Next week I go home for my annual "trip up north." Get a chance to see my family, get a chance to go to the baddest boat ride in North America, and get a chance to do some work. I came across the following proposal, called Imaging Detroit:


Imaging Detroit  is a collective event and a public assemblage. Between September 21st and 23rd, 2012 the Metropolitan Observatory for Digital Culture and Representation will host an unprecedented open assessment and contemporary anthology of Detroit as local and global image. This 48-hour long temporary screening, exhibition, and performance venue – in Detroit and on Detroit – will serve as a catalyst for the exploration of the city’s manufactured meanings. Invited DJ’s (discourse jockeys) will help mix the discussion for the occasion.

Why Detroit?

Detroit’s image is not neutral. Layered, complex, and charged, it occupies an unparalleled locus in the global imaginary. And while this fact is not new, its power is unequivocal, situating Detroit as a symbolic test site for the reconfiguration of the collective urban experience. In this scenario, the cumulative image precedes the city, conditions our very perception of it, and suggests that the self-reflexive embrace of this effect may have transformative potential. Imaging Detroit is a platform for the exploration of the generative competencies of the city as representation, in all of its dissonance, hybridity, permissiveness, serendipity, mutable anatomy, and cultural possibility.

"Detroit's image is not neutral." 
That's an understatement. But the tenor of its non-neutrality oscillates, changing from urban desert in one minute to urban oasis of opportunity in the next. Both narratives are driven by the same "creative destruction"–the creative class wouldn't find Detroit so enticing had its real estate values not plummeted to the point where artists could buy a fully functioning home for $500. 
I'm very interested in this project, and am considering submitting something. My submission notwithstanding, it'll be interesting to see the extent to which finalists wrestle with the dynamics of Detroit's racial representation as they relate to this larger implied narrative of hope and change.