Visiting artist Fritz Haeg presents projects, outcomes from ASL 5810 "Detroit Methods"...


Highly acclaimed artist Fritz Haeg is a visiting faculty member during Wayne State’s fall 2012 semester. He was appointed to the Elaine L. Jacob Endowed Chair in the Visual Arts in WSU’s James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History. The position is funded via a gift from artistic visionary and WSU alumna, Elaine L. Jacob, and allows Wayne State to host prominent artists-in-residence to the great benefit of WSU’s art students.

Direct from DETROIT METHODS (ASL 5810), a special topics course with 2012 Elaine L. Jacob Endowed Chair in the Visual Arts, Fritz Haeg:

This semester, students examined the activities of Detroit artists working directly in the public realm, without the intermediary of conventional exhibition spaces, and we have produced artwork of our own in this spirit. Our work exists in the “commons” of the city as events, interventions and activities. A selection of local actions begins November 24th, and continues on Noel Night, December 1st.

Then, at MOCAD on December 9th we present Detroit Methods:  At Home, in the Commons, an interactive record of our investigations and activities for all to enjoy. Welcome to Detroit!

Detroit Methods:  At Home, in the Commons is a one day event-installation at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit on Sunday, December 9th, 2012. A map of the city is taped out on the museum floor serving as the stage for the presentation of student projects with responses and contributions by visitors. The everyday spaces of private domesticity and public urbanity are reconsidered with communal street bread baking, vacant building film projections, bedroom spirit conjuring, backyard feral cat accommodating, community garden water harvesting, urban meadow mowing, people shepherding, public gardening dialoging, mass transit monitoring, and various forms of story telling. The projects have been developed during a Wayne State studio - lead by visiting artist Fritz Haeg and Department of Art Faculty Eric Troffkin - exploring the particularly innovative ways in which some contemporary artists are working in Detroit today, while developing student projects with similar strategies and approaches. Student projects by Joseph Culver, Leah DiPace, Julie Howells, Bianca Ibarlucea, Rebecca Love, Daniel Presley, William Sabbagh, Renee Sandova and Jessica Wildman react to real issues that Detroit is currently facing, involving food, transit, lighting, communications, parks and public spaces.
Detroit Methods:  At Home, in the Commons
Sunday, December 9th, 2012, 11am - 5pm
MoCAD, 4454 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201

FYI, MOCAD posted thirty photos from Detroit Methods: At Home, in the Commons on Facebook.


On Noel Night, December 1st, beginning at 5:00 at the Wayne State University Community Art Building, I am Urban Shepherd to my flock of Sheeple on a walk throughout Mid-Town. My Sheeple wear T-Shirts emblazoned with "We The Sheeple," and everyone is welcome to join our flock. The Sheeple will graze upon the opinions of the public during our Noel Night walk. We record, photograph, and make notes of the answers we find. Our grazing concludes when we arrive at the FRAMING THE REVIVAL performance, film projections at the Sherbrooke Manor apartment building, W. Hancock and Second.


FOR THE LOVE OF BREAD by Renee Sandoval
On Noel Night, December 1st, coinciding with Framing the Revival at 7:00, enjoy community, togetherness, warmth and nostalgia through the act of toasting simple twist-bread around a warm fire. Through the public preparation and sharing of this food staple, FOR THE LOVE OF BREAD promotes strong common ground and brings people from all walks of life together. Along with FRAMING THE REVIVAL we reconsider notions of entertainment and sociability.


FRAMING THE REVIVAL by Jessica Wildman
On Noel Night, December 1st, beginning at 7:00 in Detroit’s Cass Corridor, at the corner of W. Hancock and Second passers-by experience FRAMING THE REVIVAL, a timeline of family films from the 1920’s, 1960’s, and contemporary Detroit, projected publicly from the unfinished windows of the historic Sherbrooke Manor apartment building now vacant and undergoing renovation. All are welcome to witness this evolutionary Noel Night event. The night spectacle resolves with a special acknowledgment of the audience as selections of their images are projected, real time, from the Sherbrooke’s many windows.


On November 24th, at 7:30 pm, one block of Peterboro, between Second and Cass, without working street lights is lifted from darkness in a collaborative community event ILLUMINATING CHINATOWN. Floating paper lanterns made and decorated by local artists, designers and students are launched to provide a dramatic temporary light source over the neglected block of Detroit’s former Chinatown. First used as a signaling balloon, paper lanterns are now used in festivals to signify good luck and new beginnings. In Detroit, the lanterns signal change coming from the hands of the community.

Huffington Post, 12/3
"Illuminating Chinatown"
by Meg Urisko
On Nov. 24, at Cass and Peterboro, Detroit's Chinatown, 100 Flying Paper Lanterns were launched into the sky. The event was organized by Bianca Ibarlucea, a Wayne State University junior, for a class led by visiting artist Fritz Haeg and sculpture professor Eric Troffkin. Ibarlucea said living on Peterboro inspired this project. Current figures estimate that around 20 percent of Detroit's lighting infrastructure does not work, and in some areas that number may be as high as 50 percent, she said. “After the lighting bills died in the State Senate this fall, I decided to combine art with activism, and create a project that would amplify the voice of Detroiters as they call on elected officials to resolving the lighting issue.”


Fritz Haeg‘s work has included edible gardens, public dances, educational environments, animal architecture, domestic gatherings, urban parades, temporary encampments, documentary videos, publications, exhibitions, websites, and occasionally buildings for people. Recent projects include Edible Estates – an international series of public domestic edible gardens; Animal Estates – a housing initiative for native wildlife in cities around the world which debuted at the 2008 Whitney Biennial; Sundown Schoolhouse – an itinerant educational program, which evolved out of the Sundown Salon gatherings at his geodesic home base in the hills of Los Angeles; the designs, encampments, and scores of Fritz Haeg Studio; and starting in 2012, the new traveling project series of Domestic Integrities.

Haeg studied architecture in Italy at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia and Carnegie Mellon University, where he received his B. Arch. He is a Rome Prize fellow – in residence at the American Academy in Rome from 2010-2011, a MacDowell Colony Fellow (2007, 2009 and 2010), Montalvo Arts Center fellow (2012), and nominated for National Design Awards in 2009 and 2010. He has variously taught in architecture, design, and fine art programs at Princeton University (2012), California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), Art Center College of Design, Parsons School of Design, the University of Southern California, and Wayne State University in Detroit as the Elaine L. Jacob Chair in Visual Art visiting professor for Fall 2012.

Haeg has produced and exhibited projects at MoMA; Tate Modern; the Walker Art Center; the Hayward Gallery, London; the Liverpool Biennial; Blood Mountain Foundation, Budapest; the Whitney Museum of American Art; The Guggenheim Museum; SALT Beyoğlu, Istanbul; Stroom, Den Haag; Arup Phase 2, London; Pollinaria, Abruzzo; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Casco Office of Art, Design and Theory, Utrecht; Mass MoCA; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; the Wattis Institute, San Francisco; the Netherlands Architecture Institute; The Indianapolis Museum of Art; and the MAK Center, Los Angeles; The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum; and the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT among other institutions. His work has been published internationally, including profiles and features in The New York Times, Financial Times, Frieze, Artforum, The Independent, Dwell, Men’s Vogue, BBC, NPR, ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and The Martha Stewart Show. Recent books include “The Sundown Salon Unfolding Archive” (Evil Twin Publications, 2009), “Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn” (Metropolis Books, 2008. 3rd ed. 2013), and “Rome Eats Rome” (NERO, expected Fall 2013).

Elaine L. Jacob is a native Detroiter who received a BFA in industrial design from Wayne State University in 1942. Her career spanned the early history of plastics development and led to her becoming the first woman president of the National Association of Container Distributors. She helped develop the plastics division of her family’s glass container business, M. Jacob and Sons, founded in 1885 by her grandfather, Max Jacob, whose house now serves as Wayne State’s president’s residence. Her generous donation to endow an art gallery on campus led to the creation of WSU’s Elaine L. Jacob Gallery in 1997, a top venue for exhibitions of important local, national and international contemporary art. Elaine L. Jacob remains active in the arts community through, among many distinctions, her support of Wayne State University and her service to California’s Gualala Arts Center.

The James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History is a division of Wayne State’s College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts, educating the next generation of visual artists and art historians. Wayne State University, located in the heart of Detroit’s midtown cultural center, is a premier urban research university offering more than 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 29,000 students.

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