Mariana Mogilevich


Arts, Environment, Public Space
Curatorial, Editorial, Writing

Cleaning Up?

Urban Omnibus | 2021

A multimedia, multi-part series on Urban Omnibus examines the dark arts, magical thinking, and regenerative possibilities of environmental remediation.

There is lead in the pipes, mold on the ceiling, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) chemicals in the water, petroleum underground, emissions in the air, and so much more—we live in a toxic landscape. Public health crises regularly reveal a callous disregard for the environments of the poorest, while high-profile cleanups catalyze development far in advance of any actual remediation. To live in the city (indeed, on this planet) is to live atop centuries of contaminants, among residues we can’t see that pose risks we can’t calculate. There is no designing, building, or dwelling without contending with the material consequences of centuries privileging growth at any cost. Focused on New York City, this multimedia, interdisciplinary series investigates what it means to live in, build on, and design for a city of pervasive toxicity. Scholars, writers, artists, and designers explore the critical and underexamined role of remediation in the evolution and experience of the city—how we reckon with and repair harms—and imagine new paradigms for planning and design in the toxic city.

The urban landscape is formed by uneven practices of denial and redemption, while stuff stays with us. What are we doing when we are cleaning up?

Read my introduction to the series, “Bless this Mess”︎︎︎

See the full series︎︎︎ on Urban Omnibus

Editorial, Environment, Writing

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