Friday, October 13, 2006

The City Of The Mind

My recent posts, posts, posts, on Detroit seem important on some deep level I cant explain fully. Pittsburgh and Detroit seem to have huge amount in common. It's not just that they were industrial cities; they were the birth places of huge industries and had built there identities so completly around them that they were the global symbols of those industries. No doubt the size of the industrial complexes made them look like permanent and unmoveable forces that could not be changed. Perhaps, unwisely people built thier lives as if they could not be moved or at least never killed.

Every city is the interaction between a real place and a mythology that people build around it and with these two places the interaction is traumatic. I think that my memories of NY in the late 70's were facing that interaction. On the one hand, you knew that NY was like the greatest city in the world and yet the day to day facts showed you it wasn't that great. But, what happened to places like Pittsburgh and even more so Detroit has to be on a totally different level. New York, somehow found it's greatness again ( to a large extent imigrants came who believed in it ) and for the most part, it never really faced becoming irrelavant. But, both Pittsburgh and Detroit have faced becoming footnotes or even in the case of Detroit epic symbols of America gone wrong.

The other major thing that links the cities is their huge diasporas. So anyway, I am hoping to here from some people in Detroit and people from Detroit and perhaps involve them in my diaspora project. I am particularly interested in hooking up with artist's from Detroit and those that live there now. Please pass this post along. I still am very much looking to develop build my links to the Pittsburgh diaspora.


John Morris said...

I am also, intersted in contacts from other places like Cleveland et... But, honestly Pittsburgh and Detroit have a common mythic identity that the other industrial cities never had.

Paul Dykstra said...

I'm interested in collaborating with you on some projects about urban life or diaspora in detroit and pittsburgh. However, I would like to know what your purpose or vision is with this collaboration. Currently, I'm a graphic design student in detroit. If you'd like to see some of my work, I'll send you a portfolio. my email address is