The University of Trash with Michael Cataldi

, 2009


The University of Trash with Michael Cataldi. 2009


A project by Michael Cataldi and Nils Norman, SculptureCenter, Long Island City, NY, USA. 2009


Drawing from utopian ideals and radical urban projects undertaken since the 1960s, the artists created an installation that functioned as a temporary, makeshift university. Throughout the summer of 2009, the university held mix of workshops, screenings, and presentations focusing on grassroots, self-organized urbanism, DIY architecture and the evolving aesthetics and politics of public space. 


The main exhibition space of SculptureCenter was divided into various departments or campus zones, each designed or reinterpreted by invited artists and students. High school students from the City as School, NYC helped create an informal space that included a jacuzzi, free store area, hallway, and study room. This was designed collaboratively over a period of months through a series of accredited workshops  with the artists.


Artists from the cooperative Justseeds painted the exterior of a replica of the former Tompkins Square Park bandshell, recreated from original plans in half size, in which performances and talks were held.


ABC No Rio's Alan Moore installed his ongoing archive of research material related to social centres across Europe and the US. 


In the courtyard outside, Max Goldfarb parked his M-49 Radio Transmission Truck which emanated a radio transmission of the university's activities.



Space for Revolution


Space for Revolution included presentations and informal discussions that asked, “What could a space for revolution look like?” Students from the School of Walls and Space (Copenhagen); Baltimore Development Cooperative, Participation Park and organizers from the City from Below Conference presented their work.


The workshop ended with a performance by Brooklyn-based band Japanther. 


The Right to the Airwaves


Presented in collaboration with free103point9, the Right to the Airwaves was a daylong workshop exploring the radical potential of analog airwaves. The afternoon began with a radio transmitter building workshop covering the history of broadcasting, how transmitters work, online transmission tools and transmission arts as a creative medium. Tom Roe (free103point9) and Andy Gunn (Prometheus Radio) were joined by transmission artist neuroTransmitter for an informal discussion about their work and issues of free speech, free space and the right to the airwaves.

The evening closed with DJ sets by Tom Roe and Angel Navarez (neuroTransmitter) broadcast live on the University of Trash internet and low power FM stations transmitted to boomboxes within the university.





Summer Sessions at The University of Trash


Summer Sessions was a series of three concerts that took place in SculptureCenter's courtyard on a stage built around Max Goldfarb's M-49 Radio Transmission Truck. Participating bands included Zola Jesus (Madison, WS), Wet Hair (Iowa City, IA) Little Claw (Portland, OR), Religious Knives (Brooklyn, NY), BARR (Los Angeles, CA), Silk Flowers (Brooklyn, NY), and Love Tan (Seattle, WA).