Saturday December 9 2017
Meet at 23rd and Cass, north side of street
Whatever the tax code or the deficit, the US government has the means to shape its territories — and expand them. The frontier is unfolding in reverse in north St. Louis, where the Department of Defense is about to take 122 acres of the city — not simply through erasure but literal removal of the land as a part of the accessible city. Across the street, the Pruitt-Igoe forest — record of past federal frontiering and monetization — has fallen for a new subsidized medical center. This critical drift, led by Michael Allen, will ask the question of “where does all the money go?” Money’s origin is fiction; its disposition is fact. Can we find it in the federalized and defederalized landscapes of St. Louis?
This walk promotes the bodily experience of the Brookings Drive Pin Oak allée one last time. Participants will complete an orchestrated mediation between the vastness of tree body and individual body by materially mapping the interconnected condition between these beings. Each participant will partner with one tree, and beginning their solo walk from that tree into the vastness of the allée — taking their individual trajectory, interacting with other participants and trees along the way. Pace, direction and interaction with fellow participants matter.
And so, while you begin at one tree – you go on a journey ultimately mapping out the constellation of trees and their interconnectivity that makes this landscape an allée. The material result is a mapping of individual paths, but also a mapping of interaction, and ultimately connectivity. This embodied tree experience is part of The One Tree Project, an interdisciplinary Master of Landscape Architecture studio that bleeds between the realms of the arts, sciences, and design disciplines.
Sunday May 7 2017
3721 Washington Avenue (across the street from the Pulitzer Arts Foundation)
The Department of Walking offers its inaugural walk as a survey of conditions between two vanishing buildings: a former art gallery being demolished by the Pulitzer Arts Foundation and the Pevely Dairy being demolished by St. Louis University. Between these two posts of erasure is a cross-section of the city bearing the marks of spatial exercise across time, from commercial capitalism to institutional land-banking. What landscape are the institutions making in the center of the city today? Bring open eyes and minds. This walk is a participatory analysis of land use (and abuse) led by historian and geographer Michael Allen. Participants will shape the itinerary and activity. Feel free to catch the drift.