Mary Miss / City as Living Laboratory (MM/CaLL) is an initiative spearheaded by artist Mary Miss to establish a platform for artists, working in collaboration with scientists, urban planners, policy makers, and the public, to make sustainability tangible through the arts. CaLL asks: by what means can we foster roles for artists and designers to shape and bring attention to the pressing environmental issues of our times?
CaLL’s aim is to foster public understanding of the natural systems and infrastructure that support life in the city. Its strategies are grounded in place-based experience that makes sustainability personal, visceral, tangible, and encourages citizen and governmental action. Ultimately, CaLL’s goal is to establish a FRAMEWORK that nurtures such multidiscipline and multi-layered teams in processes that can bring about greater environmental awareness and envision more livable cities of sustenance.
This FRAMEWORK emerges from Mary Miss’ lifetime of experience and a process of inquiry and exchange between other artists and designers, research scientists, municipal policy makers, local community groups, and academic partners. Activating the FRAMEWORK are Projects and Programs that seed sites with installations, performance, interactive activities and events. While focused on the unique conditions of specific locales, the projects and programs are designed to set examples that can extend to other sites and cities over time. These activities are conceived to nurture partnerships among disciplines, institutions, neighborhoods, and interested individuals as they work together toward shared environmental and sustainability goals.
There are two major aspects to CaLL. One is the continued development of precedent projects by Mary Miss such as ‘FLOW’ and ‘Stream / Lines’ in Indianapolis and ‘If Only the City Could Speak’ in Long Island City, NY. The second is the support of PROGRAMS that promote collaborations by other artist / scientist teams. This is done by identifying the artist’s interests and locating an appropriate science (or other expert) partner. As a way of engaging the public ‘on the street’ WALKS led by these collaborative teams are organized and documented. A collection of videos has begun showing the range of ideas that are explored in these public conversations. There will be further development of proposals for PROJECTS by selected teams as we move forward.
City as Living Laboratory Lab Book