March 9, 2015

TEDxBushwick Coming to the Hood

Fundraiser - March 12 - order tickets for $25
Facebook Event
TEDxBushwick on March 21 at Lifestream Public

"Translating Transformation" is the theme of the upcoming TEDx talk in Bushwick, which will stream live from Morgan Avenue on March 21. I am scheduled as an "alternate speaker." Whether I speak or not on that particular day is less important to me than that our gallery is associated with TED, and proud to wear its social icon on our website. It is an association that makes sense, given the discursive orientation of our gallery and our connection to Brooklyn history.

But with luck, I shall speak in Bushwick in less than two weeks! The topic indeed is about transformation. My talk is called Art Causes Gentrification, and it is mostly a slide-show. Short on theory, long on pictures, I will show how artists precede speculators, rezoning, and hype by decades. And how art persists, even if artists themselves do not, as a guiding principal of the gentrified neighborhood, long into the later cycles of affluence.

TED stands for technology, entertainment, and design. Most people have probably seen a TED talk or conference on YouTube at one time or another. The nonprofit was founded in 1984 to disseminate ideas, and today the talks cover almost any topic, all over the world, in more than 100 languages.

TEDx (rhymes with "Fedex") is the independent franchise, where anyone can put together what the main organization calls "TED-like" events that address issues of concern to local communities. This minor league version of TED is done under a free license, and no one gets paid anything. You raise your own venue and funding, and with some guidance and coaching from the main organization, shazzam, you are a TED event.

There are about a dozen speakers at this upcoming TEDx, including born-and-raised Bushwick poet Emanuel Xavier and Bushwick creative pioneer Rah Crawford, who founded the media hybrid Wickbush. If you're into the Bushwick geist, you should not miss this event. I urge you to use the links above, come to the fundraiser on Thursday, and to the talk itself on March 21.

— Ethan Pettit