This past weekend, the New York Times, Highly Cultivated Design Spring 2010 magazine had a piece about Detroit, Michigan - a city in ruins, literally. Check out this site, for Marchaid and Meffre's sadly amazing photos of a modern day city's ruin journey. You'll need to click on the tiny gray triangle near the bottom of the page to see the photos. They have a book coming out soon.
Andrew Moore also has a photo book on Detroit's ruins coming out soon, too. Check out his photos.
Another use of Detroit's ruins was made by four local artists painting some of the buildings orange - be sure to check out the short video. Good Topics, Bright Orange. Don't miss this video! Really. Especially if you like orange - and maybe if you don't like orange, too.
For part of my life, I grew up near Detroit - we only visited on rare occasions - once to watch the fireworks on the river, a Thanksgiving Day parade, the Greek food, a baseball game. My family lived in the suburbs during the riots - a confusing, unsettling time. I also used to call on customers in Detroit proper.
I find looking at the art of Detroit's ruin fascinating. Nature taking back a "modern day city" is a hard thing for me to grasp. I love the idea of painting the deserted buildings orange - the idea of "why not art, here" in your face. And why not ORANGE! But the change from glimmering to orange paint, photos and ruins makes me wonder about the world in general. The temporary of everything.
There is a group of well-heeled Michiganders working to rebuild a new Detroit. I guess you can't just walk away from a city because a city is about people. And, we need to stick together and work things out. Wish I had something more prophetic to say. Maybe it's too late in my day to be brilliant.