve slowly been learning, but it hasn’t been easy. Granted, our economy has made it possible for us to not have these skills, but if we want to serve our neighbors and be able to support ourselves, often the things we need the most are these kinds of practical skills. My elderly neighbor would rather have a basket of tomatoes or a repaired gutter than have me write him an essay on transcendentalism. Having these skills not only makes us better neighbors but also participants in a truer economy that values conservation, quality and community. I was lucky enough to not graduate with any debt, but most graduates have a goodsized share of the $800 billion of American student debt. I began to think: what if college could prepare us for life as people who think deeply, but also work skillfully. What if we could graduate with money in our pockets, capable of building and designing a home and making sense of the world through poetry? As for the name, “Saxifrage School”, the saxifrage is a small flower that grows in the crevices of rocks and slowly breaks them apart.  It is a metaphor for reconciling the often dualistic divide between theory and practice. In higher education that divide is seen most obviously in the conflict between the sciences and

the humanities. The saxifrage metaphor comes from a poem by William Carlos Williams--who was, himself, both a poet and a physician—called ‘A Sort of a Song.’ In the poem, he offers a line that aptly defines this concept which the Saxifrage School endeavors to follow: “no ideas but in things.” ‘No ideas but in things’, I like that. How do you see yourself manifesting this ethos in the Saxifrage School, do you see the balance between theory and practice as an essential part of the curriculum? Could you elaborate a little on how these ideas might negotiate the challenges of accreditation?  The practice/theory reconciliation will play out in our academic programs. We will require all students to study one technical program (choosing from building design & construction, organic agriculture, and computer science) and one humanities program (Literature, Philosophy, Art, etcetera). Students will have a balance of both theory and practice, with one informing the other. Our idea is to focus their work around specific tangible projects and problem solving. I always come back to this quote by Henry David Thoreau from Walden, “[They] should not play life, or study it merely, while the community supports them at this expensive game, but earnestly live it from beginning to end.” Our work as students needs to be the work of our lives. For too long there has been a dualistic divide between theory and practice, the sciences and the humanities, between our physical and intellectual pursuits. Our physical, mental, and spiritual health demand that we are people who work with both our minds and our muscles. The accreditation process will certainly be a challenge, but I think our program will be uniquely suited to meeting its requirements for breadth of study. Many of the courses we will be required to offer will be necessarily covered due to the dual-major program. Additionally, every student at The Saxifrage School will study the same foreign language (Spanish) for the entire four years. All full-time faculty and staff will have to take part in this language study while they are employed by the school. By doing this we create a pseudo-immersive language speaking environment that will go far beyond the typical two-semester language requirement of most colleges. Given that so much of your critique is based on an analysis of the relation between educational debt, property, reputational economy and cultural selection, how do you see the Saxifrage School being sustained when students desires are so often unconsciously prescribed by these elements? Or, how will you compete with the long history of Human Capital development in US education? This sort of disruptive innovation is really difficult, because it is initially confusing to people. The reason why it hasn’t happened yet is because it does not easily mesh with the general understanding of a “good” higher education experience. More and more colleges are marketing themselves to students based on their grandiose buildings, dorms, cafeteria and high-tech facilities; they sell a model of College to students by spending more on the model. In fact, increasing tuition has often been a reliable strategy to raise the prestige of a

Because costs are usually lumped together, students don’t quite understand that they are not just paying for an education, they are paying for their dorm’s cable television, the heating bill for the new science center, and for the scores of well-intentioned administrative positions. It’s a confusing issue because students will naturally be interested in the nicest opportunities. Who wouldn’t want state-of-the-art facilities? Free iPads? Swordfish in the cafeteria? But, because the true cost of college is hidden and the cost absorbed by society and personal students’ debts, students rarely choose college based on value. Of course they want a free iPad, but it’s a lie to say it’s free; really they are paying for the iPad with parental support, their part-time restaurant wages, and their loans. This is not to say students should not have iPads, but they need to know they aren’t free. These are difficult things for some people to hear, but as much as the lavish spending has attracted students, I think the obverse is becoming true. Students and their financial backers can only be drawn in by the glitz of the University system for so long; now that tuition costs for private colleges are consistently above $40,000/year, a school like ours that offers a similar education for $5,000 is going to look mighty appealing. We won’t have a cathedral of learning or free iPads, but they’ll learn to build, grow, design, compute, write, speak, think, and create and won’t have any debts at the end of it. Although America has a long history of higher education directing students through a system of human capital development, it has a longer history that values self-sufficiency and true economy. The Saxifrage School will graduate students that will be capable workers, but will be intellectually and financially independent. Our idea, while disruptive, is not based on a rejectionist approach; there are many good things about higher education that we want to refocus. Many people are completely throwing out the idea and starting up projects like Uncollege, or Free Schools, we love College and are trying to salvage the best parts. I don’t agree that free schools are rejectionist; I think they are also reformist, but they have understood that reform inside the normalised hierarchy of higher education is sometimes impossible. It is in this sense that I think they are subtractive; they subtract from the norm in an attempt to prescribe both a new institutional logic and policy changes within the State, from a particular distance. You talked about how commodities tend to stand in for the reputational value of education. If you were to put forward an idea of education that is different to the values of consumption and production, labour and commodities, what would it look like? I’ll agree with you that, in theory, free schools are not rejectionist, but I have found that they often turn out to be in practice. Many of the free schools I have looked at reject the structure and organization of the institution and the seriousness with which higher education pursues skill and knowledge. As a result, the classes many free schools offer are frequently on topics like screen-printing, poetry workshops, and consensus building. While these and many things they offer are certainly valuable, they do not offer students the capacity to pursue longer studies in serious skills or disciplines. As far as I have seen, you cannot study a dedicated discipline or trade at a free school. In theory free schools can be excellent-and are in some cases—but I think that

they too often lose the rigor and quality of the University. Despite this, I am still an advocate for free schools. As you said of ‘The Wire’ though Glenn, “follow the money”... free schools often lack serious teaching capabilities because they lack funding. People can only offer so much as volunteers. I am much more interested in self-study programs (which free schools could contribute to) where students are using multiple sources in accomplishing a more serious and lengthy academic project. I’m not sure I completely understand your next question, but I’ll do my best. A college education, especially in the United States, has certainly become a commodity. Especially with the recent success of numerous publicly traded for-profit Universities, American higher education is bought, sold, and traded in ways that are very very similar to other large industries, such as the housing market. The marketing and financing models bear striking resemblance. Our idea is that a degree is worthless. As countless people keep telling me, “yeah, you’re right, I got a degree, but all I learned in college was to drink beer and find hot dates”. The only true purpose and true value of the college experience are the skills, knowledge, and relationships gained from the academic community. Moreover, we will require our students to engage with real problems of life and tangible projects so that they are producers in the true economy, rather than mere consumers of a passive college experience. You’re right. There are problems inherent to Free Schooling. They operate through a solidarity economy which at worst can be subject to fatigue and disorganisation; yet when this type of economy works through proper critical management and commitment they can be potent in transforming the core values of education, maintaining the emancipatory tradition of education. I’m thinking here of the MST Landless workers movement in Brazil and their Itinerant schools, or closer to home Myles Horton’s Highlander Folk School.  You have mentioned the ‘True Economy’ a couple of times now, I wonder if you could give me some insight into what that is? Those examples sound excellent. The American homeschooling movement is probably another, larger example of successful free-schooling. ...the “True Economy” question is a good one, definitely one of my favorite topics. It has a lot to do with the over-monetization of value and the culture it has created. At its core, it is a problem of names and meanings. The word “economy” specifically has been used so often over the past century, that its etymology contains opposing definitions. For instance, our mayor in Pittsburgh here could have been recently quoted as saying something like, “This new Casino will be great for the economy! It will bring jobs and spur development on the North Shore”. Meanwhile, across town a woman is driving an economy car, and refuses to buy a new flat-screen TV to replace her old heavy one because, she says, “it just isn’t economical”. In the casino sense, good economy means spending huge amounts of money and resources so that others can lose their personal resources to the casino. Sure it creates jobs, but the overall net gain in actual value and resources is negative. In the true economy, the casino uses resources, but creates no resources or anything of value aside from really expensive entertainment. Saying it is good economy is a flat out lie. To simplify: the false economy says that we need to consume more in order to improve economy while the true economy asks us to consume less. The true economy highly values things that are most necessary for a simple but high quality human life: food, shelter, com-

fort, utility, and warmth. My favorite example of something that exists in a culture based on false economic ideas is a businessman my father knows. He makes all of his money by leasing out vanity 1-800 phone numbers. He constantly buys up these phone numbers and then sells the rights for them to a dentist that wants 1-800-55TEETH. Similar things happen with real estate, website domains, etc. People buy up things hoping demand will increase the price and then they sell them back. They do nothing to create value, their main action has been to stand in the way of someone who wants what they have. I guess this relates to College as well. If a degree program is merely some credential that the College is holding from the student and they must pay to procure it and move on, it is part of the false economy. But, if a college assists us in improving our capability to live, work, and serve well, it improves the true economy. Colleges likely always serve both sides of the economy; our hope is to further tilt the balance in the latter direction. Reminds me of the Mondragon Cooperative in Northern Spain. It’s the longest running Co-op in the Twentieth century, and it began as a small community school experiment set up by two priests. This brings me to my next question, what is going on with the ‘General Will’ project. Where is it? What is its programme at present, and what does the future hold? This week is going to be really busy down at The General Will. Yesterday I wrote up the first in a series of chalkboard signs that will display various evocative texts on issues of higher education, economy, and sovereignty. This week we have 6 meetings at The General Will, 3 with potential supporters for our project, and 3 with different volunteer teams working on specific academic and funding goals for The Saxifrage School project. There will also be a concert/discussion coming up soon. It seems like most every week is going to be similarly busy. Yesterday an Equitable Gas employee knocked on my door needing to get down to the basement to do a gas meter reading. He, like everyone else, wanted to know when we were “re-opening” and was confused by our re-use of the space. I got to explain that there are no plans yet for a new bar to open up, but in the mean time we are operating the Space as the headquarters for our College project. We had a good conversation as I explained to him about our ideas for higher ed in a non-traditional space, how much money it might save, and what the Thoreau quote on the window was all about. This conversation and others that are sparked by the confusion of the place are exactly why this project will be (and has already been) a success. It does not have so much to do with how much we actually do in the space, though we’ll be doing a lot, it has more to do with the larger commentary. There is great value in the confusion of the space. Maybe the University can exist in a derelict bar; maybe higher education can indeed happen in low places. Sounds exciting! Good to talk to you Tim. I look forward to following the development of the General Will project, and more broadly the development of the Saxifrage School, which I think is an ambitious project against complacency and unsustainability in educational discourse. Talk soon. Thanks Glenn. It has been excellent to talk with you and collaborate with you on the creation of The General Will. So far, the project has been a great success. I’m sure we’ll talk soon. Hopefully I can come work with you in your neighborhood some day.

Mister Roger’s Neighborhood airs on national television. | 1970 The immigrant population of Pittsburgh accounts for only 4.4 % of the residents of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. | 1980 Pittsburgh’s population falls to less than 425,000. Of this Immigrants only 1.3 % residents of the Pittsburgh metropolitan. Fewer than 400 Mexicans, less than 10,000 Asians (China, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, the Philippines and Vietnam) Nearly 20,000 Italians 4/5 who had left their homeland before 1960. | 1985 Pittsburgh named ‘Most Livable City in America’ by Places Rated Almanac. |

Design for Diversity, cont. social and economic realities our consumption may require. Perhaps under these circumstances, leveraging place to support diversity seems illogical. Or it may be that using place to support diversity seems too determinist and controlling, in danger of requiring the construction of an aesthetic image rather than a real place. In what seems like a desperate attempt, there have been calls to foster diversity using “creative destruction” as a means. Missing from these approaches is consideration of daily life needs, elements that are crucial to sustaining diversity in urban settings. We are left with an attempt to inspire social diversity based on disequilibrium and destruction, devoid of careful understanding of the physical elements and neighborhood structure required for everyday life. While there is recognition that neighborhoods that support diversity must be safe and have good access to schools, employment and other services, there seems less recognition of the reality that these conditions require a concerted focus on the design of place. Design is critical in calls for promoting “place-based initiatives” like community and economic development, worker mobility and household mobility strategies, or the reduction of service inequities. But without paying attention to neighborhood-level effects, to how

Fighting with Writing, Political Activism & Social Work An interview with Khet Mar By Silvia Duarte

Since she was 19-years-old, Khet Mar has been persecuted by the Burmese government. She has been arrested, tortured, incarcerated, and threatened, but she has remained a warrior without guns. She fights with her writing, her political activism, and her social work. In 2009, she was interrogated by intelligence officers for 20 straight hours and released. Afraid she would be arrested again, she left her country to become the writer-in-residence in City of Asylum/Pittsburgh. Sitting in her living room on Sampsonia Way and sipping a green tea, she told me how the Burmese government has impacted her life, oppressed the Burmese people, and created a reign of terror. Even while relating these disturbing stories, Khet Mar never raised her voice or lost her calm—except when she mentioned the military government in Burma. “The generals don’t deserve mercy,” she said. In this interview Khet Mar details the crucial moments in her life and offers a rare glimpse into life under the secretive regime of the Burmese military junta, including how the publishing industry operates under the thumb of government censors. This is the first time Khet Mar has been able to tell, for print, her life story, openly and without fear of repercussion. In your essay ‘Night Flow’ you describe the poverty in Maletto, the village you grew up in. You write about how your adolescent friends worked cutting chillies instead of going to school. They were paid with a small amount of chillies, which they then sold as the

these programs play out in physical terms, or how they are to be nurtured and sustained in a material context, a vitally important piece is overlooked. Connecting design to social goals like diversity may require pro-action. History has shown that neighborhood form does not always keep up with social change. Social transitions in the latter half of the 20th century, such as

By mid-21st century, one-half of the population of the U.S. is expected to be composed of today’s “minorities” “lifestyle and cultural diversification”, women in the labor force, and smaller households were not adequately accommodated in the physical environment – and still aren’t. Now, we need an approach that can be responsive to a society growing more and more diverse. By mid-21st century, one-half of the population of the U.S. is expected to be composed of today’s “minorities”. Planners will need to consider whether the residential structure used to house an increasingly diverse population will intensify segregation, or help to accommodate diversity.

only way to help their families to survive. How was it that you were able to attend school? I was able to go to school because my grandparents were the principals of an elementary school in Maletto and then my mother became a teacher there. My family was one of the few for whom education had a great value, even though they were poor too. Another important aspect was that Maletto didn’t have a high school and most of my friends didn’t have the money to travel to another town’s school every day. The first military junta came to power in 1962, before you were born. You grew up under a dictatorship. Was the country of your childhood different than the country today? Today, most of the kids don’t have a chance of education and instead they do many jobs to survive, just like my friends in Maletto. However, my friends and I were not as threatened as children are today. Now children are forced to be soldiers. The military sexually harasses, assaults, and even rapes children. Also, children are afraid their parents will be killed or arrested any moment. One character who often appears in your writing is your grandmother. Once you told me that she was crucial to your writing career. How did your family contribute to your success as an essayist, poet, journalist, and fiction writer? My father was a big reader, and I read many of his books when we lived together. Unfortunately, my parents got divorced when I was six and I had to move to my grandmother’s house. I was lucky because she loved to read too. I had access to two libraries: my father’s translations of English literature and my grandmother’s collection of classic Burmese authors. Since my early childhood I was interested in writing. When I was in seventh grade, I wrote a story for school and showed it to my grandmother. Since then she encouraged me to be a writer. After the 1988 uprising, which was started by students at Yangon University, many universities were closed for three years and I had a lot of time to read and write. My grandmother read

Pursuing the objective of place diversity through the mechanisms of planning and design will require a nuanced understanding of the interconnections involved. It will require knowledge of the difference between redevelopment that contributes to loss of diversity and redevelopment that sustains diversity. To work toward stability and discourage displacement, to simultaneously support homeownership and rental housing, to successfully integrate a range of housing types and densities, levels of affordability, a mix of uses, and neighborhood facilities and social services – all of this together requires holistic attention that includes the physical form and design of neighborhoods. Emily Talen is a professor at Arizona State University in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and the School of Sustainability. She is also Director of the Phoenix Urban Research Lab, an extension of ASU’s Design School, located in downtown Phoenix. Talen has written extensively on the topics of urbanism, urban design, and social equity. Recent books include; New Urbanism and American Planning: The Conflict of Cultures (Routledge, 2005), Design for Diversity (Architectural Press, 2008), and Urban Design Reclaimed (Planners Press, 2009).

everything I wrote and said I should submit my short stories to magazines and newspapers. But I was afraid, because I grew up in a village and I was not sure that the editors in a big city like Yangon, the former capital of Burma, would like my work. My grandmother told me: “If you don’t send in those stories, I will.” In August 1989, I took three different stories to three magazines and talked with the editors; all three were accepted for publication and two of them were published. What happened to the third story? It was censored. I wrote about a girl who preferred to stay in her room, because her family was different than her. She was always behind the bars of her window. The windows in Burma are open all the time because of the heat, so they all have iron bars. In my story I told in detail how this girl felt lonely. The censorship officers thought I was writing about Aung San Suu Kyi, the pro-democracy leader who has been under house arrest since 1989 and who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. But the story was not about her; it was actually a story about loneliness. The censorship officers in my country are paranoid. Tell me about the process that a magazine or a newspaper needs to follow to get a story published in Burma. Every editor has to show all articles to the Press Scrutiny and Registration Division of the Ministry of Information. They can’t do it by e-mail; they personally have to go to the censorship department and present all the content and photos of each issue. The officers revise the issue and, if they accept it, the editors can print it. After printing the issue, the editor again presents it to the Registration Division. If some articles are further censored at that point, the officers tear out the pages they consider dangerous. My story was censored in its second revision; so it was torn out. It’s important to say that the head of this department is a military captain and a man who has never read literature. Even though your story didn’t have a particular political message, at that time you were already an activist. How did you get involved in the pro-democracy movement?

In 1986, I started studying at the university. In September 1987, the government devalued our currency in a very strange way: They canceled all denominations of our currency except for bills that were divisible by 9, because 9 was ‘the lucky number’ of the top General. However, the government didn’t let you exchange the bills that had been abolished. So, except for those who were closely associated with the government leaders, no one had real money in their hands, only useless cancelled denominations. Young students who came to Yangon from all around the country could barely pay tuition fees or cover living expenses. I was affected too and I didn’t hesitate to join my university friends when they started the protests against the government. The currency crisis was still affecting the nation in 1988 and was one of the causes of that year’s uprising. Did you participate then? In 1988, there was a fight between a group of engineering students and some guys who were hanging out on the street. The problem was that the police came to stop the fight and shot a university student to death. The Burmese population was already angry because of the currency crisis, but they became furious after the killing. I was angry and sad. On March 16, 1988, I joined a march from my university to the main university in Yangon. That day is now known as the Red Bridge Day. When we tried to pass the barriers, the soldiers blocked the road and shot at us. I ran away. It was horrible. Some of my classmates were killed, and some of my girlfriends were raped by soldiers. The government didn’t give us a choice, we had to react. After that, I became deeply involved in the pro-democracy movement and I became a leader in my village. What was your role as a leader? I recruited people for the movement. I organized a protest against the government in Maletto with hundreds of people. We went by boat to a town called Meubin and joined protesters from other villages. I participated in many demonstrations starting in 1988 and, in 1991, I joined the protest of university students who were demanding freedom for Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners. In 1991, I distributed political poems with my friends from school. The best-known poem was about a dog that bit the hand of its owner, alluding to the soldiers who killed the same people who pay their salaries with their taxes. After that, the intelligence department arrested me. In ‘Midnight Callers’ you describe your experience in the interrogation center. You write that the lowest point was when you couldn’t finish one of your meals, because your stomach and back hurt so much after the interrogators had kicked you for many hours. The next day they brought in the same unfinished plate of food and you threw up when you tried to eat it again. Despite the pain, you didn’t give your interrogators any names or important information. What happened that day? I was blindfolded, so I could only hear. One of my friends was in the room with me and was blindfolded too... He didn’t know I was there because I was not speaking, but I recognized his voice. The interrogators asked him to reveal the names of people involved with us and he quickly gave them the names and told them about our secret meetings. At that time only students had access to the university buildings, but some of the movement leaders went there to organize the students. I used to find student IDs for them so they could get into the buildings. My friend also revealed the names of movement leaders who went to the university, how we distributed poems in the movement, and the strategies we had for the future.

Khet Mar outside of her home on Sampsonia Way. Photo ©: Than Htay Maung

When I heard him reveal our secrets I was really angry with him. But after many months I understood: he was tortured too much. But you were tortured for ten days. Yes, but everybody is different. Everybody reacts differently, depending on the situation. My friend couldn’t think fast and that was the problem. I also gave names to the interrogators, but I only said the names of my friends who had already died... You were sentenced to ten years in prison, but you were released after only a year as a result of an amnesty. What was your biggest fear after you were released? I had many fears. I was afraid of being a HIV-positive. In the winter we slept on a concrete floor, and most of the prisoners got sick. A nurse came every day to inject us with medicine, but she used the same needle for all the prisoners. I was in the same cell with prostitutes, drug addicts, and homeless who already were HIV-positive. I didn’t catch the disease, but I know many women who were infected with AIDS after being in jail for a while. I was very afraid of a future without work too. As a former political prisoner, it was impossible to get a job at the government offices. Also, the owners of businesses didn’t want us as their employees. I wrote a short story about a friend of mine who died because she couldn’t work after she was released from prison. I was also afraid of being persecuted and arrested again. However, you continued your work as a writer and journalist. What kind of work were you able to do? I’m really grateful to the editors of the magazines I worked with, because they published my writing even though they knew I was a former political prisoner. I started writing short stories and essays for the magazines. Then, I became a journalist in order to have money to survive. I wrote many social, educational, environmental, and business articles for different media outlets. I got more and different readers when I started to write these journalistic articles.

This interview first appeared in Sampsonia Way, an online magazine sponsored by City of Asylum/Pittsburgh celebrating literary free expression and supporting persecuted poets and novelists worldwide. Read the full interview at http:// www.sampsoniaway.org/literary-voices/2010/08/12/fighting-with-writing-political-activism-and-social-work/

completed by Thomas Viceroy of Bedford County and approved by the attorney of the Penns in Philadelphia. | 1785 Pittsburgh becomes a possession of the state of Pennsylvania. | 1786 John Scull and Joseph Hall found The Pittsburgh Gazette, later known as The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | 1787 The University of Pittsburgh, then known at the Pittsburgh Academy, is founded. | 1790 Population of seven hundred | 1791 The first German speaking church in Pittsburgh begins construction at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Smithfield Street. | 1796 Population reaches 1300 | 1808 The growing numbers of Irish Roman Catholics justified the creation of a Catholic Parish in the city. Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church oldest and first African Methodist church founded. | 1816 Pittsburgh is incorporated as a city. Population of about 10,000 | 1820 Population


THIRD FLOOR

LOWER LEVEL

John Smith The Girl Chewing Gum 1976 B/W Sound, 16mm transferred to DVD, 12 mins loop.

Glenn Loughran with Manchester Craftsman’s Guild Squatter Sovereignty Radical Love 2011 Ceramic, gold spray, audio from Tahrir Square. Special thanks to Dave Deilly and Keith Hapsberger

Inspired by the Structural Materialist ideas which dominated British artists’ filmmaking during his formative years, but also fascinated by the immersive power of narrative and the spoken word, John Smith has developed a body of work which deftly subverts the perceived boundaries between documentary and fiction, representation and abstraction. Drawing upon the raw material of everyday life, Smith’s meticulously crafted films rework and transform reality, playfully exploring and exposing the language of cinema. This work, The Girl Chewing Gum (1976), opens with a view of a bustling streetscape in Dalston, East London, accompanied by a distinctive male voice directing the activities of the busy street; a man walking across the road, a girl chewing gum, a trailer moving on. Slowly as the orchestrated activity unfolds, it unravels and the role of narrator as director is called into question. As the description of the events unfolding shifts from the visible action to the pedantic, from people crossing the street to directing the large hands of the clock to move on the hour, certain slippages become apparent. Slowly within this simple street view what has been constructed, what we see within the frame, what is happening, and the relationship between seeing and believing is called into question. Gradually any sense of authority or authenticity dissolves as the relationship between narration and image becomes increasingly fractured. The relationship between fact and fiction is teased out in the filmic form; black and white and almost documentary-like. In shifting the narration from direction to description, Smith unravels the authority of the image while playing, making fun of, and untying the role of the director as author or controller. Smith’s film exposes the constructed-ness of the real in a way that is fundamentally destabilizing.

John Smith is known for making films in his immediate surroundings, in a hotel room in which he is staying, a local pub, a nearby street or sometimes even on his own doorstep. One of his earliest films, The Girl Chewing Gum, was made while Smith was still a Masters student at the Royal College of Art, yet it presents some of the key elements of Smith’s work; the act of filmmaking, language, humor, control and serendipity. Documenting and probing the local, the immediate, Smith combines an attention to the act of looking and a playful irreverence for the everyday world we encounter and its realities. He makes us look more closely not only at the medium of film or cinema but also our own surroundings. As artist Cornelia Parker wrote on his work ”It’s as if by choosing as his subject the ordinary things that surround us all and by scrutinizing them closely, turning them over and inside out, he can find all the hidden complexity of the universe. The whole world brewing in a ‘teasmade’.’’ 1

Glenn Loughran creates interventionist art works that disrupt public spaces. In recent years he has developed a series of context schools under the name of ‘hedgeschoolproject’. Hedgeschools were hidden schools that developed as a response to the Penal laws in Ireland that restricted its citizen’s participation in education, and other areas of social life. In this instance it is used as a metaphor to frame an exploration of education and resistance. In this project, titled Squatter Sovereignty, Loughran references a brief period within American history, after the Mexican War (1846-1848), in which the proposal for ‘Popular Sovereignty’ became nicknamed ‘Squatter Sovereignty’. The idea behind the original proposals for Popular Sovereignty were that any state or territory could declare a space as autonomous and be self-regulating, as a mechanism to prohibit slavery. Loughran juxtaposes the declaration of a squatter space, a space subtracted from the State, through four regimes through which the State represents itself as sovereign: Military Power, Victory, Celebration and Order. These aesthetic regimes collapse into the concept of ‘Squatter Sovereignty’ through multiple works: The General Will (Military Power), Radical Love (Victory), Origami Fireworks (Celebration) and The Parallax: The Brewhouse, Pittsburgh, City Garden, Dublin (Order).

John Smith was born in Walthamstow, East London, in 1952 and studied film at the Royal College of Art, London. Since 1972 John Smith has made over fifty film, video and installation works that have been shown in cinemas, art galleries and on television around the world and awarded major prizes at many international film festivals. His recent solo exhibitions include Pallas Projects, Dublin (2011), Royal College of Art Galleries, London (2010), Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin (2010) and Sala Diaz Gallery, Texas (2010). Major group shows include Berlin Biennial (2010), The Talent Show, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and MoMA PS1, New York (2010), Venice Biennale (2007), A Century of Artists’ Film in Britain, Tate Britain (2004) and Live in Your Head: Concept and Experiment in Britain 196575, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2000). John Smith regularly presents his work in person and in recent years it has been profiled through retrospectives at the 2007 Venice Biennale and film festivals in Oberhausen, Cork, Tampere, Uppsala, Bristol, Regensburg, Glasgow and La Rochelle. He teaches part-time at the University of East London where he is Professor of Fine Art. Smith lives and works in London. 1 Parker, Cornelia (2002) ‘John Smith’s Body’ in John Smith: Film and Video Works 1971-2002, Picture This Moving Image and Watershed Media Centre, Bristol, p.12

Dawn Weleski City Council Wrestling 2011 Public project

Film still courtesy of the artist and Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin

Glenn Loughran Squatter Sovereignty Origami Fireworks 2011 Paper, sovereignty texts (1847)

As a multi-disciplinary artist, Dawn Weleski activates and broadcasts the stories of individuals and groups in experimental public performances, where conversation is her process and people her medium. In an earlier project, Regular (2008), she interviewed local business people on East Carson Street in Pittsburgh’s Southside and transcribed their conversations, issues and problems. A newspaper, called ‘Regular’, was generated and Weleski performed the role of a street newspaper seller crying out excerpts of private conversations as public headlines. This shift from private to public, everyday to newsworthy, unsettles the parameters of each while considering mechanisms of distribution. This project City Council Wrestling juxtaposes the traditions of Greek philosophy and rhetoric with that of the local tradition of underground wrestling. Over the past number of months during a series of community engagement meetings in four districts Weleski invited citizens to discuss their issues and problems whether personal, local or city based. Through these discussions participants were invited to develop a wrestling character to personify their issue and with the assistance of a City Council Member from each relevant district are being trained to physically wrestle as well as become informed on how to resolve their issue and the relationship between citizenship, communities and City Council. In juxtaposing the training of a wrestler, the physical preparation for a fight, with that of the knowledge

7248 | 1830 Population over 12,000. | 1843 The Mystery, Pittsburgh’s first African-American Newspaper is founded by Dr. Martin Delany. | 1845 April 10, 1845 The Great Fire of Pittsburgh | 1846 The State chartered the Pennsylvania Railroad Company to connect Harrisburg to Pittsburgh thus extending the Philadelphia-Lancaster-Harrisburg rail service. | 1849 Charles Avery establishes the all-black Allegheny Institute (later Avery College). | 1850 Population of nearly 47,000 including more than 10,000 Irish immigrants and 2,000 African Americans | 1852 Pennsylvania Railroad is completed between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. | 1854 The Teutonia Männerchor, one of the oldest singing societies in Pittsburgh and today the largest German American Society in the city, is founded. | 1872 First Chinese arrive in Pittsburgh, most native of two counties in

Squatter Sovereignty: Origami Fireworks are made from a series of key texts which first introduced the concept of ‘Popular Sovereignty’ in the U.S, later derided by Abraham Lincoln as ‘Squatter Sovereignty.’ These works are sited intermittently throughout the exhibition and can be picked up and played with or taken home by the viewer. As impotent remnants of celebration, echoing fireworks on the 4th July, each firework is a small unfolding contradiction between the celebration of Empire and the struggle for deep Democracy in the ‘will of the people’. In Squatter Sovereignty Parallax view: Brewhouse, Pittsburgh, City Garden, Dublin two spaces are juxtaposed and represented in film; an independent studio complex on the Southside of Pittsburgh, and a community garden in the city center of Dublin. In removing themselves from the status quo each space has emerged and subsequently undergone transformation, from the planting of vegetables and growing community formed in a disused space within the city center, to the development of studio spaces and artists projects in an abandoned building. Presented on either side of plywood panels, the horizontal emphasis in the city garden film is contrasted with a vertical emphasis in the Brewhouse film. Both works represent the art of the decision, and the process of commitment, rather than the glory of victory. While each space is different there is a capacity to consider the relationship between them; one new in formation, one struggling to endure, this in-between-ness is referred to in the ‘parallax view’—an apparent shift in the position of an object caused by a change in the observer’s position providing a new line of sight.

of city council protocol, the notion of resolution is teased out. Weleski draws attention to the fanaticism and spectacle of wrestling juxtaposing it with city policies, community meetings and a certain apathy for engagement in city issues and even politics. Are they not both a struggle? City Council Wrestling will culminate in the form of a debate/wrestling match, between citizens and council members costumed as their own rhetoric, which will take place at a local, underground wrestling ring, located in the Lawrenceville Moose Lodge as part of “When Worlds Collide” on Saturday, August 13th at 7.30pm. When the citizens meet in the ring, they are in costume and will physically, as well as rhetorically, battle by debating their political topics and physically fighting as the personification of those same topics.

Squatter Sovereignty Radical Love presents an almost jewel-like ceramic model of Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt. Activated by the viewer, the model turns and the sounds of everyday activities play out; cleaning the streets, praying, chanting and singing. The victorious form of the model recalls traditional state triumphant edifices, cast in gold and framed by dramatic lighting, yet this is a representation of a spontaneous neighbourhood which no longer exists, formed by people who refused to exist under Mubarak and stood in solidarity against his regime. By casting the techniques of victorious representation in the state, with the weak power of ‘the people’ against the state, the work closes the gap between official ornamental representation, and incomplete militant processes. In employing varied material in this project under the term ‘Squatter Sovereignty’ Loughran alludes to the potential for these spaces and for ‘squatting’ to take place in multiple spaces at multiple moments. In questioning what is the relationship between them the viewer is invited to consider both the contrasts and parallels between such sites and their potential in becoming.

Glenn Loughran was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1973. He first went to study Art and Design at foundation level at the University of Ulster, Belfast, aged eighteen. After one year he left the college and travelled to the US were he lived as an illegal immigrant and general factotum for seven years. On return to Ireland he enrolled at Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dun Laoghaire, and received a Diploma in Fine Art (2002), then a BA in Fine Art Painting (2003) and an MA in Sculpture at the National College of Art and Design (2005). Recent projects include The Literacy House, Dublin, (2007- ongoing), Prekariat Academy, Kaunus Biennial, Kaunus, Lithuania, (2008) and The Hedgeschool Project, Carlow, (2006). He is currently a research scholar at the Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media, Dublin, where he is pursuing a Phd on art, education and event. He lives and works in Dublin, Ireland. Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild For more than 40 years Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild has been a unique haven—a multi-disciplined arts and learning center that fosters a sense of belonging, interconnections, and hope within the urban community. Located on Pittsburgh’s North Shore, Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild includes the nationally recognized MCG Youth program— dedicated to educating and inspiring Pittsburgh’s urban youth through the arts. For further information see http:// mcgyouthandarts.org/

(2010-ongoing), a restaurant that only serves cuisines from countries with which the United States is in conflict and her multi-city operatic productions on public transit, Bus Stop Opera (2008-ongoing). Upcoming public projects concentrate on political and cultural conflict and include commissions with a group of second and third generation Turkish migrants in Berlin for Ballhaus Naunynstrasse and Schlesische27, as well as collaborations with Jon Rubin for Belluard Bollwerk International Festival in Fribourg, Switzerland in June and the Mercosul Biennial in Porto Alegre, Brazil in September. She currently lives and works in Pittsburgh but will relocate to San Francisco, CA this fall as an MFA candidate in Art Practice at Stanford University.

The project is presented in the gallery space in the form of a dressing room; a preparatory space before the action outside. During the summer months this space will be used for a series of community engagement meetings for residents on the Northside to raise, discuss and deliberate on pressing issues as well as trying out wrestling moves. Lockers, thrown towels and a blackboard with a plan of action resemble locker rooms and dressing rooms found in school, sports halls and theatres and yet where does the actions really take place? Can these spaces be defined? Dawn Weleski was born in Pittsburgh. In 2009 she completed a BFA in Contextual Practice at Carnegie Mellon University. Her public artwork has earned her international attention, most notably for Conflict Kitchen with Jon Rubin

Patrick’s Day Flood. Over 100,000 people made homeless | 1940 Pittsburgh’s population is 671,659, of which 524,60 are native born, 9805 German, 7,301 Irish, 6293, English, 54,983 African Americans, 10,848 Poles and16,241 Italians | 1941 National Negro Opera Company founded by Mary Cardwell Dawson | 1950 Pittsburgh’s population rises to 676,806 including 528,842 native white, 5898 German, 4,816 Irish, 3136 English, 86,453 African Americans, 7,840 Poles and 13,466 Italians. The total of foreign born residents is 64,983. | 1952 WQED first public television station in the United States | 1960 Pittsburgh’s population rises to 604,332. This includes 458,387 native white, 5,233 German, 3742 Irish, 5,556 English, 100,692 African Americans, 4,471 Poles and 9,793 Italians. The immigrant population amounts to less than 46,000 or 7.4% of the population. | 1967


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FOURTH FLOOR Diane Samuels Five neighbors, Five countries 2011 Handmade paper from Burma, United States, El Salvador, Guatemala, China bearing the constitutions of five countries hand-copied with a .18mm Rapidograph and archival ink, Handengraved glass bearing the text of five neighbors: Khet Mar, Henry Reese, Silvia Duarte, Horacio Castellanos Moya, Huang Xiang and audio recording of Chenjerai Hove (Zimbabwe) reciting his poem,’Sky’, from Blind Moon, Weaver Press, Harare, 2003. 47” x 184” x 28.75” (H x W x D)

Central to Diane Samuel’s practice is an investigation of the detail or remnants of human presence within place; memory in the context of history and how stories (and memories)—as personal, artistic and social artifacts—are made, evolve and are consumed. In a previous work, Mapping Sampsonia Way (2005), Samuels photographically presented minute detail of the small alley on which she lives on the Northside of Pittsburgh and overlaid this with annotated stories collected from passersby while she worked. Cracks, marks and indentations on the narrow street were juxtaposed with personal anecdotes and in this form she creates a rich archaeology of place, the physical and ephemeral remnants of presence.

mar), Horacio Castellanos Moya (El Salvador), Huang Xiang (China), and Silvia Duarte (Guatemala) and Henry Reese (USA), through the handwritten form of their respective constitutions, side by side, one neighbor beside neighbor. In transcribing each individual’s constitution questions of what constitutes a citizen, a nationality, an individual or even a neighbor are prompted. What is the relationship between a country’s constitution and its inhabitants, the counted and the uncounted? Does the constitution exist as a guide to that country, or an unrealizable document of improbable reality? Indeed, how is our relationship to country, state, city or street created? Each constitution is written onto handmade paper from respective countries with a red ink, recalling the traces of blood in the writing of such documents, the formation of countries, the control of borders and the lifeblood that runs through each of our veins. Above each panel are excerpts from the writings of each of the authors engraved into the glass which frames the work. Intermittently an audio track recounts a poem by Zimbabwean Chenjerai Hove about the sky above us all. We share the sky but what distance exists between us, here and now?

This new work entitled Five neighbors, Five countries, presents the juxtaposition of five neighbors on Sampsonia Way, three writers in exile from persecution in their countries, Khet Mar (Myan-

This work develops out of a larger body of work in which Samuels considers the documents that have defined the United States such as Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. As she says “I do take seriously the premise that the world can be experienced as a book. Insofar as we make it together and assert meaning to the making, to live in the world is, thus, inevitably to be both a reader and a writ-

Elisabeth Subrin Lost Tribes and Promised Lands (Trash) 2010 2 x Digital C-prints Each 17 x 24 ins

re-presenting this film Subrin addresses the legacy of the past within the present moment, have we changed or has progress been made, and if so to what extent?

Lost Tribes and Promised Lands (Osama) 2010 2 x Digital C-prints Each 17 x 24 ins

This work, Lost Tribes and Promised Lands, juxtaposes two films made in her neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on October 13th 2001 and October 13th 2008. In the days following September 11th, Subrin took an old Bolex camera and captured the elaborate declarations of patriotism against the backdrop of lived in spaces; local shops, apartment blocks, doorways, and street corners. Seven years later on the same day and same time, Subrin attempted to retrace her steps and recapture these places, capturing shifts, stasis, developments and progress, and combined the two reels into a double-screen loop, permitting a visual comparison between then and now. Trash cans have become enclosed behind iron railings delineating a further privatization of public spaces while window placed images of Osama Bin Laden as a target are taken down and replaced with advertisements for soft-serve yogurt. The act of looking becomes an almost detective-like activity, tracing minor details, or subtle interventions, and more permanent alterations. Installed behind a haphazard and battered wooden wall, often used as temporary boardings for new developments, our attention is drawn to material that surrounds us, a flimsy support structure masking future speculations.

Lost Tribes and Promised Lands (Trees) 2010 2 x Digital C-prints Each 17 x 24 ins Lost Tribes and Promised Lands 2010 
2-channel video installation, 16mm to HD, salvaged wood, 6 min loop

Elisabeth Subrin engages in a wide range of genres, forms and contexts to create conceptually driven projects in film, video, photography and installation. Her work seeks intersections between history and subjectivity, investigating the nature and poetics of psychological ‘disorder,’ the legacy of feminism, and the impact of recent social and political history on contemporary life and consciousness. In an earlier work Shulie (1997) Subrin remade, almost shot for shot, a rediscovered 1967 film made by four male graduate students about a young female art student, 22 year-old Shulamith Firestone, in an attempt to create a portrait of the ‘Now’ generation. While Firestone would later go on to write The Dialectic of Sex: the case for Feminist Revolution (1970), a key radical text in North American feminism, there are few traces of this future act, and the documentary remained undiscovered until the mid-1990s. In this layering of the past, 1967 in 1997, and

er.” Like much of Samuels’ work this work uses individual histories and writings to create from and articulate the meaning of community. Diane Samuels was born in New York. She received a BA and MFA from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. Recent solo exhibitions include A Noiseless Patient Spider at the Kim Foster Gallery, New York, (2011). Samuels has exhibited nationally at the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Mattress Factory Museum, the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, the Leo Baeck Institute, the Center for Book Arts, and the Kim Foster Gallery, New York; and the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. Samuels has also shown and worked extensively in Europe, including Germany, France, Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia. She has done a number of large site-specific commissions including Lines of Sight, installed in a two-story glass pedestrian bridge, at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, in 2006 and Luminous Manuscript, a 440 square-foot artwork made of 200,000 individual elements, at the Center for Jewish History, New York, in 2004, and in 1998 she built The Alphabet Garden, a commissioned memorial garden in Grafeneck, Germany, site ‘A’ of the so-called “euthanasia experiments” in 1940. Diane Samuels lives and works on Sampsonia Way, Pittsburgh.

er progress does indeed occur. This reflection into the past asserts the role our own subjectivity plays in the writing of history, the act of looking, and of being somewhere, sometime. Elisabeth Subrin was born in Boston and received a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art in 1990 and an MFA from The School of the Art Institute, Chicago, in 1995. Her award-winning work has been exhibited widely including solo screenings at The Museum of Modern Art, The Vienna International Film Festival, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Harvard Film Archives, The San Francisco Cinematheque, and in group exhibitions, film festivals and museums internationally, including The Whitney Biennial (2000), The Guggenheim Museum, The Walker Art Center, The Wexner Center for the Arts, The New York Film Festival and The Rotterdam International Film Festival. Recent solo exhibitions include PARTICIPANT INC., New York (2011), Her Compulsion to Repeat, Sue Scott Gallery, New York, and Shulie: Film and Stills, The Jewish Museum, New York (2010). She has participated in numerous group exhibitions most recently Greater New York, PS1 MOMA, Long Island City and Let’s Dance, MAC/VAL, Musée d’Art Contemporain du Val-DeMarne, France, (all 2010). She is currently Assistant Professor of Film and Media at Temple University and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Sarah Pierce/ The Metropolitan Complex Campus 2011 Installation and performance Single channel audio (with JoAnna Commandaros, lecturer, Foundation Sculpture studio class, University of Pittsburgh), single channel video (with Sarah Lavery, Julia Cahill, Elise Walton, Sami Stevick, Ashley Hickey, Taylor Henzle, Tom Sarver, Ben Rickles, and Joe Messalle), fabric panels, lighting, archive material, tables. Archive courtesy the University of Pittsburgh, University Archives Information Files. Research Assistance: Laura Grantmyre

Since 2003, Sarah Pierce has used the term—The Metropolitan Complex—to describe her practice. Despite its institutional resonance, this title does not signify an organization. Instead, it demonstrates Pierce’s broad understanding of cultural work, articulated through various working methods, involving papers, interviews, archives, talks and exhibitions. Characterized as a way to play with the hang-ups (read ‘complex’ in the Freudian sense) that surround cultural work, one emphasis is a shared neuroses of ‘place’, whether a specific locality or a wider set of circumstances that frame interaction. Central to her activity is a consideration of forms of gathering, both historical examples and those she initiates. This project, entitled Campus, emerges from Pierce’s ongoing interest in the college campus as a space of community predicated on shifting levels of presence and participation. Pierce focused on the University of Pittsburgh, looking into the decade of transition between 1959-1969, when the civil rights movement merged into, and on some levels became obscured by, the anti-war movement. This work references such activities in presenting selected newspaper clippings from the University of Pittsburgh’s archives, specifically student protests that led to the formal establishment of the Black Action Society (BAS) in 1969. This archive material is presented against the backdrop of a series of large red curtains, and from behind the voice of a woman resonates. As viewers move through the space, the curtains both guide and obstruct, changing colour in the light and perhaps hinting how with a slight shift in viewing, things become prominent or

can disappear. In the far corner a monitor shows a film of a performance by a group of individuals staged during the opening of the exhibition. The performance emerged from a workshop conducted by the artist during which gestures familiar from political protests were acted out along with phrases borrowed from a sculpture class: the female voice belongs to the instructor who tells her students, for example, to “find a place to stand, step back, and look.” Here, Pierce’s interest in the campus merges with ‘being student’—a concept she develops in her work to describe a state of immediacy and engagement in a present moment. As we listen to the art instruction recorded during a sculpture class at Pitt in April, 2011, ideas about technique and observation merge with other acts that involve ‘seeing’ and ‘doing’. If an act is acknowledged through repetition, a gesture, a mark on a page, what role does each individual act play? The objects the students in their studio classroom are observing and creating do not exist within the gallery space, neither do the campus events of 1969; but they are the present in which we exist. Sarah Pierce was born in 1968. She received a BA from Occidental College, Los Angeles, an MFA from Cornell University, Ithaca, and completed the Whitney Independent Study program in 1995. Recent exhibitions include Push and Pull, Tate Modern, London; Appeal for Alternatives, Schmela Haus, Stiftung Kunstsammlung Nordhein-Westfalen K21+K20, Düsseldorf; We Are Grammar, Pratt Manhattan Gallery, New York, (all 2011); Les rendez-vous du Forum: Fun Palace, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Sinopale 3, International Sinop Biennale; By Now We Share an Affinity, Invisible Publics, Townhouse Gallery, Cairo; The Future of Art, Durst Family Humanities Building, Purchase College SUNY, Westchester Co.; If I Can’t Dance I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution, Episode III, Masquerade: From Dusk Till Dawn, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Into the Unknown, Ludlow 38, New York, and Goethe Institut, Wyoming Building, New York, (all 2010). She is one of seven artists who represented Ireland in 2005’s Venice Biennial. She is currently a Phd candidate at Goldsmiths College, London. She lives and works in Dublin, Ireland.

Glenn Loughran Squatter Sovereignty Parallax view: Brewhouse, Pittsburgh City Garden, Dublin 2011 Video transferred to DVD, each 9 min

In the juxtaposition of these images from 2001 and 2008, their dense quality of color and almost saturated daylight, Subrin presents a meditative work on an inability to go back in time, the role of stasis and prompts questions of wheth-

Clothing Workers of America | 1920 According to records Pittsburgh’s total population is 588,343 including 429,995 native born, 16,028 German, 13,889 Irish, 7,374 English, 37,725 African Americans, 15,537 Poles and 15,371 Italians. The first commercial radio station in the country - KDKA - broadcasts from Pittsburgh. | 1926 The Nationality Rooms program begins at the Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh. | 1930 According to records the total population is 669,817 of which 109,072 foreign born population or 16.2 per cent of city residents, 505,245 native born, 14,409 German, 11,246 Irish, 6,293 English, 54,983 African Americans, 15,251 Poles and 18,154 Italians | 1930 Pittsburgh’s population rises to 670,000. Of this 62.2 per cent are either first or second generation American. The city’s African American population is 55,000. | 1936 The Great St.

Kuantung province and nearly all male. | 1875 St. Stanislaus Kostka Church organized as first Polish Catholic parish in Pittsburgh. The city’s schools are desegregated. | 1878 Duquesne University began. | 1880 Population of more than 235,000 | 1883 The present-day Smithfield Street Bridge opens to the public. It is the third bridge built on that location. | 1889 Pittsburgh Slovaks organized their first fraternal lodge. | 1890 According to census 65.9 per cent of Pittsburgh resident was either immigrants themselves or the sons or daughters of immigrants 235,547 Native born, 36,646 German, 26,642 Irish, 12,408 English, 10,357 African Americans, 2,840 Poles, 2,035 Italian, Influx of people from Southern and Eastern Europe, and from the Mediterranean. First immigrants from present day Syria and Lebanon settle in the Hill District. Galician and Rumanian Jews


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Seamus Nolan 310-312 Sampsonia Way, For Sale By Owner, Great Opportunity 2011 Derelict house images Photography by Tom Little

Ferhat Özgür Metamorphosis Chat / Metamorfoz Muhabbet 2009 Video, 9’ 75’’

Seamus Nolan’s practice investigates the relative value of objects and social processes as they appear within different economies and contexts. In his work, he attempts to unravel the commonplace, to recognize the inherent structure or code from which we, as social and political animals construct and deconstruct the world around us. His work is concerned with power relations, energy and possibility, and an interest in reconfiguring the everyday as a means to examine or question the purveyors of meaning. In a previous work, Hotel Ballymun (2007), Nolan appropriated the top floor space of a failed modernist highrise housing complex outside of Dublin making a temporary hotel in the otherwise unlikely surroundings of a deserted tower block and recycling material abandoned by residents in their move to new housing.

Seamus Nolan was born in Kilkenny, Ireland, in 1978. He graduated from the National College of Art and Design with a first class honors degree in Sculpture in 2004. Recent and forthcoming solo exhibitions and projects include The Trades Club Revival, in association with The Model Gallery, Sligo and Create, Dublin, (2011), Corrib Gas Project Arts Centre, Project Arts Centre, Dublin (2009), If Art Could Save Your Life, Drogheda Arts Centre, Drogheda Co. Louth, and Docks Tour, National Sculpture Factory Temporary Artworks Cork (all 2008). Recent group exhibitions and projects include EV+A ‘09 Limerick, (2009), If You Could Change the World at Last 1968-2008, group show in the Goethe-Institut, Dublin, Art in the life world exhibition, the old swimming pool, Ballymun, Dublin, Demesne, Dublin City Gallery The Lab, Dublin, Phoenix Park, group show, Kerlin Gallery, (all 2008). In 2007 Nolan was commissioned by Breaking Ground, Ballymun, and realized a temporary public artwork called Hotel Ballymun. He lives and works in Dublin, Ireland.

In this project, 310-312 Sampsonia Way, For Sale by Owner, Great Opportunity, Nolan presents images from a derelict house on Sampsonia Way currently for sale by the owner. Nolan intervenes with the everyday process of selling a house, the notion of projected idealism into domestic spaces which we do not know but consume speculatively. Working within the space over a period of weeks, Nolan employed found and existing materials to finish certain elements and draw out architectural forms, making the material work differently within the space and drawing out a particular aesthetic. The project is presented in the gallery in the form of a large-scale billboard with a selection of the images and a computer displaying the house as is for sale on the website zillow.com. This aesthetic idealism is juxtaposed with subtle references to an alternative history of Pittsburgh; Andrew Carnegie and Rockefeller’s interest in Eugenics (the study of progressing human breeding), Anarchists misadventure with explosives and mistaken blowing up of their next door neighbor- a judge, and the ambition and formation of the Industrial Workers of the World (or Wobblies) union and its subsequent failure.

Ferhat Özgür works in a variety of media, video, photography, painting and installation works. In his work he examines the role of subjectivity within today’s social, cultural and political geographies through everyday events and rituals. In earlier work, entitled I am like this 7 days of week (2004), he videoed himself waiting to cross at a pedestrian crossing and yet when the green light appeared he walked up on the bonnets of the stationary cars and then walked on. Such slight insertions into daily routine, shifting from location to location, question the role of subjectivity within our geopolitical context and unhinge notions of the universal and the particular. In this work Metamorphosis Chat, Özgür presents an everyday encounter between two women meeting over tea in a living room. Echoing material found in Turkish soap operas, the women discuss their everyday issues, family, grandchildren and friends. It is within this convivial space that the two women turn to their dress, with respective signifiers of religious and cultural difference, and slowly the staged moment shifts into a playful absorbing game of dress-up in which the two protagonists literally swap clothes. The simplicity of this exchange is fuelled by the humor shared between the women, their hearty friendliness, their openness in dealing with what might otherwise be an embarrassing situation, giggling at each other and themselves. The signifiers of dress address and exaggerate the polarization of secular vs. religion or East vs. West, while concurrently undermining issues of idealism and representation. A headscarf becomes a matter of ingrained habit rather than a religious affinity, providing heat and comfort, while no headscarf becomes culturally accepted for the profession of a teacher. This rationalizing of dress according to personal habit and decisions plays out between old friends and yet there still exists the ability for transformation. Their potential for exchange pokes fun at the fear and often moralizing debates on symbols with religious connotations while concurrently reminding one of the ability to put on another’s clothes or to walk in another’s shoes.

Ferhat Özgür was born in 1965 in Ankara, Turkey. He completed his masters and doctorate degrees in Hacettepe University, Fine Arts Faculty, Department of Painting, Ankara. He currently teaches in Istanbul Kultur University, Art and Design Faculty, Department of Communication Design-Multimedia. Recent solo exhibitions include The Room of Emotion, Gallery Nev, Ankara, Video Screening and Selection from Early Paintings, Istanbul Kultur University Contemporary Art Studio, Turkey, (all 2010), and City Log, Yapı Kredi Kazım Taşkent Art Gallery, Istanbul, (2008). Selected recent group exhibitions include OpenArt: 3rd Örebro Biennale, Sweden; A Geographical Expression, Fondazione Re Rebaudengo Sandretto-Turin, Italy; Role Models- Role Playing, Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Austria; Festival of Confusion, Beursschowburg, Brussels, Belgium; (all 2011); What’s Waiting Out There, 6th Berlin Biennial, Berlin; 1st Antakya Biennale: Thank You For Your Understanding, Antakya, Turkey; 1st Mardin Biennale: AbbaraKadabra, Turkey; (all 2010); 10th Istanbul Biennial (2007), Politics of Redistribution, Magazin 4 Kunstverein, Bregenz-Austria; ‘Soft Manipulation, Who Is Afraid Of The New Now’, Casino Luxembourg Forum d’Art Contemporain, Luxembourg and Stiftelsen 3, 14, Bergen-Norway, (all 2009). His works recently have been shown in Centre George Pompidou-Paris, Reina Sofia National Museum-Madrid, 3812 Contemporary Art Space-Hong Kong, Kunsthalle Wintherthur and K3, ZurichSwitzerland. Ferhat Özgür currently lives and works in Istanbul.

This project seeks to consider how objects, such as a derelict house, operate within current ideologies. What role do we play in the speculation for the future of a neighborhood, a city or a country? Is this speculation only economic or is there another form of social formation? If so, what is the alternative? In juxtaposing this projection of an ideal space or home with references from the past, the tension between a certain idealism and the passage of other histories are drawn out and the premise of social, political, and economic cohesion is undermined and called into question.

established synagogues in the Hill District. The Polish fraternal organization G.P. 154 Zwiazek Narodowy Polski (ZNP) is founded. | 1891 U.S. Bureau of Geographic Names removes the “h” from Pittsburg(h). It is returned in 1911. | 1900 Italians Clusters around Bloomfield and East Liberty. Poles cluster around Lawrenceville, the South side, and ‘Polish Hill’. Carnegie Mellon University, then known as Carnegie Technical School, is founded by Andrew Carnegie. Pittsburgh is the nation’s sixth largest city with the sixth largest African American community in the nation. Total population is 321, 616. 316,063 Native born, 33,224 German, 23,690 Irish, 20,355 African Americans, 11,892 Poles, 6,495 Italians | 1900-1914 Many part of the city were bilingual and pamphlets and sometimes books were printed in both German and English | 1905 The first motion picture

house to open in the U.S. opens in Pittsburgh - the Nickelodeon. | 1907 The North side (previously Allegheny City) is annexed to Pittsburgh. Edwin Hareleston establishes The Pittsburgh Courier with the masthead ‘Work, Integrity, Tact, Temperance, Prudence, Courage, Faith.’ Pittsburgh the fifth largest city in the US. The Pittsburgh Survey, a pioneering sociological study of the city, begins. | 1910 According to records Pittsburgh’s total population is 530,000 with 26.4 per cent of resident foreign born and 35.8 per cent of foreign parentage. This includes 387,851 native born, 29,438 German, 18,872 Irish, 9525 English, 25,623 African Americans, 20,606 Poles and 14,120 Italians. | 1914 The final of the six volumes of The Pittsburgh Survey is published. | 1917 Several hundred Jewish tailors joined with a smaller number of Italians to form a local the Amalgamated


FOURTH FLOOR

FOURTH FLOOR Diane Samuels Five neighbors, Five countries 2011 Handmade paper from Burma, United States, El Salvador, Guatemala, China bearing the constitutions of five countries hand-copied with a .18mm Rapidograph and archival ink, Handengraved glass bearing the text of five neighbors: Khet Mar, Henry Reese, Silvia Duarte, Horacio Castellanos Moya, Huang Xiang and audio recording of Chenjerai Hove (Zimbabwe) reciting his poem,’Sky’, from Blind Moon, Weaver Press, Harare, 2003. 47” x 184” x 28.75” (H x W x D)

Central to Diane Samuel’s practice is an investigation of the detail or remnants of human presence within place; memory in the context of history and how stories (and memories)—as personal, artistic and social artifacts—are made, evolve and are consumed. In a previous work, Mapping Sampsonia Way (2005), Samuels photographically presented minute detail of the small alley on which she lives on the Northside of Pittsburgh and overlaid this with annotated stories collected from passersby while she worked. Cracks, marks and indentations on the narrow street were juxtaposed with personal anecdotes and in this form she creates a rich archaeology of place, the physical and ephemeral remnants of presence.

mar), Horacio Castellanos Moya (El Salvador), Huang Xiang (China), and Silvia Duarte (Guatemala) and Henry Reese (USA), through the handwritten form of their respective constitutions, side by side, one neighbor beside neighbor. In transcribing each individual’s constitution questions of what constitutes a citizen, a nationality, an individual or even a neighbor are prompted. What is the relationship between a country’s constitution and its inhabitants, the counted and the uncounted? Does the constitution exist as a guide to that country, or an unrealizable document of improbable reality? Indeed, how is our relationship to country, state, city or street created? Each constitution is written onto handmade paper from respective countries with a red ink, recalling the traces of blood in the writing of such documents, the formation of countries, the control of borders and the lifeblood that runs through each of our veins. Above each panel are excerpts from the writings of each of the authors engraved into the glass which frames the work. Intermittently an audio track recounts a poem by Zimbabwean Chenjerai Hove about the sky above us all. We share the sky but what distance exists between us, here and now?

This new work entitled Five neighbors, Five countries, presents the juxtaposition of five neighbors on Sampsonia Way, three writers in exile from persecution in their countries, Khet Mar (Myan-

This work develops out of a larger body of work in which Samuels considers the documents that have defined the United States such as Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. As she says “I do take seriously the premise that the world can be experienced as a book. Insofar as we make it together and assert meaning to the making, to live in the world is, thus, inevitably to be both a reader and a writ-

Elisabeth Subrin Lost Tribes and Promised Lands (Trash) 2010 2 x Digital C-prints Each 17 x 24 ins

re-presenting this film Subrin addresses the legacy of the past within the present moment, have we changed or has progress been made, and if so to what extent?

Lost Tribes and Promised Lands (Osama) 2010 2 x Digital C-prints Each 17 x 24 ins

This work, Lost Tribes and Promised Lands, juxtaposes two films made in her neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on October 13th 2001 and October 13th 2008. In the days following September 11th, Subrin took an old Bolex camera and captured the elaborate declarations of patriotism against the backdrop of lived in spaces; local shops, apartment blocks, doorways, and street corners. Seven years later on the same day and same time, Subrin attempted to retrace her steps and recapture these places, capturing shifts, stasis, developments and progress, and combined the two reels into a double-screen loop, permitting a visual comparison between then and now. Trash cans have become enclosed behind iron railings delineating a further privatization of public spaces while window placed images of Osama Bin Laden as a target are taken down and replaced with advertisements for soft-serve yogurt. The act of looking becomes an almost detective-like activity, tracing minor details, or subtle interventions, and more permanent alterations. Installed behind a haphazard and battered wooden wall, often used as temporary boardings for new developments, our attention is drawn to material that surrounds us, a flimsy support structure masking future speculations.

Lost Tribes and Promised Lands (Trees) 2010 2 x Digital C-prints Each 17 x 24 ins Lost Tribes and Promised Lands 2010 
2-channel video installation, 16mm to HD, salvaged wood, 6 min loop

Elisabeth Subrin engages in a wide range of genres, forms and contexts to create conceptually driven projects in film, video, photography and installation. Her work seeks intersections between history and subjectivity, investigating the nature and poetics of psychological ‘disorder,’ the legacy of feminism, and the impact of recent social and political history on contemporary life and consciousness. In an earlier work Shulie (1997) Subrin remade, almost shot for shot, a rediscovered 1967 film made by four male graduate students about a young female art student, 22 year-old Shulamith Firestone, in an attempt to create a portrait of the ‘Now’ generation. While Firestone would later go on to write The Dialectic of Sex: the case for Feminist Revolution (1970), a key radical text in North American feminism, there are few traces of this future act, and the documentary remained undiscovered until the mid-1990s. In this layering of the past, 1967 in 1997, and

er.” Like much of Samuels’ work this work uses individual histories and writings to create from and articulate the meaning of community. Diane Samuels was born in New York. She received a BA and MFA from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. Recent solo exhibitions include A Noiseless Patient Spider at the Kim Foster Gallery, New York, (2011). Samuels has exhibited nationally at the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Mattress Factory Museum, the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, the Leo Baeck Institute, the Center for Book Arts, and the Kim Foster Gallery, New York; and the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. Samuels has also shown and worked extensively in Europe, including Germany, France, Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia. She has done a number of large site-specific commissions including Lines of Sight, installed in a two-story glass pedestrian bridge, at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, in 2006 and Luminous Manuscript, a 440 square-foot artwork made of 200,000 individual elements, at the Center for Jewish History, New York, in 2004, and in 1998 she built The Alphabet Garden, a commissioned memorial garden in Grafeneck, Germany, site ‘A’ of the so-called “euthanasia experiments” in 1940. Diane Samuels lives and works on Sampsonia Way, Pittsburgh.

er progress does indeed occur. This reflection into the past asserts the role our own subjectivity plays in the writing of history, the act of looking, and of being somewhere, sometime. Elisabeth Subrin was born in Boston and received a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art in 1990 and an MFA from The School of the Art Institute, Chicago, in 1995. Her award-winning work has been exhibited widely including solo screenings at The Museum of Modern Art, The Vienna International Film Festival, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Harvard Film Archives, The San Francisco Cinematheque, and in group exhibitions, film festivals and museums internationally, including The Whitney Biennial (2000), The Guggenheim Museum, The Walker Art Center, The Wexner Center for the Arts, The New York Film Festival and The Rotterdam International Film Festival. Recent solo exhibitions include PARTICIPANT INC., New York (2011), Her Compulsion to Repeat, Sue Scott Gallery, New York, and Shulie: Film and Stills, The Jewish Museum, New York (2010). She has participated in numerous group exhibitions most recently Greater New York, PS1 MOMA, Long Island City and Let’s Dance, MAC/VAL, Musée d’Art Contemporain du Val-DeMarne, France, (all 2010). She is currently Assistant Professor of Film and Media at Temple University and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Sarah Pierce/ The Metropolitan Complex Campus 2011 Installation and performance Single channel audio (with JoAnna Commandaros, lecturer, Foundation Sculpture studio class, University of Pittsburgh), single channel video (with Sarah Lavery, Julia Cahill, Elise Walton, Sami Stevick, Ashley Hickey, Taylor Henzle, Tom Sarver, Ben Rickles, and Joe Messalle), fabric panels, lighting, archive material, tables. Archive courtesy the University of Pittsburgh, University Archives Information Files. Research Assistance: Laura Grantmyre

Since 2003, Sarah Pierce has used the term—The Metropolitan Complex—to describe her practice. Despite its institutional resonance, this title does not signify an organization. Instead, it demonstrates Pierce’s broad understanding of cultural work, articulated through various working methods, involving papers, interviews, archives, talks and exhibitions. Characterized as a way to play with the hang-ups (read ‘complex’ in the Freudian sense) that surround cultural work, one emphasis is a shared neuroses of ‘place’, whether a specific locality or a wider set of circumstances that frame interaction. Central to her activity is a consideration of forms of gathering, both historical examples and those she initiates. This project, entitled Campus, emerges from Pierce’s ongoing interest in the college campus as a space of community predicated on shifting levels of presence and participation. Pierce focused on the University of Pittsburgh, looking into the decade of transition between 1959-1969, when the civil rights movement merged into, and on some levels became obscured by, the anti-war movement. This work references such activities in presenting selected newspaper clippings from the University of Pittsburgh’s archives, specifically student protests that led to the formal establishment of the Black Action Society (BAS) in 1969. This archive material is presented against the backdrop of a series of large red curtains, and from behind the voice of a woman resonates. As viewers move through the space, the curtains both guide and obstruct, changing colour in the light and perhaps hinting how with a slight shift in viewing, things become prominent or

can disappear. In the far corner a monitor shows a film of a performance by a group of individuals staged during the opening of the exhibition. The performance emerged from a workshop conducted by the artist during which gestures familiar from political protests were acted out along with phrases borrowed from a sculpture class: the female voice belongs to the instructor who tells her students, for example, to “find a place to stand, step back, and look.” Here, Pierce’s interest in the campus merges with ‘being student’—a concept she develops in her work to describe a state of immediacy and engagement in a present moment. As we listen to the art instruction recorded during a sculpture class at Pitt in April, 2011, ideas about technique and observation merge with other acts that involve ‘seeing’ and ‘doing’. If an act is acknowledged through repetition, a gesture, a mark on a page, what role does each individual act play? The objects the students in their studio classroom are observing and creating do not exist within the gallery space, neither do the campus events of 1969; but they are the present in which we exist. Sarah Pierce was born in 1968. She received a BA from Occidental College, Los Angeles, an MFA from Cornell University, Ithaca, and completed the Whitney Independent Study program in 1995. Recent exhibitions include Push and Pull, Tate Modern, London; Appeal for Alternatives, Schmela Haus, Stiftung Kunstsammlung Nordhein-Westfalen K21+K20, Düsseldorf; We Are Grammar, Pratt Manhattan Gallery, New York, (all 2011); Les rendez-vous du Forum: Fun Palace, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Sinopale 3, International Sinop Biennale; By Now We Share an Affinity, Invisible Publics, Townhouse Gallery, Cairo; The Future of Art, Durst Family Humanities Building, Purchase College SUNY, Westchester Co.; If I Can’t Dance I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution, Episode III, Masquerade: From Dusk Till Dawn, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Into the Unknown, Ludlow 38, New York, and Goethe Institut, Wyoming Building, New York, (all 2010). She is one of seven artists who represented Ireland in 2005’s Venice Biennial. She is currently a Phd candidate at Goldsmiths College, London. She lives and works in Dublin, Ireland.

Glenn Loughran Squatter Sovereignty Parallax view: Brewhouse, Pittsburgh City Garden, Dublin 2011 Video transferred to DVD, each 9 min

In the juxtaposition of these images from 2001 and 2008, their dense quality of color and almost saturated daylight, Subrin presents a meditative work on an inability to go back in time, the role of stasis and prompts questions of wheth-

Clothing Workers of America | 1920 According to records Pittsburgh’s total population is 588,343 including 429,995 native born, 16,028 German, 13,889 Irish, 7,374 English, 37,725 African Americans, 15,537 Poles and 15,371 Italians. The first commercial radio station in the country - KDKA - broadcasts from Pittsburgh. | 1926 The Nationality Rooms program begins at the Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh. | 1930 According to records the total population is 669,817 of which 109,072 foreign born population or 16.2 per cent of city residents, 505,245 native born, 14,409 German, 11,246 Irish, 6,293 English, 54,983 African Americans, 15,251 Poles and 18,154 Italians | 1930 Pittsburgh’s population rises to 670,000. Of this 62.2 per cent are either first or second generation American. The city’s African American population is 55,000. | 1936 The Great St.

Kuantung province and nearly all male. | 1875 St. Stanislaus Kostka Church organized as first Polish Catholic parish in Pittsburgh. The city’s schools are desegregated. | 1878 Duquesne University began. | 1880 Population of more than 235,000 | 1883 The present-day Smithfield Street Bridge opens to the public. It is the third bridge built on that location. | 1889 Pittsburgh Slovaks organized their first fraternal lodge. | 1890 According to census 65.9 per cent of Pittsburgh resident was either immigrants themselves or the sons or daughters of immigrants 235,547 Native born, 36,646 German, 26,642 Irish, 12,408 English, 10,357 African Americans, 2,840 Poles, 2,035 Italian, Influx of people from Southern and Eastern Europe, and from the Mediterranean. First immigrants from present day Syria and Lebanon settle in the Hill District. Galician and Rumanian Jews


FOURTH FLOOR

FOURTH FLOOR

Seamus Nolan 310-312 Sampsonia Way, For Sale By Owner, Great Opportunity 2011 Derelict house images Photography by Tom Little

Ferhat Özgür Metamorphosis Chat / Metamorfoz Muhabbet 2009 Video, 9’ 75’’

Seamus Nolan’s practice investigates the relative value of objects and social processes as they appear within different economies and contexts. In his work, he attempts to unravel the commonplace, to recognize the inherent structure or code from which we, as social and political animals construct and deconstruct the world around us. His work is concerned with power relations, energy and possibility, and an interest in reconfiguring the everyday as a means to examine or question the purveyors of meaning. In a previous work, Hotel Ballymun (2007), Nolan appropriated the top floor space of a failed modernist highrise housing complex outside of Dublin making a temporary hotel in the otherwise unlikely surroundings of a deserted tower block and recycling material abandoned by residents in their move to new housing.

Seamus Nolan was born in Kilkenny, Ireland, in 1978. He graduated from the National College of Art and Design with a first class honors degree in Sculpture in 2004. Recent and forthcoming solo exhibitions and projects include The Trades Club Revival, in association with The Model Gallery, Sligo and Create, Dublin, (2011), Corrib Gas Project Arts Centre, Project Arts Centre, Dublin (2009), If Art Could Save Your Life, Drogheda Arts Centre, Drogheda Co. Louth, and Docks Tour, National Sculpture Factory Temporary Artworks Cork (all 2008). Recent group exhibitions and projects include EV+A ‘09 Limerick, (2009), If You Could Change the World at Last 1968-2008, group show in the Goethe-Institut, Dublin, Art in the life world exhibition, the old swimming pool, Ballymun, Dublin, Demesne, Dublin City Gallery The Lab, Dublin, Phoenix Park, group show, Kerlin Gallery, (all 2008). In 2007 Nolan was commissioned by Breaking Ground, Ballymun, and realized a temporary public artwork called Hotel Ballymun. He lives and works in Dublin, Ireland.

In this project, 310-312 Sampsonia Way, For Sale by Owner, Great Opportunity, Nolan presents images from a derelict house on Sampsonia Way currently for sale by the owner. Nolan intervenes with the everyday process of selling a house, the notion of projected idealism into domestic spaces which we do not know but consume speculatively. Working within the space over a period of weeks, Nolan employed found and existing materials to finish certain elements and draw out architectural forms, making the material work differently within the space and drawing out a particular aesthetic. The project is presented in the gallery in the form of a large-scale billboard with a selection of the images and a computer displaying the house as is for sale on the website zillow.com. This aesthetic idealism is juxtaposed with subtle references to an alternative history of Pittsburgh; Andrew Carnegie and Rockefeller’s interest in Eugenics (the study of progressing human breeding), Anarchists misadventure with explosives and mistaken blowing up of their next door neighbor- a judge, and the ambition and formation of the Industrial Workers of the World (or Wobblies) union and its subsequent failure.

Ferhat Özgür works in a variety of media, video, photography, painting and installation works. In his work he examines the role of subjectivity within today’s social, cultural and political geographies through everyday events and rituals. In earlier work, entitled I am like this 7 days of week (2004), he videoed himself waiting to cross at a pedestrian crossing and yet when the green light appeared he walked up on the bonnets of the stationary cars and then walked on. Such slight insertions into daily routine, shifting from location to location, question the role of subjectivity within our geopolitical context and unhinge notions of the universal and the particular. In this work Metamorphosis Chat, Özgür presents an everyday encounter between two women meeting over tea in a living room. Echoing material found in Turkish soap operas, the women discuss their everyday issues, family, grandchildren and friends. It is within this convivial space that the two women turn to their dress, with respective signifiers of religious and cultural difference, and slowly the staged moment shifts into a playful absorbing game of dress-up in which the two protagonists literally swap clothes. The simplicity of this exchange is fuelled by the humor shared between the women, their hearty friendliness, their openness in dealing with what might otherwise be an embarrassing situation, giggling at each other and themselves. The signifiers of dress address and exaggerate the polarization of secular vs. religion or East vs. West, while concurrently undermining issues of idealism and representation. A headscarf becomes a matter of ingrained habit rather than a religious affinity, providing heat and comfort, while no headscarf becomes culturally accepted for the profession of a teacher. This rationalizing of dress according to personal habit and decisions plays out between old friends and yet there still exists the ability for transformation. Their potential for exchange pokes fun at the fear and often moralizing debates on symbols with religious connotations while concurrently reminding one of the ability to put on another’s clothes or to walk in another’s shoes.

Ferhat Özgür was born in 1965 in Ankara, Turkey. He completed his masters and doctorate degrees in Hacettepe University, Fine Arts Faculty, Department of Painting, Ankara. He currently teaches in Istanbul Kultur University, Art and Design Faculty, Department of Communication Design-Multimedia. Recent solo exhibitions include The Room of Emotion, Gallery Nev, Ankara, Video Screening and Selection from Early Paintings, Istanbul Kultur University Contemporary Art Studio, Turkey, (all 2010), and City Log, Yapı Kredi Kazım Taşkent Art Gallery, Istanbul, (2008). Selected recent group exhibitions include OpenArt: 3rd Örebro Biennale, Sweden; A Geographical Expression, Fondazione Re Rebaudengo Sandretto-Turin, Italy; Role Models- Role Playing, Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Austria; Festival of Confusion, Beursschowburg, Brussels, Belgium; (all 2011); What’s Waiting Out There, 6th Berlin Biennial, Berlin; 1st Antakya Biennale: Thank You For Your Understanding, Antakya, Turkey; 1st Mardin Biennale: AbbaraKadabra, Turkey; (all 2010); 10th Istanbul Biennial (2007), Politics of Redistribution, Magazin 4 Kunstverein, Bregenz-Austria; ‘Soft Manipulation, Who Is Afraid Of The New Now’, Casino Luxembourg Forum d’Art Contemporain, Luxembourg and Stiftelsen 3, 14, Bergen-Norway, (all 2009). His works recently have been shown in Centre George Pompidou-Paris, Reina Sofia National Museum-Madrid, 3812 Contemporary Art Space-Hong Kong, Kunsthalle Wintherthur and K3, ZurichSwitzerland. Ferhat Özgür currently lives and works in Istanbul.

This project seeks to consider how objects, such as a derelict house, operate within current ideologies. What role do we play in the speculation for the future of a neighborhood, a city or a country? Is this speculation only economic or is there another form of social formation? If so, what is the alternative? In juxtaposing this projection of an ideal space or home with references from the past, the tension between a certain idealism and the passage of other histories are drawn out and the premise of social, political, and economic cohesion is undermined and called into question.

established synagogues in the Hill District. The Polish fraternal organization G.P. 154 Zwiazek Narodowy Polski (ZNP) is founded. | 1891 U.S. Bureau of Geographic Names removes the “h” from Pittsburg(h). It is returned in 1911. | 1900 Italians Clusters around Bloomfield and East Liberty. Poles cluster around Lawrenceville, the South side, and ‘Polish Hill’. Carnegie Mellon University, then known as Carnegie Technical School, is founded by Andrew Carnegie. Pittsburgh is the nation’s sixth largest city with the sixth largest African American community in the nation. Total population is 321, 616. 316,063 Native born, 33,224 German, 23,690 Irish, 20,355 African Americans, 11,892 Poles, 6,495 Italians | 1900-1914 Many part of the city were bilingual and pamphlets and sometimes books were printed in both German and English | 1905 The first motion picture

house to open in the U.S. opens in Pittsburgh - the Nickelodeon. | 1907 The North side (previously Allegheny City) is annexed to Pittsburgh. Edwin Hareleston establishes The Pittsburgh Courier with the masthead ‘Work, Integrity, Tact, Temperance, Prudence, Courage, Faith.’ Pittsburgh the fifth largest city in the US. The Pittsburgh Survey, a pioneering sociological study of the city, begins. | 1910 According to records Pittsburgh’s total population is 530,000 with 26.4 per cent of resident foreign born and 35.8 per cent of foreign parentage. This includes 387,851 native born, 29,438 German, 18,872 Irish, 9525 English, 25,623 African Americans, 20,606 Poles and 14,120 Italians. | 1914 The final of the six volumes of The Pittsburgh Survey is published. | 1917 Several hundred Jewish tailors joined with a smaller number of Italians to form a local the Amalgamated


THIRD FLOOR

LOWER LEVEL

John Smith The Girl Chewing Gum 1976 B/W Sound, 16mm transferred to DVD, 12 mins loop.

Glenn Loughran with Manchester Craftsman’s Guild Squatter Sovereignty Radical Love 2011 Ceramic, gold spray, audio from Tahrir Square. Special thanks to Dave Deilly and Keith Hapsberger

Inspired by the Structural Materialist ideas which dominated British artists’ filmmaking during his formative years, but also fascinated by the immersive power of narrative and the spoken word, John Smith has developed a body of work which deftly subverts the perceived boundaries between documentary and fiction, representation and abstraction. Drawing upon the raw material of everyday life, Smith’s meticulously crafted films rework and transform reality, playfully exploring and exposing the language of cinema. This work, The Girl Chewing Gum (1976), opens with a view of a bustling streetscape in Dalston, East London, accompanied by a distinctive male voice directing the activities of the busy street; a man walking across the road, a girl chewing gum, a trailer moving on. Slowly as the orchestrated activity unfolds, it unravels and the role of narrator as director is called into question. As the description of the events unfolding shifts from the visible action to the pedantic, from people crossing the street to directing the large hands of the clock to move on the hour, certain slippages become apparent. Slowly within this simple street view what has been constructed, what we see within the frame, what is happening, and the relationship between seeing and believing is called into question. Gradually any sense of authority or authenticity dissolves as the relationship between narration and image becomes increasingly fractured. The relationship between fact and fiction is teased out in the filmic form; black and white and almost documentary-like. In shifting the narration from direction to description, Smith unravels the authority of the image while playing, making fun of, and untying the role of the director as author or controller. Smith’s film exposes the constructed-ness of the real in a way that is fundamentally destabilizing.

John Smith is known for making films in his immediate surroundings, in a hotel room in which he is staying, a local pub, a nearby street or sometimes even on his own doorstep. One of his earliest films, The Girl Chewing Gum, was made while Smith was still a Masters student at the Royal College of Art, yet it presents some of the key elements of Smith’s work; the act of filmmaking, language, humor, control and serendipity. Documenting and probing the local, the immediate, Smith combines an attention to the act of looking and a playful irreverence for the everyday world we encounter and its realities. He makes us look more closely not only at the medium of film or cinema but also our own surroundings. As artist Cornelia Parker wrote on his work ”It’s as if by choosing as his subject the ordinary things that surround us all and by scrutinizing them closely, turning them over and inside out, he can find all the hidden complexity of the universe. The whole world brewing in a ‘teasmade’.’’ 1

Glenn Loughran creates interventionist art works that disrupt public spaces. In recent years he has developed a series of context schools under the name of ‘hedgeschoolproject’. Hedgeschools were hidden schools that developed as a response to the Penal laws in Ireland that restricted its citizen’s participation in education, and other areas of social life. In this instance it is used as a metaphor to frame an exploration of education and resistance. In this project, titled Squatter Sovereignty, Loughran references a brief period within American history, after the Mexican War (1846-1848), in which the proposal for ‘Popular Sovereignty’ became nicknamed ‘Squatter Sovereignty’. The idea behind the original proposals for Popular Sovereignty were that any state or territory could declare a space as autonomous and be self-regulating, as a mechanism to prohibit slavery. Loughran juxtaposes the declaration of a squatter space, a space subtracted from the State, through four regimes through which the State represents itself as sovereign: Military Power, Victory, Celebration and Order. These aesthetic regimes collapse into the concept of ‘Squatter Sovereignty’ through multiple works: The General Will (Military Power), Radical Love (Victory), Origami Fireworks (Celebration) and The Parallax: The Brewhouse, Pittsburgh, City Garden, Dublin (Order).

John Smith was born in Walthamstow, East London, in 1952 and studied film at the Royal College of Art, London. Since 1972 John Smith has made over fifty film, video and installation works that have been shown in cinemas, art galleries and on television around the world and awarded major prizes at many international film festivals. His recent solo exhibitions include Pallas Projects, Dublin (2011), Royal College of Art Galleries, London (2010), Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin (2010) and Sala Diaz Gallery, Texas (2010). Major group shows include Berlin Biennial (2010), The Talent Show, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and MoMA PS1, New York (2010), Venice Biennale (2007), A Century of Artists’ Film in Britain, Tate Britain (2004) and Live in Your Head: Concept and Experiment in Britain 196575, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2000). John Smith regularly presents his work in person and in recent years it has been profiled through retrospectives at the 2007 Venice Biennale and film festivals in Oberhausen, Cork, Tampere, Uppsala, Bristol, Regensburg, Glasgow and La Rochelle. He teaches part-time at the University of East London where he is Professor of Fine Art. Smith lives and works in London. 1 Parker, Cornelia (2002) ‘John Smith’s Body’ in John Smith: Film and Video Works 1971-2002, Picture This Moving Image and Watershed Media Centre, Bristol, p.12

Dawn Weleski City Council Wrestling 2011 Public project

Film still courtesy of the artist and Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin

Glenn Loughran Squatter Sovereignty Origami Fireworks 2011 Paper, sovereignty texts (1847)

As a multi-disciplinary artist, Dawn Weleski activates and broadcasts the stories of individuals and groups in experimental public performances, where conversation is her process and people her medium. In an earlier project, Regular (2008), she interviewed local business people on East Carson Street in Pittsburgh’s Southside and transcribed their conversations, issues and problems. A newspaper, called ‘Regular’, was generated and Weleski performed the role of a street newspaper seller crying out excerpts of private conversations as public headlines. This shift from private to public, everyday to newsworthy, unsettles the parameters of each while considering mechanisms of distribution. This project City Council Wrestling juxtaposes the traditions of Greek philosophy and rhetoric with that of the local tradition of underground wrestling. Over the past number of months during a series of community engagement meetings in four districts Weleski invited citizens to discuss their issues and problems whether personal, local or city based. Through these discussions participants were invited to develop a wrestling character to personify their issue and with the assistance of a City Council Member from each relevant district are being trained to physically wrestle as well as become informed on how to resolve their issue and the relationship between citizenship, communities and City Council. In juxtaposing the training of a wrestler, the physical preparation for a fight, with that of the knowledge

7248 | 1830 Population over 12,000. | 1843 The Mystery, Pittsburgh’s first African-American Newspaper is founded by Dr. Martin Delany. | 1845 April 10, 1845 The Great Fire of Pittsburgh | 1846 The State chartered the Pennsylvania Railroad Company to connect Harrisburg to Pittsburgh thus extending the Philadelphia-Lancaster-Harrisburg rail service. | 1849 Charles Avery establishes the all-black Allegheny Institute (later Avery College). | 1850 Population of nearly 47,000 including more than 10,000 Irish immigrants and 2,000 African Americans | 1852 Pennsylvania Railroad is completed between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. | 1854 The Teutonia Männerchor, one of the oldest singing societies in Pittsburgh and today the largest German American Society in the city, is founded. | 1872 First Chinese arrive in Pittsburgh, most native of two counties in

Squatter Sovereignty: Origami Fireworks are made from a series of key texts which first introduced the concept of ‘Popular Sovereignty’ in the U.S, later derided by Abraham Lincoln as ‘Squatter Sovereignty.’ These works are sited intermittently throughout the exhibition and can be picked up and played with or taken home by the viewer. As impotent remnants of celebration, echoing fireworks on the 4th July, each firework is a small unfolding contradiction between the celebration of Empire and the struggle for deep Democracy in the ‘will of the people’. In Squatter Sovereignty Parallax view: Brewhouse, Pittsburgh, City Garden, Dublin two spaces are juxtaposed and represented in film; an independent studio complex on the Southside of Pittsburgh, and a community garden in the city center of Dublin. In removing themselves from the status quo each space has emerged and subsequently undergone transformation, from the planting of vegetables and growing community formed in a disused space within the city center, to the development of studio spaces and artists projects in an abandoned building. Presented on either side of plywood panels, the horizontal emphasis in the city garden film is contrasted with a vertical emphasis in the Brewhouse film. Both works represent the art of the decision, and the process of commitment, rather than the glory of victory. While each space is different there is a capacity to consider the relationship between them; one new in formation, one struggling to endure, this in-between-ness is referred to in the ‘parallax view’—an apparent shift in the position of an object caused by a change in the observer’s position providing a new line of sight.

of city council protocol, the notion of resolution is teased out. Weleski draws attention to the fanaticism and spectacle of wrestling juxtaposing it with city policies, community meetings and a certain apathy for engagement in city issues and even politics. Are they not both a struggle? City Council Wrestling will culminate in the form of a debate/wrestling match, between citizens and council members costumed as their own rhetoric, which will take place at a local, underground wrestling ring, located in the Lawrenceville Moose Lodge as part of “When Worlds Collide” on Saturday, August 13th at 7.30pm. When the citizens meet in the ring, they are in costume and will physically, as well as rhetorically, battle by debating their political topics and physically fighting as the personification of those same topics.

Squatter Sovereignty Radical Love presents an almost jewel-like ceramic model of Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt. Activated by the viewer, the model turns and the sounds of everyday activities play out; cleaning the streets, praying, chanting and singing. The victorious form of the model recalls traditional state triumphant edifices, cast in gold and framed by dramatic lighting, yet this is a representation of a spontaneous neighbourhood which no longer exists, formed by people who refused to exist under Mubarak and stood in solidarity against his regime. By casting the techniques of victorious representation in the state, with the weak power of ‘the people’ against the state, the work closes the gap between official ornamental representation, and incomplete militant processes. In employing varied material in this project under the term ‘Squatter Sovereignty’ Loughran alludes to the potential for these spaces and for ‘squatting’ to take place in multiple spaces at multiple moments. In questioning what is the relationship between them the viewer is invited to consider both the contrasts and parallels between such sites and their potential in becoming.

Glenn Loughran was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1973. He first went to study Art and Design at foundation level at the University of Ulster, Belfast, aged eighteen. After one year he left the college and travelled to the US were he lived as an illegal immigrant and general factotum for seven years. On return to Ireland he enrolled at Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dun Laoghaire, and received a Diploma in Fine Art (2002), then a BA in Fine Art Painting (2003) and an MA in Sculpture at the National College of Art and Design (2005). Recent projects include The Literacy House, Dublin, (2007- ongoing), Prekariat Academy, Kaunus Biennial, Kaunus, Lithuania, (2008) and The Hedgeschool Project, Carlow, (2006). He is currently a research scholar at the Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media, Dublin, where he is pursuing a Phd on art, education and event. He lives and works in Dublin, Ireland. Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild For more than 40 years Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild has been a unique haven—a multi-disciplined arts and learning center that fosters a sense of belonging, interconnections, and hope within the urban community. Located on Pittsburgh’s North Shore, Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild includes the nationally recognized MCG Youth program— dedicated to educating and inspiring Pittsburgh’s urban youth through the arts. For further information see http:// mcgyouthandarts.org/

(2010-ongoing), a restaurant that only serves cuisines from countries with which the United States is in conflict and her multi-city operatic productions on public transit, Bus Stop Opera (2008-ongoing). Upcoming public projects concentrate on political and cultural conflict and include commissions with a group of second and third generation Turkish migrants in Berlin for Ballhaus Naunynstrasse and Schlesische27, as well as collaborations with Jon Rubin for Belluard Bollwerk International Festival in Fribourg, Switzerland in June and the Mercosul Biennial in Porto Alegre, Brazil in September. She currently lives and works in Pittsburgh but will relocate to San Francisco, CA this fall as an MFA candidate in Art Practice at Stanford University.

The project is presented in the gallery space in the form of a dressing room; a preparatory space before the action outside. During the summer months this space will be used for a series of community engagement meetings for residents on the Northside to raise, discuss and deliberate on pressing issues as well as trying out wrestling moves. Lockers, thrown towels and a blackboard with a plan of action resemble locker rooms and dressing rooms found in school, sports halls and theatres and yet where does the actions really take place? Can these spaces be defined? Dawn Weleski was born in Pittsburgh. In 2009 she completed a BFA in Contextual Practice at Carnegie Mellon University. Her public artwork has earned her international attention, most notably for Conflict Kitchen with Jon Rubin

Patrick’s Day Flood. Over 100,000 people made homeless | 1940 Pittsburgh’s population is 671,659, of which 524,60 are native born, 9805 German, 7,301 Irish, 6293, English, 54,983 African Americans, 10,848 Poles and16,241 Italians | 1941 National Negro Opera Company founded by Mary Cardwell Dawson | 1950 Pittsburgh’s population rises to 676,806 including 528,842 native white, 5898 German, 4,816 Irish, 3136 English, 86,453 African Americans, 7,840 Poles and 13,466 Italians. The total of foreign born residents is 64,983. | 1952 WQED first public television station in the United States | 1960 Pittsburgh’s population rises to 604,332. This includes 458,387 native white, 5,233 German, 3742 Irish, 5,556 English, 100,692 African Americans, 4,471 Poles and 9,793 Italians. The immigrant population amounts to less than 46,000 or 7.4% of the population. | 1967


University. It has been understood for a long time now that a college education is an entrance to the reputational economy. Harvard = good reputation, Penn State = average.

By Glen Loughran and Timothy Cook The following email conversation took place between Glenn Loughran and Timothy Cook while they were rejuvenating a center city sports bar in Pittsburgh into a temporary school/cultural center called ‘The General Will.’ The General Will project is a testing space for a longer project of college redesign and rethinking that has been developed over four years by the Saxifrage School committee. The bar will host a scheduled series of events that are both pedagogical and artistic throughout the month of May, as part of the Neighbo(u) rhood project at the Mattress Factory. GL: So Tim, you have been working on the Saxifrage School project for almost four years now. Can you tell me how you went about setting it up, what was the reasoning behind the concept, and what does Saxifrage mean? TC: Well... The Saxifrage School has slowly gone from pencil notes on the backs of envelopes to a legitimate organization with 20+ team members and a strategic plan for development, hopefully to open in 2014. I would have given up the work at numerous points if not for a lot of encouragement from people who are constantly excited about our ideas. I mean, starting a college is a pretty lofty project. The scope of it is often overwhelming. Who starts a college? It has been propelled by sheer willpower, volunteer support, and word of mouth. A project like this only works because the problem we are addressing—the cost and relevance of the University—resonates strongly with almost everyone. To be honest, most of the ideas for this project come from my own ineptness. After graduating from college, I realized the things that I needed the most—food, shelter, transportation, the dollar bill—I was ill-equipped to provide. There I was at 22 years grown and I couldn’t grow a single tomato, fix my car or bicycle, or maintain my house, let alone build my own. I’ve slowly been learning, but it hasn’t been easy. Granted, our economy has made it possible for us to not have these skills, but if we want to serve our neighbors and be able to support ourselves, often the things we need the most are these kinds of practical skills. My elderly neighbor would rather have a basket of tomatoes or a repaired gutter than have me write him an essay on transcendentalism. Having these skills not only makes us better neighbors but also participants in a truer economy that values conservation, quality and community. I was lucky enough to not graduate with any debt, but most graduates have a goodsized share of the $800 billion of American student debt. I began to think: what if college could prepare us for life as people who think deeply, but also work skillfully. What if we could graduate with money in our pockets, capable of building and designing a home and making sense of the world through poetry? As for the name, “Saxifrage School”, the saxifrage is a small flower that grows in the crevices of rocks and slowly breaks them apart.  It is a metaphor for reconciling the often dualistic divide between theory and practice. In higher education that divide is seen most obviously in the conflict between the sciences and

the humanities. The saxifrage metaphor comes from a poem by William Carlos Williams--who was, himself, both a poet and a physician—called ‘A Sort of a Song.’ In the poem, he offers a line that aptly defines this concept which the Saxifrage School endeavors to follow: “no ideas but in things.” ‘No ideas but in things’, I like that. How do you see yourself manifesting this ethos in the Saxifrage School, do you see the balance between theory and practice as an essential part of the curriculum? Could you elaborate a little on how these ideas might negotiate the challenges of accreditation?  The practice/theory reconciliation will play out in our academic programs. We will require all students to study one technical program (choosing from building design & construction, organic agriculture, and computer science) and one humanities program (Literature, Philosophy, Art, etcetera). Students will have a balance of both theory and practice, with one informing the other. Our idea is to focus their work around specific tangible projects and problem solving. I always come back to this quote by Henry David Thoreau from Walden, “[They] should not play life, or study it merely, while the community supports them at this expensive game, but earnestly live it from beginning to end.” Our work as students needs to be the work of our lives. For too long there has been a dualistic divide between theory and practice, the sciences and the humanities, between our physical and intellectual pursuits. Our physical, mental, and spiritual health demand that we are people who work with both our minds and our muscles. The accreditation process will certainly be a challenge, but I think our program will be uniquely suited to meeting its requirements for breadth of study. Many of the courses we will be required to offer will be necessarily covered due to the dual-major program. Additionally, every student at The Saxifrage School will study the same foreign language (Spanish) for the entire four years. All full-time faculty and staff will have to take part in this language study while they are employed by the school. By doing this we create a pseudo-immersive language speaking environment that will go far beyond the typical two-semester language requirement of most colleges. Given that so much of your critique is based on an analysis of the relation between educational debt, property, reputational economy and cultural selection, how do you see the Saxifrage School being sustained when students desires are so often unconsciously prescribed by these elements? Or, how will you compete with the long history of Human Capital development in US education? This sort of disruptive innovation is really difficult, because it is initially confusing to people. The reason why it hasn’t happened yet is because it does not easily mesh with the general understanding of a “good” higher education experience. More and more colleges are marketing themselves to students based on their grandiose buildings, dorms, cafeteria and high-tech facilities; they sell a model of College to students by spending more on the model. In fact, increasing tuition has often been a reliable strategy to raise the prestige of a

Because costs are usually lumped together, students don’t quite understand that they are not just paying for an education, they are paying for their dorm’s cable television, the heating bill for the new science center, and for the scores of well-intentioned administrative positions. It’s a confusing issue because students will naturally be interested in the nicest opportunities. Who wouldn’t want state-of-the-art facilities? Free iPads? Swordfish in the cafeteria? But, because the true cost of college is hidden and the cost absorbed by society and personal students’ debts, students rarely choose college based on value. Of course they want a free iPad, but it’s a lie to say it’s free; really they are paying for the iPad with parental support, their part-time restaurant wages, and their loans. This is not to say students should not have iPads, but they need to know they aren’t free. These are difficult things for some people to hear, but as much as the lavish spending has attracted students, I think the obverse is becoming true. Students and their financial backers can only be drawn in by the glitz of the University system for so long; now that tuition costs for private colleges are consistently above $40,000/year, a school like ours that offers a similar education for $5,000 is going to look mighty appealing. We won’t have a cathedral of learning or free iPads, but they’ll learn to build, grow, design, compute, write, speak, think, and create and won’t have any debts at the end of it. Although America has a long history of higher education directing students through a system of human capital development, it has a longer history that values self-sufficiency and true economy. The Saxifrage School will graduate students that will be capable workers, but will be intellectually and financially independent. Our idea, while disruptive, is not based on a rejectionist approach; there are many good things about higher education that we want to refocus. Many people are completely throwing out the idea and starting up projects like Uncollege, or Free Schools, we love College and are trying to salvage the best parts. I don’t agree that free schools are rejectionist; I think they are also reformist, but they have understood that reform inside the normalised hierarchy of higher education is sometimes impossible. It is in this sense that I think they are subtractive; they subtract from the norm in an attempt to prescribe both a new institutional logic and policy changes within the State, from a particular distance. You talked about how commodities tend to stand in for the reputational value of education. If you were to put forward an idea of education that is different to the values of consumption and production, labour and commodities, what would it look like? I’ll agree with you that, in theory, free schools are not rejectionist, but I have found that they often turn out to be in practice. Many of the free schools I have looked at reject the structure and organization of the institution and the seriousness with which higher education pursues skill and knowledge. As a result, the classes many free schools offer are frequently on topics like screen-printing, poetry workshops, and consensus building. While these and many things they offer are certainly valuable, they do not offer students the capacity to pursue longer studies in serious skills or disciplines. As far as I have seen, you cannot study a dedicated discipline or trade at a free school. In theory free schools can be excellent-and are in some cases—but I think that

they too often lose the rigor and quality of the University. Despite this, I am still an advocate for free schools. As you said of ‘The Wire’ though Glenn, “follow the money”... free schools often lack serious teaching capabilities because they lack funding. People can only offer so much as volunteers. I am much more interested in self-study programs (which free schools could contribute to) where students are using multiple sources in accomplishing a more serious and lengthy academic project. I’m not sure I completely understand your next question, but I’ll do my best. A college education, especially in the United States, has certainly become a commodity. Especially with the recent success of numerous publicly traded for-profit Universities, American higher education is bought, sold, and traded in ways that are very very similar to other large industries, such as the housing market. The marketing and financing models bear striking resemblance. Our idea is that a degree is worthless. As countless people keep telling me, “yeah, you’re right, I got a degree, but all I learned in college was to drink beer and find hot dates”. The only true purpose and true value of the college experience are the skills, knowledge, and relationships gained from the academic community. Moreover, we will require our students to engage with real problems of life and tangible projects so that they are producers in the true economy, rather than mere consumers of a passive college experience. You’re right. There are problems inherent to Free Schooling. They operate through a solidarity economy which at worst can be subject to fatigue and disorganisation; yet when this type of economy works through proper critical management and commitment they can be potent in transforming the core values of education, maintaining the emancipatory tradition of education. I’m thinking here of the MST Landless workers movement in Brazil and their Itinerant schools, or closer to home Myles Horton’s Highlander Folk School.  You have mentioned the ‘True Economy’ a couple of times now, I wonder if you could give me some insight into what that is? Those examples sound excellent. The American homeschooling movement is probably another, larger example of successful free-schooling. ...the “True Economy” question is a good one, definitely one of my favorite topics. It has a lot to do with the over-monetization of value and the culture it has created. At its core, it is a problem of names and meanings. The word “economy” specifically has been used so often over the past century, that its etymology contains opposing definitions. For instance, our mayor in Pittsburgh here could have been recently quoted as saying something like, “This new Casino will be great for the economy! It will bring jobs and spur development on the North Shore”. Meanwhile, across town a woman is driving an economy car, and refuses to buy a new flat-screen TV to replace her old heavy one because, she says, “it just isn’t economical”. In the casino sense, good economy means spending huge amounts of money and resources so that others can lose their personal resources to the casino. Sure it creates jobs, but the overall net gain in actual value and resources is negative. In the true economy, the casino uses resources, but creates no resources or anything of value aside from really expensive entertainment. Saying it is good economy is a flat out lie. To simplify: the false economy says that we need to consume more in order to improve economy while the true economy asks us to consume less. The true economy highly values things that are most necessary for a simple but high quality human life: food, shelter, com-

fort, utility, and warmth. My favorite example of something that exists in a culture based on false economic ideas is a businessman my father knows. He makes all of his money by leasing out vanity 1-800 phone numbers. He constantly buys up these phone numbers and then sells the rights for them to a dentist that wants 1-800-55TEETH. Similar things happen with real estate, website domains, etc. People buy up things hoping demand will increase the price and then they sell them back. They do nothing to create value, their main action has been to stand in the way of someone who wants what they have. I guess this relates to College as well. If a degree program is merely some credential that the College is holding from the student and they must pay to procure it and move on, it is part of the false economy. But, if a college assists us in improving our capability to live, work, and serve well, it improves the true economy. Colleges likely always serve both sides of the economy; our hope is to further tilt the balance in the latter direction. Reminds me of the Mondragon Cooperative in Northern Spain. It’s the longest running Co-op in the Twentieth century, and it began as a small community school experiment set up by two priests. This brings me to my next question, what is going on with the ‘General Will’ project. Where is it? What is its programme at present, and what does the future hold? This week is going to be really busy down at The General Will. Yesterday I wrote up the first in a series of chalkboard signs that will display various evocative texts on issues of higher education, economy, and sovereignty. This week we have 6 meetings at The General Will, 3 with potential supporters for our project, and 3 with different volunteer teams working on specific academic and funding goals for The Saxifrage School project. There will also be a concert/discussion coming up soon. It seems like most every week is going to be similarly busy. Yesterday an Equitable Gas employee knocked on my door needing to get down to the basement to do a gas meter reading. He, like everyone else, wanted to know when we were “re-opening” and was confused by our re-use of the space. I got to explain that there are no plans yet for a new bar to open up, but in the mean time we are operating the Space as the headquarters for our College project. We had a good conversation as I explained to him about our ideas for higher ed in a non-traditional space, how much money it might save, and what the Thoreau quote on the window was all about. This conversation and others that are sparked by the confusion of the place are exactly why this project will be (and has already been) a success. It does not have so much to do with how much we actually do in the space, though we’ll be doing a lot, it has more to do with the larger commentary. There is great value in the confusion of the space. Maybe the University can exist in a derelict bar; maybe higher education can indeed happen in low places. Sounds exciting! Good to talk to you Tim. I look forward to following the development of the General Will project, and more broadly the development of the Saxifrage School, which I think is an ambitious project against complacency and unsustainability in educational discourse. Talk soon. Thanks Glenn. It has been excellent to talk with you and collaborate with you on the creation of The General Will. So far, the project has been a great success. I’m sure we’ll talk soon. Hopefully I can come work with you in your neighborhood some day.

Mister Roger’s Neighborhood airs on national television. | 1970 The immigrant population of Pittsburgh accounts for only 4.4 % of the residents of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. | 1980 Pittsburgh’s population falls to less than 425,000. Of this Immigrants only 1.3 % residents of the Pittsburgh metropolitan. Fewer than 400 Mexicans, less than 10,000 Asians (China, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, the Philippines and Vietnam) Nearly 20,000 Italians 4/5 who had left their homeland before 1960. | 1985 Pittsburgh named ‘Most Livable City in America’ by Places Rated Almanac. |

Design for Diversity, cont. social and economic realities our consumption may require. Perhaps under these circumstances, leveraging place to support diversity seems illogical. Or it may be that using place to support diversity seems too determinist and controlling, in danger of requiring the construction of an aesthetic image rather than a real place. In what seems like a desperate attempt, there have been calls to foster diversity using “creative destruction” as a means. Missing from these approaches is consideration of daily life needs, elements that are crucial to sustaining diversity in urban settings. We are left with an attempt to inspire social diversity based on disequilibrium and destruction, devoid of careful understanding of the physical elements and neighborhood structure required for everyday life. While there is recognition that neighborhoods that support diversity must be safe and have good access to schools, employment and other services, there seems less recognition of the reality that these conditions require a concerted focus on the design of place. Design is critical in calls for promoting “place-based initiatives” like community and economic development, worker mobility and household mobility strategies, or the reduction of service inequities. But without paying attention to neighborhood-level effects, to how

Fighting with Writing, Political Activism & Social Work An interview with Khet Mar By Silvia Duarte

Since she was 19-years-old, Khet Mar has been persecuted by the Burmese government. She has been arrested, tortured, incarcerated, and threatened, but she has remained a warrior without guns. She fights with her writing, her political activism, and her social work. In 2009, she was interrogated by intelligence officers for 20 straight hours and released. Afraid she would be arrested again, she left her country to become the writer-in-residence in City of Asylum/Pittsburgh. Sitting in her living room on Sampsonia Way and sipping a green tea, she told me how the Burmese government has impacted her life, oppressed the Burmese people, and created a reign of terror. Even while relating these disturbing stories, Khet Mar never raised her voice or lost her calm—except when she mentioned the military government in Burma. “The generals don’t deserve mercy,” she said. In this interview Khet Mar details the crucial moments in her life and offers a rare glimpse into life under the secretive regime of the Burmese military junta, including how the publishing industry operates under the thumb of government censors. This is the first time Khet Mar has been able to tell, for print, her life story, openly and without fear of repercussion. In your essay ‘Night Flow’ you describe the poverty in Maletto, the village you grew up in. You write about how your adolescent friends worked cutting chillies instead of going to school. They were paid with a small amount of chillies, which they then sold as the

these programs play out in physical terms, or how they are to be nurtured and sustained in a material context, a vitally important piece is overlooked. Connecting design to social goals like diversity may require pro-action. History has shown that neighborhood form does not always keep up with social change. Social transitions in the latter half of the 20th century, such as

By mid-21st century, one-half of the population of the U.S. is expected to be composed of today’s “minorities” “lifestyle and cultural diversification”, women in the labor force, and smaller households were not adequately accommodated in the physical environment – and still aren’t. Now, we need an approach that can be responsive to a society growing more and more diverse. By mid-21st century, one-half of the population of the U.S. is expected to be composed of today’s “minorities”. Planners will need to consider whether the residential structure used to house an increasingly diverse population will intensify segregation, or help to accommodate diversity.

only way to help their families to survive. How was it that you were able to attend school? I was able to go to school because my grandparents were the principals of an elementary school in Maletto and then my mother became a teacher there. My family was one of the few for whom education had a great value, even though they were poor too. Another important aspect was that Maletto didn’t have a high school and most of my friends didn’t have the money to travel to another town’s school every day. The first military junta came to power in 1962, before you were born. You grew up under a dictatorship. Was the country of your childhood different than the country today? Today, most of the kids don’t have a chance of education and instead they do many jobs to survive, just like my friends in Maletto. However, my friends and I were not as threatened as children are today. Now children are forced to be soldiers. The military sexually harasses, assaults, and even rapes children. Also, children are afraid their parents will be killed or arrested any moment. One character who often appears in your writing is your grandmother. Once you told me that she was crucial to your writing career. How did your family contribute to your success as an essayist, poet, journalist, and fiction writer? My father was a big reader, and I read many of his books when we lived together. Unfortunately, my parents got divorced when I was six and I had to move to my grandmother’s house. I was lucky because she loved to read too. I had access to two libraries: my father’s translations of English literature and my grandmother’s collection of classic Burmese authors. Since my early childhood I was interested in writing. When I was in seventh grade, I wrote a story for school and showed it to my grandmother. Since then she encouraged me to be a writer. After the 1988 uprising, which was started by students at Yangon University, many universities were closed for three years and I had a lot of time to read and write. My grandmother read

Pursuing the objective of place diversity through the mechanisms of planning and design will require a nuanced understanding of the interconnections involved. It will require knowledge of the difference between redevelopment that contributes to loss of diversity and redevelopment that sustains diversity. To work toward stability and discourage displacement, to simultaneously support homeownership and rental housing, to successfully integrate a range of housing types and densities, levels of affordability, a mix of uses, and neighborhood facilities and social services – all of this together requires holistic attention that includes the physical form and design of neighborhoods. Emily Talen is a professor at Arizona State University in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and the School of Sustainability. She is also Director of the Phoenix Urban Research Lab, an extension of ASU’s Design School, located in downtown Phoenix. Talen has written extensively on the topics of urbanism, urban design, and social equity. Recent books include; New Urbanism and American Planning: The Conflict of Cultures (Routledge, 2005), Design for Diversity (Architectural Press, 2008), and Urban Design Reclaimed (Planners Press, 2009).

everything I wrote and said I should submit my short stories to magazines and newspapers. But I was afraid, because I grew up in a village and I was not sure that the editors in a big city like Yangon, the former capital of Burma, would like my work. My grandmother told me: “If you don’t send in those stories, I will.” In August 1989, I took three different stories to three magazines and talked with the editors; all three were accepted for publication and two of them were published. What happened to the third story? It was censored. I wrote about a girl who preferred to stay in her room, because her family was different than her. She was always behind the bars of her window. The windows in Burma are open all the time because of the heat, so they all have iron bars. In my story I told in detail how this girl felt lonely. The censorship officers thought I was writing about Aung San Suu Kyi, the pro-democracy leader who has been under house arrest since 1989 and who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. But the story was not about her; it was actually a story about loneliness. The censorship officers in my country are paranoid. Tell me about the process that a magazine or a newspaper needs to follow to get a story published in Burma. Every editor has to show all articles to the Press Scrutiny and Registration Division of the Ministry of Information. They can’t do it by e-mail; they personally have to go to the censorship department and present all the content and photos of each issue. The officers revise the issue and, if they accept it, the editors can print it. After printing the issue, the editor again presents it to the Registration Division. If some articles are further censored at that point, the officers tear out the pages they consider dangerous. My story was censored in its second revision; so it was torn out. It’s important to say that the head of this department is a military captain and a man who has never read literature. Even though your story didn’t have a particular political message, at that time you were already an activist. How did you get involved in the pro-democracy movement?

In 1986, I started studying at the university. In September 1987, the government devalued our currency in a very strange way: They canceled all denominations of our currency except for bills that were divisible by 9, because 9 was ‘the lucky number’ of the top General. However, the government didn’t let you exchange the bills that had been abolished. So, except for those who were closely associated with the government leaders, no one had real money in their hands, only useless cancelled denominations. Young students who came to Yangon from all around the country could barely pay tuition fees or cover living expenses. I was affected too and I didn’t hesitate to join my university friends when they started the protests against the government. The currency crisis was still affecting the nation in 1988 and was one of the causes of that year’s uprising. Did you participate then? In 1988, there was a fight between a group of engineering students and some guys who were hanging out on the street. The problem was that the police came to stop the fight and shot a university student to death. The Burmese population was already angry because of the currency crisis, but they became furious after the killing. I was angry and sad. On March 16, 1988, I joined a march from my university to the main university in Yangon. That day is now known as the Red Bridge Day. When we tried to pass the barriers, the soldiers blocked the road and shot at us. I ran away. It was horrible. Some of my classmates were killed, and some of my girlfriends were raped by soldiers. The government didn’t give us a choice, we had to react. After that, I became deeply involved in the pro-democracy movement and I became a leader in my village. What was your role as a leader? I recruited people for the movement. I organized a protest against the government in Maletto with hundreds of people. We went by boat to a town called Meubin and joined protesters from other villages. I participated in many demonstrations starting in 1988 and, in 1991, I joined the protest of university students who were demanding freedom for Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners. In 1991, I distributed political poems with my friends from school. The best-known poem was about a dog that bit the hand of its owner, alluding to the soldiers who killed the same people who pay their salaries with their taxes. After that, the intelligence department arrested me. In ‘Midnight Callers’ you describe your experience in the interrogation center. You write that the lowest point was when you couldn’t finish one of your meals, because your stomach and back hurt so much after the interrogators had kicked you for many hours. The next day they brought in the same unfinished plate of food and you threw up when you tried to eat it again. Despite the pain, you didn’t give your interrogators any names or important information. What happened that day? I was blindfolded, so I could only hear. One of my friends was in the room with me and was blindfolded too... He didn’t know I was there because I was not speaking, but I recognized his voice. The interrogators asked him to reveal the names of people involved with us and he quickly gave them the names and told them about our secret meetings. At that time only students had access to the university buildings, but some of the movement leaders went there to organize the students. I used to find student IDs for them so they could get into the buildings. My friend also revealed the names of movement leaders who went to the university, how we distributed poems in the movement, and the strategies we had for the future.

Khet Mar outside of her home on Sampsonia Way. Photo ©: Than Htay Maung

When I heard him reveal our secrets I was really angry with him. But after many months I understood: he was tortured too much. But you were tortured for ten days. Yes, but everybody is different. Everybody reacts differently, depending on the situation. My friend couldn’t think fast and that was the problem. I also gave names to the interrogators, but I only said the names of my friends who had already died... You were sentenced to ten years in prison, but you were released after only a year as a result of an amnesty. What was your biggest fear after you were released? I had many fears. I was afraid of being a HIV-positive. In the winter we slept on a concrete floor, and most of the prisoners got sick. A nurse came every day to inject us with medicine, but she used the same needle for all the prisoners. I was in the same cell with prostitutes, drug addicts, and homeless who already were HIV-positive. I didn’t catch the disease, but I know many women who were infected with AIDS after being in jail for a while. I was very afraid of a future without work too. As a former political prisoner, it was impossible to get a job at the government offices. Also, the owners of businesses didn’t want us as their employees. I wrote a short story about a friend of mine who died because she couldn’t work after she was released from prison. I was also afraid of being persecuted and arrested again. However, you continued your work as a writer and journalist. What kind of work were you able to do? I’m really grateful to the editors of the magazines I worked with, because they published my writing even though they knew I was a former political prisoner. I started writing short stories and essays for the magazines. Then, I became a journalist in order to have money to survive. I wrote many social, educational, environmental, and business articles for different media outlets. I got more and different readers when I started to write these journalistic articles.

This interview first appeared in Sampsonia Way, an online magazine sponsored by City of Asylum/Pittsburgh celebrating literary free expression and supporting persecuted poets and novelists worldwide. Read the full interview at http:// www.sampsoniaway.org/literary-voices/2010/08/12/fighting-with-writing-political-activism-and-social-work/

completed by Thomas Viceroy of Bedford County and approved by the attorney of the Penns in Philadelphia. | 1785 Pittsburgh becomes a possession of the state of Pennsylvania. | 1786 John Scull and Joseph Hall found The Pittsburgh Gazette, later known as The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | 1787 The University of Pittsburgh, then known at the Pittsburgh Academy, is founded. | 1790 Population of seven hundred | 1791 The first German speaking church in Pittsburgh begins construction at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Smithfield Street. | 1796 Population reaches 1300 | 1808 The growing numbers of Irish Roman Catholics justified the creation of a Catholic Parish in the city. Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church oldest and first African Methodist church founded. | 1816 Pittsburgh is incorporated as a city. Population of about 10,000 | 1820 Population


City Council Wrestling

both motorists and pedestrians. One of the primary goals of the project was to improve the area for all users, including bicyclists and pedestrians.

The following are a series of questions posed by Denise Edwards (resident, District 8) and Dawn Weleski (artist, City Council Wrestling creator) to Bill Peduto (Councilman for City Council District 8) on the urban development currently taking place in the East End of Pittsburgh.

DE/DW: Some of the folks that live in the area cannot afford to shop at these new retail locations but are looking to find employment with these businesses. How has the city worked to guarantee jobs at the new Target for local residents? CP: The city has worked closely with the developers and Target throughout the process to ensure that neighborhood job fairs are held and that local residents are given priority in any hiring decisions.

DE/DW: What role did city council play in bringing a store like Target to East Liberty? What was your role as councilperson of District 8? What is the best way, as a resident that is affected by these changes, to responsibly educate myself on these issues and participate in a dialogue with my local government? CP: The Council approved the TIF (tax increment financing) for Penn Circle reconstruction which was part of what secured the Target store. We worked closely with the developer to resolve issues raised by neighbors and followed the existing East Liberty Community Plan. The best way to get involved and educate yourself would be to join a community organization, community development corporation, or other neighborhood group. DE/DW: Through some of the recent developments in East Liberty, residents have been displaced from their homes. Is urban redevelopment sometimes synonymous with gentrification and is this happening in East Liberty? If not, what are the differences? CP: Redevelopment doesn’t need to be synonymous with gentrification if it is handled properly. These major decisions, which impact entire neighborhoods, must be made on Main Street, not Grant Street. In the case of the current redevelopment along Penn Avenue in East Liberty we have used the community plan as our framework and the guidance has come from the ground up, not from the top down. DE/DW: I remember reading in the Tribune Review about the discussion to establish East Liberty as a neighborhood improvement district. Through this designation, there were worries that the small business owners in the area would bear the responsibility for fees related to services such as graffiti removal and sidewalk cleaning. What was the outcome of this discussion? What other services would this designation provide to East Liberty? Who would be employed to do this work? CP: The East Liberty Neighborhood Improvement District (NID) is still pending. Under Pennsylvania law a NID can only be initiated by the community itself, it is not a government decision. The Board of Directors of the NID will be responsible for working with business owners to determine what services should be provided, who will be employed, and what share everyone will pay. These arrangements are worked out directly at the community level and serve as a selfassessment by the community about what it needs. DE/DW: Two words: parking and pedestrians. My personal experience, as well as that of many that I know, is that it’s more difficult to walk through and park in the area over the past two to three years since development has begun. How will these retail shops serve the residents of the area if we are dodging motorists to make it to these destinations? What is the solution to parking in the area? CP: The government funding that went towards the reconstruction of Penn Avenue included significant bike and pedestrian improvements such as curb bumpouts, re-timing of lights, and streetscape improvements such as benches and trees. Additionally, the Port Authority busway entrance was made safer for

DE/DW: I’ve heard rumors that the Highland building will be renovated as a hotel and parking complex. Is this true? Do we need another hotel within ½ mile of these locations (Bakery Square and at the entrance of Bloomfield)? CP: We don’t yet know the plans for the Highland building. The URA (The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh) owns the property and the Mayor has given exclusive negotiating rights to Walnut Capital. Council has not been informed of any negotiations or decisions. The URA Board is comprised entirely of Mayoral appointees. City Council has no

Is urban redevelopment sometimes synonymous with gentrification and is this happening in East Liberty? oversight. These kinds of projects are typically market-driven so if a developer has completed a study showing that a hotel would be profitable then it makes sense, but as I mentioned we don’t yet know the plans for the building. The building has been vacant for a long time so any smart redevelopment is a good idea and will mean jobs and economic activity for the neighborhood. DE/DW: East Liberty was historically a thriving retail and entertainment district for the city. However, recent history has seen failed attempts to reestablish East Liberty as a shopping district. How is this new plan different? CP: The recent redevelopment efforts are based entirely on the community’s own plan. I think the major difference in this instance is that the process has been community-driven and has not come from the top. Successful small businesses have been opening in East Liberty lately such as the Shadow Lounge and we hope this redevelopment will encourage more to move in. DE/DW: Many folks that live around me are not so keen on the re-branding of East Liberty and Shadyside as the “East End” or “East Side”. What can the residents of the area, not just small and large business owners, do to make sure that the branding of the area is also representative of its history and its current residents? CP: The most important thing is to make sure the community is involved in every level of the process of redevelopment. The government can’t tell anyone what to call a neighborhood, that is up to the people who live there and the people who own the core businesses. The best thing you and anyone else who is interested can do is get involved with a local organization. Let the developers and the Mayor know how you feel. DE/DW: How are residents of the area invited into emotional and financial

ownership of this new development? Whose responsibility is it (CDCs, city council, developers, the residents themselves) to make sure that citizens of any city across America are a part of the process of inevitable redevelopment? CP: I think all of the above must be involved. Elected officials are chosen to represent the residents of their district and in my district no development occurs without going through a community plan and receiving significant input from nearby residents and community groups. I view these things as partnerships. Community groups are the cores of our community and are populated by incredibly talented people who give freely of their time and energy to make their neighborhoods better places. I have great respect for the people who get involved in these groups and I always make sure they have a seat at the table.

tax relief, zoning changes, or regulations on the size of new developments. Planning and design are therefore needed to help channel these policies and investments into a diversity-sustaining environment rather than one of constant conflict and tension between competing interests.

DE/DW: Thank you Councilman Peduto. CP: Thank you Denise and Dawn.

A fourth reason design is important is that inattention to design – the absence of any thought given to place quality – could undermine diversity. Social diversity is often fragile, sensitive to context. This means it can be destabilized. There are recognizable ways that the form, pattern, structure (i.e., the design) of places has thwarted the maintenance of social diversity, for example by failing to accommodate new development appropriately. As previously outlined, the tools of urban planning and design, like zoning, street standards and other kinds of regulations, have consistently played a role in undermining diversity. To reverse this requires paying more attention to planning and design.

Design for Diversity

By Emily Talen Arizona State University In the context of city planning, design is about proposing change to urban form – streets, spaces, blocks, group of blocks, districts, or entire neighborhoods. Of special interest are the uses, locations and patterns associated with these forms. The kind of design that is most relevant to social diversity is the kind that acknowledges the underlying social realities and possibilities of a place, a street, a block, or a neighborhood. Social dimension and complexity are relied on to generate design insight and potential. The creative role of the designer is to learn how to translate and communicate that potential. The worthiness of a project is judged by its social impact – specifically, whether it supports or undermines social diversity. Design for diversity draws from the traditional fields of urban planning and urban design. It draws from urban planning because of the social principles planning espouses – i.e., the lessening of social inequality is central to the urban planner’s code of professional conduct. It draws from urban design in that it is concerned with intervening in the built environment. Design for diversity merges the aesthetic interest of urban design with the social objectives of urban planning. It is a way of making the urban designer’s proposals more firmly rooted in social justice, and the urban planners’ concern with social justice more design-based. There are a number of reasons why planning and design of the built environment are critically important for social diversity. First, diverse neighborhoods tend to have a high number of physical transitions. Juxtapositions of difference are visible because in a diverse place there are different kinds of people doing different kinds of things. This can often be a cause of stress, particularly since the meaning and implication of various physical elements can get accentuated in diverse neighborhoods: boundaries can take on special significance, connectivity can clash with a heightened need for privacy, or visual coherence can conflict with diverse tastes and styles. Second, diverse neighborhoods are often the target of policies aimed at either increasing investment or slowing down displacement. Public and private investment takes place alongside rent control,

Third, design can act as a catalyst for focusing people’s attention on the public realm. This is particularly important in diverse places since maintenance of social diversity requires special attention to the public realm. If neighborhood issues are framed in civic terms, residents may be motivated to think about their similarities and connections rather than their differences and conflicts. It keeps the discussion more broad, instead of focusing on particular populations (like gentrifying “yuppies”, recent immigrants, or the homeless). Design puts the public realm literally in view.

For these reasons, design strategies in diverse neighborhoods take on special significance. It’s not just about putting in a new facility, having more locallyowned businesses, or developing a certain kind of housing. It’s about directing those efforts toward the explicit goal of supporting diversity.

Design neglect It has been said that “Every minute detail of urban design determines whether the creative geniuses in our minds are welcomed or excluded from participation in city life”. Design affects all kinds of non-physical realms, things like choice, access, opportunity, interaction, movement, identity, connection, mix, security, and stability. Environmental psychologists and human geographers have documented that people are deeply affected by place, that environments can have a profound impact on human behavior and feelings, that spaces can be thought of as embodied, gendered, inscribed, or contested. Designed spaces are capable of conveying, reinforcing, and even legitimizing social divisions. Racial identity, for example, has a certain physical expression, tied up in things like freeways and urban renewal. Despite these known interactions, the linkage between design and social goals like diversity is often ignored. While it’s right to be cautious about the relationship between social phenomena and the built environment, the translation of social diversity to principles of physical planning and design seems unnecessarily underplayed. Books that connect urban planning and diversity often avoid design completely. Given the way in which physical solutions have been cast as cure-alls throughout much of planning’s history, critics are right to guard against letting planners get away with “place” remedies at the expense of people, institutions, and political process. And yet, entire books on the benefits of neighborhood planning will include barely a mention of the critical importance of design or place. And the usual array of recommended policies to alleviate the

inequitable “geography of opportunity” leave out the design dimension almost entirely. Policies like mixed income, fair share, and mobility housing programs are more often than not articulated in terms that do not address physical character and the design of place. Social scientists have an interest in pointing out the connections between physical environment and social phenomena, often focusing on the strong links that can be made between social and spatial isolation. They often emphasize neighborhood as the context of social problems, from high unemployment, to crime. But their interest is not the design of neighborhoods and cities, and when social scientists speak about the “context” of neighborhood they are speaking about the traits of the people who live there. They may emphasize the political economy of place or the social production of space, but this excludes any specific recommendations about the design of place or space. In the social sciences, the physical environment is relied on as an explanation for social segregation, but whatever remedies are proposed steer clear of its rehabilitation. City Planning, whose purview specifically includes the rehabilitation of the physical environment, has not spent much effort filling in this missing perspective. Witold Rybczynski recounts the history of planning’s retreat from

...the tools of urban planning and design, like zoning, street standards and other kinds of regulations, have consistently played a role in undermining diversity. design, asserting that planning’s many design mistakes – superblocks, high-rise public housing, slum clearance, government complexes – and their astounding failure caused planners to withdraw from the task of city design altogether. Planners now “mediate, animate, negotiate, resolve conflicts, find the middle ground”, which may be “honorable”, but “it leaves the creation of an urban vision entirely to others”. Detachment from the physical context of diversity may be related more generally to the loss of localized form as a context for production and consumption. We consume without being affected or inhibited by the context of production, including whatever behind-the-scenes

SATELLITE LOCATION Glenn Loughran with The Saxifrage School Squatter Sovereignty The General Will 2011 As the final element of his project, Loughran has collaborated with The Saxifrage School, an organization which aims to offer a university education for $5,000 a year within vacant neighborhood spaces by 2014, and to open ‘The General Will’ in an empty pub space opposite PNC Park on the Northside. During the month of May and June a series of lectures, talks, and events will take place in this public pedagogical project which confuses the notion of education as sited only within prescribed places. Offsite location: The General Will, 120 Federal Street, Pittsburgh (opposite PNC Park) For up-to-date listings of events see http://www.facebook.com/event. php?eid=198196436888597

The Saxifrage School The Saxifrage School is a college redesign project based in Pittsburgh, PA. They are working to create a new model that focuses more simply on the main purposes of higher education. By integrating into a neighborhood and creating partnerships with community organizations, their courses will meet in non-traditional, underutilized spaces rather than expensive academic buildings. These courses will be part of a fouryear accredited bachelor’s degree program that will require students to undertake a dual-major degree program and an all-college language fluency study. The dual-major program will include a balance of both practice and theory; students will study both a technical skill and a liberal arts discipline. By simplifying the model and offering a more interdisciplinary curriculum, they will offer students a college education that allows them to graduate with valuable academic and technical skills as well as without debt. For further information see saxifrageschool.org

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS Dr. Robert Cavalier, Georgina Jackson and Dawn Weleski Tuesday, May 17, 2011, 7PM. Galleries open at 6PM. Led by Curator Georgina Jackson, panelists Robert Cavalier, (author of Approaching Deliberative Democracy) and Dawn Weleski, will engage in discussion on citizenship, the language of community and neighborhood, and how we consider our individual roles within these constructs. This event is free and open to the public. FILM SCREENING & PANEL DISCUSSION The Pipe (2010) Thursday, June 9, 2011. Film at 7PM, brief discussion to follow $10 (free for MF members and CMU students) In one the most dramatic clash of cultures in modern Ireland, the rights of farmers over their fields, and of fishermen to their fishing grounds, has come in direct conflict with one of the worlds most powerful oil companies. When the citizens look to their state to protect their rights, they find that the state has put Shell’s right to lay a pipeline over their own. The Pipe is a story of a community tragically divided, and how they deal with a pipe that could bring economic prosperity or destruction of a way of life shared for generations. As a follow-up, panelists Brian O’Neill, Seamus Nolan, and moderator Dawn Weleski will lead a discussion with audience members about community conflict, activism, and the parallels we find between the story of The Pipe and current events in our own region. BIRD ORCHESTRA OF PITTSBURGH Sunday, July 10th, 2011, 6PM and 7PM Performances by: Big Experimental Bird Orchestra of Pittsburgh & Kid’s Incredibly Daring STRAY BIRDS: FULL MOON AT THE MATTRESS FACTORY Friday, July 15th, 2011 Taketeru Kudo and Michael Pestel at sunrise and noon 8PM (full moon performance with Big Experimental Bird Orchestra of Pittsburgh) Discover our avian neighbors by joining “birdmusician” Michael Pestel, legendary Pittsburgh musician Ben Opie, worldrenowned Butoh dancer Taketeru Kudo, members of Syrinx Ensemble, together with The National Aviary, the Allegheny Commons Initiative, and the Mattress Factory to celebrate birds, bird sound, and bird movement. FACTORY 14s OPENING EXHIBITION: WHO ARE YOU? Friday, August 5, 2011, 6-8PM FREE Party with the amazing teenage artists who participate in our summer art course, Factory 14s. Together with their artisteducator, Cheryl Capezutti, students will display, perform, and generally tell the story of their intensive 4-week introduction to installation art. COMMUNITY ARTLAB CELEBRATION Wednesday, August 10, 2011, 6-8PM FREE Help MF artist educators provide ample fanfare for the children who participate in our summer classes and for their amazing artwork. This event includes artist presentations, exhibitions, performances, refreshments and is open to the entire community. WRESTLING EVENT Dawn Weleski’s City Council Wrestling at ‘When Worlds Collide’ Saturday, August 13, 2011, 7:30PM Lawrenceville Moose Lodge 120 51st Street, Lawrenceville City Council Wrestling will culminate in a rhetorical and physical wrestling match, between citizens and council members costumed as their own rhetoric, at a local wrestling ring, Lawrenceville Moose Lodge. For information on this exciting event see http://www.citycouncilwrestling.com/

ONGOING

ART OUTDOORS West Park at Lake Elizabeth Every Thursday, June 2-September 1, 2011, 4-6PM FREE Join the Mattress Factory in participatory and collaborative projects related to the outdoors and installation art. We’ll provide a new project each week! While you’re there, take advantage of free kayaking provided by Kayak Pittsburgh and Venture Outdoors!

Pitt News, 09/09/1968. Courtesy: University of Pittsburgh, University Archives Information Files.

(present day Lawrenceville). | 1753 November 23, George Washington recounts his arrival at the meeting of the rivers and proposes that the site would be well suited for a Fort. | 1754 February 17, William Trent and militiamen begin to build a fort and call it Fort Prince George. | April 17, The French take possession of the half-built fort and build Fort Duquesne. They celebrate mass on the site. | 1758 November 24, British forces led by General John Forbes captured Fort Duquesne from the French. | December 1, General Forbes names the camp Pittsburgh after British prime minister William Pitt | 1761 April, census counts 322 people and 104 houses. | 1783 The German Evangelical Protestant (Congregational) Church, formed in 1782, build a one room space making it the city’s oldest church. | 1784 The laying out of the ‘Town of Pittsburgh’ was

2000 Pittsburgh’s population is 334,563. This includes a foreign born population of 18,874 or 5.6% of the total population. | 2006 Pittsburgh’s population is 312, 819 | 2007 Pittsburgh named the ‘Most Livable City in the United States’ by Places Rated Almanac. | 2009 Jovenes Sin Nombres, a progressive Latino youth movement, is founded. | 2010 Pittsburgh’s population is 305,704


Vol. I, No. 1.

MATTRESS FACTORY | 500 SAMPSONIA WAY | PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA | SUMMER 2011

In the popular imagination the term neighborhood conjures up ideas of home, community and even common identity, but is this really so? How often do such images capture the complexity and conflictual nature of living together, of sharing space, of negotiating difference and of creating consensus? This exhibition reconsiders the classical concept of neighborhood and the deliberation of how we live together, framing social and political formation as complex and incomplete, universal and particular, representative and invisible. The title refers to a difference of translation and the deliberation of how we live together, through an assertion of the role of oneself in the existence of neighborhood. In the late 1940s writer Oscar Handlin began to research a history of immigrants in America only to realize that ‘the immigrants were American history.’ i In The Uprooted Handlin charted the long and grueling passage to America and the building of ties and communities. As he wrote ‘Becoming an American meant therefore not the simple conformity to a previous pattern, but the adjustment to the needs of a new situation.’ ii During the late nineteenth century, Pittsburgh was a central destination for such generations of immigrants who carved out a living while working in the steel mills, iron, glass, and other factories along the three famous rivers. Often called ‘The City of Immigrants’, the city offered the promise of economic prosperity in the land of the free and the land of opportunity. While this massive influx has not been repeated during the late twentieth or twenty-first centuries, neighborhoods such as Squirrel Hill and Polish Hill acknowledge the historical formations of communities to a site, city or nation according to ethnic, cultural and religious affinities. Today in Pittsburgh, it is common for people to define their home not by city limits but by neighborhood boundaries. Thus the idea of neighborhood not only informs a sense of belonging, but an identity beyond that of the cultural, ethnic, religious or social. In this sense neighborhood operates as a space in which there is a juxtaposition of difference but also a potential for alternative forms of community not based on identity but on the common. Or as Portuguese writer Miguel Torga proposed can we consider the universal as the local without walls? Increasingly over the past twenty years, there have been discussions on the notion of the ‘other’ within cultural debates; but how do these discussions interplay with ideas of locality, community and formation of communities, with the figure of the neighbor? Perhaps as Stuart Hall proposes it is the acknowledgement of a ‘lack’ rather than the proposal of a singular universal value which counters the idea of any ‘pure difference’, ‘The moment you take the radical inadequacy, the ‘lack’ of your position into account, there is a broadening, a widening, an ethical reach for that which is different from you but which also constitutes you.’ iii Can the figure of the neighbor propose an alternative to the dichotomy of friend or enemy? A stranger yet to be a friend? As Eric Santner enquires ‘Is the neighbor understood as an extension of the category of the self, the familial, and the friend, that is, as someone like me whom I am obligated to give preferential treatment to; or does it imply the inclusion of the other into my circle of responsibility, extending to the stranger, even the enemy?’ iv With the tenuous implosion of economic relations between the international community, accompanied by the proliferation of new struggles among refugees, migrant workers, and other partial citizens, the idea of the neighborhood is perhaps key to how we read the world. This exhibition explores the conceptual framework of neighborhood containing the complexities of both local and global interrelations and includes events, installations and video-based works, which present differing points of departure and reflections upon the idea of neighborhood. From Diane Samuel’s interest in the relationship between an individual and their constitution, Dawn Weleski’s training of citizens to literally fight for their issue in a wrestling ring, or Glenn Loughran’s re-imagining of early ‘Squatter Sovereignty’ proposals, each of the artists’ works open up debate and discussion of the current state of play and anachronistic possibility regarding the future of the neighborhood. GEORGINA JACKSON, Curator

Ferhat Özgür, Mum: 1954 and 2011, 2011 Georgina Jackson is a curator and writer. From 2005 until 2008 she was Exhibitions Curator at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane where she co-curated TACITA DEAN (2007), Ellen Gallagher Coral Cities (2007) and was assistant curator on Beyond the White Cube: a retrospective of Brian O’Doherty/Patrick Ireland (2006) and The Studio (2006). Recent curated exhibitions include; Colin Crotty Gemeingeist, Goethe-Institut, Dublin, Nothing is impossible (Karl Burke, Rhona Byrne, Brian Griffiths, Bea McMahon, Dennis McNulty), co-curated with Mark Garry, Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, (all 2010); Declan Clarke Loneliness in West Germany, Goethe-Institut, Dublin, 2009; IF YOU COULD CHANGE THE WORLD AT LAST, co-curated with Jonathan Carroll and Mark Garry, Goethe-Institut, Dublin; Giles Round XLOMFCNHNGNCINUDCWGENMMNCH, Four Gallery, Dublin, 2008; Ronan McCrea Medium (The End), Return Gallery, Goethe-Institut, Dublin; Left Pop - bringing it back home - a special project for the second Moscow Biennial, co-curated with Nicola Lees, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow, 2007. She is a research scholar at the Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media, Dublin, where she is undertaking a Phd. She is a member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) and has written for numerous journals such as Art & the Public Sphere and Printed Project.

how we live together the role of oneself in the existence of neighborhood

The Mattress Factory’s Curator in Residence Program is supported by a generous grant from the Fine Foundation. Neighbo(u)rhood is supported by Culture Ireland, and the Pennsylvania Humanities Council. The Mattress Factory’s artistic program is supported by the Allegheny Regional Assets District, The Heinz Endowments, Roy A. Hunt Foundation, Richard King Mellon Foundation, and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Published on the occasion of the exhibition Neighbo(u)rhood at the Mattress Factory, May 13 – August 21, 2011, curated by Georgina Jackson. Editor: Georgina Jackson Designer: Shannon Knepper Articles by Timothy Cook, Silvia Duarte, Denise Edwards, Glenn Loughran, Khet Mar, Bill Peduto, Emily Talen and Dawn Weleski Exhibition Guide Texts: Georgina Jackson Timeline researched and compiled by Georgina Jackson Cover photography: Matthew Rutledge Installation photography: Tom Little I would like to thank the artists, Barbara Luderowksi, Michael Olijnyk, Owen Smith, Danny Bracken, Karla Stauffer, Kevin Clancy, Rory McRae-Gibson, Shannon Knepper, Lindsay O’Leary, Abby Vanim, Emily Craig, Liz Keller, Shannon Berkheiser, Gina d’Amico, Madeleine Cooney, Slim Cessna, Sam Morrin, Ashley Hickey, Catena Bergevin, Claudia Giannini, Lynn Dalton, Molly Tighe, Ray Zarzeczny, Kelsey Patsch, Maria Mangano, Duncan Horner and Israel Vasquez. In the development of this project there has been great generosity with time and ideas from a number of people, I would especially like to thank Kimberly Bracken, Will Thompkins (The Pittsburgh Project), Dave Deilly (Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild), Keith Hapsberger (Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild), Dr. Robert Cavalier (CMU), Dr. Laurence Glasco (University of Pittsburgh), John Carson (CMU), Katherine Talcott, Astria Suparak, Brian O’Neill (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), Janera Solomon (Kelly-Strayhorn Theater) and Randy Gilson.

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HANDLIN, Oscar (1951) The Uprooted, New York, Grosset & Dunlap, p.3 HANDLIN, Oscar (1951) The Uprooted, New York, Grosset & Dunlap, p.186 iii HALL, Stuart (2001) ‘Modernity and Difference: A Conversation between Stuart Hall and Sarat Maharaj in HALL and MAHARAJ, Annotations: Modernity and Difference, No. 6, Iniva, London, p.51 iv ZIZEK, Slavoj, SANTNER, Eric and REINHARD, Kenneth (2005) The Neighbor Three Enquiries in Political Theology, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, p.6 ii

PITTSBURGH: A TIMELINE | 19,000 years ago For thousands of years, Native Americans inhabited the region where the Allegheny and the Monongahela join to form the Ohio | 1669 French explorer/trader Robert de La Salle made an expedition down the Ohio River from Lake Ontario and Quebec. | By 1700 The Iroquois held dominion over the upper Ohio valley; other tribes included the Lenape, or Delawares, who had been displaced from eastern Pennsylvania by European settlement, and the Shawnees, who had migrated up from the south. | 1717 Michael Bezallion, Pennsylvania fur trader, passed the future site of Pittsburgh en route from Illinois country to Philadelphia and described the site at the meeting of the rivers in a manuscript. | 1748 German Conrad Weiser is the guest of Delaware Indian Chief Shannopin at the mouth of Two Mile Run

Neighbo(u)rhood  

Neighbo(u)rhood is the title of this summer's large group exhibition at the Mattress Factory Art Museum, Pittsburgh. The exhibition includes...

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