My City's Still Breathing

Mark Kingwell, introduction by Catherine Hunter

The City as a Work of Art

Cities are living things, partly designed and partly random, sometimes conscious but often mechanical. They may be compared to many other systems: circulatory, market-capitalism, erotic-exchange, and so on. But at once the richest and the most challenging idea of the city is that of the work of art. Beginning with some general reflections on the origin and nature of the work of art, this presentation will open up a series of reflections on cities and the people, built forms, and transactions that make them what they are.

Mark Kingwell presents at My City's Still Breathing

Photo by Leif Norman

Mark Kingwell Professor of Philosophy, University of Toronto
Toronto, Canada
The City as a Work of Art Biography

Mark Kingwell

Mark Kingwell is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto and a contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine.  He is the author of fifteen books of political, cultural and aesthetic theory, including the national bestsellers Better Living (1998), The World We Want (2000), Concrete Reveries (2008), and Glenn Gould (2009).  His articles on politics, architecture and art have been published in, among others, the Journal of Philosophy, Philosophical Forum, the Journal of Speculative Philosophy, and the Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities.  His popular writing has appeared in more than 50 mainstream publications including  Harper’s, the New York Times, Utne Reader, BookForum, the Toronto Star, and Queen’s Quarterly; he is also a former columnist for Adbusters, the National Post, and the Globe and Mail.  Mr. Kingwell has lectured extensively in Canada, the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Australia on philosophical subjects and has held visiting posts at Cambridge University, the University of California at Berkeley, and the City University of New York, where he was Weismann Distinguished Visiting Professor of Humanities in 2002.  He is the recipient of the Spitz Prize in political theory for his first book, A Civil Tongue: Justice, Dialogue, and the Politics of Pluralism (1995); National Magazine Awards for both essays and columns; an Outstanding Teaching Award at the University of Toronto; and in 2000 was awarded an honorary DFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design for contributions to theory and criticism.  His recent books are a collection of his essays on art and philosophy, Opening Gambits (2008), and, with Patrick Turmel, the edited collection Rites of Way: The Politics and Poetics of Public Space (2009).  He is currently at work on a book about 21st-century democracy.


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Catherine Hunter

Catherine Hunter Poet and novelist
Winnipeg, MB
Introductory Remarks: Making Art in Winnipeg Biography

Catherine Hunter

Catherine Hunter is a poet and novelist whose practice is deeply grounded in her home town of Winnipeg. She is the author of seven books, including the award-winning poetry collection Latent Heat (Signature Editions) and her most recent work, the crime novel Queen of Diamonds (Turnstone Press).  Catherine teaches at the University of Winnipeg, where she is currently chair of the English department. 

Making Art in Winnipeg

In "Making Art in Winnipeg," a writer reflects on the nature of the city, its artists, and their work. How does the city create art and how does the art, in turn, create the city? And what does it mean to make art in your hometown, year after year...decade after decade? While some artists tire of the same old place and leave to seek new challenges, those who stay are witness to the way the  city shifts and changes through the years, revealing elusive truths about human existence and the nature of inspiration


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