Non-Stop Metropolis: The Remix
April 2016–Jan 2017
While at Queens Museum, Raicovich initiated a multi-faceted project in collaboration with renowned writer, historian, and activist, Rebecca Solnit. Solnit is the author of 15 books about environment, landscape, community, art, politics, the power of stories, and hope. The roots of this project are found in her remarkable trilogy of Atlas books that propose creative mapping as a means to relay alternative histories of place, specifically in Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas and in Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas. In 2016, the third and final book in the series took New York City as its subject. Titled Nonstop Metropolis Solnit produced this publication with her collaborator Josh Jelly-Schapiro and a host of renowned writers, artists, historians, and cartographers.
Nonstop Metropolis: The Remix includes:
Artist Commissions: Two new artworks were created for the Queens Museum by artists Mariam Ghani and Duke Riley, inspired by essays in Solnit and Jelly-Schapiro’s New York City Atlas. Ghani’s work focuses on the linguistic diversity of Queens and Riley’s on the histories and present dynamics water and power in New York City.
For the large wall at the center of the Museum, Mariam Ghani created The Garden of Forked Tongues, 2016, a large-scale info-graphic based on data of endangered languages in Queens. Inspired by writer Suketu Mehta’s Atlas essay Tower of Scrabble, it presented New York City as an asylum for languages—the heart of which lies in the cultural and linguistic diversity of Queens.
Enveloping the Museum’s Watershed gallery, Riley’s That’s What She Said, 2016, was a sweeping drawing inspired by Water and Power, essayist Heather Smith’s contribution to the Atlas chronicling the development of Manhattan as a history of exploitation of the city’s surrounding natural resources—chief among them, water.
Printed Broadsides: These four-color printed posters featured excerpts of selected essays and included the wonderful maps from Solnit and Jelly-Schapiro’s book. Each broadside was provided to the public monthly, free of charge.
Public Programming: The Atlas was further animated via a series of public talks, walks, and urban adventures led by the essay writers from the book, artists, and other imaginative thinkers addressing topics including water and power, linguistic diversity in Queens, walking as an embodied act, the conjoined histories of environmental and financial disaster in Lower Manhattan, wilderness in the City, and Latino radio in NYC. Additionally educational opportunities, map-making workshops, and a celebration of the launch of the Atlas in October 2016 rounded out the programming slate.