Wednesday, September 10, 2008

found ground premiere

A collaborative effort with area c has resulted in found ground: large scale video projections in transitional urban spaces. Showing September 17-20 in downtown Providence.

More info here.

Lovely StrangeLoop

the loop gets a writeup in the bahston globe.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Cryptic Providence!

Haven't we all thought that? Check out what we have been up to digging around in the North Burial Ground, figuratively of course... Info HERE...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Warehouse coming down....A Rant

Well, it's happening, the Produce Warehouse is coming down. Shortly after the Judge gave the go ahead demolition began. How is it that it can take months to get a contractor going on even the smallest of projects yet there always seems to be a demolition crew ready to go at a moments notice. Weekends, holidays, midnight? No problem.

Demolition was forced to pause for a little bit when Eric Bright and Clay Rockefeller (and their dogs) climbed on to the roof. They were hoping to buy some time for a State appeal, but no appeal was filed. Nice try anyway, guys. Good to see someone from PPS get involved and get out there, seems like a while since they have been vocal on a demolition issue.

A lot of questions remain around this case. What did the developer agree to regarding preservation? How does a structure become so "unsound" so quickly? With a State budget in crisis and furloughs looming, why does a property get sold at a price below its value on the basis of a vague promise to redevelop?

Finally, why does it seem that the ProJo always comes down on the wrong side of an issue? In two pieces in todays opinion section they make it clear that they only care about pretty buildings that rich people once lived in. In the editorial they state "We shed no tears for the 79-year-old structure..." while at the same time bemoaning the fact that a parking lot now occupies the site of the former Police and Fire headquarters. Well, if you do nothing, don't be surprised when buildings are razed.

The column by David Brussart expands on this narrow-minded vision (expand on narrow-mindedness?). He states flatly: "Don't save the produce terminal". Basing his judgement on the evidence of a few renderings he dismisses out of hand any idea of adaptive reuse. He states "So if its exterior were no longer going to look as it did when it was still in use, then what good would it be as a historical artifact? Not much." I say, a lot. First, I reject the idea that it would not be possible to maintain the look of the building in reuse. The extreme proportions, the art deco elements cast into the exterior, the distinctive profile of the roof line, all of this could be kept quite recognizable. No one is looking to keep the building as a museum piece. Secondly, it has great value because it connects us to our past, it is real in a way that buildings like the Providence Place Mall will never be. This is our heritage, built for an honest hard working purpose, not a sham echo of something it is not. This is not a decorated box, which is almost surely what we will get in the place of the warehouse. This building has character which could be imparted onto a new enterprise. People could go there once again to do things and in so doing they could look around and understand what people once did, and perhaps feel some connection to those who came before.

Brussart also states that the building should come down because it isn't beautiful. Well, I disagree, and so do many others, judging by the comments on Urban Planet. Anyway, that is in the eye of the beholder for sure. As to his other points, I'll finish with a particularly idiotic passage where he says: "If you can’t demolish a building like the produce warehouse, what can you demolish? Yet, to construct new buildings without threatening more and more green space requires demolishing existing buildings. Better they be ugly ones." So this building has to come down to protect green space. Tree hugger.

David, do you want to demolish some buildings? I suggest almost anything on Route 2 from Cranston to South County would be a good start. Leave the properties on the National Register of Historic Places alone.

Providence Eye?

Wednesdays ProJo reported a proposal to build a new type of parking structure in downtown Providence. The distictive feature is a Ferris Wheel like structure to hold vehicles.

London Eye and Thames originally uploaded by Orhan
I say why not go one step more and build a Providence Eye? What could be better than a spectactular view of the city from the seat of one's own car? (15 bucks a day, 12 for the early bird).

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Serious Threat to Produce Terminal

In Better times: pictures from the RIPS Archives of the Terminal taken in May, 1998. A corner of the Silver Top diner can be seen on the right of the lower picture.

It seems very likely that the Produce Terminal in Providence will be demolished very soon, perhaps within the coming week. The fate of the historic 1929 structure is in the hands of a State Judge, who will hold a hearing on Monday. The city of Providence has granted the owner, Carpionato Properties a demolition permit. This, despite an apparent agreement with the State to redevelop the property.

Once again we see the familar pattern: buy a property at a reduced price, promise whatever it takes, do nothing to secure the property for a year or two, and then demand a demoltion permit because the property has become "structurally unsound" . If necessary, get the Sunday and Midnight wrecking crew on the scene before the community can intervine.

We will see what happens here. I'm afraid it won't be good.

Here is the full story from the Friday Providence Journal.

Much more detail, pics and commentary at Art in Ruins.

And there is a great discussion going at Urban Planet.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Shadow Show Talk at E32 in NYC

The Real Art Ways exhibition The Shadow Show will be featured in a artists talk at E32 in New York City next week.

When: Tuesday, January 15.
from 8-10 PM

About E32: E32 is an artists' talk and projection series that takes place Every 3rd 2sday of the month, 8pm, at 5C Cultural Center Lounge, 68 Avenue C, at 5th street and C

F/V train to 2nd Ave/Walk East on Houston toward Ave C/Left on Ave C to 5th St.

No cover charge – free will donation.

More here

About the Shadow Show:
Sixteen artists, many from Providence, Rhode Island, and others from Connecticut and New York explore a range of associations with the word and idea of "shadow." Included will be work in which physical shadows either play an integral part, or the ideas of shadow, as in tail, trace, surveillance, mystery, memory and longing, are explored. The exhibition will work on multiple levels, addressing visual mystery, but also hidden systems in society. Includes painting, sculpture, video, new media, installation. Curated by Kristina Newman-Scott and Elizabeth Keithline

We got a review in the New York Times over the weekend:
Check it out.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

10 most overdue post

Most Endangered Properties Traveling Exhibit heads to the Wayland Neighborhood

After its successful debut at the John Nicholas Brown Center on College Hill, the photography exhibit is traveling to the Twist on Angell Restaurant at 500 Angell Street near Wayland Square in Providence. 

The exhibit will be on display January 4- 31

Twist will host an opening reception featuring creative appetizers on Thursday, January 10, 5:30- 7:30 p.m. The reception is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend.

The Most Endangered Properties Traveling Exhibit includes a selection of the best photographs from the Most Endangered Properties Gallery Exhibit and features images and status updates for all eleven properties on the 2007 PPS Most Endangered List. The goal of the Traveling Exhibit is to eventually reach all twenty-five Providence neighborhoods. The show will be on display in public spaces such as cafes, galleries, and colleges.

More info here

Michael Cevoli, David Ellis, Stephanie Ewens, Peter Goldberg, Erik Gould, Matt Kierstead assisted by Alyssa Wood and Mardo Atoyan, Scott Lapham, Brian McDonald, Frank Mullin, David Simione, and Olivia Sauerwein Winter

This is the mini version of a very nice show. I have had the honor to be part of this program since its inception. Stop in to Twist and check it out.