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.
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.