Archive:Infinitely Small Interlude
The Institute for Inf Sm Th. We market dissent - through performancfes, conversations, maps, books, videos, websites, various different encounters. We promote actions that are creative, research-based, and participatory, to transform public spaces dominated by public and political agendas. A lot of us are artists... we're talking in more of an art context. Others are engineers, historians, anthropologists, a professiona hula-hooper. If you say you want to be a member, you're a member.
Example: the project 'corporate commands'. Lists of commands in corporate advertising.
We've done some experiments to as loiterally as possible enact these commands; for instance here in central square... Cingular's rollover ads. So what happens when we really do this in a public space where this language occurs?
What we want to do today is tell you about this project called The City Formerly Known as Cambridge. This is a project where we looked at language in public space, and who's commemorated through these spaces. If you take this shot of harvard square, and say 'where do these names come from?'
Palmer Pearl Dunster Winthrop Eliot DeWolfe Mount Auburn Arrow Remington Dunster Holyoke Linden
These people are all important, but they're also all white [men]. So we set out to do this populist renaming of Cambridge. Let anyoine who comes by propose a new name for any space in Cambridge. So basically the events are: we pick a space, visit different neighborhoods, go to places which are not necessarily 'our kind'. We set up a tent and have all these materials referrin to the actual history and its names, and invite the public to pick and space, a street or square or park or university, anything that appears on the GIS maps, and rename it to what they want, and give us a short reason.
So Cambridge Common was recently renamed to honor Eric Wineberger, who used to serve Sunday meals to people in the Commons. A bit of public history that didn't make its way into big books. Some are silly, some political, some like blah; but that's okay. The project isn't to establish a heirarchy of what name it should be given...
We implemented bidding -- an extra $0.25 for each renaming. This brings for me personally this love of... an art project that's community oriented, but we have money involved somehow, which makes pepole be carful when they approach us.