CityDrift Portland, ME


Listen here to an excerpt from CityDrift live performance on Poemophone: Optima in the formal gardens of the Portland Historical Society:

citydrift/Portland was a three-day meta-event that took place throughout the city of Portland, Maine, from September 19-21, 2014.

Over a 72-hour period, Portland experienced three days of drifts and simultaneous creation and installation of drift documentation or ephemera, including panel discussions at the citydrift/Portland hubs. citydrift/Portland concluded with an exhibition of the installed drift documentation at SPACE Gallery from September 21-October 3, 2014. citydrift/Portland participants included Portland-area artists, performers, poets, musicians, printers, dancers, writers, curators, choreographers, and more, as well as participants and drifters from across the US and the world.

citydrift was created in 2011 by artist Peter Hopkins as a meta-event qua group installation/art discourse. It also serves as an homage to, and was inspired by, Guy Debord’s Situationist concept of the derive or drift, Jan Hoet’s 1986 project in Ghent, Chambres D’Amis, and Colin DeLand’s (1955-2002) playful reconfiguration of art gallery tropes with American Fine Arts Co., and his art fair paradigms, The Armory and Gramercy Hotel fairs.

citydrift is designed as something that can be reproduced in some variant fashion in different cities over time. The first edition of citydrift, citydrift/Bushwick took place in Brooklyn, New York in September 2012 and involved over 12 non-profit and commercial art galleries with over 200 participants. The second edition of citydrift was citydrift/Detroit, which took place in Detroit, Michigan, in July 2013.

citydrift is not exactly an exhibition, nor strictly speaking simply an art event, rather the concept is to be understood as a collective enterprise that brings together various strains of non-traditional art practices, organized under the operative philosophical umbrella of the drift. The result is a walking exploration of the environment, outside of any normative understanding of movement (traveling to work, shop, appointments?). It is an attempt to reclaim, if only briefly, a place for art outside the universal sphere of commerce.

The purpose of citydrift is not to claim some hidden knowledge of a city, but to tease out newer understandings using all possible modalities, and viewpoints from both inside the art culture of a place, as well as those working in similar fashion outside of that place.


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