About Design Dialogues
LETTERS & ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
what is a living arts city??
Art provokes thought. It challenges our perception, every day. Art also disguises itself. Defining art is totally impractical. Impossible really! It's fluid. Same goes for a city. Cities expand, contract, collapse...expand, contract, collapse...and so on. As cities change, people change.
08 27 10 AM
Living arts cities don't have a single author or artist. Different people with different of perspectives create change at different of scales.
08 27 50 AM
08 29 03 AM PJ
I like the idea of the inhabitants as the artists. Like different artworks, different cities have their own charms.
08 33 20 AM
Your project takes advantage of what's already there–an existing charm.
08 34 44 AM
It’s funny, I didn’t think of the train as a design device until I began commuting to the Bronx.
It was hard to come up with ideas at the beginning of the project. I was too busy trying to understand the Bronx.
08 38 57 AM
It has a completely different vibe to the other parts of NY...plus the energy of the artists was invisible to me. I was happy when I found my device—the train.
08 40 23 AM
You've transformed a train ride into a performance! Do you think a living arts city needs an individual to initiate a project? R u that person? R u the artist?
08 41 58 AM
I think every project is stronger & more sustainable if the artist or artists know the environment & how it operates. But that doesn’t mean that an outsider doesn’t have something fresh to offer. I mean, we were visitors!
08 42 55 AM
How do you see it?
08 47 19 AM
NY's art scene seems more vibrant than Bangkok's. It's alive! There's always a festival, pop-up, or something-or-other happening. And there's so many opportunities for mixing diverse groups of people together, part of what I love about the city.
08 48 01 AM
And the subway! It makes life soo much easier. Think it’s the people?
08 58 34 AM
Partly. But NYC is designed for collisions at every corner.
08 59 39 AM
Yeah. The action is at intersections. are where the action is at. People are swarm in every direction.
09 00 11 AM
Yeah, exactly. I love how everything happens all at once, particularly public events. I don’t think it’s too different from Bangkok in that sense, you know. Both are very very chaotic & complicated.
Art is part of the diet in NYC. Artists have a huge influence on everyday life. Not only through their work but their entire culture. Think about it. Consider the loft. It’s everywhere.
09 02 07 AM
NYC & Bangkok have entirely different urban forms, which effect the consumption of art.
But NYC’s grid is an ordering device—it sorts artspace. In Bangkok, everything is everywhere; no street or artspace is similar to another.
09 03 25 AM
I think what makes me <3 NYC most is walking. I walk everywhere: to school,
home, the market...I love seeing people & interacting with them, most of all, strangers.
09 03 55 AM
Man, if I did that here, in Bangkok, people would think I was a lunatic, or worse.
09 05 29 AM
Ur right! I love how spontaneous I can be here. Anytime! All the time!
09 10 25 AM
...that makes the city this alive?
09 11 29 AM
Definitely. Everyone's a visitor. But inevitably there’s at least a few places amongst the millions where you can feel as though you belong.
09 12 05 AM
People swarm from all the directions. In New York, I feel involved, in Europe I feel invisible.
09 13 44 AM
What about Phnom Phen?
09 15 50 AM
The interactions are not as explicit.
09 18 10 AM
After our workshop at SasaBassac, I felt the city had a rebellious vibe.
09 25 43 AM
09 26 39 AM
The artists were activists.
09 26 59 AM
Becoming a living arts city is a cyclical process.
09 27 05 AM
09 27 16 AM
Cities affect art & art affects cities... & how they grow.
09 28 48 AM
09 29 39 AM
Artwork can deal with banal scenes. Take Lina’s photos. Each fence, tracks urban change. The works are exhibited internationally. Is this enough? Does it change anything? Maybe. Maybe it starts a discussion about development? Maybe that conversation helps transform the city?
09 37 50 AM
Samnang portrays his thoughts through his performances. This act becomes more rigorous because the context & the content of the act were the result of Phnom Penh's transformation. His performance of pouring the sand over his head is, in my interpretation, a critique of capitalism’s exploitation of natural resources. Samnang’s art directly and indirectly communicates the complexities of this issue.
09 40 48 AM
NYC & Phnom Penh are both walkable, compared to Bangkok. I like the charm of Phnom Phen’s scale; the roads are intimate enough for walking.
09 51 49 AM
In Bangkok, we’re in the middle—some roads function like conveyor belts, others provide space for eating, drinking, shopping, etc...
Now, thinking about Samnang & his work, I see rapid change—roads, high-rises, & soon the demolition of Olympic Stadium.
09 55 01 AM
Phnom Penh & Bangkok are pretty chaotic compared to NYC. I don’t think I get lost as much in NYC as in Bangkok.
10 01 05 AM
Right, in Bangkok, chaos can produce another kind of charm. I love it!
10 05 32 AM
Consider Kaosarn Road. it is a nightclub area that is very close to many sacred temples and a prestigious university.
It’d be interesting to see how a living arts city might take shape in Bangkok.
10 10 46 AM
Yes! Let's make it happen. But I have to head home now. I’m in a coffee shop.
Gotta run. bhs
10 11 05 AM
Bangkok's traffic is horrendous at this hour. C u when I get home.
This is why I miss New York subway! Argh! c u
10 12 32 AM
k c u