A great new interview with Gabrielle by Julia Foulkes in Public Seminar — on everything from disinvestment, to visual urbanism, to the possibilities of art, and the vagaries of social practice.
Here’s an excerpt — read the rest here.
JF: You have a unique set of skills and experiences — an artist with deep knowledge of design; a scholar with a doctorate in environmental psychology; an activist with community organizations; and a life-long New Yorker. They all seem to be part of what you call “visual urbanism.” Could you explain this approach to understanding and acting in the city?
GB-V: You could say that visual urbanism is the term I coined to explain to other people how all my jobs and life experiences make sense in my own head as interwoven parts of one commitment to understanding people and the meaning that places hold for them. It is also a way of working that argues that creative practices can be a way of knowing, belonging as part of urban research because they help us pose questions we might not otherwise know to ask. For me, this practice is also one that struggles against the often-uneasy relationship between text and image, and between imagination and fact. I am trying to create spaces, projects, and research where these ways of knowing are equal: the text does not caption an image, the image does not illustrate a text. Images, words, feelings, and histories are experienced together, each bringing a new facet of understanding or new voice to a conversation. I’m interested in this work as something that can act in the world, that can build on the accessibility of images to spur conversations and action in our complicated cities, neighborhoods, and homes.
Originally published at https://www.contestedcitybook.com on January 29, 2019.