By Jill Bennett, Saskia Beudel
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Extra resources for Curating Sydney: Imagining the City’s Future
It has the capacity for activation – transforming new infrastructural possibilities into lifestyles. indd 61 61 10/09/2014 4:26 pm imaginary, where new sustainable futures are explored, these two facets of creativity – adaption, activation – are the characteristics of the new curatorial work, along with a third supervening characteristic, more generally associated with creative thought: imagination. Futurism is now serious business. An increasing premium is placed on the capacity to imagine the future in its concrete and operational detail.
Often, however, the work of curators is highly institutionalised, operating within the parameters of museums, galleries or public art programs. This institutionalisation is itself a symptom of the city of spectacle, in which art is on display – in the purpose-built museum, in the designated public festival or programmed spectacle – but is not itself functional or integrated within the wider operations of a city. The city of spectacle in this sense is generally regarded as a product of the postmodern preoccupation with surface and simulation, contrasting with the modernist commitment to functional design (or, more specifically, with what architect and theorist Stan Allen calls ‘field conditions’).
Indd 48 10/09/2014 4:25 pm Gallois Reincarnated McMansion Artist and architect Mathieu Gallois’ prospective project addresses the phenomenon of the ‘McMansion’, an oversized and energy inefficient type of suburban family home that pervades Sydney’s western suburbs (and suburbs around the world). Gallois proposes to dismantle a McMansion, recycle its materials, and convert it into two or three smaller, sustainable and energy efficient dwellings. He hopes that the Reincarnated McMansion project will enhance public awareness of unsustainable suburban architecture, intervene in existing building practices affecting Australia’s ‘suburban sprawl’ and, most importantly, showcase some best-practice sustainable solutions for building and architecture.