On Saturday, July 28, we held the second public activation for [8x3]: ART + ARCHITECTURE this summer. This time around, a total of six teams and quite a few volunteers came to collaborate, each team being at different stages of the design and installation process.
After having a conversation about the future of OUR GREAT, GREAT WALL project, the team moved into their classroom (102) to reinstall the building bricks that were used during its first exhibition iteration, to see how they could better fit the current bricks into the new installation space, as well as to prototype possible ways in which the new, volunteer-activated building blocks could be integrated seamlessly with the rest of the installation.
Taking note of the gridded nature of the tiles on the classroom floor, the team decided to install the wall diagonally, disrupting the orthogonal alignment of the classroom, with one end beginning at the entrance of the classroom. Upon entering the space, the visitor would be confronted with both sides of the wall at once
The CHICAGO-XL team made good progress on both the tracking room and the map in the parking lot. Between activations, we had met up to finalize the design of the tracking room.
For the design of the tracking room (109), we chose to represent the South Side with neighborhood-shaped "islands" in the form of wooden tables, spaced out to provide a sense of exploration when visitors maneuver around them. The closed schools in the area would then be highlighted with an elevated light-box mounted onto these tables, at varying heights, according to how much they were sold for. As for the rest of the table surface, we printed out various articles having to do with the school closures, CPS, and the history of Anthony Overton, then began to weave strips of these articles across the surface of the neighborhood tables, creating a monochromatic and geometric informational collage.
We further improved on the map of Chicago by using a bright orange paint to highlight the South Side neighborhoods, creating a stronger connection to the Tracking Room installation, as well as the site-specificity of Overton Elementary in Bronzeville.
Magic Carpet // Concrete Playground, a team led by Ladipo Famodu, as well as Joseph Altshuler and Zack Morrison from Could Be Architecture, started workshopping their installation in their classroom (303) for the first time that day. This installation makes use of up-cycled carpet tiles and concrete cylinders to create an inhabitable game board where players can conjure memories and scheme the future.
The team from Before the Beginning, After the End, led by Ann Lui & Craig Reschke (Future Firm) and Suzie Shang also attended the activation to test their video installation. They chose to take over the library in Overton Elementary, rather than a standard classroom. Their videos mix archival footage from the South Side Home Movie Project with Future Firm's own renderings, that explores Overton Elementary's opening in 1963 to speculations of the distant future, 100 years from now.
There were two more teams that had begun their design process during the day of the activation - Soren Spicknall and Megan Krout, as well as Juliet Dervin. Soren and Megan lead the TECHQUITY team (112), an installation based on the ethos of civic tech, involving data from the City of Chicago's data portal, and also serving as a weekly meeting place for South Side Code & Coffee, as an effort to activate the building far beyond the scope of [8x3] itself. Juliet Dervin has begun to prototype and design a maze (111), with Anthony Overton at the center, involving visitors as either builders or finders, to collaboratively design a large maze and find a way through to the center.
-A Bronzeville resident
-An architect, designer or artist
-Curious about 8x3 Art + Architecture
-Or all of the above?
Come join us at the Former Anthony Overton School for our FINAL public activation on August 18, 2-6pm! Register here!
Also watch out for the celebration we are holding at the school on September 22, 4-9pm!
Check out the Creative Grounds website for more information. Refreshments will be provided!
See you next weekend!