Fort Totten Park


Thursday, September 13, 2018
No. 93

Two artists have been selected to participate in the third year of the Arts and Humanities Residency Program hosted at Fort Totten Park’s Urban Field Station, in Bayside, Queens. The goal of the residency is to bring perspectives from the arts and humanities to urban land management, social and ecological research, and community stewardship. This combination of skill sets and perspectives will increase the quality of engagement around the city’s incredible parkland.
The New York City-based artists were selected by staff from NYC Parks and the USDA Forest Service because of their work at the intersection of art, urban ecology, and community based design:

Dylan Gauthier is a Brooklyn-based artist and curator who works through a research-based and collaborative practice centered on experiences of urban ecology, architecture, landscape, and social change. Gauthier is a founder of the boat-building and publishing collective Mare Liberum and of the Sunview Luncheonette, a co-op for art, politics, and communalism in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. He is co-organizer of Freshkills Field R/D, an artist-research residency based at NYC's largest former landfill. Gauthier has exhibited his work internationally, from France to Abu Dhabi. His proposal for the NYC UFS Residency program is to explore NYC Parks’ 51 Forever Wild Sites and launch a multi-media publication series inspired by field guides and comprised of 51 interrelated works, taking the form of printed handbooks, 360 degree videos, web-text, maps, interactive events, and installation-based forms.

Julia Oldham is an artist and storyteller. Born the same year as the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, Oldham has been consumed by scientific curiosity her entire life, and has sought through her work to understand the unknowable and transcend humanness. She blends digital media and drawing to tell stories that she finds both troubling and beautiful, ranging from the historical tale of Laika the Soviet Space Dog’s journey into orbit to science fiction visions of a post-apocalyptic future world populated by high-tech Chihuahuas. Her proposal for the NYC UFS Residency is called Undiscovered City and is a series of altered 360-degree landscapes of New York City that illustrate the dreams of current park volunteers for a future city. She will interview current park volunteers and other civic stewards citywide and listen to their ideas for an ideal future city that blends nature and urban landscape in profound ways that are not technologically possible yet. Using the tropes of both post-apocalyptic video games and high-tech architectural concept art, she will translate their dreams into visual reality, with the ultimate goal of making these undiscovered cityscapes available online to the public.

The Urban Field Station’s artists in residence are all interested in exploring ideas that can be incubated via relationships with public agencies working at the nexus of research and natural resource management. They work across different media and have current projects in various stages of conceptualization and implementation. Over the course of the year they will have opportunities to be embedded with NYC Urban Field Station staff, projects, and sites, and will share their own work via the Urban Field Station’s Science of the Living City public seminars.

Since the program’s inception, artists in residence have yielded an array of unique installations that reflect New York’s cultural, ecological and structural landscape. These include Swale, a floating farm that advocated for healthy food and gardening; the creation of a NYC tree alphabet using species currently planted by NYC Parks on streets and parks; and Moon Arrow, a sculptural arrow that points at the moon at different Parks sites throughout NYC.
Current and past artists will be showing their work at an art show at the Arsenal Gallery, Sept. 13th-Nov. 23rd.

The New York City Urban Field Station ( ) is a unique scientific collaboration between the NYC Parks, the USDA Forest Service’s Northern Research Station, and the non-profit the Natural Areas Conservancy. First launched in 2006, the Urban Field Station provides a location for this long-term research partnership promoting applied science on urban ecology, conservation, stewardship, and ecological literacy to support ecosystem management and human well-being. The facility is designed as a shared office and lab where city and federal scientists work hand-in-hand to address critical land management questions relevant to NYC and other cities across the country.

Directions to Fort Totten Park

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