Summer Program, City As Site

My name is Ofri Cnaani and I’m an artist and faculty member at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York. I wanted to tell you about City as Site, a summer program that I’m directing at SVA as I believe it might be an interesting opportunity for your advanced undergraduate students, MFA students, and recent graduates. It would be greatly appreciated if you could forward this letter on to students whom you believe would be interested in the program and would make a good fit. I believe that in these dire, global times art thinking and art making must be discussed in an ‘active form.’ Culture must be used to call attention to current crises and re-examine power structures through engagement with public space.

City as Site is a nomadic summer residency that explores the diverse communities that define New York City with the aim of creating context-specific public performative works. I like to think of this program as a public laboratory that brings together artists, scholars, and community members to think about the role of socially engaged art in constructing space for civic dialogue. The residency uses the streets of New York City’s five boroughs as its classrooms. Artists and faculty explore the city and engage with its communities, histories, and stories, which will become materials for final projects. Interventions may take the form of tours, tactical and site performances, temporal installations, video or sound projections, digital platforms, community involved projects, peer-to-peer platforms, print or online publications, and street events.

This summer will be City as Site’s fourth iteration, and every year we bring together a group of international makers and thinkers, and brilliant faculty who work alongside participants to develop experimental models for an artistic practice that combines methods from the arts, activism, and performance practice in order to cultivate innovative approaches to the construction of social spaces as cultural landscape. There are no opportunities for funding or financial aid, however, the social and community based nature of the program cultivates a networking environment and participants are given the chance to create connections and build an understanding of living and working as artists in New York City.

You can read about the program on the SVA site or the dedicated City as Site website we created so one can read more about our faculty and the program. This year’s dates are June 19-30, 2017.

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