Andy Sturm

I am interested in creating a critical, spatial practice that can merge architectural, urban and artistic ways of working and produce opportunities which will facilitate artists, communities and institutions to converge in essential ways.

Through this practice I intend to better understand, disrupt and alter crucial environmental, economic and social issues within the public realm - in tandem with those most affected by these issues.

While one major aspect of my practice is to uncover and identify new circumstances through engagement and critical observation - I already see certain opportunities which are present in many communities and can serve as potential points of entry:

1) Distributed and distributive curatorial platforms that allow for bottom up residents and agencies to better engage and understand the critical issues that affect their communities while also enabling a more meaningful and equitable dialogue with top down institutions and vice versa.

2) New cartographic tools and methods, new maps and interfaces, which can visualize the invisible and (re)measure the city to increase the cognitive and political capacity of communities. These new visualizations and processes will allow the public to infiltrate opaque systems of top down institutions and bring greater transparency, civic representation and ownership of the public realm.

3) Shifting design from reactive to anticipatory + speculative models - where new tools and processes can help forecast challenges and design ways of inoculating communities - making them more resilient and proactive.

Through these approaches comes an alternative idea for enabling public interest based practices to participate in (re)constructing the future of the city.

This is not about charity. This is also less about the aesthetic objects themselves and more about how they perform and what they bring about. The aim is not to commodify or fetishize, but to create mediating gestures - both objects and experiences - that can spur meaningful dialogue and substantive change.

These mediating gestures may take the form of installations, objects, spaces, maps, videos, performances, events, workshops, classes, experiments, etc. The first steps are to embed myself in the local, to gain a deeper understanding and to identify needs and opportunities. Through that process - gestures will emerge.

Sponsored by GSA and UCSD Vis Arts