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Art and Politics in the City (2): Digital Landscapes

Semester and Year SP 2020
Course Number IDSEM-UG2014
Section 001
Instructor Alejandro Velasco, Florencia Malbran
Days R
Time 2:00 PM - 4:45 PM
Units 4
Level U
Requirement   SOC, GLOBAL


This course is open to all undergraduate students. Several seats are reserved for students who enrolled in IDSEM-UG 2013 or IDSEM-UG 9152 in Fall 2019.


This course uses enhanced videoconferencing to bring students in New York and Buenos Aires together to examine how urban arts and politics intersect in the Americas: How are art and politics understood and expressed differently and similarly in these two American metropolises and why? How do shared aesthetic features of public art in the city reflect the global circulation of urban creative modes? What do we learn about local politics from looking at the art and writing on a city’s public spaces? In the fall, teams of students in both cities conducted field work in selected neighborhoods to generate a coded database of murals, graffiti, performances, and installations. In the spring, students will use this database, and draw on readings in the history, culture, and politics of each city, as well as on theoretical work in art criticism and urban studies, to analyze how social and political processes like gentrification, inequality, and planning generate and reflect creative political expression as captured in our database. In particular, students will learn to use and to interpret Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology and data, drawing on publicly available census, electoral, and planning records from each city, to generate digital maps finding links between art, politics, and demographics as drawn from the systematic analysis of our database of urban arts. The semester will culminate with the online publication of transnational, collaborative projects that explore what the art and writing of city streets reveals about urban life in 21st century America.


All Syllabi

Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)