Gates Factory Objectives

October 8, 2007

My primary objective for the Gates Factory project is to present the historical and current situation regarding this factory and urban redevelopment in a beautiful but haunting way. Above all, I want to provoke a dialogue. I want to create awareness, making people think about this situation without telling them my opinion. I want to honor this factory, creating a shrine like representation. However, I also will show it honestly, including its flaws, presenting the reasons the majority wants to tear it down.

Right now I am thinking about a second phase that may include some dialogue and presentation of what the future holds for this space (and other similar historical spaces, for example, Coney Island). I want to find a balance between an informative but dry documentary and strictly a beautiful work of art. Right now, I am hesitant to add dialogue or even images of this second phase because I am enjoying the current aesthetic and minimalism. However, I also want this piece to work as an intelligent documentary that presents this controversial situation from all sides. I hope to get some feedback (from my professors, colleagues and the blogging community) regarding how I can successfully walk this line.

Conceptual Overview/Background: To create awareness and necessary dialogue regarding historical preservation, urban development and public spaces among peers, colleagues and the community at large. I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin. There was a ton of open space, farmland and water. Then my family moved to the northern suburbs of Denver. It was a shocking change of scenery even in the early nineties but now the development around my parents’ neighborhood is out of control. Is this sprawl really necessary to accommodate the population growth or are irresponsible decisions being made? I want to become more informed on this topic that has always affected me. I want to research development companies, public space policies, and also make comparisons globally. How does the United States compare with other countries of a similar economy? Are other countries dealing with population growth in similar ways or have they found a smarter, more responsible approach. What kind of public space protection do other countries have?

Artist’s Influences/Points of Departure:
*Filmmaker and Architect Austin Allen’s “Claiming Open Spaces”
-A documentary on urban development and public space.
*Architect Neotha Meirath exploring space redevelopment issues in New Orleans
*Architect and Professor Jörn Langhorst exploring Gates Factory redevelopment issues and ideas with UCD students.

Project Prior Art: Coney Island and Lakeside Holga Photo Essays (shown below)

Potential Outcomes/Appropriate Venue: I would like to submit this video to a documentary oriented film festival. I would also like to find a local gallery that may show it. In addition, depending on the outcome, this film could be appropriate for showing Architecture and Urban Development students and firms. Austin Allen, a landscape architecture professor at University of Colorado has a background and undergraduate degree in film. He makes films regarding public spaces and urban development. I would like to talk with him about this project, possible venues and possible collaboration. I am hoping, if I choose to include dialogue, Professor Allen will speak in my video regarding development choices and issues.

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