future mail

future1future3future2

The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC) hosted an event on January 2nd at Brooklyn Museum’s First Saturdays, that caught my attention.

The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture is NOT a government agency. It is the nation’s newest people-powered department, founded on the truth that art and culture are our most powerful and under-tapped resources for social change. Radically inclusive, useful and sustainable, and vibrantly playful, the USDAC aims to spark a grassroots, creative change movement, engaging millions in performing and creating a world rooted in empathy, equity, and social imagination. 

In the museum’s beautiful Beaux-Arts Court the USDAC set up a range of art making activities conceived to imagine the future of New York City, which is currently in the midst of an unprecedented affordable housing crisis. There was a Letters to the Future station, where people could write to a friend or loved one in the year 2036, telling them how they helped to keep New York City affordable. While the solutions to our housing crisis are so much more complex than the actions of individuals, posing the question is valuable. What kind of a city do we want in the future and what can we do collectively to make it so?

on kawara

kawara

Above is a portion of the series  I Got Up… by conceptual artist, On Kawara, made up of 90 postcards that he rubber stamped and mailed to his friend and fellow artist, John Baldessari in 1975. I just learned that while I was on vacation in Italy, Kawara died at the age of 81. Since much of his work focuses on marking time and place I feel compelled to state that he died on July 10, 2014 in New York City.

I am looking forward to a retrospective of Kawara’s work at the Guggenheim, which opens on February 6, 2015, and is called On Kawara: Silence.