on the road: ARLINGTON DRIFT
On Saturday, March 5, at 2:00 pm, Graham Coreil-Allen will be leading a walking tour through some of the least loved parts of Arlington: strange humming electronic boxes hidden from view by cinderblocks…cracked paved voids where functional structures presumably once stood…signs that no longer convey information…curiously landscaped interstitial spaces that leave the eye confused and the body stranded.
These sorts of neglected, haphazard looking surplus sites are common in any suburban or urban zone: places that developers and planners forgot, or simply hoped would not be noticed. Graham treats these places as opportunities for action. He wants his audience to reclaim and repurpose the places he calls New Public Sites.
As Graham describes his project (in oddly poetic-sounding language):
Among towers, over voids, within our fleeting reflective movementsIn the catalog for ON THE ROAD, I tag Graham as a practitioner of what LA artist and writer Trevor Paglen calls experimental geography. There’s a fine ICI exhibit (curated by Nato Thompson of Creative Time) with that same title that’s currently on tour; I would definitely recommend the catalog, which you can buy here.
there live vistas invisible and playscapes for all.
Immersed in the sublime matter of place,
grasping these moments of our daily passing,
drifting through infinite sites of freedom,
we test the limits of space public
and cultivate situations unseen.
The Center for Land Use Interpretation is a terrific example of this kind of art—check out internet based photo exhibits like The Trans-Alaska Pipeline, or Urban Crude: The Oil Fields of the Los Angeles Basin. Through traveling shows, bus tours, and internet-based photo sets, CLUI shows viewers the unexpected—and often ugly—ways in which humans are radically altering or repurposing the landscape, in places remote, densely populated, or inbetween.
Graham's work is perhaps gentler and definitely funnier than a lot of these sorts of projects--and if you know me, you know I like artists who bring the funny, especially while still tackling heavy subject matter.
See images from Graham's AAC installation below:
See a map of some of these sites in Arlington that are likely to be stops on the tour here...and for a sense of what that March 5 walking tour--which, again, will depart from the AAC galleries at 2:00 pm--might feel like, check out the video below.
It's a tour of the southeast corner of 33rd and Frisby Streets in the Waverly neighborhood of Baltimore--a site called Tinges Commons. This green screen video was created for Anarchy in the Kitchen, an exhibit featured as part of the 2010 Umami Food and Art Festival: