Published June 26, 2013
Art is one fabric of knowledge and intelligence in building communication across sectors that is viewed visually and tactically. Art can bring attention to what is not considered in an expression of aesthetic, beauty and interpretation. The destruction of land can be transformed by understanding how “Art celebrates housing project’s demise” to enjoin devastation to installation.
SF Gate reported the “Brighter Than Blight,” by Oakland hip-hop artist and poet Ise Lyfe, includes photographs, poems, an altar, a recreation of “Grandma’s House” and other installations scattered throughout the 16-unit complex, which he painted black for the occasion.
“Greenside, at 77th and Bancroft avenues, was built by the Oakland Housing Authority in 1971 and was, for most of its incarnation, a “hellhole,” Brooks said. In the early 2000’s, the city sued the housing authority to clean up the complex, so the authority closed it in 2003 with the intention of renovating it. But the renovations never happened, and a few months ago the federal permits to demolish Greenside finally arrived.
The projects are obsolescent and destructive neighborhood symbols of what fails to work. Further, projects are microcosms of social injustice and lack of equity. Lyfe referred the “three buildings in the complex surround a concrete courtyard that served as a daily stage for drug dealing, dog fights and other mayhem. The bars on the windows are so thick they resembled cages.”
The work of art can define the relevance of present conditions to change the functionality of space, environment, socioeconomic and economics. Art can be used as the tool and act as the lens to provide perspective under three pillars: 1) Sustainability; 2) Environment; and 3) Economics. When communities are focused on these three pillars jobs, growth, education, health and safety become realized.