New Cities, Future Ruins (NCFR) is a four-year curatorial initiative inviting artists, designers, and thinkers to re-imagine and engage the extreme urbanism of America's Western Sun Belt. Fast-growing symbols of opportunity and entrepreneurialism, the region’s cities are sprawling agglomerations in delicate ecosystems, marked by resource overuse, dramatic demographic change, and political struggle that particularize and illuminate global crises of rapid urbanization. Suburban in texture, they are 21st-century spaces that resist creative and political strategies inherited from the industrial city. Bringing critical and innovative practices from around the world to bear on this urban landscape, NCFR is designed to foster visionary thought and artistic experimentation at these urgent sites. Launching with a convening in Dallas, TX (2016), the initiative will expand to include artist residencies and public projects around the region (2017-18) and culminate in an international touring exhibition and publication (2019). NCFR is lead by Artistic Director Gavin Kroeber. The founding partners in the initiative are the SMU Meadows School for the Arts, which will host the Dallas convening, ASU Gammage, and UTEP Rubin Center for the Visual Arts.
The Rubin Center’s contribution to New Cities Future Ruins is the collaborative exhibition Sections, featuring three projects that reflect on the border environment - earth (Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello), air (AGENCY Architecture) and water (Ivan Puig). The projects have been developed through multiple site-visits to the border where the artists worked with diverse academic and community collaborators including the Chamizal neighborhood association, Bowie High school gardens, UTEP’s Center for Environmental Research Management, the Yselta del Sur Pueblo Tigua Indian Cultural Center and UTEP Department of Art Ceramics. The final projects in the gallery space will be complemented by a didactic installation under the artistic direction of Zeke Pena, who will tell the story of the projects development as well as highlight community projects that address the environment at the US Mexico Border.
This project was generously supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.