So. I’m still in Europe wrapping up production on the east side of the Atlantic for our latest documentary film, funded in part by YOU through Kickstarter (info here). Well, probably not all of you. But a lot of you. Seems one of many re-occuring similarities/themes/ideas is the idea of creating some new manifestation of a stronger sister/brother-hood that goes beyond the mostly meaningless designation of “sister-city.” What if we amped up the connection and information sharing to a point where we were investigating policy strategy together or cross-pollinating strategy amongst our respective authorities to utilize ex-industrial vacant space in both cities. Lodz and Detroit could stand to gain quite a bit through this kind of new collaboration. And hell, when we spoke with the mayor while doing interviews, she was all about the idea. So there’s definitely some substance to it all.
Anyway, with city-wide collaboration on my mind, a press release this morning caught my eye about an art installment happening as part of echo: Art Fair that is attempting to create a stronger connection between Buffalo and Detroit. Here’s some info from the press release regarding the installation that will take place in Buffalo’s Central Terminal on July 8 and 9.
Drawing on perceived competition among Rust/Art belt cities, Buffalo vs. Detroit, by artist Christen Clifford, references Detroit’s renowned Heidelberg Project, a grassroots outdoor art exhibit in a blighted section of Detroit, while bringing into focus specific issues relating to Buffaloâ€™s East Side, which experiences similar blight and is where the Terminal is based.
The piece will be sensitive to the historic site, which dates to 1929, and will also be temporary-utilizing chalk and knitted elements. A knitted strip 167 feet long will be hung from the tower of the building-each foot representing 100 empty houses of the 16,719 that are abandoned in Buffalo. Buffalo vs. Detroit uses data to comment on de-industrialization and the housing crisis. This installation would be the first in a planned series of projects that bring together artists from Buffalo and Detroit in artistic exchange.
The installation involves the community by using volunteer knitters, asking them to go beyond wearables and make strips of any length that artist Clifford will sew together to reach her ultimate goal of 167 feet. Clifford seeks volunteer yarn workers for the installation to either donate strips of work completed, or knit/crochet a strip as part of the project. â€œKnit-a-longsâ€ are planned for June 30 and July 3.