The University of California Institute for Research in the Arts supports embedded arts research through critical exchange

Living as Form (the nomadic version)

LIVING AS FORM (the nomadic version)
socially engaged practices from 1991-2011

November 14, 1:00 – 3:00 pm

Location: Structural & Materials Engineering Building, Room 406, UC San Diego

Conversation with The Periscope Project, Nancy Kwak (Assistant Professor of History, UCSD) & Mirle Rabinowitz Bussell (Lecturer, Urban Studies & Planning, UCSD)

For this conversation series, UCSD scholars and practitioners outside of the visual arts department were invited to engage with the local artists participating in Living as Form and to enter through these artists’ practices from another perspective. The conversation series are a casual, open format in which participants, including attendees, can chat with each other about their practices to discover coextensive affinities, conflicts, and perhaps even the limitations of interdisciplinarity.


The Periscope Project is a not-for-profit organization (501(c)3 pending) comprised of a space and cooperative, committed to the transdisciplinary nexus of art, architecture, and regional urban issues. It is operated by a rotating group of core individuals (currently, James Enos, Molly Enos, and Charles Miller). Operating as studio workspace occupied by a rotating core cooperative, and re-programmable exhibition and event space in a unique urban context, the project works to provide amenities for students, artists, designers, scholars and activists working with and in response to their urban environment. TPP occupies five arranged intermodal shipping containers on a sliver lot in San Diego’s East Village. These unique architectural circumstances provide readymade work, exhibition, and community organizing space, while simultaneously existing as an architectural counterpoint to the status quo of San Diego’s urban landscape-enriching a dialog about how these spaces come to be, and what is to become of them.


Nancy Kwak (Assistant Professor of History, UCSD) is interested in the evolution of cities and urban spaces in the twentieth century, with a particular focus on the role of planners, architects, and policymakers in reshaping neighborhoods and communities. While trained specifically in US urban history, Prof. Kwak currently pursues transnational, international, and comparative approaches to American urban history; in her current manuscript, she examines the impact of traveling American experts and advisers on housing policies in the developing world after 1945. Prof. Kwak has published various articles and coauthored a special edition of the Journal of Urban History on public housing in the Americas.

Mirle Rabinowitz Bussell is an Academic Coordinator and Continuing Lecturer in the Urban Studies and Planning Program at U.C. San Diego. Her research interests included private foundations’ involvement in community development, the role of nonprofit community development corporations in neighborhood revitalization, quality of life indicators and planning in disenfranchised urban neighborhoods, comparative international research, and the relationship between gender and planning. She focuses on applied research that bridges theory and practice. Among her recent work is the completion in 2005 of the first comprehensive analysis of San Diego’s nonprofit developers of affordable housing. With a grant from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, she is currently working on a comparative evaluation of the role of private family foundations in local community economic development.

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