Magic City Repairs #2

September 20th — November 9th, 2007
at the Traina Center for the Arts at Clark University
92 Downing St. (off Park Ave), Worcester, MA
click on this picture to see a slideshow from the first building day in worcester
the open invitation for the Worcester Magic City project:

With your participation, input, and assistance, we are going to be building a city in Worcester, during the end of September and beginning of October.

The city will be made of paper, corrugated cardboard, and thin cardboard boxes. The magic is that you imagine something — a building, a bridge, a tower, a tree, a house, a road, ??? — and then bring it into existence in the world.

To contribute to the city, you don't need any art skills, and there are no language or education requirements. You can bring friends, strangers, family, touring bands, teachers, kids, townies, old folks, moms, out of town guests, dads, housemates, office mates, etc. etc. etc.

community building days:

come and build, hang out, bring your friends!

Saturday, September 22nd, from 12-5 pm
Thursday, September 27th, from 2-7 pm
gallery opening & artist talk:

("hmm, one of the building days is at the same time as the gallery opening? weird, that's not like any gallery opening I've been to before...")

Thursday, September 27th, 4:30-7 pm

This project is being presented as part of a group show called "Playtime". Seven other artists will be showing their work. There will be an "artist talk" at 4:30 pm. There will also be Snacks and Music.

Everybody is welcome to help build, the more people the better. We'll supply materials for gluing, marking, constructing and attaching. You can bring things to add if you want.

It will take place at the art center at Clark University, but everybody is invited, not just students, or artists. If you live in Main South, Worcester, or the surrounding area, we hope you will come and join us to add your vision and imagination to the city!

We are excited to be coming to Worcester and bringing this project to the Main South neighborhood. We are looking forward to meeting you!

— Jean C. & Andrew O.
photo by Meredith Younger

some links of awesomeness

Projeto Morrinho / the Morrinho Project

In a neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, with the participation of youth and adults, these people have built, out of altered and painted bricks (as well as other materials) a 300 square meter small version of a favela, an unregulated, self-constructed area of a city. Their city is a setting for short movies they make... and a framework for building youth leadership and initiative.

Fort Rochambeau

Andrew's next project: A bunch of middle school kids build lots and lots of forts in the basement of a library in Providence, documenting and writing about them on the internet.

Forbes St. Kitchen

Jean's next project (well, one of them): Rethinking and rebuilding a kitchen (originally built in the late 1800s) that is shared daily by 10 people... working collaboratively with the resident/owners to do all the design and construction.

corrugated cardboard houses in the Shinjuku subway station in Japan

Built by the homeless people who resided there, the houses were painted by artists. A full gallery of the house paintings is here (with text in Japanese).

New Urban Arts

Our collaborative & participatory art projects are inspired by, practiced at, and put through trials by fire at this innovative art studio for high school students and emerging artists.

cooperative not collective (dot) org

A community web portal shared by local artists, high school students, and cooperative projects. "Collectivity is based on an organized atrophy of personal existence, community on its increase and confirmation in life lived towards one another..." — Martin Buber

the city of Leicester, England, made out of cardboard

The artist group DOT built this model as part of a fringe festival to a national British art show...

adventure playgrounds

Kids playing in the dirt, building structures with hammers and nails, making fires, digging pools for water to collect in, painting things... making a mess, taking risks, having a ton of fun.

New Your City

Jean Cozzens is only partially responsible for this participatory city-building project, involving mostly elementary school children and their parents, that took place in March of 2006 and 2007 at the Fox Point Branch Library in Providence.

Participatory Culture Foundation

A non-profit software shop in Worcester, MA, PCF builds free, open-source software that lets people publish and distribute their videos. This link is to their step-by-step guide on making and publishing "internet tv".

What Shape Is Kindness? tape art tour

Putting tape on walls as a collaborative art project. And riding bikes for many miles in order to do so. In 2005, Andrew Oesch was one-half of a biking and taping and art making team...

is there something else we should link to here?

anything about cities, buildings, non-hierarchical practices, participatory art projects, etc...

email us at: secretdoor.projects (at) gmail (dot) com

a review of the first Magic City Repairs project

Here is a link to the discussion/review in the Providence Phoenix. Greg Cook, who draws comics and writes about arts happenings all over New England, came down and had a conversation with us in the gallery. He asked us some good questions which sparked our thoughts.

photos from the first city-building day in Worcester, September 22, 2007

Thanks to everybody who came and built buildings, boats, cars, highways, wetlands, signs, bridges, trains, and more to be part of the city!

cooperative not collective (dot) org

more collaborative projects!

"Collectivity is based on an organized atrophy of personal existence, community on its increase and confirmation in life lived towards one another..." — Martin Buber

photos: Jean and Andrew in Worcester preparing for the city-building project

From September 13th through 20th, we were in Worcester building a cardboard landscape that will hold the buildings that project participants create. We ate tomatoes, screenprinted, scavenged cardboard and more cardboard, played Go, hung out with great cats, made a giant mess, rode our bikes a lot, got a better understanding of the ways in which this project is transgressive... Most of our time was spent in the gallery as we hotglued cardboard together, talked, planned, were excited, were grumpy, were late, were on time... It was a great week. Thanks to Kirk, Tina, and Jen, who facilitated our presence at the Traina Center; the residents of Forbes House; and everybody at Clark and in Main South who is getting excited about the city-building days there!

previous segments of this project:

(that took place in May & June of 2007)

at the Stairwell Gallery

504 Broadway, next to the Korner Store, Providence, RI
click for a slideshow of the providence installation
pictures of the Providence Magic City in its "final" construction:

photos by Meredith Younger
city-building party (part 2):
Thursday June 14th — 11am to 8pm

Dinner potluck around 6pm featuring delicious Soup! as well as music by Andru Bemis (train-traveling banjo player) and Chris Monti (Providencian folk guitarist).

check out photos from the opening in Providence

...where you can see city builders in action, leave comments, etc. If you have pictures from the opening, upload them to flickr tagged "magiccityrepairs" and we will figure out how to make them show up somewhere relevant!

the opening was amazing

Sunday, May 27th was technically the opening of our "art show" — but we did not attempt to hang up all our projects entirely finished. Instead, we invited our friends, family, and random strangers to help work on building a magic city. We screenprinted the bricks, roof shingles, windows, doors, etc; collected the cardboard from the fine cardboard dumpsters of Providence, and brought it all to the gallery...

Around 90 people came by over the course of the day, cut up the paper sheets and cardboard, and assembled it in incredible ways to make all kinds of buildings, bridges, and constructions. Look at the slideshow!

Thanks to everyone who came out to the opening, to Polina, Andrew P, and Roman for helping with the printing, to AGP for making the waffles, to Haley and Natalie for letting us make a super mess at the gallery, and to my mom for taking pictures.

If you didn't make it, come on the next open building day. There's also now a small reading library about cities, architecture, and related subjects (??) in the gallery...

the art show continued:
May 27th through June 28th
Thursdays — Sundays, 11am — 4pm
closing event: Sunday, June 24th, 5—9pm

The other components of the art show involve lots of posters and prints, broadsides/essays/rants, drawings and architectural studies, models & sculptures, and a reading library. All this will be in progress and additions will be made continuously over the course of the month.

If you like seeing finished projects as opposed to work-in-progress, stop by on June 24th to celebrate the "completion" of everything!

in the Dirt Palace Storefront Window

right where Westminster St. and Broadway intersect with Manton, Hartford, and Plainfield Avenues, Providence, RI
untitled window installation
May 20 through June 18, 24 hours a day

This is the segment of the project that involves Jean and Andrew staying up late, burning themselves with hot glue guns and spilling paint on each other, stealing each other's ideas and purposefully subverting each other's meticulousness. More cardboard, more city; messier, dirtier.

We'll be working on this off and on from May 20th through early June. If you see us in the window when you pass by, stop and say hello.

on the internet

right here!
gathering of images, resources, writings, etc...
as of now and until the future

This website will also be collecting visual and written detritus as the various installations happen. We'll be adding images of the projects in progress and hopefully figure out how to translate what we're doing with cardboard and paper and space and words onto the internet somehow, so you can see it even if you're far away.