School of Art, Media, and Technology

Living Concrete/Carrot City Exhibition

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October 1–December 15, 2010
Opening Reception: September 30, 2010, 6:30–8:30 pm
Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery

Living Concrete/Carrot City is an exhibition of creative and research projects that demonstrate the possibilities of urban agriculture. The exhibition links sociologist Thomas Lyson’s coinage “civic agriculture” to Joseph Beuys’s influential formulation of social transformation and individual creativity, “social sculpture.” It argues that everyday practices of food production and distribution in cities, the actions of ordinary people in local neighborhoods, register as quiet but persistent challenges to the agro-industrial complex.

Living Concrete is a cross-institutional dialogue with Carrot City: Designing for Urban Agriculture, an initiative of the Department of Architectural Sciences at Ryerson University in Toronto curated by Mark Gorgolewski, June Komisar and Joe Nasr. Carrot City demonstrates how increasing public interest in agriculture, food supply, and food security is influencing urban design and how design can facilitate a more robust urban food system. This wide-ranging survey of Canadian and American cases examines projects at multiple scales – the city, community and knowledge-building, home and rooftop projects, and a range of products.

Living Concrete showcases design interventions and pedagogy that reconnect people and food production while transforming neighborhood livability, public health, and the environment. Faculty and students at Parsons, Eugene Lang College, and across the New School, who are engaged in mapping urban food and water systems in New York and with social innovation and design interventions, are collaborating in this experimental installation. Maps, interactive websites, garden logs, videos, and models, some specifically generated for the show, explore the relationship of urban agriculture initiatives to their local communities and examine the potential and impact of design interventions.

Living Concrete is intended to be a platform for discussion rather than a mere exhibition. Central to the concept is a space for public pedagogy that can engage urban farmers, community initiatives and innovations, and designers and artists from New York and all over the USA and Canada. Every Wednesday, public panels in the gallery address such topics as urban agriculture and social change, media advocacy, creative action, and role of the university. See the program schedule.

Living Concrete is co-curated by Nevin Cohen and Radhika Subramaniam.

Living Concrete/Carrot City is sponsored by Eugene Lang College and made possible, in part, by the generous support of the Mellon Foundation. Additional support has been given by the New School Green Fund and the Office of the Provost Academic Events Fund. The School of Art Media and Technology at Parsons has provided generous in-kind support.

Live streaming of the panels is made possible by Streaming Culture, a research initiative of Victoria Vesna, Director of Research, School of Art Media and Technology.

Download the Sustainable Food Guide: The Lower East Side (Adobe PDF)

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