Shaping Shifting Publics with Emmanuel Pratt and Dan Borelli

Date(s) - 11/13/17
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Polsky Center

Hosted by
Polsky Center

Mon, November 13, 2017 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM


This talk will unpack the creative practices of Chicago-based artist Emmanuel Pratt and Boston-based Dan Borelli. Emmanuel and Dan will share their collaboration at the Harvard University Graduate School Design entitled “We The Publics.” An open call to define Publics today, the project aims to increase discourse in society and thereby reestablish truth in democracy. The discussion will highlight how locally deployed creative interventions can yield innovative models for community-conscious economic development.
The Chicago-based practitioner Emmanuel Pratt will guide us through the evolution of the Sweet Water Foundation’s ongoing work with ecologies in a broad sense: human, social, vegetable, and economic. Under Pratt’s creative and pragmatic guidance, Sweet Water Foundation has transformed a set of vacant lots into sites of productive urban agriculture by working directly with the community and local public schools. As the lots move from empty to fertile land, the sense of value of the people involved radically shifts.
Dan Borelli, a Boston-based practitioner, will give us an overview of his project in Ashland, Massachusetts that addresses the contested histories of a contaminated community and it’s Superfund site, the Nyanza Colorant Plant, one of the first 10 sites that launched Superfund in the early 1980s. He will show how his project mobilized activism to keep zoning and development away from Nyanza to protect the health of nearby citizens. This land, in its ruination and uselessness conveys the cultural importance of an empty humanized landform resulting from the failure of a political system; that of unregulated industry.




The Arts & Innovation Series is a quarterly lecture series held jointly by the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts. This session is co-presented by the Smart Museum in conjunction with Emmanuel’s Radical [Re]Constructions Threshold installation and is a Chicago Architecture Biennial event.

This series allows artists, entrepreneurs, and innovators to learn about the increasingly important intersection between the arts and business. This series will explore new business models for the arts, how artists can reach broader and more diverse audiences, and what trends will drive the growth of the arts in the 21st century. Featured speakers include artist-innovators, entrepreneurs in the arts, and business experts passionate about the arts. This series is generously supported through a gift by Evan Trent AB ’02, MBA ‘06