Forum Journal & Forum Focus

Spring 2016 Forum Journal: Activating Historic Spaces 

05-23-2016 15:08

Activating historic spaces hinges on engaging audiences, existing and new, in the reimagination of a site. Successfully activating places requires a dual connection: the contemporary reanimation of a place must both credibly incorporate its past and authentically resonate with its present-day visitors. There are many ways to achieve this effect—commercial or nonprofit, utilitarian or aesthetic, ephemeral or permanent. But whether using art installations to awaken a dormant industrial site, drawing the forgotten narratives out of a riverside landscape, or incorporating the story of a minority-owned restaurant into a site's revival, it is the buy-in from patrons and customers that truly determines the resurgent relevance of a historic space.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: The Power of Light  by Jason Lloyd Clement
  • Preservation Art: An Interview with Jorge Otero-Pailos by Katherine Malone-France
  • Activating Iconic Spaces: Art Intervention as a Force for Preservation by Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero
  • Liberating Lyndhurst from the Tyranny of the Period of Significance by Howard Zar
  • CITY of NIGHT and the Impact of Placemaking by Dana Saylor
  • Community Partnerships Activate Santa Barbara’s Presidio Neighborhood by Anne Petersen

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#Farnsworth #Interpretation #art #Architecture #SharedUse #Lyndhurst #HistoricSites #storytelling #MiamiMarineStadium

Author(s):Jason Lloyd Clement, Katherine Malone-France, Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero, Howard Zar, Dana Saylor, Anne Petersen
Volume:30
Issue:3
Attachment(s)
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Spring 2016 Forum Journal (Full Issue)   2.15MB   1 version
Uploaded - 06-02-2016
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Introduction: The Power of Light   1.30MB   1 version
Uploaded - 06-02-2016
In the introduction, Jason Lloyd Clement examines the theme of activating historic spaces using the metaphorical and literal lighting of places. The article first discusses the activation of National Trust National Treasure Miami Marine Stadium by drawing audiences to the Miami International Boat Show in 2016, touching on specifics that include working with local artists and employing technology. The second example presented is of an installation, CityHEART, by artist Casey Milbrand at the 2013 CITY of NIGHT in Buffalo, New York. The article analyzes the siting of the installation, its meaning for the event and for the city of Buffalo, and the impact of light.
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Preservation Art: An Interview with Jorge Otero-Pailos   2.90MB   1 version
Uploaded - 06-02-2016
Interviewee Jorge Otero-Pailos unpacks the bigger ideas behind activating historic spaces. He begins by interrogating the delineation between preservation and art and then goes on to examine the role of culture. Otero-Pailos emphasize that authentic connection with the audience is key and that preservation art—a term he proposes in this article—must address contemporary concerns and interests. He discusses both the national and international settings for this conversation and highlights the changing scale of preservation efforts, outlining the ways in which that change is driving changes in how students of preservation art must be taught to engage with the field.
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Activating Iconic Spaces: Art Intervention as a Force for...   4.21MB   1 version
Uploaded - 06-02-2016
The article examines the immersive art installations of Luftwerk and their role in activating historic spaces. The installations are informed by the architecture and history of the places in which they are sited. The art exists in conversation with both the buildings’ architects and the spaces themselves—including the Robie House, Fallingwater, the Ford House, the Farnsworth House, and the Garfield Park Conservatory. Luftwerk also seeks to establish connection with their audiences to ensure that their installations not only reflect the past but maintain contemporary relevance. Art intervention is explained as a force that can drive preservation by giving historic sites new dynamic and compelling dimensions.
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CITY of NIGHT and the Impact of Placemaking   2.30MB   1 version
Uploaded - 06-02-2016
The article discusses the historic moment in which CITY of NIGHT took root in Silo City, an aging industrial area of Buffalo, New York. It emphasizes the artistic currents that had never been extinguished in the economically depressed area and the ways in which this vibrant culture contributed to the activation of Silo City. The article describes the marketing efforts for CITY of NIGHT; chronicles the event’s evolution from year to year; and provides a sample of the art installations, explaining the ways in which they helped activate the space. The article also focuses on the volunteer collaborators who were vital to the event, and provides a glimpse into the Emerging Leaders in the Arts Buffalo’s current and future projects in activating place.
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Liberating Lyndhurst from the Tyranny of the Period of Si...   3.94MB   1 version
Uploaded - 06-02-2016
Abstract: The article discusses the concept of period of significance and lays out why understanding historic sites through that lens can be harmful. With specific reference to National Trust Historic Site Lyndhurst, the article details aspects of its history that have either been neglected in its interpretation or even physically destroyed for not comporting with the period of significance as it was once understood. The article devotes a lot of attention to landscape as a setting for overlooked aspects of Lyndhurst’s history. Finally, the article discusses the recent steps to reinterpret and activate the site to tell a fuller story and engage audiences on a variety of levels.
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Community Partnerships Activate Santa Barbara’s Presidio ...   2.36MB   1 version
Uploaded - 06-02-2016
The article focuses on El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park as a model for partnership and shared use of a historic space. It begins with a description of El Presidio’s history and emphasizes the importance of partnership for the site’s contemporary success. The article then lays out a number of different shared-use partnerships—including the Anacapa School, the Pickle Room bar, and the Standing Sun Wine tasting room—all of which pair a reverence for their sites’ histories with a business that engages their community. The article also discusses broader community partnerships that have been mutually beneficial in driving business success and drawing new audiences and visitors.

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