Great write-up from the SF Gate Today. You can read it here. Or below!
Chronicle’s New Neighbor: Intersection 5m
by Tamara Straus
“The ground floor of the San Francisco Chronicle building, at 901 Mission St., may seem at first like an odd location for a radical cross-sector collaboration with entrepreneurs and innovators working to create social change. But times are tough for newspapers. The Hearst Corp., which owns The Chron and its 1924 building, is looking for tenants. And the Hub Bay Area, an international social entrepreneurs’ collective, and TechShop, a collaborative tech workshop, along with Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco’s oldest alternative nonprofit art space, are in need of new digs for joint programs, a satellite gallery, a screening room and an event space.
Intersection 5M, Intersection’s part of the new collective, will launch May 19. Its goals are as lofty and marvelous as they are vague. Among them: Creating programs that encourage “breakthrough innovation” by people in the SoMa/Mid-Market/Downtown neighborhood.
“We are working with Forest City Development to lead the way on high impact design and real estate solutions that enable us to make a place that effectively ‘crowd sources’ to facilitate this kind of powerful collaboration,” states the news release. “This collaboration is part of a prototype for a new, open urban campus of for-profit and non-profit businesses, artists and entrepreneurs that dissolves boundaries and consistently instigates synergistic collaboration across disciplines in order to inspire and enable new ideas for change.”
Call it art-tech progressivism. Intersection 5M appears to be taking ideological cues from John M. Eger, a San Diego State University professor of communications and public policy who advocates so-called Smart Communities. Eger defines them as ones that are connected (through wireless technologies), creative (they support arts and culture) and collaborative (they are civically engaged). He is quoted in the Intersection 5M press release as saying: “Civic engagement and new civic ‘co-laboratories’ will be needed to help ‘reboot’ or reinvent our great American cities to reclaim the sense of place and civic pride that these cities once possessed, as well as ensure that no one is left behind.”
The first effort of Intersection 5M will be a multimedia exhibition called “Let’s Talk of a System,” featuring work by April Banks, Sergio De La Torre, Suzanne Husky, Laura Parker, Favianna Rodriguez, James Reed and Banker White. It will open with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. May 19. Deborah Cullinan, executive director of Intersection for the Arts, says the group exhibition takes its inspiration and title from a quote by German artist Joseph Beuys: “Let’s talk of a system that transforms all the social organisms into a work of art, in which the entire process of work is included … something in which the principle of production and consumption takes on a form of quality. It’s a Gigantic project.”