Gavin Kroeber is an artist, writer, and head of the interdisciplinary curatorial office The Studio for Art & Urbanism. His projects and writings, which poach from visual art, urban theory, and performance, are concerned broadly with cultural dynamics of power and in particular with their expression in the poetics of place. His current work is focused on the extreme urbanism of America's Western Sun Belt and redirective approaches to landscape. Projects in development include the performance-lecture Verdant Cities: A Warning and two public programs in St. Louis: the Fall 2017 social series At the Edge of Everything Else and a Spring 2018 event, The Autumnal City: A Midwestern Festival of Urbanism and Futurism. He is half of the curatorial collaborative Experience Economies (with Rebecca Uchill) and holds a Master of Design Studies in Art, Design, and the Public Domain from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
The 2014 edition of One Architecture Week was held in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, in the anxious final weeks of the city’s bid for European Capital of Culture. Exploiting this context, Experience Economies' (Gavin Kroeber and Rebecca Uchill) spent a week on the ground, responsively staging a series of experimental conversations on monuments, memory, and locality organized around the question, “What city are we being shown and why?”
Conducted at unorthodox locations around the city with Plovdivchani and other Bulgarian interlocutors, the performative dialogues approached the festival’s experiential urbanism (the city produced by the festival's itinerary) and its urban imaginaries (the city produced through marketing, press, and rumor) as objects for critique and play.
How to Disable Placemakers, an atmospheric series of Bulgarian-language readings on the city of Plovdiv, unfolded in the natural amphitheater offered by the roof of a public toilet. An act of low architectural dramaturgy, it featured contributions by publisher Manol Peykov and festival participant Neda Genova, with music by Big Banda.
Dustbins of History, featuring historian Emil Jassim and journalist Teodor Karakolev, was held in the stepped plaza behind the city’s Ottoman-era Dzjumaya Mosque simultaneous to the sunset call to prayer for a mixed crowd of both festival-goers and the youth that gather there to smoke, drink, and pass time.
Home Invasions, featuring artist Ivan Moudov, was a standing-room-only dialogic house party stuffed into the apartment of festival director Ljubo Geogiev.