All Summer – Radical Urban Adventurist Skool in Queens

After World War II the ruins of bombed-out areas of London were converted into community-built rickity parks called Adventure Playgrounds. Artist and Adventure Playground researcher Nils Norman, describes the incredible origin of these spaces for free-play:

“Adventure playgrounds, or junk playgrounds, as they were known, began life as occupied building sites, wastelands and bombsites that had been colonised by city children looking for interesting and adaptable spaces in which they could play in relative privacy away from adults.”

Along with interventionist public artist Michael Cataldi, Norman is reviving the spirit of this phenomenon in a summer-long utopianist experiment called the University of Trash. Occupying the Sculpture Center in Long Island City, Queens, the University will be a free space for dozens of events and projects circulating aroud the themes of ecology, pedagogy, and transformation of Urban misery. The diverse list of radical projects currently scheduled events include a Free Skool, pirate radio broadcasts, guerilla architecture discussions, a Das Kapital reading group, and there’s plenty more to come. Among their more out-there missions is to recreate the sorely missed Tompkins Square Park Bandshell, a structure that was the public center of Lower East Side counterculture and revolt, and whose 1991 demolition was, for many, a symbol of the neighborhood’s dying identity.

Visit any day except Tuesday or Wednesday from 11am to 6pm. Bring a $5 donation if you have it.

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2023: I publish an email newsletter called LANDLINE = Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca.

One thought on “All Summer – Radical Urban Adventurist Skool in Queens

  1. Pingback: Through August 4: Propose Your Own Event at the University of Trash (SculptureCenter, Long Island City, New York) | ARTHUR MAGAZINE - WE FOUND THE OTHERS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s