The goal of our working group, which was lead by artist Mary Miss (recently appointed the first Public Artist in Residence at New York City’s Department of Design and Construction (DDC)), was to look at the process a cultural organization would go through to work with an artist on a city project. Our goal was to create a blueprint to better understand what it would take in terms of time and resources. We met every other week in person or by conference call through early December to develop this plan. CALL (City as Living Laboratory) and representatives of DDC's Public Arts program participated in the working group.
Our working group specifically chose to explore opportunities for artists to have greater access to working on projects in the city that they initiate themselves. For a case study, we considered a street improvement project in the Red Hook neighborhood that will go into construction in the coming year to see if there are ways artists could engage the community with temporary, performative, or event-based work that would reveal the goals of this project. Can artists help citizens become more engaged with the infrastructure and natural systems that support their lives? The ‘street improvements’ will include paving, sidewalks, trees and bioswales and provide a link in the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway.
CALL / City as Living Laboratory: Sustainability Made Tangible through the Arts is a non profit established by Mary Miss where the skills of artists are combined with those of scientists, citizens and other experts to increase public awareness around environmental issues.
NYC’s Department of Design and Construction oversees most public construction in the city including infrastructure, streets, public buildings, parks and plazas.
Working Group Members: Carol Clark, Xenia Diente, Olivia Georgia, Eugenia Manwelyan, Mary Miss, Eve Mosher, and Sarah Cameron Sunde.
Here is the booklet presented at the Artist and the City final presentation: