Frances Richard’s Physical Poetics: Gordon Matta-Clark and Language

Congratulations to Frances Richard, recipient of a Graham Foundation grant for Physical Poetics: Gordon Matta-Clark and Language. This book considers language-use by the artist and architect Gordon Matta-Clark (1943–78). Examining his notes, project proposals, letters, titles, and interviews, as well as words embedded in his films and photographs, this book-in-progress explores the semiotic element in what Matta-Clark called “anarchitecture,” UN-REG-U-TECTURE, and the NON-U-MENT. Accepting his often deliberately whimsical writings as artifacts of serious thought, the author contends that Matta-Clark’s puns, neologisms, and architectonic verbal/visual layouts enact on the page the obsessions with in-between spaces and multiperspectival gaps that mark his interventions in built space. Part close reading and part biography, Physical Poetics assesses the paradoxical durability of Matta-Clark’s words and their role in the reception of a vividly material oeuvre whose major site-specific works have without exception been destroyed.

You can read more about this project, Frances Richard, and Miranda Mellis at The Conversant.

 

FRANCES RICHARD is a critic and poet. She has been nonfiction editor at Fence and an editor at Cabinet; with Jeffrey Kastner and Sina Najafi, she cocurated the 2005 exhibition Odd Lots: Revisiting Gordon Matta-Clark’s Fake EstatesPhysical Poetics: Gordon Matta-Clark and Language has been supported by an Arts Writers Grant from the Warhol Foundation, a Visiting Scholars Fellowship from the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montréal, and residencies at the Farpath Foundation in Dijon and the Dora Maar House in Ménerbes, both in France. Richard has taught at Barnard College and the Rhode Island School of Design, and has published three books of poems, See Through (Four Way Books, 2003), The Phonemes (Les Figues Press, 2012), and Anarch. (Futurepoem, 2012). She currently teaches at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.

Posted: January 9th, 2014
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The New Structure: 2014 Schedule

The New Structure is a series of presentations exploring architectures of the community, the urban fabric, design, environments, the poetic, the body, space, and the imagination. What are the ways of examining and exploring “place”? This is a series of investigation, discussion, experimentation, performance, and storytelling. It is a platform promoting the creation of new forms and definitions of placemaking and experiencing space. The New Structure invites practitioners of diverse disciplines to share their unique engagements with these themes.

 

The New Structure is free, all ages, and open to the public. Due to limited seating, we do ask you to please RSVP for each event you plan to attend on www.eventbrite.com. Suggested donation at the door to support Project Cityscope. Thank you Hand2Mouth for providing Shout House for these events.

 

All events will take place at Hand2Mouth’s studio Shout House 210 SE Madison St. Suite 11, Portland, OR 97214 unless otherwise noted.

 

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001 | Monday, February 24, 7:00pm
Coleman Stevenson & Nora Wendl

 

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002 | Saturday, March 15, 2:00pm (special location: YU | 800 SE 10th Ave.)
Marathon reading of Lisa Robertson’s Occasional Work and Seven Walks from the Office for Soft Architecture

 

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003 | Monday, April 21, 7:00pm
Garrick Imatani & Kaia Sand

 

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004 | Monday, June 16, 7:00pm (special location: Doug Fir | 830 E. Burnside St.)
Lead Pencil Studio’s Annie Han & Daniel Mihalyo

 

005 | Monday, July 28, 2014

Lisa Ward

 

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006 | Monday, August 18, 7:00pm
Linda Austin, Pat Boas & Linda Hutchins

 

007 | Monday, October 20, 7:00pm
Grace Hwang & Dawn Stoppielo

 

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008 | Monday, September 15, 7:00pm
Ian Whitmore

 

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009 | Monday, November 17, 7:00pm
Julie Perini

 

010 | Monday, December 15, 7:00pm
Tere Mathern

Posted: December 21st, 2013
Categories: The New Structure
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Kelly Schirmann: What is public space?

 

The public is anyone I could conceivably meet. They let me look at them freely while they are walking or eating lunch. They let me think thoughts about them like COAT or MOTHER. I am the public to the public as well. We are the cave walls for each other’s echoes & we are permitted to yell what we want.

The privates stay in their private spaces & both control exchange. There are gates there, & a specific sky. In the private spaces, every body has been solicited. If they are walking or eating lunch it is on television, or with permission, or from behind a kind of fence. The fence is created for you to think a specific thought. It is built from the way you feel about there being a fence in the first place.

The public space is anywhere the public could conceivably go, & me too. I walk through the public spaces, eating my lunch. The public spaces hold me inside them, my sandwich & shoes & direction. My hello & angry face. The public space invites me to think thoughts about it, & I do. I think BENCH or POWER or SAFE. I think BEAUTIFUL & these are the spaces I like the most. I think BEAUTIFUL & I sit in the beauty & it rubs off on me, the public. I think BEAUTIFUL & I feel much better that this is a place we could all conceivably sit.

 

KELLY SCHIRMANN is the co-author of Nature Machine (Poor Claudia) & half of the band Young Family, whose second EP will be released from Spork Press this year. She lives, writes, sings, & makes in Portland, Oregon.

Posted: December 18th, 2013
Categories: What is Public Space?
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“If the structure does not permit dialogue, the structure must be changed.” —Paulo Freire




Posted: December 12th, 2013
Categories: General Interest, The New Structure
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“Human bodies employ specific navigation mechanisms to guide themselves through complex spatial layerings. This complexity is compounded in an urban context where moments of openness and closeness affect our bodily movements directly towards clarification or confusion. When space is delineated and limited, how can it host multiplicities of experiences based on individual movement within and round it? Can designed space predict and destabilize assumptions at the same time?”

 

—Superfront New York, DESIGN CHARRETTE FOR PUBLIC SUMMER 2013 AT FIRST PARK

Posted: December 11th, 2013
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Artists at Work: Marjetica Potrč (Interview with Berit Fischer)

 

Berit Fischer: Do you think the understanding of public space has changed?

Marjetica Potrč: Yes, the appreciation and understanding of public space has definitely changed. In the 1960s, people celebrated public space, but today people celebrate community space. In the ideology of twentieth-century Modernism, the public space is intended to be for everyone, but, as you know, it often ends up being for no one. Today people no longer dream about living in a big metropolis, they want to live in stronger, smaller parts of the city, in neighbourhoods; in people’s minds the city is shrinking into smaller parts. It is no longer about existing in a city of anonymous individuals. The city, according to our gardening community, is the sum of ‘socially conscious individuals’; they see themselves as part of a community and they like to share, to exchange stories. They exchange knowledge, not only vegetables. The community garden is an actual physical space where residents begin the process of reappropriating the city – at a time when people live in an abstract space of production and democracy is managed from above. It is important for the survival of our cities that the people who live in them feel that they are the city. By cultivating their community garden, the citizens reclaim the city. This is a symbolic process, a ritual.

BF: Maybe the public space needs to be recognised more along the lines of a civil space, a space for communication and the exchange of knowledge?

MP: Yes, I agree. It is always a question of what comes first, the chicken or the egg – the city or the citizens? Of course, it is the citizens. People change the city by reimagining it. Our cities are experiencing a transformation; they are ‘downscaling’ from the idea of the metropolis to much humbler, smaller cities composed of neighbourhoods. There are many reasons why this is happening – for instance, the economic contraction, sustainability questions that need to be resolved on the local level, and so on.

 

[Read the rest of the interview at Afterall]

Posted: December 2nd, 2013
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Chloe Bass: What is public space?

 

Contemporary urban space seeks the kind of publicity usually reserved for top-tier celebs. Reports of space-spotting, space as trendsetter, spaces that are “just like us,” should be cluttering the airwaves with gleeful, temporary abandon: the prevalence of casual useless news-making that belies a deep, permanent reverence. Give me the eternal life of the space through the sheer force of language and image. Let me love space through my cravings for the details of even its most irrelevant normalcy.

 

Space, in public, should give us something to live up to. I want to improve myself constantly based on its standards: secret techniques brought to life and embodied in my daily practice. Let’s borrow from the looks of public space, modify our sounds to match its voice. Let us all strive to be public even as we know the pyramid to success is slippery and ever-shrinking.

 

Space is not just place anymore: it’s phenomenon. Without these goals, we are lost.

 

CHLOE BASS works primarily in the creation of performances, situations, and installations. “It is my goal to investigate the potential of the everyday as a catalyst for intimacy. I’m captivated by the common denominators of the human experience: the things that people do always. I seek to highlight the seemingly normal as a means of questioning its stability.”

Posted: November 8th, 2013
Categories: What is Public Space?
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Eliza Gregory | What is public space?

 

What do I think about when I think about space?

What is public space? Is it space without ownership? Is it communally owned space? Is it transient space–space that I move through but don’t remain in? Is everything public space?

Is it the place I see other people? Is it a place where I am not in control? Is it a place that a crowd controls? Is it a place beyond control?

What is space itself? The area around me. The area I move through. The area I move to. What I’ve left. Where I’m not. A structure for me to inhabit. A way for my mind to be bounded. A way for my body to be bounded. A boundary. A body.

Space is a way to organize my physical experience, and my understanding of that experience. It’s a way to organize my needs. It’s a way to organize my day, my desires, my ideas, my emotions.

Space is what lies between me and others. What lies between me and everything else.

 

ELIZA GREGORY builds multi-layered projects using photography, interviews, events and partnerships in order to catalyze new relationships within a given community. Her recent work has focused on cultural identity, cultural adaptation, and the relationship between people and places.

Posted: November 6th, 2013
Categories: What is Public Space?
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The New Structure

A series of presentations that explore architectures of the community, the urban fabric, environments, the poetic, the body, space, and the imagination. What are the ways of examining and exploring “place”? This is a series of investigation, discussion, experimentation, performance, and storytelling. It is a platform promoting the creation of new forms and definitions of placemaking and experiencing space. The New Structure invites practitioners of diverse disciplines to share their unique engagements appealing to these themes. Please direct all questions and proposals to info@projectcityscope.org.

Posted: November 1st, 2013
Categories: The New Structure
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Georges Perec, Species of Spaces

map of the ocean

Posted: October 3rd, 2013
Categories: General Interest
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