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<nettime-ann> Call For Participation: AREA Chicago #9: Peripheral Vision
Mason Dixon on Fri, 24 Apr 2009 11:13:12 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime-ann> Call For Participation: AREA Chicago #9: Peripheral Vision: On Chicagoland


AREA Chicago | PO Box 476971 Chicago IL USA 60647 | areachicago {AT} gmail.com | areachicago.org

Call For Proposals
AREA Chicago #9: Peripheral Vision

People think of Chicago as the center of a vast suburban galaxy (sometimes called Chicagoland or even "the Chicagoland area") and beyond that, the greater Midwest.

Chicago is a population center, a transportation hub, a capital of commerce and research, a magnet for culture workers and immigrants. But whenever we say that Chicago is a center, we are saying that other places are not: that they are instead "peripheral." Thinking of the city as center privileges those activities and phenomena that can be gathered in urban density: the built environment, industries of finance and capital, bureaucracies, cultural institutions, wealth and poverty. There is no center to deer hunting. Is there one for immigration, or postindustrial blight, or solar energy?

Social scientists often speak of "core" and "periphery"; together, as a "core-periphery model," these terms have been used to describe and project development at the global scale. As a single explanation for global patterns of development, they have also been critically interrogated and contested by advocates of other models. There are other ways of thinking the periphery: for ecologists, the "edge" presents a specific type of habitat. Within cultural politics, being on the "margins" has risks, even as it sometimes appears fashionable. But do the margins lose their identity if assimilated into the center? Peripheral vision may actually reveal what's taken for granted, yet crucial. AREA #9 will explore this mental map in its common application to Chicago and its surroundings.

In order to do this, we invite writers, teachers, activists, and artists to take a point of view outside the center. This might be a view from the fraying edges of the metropolis, from marginal communities within the city, from the non-human world, from the suburbs or the hinterlands, from a conceptual position outside the mainstream-and to show us Chicago from "out there." Contributions should have some relationship to Chicago and should focus on specific practices (policies, projects, action, art, travel, resistance). They might address environment, housing, history, immigration, labor, or other issues. By virtue of origins and continued economic connections, places like Mississippi or Michoacán might also be considered peripheries of Chicago-or is Chicago their periphery? Where once there was periphery, there will someday be a place on the edge, with all the disruptive and rich potential of an edge habitat. Now is a good time to ask, "What do you see in your peripheral vision?"

Text/Project Ideas for AREA#9: Histories of movements that have linked Chicago to other places; maps of flows in and out of Chicago; visionary plans for different edge zones near the city limits of Chicago; interviews with suburban activists; stories of Chicagoans and downstate prisons; studies of wildlife in the city and suburbs; maps of the decentralization of homelessness and public housing; views of Chicago from far-flung activist and artist correspondents; visits of CPS students to suburban public schools; walking tours of neighborhoods at the city limits; ethnographies of public transit in the suburbs; reports from diasporas in Chicago, and the Chicago diaspora; drawings of what you see out of the corner of your eye.


• June 14. Those interested in contributing to the issue are urged to attend an introductory brainstorming session at the Orientation Center, 2129 N. Rockwell, Sunday, June 14 at 4pm. It's an opportunity to think through ideas, generate new ones, make suggestions, seek collaborators. • July 1. Proposals (no more than 250 words) due. We recommend being in touch sooner with initial ideas.
	• August 10. First draft for accepted proposals.
	• September 10. Final draft due September 10.

(Deadlines will be strict, and all pieces will go through an editorial process involving at least two readers.)

Email proposals to Dan S. Wang and Rebecca Zorach at areaeditors {AT} gmail.com
Links for Ya:
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