Under the theme of Radical Participation, in the first half of 2013 the DCCA will present Imperfect City, a conversation-based exhibition that will evolve into a bustling, museum-scale town within the walls of the DCCA. The exhibition hinges upon interactivity and institutional transparency by drawing upon the visitor as artist. Imperfect City “opens” during the planning phase with a series of town hall meetings, during which DCCA visitors participate in the curatorial conceptualization and implementation of this exhibition. A videographer-in-residence will document the town hall conversations taking place within the galleries and develop a virtual audience for the show through social media channels. Artists with backgrounds in philosophy, curating, architecture, sculpture, and new media will work in tandem with the DCCA’s preparator and installation crew to build an ersatz city featuring walk-in living, working, and recreational spaces. The DCCA will host weekly events including music, performance, and town hall planning meetings that will feature individual presenters who will be considered the founding philosophers and cultural producers of the exhibition. Guest critics and lecturers will be invited to address cultural, educational, and civic issues of public interest and concern. The visitor is invited to become a citizen of Imperfect City by attending the show, interfacing with the people involved, and helping to decide the nature and future of this community.
From now through June 2013, Imperfect City town hall planning meetings will bring the public together with visiting scholars to participate in the making of the exhibition. In addition to scholarly presentations, participants in the town hall meetings will be invited to propose criteria and actual plans for an organized and participatory exhibition and city. Ideas and proposals for the exhibition—including a community garden, a restaurant, and city newspaper, for example, will be implemented at the DCCA between March and June 2013. Through these meetings, DCCA visitors ultimately cultivate their own civilization within DCCA walls. Following Alexander de Tocqueville’s educational imperative “to teach democracy to know itself, and thereby to direct itself and contain itself,” each town hall meeting will be facilitated by DCCA curatorial staff and visiting scholars who will engage in a dialogue with visitors on ideas of democracy in the context of an art exhibition. DCCA staff, scholars, and visitors will plan the Imperfect City exhibition together through the town hall meetings, enabling all participants to share in the creation of knowledge and values for Imperfect City.Representing local and national universities and arts institutions, artists, critics, activists, scholars, and visitors will philosophically address many facets of human life related to creating a city, including architecture, government, urban planning, history, literature, the visual arts, gardening, utopianism, and other subjects.
1. disOrientation Desk