On the Ground: Broadcasts
Sunday March 26, 2023
Storefront for Art and Architecture x Montez Press Radio, 2023. Courtesy of Montez Press
Throughout the year, Storefront will be collaborating with the independent online radio Montez Press Radio to release On the Ground: Broadcasts, a series of radio programs that further explore the subject through staged conversations, interviews, readings, etc. Set in their recording studio and performance space in Chinatown, these broadcasts provide another platform to disseminate our ongoing generative research. These four radio broadcasts will collage case studies, conversations, and field recordings to weave our findings together.
See below to learn more about each broadcast.
Sunday March 27, 2023
Storefront for Art and Architecture and Montez Press Radio presents the first episode of On the Ground: Broadcasts, titled Threshold. This episode explores the tensions between public and private space through a close look at New York City’s ground floor.
Architect Sol Camacho, former Cultural Director of the Instituto Bardi, reads from Lina Bo Bardi’s seminal text, Vitrinas. Artist Alvaro Barrington discusses the storefront as a threshold between life and work. Canal Street Research Association further explores their inquiry into billboards and the “facadification” of Manhattan in a four way chat with artists Nick Poe and Gabriela D’Addario, and Levi Eichenstein, CEO of Red Rock Outdoor. Journalist Nathan Kensinger and UPENN Media Studies professor Shannon Mattern engage in conversation around their respective works on the transformation of the city’s streets and sidewalks. Architect Germane Barnes expands on his long-standing research on Porch Politics.
Sound and Video Credits:
Brown, Barry Alexander (Director). (2010). Sidewalk [Film, excerpt] 20:20-21:18
Cohen, Jem (Director). (1996). Lost Book Found [Film, excerpt] 03:29-04:20
Fitzgerald, Kit and Sanborn, John with Van Tieghem, David (Directors). (1982). Ear to the Ground [Film, excerpt] 00:00-1:04
Houston Jr., Otis. (2020). I Like Where I Stay. On AMERICA [Audio file]
Wilson-Tanner. (2022). Sun Room. On 69 [Audio file]
About the Contributors:
Germane Barnes is the Director of Studio Barnes, a research and design practice that investigates the connection between architecture and identity. Mining architecture’s social and political agency, he examines how the built environment influences Black domesticity.
Alvaro Barrington is a multidisciplinary artist based in London. Raised in the Caribbean and later Brooklyn, New York, Barrington harnesses abstract painting, embroidery, and site-specific installation to explore communal and personal histories and disrupt art historical narratives.
Canal Street Research Association is the fictional office entity of poetic research and roving archival unit, Shanzhai Lyric. Delving into the cultural and material ecologies of the street and its long history as a site that probes the limits of ownership and authorship, the association repurposes underused real estate as spaces for gathering ephemeral histories, mapping local lore, and tracing the flows and fissures of capital.
Sol Camacho is an architect and urban designer and the former Cultural Director of the Instituto Bardi/Casa de Vidro Institution founded by Lina Bo and Pietro Bardi.
Nathan Kensinger is a New York based journalist, photographer, filmmaker and curator, whose work explores hidden urban landscapes, including forgotten waterways, post-industrial ruins, environmental cleanups, and coastal communities endangered by sea level rise and climate change.
Shannon Mattern is the Penn Presidential Compact Professor of Media Studies and Art History at the University of Pennsylvania. From 2004 to 2022, she served in the Department of Anthropology and the School of Media Studies at The New School in New York. Her writing and teaching focus on media architectures and infrastructures and spatial epistemologies.
Sunday July 30, 2023
Storefront for Art and Architecture and Montez Press Radio present the second episode of On the Ground: Broadcasts, titled Void. This episode focuses on the various registers of emptiness across the built environment. The void is unpacked as spatial absences, erasure, unmet potential, permissive emptiness, liberating silences, and capital-driven failure. We explore the many languages of vacancy in New York City in dialogue with other socio-political contexts with shared challenges.
Participants in this episode include the following: Dominique Petit-Frère from Limbo Accra who talks about Into the Void, a digital project aimed at archiving West Africa’s unfinished property developments and revitalizing their existence through collectivity and embracing liminal space. Dragonfly aka Robin LaVerne Wilson, member of The Stop Shopping Choir, brings us into The Earth Chrxch. Writer Jeremiah Moss, reads an excerpt from Feral City, a book they published in 2022 about life in New York City during the COVID-19 pandemic. Artists Tom Burr and Carlos Motta think about void in its multiple possibilities and what it means in the context of queer life. Artist Igancio Gatica has a conversation with Martha Snow from the Urban Design Forum and Gina Lee from the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development about their studies on the hidden stories of vacancy in the city and their potential. Dia Art Foundation curator, Jordan Carter, reads an excerpt from a text by Glenn Ligon published in Artforum in September 2004, titled Black Light: David Hammons and The Poetics of Emptiness. Collaged within the episode are clips from archival videos and audio from artists Amanda Williams, Gordon Matta-Clark, June Jordan, Zoe Leonard, and Francisca Benítez.
Sound and Video Credits:
Spirit of Space (Director). (2017). Amanda Williams, Color Shift [Film, excerpt] 0:00-01:00
Silver, Howard (Director). (2007). Gordon Matta-Clark Exhibit at Whitney walkthrough with Jane Crawford [Film]
Holman, Bob (Director). (1989) REC0047_2_158_2142: WNYC-TV Poetry Spots June Jordan [Film, excerpt] 01:17-02:52
Documenta 12 (Director). (2007). Zoe Leonard, Analogue (1998-2007) [Film]
About the Contributors:
Amanda Williams is a Chicago-based artist who uses ideas around color and architecture to explore the intersection of race and the built environment.
Carlos Motta is a Columbian multi-disciplinary artist whose practice documents the social conditions and political struggles of sexual, gender, and ethnic minority communities in order to challenge normative discourses through acts of self-representation.
Dominique Petit-Frère is the founder of Limbo Accra, a spatial design practice founded in 2018 in Accra, Ghana, that imagines a more community-minded and revitalizing future for the incomplete concrete buildings left throughout African cities undergoing rapid urbanization.
Dragonfly (aka Robin LaVerne Wilson) is an artist that interweaves a lifetime of professional experiences in radio, filmmaking, stage and street theater, photography, design, journalism, spoken word, music, activism, facilitation, and guerilla marketing.
The Earth Chxrch is a former East Village bank space at 36 Loisaida Avenue, and home to weekly services by the radical performance community, Reverend Billy and The Stop Shopping Choir. The philosophy of The Earth Chxrch surrounds the imminent “Shopocalypse”, which assumes the end of humanity will come about through manic consumerism.
Francisca Benítez is an artist born in Chile in 1974, living and working in New York since 1998. Her art practice explores relations between space, politics, and language, being closely linked to the places where she lives and the communities she interacts with.
Gina Lee is the Program Coordinator of the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development which is a member organization of community groups across New York CIty using research, advocacy, and grassroots organizing to build equity and justice in their neighborhoods and city-wide. In 2022, the ANHD published a report titled The State of Storefronts: Alarming Vacancy Rates and Rising Rents during the Pandemic which used the latest annual release of storefront registry data to assess the state of storefronts as of 2020.
Glenn Ligon is an American artist who has pursued an incisive exploration of American history, literature, and society across bodies of work that build critically on the legacies of modern painting and conceptual art.
Gordon Matta-Clark was an American artist who pioneered a radical approach to art making that directly engaged the urban environment and the communities within it, through large-scale architectural interventions in which he physically cut through buildings.
Ignacio Gatica Rojas is a Chilean artist whose practice identifies and questions systems of knowledge and structures that configures the urban, historical, and personal experience. He works between installation, sculpture, video, and text, to map out and make connections between distinct forms of signs and signifiers.
Jeremiah Moss, pseudonym of Griffin Hansbury, is an American poet, writer, psychoanalyst, social worker, and social critic. He is the author of the blog Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York and in 2022 published Feral City, a book about life in New York City during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jordan Carter is a curator at Dia Art Foundation and a former associate curator in the Art Institute of Chicago’s department of Modern and Contemporary Art.
June Jordan was one of the most widely-published and highly-acclaimed Jamaican American writers, poets, playwrights, and essayists of her generation. She was known for her fierce commitment to human rights and political activism.
Martha Snow is the Director of Community Design at the Urban Design Forum which is an independent membership organization that convenes civic leaders to confront the defining issues in New York City’s built environment. In 2022, the Urban Design Forum released a year-long initiative called Streets Ahead, aimed at advancing ideas and proposals to envision a more vibrant, equitable streetscape.
Tom Burr is an American conceptual artist working primarily in sculpture and installation. From his first exhibitions in New York City in the late 1980s, Burr has placed a consistent emphasis on spatial issues both sociopolitical and formal.
Zoe Leonard is an American artist who over the past three decades, has produced work in photography and sculpture that has been celebrated for its lyrical observations of daily life coupled with a rigorous, questioning attention to the politics and conditions of image making and display.
Thursday December 7, 2023
Storefront for Art and Architecture and Montez Press Radio present the third episode of On the Ground: Broadcasts, titled Care. This episode focuses on different projects that are rooted in care and mutual aid through the lens of the city’s ground floor, and how practices that strengthen bonds of affection can transform and reshape our immediate environment.
Participants in this episode include the following: An experimental choral performance read by Natalia Boumatar and Zara Zulfiqar, created for a class at Cooper Union titled “Public Art as Alimentary Infrastructure.” This project is by Anders Kristensen, Natalia Boumatar, Ralph Karam and Zara Zulfiqar. It engages fragments of texts about settler colonialism through collective oral readings. Red Canary Song introduces us to their advocacy around Asian and migrant massage parlor workers through their short film, “Fly in Power”. Curator Diya Vij, writer and organizer Ted Kerr, and artist Zacarías González have a conversation about the 90s Chicago-based art collective titled Haha, and their project Flood, which was a hydroponic garden in a storefront that grew vegetables and herbs for people with HIV. Curator Eric Booker reads some archival texts from Smokehouse Associates, the artist collective that transformed Harlem with vibrant, community-oriented abstract murals and sculptures during the late 1960s. Writer Lam Thuy Vo reads from an article she wrote on Pearl River Mart for Documented NY. Artist Cudelice Brazelton talks to Senior frieze editor Terence Trouillot about his recent exhibition at Wschod Gallery in the Lower East Side and how his work relates to intimate micro practices of care. We learn from OlaRonke Akinmowo how the Free Black Women’s Library is fueled by tenants of Black Feminism, and the transformative power of both reading and creating. Huda Tayob discusses her research on Architectures of Care. Scholar Adam Anabosi performs a poem by Palestinian poet Tawfiq Zayyad written to the Palestinian people in their different places of refuge. Interspersed throughout the episode are clips and archival sounds from professors and writers Premilla Nadasen, Carlos Sanabria, Sharon Zukin and artist Jenna Bliss’s documentary “The People’s Detox.”
Sound and Video Credits:
The Peoples’ Forum (Director). (2023). BOOK TALK: Care: The Highest Stage of Capitalism with Premilla Nadasen and Ujju Aggarwal [Film, excerpt] 4:00-14:31
Red Canary Song (Director). (2022). Fly In Power [Film]
Bliss, Jenna (Director). (2018). The People’s’ Detox [Film, excerpt] 0:00-02:10
Global Cities Local Streets (Director). (2015). Orchard Street, New York [Film, excerpt] 0:14–09:00
Center for Puerto Rican Studies – Centro (Director). (2017). The Bodega: A Cornerstone of Puerto Rican Barrios [Film, excerpt] 10:13-25:06
Tayob, Huda. (2015). Architectures of Care [Audio file]
-Artist(s)/Organization Bios + Pronouns:
Adam Anabosi is a Ph.D student at Princeton. He possesses a keen interest in the modern middle east studies and the cultural, political and historical approach associated with it. Adam is deeply fascinated by Arabic culture and its rich oral heritage. On occasion, he indulges in writing poetry in the spoken Shami dialect and in colloquial Arabic. And every now and then, he contributed to online cultural magazines articles related to the political, cultural and social history of Palestine and Bilad al-Sham.
Carlos Sanabria is author of the book The Bodega: A Cornerstone of Puerto Rican Barrios: (The Justo Marti Collection). He is former associate professor in Caribbean studies at The City University of New York.
Cudelice Brazelton IV is an artist who lives and works in Frankfurt. He attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and currently studies at the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste. Selected solo and duo exhibitions include Friend of a Friend Warsaw, Wschód and Emanuel Layr, Warsaw (2021); Bronzed from Silver, Sans titre (2016), Paris (2021); Recoil (with Dozie Kanu), International Waters, New York (2020); Violent Groom, Wschód (2020); Prune (with Nicholas Grafia), Shoot the Lobster, New York (2019); and Bounty, Jeffrey Stark, New York (2017).
Diya Vij is the Curator at Creative Time and is committed to critically investigating the evolving role of public art in politics and civic life. Over the past decade, she has held programming, curatorial, and communications positions at major New York City Institutions. She currently serves on the Board of the Laundromat Project and as the Co-Chair of the Board of A Blade of Grass. She recently was part of the Curatorial Ensemble for the Counterpublic 2023 public art triennial in St. Louis.
Eric Booker is a curator and writer. His work makes space for artists and narratives that challenge dominant histories. Booker is former Assistant Curator and Exhibitions Coordinator at The Studio Museum in Harlem, where he worked on a range of exhibitions, performances, public art, and site-specific installations. Booker is currently Associate Curator at Storm King Art Center.
Haha was an art collective—originally including Richard House, Wendy Jacob, Laurie Palmer, and John Ploof—that formed in Chicago in 1988 and continued to work together until 2008.
Huda Tayob is a South African architectural historian and architectural theorist. She is currently a lecturer in Architectural Studies at the University of Manchester, and has previously taught at the University of Cape Town, the Graduate School of Architecture, University of Johannesburg and the Bartlett School of Architecture. Her research focuses on minor, migrant and subaltern architectures, centered on the African continent and global south.. She was a participant in the 18th International Architecture exhibition in Venice (2023) with a project titled Index of Edges, which traces watery archives, methods and stories along east African coastal edges from Cape Town to Port Said.
Lam Thuy Vo is a journalist who marries data analysis with on-the-ground reporting to examine how systems and policies affect individuals. She is currently a reporter with The Markup and an associate professor of data journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. Previously, she was a journalist at BuzzFeed News, The Wall Street Journal, Al Jazeera America and NPR’s Planet Money.
OlaRonke Akinmowo is an interdisciplinary artist that scecializes in collage, papermaking, printmaking, stop motion animation and interactive installation. She also works as a set decorator, yoga teacher, cultural worker, and mom. In 2015 she started The Free Black Women’s Library, a social art project that features a collection of over 4000 books written by Black women. This particular work is fueled by the tenants of Black Feminism, Community Care, and the transformative power of both reading and creating.
Premilla Nadasen is professor of history at Barnard College and president of the National Women’s Studies Association. She has published extensively on the multiple meanings of feminism, alternative labor movements, and grass-roots community organizing and is most interested in visions of social change, and the ways in which poor and working-class women of color have fought for social justice.
Red Canary Song’s (RCS) work centers on mutual aid, community care, and decriminalization of labor.
In November 2017, RCS formed in response to the death of Yang Song, a migrant Chinese massage worker who fell to her death from a fourth-floor window during a police raid. RCS rallied to protest the police, provide mutual aid to the family of Yang Song and other Asian massage and sex workers, and to advocate for decriminalization of unlicensed massage work and sex work.
Sharon Zukin is professor emerita of sociology at Brooklyn College and at the CUNY Graduate Center but is still working with PhD students and will occasionally teach courses. Her new book, The Innovation Complex: Cities, Tech, and the New Economy, examines the shaping of the tech ecosystem in New York. Zukin has been a Broeklundian Professor at Brooklyn College; a visiting professor at the University of Amsterdam, the University of Western Sydney, and Tongji University; and a distinguished fellow in the Advanced Research Collaborative at the CUNY Graduate Center.
Smokehouse Associates was an artist collective formed in 1968 by William T. Williams, Melvin Edwards, Guy Ciarcia, and Billy Rose. Through developing community-oriented public art projects in Harlem, the collective sought to transform space through vibrant, geometric abstract murals and sculptures. Initially spanning three generations of artists, the Smokehouse collective eventually grew to encompass a diverse range of creative practitioners, all of whom united around the transformative potential of public art.
Terence Trouillot is senior editor of frieze. He lives in New York, USA.
Theodore Kerr is a Brooklyn based writer, organizer and artist whose work focuses on HIV/AIDS, community, and culture. Kerr’s writing has appeared in Women’s Studies Quarterly, The New Inquiry, BOMB, CBC (Canada), Lambda Literary, POZ Magazine, The Advocate, Cineaste, The St. Louis American, IndieWire, HyperAllergic, and other publications. In 2016, he won the Best Journalism award from POZ Magazine for his HyperAllergic article on race, HIV, and art. In 2015, Kerr was the editor for an AIDS-focused issue of the We Who Feel Differently journal.
Zacarías González is a queer artist with a background as a commercial art director turned chef and sommelier. They founded ediciones projects in 2020, a creative studio focused on collaborative projects that intersect and explore food, wine, hospitality, media, consulting, and design specifically through a queer-centric lens as a Cuban-American.
On the Ground
On the Ground is a year-long research project and exhibition series about New York City’s ground floor. Through a close look at the urban typology of the storefront, this expansive endeavor presents newly commissioned artistic explorations and dialogues about the heterogeneous threshold between public and private space throughout 2023. The project will unfold through three exhibitions, a radio show, an open call, a public program, and a thematic reader.
Storefront’s On the Ground program is made possible through the support of the Graham Foundation, the Ruth Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; the Storefront Circle and Storefront’s Board of Directors, members, and individual donors.