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​Photo Credit, Mike Sinclair

A System of Public Placing, West Bottoms, Kansas City, MO  2018-19

​​ Public space in the West Bottoms is often a private experience. The boundaries between private and public are sometimes vague and undefined.  A System of Public Placing is an effort to build a memory through movement of the conditions that have simultaneously defined the devolving urban landscape while continuously sparking the imagination of generations of artists and citizens. These conditions are now provoking a renewed interest in development throughout the area. 

This project is in conjunction with West Bottoms Reborn, funded in part by a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town Grant, and has been realized through Union Office, a collaborative platform originating from the studio of James Woodfill.

 Part 1: Impulse - A Visceral Survey  
A commissioned survey of the area surrounding Forester Viaduct in the West Bottoms by artists Megan Videmschek, Baron Mattern and Kylie McConnell. This survey resulted in a number of drawings, photographs, videos and charts, along with extensive conversations about the visceral and perceptual nature of the area.

Part 2: An Installation
A series of wayfinding markers that inhabit the infrastructure throughout the area surrounding Forest Viaduct, located within the historic core of the district. 
Informed by a series of walking videos conducted during the early stage of the WBR project, along with the project surveys, the Public Placing markers are responding to site conditions, both harmonic and dissonant, and act both as amplifiers to those conditions and as variable parentheses, marking the nebulous boundaries that form and dissolve as we move through the area.
Part 3: An Exhibition
An installation of the survey works in dialog with a variety of visual and structural cues culled from the archives of student works at Kansas City Design Center. This installation, designed and coordinated by Union Office collaborator Annie Woodfill, was in conjunction with a broad exhibition of KCDC work regarding WBR, along with works by WBR artists Carmen Mareno and Miranda Clark.
Union Office  Public Placing Project Team:

Lead Artist: 
     James Woodfill
Union Office Collaborating Artist / Project Assistant
     Annie Woodfill
Survey Artists:
     Megan Videmschek
     Kylie McConnell
     Baron Mattern

Below: Installation views of A System of Public Placing (Part 1)    

Download Project PDF

  1. Managing Director
  1. Managing Director
  1. Managing Director
  1. Managing Director
  1. Managing Director