Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Exhibit, Book Examine Atlanta’s Development

With all the changes happening in the Atlanta metro area, it’s hard to imagine what the city might look like 100 years from now. But an exhibition at The Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design Gallery at Georgia State will examine the vision of Atlanta in 2108 as seen by eight teams of architects, engineers and students who participated in the History Channel’s City of the Future Design and Engineering Challenge.

Running through Sept. 4, “City of the Future” exhibits the multimedia projects of the participants in the network’s challenge. Their projects range from the realistic to the fantastic, said gallery director Cathy Byrd.

“Two of them are foreseeing a very green Atlanta,” she said. “[In] one of them, the images are as if the city is a life form, and it takes on – to me – some kind of a sci-fi form.”

The exhibit dovetails with Byrd’s work as curator of the project “Reconstructing Atlanta,” a collection of exhibitions and events examining Atlanta’s urban design. Byrd is also the editor of the book “Re/constructing Atlanta: A Contemporary Continuum,” a collection of essays and views of the city’s contemporary redevelopment. The book will be released at the exhibit’s closing reception, from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 4.

About three years ago, Byrd said she started feeling a visceral response to physical changes that left her feeling like a stranger in the place where she’s lived for more than 10 years. Out of that response came Byrd’s idea to examine Atlanta’s ever-changing landscape, taking into account issues such as identity, transit and environmental and social reactions.

“In working on this project and particularly the book, I found that we have this question of identity, and we think we don’t necessarily have one, but we do,” she said. “It’s just not represented as just one big picture. It’s represented in these small clusters of ideas and spaces.”

Georgia Front Page

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