Walker Art Center


February 05, 2003

the flea market collective

Barely made it back to the subway to get my last train home... such a lame city system ends so early , but the nocturnal souls will not succumb to your pathetic work-eat-sleep grids . no , we will not obey !
we will work and play and turn your grids to clay !


Attended a collective meeting of the flea and farmer's market ... which i hadn't plugged into for a couple weeks ... this is the marketplace from where a few of us had broadcast/netcast a (short-lived) weekly radio show , but has unfortunately closed down for winter for too many reasons i won't go into here...plans are to resume in April.

[ Great potential to inject local sustainable economy into an area which seems
lto have been turned into a desert of Fat Man Enterprises. ]

wow, missed only one meeting and the world has changed...
apparently i missed a very dramatic upheaval.

well, tonight wasn't really a meeting , but a potluck gathering of the neighborhood tribes. a chance to introduce this new market community to the Cellspace arts collective which produces and gave birth to it.

They are 2 very distinct communities. and strange to think , 2 distinct classes....
i say strange because the tier or division will at times seem paper thin while remaining ever so alien to one another.
The arts collective is primarily priveledged white "kids" who have access to property, commercial leases, and TIME to be creative . The market, on the other hand, is becoming an ersatz home for many homeless... definitely folks a little rawer at the edges ... survivalists ... victims of the recent gentrification ... and a broader range of generations... and TIME to get ornery (disagreeable) . The ol' timers , some of them real veterans of the street, sure add some cayenne pepper to the mix .

a successful and friendly soiree, but towards the end i heard a little recounting of last week's meeting and realized i had missed some of the serious undercurrents of the evening.

the whole project teeters on a fragile collective construct , is up against major city bureaucracy and property owner whims... and flaps ever so franticly in the winds of multiple personality disorders ...

but i knew all that already.

: )
pod p.

Posted by pod(s) at February 5, 2003 04:56 AM

I don't know why, but a lot of the initiatives like that end up in becomming smaller and smaller subgroups who all - from the outside - seem to thrive towards the same goal, but somehow these subgroups do not agree.

The gras seeems always greener elsewhere and it is largely based on the definition of gras and green.

Posted by: Jeroen Goulooze on February 5, 2003 05:40 AM

Hi jeroen ,

yes, yes ! exactly . and if only these subgroups would go off and bust out in their creative projects, micro-businesses, etc. etc.
but came back to the macrocosm / council meeting w/ some love and inspiration .

it happens on blue moons and those moments when the grass is green right underneath everybody's feet ... and yes the definitions are in alignment.

: )

Posted by: teapodz on February 5, 2003 01:35 PM

interesting social analysis... keep us informed...
some common narratives, some shared practices... still keeping the differences... could help? there you have the artists... easy to say, isnīt it... we did have a similar situation in sevilla / alameda: flea market people and young artists/strugglers... some alliances worked for a while, but then the city offered the flea market other spaces, out of the gentrifying hood and they went for them... and now everything, the main public space, has been under construction for a couple of years...

narratives and alliances and resistance!

Posted by: osfa on February 5, 2003 02:55 PM
Post a comment