2013 Installations

24 things

24 Things About Me

Northwestern High School students, working with Hubert Roberts of Black Men for Social Change and University of Michigan Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design students, produce personal videos portraits showing 24 everyday life scenes through the eyes of high school students in Flint. The project is part of a semester-long videomaking workshop led by Roland Graf and Peter Leix, and made possible by Mary Stewart, James Andrews, Joel Rash, and Kasie White.


Art Flag Bunting

Artist Deidre Robb creates a large-scale installation celebrating the Flint region and the social history of the Chevy site.



Environmental artist, activist, and engineer Josh Kogan creates an educational installation of mushroom production that showcases ethical and sustainable food, and supports future community resiliency to both economic and environmental stress factors.


Banner Action

Nsumi Collective presents Banner Action, a mass-scale banner-making event. Participants gather to create unexpected, expressive, colorful, and thought-provoking handmade banners for use during the festival, and at performances, celebrations, marches, neighborhood events, and public spaces throughout Flint.


Car Karaoke

Artist Sarah Keeling offers the public a chance to sing karaoke in two parked cars on the Chevy site. The piece makes the private space of the vehicle public, and creating a new, playful relationship between cars and the site.

Chevy Plants

Architect Freeman Greer marks the site with reused tires arranged in the form of a Chevrolet logo, planted with switchgrass and sunflowers that clean up soil.



Architect Jae Kim produces a floating installation that creates a complex geometric form using everyday materials, including nylon wire and hundreds of plastic straws.


Artist Michael Flynn presents an inflatable shelter made entirely from aluminized mylar plastic. The interior can be used for storytelling, video projections, theater, dance parties, or as a lounging area.



This conceptual prototype by artist GeoSpace is a human-powered, all-weather, self-illuminated vehicle that replaces our current models of power, dominance, and energy dependency.



This light installation by architect and artist Catie Newell and students from University of Michigan integrates bio-plastics and a cloth substrate that pulses and fades in response its environment. Groundscape traces the remnants of the railroad tracks, playfully responding to the myriad textures and embedded traces of previous activity throughout the site.


Designers Joe Reinsel and Benjamin Gaydos create objects that, depending on where the viewer stands, appear as abstract shapes or readable text drawn from conversations with local residents. Where the text is visible, a QR code leads viewers to a recording of the conversation.


Postcard Futures

In 1968 photographer Jet Lowe shot “Delphi Flint West, 300 Chevrolet Avenue” in Flint, as part of his work to record significant, often threatened American industrial sites. Architects Natalia Roumelioti and Matthias Neumann invite the public to attempt to identify and reenact the photographer’s vantage point and to share their own photograph of that view to a dedicated Flickr account.

Prop 13

The curatorial collective Public Opinion brings Flint together with five other cities worldwide – including Chicago, New York, London and Bucharest, Romania – to share selections of video and sound art that will be broadcast live in each city during the festival.


Recovering History

Photographer Farrah Karapetian reimagines abandoned billboards as a sculptural structure to house images made with students at the federal vocational training program Flint/Genesee Job Corps performing their trades. The work honors both the efforts these youth are making to improve their lives as well as the rebuilding of Flint.

Arendt_Jim and Yvette

Righting Itself

Artists Yvette Cummings and Jim Arendt use moss and other elements found on site to produce this installation on the concrete wall along the north boundary. The piece will grow over time, facilitating the site’s transformation into the living heart of Flint.


Rising Into Ruin

Artist Jason Mitcham projects a series of his animations created using a stop-motion technique of documenting slight alterations on paintings. His films deal with temporality, modern ruins, and entropy in the landscape.


Artist Matt Osmon and his students at Mott Middle College High School install a series of scarecrows representing the past, present, and future of the Chevy site.


Spinning Circle / Shooting Cloud

Combining minimalist esthetics with new media, Buddhist mandelas and   popular holiday decoration, New York-based artist Raphaele Shirley’s large-scale light installation pulsates from its center outwards with colors and a rising mist which will claim a section of the site as a genesis of mystery.

This Progress, Stolen from the Guggenheim

In artist Tino Sehgal’s piece This Progress, developed for the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, volunteer “interpreters” engage visitors in a series of walking conversations about the meaning of progress. Through a playful Robin Hood-like heist from the museum, This Progress will be produced at Free City. The project gains a new layer of meaning in Flint, raising the question of what progress is or could be from the perspective of a city familiar with crisis.


We Build Excitement

A temporary monument to GM’s discontinued Pontiac Motor Division, produced by artist Jesse Sugarmann. For the Free City Festival, the project takes the form of an ersatz Pontiac dealership at which sculptural and dance performances occur.