Speculative Cities (Vancouver-Dubai-Panama City), May 2013


Speculative Cities was designed to foster an international dialogue on the contemporary city, focusing on port cities and cities that have reinvented themselves in the past forty years. Bringing together architects, urban planners, artists, curators, and scholars from Dubai and Panama City with those from Vancouver, this roundtable provided a valuable forum for an in-depth exchange of research on the intersections of urban studies, contemporary art, and public engagement that is relevant to all gateway cities.

One aspect that made Speculative Cities distinct was the involvement of the voices of artists on issues that might seem outside of artistic practice. Many artists enact meaningful engagements with the urban environment in their work; they are uniquely positioned to make important contributions to Speculative Cities in proposing particular perspectives in the ways the city can be experienced and understood. In this context, bringing artists, urban planners, and architects together, most of whom are scholars that have demonstrated a committed investment in researching the cities where they live, provided an opportunity to consider these cities in broader, diverse, and more nuanced ways.

Participants included: Charles Renfro, Trevor Boddy, Eduardo Tejeira Davis, Robert Ferry, M. Simon Levin, Elizabeth Monoian, Amer A. Moustafa, Susan Roy, Larry Grant, Adrienne Samos, Henry Tsang, Alvaro Uribe, Annabel Vaughan, Humberto Velez.

Co-curators: Keith Wallace, Glen Lowry, Sadira Rodrigues, Shelly Rosenblum.

Presented by the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery and Emily Carr University.

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