ABOUT

The Divided City Summer City Seminar will look to bring together scholars and creative practitioners working at the intersection of spatial and political concerns, with a particular eye to the ways landscapes—urban, rural, wild—enter into the field of the political.  While this convening is organized topically around the politics of landscape, it goes further in staking a claim for a specific methodology or orientation—something we might call practice. As such we look to bring together a multi-disciplinary range of critical, creative practitioners from around the world for whom research and practice are inextricably linked. Across a range of disciplines—art, architecture, geography, and urbanism—the participants all bring to the table a particular way of seeing and, importantly, of responding-to and communicating the imbrications of politics and space. 

 

The orientation of the Seminar will be to stake out a position for practice within the broader research university context, and to articulate a pro-active position whereby this model of research and production might be more effectively communicated. Our convening will focus on bringing to the table not only topical specificity—the ‘what’ of research— but will focus, importantly, on the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ of what we do as well. There are unique questions that creative practice poses vis a vi a research university, and we look to learn from one another as we provide models that open up scholarship to new modes of production and reception. Our goal will be to put into practice, over the course of a long weekend, a range of methodologies that reorient our received ways of approaching the city.

Critical Spatial Practices St. Louis is a multi-platform convening that takes on the spatial politics of the city. Organized by the Divided City, an Andrew Mellon Foundation-funded initiative in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities, CSPSTL constellates around a series of city-wide exhibitions addressing the entanglements between (sub)urbanism, landscape, and race. 

As the second in the Divided City’s Summer City Seminar, the conference brings together scholars and creative practitioners working at the intersection of spatial and political concerns, with a particular eye to the ways creative practice and historical research mingle in the fields of exhibition and institution building. Across a range of disciplines — art, architecture, geography, history, and urbanism — the participants all bring to the table a particular way of seeing, of responding to, and of communicating the imbrications of politics and space. 

Central to the orientation of the seminar is building relationships among institutions, practitioners, and activists in St. Louis and beyond, and providing a platform for collaborative projects across the city. As a form of social practice itself, this paripatetic seminar will structure a convergence among institutions and projects in order to nurture critical dialogue around art, politics, and history in St. Louis. Our goal over the long weekend will be to reflect upon, and to put into practice, a range of methodologies – historical, creative, architectural, geographic, etc. - that reorient our received ways of approaching the Divided City.

2017