We have been busy over the past months at ReciproCITY working on a project with Career Youth Development (CYD) on MLK Dr. here in Milwaukee. The project combines elements of urban farming, public art, civil rights, and career development skills. Here are some in progress photographs of the project that will be finished in November.
Next door to the CYD is a public space called Victory Over Violence Park. Within this space Mike Carriere and his students at MSOE designed and built a series of raised beds for urban food production.
In addition to the raised beds, the park will also host a Roadside Culture Stand. The roadside culture stand is a mobile aquaponics system, screen printing studio, and produce stand.
Rendering of the Roadside Culture Stand, designed by NYC architect Susan Sloan.
In progress shots of the Roadside Culture Stand being built for us by Jason La Perriere and Steve Woods in Milwaukee. The Wormfarm Institute in Reedsburg, WI funded the project.
Also, within the park Nicolas Lampert and I are currently painting a series of large billboard style murals celebrating the history of the Milwaukee Commandos in Milwaukee. You can read more about these graphics here.
If that was not enough, we teamed up with another project I helped to start, the Riverwest24, to set up a bonus checkpoint. The goal of this checkpoint was to crowdsource the labor for building a rooftop garden. We built raised beds ahead of time, and during our bonus checkpoint used the hundreds of riders to carry buckets of dirt up three stories to fill the beds.
Riders filling the raised beds.
Mike organizing the filling of buckets.
Some of the raised beds.
I really look forward to wrapping up the murals and the stand, as well as next spring when all the elements can work together to transform the park and surrounding area into such an incredible space. More photos to come!
Thanks for checking out what we are up to!
Come to an exclusive screening of Carolina Pfister’s “Viva Viva,” a gripping documentary that explores the culture of the urban punk scene in São Paulo, Brasil.
Hope to see you there!
It was another cold night at the Sweet Water Urban Farm, but the February 20th ReciproCITY discussion on the aesthetics of protest was incredibly powerful. The event used the Derek Williams inquest as a starting point for a conversation on how best to address police brutality and misconduct in Milwaukee. More specifically, participants - including visual artists, musicians, gallery owners, activists, and others - talked about whether there should be a cultural/artistic/aesthetic component to such efforts. The highlight was a moving speech by Derek’s aunt, Mayleen Jordan (below), on why such campaigns are necessary. ReciproCITY is committed to making sure the Williams’ case - and others like it - gets the attention it deserves.
First, I would like to thank everyone who came out to our first event at ReciproCITY. It was incredible to see so many people come out and support a new experimental space. Thank you to Alan W. Moore and Sarah Daleiden for putting together your presentations and the discussions that followed. Also, thank you to Sweet Water Urban Farm for allowing us this opportunity and all the folks there that have helped us along the way.
The night was a bit chilly in such a big space, but the talks that Alan and Sarah gave were more than worth it. The conversations that came out of their presentations, both in the space and as a smaller group in a nearby pub, were fantastic. As with any new project, there are things that become more streamlined as they go. We will be bringing in a PA to help project over the low hum of aquaponic systems.
Start off 2013 with radical art history and practice.
Panel discussion with:
Alan W. Moore “Art Squats”
Sara Daleiden, “MKE<->LAX”
Wednesday, January 2nd, 7:00pm
ReciproCITY: an experimental art space inside Sweet Water Organics 2151 South Robinson Avenue Bay View, Milwaukee
Alan W. Moore is an art historian and activist whose work addresses cultural economies and groups and the politics of collectivity. Moore helped to found ABC No Rio after participating in Colab’s Real Estate Show (1979), one of the best-known artist squat actions in New York history. He is the author of Art Gangs: Protest & Counterculture in New York City (2011), which explores the work of artist groups formed after 1968, such as the Art Workers Coalition and Group Material, collectives that greatly informed today’s international art world. He is also the co-editor of the book ABC No Rio Dinero: The Story of a Lower East Side Art Gallery (1985). Moore earned a PhD in art history from the City University of New York and his writings have appeared in such publications as Julie Ault’s “Alternative Art NY” and Blake Stimson and Gregory Sholette “Collectivism After Modernism.” His upcoming book “Art Squats” focuses on social centers in Europe.
Under the auspices of s(o)ul, Sara Daleiden directs the MKE<->LAX initiative. s(o)ul focuses on culture production and exchange through the creation of social interactions in developing landscapes. With a relationship to the arts, education and advocacy, s(o)ul consults with nonprofit and for-profit entities, as well as cultural workers of many disciplines, from emerging to established levels. With bases in Los Angeles and Milwaukee, the agency offers support for empathetic, structural development of individual, organizational and community identity, embracing various scales of experimentation, connection and production.
Sweet Water Organics is excited to announce the birth of ReciproCITY, an experimental cultural and independent media center inside Sweet Water Organics - a space for artists, designers, architects, scholars, filmmakers, scientists (natural and social), urban farmers, and others to meet, present work, collaborate on new work, and stage exhibitions. This space would be a hub space for art, ecology, and community engagement, and it would mirror the goals of the Sweet Water Foundation in teaching and exposing the ideas of urban sustainability, aquaponics, and the visionary idea of re-imagining Milwaukee as organic city – transforming the rust belt into a green belt.
Why Sweet Water? Sweet Water is an epicenter for creativity and is a visionary project that inspires people throughout the world. Sweet Water transforms the city and it transforms lives. Sweet Water is already a hub space for those interested in ecology and urban agriculture. It is not necessarily a destination site for artists, musicians, writers, historians, scholars, and others in the arts and humanities.
This is a lost opportunity.
An experimental art space that focuses on social practices inside Sweet Water would change this and would bring local, national, and international artists and scholars to Sweet Water. It would allow artists and scholars to network with the Sweet Water staff, to contribute their talents, and to tell the world about the work going on at Sweet Water and the urban agriculture movement in Milwaukee and the region. It would signify that Sweet Water supports artists and scholars, and it would signify that artists and scholars support Sweet Water.
The positive ripple effect of this type of collaboration and relationship are easy to imagine. First and foremost, collaboration and the sharing of ideas would take place between artists and urban farmers.
Second, artists and scholars would spread the gospel of Sweet Water and aquaponics to the world through their networks and through cultural work (i.e. writing about, visualizing, and filming this type of work). In essence, artists would be the creative PR (public relations) people for aquaponics. Artists would provide the independent media, the cultural analysis, and the creativity to imagine new possibilities.
For more information contact Nicolas Lampert (email@example.com) or Michael Carriere (firstname.lastname@example.org).