On September 24, don’t miss an opportunity to tour Red Lines: Housing Crisis Learning Center with the artist who conceived and designed the exhibit, Damon Rich, and with Queens Museum curator Larissa Harris. The tour, presented by the Architectural League, will be at 3:30 p.m. at the Queens Museum of Art.
Rich wears many hats. He is the founder of Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) – which uses participatory design practice to create curricular and extra-curricular projects to teach students and adults about places and how they change. He’s the the chief urban designer for the city of Newark. And as an artist, his work is included in Experimental Geography and has been exhibited internationally at venues including the Storefront for Art and Architecture and SculptureCenter (New York City), the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst (Liepzig), Netherlands Architecture Institute (Rotterdam), and the 2008 Venice Biennale.
Red Lines grows out of an installation Rich made while artist-in-residence at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT. It also draws on many of the themes Rich addressed when he lectured at the Architectural League during our Reimagining Risk thematic series of public programs in 2007-08.
Curator Larissa Harris brought the show from Cambridge to Queens, and is delighted to be using the Panorama as it was originally intended, as an interpretive device to advance our understanding of the city:
According to Patricia Cohen of the New York Times:
The museum’s director, Tom Finkelpearl, suggested that Mr. Rich use the Panorama. When first built, the Panorama was supposed to simulate the sense of a helicopter ride over New York. Where the walkway now stands, helicopter-shaped cars on elevated tracks gave visitors a nine-minute tour.
“This was built as an urban planning tool,” Ms. Harris said of the Panorama. “I feel so proud of this because we are using it that way.”
Rich uses the museum’s Panorama to map the homes filed for foreclosure during 2008, drawing attention to entire neighborhoods devastated throughout the city. For each city block with more than three foreclosures in 2008, Rich has placed a fluorescent pink triangle on the model. What results is a view of the city with a wide swath of foreclosures cutting through the predominantly African‐American and Latino neighborhoods of Queens and Brooklyn.
Nick Anderson is Program Associate at the Architectural League of New York. He lives in Brooklyn.