A Place About Now: Floating Architecture & Utopic Imagination in Atlantic Artist-Run Culture
Unpublished academic paper presented at Society for the Study of Architecture Conference
Ktaqmkuk (St. John’s, NL), 2018.
The Floating Warren offers a glimpse into the artist-run ethos that informs temporary space-making in Atlantic Canada. In a geographically marginalized region with low provincial arts funding and fraught colonial relations, artist-run spaces often have short lifespans. This paper asks, do temporary utopic artist-run spaces simply emphasize the gap between dream and reality for artists and cultural workers? Or do they have the emancipatory potential to shape the lived realities faced by artist-run centres within the Canadian culture system? Informed by anecdotal and theoretical accounts of artist-run culture, and utopian discourse, this paper critically examines how Atlantic artist-run spaces take place—both occurring temporally, and occupying territory spatially.