Theming or Art?

As we were discussing why Providence’s Waterfire, which is packaged as an artistic event by its organizers, qualifies for theming (or not), Samuel brought up the case of Paris’ “Beach” or Plage, where since the early 2000s, one side of the river bank transforms into a “beach” for a month in the summer.  The Paris project seems to be a corporate re-appropriation of counter-hegemonic art practice and events such as Reclaim the Streets (RTS), which is informed by the Situationists in its advocation of “direct action” to, well, reclaim a major street or highway to stage a party.

What is to make of the recent efforts by New York City to close Times Square to pedestrians’ use? See an article in New York Times discussing the issue.

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