About the Civic Action Projects

Civic Action: A Vision for Long Island City Natalie Jeremijenko xCLINIC

Home to The Noguchi Museum and Socrates Sculpture Park, the Queens community where northern Long Island City and Astoria converge is a textured, mixed industrial and residential community. A resident since 1960, Isamu Noguchi was joined in the neighborhood by fellow artist and sculptor Mark di Suvero ten years later. Throughout his career, Isamu Noguchi collaborated with many architects, designers and civic thinkers on various public projects and in 1985, realized his vision of a single artist museum in Long Island City. One year later, di Suvero established neighboring Socrates Sculpture Park as an ongoing laboratory for art. More than 25 years later, the realized visions of these two renowned artists–and the spaces they transformed–have brought international attention to the area.

In response to this neighborhood, now undergoing significant change, The Noguchi Museum and Socrates Sculpture Park have forged an alliance through Civic Action: A Vision for Long Island City. Four artists known for their work in the public sphere were invited to form individual teams featuring an architect or planner to conceive new approaches to development in this area of Long Island City that Noguchi and di Suvero helped to shape. Artists Natalie Jeremijenko, Mary Miss, Rirkrit Tiravanija and George Trakas have explored visionary scenarios that would enable the community to continue to coexist alongside the light manufacturing and residential communities inherent to the area. The outcome of this eight month process will be displayed at The Noguchi Museum through April 22, 2012. Further realized components of each team’s proposals will be exhibited at Socrates Sculpture Park in May 2012.

For videos about Civic Action, see vimeo.com/noguchimuseum
Trees In Deed

In Long Island City UP 2 U trees own themselves, the land they inhabit, and the services they provide, following a legal precedence set, auspiciously, in Athens, Georgia. Trees assume personhood through the 14th amendment by virtue of their shareholder status in the OOZ Corporation. Furthermore the capacity for trees to self-report and monitor usage with inexpensive sensors gives them the voice and capacity to capitalize on this structure of ownership. U can make an appointment in the xClinic Tree Office to discuss how to create desirable futures. It is UP 2 U to explore possible institutions that realize the value of natural systems.

UP2U in Long Island City

In “UP_2_U,” the civic action plan developed by Natalie Jeremijenko’s En­vironmental Health Clinic Civic Action team, the systems for energy, food, manufacturing, distribution, and mobility in Long Island City are creatively, but practically adapted to improve environmental and human health and explore a tasty, biodiverse future. Participation is structured around this common good of shared environmental health, creating a new (organismcentric) urbanism of BiodiverCITY, ComplexCITY, and SynchroniCITY.

This is a smart Long Island City that seizes the opportunity that real-time “smart-city” technology provides to close feedback loops and radically upgrade en­vironmental health. What would Long Island City be if the trees owned them­selves and the land they inhabit; if salamanders traveled on superhighways and tweeted us when they migrate; if gorgeous bridges were built for bikes and butterflies; and if people and goods moved on emissionless, quiet, aerial fly lines to connect areas underserved by public transit, like The Noguchi Mu­seum and Socrates Sculpture Park, and reduce the diesel trucks traffic in this productive manufacturing and residential area.

In UP_2_U, people can participate in public experiments by engaging in eX­ercises and xSports to improve not only their health but also the quality of the water, air, and the biodiversity of the soil. Farmacys dispense AgBags to hang on building for new urban agriculture. Elevators in Vertical Urban Factories become micro-power plants that face off the charismatic Manhattan skyline for a denser, but healthier manufacturing zone. The city’s own backyard be­comes populated with exhilarating devices, marvelous couplings, delicious new foods, and spectacles that are designed to create shared public memo­ries of very possible futures.