Elastic City: Reshaping New York through Walks

Thanks to Barbara for introducing me to Elastic City, an artist run company that commissions a series of artist-led sensory city tours in NY.

Elastic City is produced and directed by Todd Shalom and “intends to make its audience active participants in an ongoing poetic exchange with the places we live in and visit. Artists are commissioned by Elastic City to create their own walks. These walks tend to focus less on providing factual information and more on heightening our awareness, exploring our senses and making new group rituals in dialogue with public space in the city. ”

I am currently organizing the workshop “Off the Grid: Exploring Creative Cartographies” which seeks to develop a similar series of walks for the city of Edmonton, Canada.

The aim of the workshop is to explore the crossings and convergences of different notions of cartographic practices to be found in the interdisciplinary subject areas of geography, architecture and art with a specific focus on gaining experience of creative cartographic practice “off the grid” in Edmonton. It is hoped that the participants in the workshop will generate a number of sensory art walks that explore the city of Edmonton.

Creative mapping strategies offer the potential for creatively shaping and recording contemporary experiences of place.

Edmonton LRT Tunnel near the University Station, photo: Xuan Zhang

I am currently composing a walk for the workshop that will take participants on a journey on and through Edmonton’s LRT system and it’s network of underground passage-ways, which will, at the same time, actively involve participants in a process of mapping “the unmarked” (Phelan 1993). As well as exposing the fragmentations and inconsistencies of the spaces of the LRT itself, this performance walk is concerned with creating interventions or ‘disturbances’ within the existing systems of power and control that ‘police’ the spaces of the LRT, even going as far to enlist them for radical-political purposes.

For those not able to attend our workshop in Edmonton Elastic City offers residencies through a collaborative partnership with Residency Unlimited. Residency Unlimited artists are offered the possibility of creating new walks with Elastic City during the course of their residency. Residency Unlimited explores new residency possibilities that go beyond the conventional circumscribed studio program model, and that range from fostering collaborative partnerships to engaging with artists whose practice is not necessarily studio-based.

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This entry was posted in Creativity in the City, Experimental Geographies, Maps and Mapping and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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