2PM The Urban Backstage: Collect Pond Park performance
Location: Starts at the southern end of Collect Pond Park
The first of three linked walking and talking performances about the city and its relationship to water.
Visit the place where Collect Pond used to be, and imagine the city when it was the primary source of fresh drinking water –and a place of leisure and escape.
2:45PM The Urban Backstage: Wreck Brook / East River Walk
Location: Starts at Foley Square
The second of three linked walking and talking performances about the city and its relationship to water. Walk the former site of the Old Wreck Brook from Foley Square to the East River, up to Pier 42, exploring the links between natural water systems and engineering systems.
4:30PM The Urban Backstage: CSO Theater
Location: Starts at the Pier 42 welcome tent
The last of three walking and talking performances about the city and its relationship to water.
Travel from Pier 42 to the East River Amphitheater where ideas about what’s hidden –under our city, and in ourselves– take to the stage.
Participating artists: Julie Kline, Elliott Maltby, Clarinda Mac Low, Jeremy Pickard, Shawn Shafner, Rachel Stevens.
The Urban Backstage activities are part of iLAB East River, a collaboration between Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and iLAND – interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art, Nature and Dance.
what will our walk be like?
Met at 100 Wall Street. Talked about upcoming May 9th public engagement. Walked from Wall Street along the East River to Corlears Hook and the [anus-like] amphitheater. Riffed off of water infrastructure, urban infrastructure, urban backstage and body infrastructure.
We discussed, a little bit, what we read in the chapter “Archaeology of the Parisian Underground” by Stephen W. Sawyer.
In his book Laboratory Life, Bruno Latour asks how it is possible to build a
‘bridge’ between the sciences and social experience. He then writes:
The word ‘bridge’ is not quite right … the social world cannot exist on one
side and the scientific world on the other because the scientific realm is merely
the end result of many other operations that are in the social realm. (13)
When applied to our contemporary urban experience in general and the underground in particular, Latour’s claim suggests that a certain self-consciousness may be necessary to apprehend key aspects of contemporary urban life – we must, at some level, think about ourselves thinking about the underground.
If we accept that the underground necessarily appears on the margins, covered
over in some way, that it thrives when it is hiding from our analytical gaze, then
I would like to suggest that the underground is a particularly useful analytical
field for investigating the self-reflexivity suggested above. The tension inherent
in the underground between presence and absence, overflow of expression and the void of a certain kind of mass presence, means that the underground must at some level remain outside of our grasp if it is to remain underground. These specific characteristics of the underground suggest that locating and analyzing it (or investigating and mapping the discourses on and around it) may provide a particularly strong insight into both the promise and limits of our contemporary understanding of cities.