Bluespace Omaha

"The existence of other people is a difficulty and an outrage for objective thought." – Maurice Merleau-Ponty

  • Type Public Art,
  • Location Omaha, Nebraska
  • Status Competition
  • Date 2013
  • Collaborators

    Min | Day

Cities often promote green spaces – vegetal respites from the hard constructions of architecture, streets and infrastructure – but rarely what we call Bluespaces, zones of social dialog an interaction meant not as an escape from the city but as places where the city can conceive of its collective future.  In response to a public art competition for a zone in downtown Omaha, we propose an urban social condenser – the microVENUE – a work that directly engages the casual user and challenges people to become participants and not passive observers of the public realm. The installation seeks to form connections, perhaps fleeting, between individuals in order to instigate a potentially transformative multitude. Organized around a relational ethic, our proposal is a based in enaction and not representation – the installation will be successful because of what it DOES and not because of what it MEANS. The artwork proposes a form of facilitation between people and not a definitive solution to social ills and moral dilemmas. The project captures the potential of unpredictable, casual action to promote social change. The physical artwork itself, a social sculpture is ultimately a minor player in the production of change.

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The microVENUES are strategically located along pedestrian routes and streets that connect Omaha's largest sports an event spaces, including TD Ameritrade Park, home to the College World Series.


Sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League and it’s “Typecast / Recast” competition, microVENUES is a proposal for a year-long series of connected events that give voice to the community. Through lectures, gatherings and spatial interventions the microVENUES interject individual and small group interactive connections in order the shift the spectator to the participant. The physical microVENUE designates a space of open and free dialog.

Each microVENUE is a simple space designated by a large blue circle of street paint or adhesive wall covering and with furniture or platforms as needed.

A mobile app affords participants the means to locate scheduled events and to participate remotely.

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