The Noguchi Museum and Socrates Sculpture Park are joining forces in an effort to re-imagine the neighborhood of Ravenswood, a town straddling the borders of Astoria and Long Island City in Queens. Civic Action: A Vision for Long Island City has corralled four artists known for their work in the public sphere (Natalie Jeremijenko, Mary Miss, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and George Trakas) to revitalize the city by creating replicable urban models. The artists worked with architects, urban planners, and landscape designers to envision scenarios for Long Island City that museum director Jenny Dixon says "isnot a competition, but a layering of ideas. The projects work together."
For the meantime, the models are housed on the second floor of the Noguchi Museum, but will be moved down the street to Socrates Sculpture Park in May 2012 (not-so-coincidentally the park's 25th anniversary), where they'll be turned into prototypes.
New-media artist Natalie Jeremijenko–who also holds a B.S. in neuroscience and biochemistry–explores LIC's biodiverse future with a proposal UP_2_U investigating solar awnings, tree-climbing fitness facilities, and ethernet-powered lights, while Rirkrit Tiravanija's GreenWay and Community Kitchen sticks to the street. Tiravanija imagines repaving the one-mile stretch of road between the Broadway Q subway station and the Ravenswood waterfront with drivable grass so the community can host public happenings like movie screenings and markets, in addition to supporting vehicles.
Melded with design and planning expertise, unbridled optimism, an actual budget, and the tricky factor of community support, the artists' concepts could someday make it off paper and into the city. Until then, get your civic fill on, folks–the exhibition starts tomorrow at the Noguchi Museum, and runs through April 2012.
· Civic Action: A Vision for Long Island City [Noguchi Museum]