Archive for Site Tags

map weirdness?


actually i figured out how to work around this…i think its a new issue that has cropped up with my recent install of FF 4.0 for mac….if you are having the same problem let me know and ill explain how to work around…


i’m trying to post some points on the map…and every time i zoom in, go into edit mode, and then select the pin icon, the map drops a pin just underneath the icon button…and then when i try and grab it to drag it to the point on the map where i’m trying to place it, the map begins to automatically scroll northwards and just keeps going and going and the only way to stop it is to close out and try again…but the same thing keeps on happening.

has anyone else seen this behavior and/or is anyone else having any strange issues with the map?  i’ve got a bunch of stuff to post…help!



Paul Ramirez Jonas’s “Key to the City”: Heterotopia

By Lara

It seems as though the nature of heterotopias is often either accidental or established with some sort of permanency in mind- but the idea of heterotopias as something temporary and constructed seemed to me somewhat outside the realm of the norm. I came across this public art project by Paul Ramirez Jones which took place in 2010, called ” Key to the City”. By distributing keys in times Square, the public was awarded access to various cites across the city, not normally open to the public. Keys were to unlock doors or boxes at each of the following sites:

The Point
The Rincon Criollo Cultural Center
PS 73
Bronx County Court House
Louis Armstrong House Museum
Eddie’s Sweet Shop
Staten Island Buddhist Vihara
Conference House Park

The rules of distribution were noted as follows:

Key to the City is a public art project that is free and open to everyone. To participate and get a key, simply visit the Key to the City kiosk in Times Square, on Broadway, between 43rd and 44th Streets. We encourage you to bring someone with you as you will not only receive a key, but also bestow a key through a special ceremony. If you come alone, you can still participate—or, you might even meet someone in line who you want to award the key. As you wait in line, you will receive a guidebook with information about each site the key opens and Creative Time volunteers will explain how the key bestowal ceremony works. Part of preparing for the key bestowal ceremony involves filling out a template script, which you will read aloud during your ceremony.

This is an example of a project in which as heterotopia was created to create a network of space around New York City for people to commonly engage in as a shared experience and as an experience outside of the liminal constraints and contexts in which these spaces normally exist.

Here are a couple links to portraits of some participants, as well as an expose on the space at participating site- the Cabinet Magazine office.

heterotopia – sylvia’s place (NYC LGBTQ Youth Shelte)

by ran

sylvia's place
(Photo: Lucky S. Michaels)

Sylvia’s Place is an emergency overnight shelter for homeless LGBTQ youth, which is run by the Metropolitan Community Church of New York. People who come to this shelter are mostly kicked out from their ‘home’ because of their sexualities.

This place could be an example of “heteropias of deviation,” because their homosexuality or cross gender behaviors were considered to be out of the social norm in their families and communities. As Foucault illuminates, eliminating “abnomality” from the society inevitably creates “other place,” “heterotopia.”

Atlantic Avenue Tunnel (terrain vague)

by ran

Atlantic Avenue Tunnel (
Atlantic Avenue Tunnel (

Atlantic Avenue Tunnel, the world’s oldest subway tunnel, was built in 1844. It was used only until 1861 due to LIRR’s bankrupt and became forgotten in people’s memory. Fortunately, it was ‘discovered’ by a 19 year old Pratt student Bob Diamond in 1980.
(The Brooklyn Historic Railway Association

You can also view some photos and historic explanation from the video below.

Beneath Atlantic Avenue from Brooklyn Ink on Vimeo.

Atlantic Avenue Tunnel was literally abandoned for about 80 years, “exist[ing] outside the city’s effective circuits and productive structures.” (Davidson, 120) It was a “vague” place for a longtime, unoccupied. However, interestingly enough, this strange place stimulates many people’s interest these days.

a film screening event in Atlantic Avenue Tunnel (Image from
A film screening event in Atlantic Avenue Tunnel. (Image from

As Davidson points out, “Art’s reaction (…) is to preserve these alternative, strange spaces, strangers to the productive efficiency of the city” (122) and I think Atlantic Avenue Tunnel is a perfect example.

terrains vagues – to use or not to use?

by cindy

i really enjoyed the christensen reading/documentation about big box reuse.  apart from the general distress i felt when thinking about the impact of these stores on our landscapes, spaces, economies, culture, and sense of aesthetics, i did find it inspiring that reuse very often involved solutions that somehow strengthened the notion of community, spirituality and/or learning in some way.

it got me thinking about all of the terrain vagues across the U.S. that are not actively being used for whatever reason.  detroit has long been held up as urban decay’s cautionary tale – what happens to an urban ecosystem when decentralized spraw renders the center a ghetto and no manner of re-use or gentrification can find a solution (i think the most recent solution proposed by detroit’s urban planners is to simply reclaim all of the terrains vagues by plowing them under and re-introducing giant green spaces to the center of the city.)

meanwhile, documentation of this urban decay is very popular with photographers.  many strangely beautiful, sometimes almost fetishised images are the result.

some images by photographers Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre:

and a few images by photographer andrew moore:

more strange urban heterotopias

by cindy

new york city is filled with strange enclosed spaces designed to offer some form of health or wellness retreat from the modern challenges of “normal urban” spaces.

behold the nap heterotopia on the 22nd floor of the empire state building.


and in chelsea, a series of therapeutic salt caves.



Post your site tags to the WASTEmap

Everyone please add your  site tags to the WASTEmap, which is set up as a custom google map called [urbanmedialabWASTEmap].  Since the google map can accommodate media rich descriptions, there is no longer any need to post your site tags to our course website as blog contributions. A few bullet points about the google map:

  • You should have each already received and confirmed an invitation to this map as a collaborator; if you have not, or you are confused, email me immediately.
  • If you’re new to google maps and could use some how-tos, see this Google Maps User Guide.
  • Once you click the edit button to the upper right of the map name and description, you will see a toolbar. You will tag your sites using the icon tool, or the line/shape tool (again, see user guide for very simple how-to. If I could figure this out, then you can. I am old. And not media savvy.)
  • When choosing a color for your site marker, please refer to the map key for classification of sites.
  • Once you drag your icon (or draw a shape), an editing box will pop up. This is where you are filling out your site description! USE the rich text and HTML editing functions to format your description, add text, image, video, etc… Your google map site tags should be as interesting and dynamic as the ones that were posted to the blog last week.
  • From here, the field is wide open… As you play with it, experiment broadly, and please make any and all suggestions re the interface itself.
  • Note this week you are choosing two sites to tag, rather than picking from a list. (The course schedule has been updated with all readings and site tag directives.)