Space Brainz—Yerba Buena 3000

An “idealized un-idealized city” lurking in a rainbow grid world “where the art center becomes a laboratory for dissecting how power works through built space.”

The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, constructed as part of a notorious urban renewal project in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood, invited us to create an exhibition of recent work and collaborate on an institutional initiative to examine current and potential ways they engage in the city’s politics of planning and development.

Space Brainz presents a mini-survey of Hector’s recent work on contested architecture and planning projects in North American cities. These stories, involving spiked fences, faulty sidewalks, grassroots riverfront development, and other architectural hijinks, are illustrated through Hector’s models, drawings, photographs, and mock-ups. Contained in a chromatic space frame filling the gallery, the display draws out and extends the megastructure space frames of the Yerba Buena Center’s design conception along with the heroic promises of these architectural ideas, offset against the often incremental and pedestrian nature of Hector’s work.

Space Brainz highlights physical outcomes of disagreements--among residents, landowners, real estate developers, architects, government officials, and others--over the shapes and materials of real estate development. The shapes of everyday objects (fences, bike racks, foreclosed houses, grocery stores) and places (riverfronts, streets, suburbs) reveal tensions and contests involved in crafting the world—a slow-moving battlespace of conflict, cooperation, and cooptation where the object is control of the physical environment.

Picking up similar themes, Hector is collaborating with YBCA Youth Fellows and California College of Art Design Fellows to investigate  the current state of the overall Yerba Buena Urban Renewal project and project its future in the year 3000.

Learn more
Hector in conversation with Lucía Sanromán, Director of Visual Arts at YBCA (download PDF)

Space Brainz—Yerba Buena 3000
Hector: Damon Rich & Jae Shin
San Francisco, California

Space Brainz—Yerba Buena 3000 features collaborations with organizations including the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), Ironbound Community Corporation, MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies, Lower East Side Ecology Center, Modsaica, MTWTF, Newark/Essex Foreclosure Taskforce, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark Municipal Green Team, Newark Office of the Urban Enterprise, Newark Planning Office, Newark Riverfront Revival, Mural Arts Philadelphia, SEAMAAC, SPARK, Friends of Riverfront Park, The Trust for Public Land, Unified Vailsburg Services Organization, Weintraub Diaz Landscape Architecture, Yendor Productions & students from City As School High School, Greater Newark Conservancy Junior Rangers, Philadelphia Youth Network, Saint Vincent Academy, Sussex Avenue School & UVSO summer camp. Special appearances by Newark-based artists Manuel Acevedo, DJ Lilman, DJ Omar Abdallah, Kevin Darmanie, Jerry Gant, Gladys Barker Grauer, Kevin Sampson, Armisey Smith, Bisa Washington, Malik Whitaker & Jay Wilson.

Research for Space Brainz—Yerba Buena 3000 was supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts