Friday, March 11, 2005

Little Cities

read about their Little Cities party

Begin forwarded message:

Date: March 10, 2005 4:29:16 PM EST
To: undisclosed-recipients: ;
Subject: First We take Vancouver, Then We Take Berlin

Hello Dear Mailing List Friends,

So much to say, oh so much to say...

1. Red76 goes and visits their friends Instant Coffee in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and does 
    a full weekend of Little Cities parties w/ friends along to amaze and enlighten

2. An Explanation of our project Little Cities

3. Blowback, the overview of Part's 1 - 2 of the NY Public Archive Project going into its final weeks at
    Reed College, Portland, Oregon, USA

Red76 presents:
Little Cities
w/Instant Coffee
March 11 - 13
@ 69 Pender St.
Vancouver, B.C.

This upcoming Friday thru Sunday we will be in Vancouver, B.C., Canada participating in Instant Coffee's Bassbed installation. We will be doing our continuing project concerning cardboard houses and ideas of home called Little Cities (read more below on the ideas behind that project).

Joining us will be a bunch of friends:

Fri. Mar. 11
9pm till late...

Join us for a Little Cities Build Yr. Own House Party w/
- Matthew Stadler giving a talk about the desire for a city made to order
- Matthew Yake spinning 60's and 70's Psych Rock records found on Red76's Eastern European Tour 
  of last winter, plus records in the same vein found on various other tours
- A slideshow of all 2300+ photos taken by Sam Gould on the Red76 Eastern Europe Tour

Sat. Mar. 12
9pm till late...

Join us for a Little Cities Build Yr. Own House Party w/
- "Hello Vancouver" a video walking tour made by Khris Soden and Sam Gould concerning Portland,
   Oregon history and the reasons why Khris couldn't make it through the border to Canada with us
- Beautiful music by the very special Portland Vampires

Sun. Mar. 13
11am till a little while later...
We will be getting together for coffee and deciding on a spot to homestead our new community of cardboard houses. Then it's off on a walking tour of Vancouver to plot out our new home.

That's that. If you happen to be in the western part of Canada this weekend come and join us. Anyone coming from as far away as Moose Jaw gets a free hug.

A little bit about the Little Cities project...

Red76 Presents:
Little Cities

Some rooms? A roof? When we come home at night, tired and toughed out, what is it that we are coming home to? What are the qualities, the subjective, the personal, that we use to define shelter? For that matter, when do we get home anyhow? Talking with Paige the other night she mentioned how the longer she has been living at her space the more the area surrounding her becomes her home. Far before she steps through the doorway to the building she lives in even. As she glides up the street on her bike, blocks away from her building, home starts to arrive earlier and earlier as the months and years living in the area pass her by and accumulate at her feet. She becomes her own doorstep, arriving home each day quicker and quicker.

Between the period 1995 - 2005 I have lived in nine different cities, by my count, and moved into new spaces within that timeframe fourteen times. I could count other moves - living with a girlfriend and her family in Vermont for a few months in the mid-90's, etc, etc... - but I'll leave it at that. Oddly, in all that time, I didn't really stop thinking of New York, where I grew up, as my home till only about two years ago. Always in the back of my brain, genetically stuck inside me like a virus. New York was ingrained within me. And then, suddenly, it was gone. After that point I was a ghost in New York all the subsequent times I went to visit my family. Free of the past, walking through the streets unnoticed and unwatched, my home somewhere else, my memories of New York packed away in filing cabinets, accessible, but not out in the open for everyone to look at. At that moment I wasn't quite sure where my home was exactly, but I knew that I was free to decide on how I wanted to define it's upcoming stages. Not everyone is so lucky. Defined by so many odd conditions and circumstances our homes are so often decided for us rather than with us. Decided not on the merits of comfort and care, but on class or family or religion or race or simply habits or symptoms so out of our control.

Conversely, or actually, maybe hand in hand with these varied conditions to be more precise, the homes we choose for ourselves, the ones that do bring us comfort and care are deemed, at times, so out of sorts for what a home should be. Uprooted by others we are told that our idea of home is no home at all, and that they know better than we do and are looking out for us. And you know, sometimes they're right. And sometimes not. Who knows. It's tricky, right? One of those topics that spins in circles. Everyone with an opinion, almost everyone right in one way or another. Everyone wrong in all the same ways. It's just that there are no right answers, just right timeframes.

With more questions than answers we set out on our project Little Cities. Designed as a series of parties Little Cities is a project set in place to try to investigate these complicated questions through simplistic, childlike actions. While at the same time, a process designed to create new homes, new communities, and new ways and situations for people to think about what a home is.

Little Cities Build Yr. Own House parties are pretty simple. Guests are greeted by a room filled with cardboard and various supplies, markers, paint, glue, etc, etc...And, for the rest of the night we make houses out of cardboard, listen to music, have some drinks. That's that. The following morning we ask that party guests return to the site of the previous nights party. We'll have some coffee, sit around and talk. Try to figure out a place that we all agree on that is a special place, a place that we, collectively, would like to homestead. Taking our homes in hand we venture out onto the streets taking the trek towards our new homeland. Placing our homes in this newly homesteaded area we are all the new stewards of this land. There to look over it, see that everything is okay, watch out for it.

As time goes on, and more and more people get together for these parties, an invisible community of Little Cities will start to grow across the country, linked by the people and ideas that came to the parties, sat down, cut up some card board, listened to some Steely Dan and maybe drank a beer with someone they hadn't met before. Invisible communities of Little Cities comprised of people who spotted an outcropping of discarded cardboard, junk and trash strewn across the grass or pavement, who realized upon a closer look that it wasn't trash at all.

Red76 Presents:
February 1 – March 27, 2005
Hauser Memorial Library & Kaul Auditorium Foyer
Reed College 
3203 se Woodstock blvd
Portland, Oregon
curated by Stephanie Snyder

In the summer of 2004 Red76 was asked to take part in an exhibition called Playpen at the Drawing Center in New York City. For this show we created the NY Public Archive ( The project, housed in the Drawing Center's Drawing Room Annex (an exhibition space located across the street from the main space, accessed through a roll up garage door) was outfitted with a number of voting booths that folded out from metal suitcases. The insides of the booths were retrofitted into drawing tables. Colored pencils were provided with each voting booth. Within the space, along with the booths, there was hand written text on the walls explaining the project, and a list of instructions. A sign welcoming people to the NY Public Archive, made out of construction paper, was tacked up at the far end of the space. Along with all of this there was a column of drawing paper (restocked each day by the Drawing Center staff) and a large plywood box to drop submissions into.

The thrust of the NY Public Archive was to invite the public into the space to write and draw whatever it was that they might have been thinking, feeling, seeing on the streets and in their homes in NY that summer. All in all we received roughly two thousand submissions. Pleas for peace, confessions of infidelity, lists of things people had seen that day, abstractions, love notes, diary entries, and tons more.

From the beginning the point was to glean an archive of the thoughts and hopes of random New Yorker's and redistribute the material back to the citizens of New York to facilitate the sharing of stories. The power of openness. This December, through a variety of different means, we did just that. Culled directly from submissions to the NY Public Archive we disseminated the submissions to the archive back onto the streets of NY. Through the use of stickers (14 different kinds), a matchbook (in an edition of 2500), a book, postcards (3000 of them in all mailed out randomly to various New Yorker's), t-shirts, buttons, door hangers, and more, we spread these thoughts far and wide to the five boroughs. All in all over 11,000 separate multiples were produced from archive submissions and sent back out to the New York public at large.

For February - March of 2005 Red76 has been invited to share this process of redistribution, as well as selected archive submissions, at Reed College in Portland, Oregon through the colleges Case Works program. On display for this exhibit will be a selection of archive submissions, photo and video documentation of the archive redistribution process, as well as selections of the over 11,000 multiples created to send these thoughts and stories back to the people and the city that created them in the first place.

(We would like to thank Stephanie Snyder, the curator of Reed College's Cooley Gallery, for her work on this exhibit and being super nice in general)

Over and Out,

Your blog, It's terrific . If you ever need any printing done, I'm sure you'd be interested in Postcards / Flyers Try Postcards / Flyers
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