Total Detroit

August 2011 (New York, NY & Detroit, MI)

Led by Niegel Smith, Caretaker: Tracy Hazas, Produced by Elastic City

My teenage years were spent in Detroit. A city in continual decline. One that refuses to lose itself to those who fetishize its ruins. It’s been 10 years since my return. I do it carefully. Can I speak for this place where I no longer live? Yes. And I’m taking you with me.

“[Detroit] belongs to those who have memories of it, and make memories in it.” -Liz, a Detroit resident, New York Times, Aug. 4, 2010.

I invite you to walk with me in Detroit. We’ll start in New York and hop on a plane to the Motor City. I’ve got some shit to work out–you too? Pack your baggage. We’ll come back with less. For 3 days and 2 nights, we’ll sculpt, listen, light and sing. We’ll give ourselves to decay and possibility through techniques derived from cultural anthropology, performance art and experimental theater. We will make monuments with our bodies in response to public spaces; project words on to abandoned buildings to give them voices; volunteer at an urban farm to feed the hungry; and cleanse one another with the help of Tanaka Min ritualistic practices.

Click here to watch a trailer for “Total Detroit”.

Click here to watch Niegel Smith reflect on “Total Detroit”.

Special Thanks: Alex Gutierrez; Robert Morgan; Danya Abt; Melanie & Miles Faison; Shane Bernardo; Alison Lewis; Dan Seybold; Eric McGill; Jedd Flanscha; Rebecca Hart; Shannon Ferrante and Andrew Moore.