The purpose of Venue is to assemble a narrative core sample of the greater North American landscape for the 21st century. Through transcripts, videos, photos, and a variety of other media, Venue will broadcast and compile nearly sixteen months of original interviews with people at locations both familiar and overlooked, from an extraordinary mix of disciplines and backgrounds.
But we are always looking for new suggestions for people to meet and places to see. Please join in and add your ideas to the mix!
We’d also love to meet you at our next public event: Check our schedule, follow us on Twitter, and/or sign up for the Venue mailing list to stay up-to-date with our current or future location.
Venue's schedule will be continually and regularly updated over the course of our travels, from June 2012–September 2013. Check back often! We may be coming soon to a town near you.
Venue launches on June 8, 2012 from 6-8pm at the Nevada Museum of Art, 160 West Liberty Street, in downtown Reno (free for members, $10 for adults, $8 for seniors/students). Check out our gear, suggest people and places to see, and wander through the simultaneous opening of photographer Edward Burtynsky's newest show, Oil.
On June 9, we'll be conducting interviews at the Nevada Museum of Art, before using Reno as a base for the next few days to explore the local region. We'll be heading south on June 12, via Mono Lake, the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, Lone Pine and Owens Lake, and many other sites, on our way into the universe of Greater Los Angeles.
From the deserted suburban streets of California City to the so-called Calico Early Man Site; and from the Cascades, where freshwater comes down from its aqueduct over the hills into the San Fernando Valley, to the Center for Land Use Interpretation, we'll spend nearly a week in Los Angeles before heading off east by northeast into July.
The domestic architecture of Palm Springs; the Salton Sea; Zion National Park; Newspaper Rock; the uranium mines of Moab; Rocky Mountain ghost towns: all on our approach to the 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado, where Nicola Twilley and Geoff Manaugh will present their work—including Venue—amidst an intimidating list of other speakers, such as Pervez Musharraf, Ehud Barak, Columbia University physicist Brian Greene, Gwen Ifil, Alan Greenspan, and many more.
Then, on July 5, Venue will continue on to MCA Denver for a night of "Mixed Taste."
Venue heads west again on its second leg of the summer, from mid-August to mid-September.
We'll kick things off again in Denver, before visiting the headquarters of GPS at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, continuing south all the way to Carlsbad Caverns and the U.S. Department of Energy Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, where we'll descend 2,150 feet beneath the Earth's surface for a private tour. Venue then heads broadly northwest all the way to San Francisco, meeting up with the Unknown Fields Division from London's Architectural Association along the way and seeing such sites as the Chile Pepper Institute in Las Cruces, New Mexico, the "simulated lunar environment" of Cinder Lake outside Flagstaff, and the extraordinary simulated Middle Eastern cities of Southern California's Ft. Irwin training ground.
In November, we're heading south to the Sunshine State, meeting up with British architects Smout Allen and their students from the Bartlett School of Architecture and leading some beachside design workshops. We'll be visiting Cape Canaveral, flying drones in an experimental citrus grove south of Orlando, passing through Disneyworld, taking a boat out to the houses of Stiltsville, and heading even further west than Key West to see the surreal sight of Fort Jefferson, a 19th-century brick fort—and now a National Park—built on a reef in the Gulf of Mexico.
We head west for our final trip in 2012, as Venue swings back through Southern California for an agricultural trip to UC-Riverside, an abandoned NIKE Missile site in the Santa Monica Mountains, the Puente Hills landfill, and a cluster of new interviews with special effects artists, production designers, JPL astrophysicists, and more.
Kicking off the New Year strong, Venue will cut a long diagonal southwest through the Shenandoah Valley, deep into the National Radio Quiet Zone where we'll give our devices some electromagnetic shelter. We'll listen in on the 4-acre underground musical instrument of Luray Caverns, discuss the future of light pollution with author Paul Bogard, pass through the hills of northwest Georgia for a stop at the factory headquarters of AstroTurf, and learn more about household robotics courtesy of a day at Georgia Tech.
Finally, we'll swing north again, heading home by way of Washington D.C., just missing the 2013 presidential inauguration.
Come back for updates to learn the dates and times of several live interviews, discussions, site visits, and much more planned for 2013.
Submit Your Own Device
Venue is equipped with a variety of devices to help us explore and document the landscape. Some of these are scientific and practical—like an earthbound cousin of a Mars rover—while others are more poetic, metaphoric, or experimental. You can find out more about the instruments we’re carrying and their designers here.
Meanwhile, if you’re a designer, inventor, artist, or tinkerer, and you have a tripod-mounted device — something that reads, records, or writes a particular aspect of the landscape — that you’d like to see taken with us on Venue during one of our journeys, we’d love to hear from you. You can submit your information here and we’ll be in touch if we’d like to learn more.
You can reach us at futureplural [AT] gmail [DOT] com — drop us a line and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!