Tuesday, March 14, 2006

urban archives

i've known irina gendelman since september 2001 - she was an MA student in the then-school of communications and i was a first year assistant professor. she was assigned - for two straight quarters! - to be my research assistant and we hit it off immediately.

irina invented film 3 6 9 - a quarter-long film series in week three, week six, and week nine (example: three different david cronenberg films through the quarter). she also designed and taught a technology workshop for undergrads, grad students, and profs - html, photoshop, ftp, flash. irina has a knack for collective action.

she's done a number of community murals in olympia. she organized an incredible, heart-stopping september project in front of the central library in seattle (see pics here and here). and, along with tom dobrowolsky, giorgia aiello, numerous UW librarians, and a gang of undergraduates, irina instigates the urban archives.

urban archives is, among other things, a teaching platform and for the last quarter, a number of UW undergrads have been archiving city culture: signs, streets, stickers, graphics, grafitti, you name it. on monday night, after a little bit of this

we witnessed some excellent student presentations.

desiree w. couldn't make it but sent along her excellent powerpoint of apple-inspired murals in the lake chelan region of washington. beth f. gave an awesome presentation about the transformation of public sidewalks as a result of the recent ban on indoor smoking (like in bars) in the state of washington. chakrya l. presented a number of really interesting murals in the international district and in pioneer square. marissa o. changed things up a bit and showed a woman's yard/public museum that demands reflections on race and racial justice - as well as some interesting grafitti on a local fraternity and various stencils on the burke gilman trail. amy b. presented a series of excellent photographs of buildings in capital hill -- photographs from the turn of the 19th century juxtaposed to photographs from the turn of our century. katrina b. presented an oral history of the james colman school in the central district. and naraelle b. showed us a wonderful set of noirish photographs she took of aurora ave - a seattle road made famous by its neon signs, shady commerce, and the place of some of kurt cobain's last nights. in all, a great evening of ideas and findings.

i look forward to watching the presentations get migrated into the urban archives site.


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