RUN __ DET projects
RUN__DET is a platform for Researching Unvalues Through Occupation and Experimentation

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Andrew Herscher's The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit launches at Art Metropole

Mostly What is Unsaid presents:
Andrew Herscher - The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit
Talk: Thursday, March 21, 7-9pm
Art Metropole, 1490 Dundas Street West

Mostly What is Unsaid (a collective project of Art Metropole + FUSE Magazine + Scapegoat: Architecture/Landscape/Political Economy) is excited to host a talk by Andrew Herscher, author of The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit (2012). The audience is invited to join a discussion afterwards.

Intense attention has been paid to Detroit as a site of urban crisis. This crisis, however, has not only yielded the massive devaluation of real estate that has so often been noted; it has also yielded an explosive production of seemingly valueless urban property that has facilitated the imagination and practice of alternative urbanisms. The first sustained study of Detroit's alternative urban cultures, The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit initiates a new focus on Detroit as a site not only of urban crisis but also of urban possibility.

The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit will be available for purchase at the event and online at

Mostly What Is Unsaid is an open structure of public conversations initiated by Art Metropole, FUSE and Scapegoat, motivated by our shared conception of publishing as a political praxis, rather than a form of publicity or mere representation. Engaging in conversation amidst the monologue of the neoliberal status quo demands that we attend to gestures, hesitations and omissions as much as words. Through this programming series, we will pursue the critical role of the unspoken and the unspeakable across a spectrum running from the macro- to the micro-political. Within our respective practices, we construct publicly accessible, yet still precarious spaces of conversation. The series Mostly What Is Unsaid curates occasions to bring these discussions into a shared physical space, in order to bridge the gap between locations such as a shop, a magazine, or a journal and spaces of everyday life in the city.

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Andrew Herscher's The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit is now available.

From the book: "Relinquishing the desire to repair the shrinking city may thus present excruciating challenges to architecture and planning. It might compel the humbling realization that these disciplines might have more to learn from the shrinking city than the shrinking city has to learn from them. It might also compel the even more humbling realization that any specialized kind of knowledge production, whether disciplinary or interdisciplinary, is inadequate to grasp the contemporary city, and that this grasp would have to lead towards new transdisciplinary knowledge production with a necessarily hybrid, experimental and indeterminate form." - Andrew Herscher

To hear an interview with Andrew about The Unreal Estate Guide on Michigan Radio's program Stateside, follow this link.
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Saturday, 29 September, 2012, 7PM
Film maker and archivist Rick Prelinger is in Detroit for a screening of his film Lost Landscapes of Detroit and a discussion with Andrew Hersher of the Detroit Unreal Estate Agency. The design collective 1/X will also discuss their curatorial project for the Detroit Design Festival - Anecdoted City - which created a collection of objects in/of/from Detroit, on view at the Salt & Cedar Letterpress Gallery and re-curated for a one night exhibition by Rick Prelinger. Please check out Kate Abbey-Lambertz's review of Anecdoted City in the Huffington Post.
All are welcome.
Suggested donation $5, pay what you can.
Seating is limited - get your ticket online here.
Salt & Cedar,
2448 Riopelle St., Eastern Market, Detroit

Photographs from the Anecdoted City opening at Salt & Letterpress Gallery are now online; courtesy of Jonathan LeJune.

Lost & Found Detroit, courtesy of Salt & Cedar.

Lost & Found Detroit, courtesy of Salt & Cedar.

Lost & Found Detroit, courtesy of Salt & Cedar.

1/X installing the Anecdoted City collection table at the Salt & Cedar Gallery, courtesy of Salt & Cedar.

This event is generously supported by Corktown Cinema, 1/X, Salt & Cedar,, and the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan.
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Friday, 14 September 2012
Flint, MI
555 S. Saginaw Street, at the corner of 2nd Street.

“If they do not give you work or bread …”
– Counter-Memory and Militant Labor in America

As part of Value + Ruin, Etienne Turpin presents research from his exhibition and attendant publication Stainlessness, which considers the role of militant labor history in the U.S. as means to confront and prevent the erasure of this history by contemporary processes of urbanization. Organized by Stephen Zacks of the Institute for Applied Reporting and Urbanism, the event includes presentations by Andrew Herscher, Andrew Perkins, and video installation artists from District VII.

Photograph courtesy of Stephen Zacks.

For William Ketchum's review of the event, please click here.

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Wednesday, 29 August 2012
The first publication of the Detroit Unreal Estate Agency - Vol. 00 - "How to Recuperate an Urban Crisis" - by Andrew Herscher, is now available at the La Biennale di Venezia, August, 2012. The publication, a critical glossary of Detroit, is also available online for free - please download your copy here.

Image courtesy of Catie Newell

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Image courtesy of Catie Newell

As Detroit completes its collapse from precocious industrial engine into a spectacular ruin-pornographic representation, one can't help but imagine that it is finally freed from the guest that not everyone wanted at the party, capital. As my colleague Andrew Herscher explains in issue 00 of SCAPEGOAT, if we look at the agency of Detroit through a condition of Unreal Estate, we can begin to understand that when capital leaves, many other things become possible. There is nothing naive about this position; in fact, Andrew develops a theory of what he calls UNVALUE to suggest how we might begin to view Detroit today.

Andrew asks, “what if what has also been lost in Detroit is the capacity to understand new urban conditions, conditions in which value is no longer structured economically, in the terms of free-market capitalism, but in wholly other terms? What if Detroit has not only fallen apart, emptied out, disappeared and/or shrunk, but has also transformed, becoming a novel urban formation that only appears depleted, voided or abjected through the lens of conventional urbanism? What if property in Detroit has not only lost one sort of value but has also gained other sorts of values, values whose economic salience is absent or even negative?” From the point of view of capitalism, certain important values simply do not register. They are, from this perspective, unreal, or simply unvalue.

According to his analysis, “Unreal estate” is a conceptual framework for exploring new, “unreal” propositions, and thereby reconsidering the cultural agency of art and architecture in moments of urban crisis. That is, “Unreal estate is a name for urban territory that has slipped through the literal economy, the economy of the market, and entered other structures of value, including but not limited to those of survival, invention, imagination, play, desire and mourning.”

Andrew's new book, The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit is out now.

RUN__DET is an itinerant research platform, inspired by Andrew's work, that looks to practices of autonomy and self-determination to make inhabitable and pleasurable the places abandoned or destroyed by the malfeasance of capitalism. The question is not whether or not to occupy, but how to occupy, cultivate, and defend.