Gavin Kroeber's projects and writings poach from visual art, urban theory, and performance. He produces curatorial projects, artistic research platforms, and performance events that interrogate the cultural dynamics of power and their expression in the poetics of place. He is a frequent contributor to Art in America and has written for publications such as Afterall, Art in America, Art Journal, and PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art. He holds a Master of Design Studies in Art, Design, and the Public Domain from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He was co-founder of the nomadic curatorial platform Experience Economies and Producer at Creative Time from 2005 until 2010.
This essay, a contribution to PAJ’s 2015 special section on “urban dramaturgies”, describes the emergence of event-based art production mega-venues like New York City’s Park Avenue Armory and Governors Island and analyzes the discourse of experience driving a mutual recomposition of art and the city. Comparing the contemporary event landscape with the city’s historical role in festive-Marxist thought as a landscape of radical events, the piece traces the evolving braid of art and urbanism in Western culture. It asks what an avowal of art’s urban effects and the city’s aesthetic aspects might mean for institutional practices in both of the increasingly blurred arenas of art and urbanism.