From harnessing the visual power of maps in the name of social change to curating the messages embedded in street markings, muraLAB's Thought Experiments series is bringing two important visual thinkers to Philly over the next week.
April 3, 6-7:30pm. PennDesign, Meyerson Hall Lower Gallery, 201 South 34th Street. Laura Kurgan uses maps to visualize complex social data and advocate for social reforms. Among her many projects as Director of Columbia's Spatial Information Design Lab was Million Dollar Blocks, a map demonstrating how the government spends more than $1 million to incarcerate prisoners within a single census block. Kurgan is an associate processor at Columbia's Graduate School or Architecture, Planning and Preservation and she recently published Close Up at a Distance: Mapping, Technology and Politics. Free. Register in advance.
April 8, 6pm. University of the Arts, Terra Hall, Room 511-513, 211 South Broad Street. New York-based activist artist Josh MacPhee will discuss his research into the history of illegal street markings (with a focus on the street stencil) and the ways public space is used for individual and collective visual storytelling. MacPhee is a founder of the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative and his work includes the People's History Project and Specters of Liberty, which endeavor to make visible the histories of resistence movements and activists. MacPhee will be joined in coversation by Elizabeth Thomas, visiting Mural Arts curator. Free. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP.