Free Soil
Art + Activism
DIY / Homebrew
Film / Video
Open Source
Public Projects
Social Practice
Symposium / Conference
Virtual Soil


public projects


Public Projects
13 Sep 2010
Sweeden, Sundbyberg
With the inaugural exhibition Parkliv the Marabou park wish to activate the park context into which it's new gallery is submerged: its special landscape, history, future and its role as private and public space. Artists include; Kerstin Bergendal, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Martin Boyce

Exhibitions / Public Projects
10 Feb 2010
ClubHouse at the Performance Space
Sydney, Australia
A series of informal roundtable discussions focusing on our shared natural and urban landscapes.

“DIY Urbanism” will focus on creative solutions for our cities by initiating collaborations between architects, designers, artists and thinkers. Feb 18th.

“Wildlife in the City” will examine the collision between humans and nature in the modern environment. March 4th.

The findings may be speculative or reactionary, based on scientific fact or part of the combined imagination.

Architecture / Events / Public Projects / Urban/City
01 Feb 2010
Airplot is the piece of land in the middle of the proposed third runway site at Heathrow airport, owned by Greenpeace, Emma Thompson, Alistair McGowan, Zac Goldsmith and tens of thousands of people from around the world. The Airplot is a fundamental part of the campaign by Greenpeace and other groups to block construction of a new runway. Greenpeace is now inviting professional designers and design teams to consider how to fortify and enhance the airplot so that if necessary, they can physically block construction of a third runway.

Architecture / Art + Activism / Public Projects
21 Oct 2009
Copenhagen, Denmark
Migrating Gardens is a collaborative project by Oda Projesi and Nis Rømer reflecting on the relation of micro-scale farming and migration. It is an investigation of why people move from one environment to another and how they manifest themselves in the city with their practices/professions from where they come from.
It takes place in the whole of October, with events, cycling tours and a free news paper that you can download here.

Exhibitions / Free / Public Projects / Social Practice / Sustainability

02 Sep 2009
Heavy Metal
Germany, And Other Central European Countries
My new feature about the transformation of former industrial landscapes on the German - Polish border. Read it in our features section here.

Articles / Public Projects / Social Practice / Sustainability / Urban/City

01 Sep 2009
Transforming Industrial Landscapes in Lusatia
The landscape of East Germany is scarred from the change in ideologies following the end of the Cold War.

In the aftermath of the lignite (brown coal) mining, a symbol of GDR Industrial pride and a behemoth of its economic power, vast tracts of barren land and deep gorges have been left. East from Berlin, edging up to the border of Poland, the landscape has endured decades of abuse and upheaval. However this is all changing.

Under the direction of the IBA Fürst-Pükler-Land, SEE is a ten year project and the largest landscape design and earthmoving site in Europe. There are 25 projects currently being undertaken in the Lusatia area, each one addressing environmental renewal, landscape architecture and industrial heritage. To be completed by 2010, it is the first IBA (International Building Exhibition) to focus solely on the landscape instead of built projects.

I visited the area to see this transformation first hand. While I did not visit all the 25 sites, the area is certainly one of paradoxes and an inspiration for the revitalization and creative activation of former industrial areas. It has even more relevance as the history revolves around the cycle that is mining coal for energy, and then creating energy to mine the coal.


In the 1800’s, Fürst Pükler had grand and eccentric visions of transforming this same countryside into a garden. After his extensive travels, the passionate prince brought the English tradition of landscape gardening back to his castle in the area that is now the German-Polish border. It was his life’s work to make nature and art as one and was finally laid to rest in a green pyramid at Branitz. Continuing the Pückler legacy is the IBA director and Director of the Bauhaus Foundation , Prof Dr Ralph Kuhn.

The Lakes

One key rehabilitative idea is to transform the huge holes left by the open-cast coal mining into manmade lake-lands, attracting tourists and leisure seeking urbanites to a future aquatic paradise offering floating architecture, water sports and nature reserves. The lakes will all have their own identity.

My first stop is the Ferdinand Heide designed IBA Terraces on the shore of the new Ilse Lake. This is to be the first completed manmade lake as part of the SEE project, an open cast mine that is slowly filling with water from the underground streams. The sun chooses to radiate this vast place for me, and it takes on another image. Here this once barren landscape is alive and in flux, as it was before. It’s a strange kind of time travel. Green shoots sprout after the rain, and the blue sky is reflected in the waters.

There is still one abandoned house on the edge of the lost village, a silent witness to its life, death and life again. A chilling reminder of the full impact of mining in the area are the memorial rocks in front of the lakes bearing the names of the villages, and the year of their evacuation, that had to be cleared for the mines.

We walk up to the “viktoriahohe”, a lookout point shaped like a boat, and witness the sun shining on the spectacular view of this surreal and ever changing landscape. It is strange juxtaposition, having tourist lookouts over the flooded mines.

Industrial Heritage as tourist attraction

An idea held strongly by Dr Prof Kuhn is to remember the area’s industrial heritage by retaining some of the structures, and not to demolish and forget them like so many other GDR buildings. And like alchemy, transforming these heavy metals into another force, one of culture and spectacle.

The F60 is one such monument to the past. Referred to locally as the horizontal Eiffel Tower (it does look remarkably like the Parisian landmark lying on its side) this overburden conveyer bridge is 502 meters long. It is the largest machine ever created and only one of five ever to be built. Now it stands as a monument to the past. Silent. Except for the audiovisual spectaculars that happen every weekend, one of the cultural projects developed for the site. And the birds that nest in its corners.

In the old Builders workhouse I watch an education film about the history of the F60, and see how these huge beasts operated. There is a small museum with coal memorabilia like bricks with GDR emblems. We have a coffee and a soljanka soup at the café terrace overlooking the steel giant. Couples can even hire an elevated platform hundreds of feet high for a special dining experience.

Lauchhammer Bio Towers

The Lauchhammer Bio towers are another kind of monument, this time the only remnants left from a huge 120 hectre cokery that once filled the town of Lauchhammer. Not ruins, but reminders. Througout Lauchhammer there are old, factory buildings with broken glass and lonely bus stops with names like "Wasserwerk" and "Haal 3", reminders that the town once relied on this coal washery, powerplant and brickette factory to survive. We look at a black and white photograph of the site in 1958 and I am shocked by its huge scale. In 1991 it began to be dismantled. 5000 people lost their jobs.

All that is left of the cokery now are the bio towers and a tree that also miraculously once stood here. Landscape architects Zimmermann and Partner have transformed the area with a green and asphalt park, replacing the dirt and smog with landscape design. A vertigo inducing glass cube hangs off one tower, where one can now look over the site from above and see another design tool, the white crosses that mark the spots where other towers once stood. The paving is made from schlackerstein, the waste products of Lauchhammer. The towers were only saved after much controversy. For a while they were lit up at night until the locals were convinced of their value as a monument to their local history. In the end it was the work of the Kunstgassemuseum Lauchhammer that saved them. Plans for the future are still unclear.
Former worker Dr Konrad Wilhelm joins us on our tour and as he looks out over the area, the sadness he still feels is clear. He tells me how he was born on this area, played there, partied at the rocket bar and the cinema; how he left, came back, employed workers and then had to fire them all. He tells me he turned out the light at the end of it.

Art and Creativity

Creative initiatives are paramount to the SEE project and play a role in many of the 25 projects. They revitalize the area, create interest and engage the community.Internationally renowned landscape artists and architects have also been invited to participate. Nowhere is this so prevalent as Pritzen - a peninsula that forks out into the new lake of Grabendorf.

In the nineties Pritzen had two Art Biennales (1993 and 1995), so it already has some resonance on the German cultural map. These Biennales consisted of site specific land art and landscape design, and addressed the changes. Ben Wagin created his own monument to the destroyed village of Gräbendorf and planted a tree for every demolished house. Like all land art, some pieces have remained, while others have been grown over or swept away by the battering winds. It feels like a treasure hunt trying to find them all now. The Stonehenge like structure on the top of the hill is clearly an art object , while the abandoned caravan in the field - it’s not really clear.

But there are new plans too. Swiss artist Jurg Mantala has been chosen as community arts worker. Together with the locals they will create art works under the name of Paradise 2. Other community projects involved the people of the destroyed villages creating an opera together. Artist Charles Jenkes together with Italian Andreas Kipar have been invited to create a new piece and will create a giant hand, embracing the lake and island. After walking along the windy shores, we took a warm coffee and LPG cake “ every trade cake” at the local café. The town of Pritzen has a sense of hope.

Weltzow – World at the open cast mine

While there are 24 projects to resuscitate the mines, one project, just as spectacular, does not do that. It is the one remaining active coal mine in the Lusatia – Weltzow.
After seeing this, I am aware of the sheer scale and effect of open coal mining, and why the other 24 projects are so necessary in creating an alternative future for the area.
As we near the Weltzow, the road becomes rough and dug up, trees are being felled to make way for large machines. It is like a giant hole creeping towards the neighboring towns, about to eat them up and swallow them into the mine. When we arrive at the mine, Energy company Vatenfall has even provided look out spots to bear witness. As far as the eye can see, up to the horizon, there is a dead desert. No sign of life. Miles of nothing. Just the sounds of strip mining, the monstrously big machine and the F60 overburden conveyer belt, slowly passing and sorting the soil, exposing the black coalface below. Huge endless plains of desert, the largest machines in the world repetitively sorting the soot from the sands of the coal face. It is like a huge rake or a huge insect. Here the F60 is no ruin or monument, it is alive and active and is slowly rumbling its way to devour ghost towns. 80 towns have gone or were relocated due to the mines. And more will go. On our way back we pass through the inhabited town of Proshun, who have to wait until next year to find out their fate. Heidemuhe was not so lucky. We drive through its deathly quiet overgrown streets, cracked windows with flowers growing through the mouldy wallpaper – all abandoned – to make way for the mine. There are open doors and stairways to nowhere, an old glass factory that is no longer needed.

Some ideas work and others do not in this changing and historically forgotten landscape. This area is one of opposites, of destruction and transformation. It is not unique, but the incentive and infrastructure put in place to deal with the changes may well be.
As I leave, I think again that it’s a bit like alchemy - transforming heavy metals into another force.

Thank you to Janine Mahler and IBA SEE for hosting me and showing me around the area.

Public Projects / Sustainability / Urban/City
01 Sep 2009
A series of temporary urban art interventions taking place in the City of Sydney.
Sydney, Australia
While Melbourne may be more known for it’s laneways, the City of Sydney has undertaken to temporarily transform eight laneways in Sydney´s CBD. Eight proposals were selected by Curator and urban designer Dr Steffen Lehmann. The proposed Laneways By George! 2009 - Hidden Networks temporary artworks are intended to be installed for the City of Sydney's Art & About event in October.

Architecture / Exhibitions / Public Projects
01 May 2009
US, San Francisco
"Founded in 2006 the Studio for Urban Projects is a research and working group that perceives art as a means of advancing civic engagement and furthering public dialogue. Their interdisciplinary, collaborative, and research-based projects aim to provoke change by reframing our perceptions of the city and physically transforming elements of the built environment.

SUP recently opened a storefront in the San Francisco Mission District. It is best described as a “collective of collectives”, a place where like-minded San Francisco art collaboratives share a space for the staging of talks, film screenings, workshops, discussions, and meals."

Artists / Public Projects / Social Practice
13 Apr 2009
The House re-Growth Pod is a permanent and cost effective housing unit which can assist in the rebuilding of the fire devastated town-ships of Victoria, Australia.A competition is also calling for designs.This competition is open to architects and designers not just in Victoria, Australia but to all those interested in the typology required for the re-building of houses whilst the site is occupied by the re-Growth Pod.
It is anticipated that this competition will generate new thinking for living in sites prone to bushfires as well as creating a dialogue within the design community.

Architecture / Calls / Public Projects
04 Apr 2009
Urban Prescriptions
A group of AAA's (artists, activists and architects) that look for loopholes in the bureaucratic system of city planning to reclaim parts of the city by those who it really belongs to. Their 'solutions' are mostly mobile and temporary, allowing for alterations in an ever changing environment.
Their website shows all their projects under 4 categories: Strategies for Subversive Urban Occupation, Housing, Collaborative Architecture and Flirting with Art.

Architecture / DIY / Homebrew / Organizations / Public Projects
03 Apr 2009
A group of six Landscape Architect students from the Swedish University of Agriculture in Wanå are making small geometrical cultivation plots with an area of 120x120 cm, the original allotment square size, that will organically spread out. The plots will be filled with different kinds of edible plants. Our hope is that these plots, with your help, eventually also will spread in the rest of the world.

Public Projects / Sustainability / Urban/City
15 Dec 2008
Is a project by artists Christian Hillesö and Johan Tirén. In the year 2000 and again in 2008 they sent letters to the 100 largest companies, according to the Fortune Magazine Global 500, which is based upon the annual turnover of global corporations. The appeal to the ethical responsibility of such corporations - who tend to be involved in everyday lives in the global village - was manifested in three basic questions: what is your views on Democracy?, what is your views on power?, what is your views on economy? -Read their answers as well as non- answers online.

Art + Activism / Public Projects
27 Nov 2008
The Mobile Academy has been on tour for seven years. It continually changes location, time, theme and form: a large-scale MA gathered 180 people together for 4 weeks for a temporally limited international imagined community (Bochum 1999/Berlin 2004), while the smallest version brought together two people - the artist and the client - for private lessons lasting one hour at public places in the city. For knowledge transfer, it can assume the character of a camp, an installation, a blind date or a marketplace.

MA's most recent manifestation is Black Market Archive.

Education / Exhibitions / Public Projects
19 Nov 2008
UK, Essex
The Field Station Energy Café is a project by Pilot Publishing (Amy Plant and Ella Gibbs) which will reinvigorate Gunpowder Park with a feeling of the original ‘commons’ where land was used as a resource for all.
The construction of Energy Café will turn normal planning procedures on its head. The process will be developed organically, out of necessity, through people’s involvement.

Art + Activism / Public Projects
13 Oct 2008
Norway, Sørfinnset
Check our new feature on Sørfinnset skole; a self organized and very remarkable place and artproject in northern Norway.

Public Projects / Social Practice / Sustainability

13 Oct 2008
Norway, Sørfinnset
See a slide show here

The majority of contemporary art production comes from urban centres where the density of funding and institution is the highest. This also makes for a perception of what is not city as "other" and only rarely does experiences and knowledge produced and rooted in a countryside find its way into the artistic discussions. Sørfinnset skole/ the nord land is unique in this respect. It is situated in Sørfinnset a town with 80 inhabitants in the municipality of Gildeskål, Norway. It is a former school that has now become the base for a whole range of activities and exchange between local and international art and culture.

Sørfinnset skole / the nord land is an ongoing project started in 2003 by the artists; Søssa Jørgensen & Geir Tore Holm (N), Rirkrit Tiravanija and Kamin Lertchaiprasert (Th) as a part of the public arts program Art in Nordland. It is a parallel to "the land" in Thailand: An artist driven ecological rice farm, school and selforganized commune established by Kamin Lertchaiprasert og Rirkrit Tiravanija in 1998.

The Art in Nordland program is supporting the project with no end date. This makes sense because as Søssa and Geir state: "Changes happen slowly in nature and in social and cultural processes alike, which is why we have involved ourselves in a long term relation to this place"

The school and its related plot of land is situated close to the water and just above the Arctic Circle, meaning days without nights in summer and the reversed in winter. Traditionally this was a farming and fishing community. Also being this far north you find influences of Sami culture; a nomadic people traditionally living of reindeer, travelling across borders between northern Norway, Sweden and Finland.

These conditions, and the fact that Geir has Sami roots have lead Søssa and Geir to work with Sami culture. In 2005 a course was made for building a "Goathi" (a Sami dwelling) with the master of Sami craft: Jon Ole Andersen and they have continued making projects on Sami history, building customs and food. The same year they started building the Thai house. The building was started in collaboration with 10 Thai students from the Land together with local craftsmen, people from the area and people coming to help from elsewhere. The construction has continued up until today and was just finished on the 3rd of August 2008 ready for use by international visitors and local wanderers.

The Sørfinnset skole / the nord land makes a strong case that hospitality and international exchange can be the foundation for another form of globalization actualized in a specific place and community. In this respect it is more than a project where everyday life and art is closely linked; it also points to how the specificity of the the land and local culture, in meeting with another kind of culture can transform places into a new kind of particularity; a place like no other.

You can read more about the Land here

and about Sørfinnset skole / the nord land here

This feature was written by Nis Rømer after a visit to the Sørfinnset skole / the nord land in July 2008.

Public Projects / Social Practice / Sustainability
20 Jul 2008
Where do you stand?
US, Chicago
July 21 + 22nd, 2008

Futurefarmers in collaboration with the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum will host two building workshops and 4 discussion sessions led by scientists from the University of Chicago. The general public will be invited to participate in discussions with the guests in the Energy Tent.

Art + Activism / Free / Public Projects / Social Practice
08 Jul 2008
San Francisco
It is really happening. Instigated as an art project and utopian proposal to the city, San Francisco has accepted and hosting a Victory Garden in front of City Hall.

Art + Activism / Public Projects
28 Jun 2008
1% WATER, an exhibition running at art center Z33, aims to be a catalyst for change, reconnecting us physically and psychologically to water and helping us to shape a sustainable future.

Part of it, the Water Archive, is an aquatic 'laboratory' immersing the visitor in water samples collected from the region of Hasselt. The archive aims to provoke questions about the character of natural waters and to raise awareness of man-made issues such as pollution.

Visitors can help to complete the archive by bringing or sending water samples from their own environment. Fresh water from the euregion, Belgium and other places is welcome.

Art + Activism / Exhibitions / Public Projects
23 Jun 2008
Public Collectors consists of informal agreements where collectors allow the contents of their collection to be published and permit those who are curious to directly experience the objects in person. Participants must be willing to type up an inventory of their collection, provide a means of contact and share their collection with the public. Collectors can be based in any geographic location.

The purpose of this project is for large collections of materials to become accessible so that knowledge, ideas and expertise can be freely shared and exchanged. Public Collectors is not intended, nor should it be used, for buying and selling objects. There are many preexisting venues for that.

Free / Public Projects
19 Jun 2008
Copenhagen, Denmark
A new Parfyme project:
From June to October 2008, The Harbor Laboratory will promote, initiate and evaluate new ideas for the harbor in Copenhagen, as practical, functional and visual explorations. It will act quickly – building and testing our inventions and creations right away.

As they see it:
" ... the harbor has a great potential to be a cultural and inspirational area for the residents of Copenhagen. We will do our best to facilitate and realize this goal using the Harbor Laboratory as a platform/catalyst for innovative change".

Artists / Organizations / Public Projects
17 Jun 2008
Twenty three internationally acclaimed contemporary artists have been commissioned to create new works for the first Folkestone Triennial, Tales of Time and Space, which will run from 14 June – 14 September 2008. The selected artists have responded to the invitation with proposals for artworks that engage with the Kent coastal town’s history, population, culture and built environment to create a cutting-edge contemporary art exhibition. Make sure you check out Mark Dion's Mobile Gull Appreciation Unit.

Artists / Exhibitions / Public Projects
27 May 2008
US, Detroit
'From The Ground Up' is a project Nick Tobier is working on with a group of students from the Univerity of Michigan. They are living and working in the city, building an orchard and constructing an outdoor classroom with EarthWorks Urban Farm and working through the radical food and community networks in the city of Detroit.

"Easy access to easy food is what we as a nation leave to Detroit and to so many of our inner cities. The cumulative effects of this are manifold--from childhood obesity, to lack of choice, from the loss of a connection to culturally significant foods to an abrogation of the bond between people and place.
Walk a few blocks parallel to the major streets in Detroit and a potential solution to these concerns is visible. Through hard work, residents of many Detroit neighborhoods are answering their concerns through gardens. Breaking rough ground to plant delicate seeds is an act that requires nourishment and nurturing. The fruits (or vegetables) of this willingness to wrestle something fantastic and vital out of what has been left to decay is a creative act that, like other art forms, is often relegated or isolated as a luxury, while in fact it is central to culture ... "

Organizations / Public Projects / Sustainability
25 May 2008
US, Paia, Hawaii
Plant A Wish" allows a person or a business to purchase native trees and donate them – along with their personal wishes for the future – to a native reforestation project on Maui or abroad. Their wishes are written on small pieces of biodegradable paper and planted underneath their tree(s. Organized by the local permaculturegroup, learn more on their blog.

Public Projects / Sustainability
27 Apr 2008
Preserve the past - illuminate the present - shape the future
"The Freedom Archives contains over 8000 hours of audiotapes. These recordings date from the late-60s to the mid-90s and chronicle the progressive history of the Bay Area, the United States, and international solidarity movements. The collection includes weekly news/ poetry/ music programs broadcast on several educational radio stations; in-depth interviews and reports on social and cultural issues; diverse activist voices; original and recorded music, poetry, original sound collages; and an extensive La Raza collection.

These materials constitute a compelling record of 30 years of recorded sound and cultural diversity. The music/poetry mixes, production techniques, and sound collages represent an innovative contribution to the art of radio and the cultural ambiance of "the 60s" and subsequent decades."

Public Projects / Quotes / Virtual Soil
18 Apr 2008
Festival of the Regions
In 2009 the Austrian Festival of Regions will be oriented toward the southern edge of the city of Linz, along the Traun River, with a focus on the satellite town of Auwiesen and the residential complexes of solarCity, an integrated solar village.

From Allende Square to Luna Square, beyond the inner urban orientation toward concentration, commercial use and entertainment, and at a certain safe distance from the cultural spectacles propagated on all sides, the Festival of Regions is interested in the factual or imagined state of normality in urban life and in seeking out its cultural expressions.

Posted in conjunction with 'nowHere'.

Calls / Public Projects / Social Practice / Urban/City
12 Mar 2008
Shared Memories, Shared Histories to Shape a Shared Future...
San Francisco
"Shaping San Francisco is a living archive of the city providing people with access to its lost history. Hundreds of people have contributed stories, photos, video oral histories, and more. Through our unique approach to community history, we focus mainly on labor, ecology, transit, and dissent and how they have changed the landscape of San Francisco since the 1850s. Our projects attempt to show that history is much more than Richter scales and gold rushes."

Organizations / Public Projects
12 Mar 2008
Mexico And Guatemala
Border Film Project is an art collaborative that distributed disposable cameras to two groups on different sides of the U.S.-Mexico border - undocumented migrants crossing the desert and American Minutemen trying to stop them.

Art + Activism / Public Projects / Social Practice
05 Mar 2008
Hawaii, US
By Gaye Chan + Nandita Sharma on public food, public land and commons in Hawaii

Free / Public Projects / Sustainability
27 Feb 2008
Århus, Denmark
The culture that we all create should not be owned or privatized by corporations. The instrumentalisation of art and culture for economic gain is an invasion of our life worlds that needs to be addressed and countered. We will produce with lust for life and dance on the graves of the bloodsuckers from the creative class and the experience economy.

With: Sine Bang (DK), Kayle Brandon (UK), Kristine Briede (Latvia), Adams & Itso, Field Work (DK), Groupwork/Students from the Art Academies (DK), Andreas Wegner (D/AUS), Henrik Moltke (DK), Amy Balkin (US), YNKB (DK)
Curated by Field Work; Lise Skou and Nis Rømer

Art + Activism / Exhibitions / Free / Open Source / Public Projects
05 Feb 2008
An older work, but deserves to be archived and received. A wonderful idea and resource.

Since october 2005 mimoSa maps different brazilian and world cities by urban interventions that aim to interfere at the current brazilian mediascape and people's creative reinvention of media and technologies to reveal places, people and their tales.

Public Projects / Urban/City
20 Jan 2008
Online collaborative project
Following 2 months of transnational conversations, the TRANSIT LOUNGE began on the 16th Jan. 15 artists, scattered across 5 cities, have begun a furious exchange of ideas via email, skype and online forums. An ongoing residency and collaboration project between Australia and Berlin, which culminates at the Transmediale 2008. Initiated by Free Soil guest blogger Katie Hepworth (Sydney) and Miriam Mlecek(Berlin).

Architecture / Events / Public Projects
28 Dec 2007
Copenhagen, Denmark
Urban Pilgrimages are poetic urban extracts. They dig their way into the grain of cities and find out what places and its people are really about. Participants get involved in individually tailored, dramatized performances about their city, based on an online survey, a blog and continuously growing internet archives.

Urban Pilgrimages can take on various forms, such as behavioral instructions or procession-like journeys with collective movement, gesture, sound, props, food, music and personal encounters. The personalities and communities within the given place with their stories and emotions become the artistic material. Individual experience becomes a public field, which generates a new cartography of a place - the essential toolkit for the 21st century voyager.

Art + Activism / Public Projects / Urban/City
07 Dec 2007
In a rare musical collaboration between human and avian, Ron Tran set up several musical instruments (including electric guitars and drums) in a Vancouver park and covered them with birdseed. The city's pigeons converged on the instruments and were filmed by Tran clawing and pecking over them.

Public Projects

16 Nov 2007
Copenhagen, Denmark
By Nis Rømer

In the course of the summer (2007) the Public Picnic project developed with the help of neighbours, friends and people passing by. A plot in Nørrebro, Copenhagen was temporarily appropriated and turned into a public garden and a hub for a series of public events.
The plot had been hidden behind a fence for years but showed to be quite remarkable; wild berries en mass, apple trees, weeds high enough for a full grown person to disappear into and overall a vast diversity of plants.

The early allotment gardens in Denmark were connected to the workers movement and thus had a political component. Many workers got access to a plot of land away from overpopulated cities and small apartments. Access to land was especially 100 years ago a deeply democratic spatial project, as well as about having places for leisure and retreat from working life. Today it is harder to spot the project in the allotments and it seems there is a need to define what are the spatial rights worth fighting for now?

An attempted answer could be that we need spaces free from the omnipresent regime of disciplining by media and commerce and institutions telling us how to live our lives, how to look, act and feel. Places where the collective is possible, where there is no division between production and play, between pleasure and politics; places for the life-world.

The Public Picnic project was motivated in wanting to act and think on how gardens can have a renewed relevance in urban life and politics. While gardens often are private retreats we wanted this to be a public space for pleasure and production. We trampled some new paths in the weed to open it up. Rosa Marie Frang shouted out the news that television wants us to believe is reality mocking the fiction and creating a new one. Media reality is a farce, and we refuse to reduce our thinking. Shaking the earth in series of events to make geographies or moments where opposites normally fixed can meet, exchange and in the process transform us and the categories themselves.

This is the spaces we want, spaces in out neighbourhood where we can meet, organize and express ourselves in informal ways. It is a modest demand: inclusive spaces free of commercials, self organized urban free spaces where we live, everywhere.

See the homepage for documentation of the events

Public Projects / Social Practice / Sustainability / Urban/City
19 Oct 2007
US, San Francisco
An Unnatural History of Golden Gate Park is an audio tour that strolls through Golden Gate Park exploring the ways in which the park represents changing ideas of nature in the city. The piece is considers the important role that this evolving landscape plays in the social and ecological life of San Francisco. The project is being presented as part of the Open Skies Festival, October 19 - 21, 2007.

Artists / Free / Public Projects
04 Oct 2007
Water and war are two topics being assessed together with increasing frequency. Articles in the academic literature and popular press, point to water not only as a cause of historic armed conflict, but as the resource which will bring combatants to the battlefield in the 21st century.Walid Maw'ed addresses, in his current and future project, water issues as a local and global problem which exist not only in the Middle East, but in the rest of the world. 'Waiting for water' started by focusing on the water conflict that exists between Israel and Palestine, through the example of the river in Biella (Italy).

Artists / Public Projects
17 Sep 2007
The Walking Project is a performance, mapping and cultural exchange project collaboratively developed with US and South Africa-based artists during a series of residencies in Detroit and KwaZulu-Natal from 2003 through 2006.

The project explores ‘desire lines’ or paths made by people who walk across fields in South Africa and across vacant lots in Detroit – and what connects them. The Walking Project has expanded to include new ways to facilitate community storytelling through mapping and neighborhood development workshops that start with local walks.

Public Projects / Social Practice
11 Sep 2007
The Community Arts Network (CAN) supports the belief that the arts are an integral part of a healthy culture, providing both intellectual nourishment and social benefit, and that community-based arts provide significant value both to communities and artists.

CAN is promoting information exchange, research and critical dialogue within the field of community-based art

Organizations / Public Projects / Social Practice
25 Aug 2007
September 13-16, 2007
Bristol, UK
OFFLOAD is the UK’s first network media and systems arts event on nature, sustainability and ecology. The event brings together international, national and local artists and practitioners interested in creating work that use new and existing media. OFFLOAD is interested in interactive, playful, participatory and socially aware practice.

Art + Activism / Events / Public Projects / Sustainability
23 Aug 2007
" MOVE FOR LIFE is an art-action which takes place in public; its fields of action are streets, squares and factory halls. MOVE FOR LIFE leaves the sites originally reserved for art, such as museums, galleries and art halls and is present where people live and work. MOVE FOR LIFE actuates – on trucks, transporters, on  the European road network.

Famous international artists design these “Monumental Statements” against poverty, violence, Aids, racism and environmental destruction. Trucks designed by Robert Rauschenberg, Jochen Gertz and Studio Van Lieshout are already on the road."

Artists / Public Projects
10 Aug 2007
The University of Momboy in Venezuela has started a project using mules to spread the advantages of reading to remote villages. The mobile libraries take books into isolated communities and have helped encourage people to read. James Ingham shows in his BBC article the great success of this community-based initiative.

via Book Patrol

Books / Education / Public Projects
07 Aug 2007
The Street training manual is the latest in a series of manuals and publications by Lottie Child that can all be downloaded from her website. She works with collective and direct action, play and the politics of public space. She also devises urban explorations in order to collectively produce guides for active engagement with urban places. She invites specific people to share their expertise and subjective responses to the notions of freedom of movement and anti social behaviour in increasingly sanitized and controlled urban places.

Artists / Free / Public Projects
25 Jul 2007
Last night I watched a documentary on 'Mass Moving', ... "an artistic movement born in the wake of may 68. Composed of artists and engineers, the group is defined by its ephemeral projects and actions. When the Mass Movers realize that their ideal is not the same, they shut down with a spectactular auto-da-fé. Through Mass Moving, we see not only the story of an era, but also the beginnings of the ecological and alternative energy movements. An artistic movement that is as topical today as it ever was."

Art + Activism / Artists / Public Projects
24 Jul 2007
The Feral Trade Courier is a live shipping database for a freight network running outside commercial systems.

"Feral Trade forges new, wild trade routes across hybrid territories of business, art and social interaction. Goods are run along social routes, avoiding official channels of grocery distribution in preference for a hand-carried cargo system, often using other artists or curators as mules."

Art + Activism / Public Projects / Social Practice
17 Jul 2007
A series of international arts exchange projects, focusing on the Philippines, Mexico, and California. Taking the historic Acapulco-Manila galleon route as its metaphor of origin, these exhibitions seek to create new routes of cultural exchange along old routes of commerce and trade and will facilitate further discussions between artists, curators, gallerists and scholars from all 3 places to explore strategies for sustainable exchange.

Public Projects / Social Practice / Sustainability
12 Jul 2007
workshop and exhibition
A workshop for cultural practitioners working with modes of self-empowerment and sustainability. With this project, we will gather people who work with an awareness of how the shaping of livelihoods reflects political, economical and cultural power structures, and who, through engagement in this subject, have developed positions and strategies of criticality within their praxis. Participants from Thailand, India, England, Norway, Germany, Scandinavia and others. The workshop is held in Sparwasser, Berlin. It is open to the public. Organized by Åsa Sonjasdotter, Ulrike Solbrig and Nis Rømer

Exhibitions / Public Projects / Social Practice / Sustainability
06 Jul 2007
An ambient audio tour through Golden Gate park.
San Francisco
A unique way to experience Golden Gate Park, a strange way to spend an afternoon. This audio tour of navigates one by a guide down hillsides, through fields, into caves and across ravins while you hear the stories, encounter the creatures and discover the mysteries that haunt our fair park. Where is the feral cat colony? What is in those large green boxes? Who stole the stones from the spanish monastery? Can I eat that? Do people really assemble here at night? Why do I feel so unusual? What is that in the bushes? Are coincidences merely chance events? Or is it somehow all connected? Will I ever make it home? And will my home even be there to return to?

Public Projects / Urban/City
03 Jul 2007
London, UK
"These memorials address topics such as the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the country's slide into civil war, the deaths of soldiers and civilians, and the conflict's relation to global jihadism and the War on Terror."
The exhibition has an extensive website, discussion on monuments and even self reflexive moments on what artists can and can't do. Guess that we can generate debate when change is to much to ask.

Exhibitions / Public Projects
07 Jun 2007
Some stand out exhibitions

A Better World
Architecture Institute Rotterdam
While the Kunsthalle chose to focus on large scale urban projects for the exhibition "Power - Producing the Contemporary City", the Architecture Institute (new director Ole Bouman) presented the inspiring "A Better World - Another Power", focusing on subversive and bottom up approaches to buildings and the urban condition.
The 4 projects/groups were
Center for Urban Pedagogy (NY)
. (interview coming up)
Jeanne van Heeswijk and Dennis Kaspori (The Maze Corp)
Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory. FAST
Santiago Cirugeda
Ends October 21

Wimby - Welcome into my backyard!
Interesting Dutch regeneration project.
For 6 years Crimson Architectural Historians and Felix Rottenberg immersed themselves in the Hoogvliet suburb, the biggest demolition project in the Netherlands and tried to transform it into a vibrant urban area, socio culturally and ecologically. Projects include School Parasites (re designed temporary classes), new parks and plans to restore the ancient tidal stream that were filled in. Many events planned for 2007.

A competition to create spectacular follies for the Heijplaat port of Rotterdam harbour.
20 site-specific designs were chosen to be exhibited for the year of architecture. A folly is traditionally an architectural object built to purvey a concept rather than be functional.(like gardens of delight, fake ruins etc.).
They are wild - giant mushrooms, inflatable kissing clouds and portable hottubs!

Runs until September 9.

Architecture / Exhibitions / Public Projects
31 May 2007
US, Los Angeles
Farmlab is dedicated to the preservation and perpetuity of all living things. The people that did Not a Cornfield are continuing their efforts under this umbrella. Amongst their projects are; turning a junker car into a garden where Farmlab presents an exhibition and demonstration of "How to Make a Junker Garden".

Public Projects / Sustainability
27 May 2007
Davis, California
“Come to our treehouse and we’ll make you a sandwich.”

For one night only, Caroline Cloak and Lissa Ivy Tiegel [arborists] invite you to climb a branch ladder to our treehouse rejuvenation station.

Entry to the treehouse will be limited to coupon-holders due to constraints of time and space. Each party of 2-3 will be welcome for a 10 minute stay, including a customized sandwich. Coupons forthcoming.

Hours of Treehouse operation: 7-8pm; 9-11pm; 12-1:05am.

The treehouse is part of a lively one night outdoor art party featuring interactive, installation and performance art, DJs, live music and food under a full moon. Uncanny is put on by students at UCDavis, this year at an organic farm and vineyard with access to Putah Creek.

Davis, California
Thursday, 31 May 2007
7pm to 1:05am

Art + Activism / Events / Public Projects / Social Practice
03 May 2007
+discursive picnics
UNWETTER is an international group of artists, curators, theoreticians and activists. Like Unwetter (German for stormy and turbulent weather) radical global transformations reshuffle conventional knowledge systems and hierarchies, opening new spaces to be explored.
UNWETTER's basic format is the Discursive Picnic that connects different contexts in an ongoing process of reciprocal exchange.
Website is also a great resource for further reading and links.

Art + Activism / Public Projects / Sustainability

18 Apr 2007
US, San Francisco
by Corinne Matesich

Browsing the contents of a new acquaintance's bookshelves is a common impulse. I do it all the time, sizing people up, looking for common interests, potential conversation starters, and, I guess, ideas for something to read next. It can take some time to meet all of your acquaintances' bookcases, but on Sunday, April 15th, 2007 an event for public book sharing was held at the Garden for the Environment. The garden is a seventeen-year-old space headed by Blair Randall, and offers the local community resources for growing things. Amy Franceschini, the demonstration garden's first Artist in Residence, initiated the One-Day Library, a social gathering to further interest in urban gardening and related ideas.

A simple bookcase (milk crates and boards) was set up in the garden-- its bare shelves awaiting the arrival of books. Library attendees were invited to bring selections from their personal libraries about urban gardening, food history, art and nature, and related ideas. Together, more than fifty attendees created a new library. It could be assumed that attendees were veritable green thumbs, but hardly a word was traded about how to grow a specific bean. Instead, the majority of talk amongst the artists, educators, and students was about how to encourage gardening, the local politics to support urban gardening, and the wealth of things published in recent history about the matter—topics of conversation that surprisingly don't rule out the participation of those who kill most of what they plant.

The collective library was one of both old gems and current discourse. Some books had been found in garage sales from decades past. University course readers, small press, underground and local publications sat alongside how-to guides, non-fiction paperbacks, essays about biology, mushrooms, and the urban environment. I found my own favorites in a dictionary-style book of pretend locations, and a book of illustrations explaining the world of utilities underneath the street.

The One-Day Library readers paid dues to some other offbeat subjects. Contributors to the library were welcomed to read passages aloud from their books. Those who read shared relevant ideas. A few provocative thoughts go nicely with donated bread, baked goods, tea and a little wine especially on a bright day surrounded by flourishing vegetation. Amy Balkin read a selection from a 1974 children's cookbook shedding light on a long-forgotten dietary supplement promised by the UN to end protein deficiencies worldwide. Seemingly, the supplement called "CSM" never lived up to the language used to triumph its saving powers, and one has to wonder whether writing to the address in the book for a free sample would yield anything at all.

Megan Shaw Prelinger shared her connection to the land via mushroom hunting by reading from David Wolfe's Tales from the Underground. Rick Prelinger also of the Prelinger Archives and Library introduced an educational film from the 50's titled, Our Foster Mother the Cow, allowing younger imaginations to conjure exactly what kind of teaching went along with rural agricultural lesson plans.

Henrik Lebuhn read a worthwhile selection about sleeping in public from A Pattern of Language by Christopher Alexander. And, Ian Boal arrived in time to take his shoes off and read from The Country in the City, a just published book exploring the environmental disputes behind the green spaces that now make up the Bay Area.

The One-Day Library found success in its temporary nature as a public event, for me, because the image of a collective bookcase resonates even though it has already been taken down, and all the books have gone home with their rightful owners. The act of creating a dream library out of both book owners and the books beats the traditional lending library at usefulness and approachability — the indispensable part being people who can talk about the books they brought. Building such a library ultimately works to recognize one's own community as the most necessary resource we have.

Free / Public Projects / Social Practice / Urban/City
17 Apr 2007
Copenhagen, Denmark
Two projects are unfolding simultaneously in Copenhagen city spaces, organized by "publik" that produces temporary art in public spaces:
How Do you belong? is a series of public art project focusing on different aspects and meanings of belonging. First project to open was Hartmut Stockters "Ponganer for a day" Where you can rid yourself of the prejudices that go with your current national identity. The nature and culture of Ponga is richly described in drawings and objects
Read more

Surface Tension_Copenhagen invites Danish and international artists to take a look at Copenhagen's infrastructure and backsides. One project is a Public Air Quality Indicator installed on Copenhagen City Hall. With Yvette Brackman, Octávio Camargo, Ken Ehrlich, Robin Wilson & Nigel Green, Brandon LaBelle, RACA and Nis Rømer.
Read more

Public Projects / Sustainability / Urban/City
06 Apr 2007
San Francisco
Sunday, April 15th, 2007
1-3:30pm/ Readings begin at 2pm
located on 7th Ave. at Lawton Streets

Presentations + Readings by:
Amy Balkin, Henrik Lebuhn, Marina McDougall, Rick + Meagan Prelinger/Prelinger Archives, Erik Zo

A one-day public library created by artists, gardeners and friends of the Garden for the Environment. Invited, one and all, to bring a selection from your private library to the garden for a one-day only public library. By sharing a selection of your favorite books we will temporarily create a collective dream library. Please bring no more than ten books on the following themes: Urban gardening, art and nature, food history, art/policy/farming, sustainability/self-reliance, future of food, social history of food/gardens.

Books can be children's books, non-fiction, how-to guides, scientific/botanical illustrations, recipe books, zines and fiction. Come prepared to read, sip tea and share selections from your favorite books.

If you cannot make it, we will create an online archive at Library Thing.

DIY / Homebrew / Events / Free / Public Projects / Social Practice / Sustainability
29 Mar 2007
US, New York
"The Rising Tide facilitates a creative outlet to students, artists, and residents of the city to explore visually issues and concepts related to climate change. Through this action, perhaps a less abstract understanding of climate change will be achieved and provide a continued dialogue about complex issues of climate change in a relevant context. "

Organizer Sea Of People is also looking for 5,000 participants, and no less than 200 volunteers. dressed in blue, to redefine lower Manhattan under the ten-foot sea level rise scenario. The project is part of Step It Up 2007, a nationwide campaign that aims to deliver a clear and powerful message to the US congressional leadership: Cut global warming pollution by 80% by 2050!

Art + Activism / Artists / Calls / Events / Organizations / Public Projects
17 Mar 2007
Ayreen Anastas and Rene Gabri's Camp Campaign is a nation-wide campaign beginning, in New York City, with the question, “How is it that a camp like Guantanamo Bay can exist in our time?”

Commissioned by Art in General, NY.

Public Projects / Social Practice
14 Mar 2007
US, Berkshire
"BerkShares are a local currency designed for use in the Southern Berkshire region of Massachusetts. The purpose of a local currency is to function on a local scale the same way that national currencies have functioned on a national scale—building the local economy by maximizing circulation of trade within a defined region. Widely used in the early 1900s, local currencies are again being recognized as a tool for sustainable economic development. The currency distinguishes the local businesses that accept the currency from those that do not, building stronger relationships and a greater affinity between the business community and the citizens of a particular place.

The people who choose to use the currency make a conscious commitment to buy local first. They are taking personal responsibility for the health and well-being of their community by laying the foundation of a truly vibrant, thriving local economy."

Organizations / Public Projects
12 Mar 2007
Wikipedia's description of 'Gleaning' is the collection of leftover crops from farmers' fields after they have been mechanically harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest.

"Glean The Planet is a community resource to facilitate the sharing of food. Gleaning is about sharing food resources that would otherwise go to waste. Whether you are looking for free vegetables or have an apple tree you don't have time to pick from, you can use GTP forums to spread the word."

Free / Organizations / Public Projects
10 Mar 2007
San Francisco
Saturday April 21 through Sunday April 22, 2007
Along the Third St Corridor

CCA's Curatorial Practice presents: The San Francisco World’s Fair of 2007 asks, “What would today’s world’s fair look like if it didn’t privilege a singular ideology and how would it define itself?” Using this idea as our conceptual framework, the project begins to sort through the accumulated values and investigates multiple ways to proceed. Our World’s Fair creates a space in which to debate the nature of progress through the creative act.

Events / Public Projects / Sustainability / Urban/City
26 Feb 2007
U.S. Boston
Wendy Jacobs, "Line, North Adams, 2006" and "Taxi, 2003" offer spacial and relational goodness.
-Happy Monday!

Artists / Public Projects / Urban/City
24 Feb 2007
Minneapolis, US
The Soap Factory presents:
A five week exhibition of science, art, knitting, karaoke, games, performances, mail, pinhole cameras, cacti and art cars. The Art Shanty Projects are part gallery, part residency and part social experiment, inspired by the tradition of ice fishing and ice fishing houses used in the Minnesota winter.

Public Projects
22 Feb 2007
My hero's:
Another amazing project/research brought to us by the Arts Council England:

'The New Audiences Website is one of the largest free resources on developing audiences in the world. It offers a great opportunity to learn from our peers and we urge arts professionals to take advantage of its richness.'

New Audiences was set up to encourage as many people as possible, from all backgrounds and every walk of life, to participate in and benefit from the arts.

Art + Activism / Organizations / Public Projects / Social Practice
21 Feb 2007
Call for proposals
US, San Francisco
The Center for Outdoor Contemporary Art (COCA) in partnership with Neighborhood Parks Council is seeking ambitious proposals for temporary site-specific projects of all media for their festival in October, 2007. The Call is fee-free and open to US-based artists.

"Open Skies is a Contemporary Arts Festival that celebrates the spirit of wonder, renewal and creative social action through artist-driven public projects that activate public space and community resources."

More details at 'parkopolis'.

Artists / Calls / Events / Organizations / Public Projects
19 Feb 2007
US, New York
Frome the founders of Booklyn...
Part endurance/body art, part earthwork/landscape art, part ecological meditation and part Butoh dance – the Vegetable Mind performance involves carefully excavating holes in the earth and then planting people in those holes so that it appears as if the people grew out of the ground. A team of gardeners tends the planted people. Landscape composition, physical placement, drainage of waste, protection from the elements, harvesting and restoration of the sites are all carefully designed into each site-specific performance/installation.

Artists / Public Projects / Sustainability
18 Feb 2007
A project at The interface of private and public urban space
Between April 15 and May 6, the project will present artworks in the Berlin districts of Mitte, Wedding and Gesundbrunnen.
It is both exhibition and an artistic/curatorial research project, with the blog making public many of the logistics of implimenting an exhibition of this kind.

Architecture / Exhibitions / Public Projects / Urban/City
12 Feb 2007
"Artists should be at the centre of society keeping alive a utopian vision, because society will not improve if the people envisioning a better society are politicians."
-Peter Sellars

As the tenth anniversary of the executions of Ken Saro-Wiwa and his eight colleagues approaches, and a decade of empty promises fades in the Niger Delta, a wide coalition of organisations and individuals has gathered to ensure that their courageous struggle will never be forgotten.

Remember Saro-Wiwa is launching a unique public art initiative – the Living Memorial – dedicated to Ken, his colleagues, and the issues that they fought and died for. It will be Britain's first ever mobile memorial, moving from site to site over two to three years, while at the same time planning for a permanent home.

See the shortlist of artists.

Art + Activism / Public Projects / Quotes / Sustainability
26 Jan 2007
New Art on the Picadilly Line
London, UK
Thin Cities is a series of new artworks commissioned by Platform for Art to appear in specific stations along the Piccadilly line.

Among some of the artworks is Nils Norman's Above-ground tube map that provides information for passengers about nearby, "low-key" landmarks at stations on the line.

Public Projects / Urban/City
20 Jan 2007
A grassroots protest gains attention and action
The "Children of Don Quixote" organized a tent city made up of 300 red tents to house Parisians in a demonstration demanding some attention from the government to deal with the homeless situation.

Within weeks, "Quixote cities" appeared in Marseilles, Lyon, Strasbourg, Bordeaux, and Toulouse. These demonstrations led to the French government increasing funds to $92 million from $11 million, allowing shelters to stay open 24 hours - and on Monday earmarked $46 million more to place 27,000 persons. Next month, lawmakers will debate a law that makes housing a legal right - something President Jacques Chirac, under pressure from the Quixote media coverage, proposed in his New Year address.

News stories:
CS Monitor
Habitat International Coalition

Art + Activism / Organizations / Public Projects / Urban/City
18 Jan 2007
The website is only available in Flemish, but "Ruimte te gebruiken", using clear real estate imagery, sort of translates into "Space for you to use". With this project, Marthe Van Dessel facilitates 1000 square meters at Art Centre Z33 totally free for a weekend. Organizations and individuals can apply for a 'piece of property' that includes all logistics like a film theater, a stage, audiovisual equipment, a complete museum staff and of course .. a deep fryer.

Artists / Events / Free / Public Projects
18 Jan 2007
The Living Art Park Cultural Association, co-ordinated by the artist Piero Gilardi, has been active since 2002. It brings together different professional experiences in a hybridisation of languages and scientific and technical know-how, directed at experimentation in the field of art and nature.

The Modern Art Gallery of Torino, Italy, will explore issues of Programming land and urbanism, Ecology and techno-art. The conference "From Land Art to Bioart" takes place on Saturday 20 January.

Architecture / Events / Public Projects
12 Jan 2007
The National Park Services offers opportunities for visual artists, photographers, sculptors, performers, writers, composers, and craft artists to live and work in the parks. There are currently 29 parks participating in the Artist-In-Residence program.

Calls / Organizations / Public Projects
24 Dec 2006
US, Berkeley
"This soil and the airspace extending above it shall not be a part of any nation and shall not be subject to any entity's jurisdiction."

This project was winner of a national public art competition to commemorate the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley. It uses the political process to create a space free from any outside jurisdiction. A six inch column of land and airspace are legally redefined as not being a part of any nation, state or city therefore no laws are applicable within the small space. A granite ring surrounds the land and bears the inscription above.

Art + Activism / Artists / Free / Public Projects
19 Dec 2006
Brazilian artist and curator Maria Therese Alvez has a ongoing project about ballast from ships and how this lead to global exchange of flora. In short when trade ships returned with an empty load, to maintain stability in the ships they were loaded with ballast most often in the form of soil. Arriving back the ballast was unloaded and in this way a huge exchange of soil and thereby seeds took place along the major trade routes. With great care in researching this she finds the ballasts spots, analyzes the flora present, makes gardens and more.
Alvez also co-founded Brazil's Green Party, something I would also like to know much more about.

See Wake!

Artists / Public Projects / Social Practice / Sustainability
13 Dec 2006
Nina Katchadorian's Office Semaphore
US, New York
Ever spot someone in a distant office window and wonder what is going on in his or her life? Part message decoding, part small-scale reality show, artist Nina Katchadourian's Office Semaphore is a signaling system in which one person, who works on an upper story of an office building, will communicate messages to people outside on street level.

The Public Art Fund is New York's leading presenter of artists' projects, new commissions, and exhibitions in public spaces. For over 25 years the Public Art Fund has been committed to working with emerging and established artists to produce innovative exhibitions of contemporary art for neighborhoods throughout New York City. By bringing artworks outside the traditional context of museums and galleries, the Public Art Fund provides increased access to the art of our time -dismantling any barriers to the accessibility of contemporary art - and provides artists with a unique opportunity to expand their artistic practice.

Public Projects / Urban/City
07 Dec 2006
The Fortune Society's 7th Annual Prisoner Art Show
US, Various Cities
Anthony Throop, an inmate at the California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi grew his hair for five months to make paint brushes. Other materials used include coffee, M n Ms and lime, due to the restrictions imposed on art materials. Money from the online auction goes to the Fortune Society.

Events / Public Projects
03 Dec 2006
P2P Immigration
"This project aims to tackle immigration problems with a simple and universal strategy.

A person-to-person agreement. A trade, an exchange for a temporary timespan; A citizen would gain the citizenship of a foreign country for a time given, in the base of mutual agreement with a native citizen of this country. Each of the citizens involved in the trade get the same timespan of citizenship in the country of the

Art + Activism / Public Projects
27 Nov 2006
San Francisco
This is an exciting opportunity. The SFMOMA is seeking someone to work alongside Dominic Wilsdon (formerly of the Tate Modern) in public programs. Dominic is wonderful and actively working to create an exciting new direction for the museum in terms of public programming.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art seeks an outstanding candidate for the post of Associate Curator, Public Programs. The post carries the primary responsibility for curating a range of live programs that present major intellectual and cultural practice, international in scope, to a broad public in the Bay Area. This will involve expanding the talks and discussions program to cover issues of contemporary concern across art and visual culture, politics and society; developing SFMOMA’s new program of contemporary and historical film; and conceiving and developing a new strand of performance, including music and live art.

Education / Public Projects
16 Nov 2006
A plethora of amazing projects! The Civic Studio is an experimental applied studio project. The studio employs the methods of visual art as means to study, form, and present art in a specific public context.

Artists / Organizations / Public Projects
16 Nov 2006
The PLANT! project is maintained by 6 small groups of students from Calvin College. PLANT! consists of 6 neighborhood-centric sites that have been converted from unused space to urban gardens that will act as vehicle for the participants to better understand "place" in terms of geography, a concept, topography, history, community, science, botany, the environment, psychogeography, emotions, situations and any other way imaginable.

Art + Activism / Public Projects / Sustainability
03 Nov 2006
A tour to explore the unknown future of Europe
The “Lost Highway Expedition” was initiated by the School of Missing Studies [SMS].
LHE is the first event of Europe Lost and Found (ELF), a multi annual and three-phased project, involving following major themes: “Balkanization” (2006-2007), “Europeanization” (2007-2008) and “Map the Future” (2008-2009). Each project phase will build the base for the next one, thus posing new set of questions and determining new research directions. In this way, it will reflect on contemporary Europe, which it understands as a cycle of continuously reshaping social, political, economic and urban conditions and communication processes. However, each phase is planned to realize an expedition, an exhibition and a publication.

Events / Public Projects / Social Practice / Urban/City
28 Oct 2006
Atelier le Balto (Berlin/Paris) have done numerous projects with temporary gardens. The wonderful “Where Is The Garden” ran for one year in 2004. Recently they have participated in KAIAK – (Kunst + Architektur in Alt Köpenick), where they designed a series of three gardens – a plant collection , an exotic and a cocktail garden - all in the old Market. They have also designed the landscape architecture at the Kunstwerk Gallery. Website only in German!

Architecture / Public Projects
26 Oct 2006
US, Los Angeles
Conversations Los Angeles Leiden: Nature and the City is an exhibition that offers visitors a new perspective on objects and specimens that may be familiar to them through other, more traditional display contexts. The exhibit highlights the collections of Naturalis, the national natural history museum of The Netherlands, located in the city of Leiden. Created in collaboration with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Exhibitions / Public Projects
25 Oct 2006
Keeping the Public Way
"The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 has set a cut-off date of 1 January 2026, when all footpaths and bridleways that existed prior to 1949 and are not on the definitive map, will be extinguished and have all public rights removed."!!

This is just one fascinating item to be found, along with other interesting news and articles about Common Land and public rights of way in the English countyside.

Public Projects / Social Practice
25 Oct 2006
GfZK Leipzig, 28 October 2006 – 21 January 2007
LIMINAL SPACES/ grenzraeume originated from an initiative of individual Palestinian and Israeli artists united in their opposition to the destructive dynamics and ever growing hardship and deprivation of basic civil and political rights endured by Palestinians under Israeli occupation.

An unprecedented network of artists, curators and cultural producers emerged, meeting often under difficult circumstances, despite the harsh context of ever increasing violence and the complete collapse of the political peace process.

The results are an exhibition and conference. No website but here's a link to the rhizome announcement in English.

Art + Activism / Events / Exhibitions / Public Projects / Social Practice / Urban/City
23 Oct 2006
Temescal Amity Works is a two-year project by Susanne Cockrell and Ted Purves (editor of: "What we want is free"), sited in the Temescal neighborhood of Oakland, where they also live. They maintain a storefront, a series of free publications, a website and a crop-sharing program. The projects considers how existing models of local collectivism and exchange both personal and economic can be extended into aestetic practices and how these can feed back into and layer a site and a community.

DIY / Homebrew / Public Projects / Social Practice / Sustainability
18 Oct 2006
The Bicycle Lift
Only after my second visit to the bicycle lift, I realized the possible impact of this system in a city like Trondheim. Trampe was one of the test sites for Utopia (Urban Transports : Options for Propulsion systems and Instruments for Analysis) and has proven it's importance in a debat for alternative transportation technologies.

Public Projects
16 Oct 2006
London, UK
The People Speak develops ideas, technologies and strategies for bringing people together to have conversations and discussions in an open-ended and fun way. We design events, architectures, systems and processes in which people are encouraged to express themselves, share ideas, flirt, and be as creative as they can.
Projects include the now long running "Dicshunary" that "aims to provide a home for all the small, endangered werds that might only exist in the language of one neighbourhood, one family or even one person."

Public Projects / Social Practice
15 Oct 2006
mikroPaliskunta is an expedition that travelled through Finland from the northest point Nuorgam to the southest Hanko with a stuffed reindeer and five artists by biodiesel car. (A 1986 Volvo running on turnip rape oil and green diesel). They studied the contemporary image of Finland from different point of views. How has the rapid changes in society affected people? What is Finnish? And what are the symbols of Finland and who defines them?

DIY / Homebrew / Public Projects
12 Oct 2006
Making the whole world a library
'Bookcrossing' is a simple way to share books with the world. It is the practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked up and read by others, who then do likewise.

Books / Public Projects
07 Oct 2006
Reunion is an action research, contemporary visual arts project that has emerged from a secession of projects by Sophie Hope and Sarah Carrington through their curatorial partnership B+B. Reunion is a two year project consisting of research, meetings, residencies and exhibitions that try out ideas and reflect on what it means to be political as a cultural producer in Europe today.

Art + Activism / Artists / Public Projects / Social Practice
04 Oct 2006
US, New York
AIR is a public, social experiment in which people are invited to use Preemptive Media's portable air monitoring devices to explore their neighborhoods and urban environments for pollution and fossil fuel burning hotspots.Participants or "carriers" are able to see pollutant levels in their current locations, as well as simultaneously view measurements from the other AIR devices in the network.

Public Projects / Sustainability
22 Sep 2006
US, New York
Infrastructure and facilities for high-density bird cohabitation on the roof of Postmasters Gallery with public housing projects by: a myriad of architects and consultants.

Visit OOZ:A place to observe animals.

Exhibitions / Public Projects / Urban/City
20 Sep 2006
Copenhagen, Denmark
A group of artists and curators from Copenhagen have formed an independent organization for art in public places and media.

A part from "Hot Summer" publik is also running a project called "Sit Down" taking place in the city. Superflex have made a neon sign pointing to "Mjølner Parken" the most disputed ghetto in Denmark that very few people have actually visited or know where is. Artist Jeppe Hein made a number of altered benches. Sonja Lillebæk Christensen did a video about a soccer player that once were in the national team who recently campaigned against homeless shelters in his neigbourhood. "Sit Down" is Curated by Christian Skovbjerg.

Public Projects / Urban/City
20 Sep 2006
Lois & Franziska Weinberger´s work revolves around the notion of a garden as a "perfectly provisional realm".
"The analytical research and artistic investigation of forms, both making up Lois & Franziska Weinberger´s creative science, are geared towards unleashing natural and cultural processes in an unstructured, marginal, incidental, and anarchic pattern of growth."

..the works are great -and it also looks as if they had fun doing them - as a friend of mine noted
(maybe you remember the weeds on the tracks at Documenta X)

Artists / Public Projects

20 Sep 2006
8 visual artists in the city and on the web
Copenhagen, Denmark
The "five finger plan" of Copenhagen, is made to make the city develop along five lines of infrastructure and leave intact green belts between the fingers deep into the city. In a way this quite ingenious plan holds the promise that the city and its surroundings can be integrated and the growth of the city controlled to some degree by planning the infrastructure. The plan developed in 1947 does still work as the overall framework for the city though much has been built also between the fingers.

Hot summer of urban farming continues along this trajectory and explores various ways that gardens and farming can be integrated in the city, though on a much smaller scale. Over the summer 8 artists and groups have been making plantations and temporary gardens in Copenhagen's lesser used spaces.
The works are situated in Outer Nørrebro, which is characterized by the highest density of people, the biggest ethnic mix and the least square meter public space per inhabitant. If you take a careful look there are small pockets of undetermined spaces mainly used by dog owners if by any. In the tradition of "zwischennutzung" -temporary uses of city spaces -the projects that the artists made are temporary or made to slowly dissolve in the city and take a life of their own.

Åsa Sonjasdotter have made potato gardens with a variety of sorts supplied by the Nordic Gene Bank a quite remarkable institution that stores seeds and plants from all over the world. A thorough research into the cultural history of the potato, tells a story of how patents to plants are managing to make it illegal to grow most varieties of potato's. One sort has a special status; the "Asparges potato" has been bought by an independent group who has given the rights back to the public.

Marie Markman has done calculations on how much could actually be grown if the leftover spaces were cultivated. While the project does not suggest that this should actually happen it would provide for some weird parks and plantations in the city if other crops were introduced. At least in free Soil we like farming and parks together a lot.
An on going fight for one of the biggest free areas in the city by artist group YNKB is documented on the "hot Summer" website as well as a pretty rough weed garden turned into a parterre. Nance Klehms has made a project about immigration and farming; she exported corn from the US into Denmark made it into tortillas and served them in exchange for stories of migration. Gillion Grantsaan has harvested stories about national and international politics from a bench in a newly made park.

All projects can be seen on the website:

The project wil run until Sept. 26, 2006 and is organized by free Soiler Nis Rømer in the context of publik -a newly established organization for art in public spaces and media.

Dandelion Town by Camilla Berner
Oxygen Greenhouse by Hartmut Stockter

Public Projects / Sustainability / Urban/City
19 Sep 2006
US, San Francisco
SoEx OFFSITE, a series of major commissioned public art projects investigating diverse strategies for exploring and mapping public space, features new work by Ledia Carroll (SF), Glowlab (NY), Packard Jennings (OAK), Neighborhood Public Radio (SF/OAK), Christian Nold (UK), Jeannene Przyblyski (Bureau of Urban Secrets) (SF), Rebar (SF/OAK), and Stamen (SF).

Public Projects / Urban/City
13 Sep 2006
8 visual artists in the city and on the web
Copenhagen, Denmark
Over the summer, 8 artists from Denmark and abroad have made temporary works, gardens and plantations in outer Nørrebro, Copenhagen. The projects explores informal and temporary uses of spaces that are undetermined. An oxygen greenhouse, a project about what can be grown in the city and a dandelion town are among the works. The website has a big resource section and shows the works online should you not be in the Copenhagen area.

Public Projects / Sustainability / Urban/City
12 Sep 2006
Århus, Denmark
Is an interdisciplinary art project consisting of a video production, a web site and the magazine Speak Up!
The magazine Speak UP! set up tolerance is an independent magazine that focuses on freedom of speech, visibility, responsibility and possibility in the current social and political everyday.
Made by Uzma Ahmed Andresen, Tanja Nellemann and Grete Aagaard
download the magazine

Art + Activism / Magazines / Public Projects
05 Sep 2006
US, Chicago
Salvation Jane is:
-a pasture weed in australia (pretty, but unedible to our hooved friends),
-the name of a yet-to-materialize all girl rock band,
-an evolving and involved network of earnest, experimental, adventurous and big-hearted bunch who really are in the practice of re-connecting self to self, mapping private ways through the public realm and discovering and nuturing the wild within the built environment.

Art + Activism / Public Projects / Urban/City
22 Aug 2006
high rise honey!
Artists Harry Sachs (31) und Franz Höfner (35) have used the former No Man's Land of the Berlin Wall to build mini “plattenbau” for bees! The project - Honig Neustadt - currently houses around 500 000 bees and produces ecologically controlled honey too. More to come….

Artists / Public Projects / Sustainability / Urban/City
14 Aug 2006
A temporary urban park
US, San Francisco
Last year, REBAR reclaimed the street for parks and people by transforming a metered parking spot into a park. Now they want San Franciscans' support to enlivening the streets and improving the quality of urban human habitat.
September 21, 2006 will be PARK(ing) Day.!
Goal is to call attention to the need for more urban parks and public places; and to connect with ways to permanently reclaim urban space for people.

Here is their manual.

Art + Activism / Events / Organizations / Public Projects
03 Aug 2006
Copenhagen, Denmark
For a while now this excellent project has been running: The aim of the Christiania Researcher in Residence project (CRIR) is to involve artists, researchers and academics in an open, critical and reflective dialogue around the free town Christiania in Copenhagen, and to feed new creative and critical thinking into the public realm.

Christiania should be known to most people, as a long living alternative settlement in the middle of Copenhagen, if not go visit:

Organizations / Public Projects
16 Jul 2006
US, San José
free soil will make a bus tour of the Silicon valley focussing on the recent history and environmental impact of the High-Tech Industry.
ZeroOne ISEA August 7-13, 2006

Art + Activism / Education / Public Projects / Sustainability
15 Jul 2006
Denmark, Aalborg
Wild flowers, water, grass, moss, cabbage, a molehill, a larva and a bench made from bricks are some of the elements that appears in the project Five Identical Landscapes. The 15 square meter landscapes are placed in five locations in Aalborg city, Denmark. When the same landscape can be experience at five different locations, the attention turns away from the specific scenery, and towards it's unique surroundings. Through the project the artists want to stimulate joint ownership and the critical sense towards, how vi use and shape the city. By artists Marie Markman and Birgitte Christensen

Public Projects / Sustainability
14 Jul 2006
La Loko means ‘the place’ in Esperanto. It is a project initiated and run by international artists Olof Olsson and Daniel Salomon. They are working with the language of Esperento, which was created by Ludwik Zamenhof in 1887 to be a neutral language which was easy to learn, so different speech communities could communicate instead of fight. This summer they were lobbying to make FIFA accept an international Esperanto football team. And just recently they launched a new non-national sausage company in Reykjavik. Kolbasoj sen Limoj is Esperanto and means ‘sausages without borders’. The company will make non-national sausages of the highest quality.

Free / Public Projects
09 Jul 2006
Copenhagen, Denmark
This is quite unique; a group of artists and activists took over one of the longest running independent TV stations in Copenhagen (tv stop). While continuing some of the political activism and interest in everyday life of the past they also set out to make TV about TV and art that reflects critically on the medium. It broadcasts for 2 hours three days a week in the larger Copenhagen area both on air and on cable. It is selforganized in the way that there is a steering comittee, and then it is open to a number of independent groups producing TV. Last week was Queer TV in relation to the Queerfestival in Copenhagen. Tv-tv is definately a must see if you are in the region.

Art + Activism / Public Projects
06 Jul 2006
Europe, Various Cities
from their website:
"In 2003 Andrea Creutz and Lise Skou, initiated the project swop network as a platform for production and dissemination of materials and ideas surrounding contemporary political, economic and social debate.
The project has grown into different initiatives that vary from distributing a free paper, establishing a currency called 'Hidden Flow' Currency, opening a Give Away Shop, and more."

Art + Activism / Free / Public Projects / Sustainability
02 Jul 2006
US, New York
A wonderful artist I happened upon. Especially charming are her public projects.

"Research in physics, botany, architecture, and urban sociology is fundamental to her practice. Through combining an exploration of complex, contemporary issues with an innovative use of low-tech materials, she creates works that contribute to an awareness of place and environment and reflect the vulnerabilities implicit in everyday life."

Artists / Public Projects
30 Jun 2006
US, Oakland
The Organic City is a community storytelling project focused on the downtown Oakland, California. These stories form the basis for mobile media that can be experienced while walking around the city.

Public Projects
13 Jun 2006
The InterRepublic Of Hybridia
Maybe you remember the moment when The District of Leistavia was created for ISEA 2004. While this virtual community has been exhibited at several locations worldwide, a new project called 'Interrogating the invisible' has been created and selected for ISEA 2006 in San Jose. The Leistavian Federal Bureau of Information aims to gather statistics on how it is that people connect to their cultural identity by use of an online survey form. The 'Bureau' is looking for people who identify with either one or two cultures, and is interested to know whether there are any differences between those two groups. The survey will be used as a context for gathering data, and the data will be visualised both as still and moving image.
All information is strictly confidential and your feedback would be welcomed.

Organizations / Public Projects / Virtual Soil
06 Jun 2006
For a “live” hour by hour account of the “dismantling” of Berlin’s Palast der Republik (and the changing weather conditions), hook into the Senate's website and click the image.

Ironically, the losers, The Volkspalast (the people’s palace, and the creative public), have just won the 4th European Prize for Urban Public Space.

Architecture / Public Projects / Urban/City
25 May 2006
Mexico And Guatemala
Guatemex is an artificial island built upon the Suchiate river between Mexico and Guatemala. A beautiful structure floating on the border between two countries - a piece of no man's land - which hundreds of people cross every day.
In Guatemex these immigrants can access, via satellite internet, information that might prove useful for their journey. Documents with legal rights, routes, emergency numbers, health information, ..etc are displayed for them along with the possibility to chat with a guide located on another point of the border - in Frontera Corozal - also in Chiapas.

Architecture / Art + Activism / Public Projects
25 May 2006
Eco-Tourists of Oakland
US, Oakland
WE Riders (West-East Oakland Riders) initiated their research project to culturally and geographically locate West and East Oakland with their tandem bicycle during the 2005 Bayennale.

Throughout May, June and July 2006, they will be collecting stories and images that will be displayed on a trailer-kiosk to help West and East Oakland residents physically locate, culturally define and celebrate their neighborhoods.

Artists / Events / Public Projects
10 May 2006
Copenhagen, Denmark
A batch of wonderful pamphlets from the Artist Placement Group to Copenhagen Free University all avaliable in print and online.

Also check out Jackob Jakobsen's Info Center.

Architecture / Art + Activism / Artists / Public Projects / Urban/City
26 Apr 2006
The Netherlands
A site filled with fantastic transformative ideas for the Utrecht area.
The Municipality of Utrecht has developed a scenario in which the introduction of public art is linked to the urban development of Leidsche Rijn in cooperation with SKOR (Foundation for Art and Public Space). Includes N55 and Nomads In Residence.

Architecture / Public Projects / Urban/City
20 Apr 2006
Converting unused train tracks to public promenades!
US, New York
Friends of the High Line is an organization dedicated to the preservation and reuse of the High Line, a 1.5-mile-long historic elevated rail structure on the West Side of Manhattan.

If only they could keep it wild like it is right now, but they are supported by nearly all the elected officials representing the High Line neighborhoods, numerous civic organizations, and thousands of preservationists, open-space advocates, design professionals, and civic-minded individuals and businesses from New York and across the United States which seems to have pulled them in a very corporate direction.

Nonetheless, it will be an accessible, car free zone and...their site is a great resource.
{see images now!}

Art + Activism / Organizations / Public Projects / Urban/City
18 Apr 2006
US, Los Angeles
Edible Estates is an ongoing series of projects to replace the American front lawn with edible garden landscapes responsive to local culture, climate and inhabitants.

Click around for Edible Estates projects.

Architecture / Art + Activism / Public Projects / Sustainability / Urban/City
09 Apr 2006
Manchester, UK
This artist-led project was initiated by UHC Collective in 2005 and is an attempt to provide shelter from the rain of narrow economic orthodoxy shaping Manchester. It is an attempt to bring together community activists, artists, voluntary sector workers and academics free from interference from corporate or party political interests.

Architecture / Art + Activism / Public Projects
22 Jan 2006
Documentation of the seminar
Copenhagen, Denmark
Documentation is out now from the seminar held in Copenhagen, coorganized by "public", curator Christian Skovbjerg and artists Kristine Agergaard and Camilla Berner. The website has sound recordings of the talks for download, and a DVD with sound and video that you can get for the prize of production. Talks by Superflex, Suzanne Lacy, Marjetica Potrc and more.

Public Projects
28 Dec 2005
US, Los Angeles
Civic Matters invites artists, designers, and crafts artists from Finland, Los Angeles and Sweden to meet in Los Angeles for a cultural exchange program. Together with local artists and organizations they will address identified needs or concerns within various communities in Los Angeles and in Scandinavia.

Link to the exhibition page: LACE: Civic Matters

Blogs / Exhibitions / Public Projects
18 Dec 2005
US, Various Cities
Edible Estates is an attack on the American lawn and everything it has come to represent. It is an ongoing series of projects to replace the American lawn with edible garden landscapes responsive to local culture, climate and landscape.

Public Projects / Sustainability
15 Dec 2005
Most of Berlin’s apartment blocks are all 5 stories high and have flat inter-connected roofs.So far only the renovated and more expensive buildings have roof access, and are normarly only reserved for the penthouse residents.
The newly formed organisation Dachgärten für alle aims to work with locals and landlords to develop more green spaces above the city streets - for gardening, meeting-places and star watching. Join our petition and help reclaim our roof!
The site is in German but you get the point.

Architecture / Public Projects
15 Dec 2005
Gardeners' stories of the struggle for land and justice
A collection of stories, images, dreams and practical strategies all related to urban gardens and urban farms from a wide variety of locations.

Books / Public Projects / Sustainability
06 Dec 2005
The initiative Spree 2011 aims to make Berlin’s main river - the Spree - swimmable within 6 years! The project involves designing catchment tanks for sewerage overspills during storms (the leading pollutant) and then feeding these back into the pipes once they are cleared. Not only will the river be clean in enough to cool down in during the hot summer months, the floating containers themselves can be utilised for a variety of uses to finance the project, such as floating cinemas, cafes and even camping sites!

Architecture / Public Projects
05 Dec 2005
Urban Parlour Games
In general, The Project for Urban Intimacy is seeking for ways to 'transgress and counter the rationality and efficiency that infect our cities'.
To encourage more intimate forms of interaction, The Project for Urban Intimacy has recreated a set of street games. From the Urban Games website you are able to download materials that will let you take these games "to the streets".

At the moment, PUI has a call for entries for a new project focussed on particpation and interaction among coworkers in office cubicles.

Calls / Public Projects / Virtual Soil
29 Nov 2005
US, Houston
The Museum for Missing Places is an attempt to chart the shifting terrain of a city - Houston, Texas - through a process as fleeting as the city itself.

Using interactive, dialogue-based exhibits, the Museum proposes alternative ways of mapping a city in the context of rapid and unregulated urban change and the uncertainty of enduring architectural landmarks.

As a museum in the traditional sense, this project is about gathering, ordering and exhibiting information in various mediums and formats. What distinguishes the information of this museum is its specificity to Houston's elusive urbanism and that it's gathered through an expanding body of public surveys designed by the Museum and situated in Houston's public places.

Exhibitions / Public Projects
23 Nov 2005
Rethinking Art as Experience
Is there any other way that art can exist in the public sphere?
This is the kick off question for the seminar at the MACBA, Barcelona on November 25 and 26 from 11 am-9 pm.
This is how they describe it:
From relationality’s point of view, the Museum is a space for art in which new forms of social interaction are investigated without limiting its function to mere exhibition, but creating an experimental platform. In this way, art can contribute significantly to the multiplication of public spheres through a process in which various subjects, forms and spaces participate.

Institutions that engage actively in the public sphere is unfortunately a rare thing. Expect a report in the near future.

Events / Public Projects
09 Nov 2005
Thurrock: A Visionary Brief in the Thames Gateway has redefined what is meant by ‘culturally-led regeneration’. It is a major programme of new thinking about Thurrock and the Thames Gateway, bringing an international perspective to local, regional and national policy debates around cultural practice in regeneration.

The programme has set out an innovative process for planning and development in the Thames Gateway. It has demonstrated that if culture is interpreted widely, if regeneration is addressed holistically and if a creative process is embedded in planning and decision-making, then it is possible to create truly sustainable communities.

Public Projects / Sustainability / Virtual Soil
02 Nov 2005
A small website with some nice projects in allotment gardens in Sweden. Their "Network of Gardens" project lacks content , but it a nice effort.
Contribute now: Network of Gardens
This site was created by Lena Ignestam and Christel Lundberg

Artists / Public Projects / Sustainability / Virtual Soil
26 Oct 2005
Developments such as the new Warsaw highway and the removal of the tram system has meant that the lower town of Gdansk is now seperated from the city centre, and falling into cultural and social neglect.
This ongoing project initiated by the Laznia Centre of Contemporary Art aims to revitalise the lower town using competitions, workshops and exhibitions where architects, artists and politicians attempt to redevelop the area, especially utilising the old waterways.

Architecture / Exhibitions / Public Projects
22 Oct 2005
International Conference
8th of November 2005 09.30-17.30
At: Festsalen, The Royal Danish Art Academy/ Copenhagen
With: Superflex, Suzanne Lacy, Katya Sander, Peter Callesen, Marjetica Potrc, Lars Bang Larsen, Jakob Boeskov, Christian Jankowski, Anja Raithel, Barbara Steveni, Creative Time/Peter Eleey, moderator Simon Sheik.
Arranged by Camilla Berner, Christian Skovbjerg Jensen & Kristine Agergaard in collaboration with PUBLIK and Professor Yvette Brackman.
If you are in the area this conference is an absolute must, it also marks the start of PUBLIK a new organization for public art in Copenhagen.

Events / Public Projects

06 Oct 2005
October 6 - January 5, 2006
FRUIT takes up the challenge of elevating the ecological knowledge of consumers and encouraging a way of life that is friendly to the environment. We want consumers to be conscious of the entire life of a product, from production to utilization, and not just what they see in the stores. Consumers must be aware that every phase of a product's life influences the environment and ourselves.

Free Soil has produced a run of FRUIT wrappers, a website, and a traveling installation as part of an initiative to inform people about alternative food systems and local food movements. The wrappers are disseminated throughout the food chain by piggybacking on oranges. Information will be carried through the food system and into the hands of consumers. The wrapper holds information on a variety of aspects concerning food movements, transport and urban farming. Get your daily dose!

Contribute Now!

Exhibitions / Public Projects / Sustainability
29 Sep 2005
From Treehugger via David Lu
A truly mobile garden.
Part of Vancouver's International Car Free day.
Yes, finally a use for oversized American cars. Cities should only support small electric/hybrid cars!
Let's turn all those abandoned drive-in theaters into community gardens.

Public Projects / Sustainability
22 Sep 2005
15,000 truck loads of earth and one million seeds
A living sculpture in the form of a field of corn growing in the historic center of Los Angeles. Lauren Bon's Not A Cornfield project transforms an industrial brownfield site into a cornfield for one agricultural cycle. At harvest time, the corn will be moved to another site where it will be dried out and then displayed and eventually used for the production of biodegradable containers.

This site will play host to regular visiting hours and interpretive tours, as well as a dynamic schedule of weekly events and periodic festivals.

See website for a current schedule.

Events / Public Projects / Sustainability
18 Sep 2005
In late 2004, the Australian government formed the Redfern Waterloo Authority (RWA), and granted itself sweeping powers to displace residents and pave the way for urban renewal in the area of Redfern and Waterloo.
The Squatspace gallery and collective is offering 2 FREE bus tours of the area, giving a feel for what these changes will mean for the local indigenous community that lives there.

Tour Info

Squatspace themselves have a colourful and important place in the history of squatting and artistic infiltrations in Sydney.

Artists / Free / Public Projects
18 Sep 2005
US, Chicago
Walking and urban research projects have a big place in my heart. Here is one from Chicago, with quite an extensive bibliography, and a range of events taking place between September 9 - October 22, 2005.
A lot of great people are participating but for the sake of walking I'll just mention:
- Go explore.

Architecture / Events / Public Projects
17 Sep 2005
US, Various Cities
By way of Ryan Griffis and Rhizome here is a short presentation of Architecture Urbanism Design Collaborative [AUDC].
It is a non-profit organization dedicated to using the tools of architecture to research the role of the individual and the community in the contemporary urban environment.

Architecture / Public Projects / Virtual Soil

11 Sep 2005
Copenhagen, Denmark
The project intersects with recent public debate in Copenhagen about air pollution in the city. In collaboration with Senior Scientist Jørgen Brandt from The National Environmental Research Institute in Denmark a first prototype is developed for making an indicator that can be placed in the city and display local levels of pollution as well as pollution forecasts on individual streets. The project holds an open source script for displaying data from the Internet in a variety of forms.

Public Projects / Sustainability
11 Sep 2005
Capturing the Moving Mind
Starting today a group of artists have set off to map and moove from Moscow to Bejing on the Transsiberian Express. Online conferences and a live mediastream will follow them on the way. I imagine there will be quite some holes in the coverage as wireless networks and mobile networks must be scarse in Siberia, but quite a ride.

Public Projects / Virtual Soil
10 Aug 2005
Free Soil at Garage Festival
For the Garage festival 09 Free Soil conducted a site specific research project investigating the environment of the Baltic Sea.

We created an alternative archive of political and historical events that have occurred in the Baltic Sea region, especially Stralsund and linked these with the sea’s responses. The impact of Industrialisation, population growth and political changes has resulted in climatic and environmental changes recorded in the sea. Nature retaliates by creating new forms, one of the most significant being the spread and growth of toxic Blue Green Algae or “phytoplankton”

Images: wooden sewerage pipe from Stralsund. &
Portrait of William Lindley the designer of the first sewerage system in Stralsund, algae on paper.

Public Projects / Sustainability / Virtual Soil

10 Aug 2005
Free Soil at garage festival
For the Garage festival 09 Free Soil have conducted a site specific research project investigating the environment of the Baltic Sea.

We created an alternative archive of political and historical events that have occurred in the Baltic Sea region, especially Stralsund and linked these with the sea’s responses. The impact of Industrialisation, population growth and political changes has resulted in climatic and environmental changes recorded in the sea. Nature retaliates by creating new forms, one of the most significant being the spread and growth of toxic Blue Green Algae or “phytoplankton”

Images: wooden sewerage pipe from Stralsund. &
Portrait of William Lindley the designer of the first sewerage system in Stralsund, algae on paper.

Public Projects / Sustainability
21 Jul 2005
A project utilising ruins
Germany, And Other Central European Countries
In the tradition of art-squatting "prora.allinclusive" established a living and working platform for artists, designers and anarchitects that was temporarily installed in the vast debris of Prora in 2003.

Architecture / Public Projects
15 Jul 2005
US, Various Cities
Free Words
FREE WORDS is a book which belongs to whoever finds it. 2500 copies have been distributed worldwide.

Open Source Audio

Free Speech Monument

Free / Public Projects / Virtual Soil
11 Jul 2005
Europe, Various Cities
23 - 24 September 2005
URBAN SCREENS - An international Conference on discovering the potential
of outdoor screens for urban society.

To be held at Club 11, TPG Building, Oosterdokskade, Amsterdam.

Exhibitions / Public Projects
06 Jul 2005
A site for discussing new forms and functions of public art. It has a mailinglist on projects, events and publications related to participatory, interventionist and activist practices in public art.

From the site manifesto:
It is about experimental forms of organizing, which develop in precarious micro-situations for a limited period of time, testing new modes of self-organization and interplays with other experiments. The "organizing function" of art (Walter Benjamin) creates new spaces in the overlapping zones of art practices, political activism and theory production.

Articles / Organizations / Public Projects
30 Jun 2005
New York City Open Accessible Space Information System
US, New York
A community-based undertaking, local organizations design and test the first city wide, web-based, open space mapping resource for NYC.

Community Garden locator

Public Projects / Sustainability / Virtual Soil
29 Jun 2005
Open source cyclists information system in Berlin and Brandenburg
It's simple.! If you have up to date wheather information and detailed maps including altitude, ... you can also have a route-finder that takes wind direction and hills into account. How great is that.!
Test it through this web interface.

Free / Public Projects / Virtual Soil
08 Jun 2005
JUNE 17 - 26 2005

More than 200 artists and activists from all over Europe and the Mediterranean are expected to meet for an hybrid academy project: FADAIAT*// BORDERLINE ACADEMY will link practices of producing art, culture and technology with current debates on movements, mobility, migration and precarity.


Exhibitions / Public Projects
08 Jun 2005
US, Various Cities maps all the 'public fruit' planted on private property that overhangs public space. This project encourages people to harvest, plant and share public fruit. The project is a response to accelerating urbanization, as well as issues of grassroots community activism and social responsibility. The mission of the project is to expand the community and using Fruit maps, photos and essays to create an online, global public fruit resource.

Artists / Organizations / Public Projects / Sustainability
23 May 2005
Visualizing carbon monoxide levels in cities.
London, UK
Equator, an Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration, created a set of mobile sensors with incorporated GPS receivers to retrieve pollution data on a street basis in different locations. The results of the measurements for every specific area can be visualized in a 3D model.

Organizations / Public Projects
14 May 2005
New York's New Parkland: Lifescape
US, New York

Public Projects / Sustainability

11 May 2005
An exhibition and a tour...
San Francisco
Gardending Superfund Sites is an art project that fosters discourse around the issues of nature preservation, industry, and activism. Information and workshops with students and community groups to create a call to action to high tech industries to take responsibility for their actions.

Public Projects
29 Apr 2005
London, UK
The WEEE Man is made from the amount of waste electrical and electronic products that an average UK citizen – YOU – will throw away in YOUR lifetime, if YOU carry on disposing of products at the current rate. Currently most of these products go straight into landfill. From January 2006 manufactures & retailers will be responsible for recycling this waste under new EU legislation called the WEEE (Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment) Directive.

Education / Public Projects / Sustainability
19 Apr 2005
US, New York
Containing eleven custom-built circuit boards, a twelve-story data network, a personal computer running Linux, a radio-frequency video game controller, and over 10,000 Christmas lights, La Bastille transformed the Brown's fourteen-story Sciences Library into a giant game of Tetris.

Architecture / Public Projects
12 Apr 2005
Culture in Action
A Public Art Program of Sculpture Chicago
This book must be mentionned here, it was very important to me having little acces to information or publications about community art in late 90ties. It is dealing with a wider approach to public arts and community, where environmental and societal issues are dealt with together. The review by Eleanor Heartney is quite critical and sharp
read it here

Articles / Books / Public Projects
05 Apr 2005
Tower of Winds
by Toyo Ito
Toyo Ito's 1986 Tower of Winds in Yokohama, Japan transforms due to environmental changes such as noises and the speed and direction of the wind.
Interview here:

Architecture / Public Projects
05 Apr 2005
In “Urban_diary”, Berlin, Germany, 2001-2002.
Cellphone users could send messages via SMS technology to an ‘urban-diary’ that was projected onto a pair of screens located above the tracks at the Alexanderplatz station in Berlin.

Architecture / Artists / Public Projects
04 Apr 2005
Johannes Gees
Europe, Various Cities
During the World Economic Forum,a laser text display on the mountain side in Davos, Switzerland, allowed the projection of texts which might be read by otherwise unreachable corporate and political leaders, meeting in January of 2001. Texts were sent via sms or through email.

”A laser projector will beam your message (up to 160 characters) onto the mountain side overlooking Davos, so that it can be seen by the hundreds of journalists and thousands of politicians and business leaders attending the conference.”

More info at

Artists / Public Projects
04 Apr 2005
Chaos Computer Club
Germany, And Other Central European Countries
"Blinkenlights", Berlin, Germany, 2002.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Chaos Computer Club turned the famous "Haus des Lehrers" (house of the teacher) office building at Berlin Alexanderplatz into the world's biggest interactive computer display: Blinkenlights.

The upper eight floors of the building were transformed in to a huge display by arranging 144 lamps behind the building's front windows. A computer controlled each of the lamps independently to produce a monochrome matrix of 18 times 8 pixels.
During the night, a constantly growing number of animations could be seen. But there was an interactive component as well: you were able to play the old arcade classic Pong on the building using your mobile phone and you could place your own

More info at

Architecture / Public Projects
30 Mar 2005
Collaborative Practices in Environmental Art
by Grant Kester
A good overview of environmental art practices, same writer as "Conversation Pieces"
read article

Articles / Public Projects / Sustainability
30 Mar 2005
Agnes Denes
Wheatfield battery park
US, New York
An impressive projects, that puts urban gardening and farming into perspective, and some good photos
read more here

Artists / Public Projects / Sustainability
30 Mar 2005
Nils Norman
interview and links
Urbanist utopias and critisism with the art of Nils Norman
Interview by Knut Åsdam

Artists / Public Projects / Sustainability
27 Mar 2005
The artist group WochenKlausur develops concrete proposals aimed at small, but nevertheless effective improvements to socio-political deficiencies. Proceeding even further and invariably translating these proposals into action, artistic creativity is no longer seen as a formal act but as an intervention into society.

Some discussions are ongoing regarding their methodes and costs, this could be a nice discussion to develope

Artists / Public Projects
27 Mar 2005
Marjetica Potrc is a Ljubljana-based artist and architect.

Both micro objects and large scale urban interventions, wind energy and sustainable projects - a huge body of work

Artists / Public Projects / Sustainability
27 Mar 2005
Temporary Services + Mess Hall
US, Chicago
Temporary Services
Mess Hall

Artists / Free / Public Projects
27 Mar 2005
Artistic Interruptions
A long term public arts project, With quite a localized approach see examples in pop-down menu.

Public Projects
27 Mar 2005
US, Various Cities
A citizen-led conversion of an urban street interesection into public square

Public Projects / Sustainability
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The landscape of East Germany is scarred from the change in ideologies following the end of the Cold War.

In the aftermath of the ligni...
Joni T


nowHere, a space where a spot becomes a place.
15 march - 25 may, 2008

nowHere, is a cabinet which invokes a dialogue on re-appropriation of the private and public domain. Through personal tags and geographies (books, movies, music, websites, drawings, mappings, photocopies, art works, ... ) it reads as a 'certain' historical relation between human, space and technology.

bolwerK considers the constructed in-between space of architect C.Kieckens, within the art space, Z33, not as a sub-art space with a curatorial reading; a cabinet as 'museum' but as a space with a personal narrative and a social meaning embedded in a neighborhood. The active use of the space for living, eating, working, sleeping implies that the cabinet is more a 'room of collection', in a live, real-time situation.

During PLACE@SPACE Marthe Van Dessel will post live from Z33, as a guest contributor on Free Soil, to connect, publish and share her discourse
with the virtual open public resources of the net.

The the conceptualization of the space as 'ongoing', work-in-progress externalizes the precarity of information, issues of copyright, authorship, knowledge production and hierarchical information networks.
Link of the Week:  
Interview with Fritz Haeg by Nato Thompson

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