NO CAPTION NEEDED
ICONIC PHOTOGRAPHS, PUBLIC CULTURE, AND LIBERAL DEMOCRACY

No Caption Needed is a book and a blog, each dedicated to discussion of the role that photojournalism and other visual practices play in a vital democratic society. No caption needed, but many are provided. . . .

May 23rd, 2008

BUILT: Naming, Acting, and the Changing City

Posted by Lucaites in built

BUILT explores the changing city in the US and the challenges that will affect housing, infrastructure, neighborhood cohesion, and equity in the coming years. BUILT is a series of research, installation, dialogue, interview, and performance events of varied scale, including the opportunity for public conversation offered at this blog.

This week we celebrate the culmination of academic and public discussion in other forms of cultural performance. For those in the Chicago area, don’t miss the second image below. The first image is for any reader near or far who wants to play a name game. The image outlines a simple game. The game is named BUILT, but let’s pretend that is not going to sell. Another name is needed–one that will both capture the public imagination and communicate the idea of citizen participation in urban development. Now, conjure a name for the game.

Or, if the name alone isn’t going to do the trick, suggest changes that ought to be made in the game: What steps should be added or skipped? Should the visual design be altered or changed completely? How do we imagine change or development or getting people involved in making decisions about the urban fabric?

And if you have the opportunity, you might want to continue the conversation here:

BUILT is a performance/civic dialogue project and a collaboration of Northwesten University’s Theater Department & Portland, Oregon’s Sojourn Theatre, led by visiting artist Michael Rohd.

May 16th, 2008

BUILT: Why Can't Bikes and Cities Just Get Along?

Posted by Hariman in built

BUILT explores the changing city in the US and the challenges that will affect housing, infrastructure, neighborhood cohesion, and equity in the coming years. BUILT is a series of research, installation, dialogue, interview, and performance events of varied scale, including the opportunity for public conversation offered at this blog.

This week’s discussion begins with this photograph:

 

 

City of Portland transportation workers install a new bike box at the corner of SE 7th Ave. and SE Hawthorne Blvd. made of thermal plastic and sealed onto the road with propane torches

Bike box and automotive thoroughfare: accommodation or tokenism? Cooptation or change?

Sign and reality, sign and system: what happens when public space becomes public signage?

BUILT is a performance/civic dialogue project and a collaboration of Northwesten University’s Theater Department & Portland, Oregon’s Sojourn Theatre, led by visiting artist Michael Rohd.

May 9th, 2008

BUILT: Dinner in the Sky

Posted by Hariman in built

BUILT explores the changing city in the US and the challenges that will affect housing, infrastructure, neighborhood cohesion, and equity in the coming years. BUILT is a series of research, installation, dialogue, interview, and performance events of varied scale, including the opportunity for public conversation offered at this blog.

This week’s post focuses on a photograph from Dinner in the Sky:

dinner-in-the-sky.jpg

“Dinner in the Sky is hosted at a table suspended at a height of 50 metres, by a team of professionals.”

One might speculate about the dinner conversation that occurs while floating above the rooftops. Are they talking about the relationships between luxury, space, and democracy?

Do they ask, how much privilege can you purchase before you feel complicit in others’ lack of privilege?

What do you see? Harmless pleasure or a fantasy of escape? Want a seat?

BUILT is a performance/civic dialogue project and a collaboration of Northwesten University’s Theater Department & Portland, Oregon’s Sojourn Theatre, led by visiting artist Michael Rohd.

May 2nd, 2008

BUILT: Section 8 Made Simple

Posted by Hariman in built

BUILT explores the changing city in the US and the challenges that will affect housing, infrastructure, neighborhood cohesion, and equity in the coming years. BUILT is a series of research, installation, dialogue, interview, and performance events of varied scale, including the opportunity for public conversation offered at this blog.

This week’s post focuses on the cover of a book by a firm in Texas:

real-estate-cover.jpg

From inside the cover:

 

“The Section 8 program is a truly public-private relationship that serves the needs of low-income families by providing safe, quality housing opportunities using public funds for financial assistance. Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) manage the Section 8 program within specific geographic areas, and they represent the public side of the public-private relationship. The private side of the relationship is made up of real estate investors who profit by making their investment properties available to the Section 8 program.

As you will see, savy real estate investors reap many benefits from the Section 8 program that others who invest in real estate miss completely. This includes on-time rent collection, long-term tenants, shorter vacancy times, and at market or above market rents. But investors who participate in the Section 8 program get an added benefit that doesn’t relate to the bottom line – they are helping to serve the public interests by providing housing to those less fortunate.

Given all these benefits, the natural question that comes to mind is “Why don’t all real estate investors participate in Section 8?” Why indeed.

Once a new investor said to me, “I can do what you do and save money.” I said, “Exactly! I want you to be able to do what I do. That way, more Section 8 clients will have a decent place to live. However”, I also told him, “if you ever find yourself in legal trouble would you represent yourself, or have an attorney represent you? And if you chose to represent yourself, do you know how to properly defend yourself?”

If you are serious about your investments I would urge you to seek professional representation to ensure you are getting the most out of your investment and to reduce the time that you must invest in each property.

Having said that, this book will give you some tips on how to not only defend yourself, but will show you how to work within the Section 8 program to save you time and a lot of frustration.

Buy the book – Learn the process – Make a difference for yourself and your community!

$24.95

One might ask, What exactly is this book selling? How is it selling it?

BUILT is a performance/civic dialogue project and a collaboration of Northwesten University’s Theater Department & Portland, Oregon’s Sojourn Theatre, led by visiting artist Michael Rohd.

April 25th, 2008

BUILT: Huddled Masses, Living Here?

Posted by Hariman in built

BUILT explores the changing city in the US and the challenges that will affect housing, infrastructure, neighborhood cohesion, and equity in the coming years. BUILT is a series of research, installation, dialogue, interview, and performance events of varied scale, including the opportunity for public conversation offered at this blog.

In the coming years, the population of the US will continue to expand with increasing concentration in urban areas. There is no one plan for how that will happen. Where will we live? Will we be thoughtful about that? Can we imagine better cities, neighborhoods, and homes? Will we act to achieve that vision?

And who will be involved? As before, we begin with a photograph:

immigration-march.jpg

In the BUILT process, we’ve been working around notions of place, power, ownership, and voice. This photo of Chicago residents marching in last year’s national immigration rally foregrounds the role of democratic dissent in urban life. It poses a deeper question as well, one regarding national history (whether in the US or elsewhere): how do we, and how have we, shared space? What factors determine, influence, and establish the right to inhabit space–to claim and name a place?

BUILT is a performance/civic dialogue project and a collaboration of Northwesten University’s Theater Department & Portland, Oregon’s Sojourn Theatre, led by visiting artist Michael Rohd.

Photograph by Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press. The full text of the poem alluded to in the title of this post is available here.

April 18th, 2008

BUILT: Taking a Whack at Gentrification

Posted by Hariman in built

Today we introduce a new series at NCN that will run on Fridays for about a month. BUILT explores the changing city in the US and the challenges that will affect housing, infrastructure, neighborhood cohesion, and equity in the coming years. BUILT is a series of research, installation, dialogue, interview, and performance events of varied scale, including the opportunity for public conversation offered at this blog.

In the coming years, the population of the US will continue to expand with increasing concentration in urban areas. There is no one plan for how that will happen. Where will we live? Will we be thoughtful about that? Can we imagine better cities, neighborhoods, and homes? Will we act to achieve that vision?

NCN is happy to provide a space for public discussion about how to shape the built environment for equitable, sustainable, and creative civic association. Of course, we think that a photograph is a fine way to get a conversation going. Photographs such as this one:

gentrificationpinata.jpg

Several questions come to mind: How do we (and how should we) teach children ideologies of place? What does this image say about the “side effects” of gentrification? What perspectives on gentrification are excluded by this image? Does it point toward a better alternative?

BUILT is a performance/civic dialogue project and a collaboration of Northwesten University’s Theater Department & Portland, Oregon’s Sojourn Theatre, led by visiting artist Michael Rohd.

Photograph by R.J. Maccani.

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