Selective Histories: Memory, Aesthetics, & Urban Art

Lauren Hudson at Strand Bookstore

Fri, Aug 31 at 7 p.m.   |   90 minutes

This Olio will focus on the many conflicting intents of urban art, from its use as state propaganda to its many forms of resistance to oppression.

Debates surrounding ‘public art’ or ‘urban art’ can be endless. Most often they focus on form rather than function. Is graffiti art? What about monuments? What kind of art is allowed to be erected, removed, or sold? These debates become even more detailed when we introduce what mediums of art we value over others: painting, music, dance, poetry.


Though several disciplines discuss the value of public art and engage in the above debates, urban geographers are interested in how art forms can at once elide, reproduce, or challenge their urban political contexts. Like everything else in our city, urban art informs our experience. The question then becomes not what ‘counts as art’, but what is art’s purpose. What is urban art supposed to do?

This Olio will focus on the many conflicting intents of urban art, from its use as state propaganda to its many forms of resistance to oppression. We will discuss the politics of aesthetics, memory, and representation and how such politics attempt to create (with varying success), what urban geographer Karen Till defines as “selective and coherent histories”.
Teacher: Lauren Hudson

Lauren Hudson is currently a doctoral candidate in Earth and Environmental Sciences at the CUNY Graduate Center where she writes about anti-capitalist organizing among women in NYC.


Venue: Strand Bookstore

What is Think Olio?


Think Olio is here to put the liberation back into the liberal arts.

Classically, the liberal arts, were the education considered essential for a free person to take an active part in civic life. To counter a humanities that has been institutionalized and dehumanized we infuse critical thinking, openness, playfulness, and compassion into our learning experience.

Read more about our mission, our story, and how we are doing this.

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Other Upcoming Olios


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Plato Goes East: The Republic and The Bhagavad Gita

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Socialism, A Day in the Life

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Teacher: Danny Katch

June 15, 2020, 8 p.m.


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Liaisons Host an Olio

Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.