S10 NYC ITINERARY 01 | TYPOLOGIES in TRANSIT(ion)

4 06 2010

self-guided S10 NYC ITINERARY 2 return to the MORGAN LIBRARY in manhattan over this weekend/week to visit PALLADIO and HIS LEGACY. click on the image at left to access the morgan library web site.

S10 NYC ITINERARY 2 follows S10 NYC ITINERARY 1 by expanding the range of italian typologies in their anglo/american manifestations.  as we saw repeatedly on tuesday’s walk around manhattan, classical + renaissance models of urban spaces + buildings were repeatedly invoked by architects + planners in the 19th + early 20th centuries, even as those models were utterly transformed programmatically.

assignment see EWR ITINERARIES + ASSIGNMENTS page before you visit the morgan for the related assignment  S10 EWR HG PRECEDENT assignment 01 DUE 14JUN10 revised DUE 21JUN10.


self-guided check out the KEY to the CITY web site by clicking the logo.  visit the project’s kiosk in TIMES SQUARE.

assignment write a 200-word review of the project in a comment to this post> due 08 JUN 2010!

For centuries, the key to the city has been used to honor a city’s heroes and visiting dignitaries. Now, artist Paul Ramírez Jonas has created a Key to the City that is not only a symbolic award, but also a functional key—opening spaces across all five boroughs of New York City. This Key to the City is intended for everyday citizens, who will award one another the key for reasons large and small. Once in hand, the key launches a citywide exploration of back doors, front gates, community gardens, graveyards, and museums that suggests that the city is a series of spaces that are either locked or unlocked.


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29 responses

7 09 2010
13 06 2010
Adam Lasota

Although late on the entry, I wanted to truly experience the ceremony and not just bullshit a response. Sorry for the tardiness but here is my honest review.

“Must an artwork have a single author? If we can all participate, who made this artwork?” This quote was just one of many that lined the cue while waiting for the ceremony for the exchanging of keys. Yet this one stood out the most because what really dictates the author to the work of art, the person who creates the work or the people who experience the emotion. What is art without other people to view and experience the piece? Paul Ramirez’ Key to the City completes this task of giving the power to the viewer while also giving people the chance to experience New York City’s hidden “wonders.”

The Key to the city creates a great way to bring more people to important landmarks of New York City, yet is another tool to help bring more tourism and revenue to the city. This concept for the key to the city is not the first exhibit, especially with Ramirez himself. But the first hand experience was what made this event special as apposed to something cool you read about. Standing on an approx 1’-6” high elevated platform layered with artificial turf and a railing encasing the podium in the middle of time square, I felt elevated and attention centered. I witnessed that many people either loved the feeling of being at attention (I certainly did) or others were highly embarrassed from being in the limelight. Nevertheless, Ramirez brings you power by enveloping you within the city, while giving you the key to unlock its secrets.

12 06 2010
caiomoretti

;) Shout out to my peeps in the studios

According to the representatives from CreativeTime, this project is a play on the idea of granting a symbol of superior status to any one and as many as possible; And with that play, generate a catalyst for interesting behavior to occur in respect to how civilians treat places that appeal. The notion of introducing a new exception to the barriers of the city sounds promising and exciting, until one discovers that it is limited to a mere handful of preselected sites. So a ceremony is performed to involve the participant into the spirit of the phenomenon. But it’s still a challenge and you take the key with a promise of exploration. This project gains its significance however, when it is “bestowed” upon thousands of potential participants. The implication of this “interesting behavior” manifesting itself by a large number of people suddenly becomes powerful enough to challenge the preconceived ideas of publicness and its opposite as crowds flush into museums, rooftops, parks, etc; to play part in controlling the city for a little bit.
But ultimately one can say that the city is all of us, which means that we as a membrane of inhabitants and users display a restless exploitation of its porosity and privacy every day. I believe the “key” to the city has been with us the whole time, but the way we perceive granted access has allowed it to be blurred and eventually disabled us from seeing it that way.
Although at first it seems like a project with much intent, but little yield in terms of how much access a civilian actually gains. The success is achieved in allowing, not access, but exposure to your everyday person. It breaks the barrier of involvement, which is what separates someone to run into access or to look for access in some of the proposed places. The key as a symbol of granted privilege, a virus that eliminates the conditional barriers reveals that the public realm can be suddenly altered if the public itself decides to use it differently. So ironically, it is in fact the public who decides what public is and not beings of superior authority. And that tells me that the city as an organism is able to balance itself out, much like the economies in the world do.

12 06 2010
Ian Siegel

The project in a nutshell Paul Ramírez Jonas sets out to grant accessibility to specific parts of the city to participants in the form of a key, allowing privileged passage into areas that are off-limits to the common person. Participants are intended to contemplate and, as a result, more clearly perceive the city as an organic series of open and closed – public and private – spaces, depending on one’s privileges.

My favorite part of the passport that comes included with the key is the caption under the title for P.S. 73 – “The P stands for ‘public.’ ” I consider this evidence that the artist truly sets out to challenge the participant to consider the definition of public, and anyone’s ability to enter a ‘public’ space. The project not only grants privileged accessibility to private spaces, but gives average people a reason to occupy and think about public spaces they likely would not visit without intent.

One single person often has access to a very limited number of the private spaces within the city. To grant access to so multiple private zones – to open so much of the city that was once closed – at one time is awarded as a privilege, hence the ceremony in reference to the symbolic Key to the City award.

9 06 2010
Jill DeBari

Key to the City

After signing the very official contract book and being bestowed my sacred key to the city under a tent in the middle of Times Square, I grew enlightened and empowered. (I hope my sarcasm is detectable.) It all seemed rather formulated, unnatural. The suggestion that in order to earn a key, one must come up with a reason, which in reality could be anything or nothing: “for being a good friend”. It all seemed rather elementary. I suppose I was expecting more of an experience, so to speak. While somewhat amusing and fun, the process of bestowal was lost on me.

I proceeded on to visit two of the sites, both of which left me searching for an intellectual/spiritual/artistic/momentous reaction, none of which I had. In Bryant Park, I turned on a light, and while my four-year old nephew would find that just thrilling, I shrugged, locked the box and headed uptown. Upon arrival to the Whitney, I turned the corner to the coat check and faced my next lock: a wooden box which opened to lie flat and expose a model and drawings representing the new Whitney Museum which is expected to open in 2015. I scrunched my eyebrows close to my eyes, pursed my lips and put on my thinking cap—here I was at the Whitney, gazing down at what seemed suspiciously like an advertisement for the Whitney. Could this be some sort of marketing strategy, one where an exchange of money is involved? I don’t know, but either way, there was a flatness to my Whitney experience, not unlike my Bryant Park visit.

Perhaps my cynicism and skepticism is a result of an incomplete experience. Maybe after visiting some of the other sites included in the key to the city landscape, I will become more in touch with Paul Ramirez Jonas’s intentions. I never emotionally encountered the trust, access and belonging which the key was to deliver. The dichotomy between the supposed intimate exchange of the key and the bustle of exploring the large city were too disconnected. These two scales were never linked and resolved. While a fun activity for a nice day, the Key to the City did not impact me on any sub-superficial level…and I searched.

8 06 2010
Chris Tarantino

Paul Ramirez Jonas’ Key to the City project introduces New York City locks to the public. The art piece reinforces the fact that the city is locked and that to unlock parts of the city, one has to be special because keys are not given out freely. The project is about having a public (those who know about the art piece) and the winnowing of that public down to a group of people who can unlock locks by going through the process of getting a key.

Perhaps people with the keys to the city in this case are not more free than the general public but slaves to an art piece or slaves to a coupon (some keys unlock discounts at establishments). Is one freer with or without keys? Ultimately having a key means potential access to the city coupled with a desire to unlock something and subsequently lock it back up again. Although the locks are dispersed through the five boroughs the key to the city unlocks Jonas’ museum door. To access facets of Jonas’ piece one does not need a key. Being without locks and keys is more liberating compared to the power of access to a prison cell. This too is a part of Jonas’ piece.

8 06 2010
Edwin

Key To The City
The key to the city I felt was a good project that deals directly with people. It allows those who posses it to gain access to specified areas. While the areas vary in size from a bulletin board at ps73 to a locked room at the Louis Armstrong house, the idea of access is prevalent. The ones I felt was worth looking at were the ones that opened a locked door or gate. One in particular that caught my attention was at the point community development corporation. The description read “enter through the metal door. Walk diagonally to the right across the open space, towards a small brick building with a green shed. Your key will unlock the rusted metal door in the brick house”. I really want to get in that shed. I think to myself these spaces would go so unnoticed if not fo this project. But why was this space chosen? Is there anything in the shed. Maybe a homeless person. Maybe I could live there. It felt like having access towards a personal storage place. I only will know once I go.

8 06 2010
Adam Rapciewicz

KEY TO THE CITY – KEY TO OUR HEARTS

The key to the city, a key to a place, a key to a moment, a key for your memories are all subjects in this art project that Paul Ramirez Jones wants us to explore. But we wonder, why us, what is the key symbolizes about ourselves. The key does not only represent a city, it represents all the spaces within it, not only does the key open up specific sites, but it can also make us aware that the city is a series of spaces that are locked or unlocked.

The key is a grand tool that we use to experience at each location to be unique, the key provides access to specific rooms and sometimes it provides the chance to visit a building or neighborhood we’ve never seen, allowing us to see and appreciate the space in a totally different manner.

The key in its right becomes symbolic, it is a treasure that is given from one person to the next, for reasons that deserve to be recognized, no longer are high ranking dignitaries only allowed this prestige, but the new key to the city belongs to us, and is awarded among ourselves. Instead of single individuals being majestically honored, thousands upon thousands of hard working citizens who walk among us will be recognized for the efforts they put forth every day. It allows us to say, “I am the holder of the Key to the City,” not through being distinguished but because we respect and honor those around us.

8 06 2010
Tim Madrid

The “Key to the City” installation by Paul Ramirez fulfills its genuine intent in serving the public. Long thought of as a momentous occasion received only be a select worthy few, keys to the city are given to the public from the native resident to loud boisterous tourist with broken English to the obnoxious NJIT student wreaking havoc in the city.

The act of receiving the key however is diminutive in comparison to the exploration the key offers. This is proven in the trivial and sometimes inane reasoning for bestowing a key to either a friend or complete stranger. The available lock boxes challenge key holders to explore “public” space which range from the most densely populated park per square foot in Bryant Park to a staff guided room in a Queens eatery. Each location then becomes an open forum, a opportunity to leave an exclamation of “I was here” whether it be through random messages scribbled on torn scrap paper to business cards to what may or may not be my graffiti scrawled on post office stickers and pasted on at each location.

8 06 2010
daveflorez

Paul Ramirez Jonas’s Key to the City shows art as an experience rather than a tangible piece. This experience consists of series of events which its goal is to rediscover the identity of the city. The series of events starts at the civic level when the keys are exchanged in a ceremony that unites two or more people to the city through the use of this key. This is an important first step as those who receive the key feel an obligation to become more aware of their surroundings and a greater sense of belongingness to the city. Then follows the scavenger hunt in which the users, with map in hands, go about to pre specified locations that are locked in order to unlock them with their key. In doing so, this experience allows users to see and learn about distinct characteristics of the city that may have been ignored and change or complement their feelings and knowledge of their surroundings.
Ramirez Jonas plays the role of the urban planner as his choices of the sites throughout the five boroughs of New York are key elements of a mapping exercise which dictate the movement of users throughout the city. The privacy of the locked areas are openly and willingly violated given the importance of ceremony when a key is received. This promotion of allowing a private space to be unlocked and turned into a public spectacle blurs the meaning of what is a private and public as anyone can access these locked spaces but only those who are part of Ramirez Jonas’ piece have the means to turn it into a public space.

8 06 2010
RJ "DUB"

All art starts from an initial intention from the artist, depicted through imagery, physical form, plays, etc. The mastermind behind the piece of work displays opinion, suggestion, or question through their “syntax” of media. The conventional artist displays an exhibit dealt solely on an object as the center of attention, for instance a painting or sculpture, where people focus inward. Paul Ramirez Jonas, differs from the conventional artist and wishes to have his art being something non tangible, an event, that has the viewer looking outward instead of inward. “Key to the City” is an interactive-art masterpiece envisioned by Jonas demonstrated throughout the five boroughs of NYC. Essentially all participants receive a key to specific destinations scattered throughout the city in hope for discovery, learning experiences, and social interaction. The intentions behind the event is to give the average resident / visitor a chance to have access to the city that typically would not be granted to them at any other time. This event allows people to step away from their routine travel and discover places and instances with guidance and direction. Through this excitement and desire to discover, many experiences, stories, and possible relationships will result. Participants are highly encouraged to document their travels through diary entry, photography, sketching, etc. and this will eventually create a collage of words and images for everyone to view. This potential success or failure for this work of art depends on the participants and their passion for discovery and recording; without us there is no art. (In addition, this exercise is a brilliant economic revival simply because people are willing to come in from all places, using transportation more frequently, keeping the visitors in the city for longer periods of time, resulting in more purchasing of transportation tickets, food, drink, apparel, etc. . . this is a very clever idea . . kudos Paul)

8 06 2010
Jennifer Mortensen

The fascinating part about the “Key to the City” project is that most people become part of the art before they even know what the event is about or that the event is actually art. As the line continues to grow in Times Square, more and more people get involved in the piece. Bystanders ask strangers in line, “What is this? What is this all about?” Even better than the getting the “key” to the city – they get the “scoop” on what is going on in the city. Paul Ramírez Jonas creates hundreds and thousands of great city moments where friends and strangers can experience the unknown together. The art piece continues not only with the turn of the key but through the word of mouth. A scavenger hunt for adults quickly becomes a lesson in socialization.

I met Katrina Daniels in line. Within moments, we exchanged stories about trips to Italy and laughed about how the people-watching was always amazing in Times Square. During a few short minutes in line, we bestowed the “key to the city” to each other even before we reached that grassy platform. Anyone who believes that people in New York are unfriendly… just watch the line in Times Square or stand by the lamppost in Bryant Park. The “key to the city” is maybe breaking the ice and that little piece of metal is a great start.

8 06 2010
Moe Elsayed

‘Key to Vandalism’

Paul Ramirez Jonas’ ‘Key to the City’ proposes an intriguing proposition, by giving away thousands of key with the ability to give access to places and objects within the five boroughs , it begs the question for anyone in possession of the key “what will I do with this freedom ?”. The key exudes the sense of freedom directly from its purpose of allowing obstacles, i.e. locks, to be removed from one’s path therefore allowing a person to continue through space in any direction and manner unimpeded. This can be an awarding experience, one that provides for some interesting interactions with everyday spaces and objects that one may have never been able to experience if not for the key. Though I think that it was the artist intention for everyone in possession of the key to share this awarding experience, in reality the key for me gave me reasons to go to places and break through more obstacles that were in my way in order to achieve a complete freedom that extended to not only unimpeded motion in space but also unimpeded actions to the point to be considered vandalism by some. I can possible trace back this urge to break the rules of convention to being a part of a generation that really doesn’t appreciate things as they come but instead tries to manipulate it to become more appealing to our very short attention span. I witness an example of this while visiting the Bryant park light post, which with the key, allows one to access a panel to subsequently turn the light on. To my surprise nothing happened, this led to several conclusions as to why it was malfunctioning, but it is my belief that someone like me took advantage of this simple bestowed responsibility and abused the light until it broke. In conclusion, my opinion of this art installation is that it provides for some interesting interactions with spaces and objects that everyday people would not normally have access to but with this bestowed freedom people tend to take advantage and push the boundaries of what is accepted.

8 06 2010
RJ "DUB"

“bestow” . . using that word is proof you did the ceremony, excellent

8 06 2010
Shannon Hohlbein

This modern art project in Times Square can be seen as a type of earth art, similar to those previously studied in class. Although the project isn’t a physical creation from earth’s elements, one can argue that it is a way of experiencing the substances that make up the city. This project allows every viewer to become an integral piece of the project. Without them, the piece would not exist. This can be related to Heizer’s Complex One project, where the viewer becomes the center of the piece. In ‘The Key to the City’ the viewer is forced to experience the piece as designed by Jonas, forcing them to experience the city in a way they never have before. He allows them to become more than just an ordinary passer by, forcing them into a formal initiation process in which they must be awarded the right to hold a key by another person for a specific reason. His project also plays on the social aspect of a city, forcing strangers to interact and become partners throughout this experience. The city has become a key part of our society, and this modern type of earth art forces viewers to experience what they may pass by every day in a new, unique way they otherwise may never have seen.

8 06 2010
Brad Kern

“Key to the City”

Ramirez Jonas has truly opened up the possibilities of experiencing a city in new ways. While some may believe opening a small padlock attached to a lamppost in Bryant Park is not a magical experience, the idea of controlling a part of the city is where the intrigue lies. Giving keys to the city also may not seem like a stretch, but it has never been given to the general public. Rather than simply awarding ‘heroes or dignitaries’ a key to the city, Ramirez Jonas lets citizens explore the realms of the city. An interesting aspect of this piece is that one must bestow a key to another individual rather than just receiving a key for no reason. I believe this fact advocates a feeling of camaraderie among a community. In addition, our nation’s backbone of democracy, or having the people make decisions, is reinforced in the key to the city project.

We are given the opportunity to explore the mysteries of our city with this project. It is certainly a way for us to award others a unique experience that cannot be done in any other city. Receiving control of our surroundings empowers us in a way that we do not normally possess. We can look into the forbidden spaces that New York City has hidden from us up until this point. Experiencing something new like this is an intimate way to engage citizens in a place they only may have known.

8 06 2010
nhshah

The ‘Key to the City’ installation by Paul Ramirez Jonas is intriguing for many reasons. Firstly, and most obviously, the idea of every one that visits a kiosk is given a key to the city is perplexing because generally the key to the city is reserved for someone who has done something that deserves recognition in the form of honoring them in the public eye with access to the city, but the installation takes this form of recognition from the scale of the city, to the scale of the individual, where one person can honor their friend, coworker, neighbor, or complete stranger for any variety of reasons ranging from some act of kindness to some form of humor. Once this confusion is overcome, we can begin to appreciate the genius of the installation, the key still somewhat exists in its intended form, just at a different scale. The key being brought down to this scale allows everyone to feel honored in some way, and allows each person holding a key to access certain objects, or points in the five boroughs, otherwise restricted from the general public (i.e. those without keys). The installation also takes away the idea of public and private, and replaces it with ‘locked or unlocked’ which means a space that was originally ‘private’ or ‘locked’ is made ‘public’ or ‘unlocked’ once an individual has earned their key from another. Furthermore, the key allows a new way to explore the city, persuading the holder of the key to visit certain areas of the city that might have gone otherwise unnoticed; it takes spaces that we may deem normal, or ordinary, and makes them special in a whole new way.

8 06 2010
Matt Holdsworth

The Key to the City is a piece of artwork that spreads throughout the 5 boroughs of New York City. The idea is that “the key to the city” is normally awarded to people who do heroic acts or special acts that are recognized by the city of New York; here the key is exchanged between 2 people for any reason they feel fit, and it allows everyday people to be a part of this special act normally given to heroes. I believe the idea is great in that it allows normal people to feel special and gives them a sense that they can do more than other New Yorker’s who don’t know about the exhibit. It allows users to experience various parts of the city and see the city at different scales, as a whole seeing all the different locations, but also as individual pieces of art that can be unlocked. The idea of being able to access areas that are usually private gives the user a special feeling and also allows them to experience the city in a way that most other people do not. A downside to this idea is that it does leave these areas open to vandalism for certain people who do not respect the art, but hopes that most people will respect the art and the artist. From the moment one stands on line for the key they become a part of the piece and each person really gets to experience the piece in a different way. It is a better experience then just looking at art in a museum, it allows the user to feel more part of the artwork and the artist’s ideas. Overall, I believe that this was a successful project and I look forward to going back over the next few months and visiting more of the sites to see what else can be unlocked.

8 06 2010
smy6

Paul Ramírez Jonas referred to places as either locked or unlocked, instead of private and public. In a way all the structures are private, until they are unlocked. The “Key to the City” project works to use a key as more of an object, instead the key stands as personal access into private spaces. Giving the key holders a sense of trust, and the idea that they to have part ownership of the areas.

The idea of giving out a key, is a way of allowing people into places that they normally would not be allowed. It seems like a success to me, the ability to walk into forbidden areas, because you have a key, makes you feel as though you were chosen. Giving you the sense that you never know who has the key so, anything nice you do for others may or may not be recognized.

I also wonder how this project could work in different areas. I think that maybe if this project was brought to Newark, then more of this city could be experienced. People have this negative idea about Newark, when there are many buildings that deserve to be experienced. Allowing people to experience places they never knew existed, or visiting buildings that they have always found interesting, would give them more a sense of belonging to the city.

7 06 2010
joannlui

The Key to the City

Traditionally, the key to the city is only awarded to “key” people, but artist Paul Ramirez Jonas has made it possible to ordinary people in the city and I was part of them. To hold a Key to the City is an inspiring experience because I can actually become part of the art instead of just looking at paintings on the wall. Every word I read during the ceremony, every move I make in the city with this key, every lock I open with this key is going to be part of the artwork. Not only does it have a civic symbolism to everyone that was lining there because of the exciting fact that we are all going to get the key to New York City, but it also reminds us how interesting the city is and the many places that worth exploring.

To me, the most important aspect of the Key to the City is sharing, since we cannot just accept a key but someone has to present it to us. Thus, we have to go to the kiosk with a friend or make a friend in line. Personally, the process of sharing the key with RJ let me realize that he has been a really good friend to me. And from observing in the line, I realize how common it is to talk to strangers in the city, from asking for directions, chatting in a bar, to buying tickets for shows. Jonas enhances these social interactions among strangers furthermore by asking one person in the city to exchange keys with another person and possibly explore the city together later on.

I particularly enjoyed being part of this art project because these realizations are not possible to get just from looking at an artwork, but being part of it let us experience the city both physically and socially.

8 06 2010
Cara Constantino

Paul Ramirez Jonas’ Key to the City project is an extremely innovative effort to engage the viewer, or in this case participant, in the work. Like many works of art, this project is one which aims to strike a personal chord in thousands of individuals. Somehow though, this project makes other interactive works seem stationary and lacking emotion.
Stemming from a kiosk set up in Times Square, thousands of keys are being distributed to thousands of people. For each key that is distributed, the recipient is awarded a little piece of his/her city. This is a fascinating concept. First off, by distributing “keys to the city” TO everyday people BY everyday people, Jonas is over-ruling the idea that only heroes and dignitaries deserve that special sense of access to the city. The other thing that really “makes” this project is the fact that each and every key actually opens a special lock somewhere in New York City. From the moment that key makes it into the hands of its recipient, there is a sense of desire and longing to explore the city…a simply overwhelming desire to find that lock and unlock it.
Undoubtedly, this project has taken people to parts of the city that they had previously never experienced. So there is a simultaneous exploration and awakening of certain parts of the city which may have been sinking into the stages of ruin. This project is deeper than just sharing specific keys to the city with one another, it is about sharing the whole city. In order to find that one locked door, one must explore the city. Navigating through such densities of people, structure and space and crossing through various physical and psychological realms provides a deeper understanding of the nature of the city.

7 06 2010
Adam D'Elia

“Key to the City” Installation by Paul Ramirez Jonas: Times Sq. NYC
I was not sure what to expect as I walked north to Times Square. The only different attribute I could imagine was some creation, but no physical pre- conceived ideas. A red carpet with poles and ropes guided the public to a destination where you were asked to read to your kiosk friend why they were entitled, as much as you do, to have the right to pass numerous “gates”. A small gesture or recognition for your part in humanity. Well far and away from the first idea of what a “key to the city” was to represent and to who it was presented to. A funny idea in a way. Or is it?
The historical perspective of this event is to give a specific person or group access for their achievement(s). They are important. Are not we all though? On diffrent levels of clearity, yes, of course there may be a more glaring event one has faced and saved or persevered. The world does not live and die by these events. Each day people make their mark. As small as it may seem, some build over time, some inspire others, some rather not claim and be known for. But should these people, myself included, be looped into this gate like cows and not to travel and proceed to specific areas? No. We make these spaces special. People who can “touch” these spaces make that space special. Some pass in time quickly, some make a larger mark at these interests. Those are the events that should be recognized. Every event.
Think: Is a piece of “great” art more important in a dark room, no light, no air, no eyes to ever see it, just “myth”…or in a public forum where inspiration bleeds from it. I believe that is a key to the city.

7 06 2010
Mariano Delgado

“Key to the City” (visit)

I left home with written directions of how to get to “Key to the City”: even though the installation by Paul Ramirez Jonas comes from the age of fortified cities and its opulent gates, the kiosk located in Times Square was invisible to my previous visit to the area. This project plays with powerful feelings in the public as “to be recognized and honored” in the City of New York, a city that everybody claims to love: to receive the Key is also to have some official symbol of “the love from the city”

This key has to be given to an everyday citizen by another one. The ceremony celebrates the interaction of “equals” honoring one another. Along with the key comes (as the artist calls it) “the passport” stating the reason why the key is bestowed upon the recipient and certifying (in times of geographical identity) where the ceremony takes place.

The key gives the access to numerous places in the city; it democratizes the acts of opening and closing spaces in the public realm. From being able to switch on and off a streetlamp in Bryant Park to have exclusive access to a garden maintained by monks in Staten Island, this project makes the key holder to be aware of “his/her” city’s hidden (private?) secrets.

7 06 2010
joannlui

Thank you for the clarification! I think I understand it now.

And another question: are we supposed to post our essay here or bring it to class on Tuesday?

7 06 2010
james

post your essay HERE as a new POST under category REVIEWS/ESSAYS and tilted ‘key to the city’ ….
NOTE you MUST create a blog + send me the link to post!
otherwise you’ll be limited to ‘leave a comment’ and that would be sad.

6 06 2010
james

>from joan> Dear Darius, I have been really confused about mapping. But after reading the Corner’s reading, I think I know why I am confused. My question is that does mapping include our own perception of the street? Since James was saying that we can put personality traits on the buildings and thats also a mapping technique too. But isn’t that our own objective perception of the street? And I thought that mapping is documenting the space without pushing our pre-judged idea into it..? Thank you!!

6 06 2010
james

>>from darius> Hi Joan: Confusion is a good thing; it means you are thinking. How we take our own intuition and desire out of an analytical exercise is always tricky if not impossible. Let us leave it at this: trust your own perceptions, BUT, always question whether those perceptions are keeping you from discovering, as Corner states so clearly, “the hidden forces that underlie the workings of a given place.” One of the reasons we have you work on teams is to use consensus as a measure. If your team is unanimous in its ‘perceptions’ then you should proceed with analyzing why that finding might be true. If you disagree, what might be ‘hidden’ in why you disagree?

Jim’s ascribing ‘personality’ to buildings is a separate issue I think (JIM, YOUR THOUGHTS?). Personification is a characteristic of all the arts: buildings, paintings, movies can be ‘friendly,’ ‘quiet,’ even ‘angry.’ These might fall into the category of ‘hidden forces.’

Let me know if this makes sense. [ Jim: shouldn’t our conversation be part of the blogsphere? What’s the easiest way to make that a reality? ]

6 06 2010
james

YES! all these conversations should be part of the blogosphere. use ‘leave a comment’ and ‘reply’ to keep the conversation going. to wit:

confusion (with her cousin, chaos) is the necessary condition of modernity (view crashlands again for but one example) and so any position of “objectivity” becomes instantly suspect. however, and without delving too deeply into theory, i agree with darius’s advice to trust, but question, your own perceptions. i would only amend ‘perception’ to include ‘observation’ as well. he is also correct that ascribing ‘personality’ is a separate issue, one that begins to map a condition qualitatively. at that point on tuesday, remember that we were speaking of analyzing the buildings on MLK in order to more fully understand them by methodically stripping them – material layer by material layer, program space by program space – down to their basic structure + siting. this can reveal a series of ‘what ifs’: what if the buildings are more transparent, porous, etc. these ‘decisions not taken’ are also among corner’s ‘hidden forces’ or what we might call ‘latent possibilities’. we will always describe the city as a series of temporal + physical layers.

THE SIMPLEST FORM OF TEACHING IS TO START A PERSON ON THE PLANE OF HIS IMAGINATION.
THIS DISCLOSES HIS POWERS – OR LACK OF POWERS – OF OBSERVATION. Mark Tobey 1959

6 06 2010
james

we have received a couple of questions about S10 EWR HG PRECEDENT assignment 01 DUE 14JUN10.
a reminder to all to PLEASE post questions HERE as a comment so everyone can benefit!

>from neil> For the analytique assignment, are we doing an 11×17 for one building in each typolgy (5) one 11×17 encompassing all 5, or just one 11×17 for one building from the 5 categories?

>>please make ONE 11×17 for EACH example from the five categories you choose, ie five separate analytiques at 11×17 each. note, too, that the assignment calls for line drawings, not watercolors.

>from jennifer>Do we have to let you know which property we want to do?
And I assume this is project done individually? I would like to do the Villard Houses if possible.

>>the assignment is an individual effort, yes. you may choose freely; it can be illuminating to see analytiques of the same building done by different authors. you may therefore do the Villard Houses as one of your five…

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