Henri Lefebvre argues in The Production of Space that “(social) space is a (social) product”. Thinking about this, it might be fun to try and imagine what the ‘(social) space’ of Unlisted might look like if we were to physically construct it. Since our last newsletter, we’ve been busy building a new Unlisted website and blog for Second Steel, we had our first group meeting with our local curators, we saw Quantum Theatre‘s conversation-provoking production of Dream of Autumn (they are one of our favorite Pittsburgh theatre companies), we trekked through Frick Park, and we took a loooooooooooooooooooonnnnnng drive down Pittsburgh’s Centre Avenue. One might say that the space of Unlisted looks a bit like a busy public square, bustling with activity, that is full of trees, a community garden, tables for large meetings and fountains pouring endless supplies of tea and coffee, and a large sign which forever reads, “Under Construction”. Hey, with a project like this, we are always on our toes.
What else have we learned in the past weeks? That the city is a site of trauma. It is a place of wear and tear. A place that shows its scars visibly. And, that often, we associate these scars with beauty. We romanticize the roofless, old building with countless vines growing up its sides; we reach out to touch the smooth surfaces on the steps in the Carnegie Library where over a century’s worth of shoes have worn at the marble; and we wonder about how it might have been, how the Hill District might have sounded, before the marquis of the New Granada Theatre went dark for the last time.
We also talked a lot about community-based versus space-based projects. How are they different? How are they the same? What are the responsibilities of the artist when working in one capacity or another? Feel free to email, Tweet, or post on Facebook any thoughts you might have on the matter. It’s a conversation we’re eager to have. (Use the hashtag #2ndsteel.)
For the rest of our May newsletter, click here.