Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Urban Gallery

On Sunday, January 20th we examined the process of privatization within the public spheres of the famous streets of the most touristic hotspot of the city, Pike Place Market. Our focus was centered on the unspoken private “businesses” of those individuals that shape our experience at the market, rather than the authorized shops and restaurants that only attract attention behind closed doors. The concept of designing an experience into a space as opposed to designing a space to match a certain experience, is greatly evident in the streets of downtown Seattle. Throughout our walkthrough we found it fascinating the utilization of street space by lower classmen and their positive impacts on the experiences that are designed into an area. Not only how they are purposely designed, but how they evolve organically. Among the arts we found were street performers, three-dimensional Sculptures, both approved and unapproved, and works that arise from the many hands, like the graffiti walls and the infamous gum wall. The streets became a stage for the performers, while the walls became a gallery all emphasizing the beauty behind the shared city.

Sculptures such as the Tree of Life and the Market Foundation Piggy Bank were public works constructed as art pieces for the city and its citizens. Both of these works were paid for in donation from private entities. As private businesses attempt to become more involved in communities, they simultaneously help pay for public works. Repetitive private advertising found throughout the community satisfies both the private sector and meets the public’s needs. On the other hand, the blurred boundary is found in organically formed art, in the form of street artists and street.

~Jake Mellinger, Nick Durig, and Yair Cohenca

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