Thursday, December 31, 2009

NYE *update*


Quote from the Facebook group: "I know that a few people are bringing more/better sparkly/boomy things to the lot around midnight." Check it out.

*Original post*

Someone over on the Facebook group suggested a bunch of folks with sparklers celebrate tonight at midnight on the lot. Any takers?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Canoe Social Club

Why did I just now hear about this place?

From their website:

Canoe Social Club provides a social gathering place for artists, arts supporters and science professionals in Seattle who want to:

* Empower and embolden the creative class
* Provide a forum for idea and resource exchange
* Be a hotbed for generative, creative solutions
* Provide gathering space for artists outside the typical mainstream bar culture

Canoe is also an event location for arts and sciences, social and administrative events, figure drawing sessions, culinary events, master classes, open mic nights, staged readings, fundraisers and First Thursday/ArtWalk.

It is a members only club (of which I am not a member, but may apply), with an application process and $20 annual per month dues, both of which seem to be in place to maintain a certain level of seriousness. The rules are reasonable and revolve mostly around acting civilized. No throwing up, though (save that for The Ruins!).

Follow them on Twitter and be their friend on Facebook.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Alleycat Acres

I got an early Christmas present this year from Sean at Worldchanging: he sent an email with a link to his new urban farming project, Alleycat Acres. This soon-to-be collective has its sights set on transforming urban yards and vacant lots into productive land, to power these farms by bicycles, and to distribute their produce through sliding scale CSAs and farmers markets.

Sean is based in Ballard and is looking for co-conspirators/visionaries. You can find all the information and contact info over at Alleycat Acres' website and can also follow them on twitter.

[image from Alleycat Acres]

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mini Empire Bakery

I don't make a habit of plugging business ventures unless they are local and outstanding (Spine and Crown, Under Pressure Seltzer Works, etc). With that in mind, I'd like to introduce you to the Mini Empire Bakery, half-owned and operated by Morgan Greenseth, one of the organizers of the Park(ing) Day Central Park back in September. If you came by Park(ing) Day, you might have had a chance to sample one of her baked goods at the yoga and treat park she co-hosted.

[Photo from the Worldchanging Flickr Set]

Just in time for the holidays!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Essay Proposal for UW Arch Journal, Column 5

The theme of this issue is Mind the Gap.

From Visual Consumption to Social Production

With regard to the built environment, the gap between the former use of a space and its future use is normally physically manifest as an empty space itself: a gap in the urban fabric. However, in the current economic situation, where formerly vibrant (or even formerly empty) spaces have been left as vacant lots, partially-demolished buildings, or open excavations, a new sort of vacant space has been created, a space in limbo between what it was and what it will (or might) be, at some indefinite point in the future. This space exists in the present – that perennial gap between the past and future – and the architect’s renderings for its destiny no longer represent a future project, but a formerly future, now uncertain project. Those confronted with such spaces daily – whether or not they previously used the spaces – read them in one way, while the owners, architects, and engineers likely see them differently. Lefebvre has given us the tools to interpret these spaces from both perspectives with his conceptions of lived and conceived space.

In response to these directly experienced gaps in the landscape, a number of groups have devoted themselves to reactivation campaigns. In Seattle, groups like the Free Sheep Foundation, SuttonBeresCuller, and the organizers of the Burien Interim Art Space (B /IAS) specialize in temporary art installations; a loose-knit group that I started (People’s Parking Lot) has also organized both a community garage sale and a day-long temporary art installation (Park(ing) Day) in one such space on Capitol Hill. Other groups, such as Rebar and raumlaborberlin, specialize in bringing unique social interaction to vacant, disused, and privately-owned public spaces. In my essay, I will investigate such spaces, introduce and apply Lefebvre’s conceptions to them, and present some unique cases where “bottom-up” activism has transformed the consumers of visual space (I’m borrowing here from the philosopher Edward Casey’s concept of visual acquisition) into producers of social space.