Reading List

List Author

Eric Patel

Artist & Educator

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  • Online

    Blackfeet American Indian Women: Builders of the Tribe

    Places Journal

  • Online

    Minding the Store in Eden: Gardens and Houses in The Color Purple

    Places Journal

  • Online

    Skill, Love, Struggle, and Good Dirt

    Places Journal

  • Online

    A Situation: A Tree in Palestine

    Places Journal

    A story about reckoning with a public secret that doesn’t want to be kept anymore.

  • Online

    Fugitive Libraries

    Places Journal

    In what ways do libraries act as ‘instruments of social control,’ and how could they be made into instruments of restoration, reparation, or transformation?

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    Dwelling as Resistance

    Places Journal

    Resistance against the expansion of Heathrow Airport has been led largely by an off-grid, eco-utopian community. Against the odds, it has used the art of dwelling to genuinely radical effects.

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    Shade

    Places Journal

    It’s a civic resource, an index of inequality, and a requirement for public health. Shade should be a mandate for urban designers.

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    Gordon Matta-Clark and the Politics of Shared Space

    Places Journal

    An artist in the era of urban renewal thinks through what it might mean to fully collaborate with local communities.

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    Imagining a Past Future

    Places Journal

    City planner John B. Williams — and the photographic archive he commissioned — give us the opportunity to complicate received stories of failed urban renewal.

  • Online

    Unbuilding Gender

    Places Journal

    What might the abstract and architectural offer in terms of transgender representation? We can start by looking at the art of Gordon Matta-Clark.

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    All Eyes on the Border

    Places Journal

    Materialized in steel and concrete, patrolled and “performed” by state apparatuses and sensing technologies, the border is charged by the politics of recognition.

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    The Association of (Gay) Suburban People

    Places Journal

    From the late ’70s to mid ’80s, in an era of entrenched homophobia, a group of gay suburbanites formed an organization that mixed pride and defiance, political rallies and Tupperware parties.

  • Online

    The Occupation of 123 Delancey Street

    Places Journal

    How a band of “dirty little artists” liberated a vacant public building on the front lines of urban renewal, on the Lower East Side of New York City.

  • Online

    Notes Toward a History of Non-Planning

    Places Journal

    The argument about the strength of government and the freedom of the marketplace has been boiling for decades. It is more relevant than ever.

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    Geographies of Detention

    Places Journal

    An exhibition of art and documentary work that investigates prison landscapes.

  • Online

    Housing and Hope

    Places Journal

    The global struggle for housing as a human right emphasizes the relationship of secure housing to personal dignity and full citizenship.

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    Shelter

    Places Journal

    Photographs of transient camps set up all across Europe by undocumented workers from Africa and Asia.

  • Online

    20 Years Later: Legacies of the Los Angeles Riots

    Places Journal

    An historian assesses the dynamic changes in South Los Angeles in the two decades since the 1992 riots.

  • Online

    South Africa after Apartheid: From Township to Town

    Places Journal

    Apartheid may have ended, but spatial segregation remains.

  • Online

    The Roma of Rome: Heirs to the Ghetto System

    Places Journal

    A photo essay on the state-sponsored enclaves — a.k.a. ghettos — that house the Roma, or Gypsies, of Rome.

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    A Method of Living

    Places Journal

    A photo essay on the dramatic transformations of public housing in Chicago.

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    Designing Indian Country

    Places Journal

    Suppose Native America is not over, that there is no “after colonialism.” How do we create public spaces that enable true contact between cultures?

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    The City’s End

    Places Journal

    A review of The City’s End: Two Centuries of Fantasies, Fears and Premonitions of New York’s Destruction, by architectural historian Max Page.

  • Online

    Still Life with Cone, Standpipe, Caution Tape

    Places Journal

    A collection of photographs illustrating the art and architecture of the temporary barricade.

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    Unfinished New York

    Places Journal

    Preservation has evolved from a rarified special interest to an institution — an ethos — entrenched in our culture. But has it become too conservative, elitist and even racist?

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    Queer Beacon

    Places Journal

    In contemporary New York, LGBT activism confronts hyper-gentrification.

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    Directions

    Places Journal

    Giving and getting directions is an unsung ritual of civic life, a measure of local knowledge and belonging. But what happens when your neighborhood, your city, seem to have lost their way?

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    Design with the Other 90%: Cities

    Places Journal

    A Cooper-Hewitt curator surveys socially responsive urban design in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

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    Skywatching

    Places Journal

    Two artists explore spy satellite calibration markers in the desert — and trace the satellites in the sky today.

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    On the Road Home

    Places Journal

    What is the meaning of home? An anthropologist searches for answers from Aaron Spelling’s mansion in Beverly Hills to the Kalahari windbreaks erected by the !Kung San.

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    Water in the West

    Places Journal

    A collaborative photography project focuses on the natural element that has defined the American West.

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    Image, Object, Experience

    Places Journal

    How can a photograph convey the physical sensations of being present in a place?

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    The Pink and Gold Jungle: Iquitos

    Places Journal

    In the remote city of Iquitos, Peru, photos of young gay men portray (and problematize) the desire to escape the everyday world in search of freedom and bodily expression.

  • Online

    Signal Noise

    Places Journal

    Photographing nature through acts of erasure, obliteration, amplification, and reversal.

  • Online

    The Edge of Light: Wendover

    Places Journal

    The nighttime mysteries of Wendover, where military history, land-speed racing, and casino dreams make for strange juxtapositions.

  • Online

    Cisco Trash Map

    Places Journal

    On railroads, oil rigs, uranium mines, 7-11 pizzas, Thelma and Louise, ruination, salvage, and the limits of the garbage gaze.

  • Online

    Field Notes on Pandemic Teaching: 6

    Places Journal

    The sixth and final installment of a narrative survey focusing on the massive move to emergency online instruction.

  • Online

    The Westward-Moving House

    Places Journal

    Now online, a classic essay on the American homestead.

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    Urbanizing the Mojave

    Places Journal

    America’s greatest boomtown went bust. An examination of the troubled history of mining, militarization, tourism, and water politics in Las Vegas.

  • Online

    Cloud and Field

    Places Journal

    On the resurgence of “field guides” in a networked age. We’ve moved from birding to dronewatching, from natural history to dark ecology. But are we still looking through colonialist binoculars?

  • Online

    Walking the Darkness Home

    Places Journal

    A journey to the bottom of the Grand Canyon defies the expectations (and clichés) of the famous landscape.

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    We Are in a Western Town

    Places Journal

    The enduring power of the photographs of Robert Adams, and what they reveal about the paradoxical landscapes of the American West.

  • Online

    Revolution of the Thirsty

    Places Journal

    The ongoing Egyptian Revolution is about not only political freedom but also the right to water.

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    Writing on the Wall

    Places Journal

    A local photographer records hand-painted signs and murals in Detroit.

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    Viral Cities

    Places Journal

    How can cities prepare for a viral pandemic? An architect traces the links between urban design and public health, from the plagues of medieval Europe to the H1N1 outbreak.

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    Willful Waters

    Places Journal

    Los Angeles and its river have long been enmeshed in an epic struggle for control.

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    No More Play

    Places Journal

    Los Angeles is on the brink of a crucial transformation — and at a point where the very word city no longer applies.

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    Surface to Unlimited: A Visit to Spaceport America

    Places Journal

    Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, has long depended on tourism. Now spaceflight has been folded into its mythos, at the dawn of the Second Space Age.

  • Online

    People’s Way: Urban Mobility in Ahmedabad

    Places Journal

    The new bus rapid transit in Ahmedabad mixes transit innovation and traditional culture — and even offers yoga classes for drivers.

  • Online

    The Anti-Monograph

    Places Journal

    The new monograph on Studio Gang is an effort to feed the star machinery and resist it at the same time.

  • Online

    Monkey King

    Places Journal

    A Monkey King born from a stone can transform into 72 other things: bug, bird, beast of prey, tree and so forth.

  • Online

    Imperial Traces

    Places Journal

    The record of the former French colonies is controversial. But it is also rich with narratives, and with built relics — villas, hotels, prisons, slaughterhouses, orphaned by history.

  • Online

    Listening There: Scenes from Ghana

    Places Journal

    A photo essay on the legacy of tropical modernism in western Africa.

  • Online

    A Short History of American Urban Exceptionalism

    Places Journal

    American urban development has long pursued its own distinctive course — an urbanism without fixed limits, with endlessly extendable boundaries.

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