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 A leaf from the book of cities « makeshift journal |

A leaf from the book of cities


Our new project just opened at Taylor Square in the old toilets. It’s part of We Make This City, the City of Sydney Public Art Program co-presented by the National Institute for Experimental Art, which also included work by David Cross, Lynette Wallworth and the Magnificent Revolution.

OPEN: 8am – 1pm, Saturdays in March, 2012
*only 2 more Saturdays to go..!!

leaf citiespic

An unusual craft finds its way into a forgotten, subterranean space, making itself at home and crafting an experimental publication on re-crafting the city. Part mobile printing press, part think tank, part underground society, A Leaf from The Book of Cities explores the possibilities of a quality-based economy within the context of Taylor Square and the Sydney Sustainable Markets. Temporarily occupying the old men’s and women’s conveniences, Makeshift transforms the ruins of a once carefully crafted pocket of the city into a platform for rethinking craft politics and futures.

On the edges of an organic farmer’s market in the thick of the city, a curatorium of thinkers, activists and dreamers is assembled to catalyse another space of exchange, a subterranean ‘dark market’ trading instead in radical economies, growing cultures and craft futures. Every Saturday morning in March, members of the curatorium will meet in the women’s toilet block (used outside these hours to store market infrastructure) for a series of tactical gatherings, making time for sharing old and new strategies – across disciplines, ways of thinking and practices – for rethinking and redirecting how we collectively sustain ourselves in this city, beyond the feel-good rhetoric of sustainability and eco-consumption.

From week to week, traces of these conversations will be made public in the underground men’s toilets, taking shape as an abandoned trade fair where market-goers may encounter such exotic offerings as a jar swap gang, a fermentation club, a radical reading room, an unreal estate agency and a nu-craft think tank. Making use of an antiquated hobby letterpress, the curatorium will also produce a collection of handmade communiqués advertising – and theorising – such emergent (or forgotten) practices.

Weekly conversations are directed by invited guests with expertise in a particular area. Week One was led by design theorist and educator Matthew Kiem, with guests John von Sturmer, Rebecca Conroy, Zanny Begg and David McNeill. Other participants have included Lara Thoms and James Arvanitakis. Future weeks’ attendees to be advised.


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    Makeshift Journal is a satellite of the makeshift website, home to the collaborative practice of Tessa Zettel & Karl Khoe. Here you can follow the development of current projects, and read critical responses to things encountered along the way.

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