Guided-tour

Intersection comes back to Brooklyn

June 3rd, 2016 by gabrielle | No Comments

Intersection | Prospect Heights returns this month with a panel discussion and series of tours to launch Our Places, a new booklet presenting stories and concerns of current and former neighbors, tracking development and demographic change, and looking at how it plays out on our streets. What is the future of Prospect Heights and our city?

Find out more at : inter-section.org

‘It was not about money’ : An Intersection | Prospect Heights discussion
June 15, 7-8:30pm
@ Information Commons Lab, Brooklyn Public Library, Grand Army Plaza

Talking with organizers, politicians and planners about the experience of change in Prospect Heights, and what it implies for neighborhoods across the city facing large-scale development. How do we preserve community?

Speakers include Letitia James, NYC Public Advocate, Thomas Angotti (Hunter College, CUNY), Deb Howard (IMPACCT), Regina Cahill (North Flatbush BID) and Catherine Green (ARTs East New York).
Moderated by Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani (Buscada) and Gib Veconi (PHNDC).

Guided tours : June 11 & June 18
Meet @ Met Food, 632 Vanderbilt Ave., between Park Place & Prospect Place
Join us for creative walking tours telling the new and old Intersection stories in sites around the neighborhood. How these are similar or different to your own stories?

Book your (free) tickets here : June 11, 1pm  or  June 18, 1pm

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Intersection | Prospect Heights : Process in pictures

December 31st, 2015 by gabrielle | No Comments

The process of bringing Intersection | Prospect Heights to the public from in-depth research, a new idea, a launch and finally an amazing three-month long experience, was truly a highlight of 2015.

There’s much to say on the kinds of experiences we had and the kinds of conversations we were privileged to be a part of, but for now – we thought you’d like to see a little of what the process of bringing the project to the public was like. A few of our favorite moments of making it happen, in pictures.

Mike looks at his guidebookReconnecting with our tour guides from 15 years ago. Here Mike Halkias of the Usual reads his own guide, and remarks on how much more hair he has in the cover picture.

DSC08827 DSC08831Receiving the printers proofs for all six of our guidebooks – seeing them all together finally, in living color. Holding the dummy proofs in our hands – feeling what the guides might really feel like – one of the best days of 2015.

DSC08958The guides and pop-up exhibitions come together – with places for people to leave their own stories.

DSC08974Thrilling to bring one of our very favorite images back to the neighborhood. We’ve loved this boy since Gabrielle photographed him at the Conrad McRae basketball tournament at the Dean Street playground in 2002.

DSC08991Installation began at Brooklyn Public Library – and shortly after setting down our first pop-up, it was so gratifying to see this man be the first to pick up a guidebook.

IMG_6988Once people started to pick up those guides, the pop-ups needed to be refilled regularly – much to our delight. While the installations at BPL and Met Food needed to be refilled most often, all of the locations required our regular trips around the neighborhood with the artists’ best friend, a shopping cart. Public art is glamorous – and we were happy for a very mild autumn!

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Intersection | Prospect Heights in the press

December 31st, 2015 by buscada | No Comments
Intersection|Prospect Heights guided tour
We want to thank all the journalists who took our Intersection|Prospect Heights project to heart and wrote such enthusiastic articles about it in the fall of 2015. These thoughtful writers came to so many of the public events, taking part, taking notes, thinking deeply about the questions of development, displacement and sustainability through the project’s personal stories.

 

The Intersection | Prospect Heights press round-up

Brooklyn Magazine
Before Brooklyn’s “Newest Neighborhood” Pacific Park Arrives, a Reflection on How Things Were

Urban Omnibus
Embedding Histories in a Changing Prospect Heights, by Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani

Emerging City
Engaging Change & Displacement – One Story at a Time in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, an interview with Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani

DNAinfo
Share What Prospect Heights Means to You in New Neighborhood Art Project

Brownstoner
Pop-Up Exhibition Explores Personal Geographies of Prospect Heights

Atlantic Yards Report
Intersection/Prospect Heights project aims to start dialogue on neighborhood change

DNAinfo
How Do You Feel About Atlantic Yards, Survey Asks Prospect Heights Locals

Thanks to Aminah Ricks of Emerging City for the photo above of one of our Intersection|Prospect Heights creative walks, as we finally got to go back to the supermarket!

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Save the date : Intersection | Prospect Heights – this October!

August 27th, 2015 by gabrielle | No Comments

Intersection Prospect Heights guidebooks

A year ago, I thought to myself, “it’s time to go back to the supermarket!”  Not just any supermarket. No – a supermarket on Vanderbilt Avenue in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, around which a neighborhood has changed dramatically. I was thinking about how we critically need nuanced conversations on sense of place, community representation, displacement and sustainability. Prospect Heights is a microcosm of the gentrification and large-scale development pressures facing Brooklyn today, with a marked decrease in African American residents over the past fifteen years, and a marked increase in residents with incomes over $100,000. Over the next ten years, as the Atlantic Yards and infill developments come to completion, the population will be up to 70% larger.

What does all this mean? How do we talk about it, argue about it, and even laugh and cry about it? This October, using the deep ethnographic and photographic work I began 15 years ago with the Guided Tours project, Buscada, in partnership with PHNDC and the Brooklyn Public Library, are set to launch a new public art & dialogue project to do just that.

Intersection | Prospect Heights is a series of unofficial, idiosyncratic and personal guidebooks, popup exhibitions around the neighborhood (especially at the supermarket!), creative walks, and public dialogues. We hope you’ll take part in the project to travel back in time, back to the supermarket, and laugh and cry with us – about the past and future of Prospect Heights, as well as that of other neighborhoods around the city facing these same pressures.

More info coming soon – but mark your calendars for the project opening & our first public dialogue on October 7th, 6:30pm!

guidebooks_blogpost

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Returning to the supermarket : photographs for dialogue

June 12th, 2014 by buscada | No Comments

If there were one thing that talks more about this community than anything else, it’s probably the supermarket, you know? Because of the people that are there and what they try to do. They do it to make money, granted, but they do it because they seem very happy to be here…concerned about people, concerned about delivering service to the neighborhood–to the whole neighborhood. It’s not that they came in and decided, ‘Oh, we’re getting rid of the Goya stuff here, you know?  We’re going upscale.’ No.  Still got ham hocks there.  It’s what made this neighborhood for us. 25 years ago we got very lucky on the house, but really it’s the fact that it’s a comfortably mixed neighborhood. Now… I can’t pull down my veil of ignorance… Yeah, I’m part of the dominant society, but it just feels to me like a comfortably mixed neighborhood.
– David

In 2001, I began a project in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, which I called Guided Tours. In this work I asked neighborhood residents to take me on tour of “their” Prospect Heights. I was interested in understanding people’s experiences of their everyday neighborhoods, and had a feeling that within very common spaces very complex ideas about identity, neighborhood and the world were getting worked out. That work became the basis for my dissertation, Guided Tours: The Layered Dynamics of Self, Place and Image in Two American Neighborhoods, and for journal articles in Space & Culture and Society & Space, as well as spurring me to ask similar questions in a neighborhood across the country, in Oakland, CA.

In this work, I considered the powerful potential for dialogue through photographs of the everyday, and how bringing people’s everyday worlds back to them might allow them to see those spaces in new ways. Now, I’m returning to this body of work to think about how an archive of the everyday from more than thirteen years ago might help the community talk about the incredible gentrification and change (not least due to the Atlantic Yards / Barclay’s development) that has happened in this neighborhood in the intervening years.

I’m beginning this process by making a selection of the work available online, and through a series of forthcoming blog posts as a way to think about this archive in new ways. As a start, above is a photograph of Met Foods from 2005, with a thought from one of my tour guides that explains how a supermarket might help us begin to talk about the complexity and detail of gentrification and housing segregation in New York.

See the selected archive online : Guided Tours : Prospect Heights.

 

 

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A phonebooth : a masterpiece

July 30th, 2013 by gabrielle | No Comments

I was both thrilled and stumped when Radhika Subramaniam and Margot Bouman asked me to contribute to “Masterpieces of Everyday New York: Objects as Story”, the exhibition now on view at Parsons Sheila Johnson Design Center. Why? Thrilled because I’m a New Yorker, born and bred, I live here now, teach students about cities, and generally have taken New York as a part of my being and birthright. Thrilled because I make photographic and urbanist projects that are all about objects and the emotional meanings vested in objects and buildings – like our Triangle Fire Open Archive and Open Museum, and my Guided Tours and SPURA projects. Thrilled because I loved the British Museum & BBC series, A History of the World in 100 Objects, which Radhika and Margot acknowledge as inspiration for this exhibition. But stumped too, because how could I possibly narrow down the number of objects in this city which have been meaningful to me – and the number I find to be important to tell the city’s own story as intertwined with my own? And of course, to be brutally honest, I wanted to pick something really good.

But what? And how to make it something that only I could really write about? I mulled it over and over, and then, clear as day it came to me. A photograph I had written about before in drafts of my dissertation, diaries, and other places, as the way I imagine New York in my mind’s eye, though daily experience often contradicts it. This photograph of my mother and I standing at a phone booth on Kenmare Street in the early 1980s was taken by my father, and long ago, taken by me out of our family collection and carried with me on trips far and away as a way of remembering home. In this way, my nomination of the phone booth was a double object – both the photograph and the once-ubiquitous phone booths of New York themselves.  You can read my full contribution below.

The intertwining of 62 objects keenly felt by their nominators and observers can be seen at Parsons’ Sheila Johnson Design Center until September 4th, 2013.

Read more about the exhibition on Design Observer and Paper Magazine, and several blogs.

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This is a double object. It is both the phone booth pictured (the kind you now see on city streets denuded of their telephones) and it is the photograph itself.

This picture of my mother and me was taken by my father on the corner of Kenmare and Mulberry Streets in the early 1980s. And somehow, this picture has become my image of New York. It is not just the New York of my childhood, but rather this image persists as the way I think of New York now, though I live here still, and can see for myself that this reality is long gone. In my mind, New York is somewhat grey, Datsuns and Plymouths dot the streets, and the sidewalk is patterned with dropped chewing gum (this last may in fact be true.)

Looking at this photograph, I think of both the phone booth and the mother and child using it. Here, we are joined at the booth with our matching umbrellas, but as I got older, phone booths allowed me to stretch that distance between us. I remember my mother’s repeated refrain, as I traveled far to school on my own at age 11 : “Be sure you always have a quarter with you to call if you need me.”

This arrangement seems almost impossible to imagine now, when people give their children cell phones in elementary school. To suggest that a child might roam New York with but a quarter in her pocket as a way to call home (and with no way to call her!) would be unthinkable to many parents I now know.

As I became a teenager, the phone booth was less the way I called home, and more the way I called friends: beeping my first boyfriend from phone booths (so self-important, and so terribly high-tech at the time), and learning the special code (now long forgotten) one could use to find the unlisted phone booth’s number, so someone could call you back.

These ubiquitous booths weren’t beautiful, nor did they always work, but they provided a (sometimes false) sense of privacy in public for conversations, scribbling messages, drunkenness, exhaustion.

New York’s public phone booths waned as my own participation with the public world grew. Now, as an adult, out in the world, and thinking about how my young son will one day call me, these private little spaces from which to reach out to others in the midst of a public street are now only husks, replaced by devices in our pockets, which people imagine envelop them in privacy, but mostly create intersecting bubbles of sound and chatter as we walk down the street.

 

 

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Layered SPURA : publication

July 29th, 2013 by gabrielle | No Comments

 

The RFP for the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA) site has gone out, the bids from developers are coming in, and it is possible that new things will happen at the SPURA site. My article “Layered SPURA : Spurring Conversations through Visual Urbanism” featured in Radical History Review asks some questions about  this process : What of the site’s history? What of the ongoing need for affordable housing? What of the need for thoughtful architecture in the building of all housing? Will these things be heeded in this process? How can thinking these through, and new ways of thinking about contested space, help inform the way we think about and plan for SPURA? “Layered SPURA” explores my four-year visual urbanist project on SPURA, a collaboration with students and community groups to use creative practice to ask complex questions and to reconsider the city.

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A new exhibition : Layered SPURA

January 21st, 2012 by buscada | 1 Comment

Layered SPURA : Spurring conversations through visual urbanism
On January 31, join us at the Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Parsons The New School for Design, for a new exhibition curated and designed by Buscada, and celebrating four years of our work on the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area – and spurring conversation about what’s next for SPURA!

Opening events on January 31
Curator’s gallery talk w/ Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani : Jan 31, 6:30 p.m.
Opening reception to follow, 7-9 p.m.

Exhibition : January 23 – February 25, 2012
More information on the exhibition
More information on the Layered SPURA project

Where
Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, The New School 66 Fifth Avenue at 13th Street, NYC

More than forty years ago, New York City took ownership of 14 square blocks on the Lower East Side for urban renewal and “slum clearance.” Its legacy is a row of parking lots on the south side of Delancey Street. Few renewal projects have been so contested, and very few of the originally-planned buildings were built. This is SPURA, the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area, one of the largest underdeveloped city-owned parcels of land.

The Layered SPURA / City Studio project, headed by Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani, explores this complex site using a hybrid approach of pedagogy, art and research, and involves long-term collaborations between Lower East Side community organizations and students in Bendiner-Viani’s City Studio, a part of the New School’s Urban Programs. This exhibition, a culmination of four years of student, faculty, and community collaboration, does not suggest solutions for a place beleaguered by top-down planning, but rather hopes to spur new conversations amongst people with different points of view about SPURA’s past, present and future.

The project has collaborated with many local community and art organizations including Good Old Lower East Side, Pratt Center for Community Development, Place Matters, common room, Buscada, Henry Street Settlement’s Abrons Art Center and Creative Time.

Get a preview of the exhibition

Student artists involved in four years of the project include : Oscar Brett, Sarah Charles, Anastasia Ehrich, Jamie Florence, Savannah Foster, Zachary Fried, Matt Fujibayashi, Kara Gionfriddo, Joshua Guerra, Leijia Hanrahan, Anke Hendriks, Jaclyn Hersh, Vinh Hua,  Evan Iacoboni,  Candace Kiersky, Sohee Kim, Lila Knisely, John Lake, Sam Lewis, Rachael London, Hannah Lyons, Claudie Mabry, Stephanie Messer, Corey Mullee, Amy Nguyen, Katherine Priebe, David Privat-Gilman, Ian Pugh, Adam Schleimer, Kaushal Shrestha, Matthew Taylor, Gabriel Tennen, Samantha Washburn-Baroni, Brittney Williams, Emily Winkler-Morey, Alexander Wood and Hannah Zingre.

Support is provided by The Office of Civic Engagement and Social Justice at Eugene Lang The New School for Liberal Arts, The Urban Design & Urban Studies Programs at The New School, and The New School for Public Engagement.



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Buscada @ Creative Time’s Living As Form / MARKET

October 3rd, 2011 by gabrielle | No Comments

Please join us on October 7, 8 & 16th at our residency at Creative Time’s Living As Form, “a vast collection of documentation of 100 socially engaged projects from the last twenty years and from locations around the globe.”

Our residency features a new iteration of our ongoing work on the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA), in collaboration with Temporary Services’ MARKET.
More on the Buscada SPURA project
More on MARKET

You may know SPURA as the parking lots along Delancey Street. More than forty years ago, the area was razed for “slum clearance” and few renewal projects have been so contested. Very few of the originally-planned buildings were ever built, and many people were once displaced from the site, some now live on it, and many people live in the blocks around it. Many different communities claim SPURA, and imagine different futures for it.

Our work builds on Gabrielle’s City Studio class at the New School, and considers the past, present and future of this contested site, collaborating with community organizations, and using a visual urbanist approach to create a series of annual exhibitions to create space for dialogue.

On October 7th, 8th and 16th, in residence at MARKET, we continue to present and explore the multiple stories of SPURA. Please join us, and students from four years of City Studio us to tell your own SPURA stories, to talk with others at our booth, and to discuss the future of the neighborhood.

We will also be hosting a walking tour, on October 8th at 2pm, in collaboration with Dutch artists Bik Van der Pol, to explore the layered nature of SPURA, the hidden and intersecting voices behind the often perplexing physical, political and personal landscape of SPURA.
Sign up for our walking tour

We hope to see you at Living As Form on October 7th, 8th or 16th!

When:
Friday, October 7, Saturday October 8, Sunday October 16th, 12-8pm
Special guided tour on the complexities of SPURA : October 8, 2pm

Where :
the historic Essex Street Market, SE corner of Essex & Delancey Streets



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