benj gerdes

a portfolio not always in sync with internet time


Project is live here. I am proud to be “featured artist no.24” in this series of artists projects commissioned by the journal Ninth Letter. Series of audio interviews with web map interface.

“The project ‘Listen to Cleveland!’ focuses on…how we might think and act in the midst of a present moment of economic crisis in order to collectively advocate for the forms and relations we would like to bring about in the future. My basic premise was that this moment was not only one of transition or possible re-orientation, but one where the ‘creative economy’ urban redevelopment strategies advocated for cities like Cleveland by (social and economic theorist) Richard Florida and others had clearly failed.[…]I took questions to a number of different people in Cleveland, all of them working in culture, planning, or advocacy in some form. I was mainly interested in learning what efforts and connections on the grassroots level could be uncovered by an outsider more versed in the tourism and sports profiles of Cleveland than its on-the-ground realities.”

Commissioned by the Arts and Literary Journal Ninth Letter¬†Art Editor Ryan Griffis. This project is accompanied by the text, “Cleveland, What’s the Matter with Florida?” published in the Spring/Summer 2010 issue of Ninth Letter. That text is part of a portfolio of works by artists and researchers following the exhibition “In a Most Dangerous Manner…” curated by Steven Lam and Sarah Ross at SPACES Gallery, Cleveland, OH, in early 2010.

Short audio excerpt:

In this clip, Tony Brancatelli, Cleveland City Council Member, Ward 12, discusses with me how he discovered his Slavic Village neighborhood in Cleveland was an early epicenter of the subprime mortgage lending crisis in the U.S. (5:00 excerpt of a 45:00 interview)

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Listen to Cleveland! | 2010 | projects