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Please use this platform to share city events, just random questions about urban life, provide links to interesting city-related work...
I randomly came across this book doing research for something else, and I thought it had an element which could be related to what we are talking about in this class. The book is entitled, "Sport matters: sociological studies of sport, violence and civilization," by Eric Dunning. There are two chapters in particular that relate to what we are looking at: ch 3 "Sport in space and time: trajectories of state formation and the early development of modern sport," and ch 7 "sports crowd violence in North America." Chapter 7 is interesting because it discusses sport crowds as a ritual group sharing in a common participation of expectations and social norms which are unique from daily expectations and norms. Chapter 3 in particular is relevant to our topics, because sports represent a sort of spectacle (think Gladiators of Greece or Mayan Ball Game) in the ancient world. Anyway, worth checking out if anyone is interested! Here is a link to an online book preview which has the majority of these two chapters up. -Julia
New York, I Love You http://newyorkiloveyouthemovie.com/#/about-the-film
I do not know if this is going to be to the same standard as Paris, je t'aime - but I believe the idea is the same. In Paris, je t'aime each director created a short film which represented the tone of a different district of Paris. The unifying factor throughout the film is the city itself - the city is the main character, the stage upon which all these short moments and interactions occur. Paris, je t'aime is a really loveley movie and mirrors our discussions from the first few weeks of class really well. I highly recommend you watching it if you haven't already.
This is one of my favorite films from Paris je t'aime (http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=paris+%2c+je+t'aime&docid=1134246887425&mid=D02DDA76E4567DC9FC07D02DDA76E4567DC9FC07&FORM=VIVR4#)
And hopefully New York, I Love You will be a similar intriguing discussion of the city as an actor in our every day lives. It opens limited October 16th. -Julia
Inner City RISD Museum- September 25, 2009-January 3, 201
Inner City - an installation of more than 120 figurative and architectural ceramic elements by Arnie Zimmerman, one of the most significant contemporary artists working in ceramics today. The exhibition encapsulates the human condition: men are engaged in activities ranging from the grandest of feats to the repetitive aspects of the everyday, as they build buildings and carry out mundane chores. Are we destined to mark time and be doomed to endless Sisyphusian tasks or is there progress and achievement? Like the densely populated paintings of Breugel and Ensor, Zimmerman’s work is rooted in the myriad details of ordinary experience and at the same time it seems fantastical. His figures reflect ceramic traditions as much as they comment on contemporary urban life. Zimmerman received a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred. In 2005, he was awarded a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Fellowship. Inner City is a collaboration with the architect Tiago Montepegado, who designs the site-specific architectural framework for the ceramic sculpture. Previous versions of Inner City were shown in Europe at Museu da Electricidade in Lisbon (2007) and Princessehof Museum, Leeuwarden, the Netherlands (2008). Ana Viegas, Ratton Gallery, Lisbon, organized the initial presentation of Inner City at the Electricity Museum.
Posted at Sep 30/2009 05:59PM:
tess: Here are links to the installation/performance/"archaeological dig" on Governor's Island I mentioned:
Check it out: a UWashington graphics lab has created 3-d models of cities from tourist photos of that city:
The Secret World Beneath Sin City
An interesting link to a BBC news story about 'the secret world beneath Sin City': the two opposing cities which exist in Las Vegas. Very 'Invisible Cities'!
The Last Waterfire of the Season This Weekend:
We discussed earlier this semester how the Renaissance invention of perspective in art shaped the way that cities were depicted and designed. However, there is evidence that ancient Romans had some knowledge (though perhaps limited) of painting in perspective. This link is an image of a famous and almost complete fresco from Livia's garden. She was Augustus' wife, who was emperor from 27 BCE - 14 CE.
Notice the way the fence goes around behind the tree--clearly the Romans were using perspective in a basic way. Where did this skill get lost? Just an interesting cultural note from a Classics major...
Walk Like An Egyptian in NYC
Be a Flaneur, but also check out these cool Egyptian-inspired buildings along the way! The cemetaries are most impressive!
An activist Anti-Columbus day celebration with the many march bands. Oct 12, Monday. It was a lot of fun.
WEAK MONUMENTS / a topography of public murder in Thessaloniki- “Weak Monuments” is an exhibition prepared by the “Built Event group” with the ambition to describe a city out of some selected crimes that took place in its public space. Thessaloniki is marked by famous murders; it is also an ordinary modern town where a lot of "insignificant" criminal acts take place. The aim of this Built Event's show is to pose the question of murder in an urban scale: a city is shaped as a layering of receiving, recording and placing its murders. The term "κτιστό συμβάν" (ktisto symban = "built event") describes a particular (theoretical or practical) "area" which fades away between a procedure and the procedure’s traces: a built procedure, its theatrical preparation, a work of tracing, and some random resultant traces.
Duration: October 17-Novemebr 18, 2009
Contributors: Aristide Antonas , Alexios Dallas , Philippos Oraiopoulos
Providence Ghost Tour
Something to do for Halloween if you are so inclined, a group of us went the other night and it was a lot of fun, its a mixture of performance (Lizzie Borden showed up, hatchet and all!) and storytelling, and it definitely gets you out and about the city of Providence, and you get to learn a lot about local legends in the process.
The City at Hallowe'en
In honour of the spooky time of year, here's an extract from a book I've been reading (The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman: technically it's a book for kids but I highly recommend it):
Bod (Short for 'Nobody') is an orphan who is being brought up by the ghosts and other residents of a graveyard after his parents have been killed. A graveyard can be a dangerous place for a child, though, and here Bod has been captured by ghouls who wish to take him to their city and make him one of them...
'Bod looked up at the city, and was horrified: an emotion engulfed him that mingled repulsion and fear, disgust and loathing, all tinged with shock.
Ghouls do not build. They are parasites and scavengers, eaters of carrion. The city they call Ghulheim is something they found, long ago, but did not make. No one knows (if any human ever knew) what kind of creatures it was that made those buildings, who honeycombed the rock with tunnels and towers, but it is certain that no one but the ghoul-folk could have wanted to stay there, or even to approach that place.
Even from the path below Ghulheim, even from miles away, Bod could see that all of the angles were wrong- that the walls sloped crazily, that it was every nightmare he had ever endured made into a place, like a huge mouth of jutting teeth. It was a city that had been built just to be abandoned, in which all the fears and madnesses and revulsions of the creatures who built it were made into stone. The ghoul-folk had found it and delighted in it and called it home.'
And if you want to find out whether Bod ever escapes the ghouls' clutches, you'll just have to read the book and find out...!
Posted at Nov 04/2009 05:54PM:
maybe not so much related to cities, but certainly issues of preservation, heritage and new technologies interacting with archaeology
Posted at Nov 07/2009 01:05PM:
sarah: Check out this reader's photo gallery of the fall of the Berlin Wall...perhaps the ultimate modern example of ideologies playing out in a city landscape:
An interesting take on how cities change through time, and a comparison of cities on different continents, from an 83 year old travel writer:
The City of Venice Throws a Funeral
"A dozen gondolas snaked down the Grand Canal on Saturday in a mock funeral procession bemoaning Venice's approach to the dreaded status of living museum, with a population now below 60,000."