Urbanition: SF and Sydney Artists Re-think Our Use of Public Space


You are bART, a project by REBAR

What would make a morning commute on BART a more enjoyable, engaging and productive experience? Bike repairs? Coffee and snacks? Book clubs? Short films? Spinning classes? Speed dating? These are a few of the playful ideas local art collective REBAR explores as redesigns for BART car interiors in their project you are bART.

The piece is part of the inaugural Sister City Biennial exhibition Urbanition, co-produced by the San Francisco Arts Commission and Sydney-based CarriageWorks and on view at the SFAC Gallery through this Saturday. Urbanition includes three works from San Francisco-based artists and three from Sydney-based artists, each tasked with proposing visionary solutions for a more humane, green and livable future for the two cities.

This Wednesday, June 29, SPUR hosts a lunchtime forum with the exhibition's three San Francisco-based artists: REBAR, Amy Balkin, whose piece would transform the Sutro Baths into a Sydney-style public beach, and Sergio De La Torre, whose mobile dinner-party cart creates a space for conversations about community issues.

All of the participating artists challenge ideas of urban mobility and public space, and in the case of REBAR and the Sydney-based group Makeshift, mobile space.

Makeshift's mobile station includes a chicken coop, fertilizer works, egg delivery, food waste processor, and omelette stand.

A pedal-powered artist residency with temporary sleeping quarters and living room.

Where REBAR’s piece looks to harness the potential of public transit as physical civic space, Makeshift’s project, The Restless Quarter, looks to mobile spaces as a future adaptation to climate change events in an “age of unsettlement.” The project borrows from existing mobile services and structures and builds upon them, thinking about how our ways of living, sharing services, and access to infrastructure might become more dynamic and responsive.

Meet the SF artists at our lunchtime forum this Wednesday >>