Drawing the Urban Imaginary & Seeking Amenities Through Democratic Processes
Opening reception Wednesday, March 28 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Location: The Periscope Project, between J & K on 15th Street, 92101
The exhibition consolidates drawings, images and artifacts from Drawing the Urban Imaginary, a workshop conducted by Jonathan Barth and James Enos, and Seeking Amenities Through Democratic Processes, a collaboration between The Periscope Project and students enrolled in the Service-Learning program at The Preuss School, UCSD.
Drawing the Urban Imaginary was a traditional media workshop focusing on the city, aiming to generate alterrnative / shared visions about the future of land use, district making, and development options not beholden to mega-block ownership. Individuals in conversation with students drafted the issues in parallel with the practice of drawing techniques. Likewise, The Periscope Project’s community gathered, hosted, and operated a robust fact-finding itinerary serving to inform the public and governmental picture.
Following a parallel agenda, however exploring techniques of civic inquiry and public relations, agents from The Periscope Project hosted and collaborated with students enrolled in the Service Learning program at The Preuss School UCSD, in order to develop a project that takes a critical look at community ethics, public amenities and homelessness in downtown San Diego. The group established an alternative means of communication through hands-on diplomacy that aims to convey the plight and desires of marginalized populations to the beneficiaries of urban redevelopment. Field interviews were the key technique used in accumulating commentary from community members in East Village and downtown San Diego. Students developed a rough barter system per the demographic interviewed in order to initiate dialog, and managed to gather a unified voice from the bottom, mingle those thoughts and comments with the middle, and synthesize these conversations for an expedited form of public address to the top.
The exhibition will attempt to foreground the process of inquiry rather than prescriptively address the visible inequities in downtown San Diego. As such, the exhibition presents itself as a platform for visitors to gage their own position within this set of issues.
The Periscope Project addresses experiments in alternative development, public education and cultural practices, and is working to position itself as a flexible auxiliary to larger, more entrenched institutions. Likewise, The Preuss School, UCSD is an experiment in educational practices aimed at providing opportunities to historically under-represented student populations. The Service Learning course offered at The Preuss School, UCSD is welcomed by The Periscope Project as a means of academic exchange and community service. This project, as well as Drawing the Urban Imaginary, represents the most recent endeavor in The Periscope Project’s dynamic and adaptive educational programming.