Welcome. Thank you for taking time to be here, visiting our blog.
Above you will see general themes and ideas that we are writing about, working on and exploring. To the right you will see more specific categories as well as a list of recent posts.
We welcome an exchange of thoughts, resources, critique and experiences. Please be in touch.
Transformazium has been working together on public and socially engaged projects since 2001. Our original point of connection was a shared interest in the expansion and democratization of public space in post September 11 New York City. Street art, graffiti, and acts of public celebration were our counterpoints to fear, privatization, silencing of dissent, and increased police presence. Eventually we began to struggle with the relevance of our projects–we felt as though we were talking to ourselves. We found meaning instead in youth development, farming, and food security issues.
In 2007, we moved to North Braddock, PA. The new sets of resources and challenges that we encountered here have deepened and widened our practice immeasurably. Our model for our practice is relationship based. We are neighbors. Our intention is to examine systems of value; make room for new systems; use the tools of the artist to call attention to existing wealth and strength; use the established social value of art to amplify voices and direct resources; use art and design methods to meet practical needs for information and communication in our neighborhood; speak to multiple audiences and facilitate communication between neighborhoods and communities. We have engaged our neighbors as economically compensated art producers in our Family Portrait Project . We have created an accessible graphic communication tool with our Neighborhood Screen Printing Shop. Our 15104 Communication Network creates a paid position for resident communication experts, and values our neighbors’ skills with our Human Resource Guide. We explore ways to activate the relationship between the buildings in a neighborhood and the people who make the neighborhood. We are currently developing our Resident Artist in Residence and Neighborhood Building projects.
We have found ourselves between two realities of our locale. (1) a town marked by industrial collapse, population loss, blight and abandonment, and public health challenges. (2) a town aggressively marketed as a place of opportunity for artists and creative professionals. In navigating these realities, we have listened to our neighbors and examined our responsibility to our neighborhood. We have at many points been reticent to involve ourselves deeply with the larger art world and its institutions because we have been uncertain how our whole neighborhood can interact with these institutions (when one segment of our neighborhood—young, mostly white artists, including ourselves—has the capacity to interact with art institutions seamlessly, troubling issues of power and representation surface, especially when “art” is being described as a strategy to revitalize). We are now at a point where we want to push against these issues and expand our conversation. We trust in the strength of our local relationships, and are excited by the opportunities to expand our local.
us sharing at the QMA: http://vimeo.com/32181489