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Citysumer Innovation: Miami Does Art Basel

Urban areas are reinventing and reinvigorating themselves. With a focus on URBAN BOOM, URBAN MIGHT, and the spread of URBANE values, the future is about the city.

As associate
Reinier Evers, founder of Trendwatching.com, has noted in his recent trend
report on Citysumer, urban areas are reinventing and reinvigorating themselves. With a
focus on URBAN BOOM, URBAN MIGHT, and the spread of URBANE values the
future is about the city, and I believe this is true.

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If a city really knows itself and supports its natural,
inherent, innovative, and pragmatic talents it will do well. This has been my
passion of late and while I am taking a look at various cities, it seems to
come down to the relationship between grassroot communal support and the business
and political ‘powers that be’ around that support.

“If my
town does well I do well.” I am stuck on supporting the field of influence we reside
in, be it the company we work for, the community we share, the country or
countries we call home, or the families we are connected to and wish well. The
word “town” takes on a broader meaning in our newer and more complex, connected
lives. I believe this IS how we will do well into the future–through unified
fields of support–and by well, I mean feeling fulfilled in what we choose to
do.

The power
of playful grassroots is about meeting the needs of community and amplifying
outward. Meaningful engagement is authentic and brings
with it a healthy and natural amplification of story from person to person and
social network to social network. This is a highly valued human movement within
our market system that is built and cannot be bought.

How to
rebuild a city around a core ability and natural passion? We are all doing it, taking
steps, rediscovering the play and the magic of simple pleasures that ignite and
grow. Last year Carl Hildebrand brought me in to do a Pecha Kucha talk within
Miami’s Art Basel during a time of economic difficulty, how did it go this year?
Art Basel started out as one thing and is now shifting to cross class
contribution, as we see below. Let’s take a look.

Miami Does Art Basel Democratized & Mobile
by Carl
Hildebrand, edited by Elizabeth Adams

Every
first week of December some 50,000 art enthusiasts passionately invade Art
Basel Miami Beach to indulge their senses in the world’s best contemporary art.
With the Miami Beach Convention Center as Creative and Innovation Headquarters,
some 15 satellite fairs in massive white tents create what could be called
ARTistan. While trooping from tent to tent, visual, social, and
mobile trends emerged.

A
little spray paint on the wall goes a long way in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District
where artist are the impetus behind the area’s urban revitalization. Déjà
vu Soho … Primary Flight, the catalyst, has created the world’s largest
street level mural installation featuring over 250 world-class artists, the
majority of whom travel to Miami for Art Basel. Wynwood (district) Walls is one
street block not to be missed. Graffiti, or the politically correct term
“Street Art,” has come a long way, from the back seats of police cars to
gracing the walls of the world’s most important collections and museums.
Everyone can claim this aspect of Art Basel as his or her own.

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Buses,
Bikes and Hummers

While Art
Basel VIP’s get the chauffeur treatment in black BMWs, ‘Art Basel Edition’
brought bicycle exploration and practicality to Art Basel’s Wynwood
district. Bicycle docents led guided tours through urban murals, bringing
an intimate, playful and personal experience equated to a guided tour of the
Louvre.

“This
year is about growth – Miami is set in full motion and we are paving the way,”
said Books IIII Bischof, principal of Primary Flight. “Since our involvement, Wynwood has
become a street art Mecca with legs of its own. It’s time for Primary Flight to
grow in new directions, per usual we are taking cue from ever-changing culture around us.”

What
about public transportation? Artbus had that covered. An itinerant
exhibition space, Artbus presents video screenings, interventions and
performances by international artists. Ordinary commutes are transformed,
happily bypassing the banal public and private transportation experience.

Human Stats
Interestingly,
#class #rank explored how “the Miami art fairs make literal the hierarchies
within the contemporary art world and its detachment from broader society. The
Miami fair events sort everyone–visitors, locals, and participants–into a
highly stratified caste system based on which fair (if any) we are associated
with; which color pass (if any) we are wearing; which parties we plan to
attend; which day we arrive in Miami; if we are paying for our own plane ticket
and place to stay; which neighborhood or hotel we are staying in; if and where
we are showing or buying artwork; if we drive, get driven, or take the shuttle
bus; and countless other ranking mechanisms.”

From
either an artist or collector point-of-view, it’s a lively debate whether art
is still a luxury commodity for the wealthy that limits access to ownership,
participation and understanding for the majority of society, based on class,
education, gender, and geography.

Next
year, Art Basel Miami Beach will be celebrating its tenth anniversary and is
destined to attract the masses no matter their caste, class, or mobility.

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About the author

A dynamic social researcher, cultural narrator, future trendhunter and strategic designer, Jody Turner works and speaks globally via her west coast company CultureofFuture.com and the London group Trendwatching.com. Client engagements have included Apple, BMW, StyleVision France, Adidas, Starbucks, The Gap, Unilever Istanbul and multiple others.

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