Fieldwork/Workshop Calendar

Fieldwork + Workshop Calendar

How does Live Feeds work? Each week’s program consists of two events: “FeedBack Forums” on Wednesdays and “FeedForward Fieldwork” on Fridays. “FeedBack Forums” are held in the lab and are focused on the shaping and re-shaping of research questions. “FeedForward Fieldwork” sessions then launch these research questions into action and out into the field to see what happens when we put these ideas to work. The cycle of feedback and feedforward inflects on the Lab, charging each week with an ever-richer set of questions and possibilities.

(Note this Calendar is still in development and subject to modification. Please check with the BMW Guggenheim Lab Calendar)




Wednesday, August 3

Introduction of Programming

Time: 2 pm – 3 pm

Location: BMW Guggenheim Lab

Spurse introduces Live Feeds, a two-part program of FeedBack Forums (FeedBF) and FeedForward Fieldwork (FeedFF) that offers the public an opportunity to examine and expand the lab’s in-progress questions. Are you interested in the transformation of your shared environment? Come learn how you can participate — for one event or over 11 weeks.


FeedBF 1: Finding The Local

Time: 3 pm – 5 pm

Location: BMW Guggenheim Lab

The Local is all around you, but just how do we know where “local” begins and ends in a globally connected city?  The Lower East Side is New York’s most notorious locus for immigrants, forming a genealogy of local that is so profoundly rich, and yet constantly changing.  In a world where everything circulates, it’s getting harder to identify what or who “local” really is, and more strikingly, why local still matters. Spurse kicks off its first FeedBack Forum with this essential topic, launching participants into future ideas about how we find and rethink the local.


Friday, August 5

FeedFF 1: Making The Local

Time: 2 pm – 5 pm

Location: Throughout the Lower East Side, between alleys, bridge and walls

Plenty has been said to “Act Locally,” but just how do you go about it when “local” is an event that is constantly changing? In our first FeedForward Fieldwork session, spurse invites participants to scan the Lower East Side in search of – and to make – a one-hour event upon which we can “act”. We will test ideas emerging from FeedBF 1, and we’ll see how the local is made and re-made by our collective actions.


Wednesday, August 10

FeedBF 2: Beyond Gentrification

Time: 3 pm – 5 pm

Location: BMW Guggenheim Lab

Just how did gentrification prevail as New York’s model of economic development? Our scales of transaction are moving us farther away from a space we used to call “the commons,” to the point we can hardly recognize cycles of possibility right under our noses. Spurse will unpack the logic of the commons as a starting point, toward social and economic diversity.


Friday, August 12

FeedFF 2:  Co-opting Place

Time: 2 pm – 5 pm

Location: Hunts Point

What if our cities shape us just as much as we shape them? We think we hold dominion over our urban environments, but what if they have been co-opting us all along? Spurse will lead a type of “city’s eye view” through and around Hunts Point, the largest wholesale food market in the world, located in the Bronx and explore these questions, while cataloging our companion species and testing alternatives with members of a much broader community.


Wednesday, August 17

FeedBF 3: Speculating on Other Scales of Action

Time: 3 pm – 5 pm

Location: BMW Guggenheim Lab

Ever wonder how changes at the scale of the city register at another scale? Scientists call this the “Butterfly Effect,” a phenomenon that is nearly impossible to observe, but one that we strive to simulate in order to shape our human behaviors into best practices. But are simulation models the only way we can recognize multiple scales at work, and would sensing by other means change how we behave in the city? Spurse brings these questions to the forum in search of new tools and language that move beyond the global/local duality.


Friday, August 19

FeedFF 3: Cutting Across Scales

Time: 2 pm – 5 pm

Location: A transect from the Lab directly to the East River

Could one continuous walk down First Avenue to the East River give us clues to all the many differing possibilities of our global reality? Spurse plans to find this out with our participants – humans and non-humans alike. As we traverse down to the East River, we will not only cut across neighborhoods, ecosystems and histories, we will speculate on how we are also cutting across a range of scales that elasticize with every step.



Wednesday, August 24

FeedBF 4: The Self as System

Time: 3 pm – 5 pm

Location: BMW Guggenheim Lab

When you use the toilet, where does the self begin and where does it end? Infrastructural systems have a tricky way of removing us from ourselves, and usually, for good reason. But what remains is more than an added convenience. We have come to believe that we are separate from these processes, dislocating the self from the system. Spurse will explore this separation more closely – how it shapes our city and, by extension, how it shapes us.


Friday, August 26

FeedFF 4: The System as Ecosystem

Time: 2 pm – 5 pm

Location: A boat tour through the NJ Meadowlands

What if nature and culture are no longer considered two separate systems, what sort of city might you really see? Spurse will lead a voyage by boat to the heart of New York’s most astonishing post-natural landscapes. On the Hackensack River, where comfort meets waste, we’ll navigate through our future eco-system: a remediated NJ swamp, a wastewater treatment plant, a mall, a housing development, a capped landfill and a Superfund site.


Wednesday, August 31

FeedBF 5: No Outside: A World in Which Waste is Gone

Time: 3 pm – 5 pm

Location: BMW Guggenheim Lab

What if we imagined the world without the concept of an outside – would there even be such a thing called waste? Waste is not a pre-given term, and yet our sense of comfort is so profoundly defined by something so vague. Can we invent a better way of thinking and acting that unhinges us from perpetual waste? Join spurse for a wild freethinking session to develop pragmatic possibilities beyond a world that can throw things away.


Friday, September 2nd 

FeedFF 4: NYC: Rivers of S*#*t, Rivers of Comfort

Time: 2 pm – 5 pm

Location: NJ Meadowlands, Hackensack River.

Spurse will lead a research voyage by boat to the heart of New York’s most astonishing post-natural landscape. On the Hackensack River, where comfort meets waste we will look at what happens after heavy rains, as our rivers and bays turn into sewage outlets for human waste, dispensed through a hidden network of combined sewer outflows (CSOs). Is this merely a poorly designed holdover of another era, or a strange reality of water flows meeting human flows? On this journey we will confront how our personal comfort produces systemic (dis)comforts, as we encounter evolving critters, multi-specias squatters and others all negotiating novel alliances towards our future ecosystems.


Wednesday, September 7 

FeedBF 6: In the Thick of a New Paradigm

Time: 3 pm – 5 pm

Location: BMW Guggenheim Lab

“Environmental Justice” imagines that a healthy and equitable environment is an essential right for all humans, but is it also a right for non-humans? Coming to terms with this difficult question brings us closer to a new model of politics that is as dynamic as our environments are. In a good game of sideways thinking, spurse will speculate the urgency of a new paradigm that gets at who we are and more strikingly, how we are of the environment, not simply in it.




Friday, September 9

FeedFF 6: Just Systems and Environmental Justice

Time: 2 pm – 5 pm

Location: A visit to Sustainable South Bronx.

How are diet, urban blight, asthma, ecology, justice, and gentrification connected? In the same way that blight is deployed for political, social or economic gains. How we recognize an injustice demands more than just our eyes. To get at how we see the forces at work, spurse will visit the good folks of Sustainable South Bronx to explore the strange and interwoven worlds of justice, gentrification, health and blight.


Wednesday, September 14

FeedBF 7: Mapping Movements and Power

Time: 3 pm – 5 pm

Location: BMW Guggenheim Lab

Isn’t it odd that the language we use to classify New York’s newly migrated populations are so similar in their connotation? Take humans and plants, for instance. Human migrants become “illegal aliens” and plant migrants become “invasive species”. How we understand systems of migration leads to how we understand circulations of power. Is there a model of thinking about our city’s populace that imagines that everything has moved, and will continue to move? Spurse will dedicate this session to alternative understandings of migrations and immigrations.


Friday, September 16

FeedFF 7: Migrations and Immigrations: Mapping Movements and Power

Time: 2 pm – 5 pm

Location: Prospect Park and Environs

How would the city look to a naturalist or activist that cannot discriminate between alien (species) and native (species)? In light of the move away from the ideology of invasive species in contemporary science is there an alternative way to look at how we and other creatures circulate and find comfort? Spurse will conduct a study walk from Gowanus Bay to Prospect Park with a new classification system for naturalists and immigration rights activists alike.


Wednesday, September 21

FeedBF 8: Collaboration and Cooperatives: Mapping new models of collaboration

Time: 3 pm – 5 pm

Location: BMW Guggenheim Lab

We talk about collaboration, but just how do we collaborate if we don’t know who or what to bring to the table? Historically, we have come to believe that the needs of the individual come first, and that collaboration is something we choose to do. But if nothing exists separate from other things and systems, aren’t we always collaborating? Spurse will explore with participants what happens when we cannot escape collaboration, and how this might play out on our current sensibilities about comfort.


Friday, September 23

FeedFF 8: Collaboration and Cooperatives: Fieldwork at a Cooperative

Time: 2 pm – 5 pm

Location: A visit to Colors Restaurant in Manhattan

Does collaboration have an economic benefit for New York, and if so, who benefits? The newest experiments in economic justice are emerging as worker cooperatives. Join spurse to see how these ideas meet on a visit to one of the city’s most extraordinary work cooperatives.





Wednesday, September 28

FeedBF 9: Mapping the Distributed Self

Time: 3 pm – 5 pm

Location: BMW Guggenheim Lab

Can paying attention to our moods in city environments help us rethink the self? Can we develop a different view of the self — one that extends beyond our skin out into the environment? We imagine a model of the self that is distributed and woven into our environment. In this workshop we would like to develop a model of the self as a coupling of mind and body with environment. We will experiment collectively with way-finding and psychogeographic exercises and map our findings as a way to evolve a new sense of the extended environmental nature of the self.


Friday, September 30 

FeedFF 9: Producing Empathic Fields

Time: 2 pm – 5 pm

Location:  Walk and Actions leaving from the Lab and visiting a number of local community gardens

Here is a simple but radical thought: our empathy pulls us beyond ourselves and out into the world. This not simply a mental act. Empathy links and stitches environments, practices and creatures together. How does this physical holding together happen?  What are the movement-spaces of empathy?  Come test and develop extended ideas of empathy via movement and way finding exercises.


Wednesday, October 5 

FeedBF 10: The non-consuming self

Time: 3 pm – 5 pm

Location: BMW Guggenheim Lab

You know the saying “it is easier to imagine the end of the human species than the end of capitalism”? Well, we would like to prove this wrong and image practices beyond consumption. OK — so it is not really imagining the end of capitalism — but lets not sweat the details and see how far we can get! Our hypothesis is that as consumers, we move through the world in a very particular manner. Our habits of consumption shape our cities, our bodies, and our thoughts. Is it possible to map new habits and ways of being in the city? How can sensing our environment activate non-consumer patterns? What are the bodily and environmental skills needed to develop new possibilities? In this workshop we will attempt the supposedly impossible and collectively map out testable alternatives. Yes.


Friday, October 7 

FeedFF 10: A Non-Consumer Wandering, Gleaning and Foraging

Time: 2 pm – 5 pm

Location: Following curiosity down alleys, meandering across parks and to the waters edge. Culminates in an off-site picnic.

We would like to test a simple idea: we can get a sense of what it means not to be a consumer but a different type of citizen of the city by going on a foraging walk? Join us for a gleaning walk to share knowledge and sense a world of pleasures under our feet. We will collect edibles from parks, dumpsters, restaurants, markets and have a “freegan” picnic at the waters edge. Our guides will range the gamut of citizens. Dress code is be ready for a little dirt and adventure.


Wednesday, October 12

FeedBF 11: Sensing it all: The Medium is the Message

Time: 3 pm – 5 pm

Location: BMW Guggenheim Lab

Do you still remember phone numbers? Most of us remember very few, if any. If fact, most of us use our cell phone’s memory as part of our memory, fusing brain with phone. How do our ways of sensing the world change as we merge with our technologies? Spurse will probe the depths of our new medium in the dense technologically enmeshed urban environment, in search of what we are rapidly becoming with the city.


Friday, October 14 

FeedFF 11: Living Multiple Environments

Time: 2 pm – 5 pm

Location: Pilgrimage Game leaving from the Lab

Could we walk across Manhattan with our only sense organs being our technology? In this Pilgrimage Walk Game, spurse will attempt this as a group. How big could we make such a group? Imagine that we could distribute distinct senses and technologies to each member of our party as we traverse this city. Could we make it across the city as 50 people? One hundred people? More? What will it become? What are we becoming walking our future into being? We would love for you to come join us in this final research endeavor and celebration. Let us end as a massive semi-intelligent fully emergent swarm.