Thursday, November 20, 2008

Vacant Houses and a Detroit Walking Tour

Gina, Mitch and photographer Corine Vermeulen-Smith walked us through the Detroit area next to Hamtramck this afternoon. Corine just bought the house next to Gina and Mitch's on Klinger St. Hamtramck is a seperate city more or less encapsulated by Detroit. During the walk and afterwards we discussed the different individuals active in several sub scenes in Detroit, which could be of interest to the Unreal Estate project.

ADULT. a techno group based in Detroit. The Detroit techno scene is especially well connected to the crowd in Berlin. But ADULT has relations as well with folks in Rotterdam. Jerry Heron, author of Afterculture: Detroit and the Humiliation of History and contributor to Stalking Detroit and Shrinking Cities would be the right person to talk to regarding the history of the city. Another central figure would Grace Lee Boggs, a black power activist, who is currently connected to Michigan Citizens newspaper.

And Ed Gardiner is the person to discuss the Detroit Film scene. Gardiner is involved with the Film Office.

The Garden Resource Program Collaborative and people like Kevin Bingham are the best entries into urban farming activities in Detroit. Then two projects we're mentioned one by Bill McGraw called Driving Detroit and another one by Liz Blondy & Claire Nelson - Claire owns a nice shop called the Bureau of Urban Living (next to Motor City Brewery) and their project is called Detroit Open City.
A number of publications, booklets and leaflets piled up on the table in the end. For example, Mitch was involved with INFRASTRUCTURE the first issue of DETROIT, i.e. a collaborative project with the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), which includes amongst others an article by Ingo Vetter on urban agriculture.

Then Toni Moceri was mentioned several times. She was the main researcher in the Detroit part of the Shrinking Cities project, but currently county commisioner for Warren.

To be continued...

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