Posted in DETROIT, ENTERTAINMENT by urbanmi on June 22, 2012

Detropia from Ford Foundation on Vimeo.

I was waiting to write about this one until after I see it,

but I want to help draw attention to this work.


This is the type of work on Detroit, that is beginning to come out with much more regularity, much like the online short series from Palladium Boots, that shows the problems but the positive actions as well.  This positive narrative needs to be encouraged; cultivated. My graduate architecture thesis from 2010-2011 (which I will begin to publish
It will be shown on PBS next season, I will definitely be watching unless I can find a way to watch prior to that date.on here) explored these very same themes. It is counter productive to perpetuate the narrative of Detroit as a dying city; Detroit is not dead, and due to its importance economically, strategically, and politically, Detroit will not die. Detroit is a struggling and sick urban core that exists in a thriving and rich metropolitan region.

The production also demonstrates the powerful potential of ground-up financing structures such as Kickstarter have for creative works. Through these crowd-sourced financing structures, artists, filmmakers, developers, etc. are able to find the niche markets that will inevitably be their audience and directly appeal to those with like-minded interest as a means for accomplishing projects. It is freer, it frees production from the top-down financing that can prove to be a limitation.



Posted in GRAND RAPIDS by urbanmi on May 31, 2011

In January, Grand Rapids was listed by Newseek as a dying city based on a vacuous interpretation of data. The data used was limited in scope and painted an inaccurate view of the city. They compared the total population of Grand Rapids to the percent of the population below 18 years of age against the 10 year change in those population numbers.

Rob Bliss (organizer of city-wide events such as:the zombie walk, pillow fight, Artprize 2009 Paper Airplanes), organized a Lip-Dub of over 5000 people in response.

The success, coverage, and reception of the Lip Dup event has caused Newsweek to retract their statement.  Roger Ebert has called it the greatest music video ever.  His point is hyperbolic, but the video represents an impressive choreography of people, industry, and passion. Rob Bliss continuously highlights the beauty of Grand Rapids and brings out the love the residents of Grand Rapids have for their city.

The video is kitsch. But as a son of Grand Rapids it makes me smile. It makes me miss home. To Rob Bliss I say thank you.

Below the much better produced 2009 Art Prize Event. 10000 Paper Planes.