Walking the Elastic City

My interview with Todd Shalom and Niegel Smith of Elastic City is included in “Walkers, Voyeurs, and the Politics of Urban Space,” a special issue of the Radical History Review. Take a look at the full issue contents and order a copy here.

Walking the Elastic City

Total Detroit: An Interview with Todd Shalom and Niegel Smith

Elastic City, an organization that gives sensory, conceptual walks through New York City, explores embodied approaches to accessing urban archives. Todd Shalom, the artistic director of the organization, invites artists to create walks that emphasize engagement with the city space not through observation and exchange of factual information, but through participatory performances. Every Elastic City event positions walking as a central practice that awakens participants to their own mental mapping process while also maintaining a careful attention to the street as lived space. In August 2011, theater director Niegel Smith led Total Detroit, a walk that encompassed fifty-seven hours, beginning and ending at LaGuardia Airport. As a performance, Total Detroit rehearsed Smith’s ideas about walking and social meaning. This interview with Shalom and Smith was conducted one week after they had returned from Total Detroit.

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