imPERFECT CITY

Exhibit Dates: 
Feb 9, 2013 - Jun 16, 2013
Location: 
Carole Bieber and Marc Ham Gallery/DuPont II Gallery

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.

Subscribe to the Imperfect City blog for commentary and a full calendar of imPERFECT CITY programming in the galleries: http://imperfectcitydcca.wordpress.com/
 
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1. disOrientation Desk
Visitors will be greeted by DCCA staff members who will welcome and provide them with information on all of the sites to visit and activities to engage in while touring imPERFECT CITY. Designed by Delaware artist Dennis Beach.
 
2. YOU ARE HERE: imPERFECT CITY Orientation Map
This Orientation Map serves as a welcoming center and brainstorming area for visitors to imagine what imPERFECT City could look like in its visual layout.
 
3. UTOPIA ABOVE THE LAW
Utopian scholars Annette Giesecke and Donald Dunham appropriate a museum wall for signage reading UTOPIA ABOVE THE LAW to define the utopian space’s boundary. 
 
4. Peoples Park Design Workspace: DCCA Artist in Residence Eric Leshinsky
Help design Peoples Park, an effort to create a new public space in downtown Wilmington from the everyday insights and ideas of Wilmington residents. Design workshops will take place Tuesdays and Saturdays in February in Bieber Ham.
 
5. Museum of the Hand: University of Delaware Professor Ashley John Pigford
This interactive installation invites people to sit at a desk, type their name on a computer keyboard and enjoy the spectacle of a computer-controlled writing machine as it translates the typed text in cursive. http://imperfectcitydcca.wordpress.com/ashley-john-pigford/
 
6. Civic Seats: by Delaware artist Stephen Ruszkowski
Loosely based upon Shaker principles of utopian design, Civic Seats, allow visitors to engage in spontaneous conversation and debate for the duration of imPERFECT City.
 
7. DCCA Athletic Club: Philadelphia artist Lauren Ruth
Featuring a makeshift gym, the Club invites visitors to get fit in the galleries.
 
8. Radical Reading Room (RRR)
Featuring a micro-library of formerly-banned books, contemporary philosophy, and texts that inform the imPERFECT CITY exhibition, RRR is assembled by the DCCA Curatorial department with the assistance of Curatorial Intern Maeve Coudrelle. RRR is equipped with ambient lighting, comfortable seating and an experimental coffee table designed by Chris Golas. RRR is strategically located next to the Athletic Club and is designed for mental exercise. http://imperfectcitydcca.wordpress.com/maeve-coudrelle/
 
9. Micro-Farm and Cyber Café: Philadelphia artist Chris Golas
Four custom-designed vegetable planters on wheels, this movable farm will take root inside the DCCA’s Cyber Café and help sustain the Citizens of imPERFECT CITY.
 
10. imPERFECT Painting: Baltimore artist Laura Hudson
Artist Laura Hudson sketches, videotapes, and interviews imPERFECT visitors whose images form the basis for multiple paintings, which Hudson will add to the exhibition over the course of several months. http://imperfectcitydcca.wordpress.com/laura-hudson/
 
11. imPERFECT CITY / ImPERFECT State
Delaware Roadside Memorials: John Muse & Jeanne Finley
An online project that introduces imPERFECT CITY into the real and virtual world. Haverford, PA based artist John Muse and San Francisco, CA artist Jeanne Finley create an online forum for people to view, upload, and discuss photographs of roadside memorials in Delaware. The artists wish to honor vernacular arts as they merge with significant sites in the region. Connect with the project here: http://www.panoramio.com/group/146900
 
12. Whoʼs Downstream? Tracing imPERFECT Water: University of Delaware Professor Jules Bruck
Working with a group of undergraduate students at the University of Delaware, three professors will explore the path of storm water through Wilmington’s urban and industrial areas. http://imperfectcitydcca.wordpress.com/dr-jules-bruck/
 
13. YOUtopian™ Tours: DCCA Curator Maiza Hixson
Visitors will gain a customized perspective on utopian thought as a non-traditional means to achieving creativity. http://imperfectcitydcca.wordpress.com/maiza-hixson/
 
Subscribe to the Imperfect City blog for commentary and a full calendar of imPERFECT CITY programming in the galleries: http://imperfectcitydcca.wordpress.com/
 
"Like" the imPERFECT CITY Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/ImperfectCity