Gavin Kroeber is an artist whose projects and writings poach from visual art, urban theory, and performance. He produces curatorial projects and performance events that interrogate the cultural dynamics of power and their expression in the poetics of place. His project New Cities, Future Ruins, which received the 2016 Meadows Prize, investigated planetary crises of growth, migration, and sustainability in the sprawling cities of the Sun Belt. Recently relocated to St. Louis, he organized the 2018 festival Dwell in Other Futures: Art / Urbanism / Midwest and the interdisciplinary platform Art + Landscape STL, which culminated in a 2019 exhibition produced in partnership with the German art institution Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) and the Granite City Art & Design District (G-CADD). He most recently launched Laboratory for Suburbia, a collaboration with The Luminary and Washington University in St. Louis's Divided City initiative, and is currently developing a project engaging the multiplying burn zones of California's wildfires. He is co-founder of the nomadic curatorial platform Experience Economies and was Producer at Creative Time from 2005 until 2010. He is a regular 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.
"This is Not About a Building: Mary Ellen Carroll’s prototype 180" is an extended consideration of the artist’s ongoing project in the suburbs of Houston, Texas, written for Afterall in 2013. Beginning from a consideration of the project’s policy context—Houston’s famous “no zoning” planning regime—and Lefebvrian underpinnings, the essay branches out to consider the ways rhetoric and organizational form perform as the work’s primary materials.