After San Francisco’s new mayor announced imminent plans to “clean up” downtown with a new corporate “dot com corridor” and arts district–featuring the new headquarters of Twitter and Burning Man— curators Ericka Lyle, Chris Johanson, and Kal Spelletich brought over one hundred artists and activists together with neighborhood residents fearing displacement to consider Utopian aspirations and to plot alternate futures for the city. Opening in May 2012 at the Luggage Store Gallery, the resulting exhibition Streetopia was a massive anti-gentrification art fair that took place in venues throughout the city. For five weeks, Streetopia featured daily free talks, performances, and skillshares while operating a free community kitchen out of the gallery.
This book brings together all of the art and ephemera from the now-infamous show—featuring work by Swoon, Barry McGee, Emory Douglas, Monica Canilao, Rigo 23, Xara Thustra, Ryder Cooley, and many more. Using the format of an exhibition catalog as a jumping off point, the book also includes essays and interviews with key participants that consider the effectiveness of Streetopia’s projects while offering a deeper rumination on the continuing search for community—and for Utopia—in today’s increasingly homogenous and gentrified neo-liberal cities in an era of unprecedented wealth disparity.
Includes writing by Rebecca Solnit, Chris Kraus, Sarah Schulman, Ericka Lyle, Chris Johanson, Sam Green, Daphne Gottlieb, Amy Francheschini, Antonio Roman-Alcala, Ivy Jeanne McClelland, Sy Wagon, V. Vale, Kal Spelletich, Veronica Majano, Jesse Drew, Renny Pritikin, A.C.Thompson, Micah Bazant, Lewis Wallace, Marshall Weber, Joey Alone, Eve Ekman, Isaac Jackson, James Tracy, Veteran’s Alley Mural Project, and The Water Underground.