CLOUDED TITLE: Any document, claim, unreleased lien or encumbrance that might invalidate or impair the title to real property or make the title doubtful.
– Barron’s Dictionary of Real Estate Terms
Events and activities
Occasional Skype reading group sessions amongst participants in the Clouded Title project are ongoing. Members of the public are invited to join these dialogues, which have included discussions of texts such as Decolonization is Not a Metaphor (Tuck/Yang), The Tragedy of the Commons (Hardin), and others. To join in these conversations, email us with a short outline of your interest.
Saturdays, August 11 and August 18, 2018 10:30am - 12pm
Location: Street Road's new Little Free Library, Cochranville, PA
In connection with Clouded Title, join us for a two-session discussion of
The Rights of Nature: a legal revolution that could save the world by environmental lawyer and academic David R. Boyd, a participant in Clouded Title.
April 28, 2018
2:30-5pm reception, snacks
How Much Land Does A Man Need?
at Street Road Artists Space
Join us to discuss Leo Tolstoy's 1886 short story, "How Much Land Does a Man Need?" as a prompt for conversation about property ownership here in Chester County, Pennsylvania. We'll look at alternatives to predominant models, and will critique existing legal frameworks for ownership, particularly in relation to the United States' colonialist foundations in land appropriation. A number of Clouded Title participants will be in attendance.
Optional to bring: again, bring your (amusing or complicated) stories of owning property and/or tell us about a small item that has an unusual chain of ownership. These will be collected in the Clouded Title archive.
April 14, 2018, 3-8pm
Clouded Title Workshop
Pender Island, British Columbia
Pender Island Community Hall
Join us for
Member of Council, Tsawout First Nation
Environmental Lawyer and Academic, davidrichardboyd.com
Earl Claxton Jr.
Elder, Tsawout First Nation
Lawyer and academic specializing in W̱SÁNEĆ Law, Tsawout First Nation
Optional to bring: come share your (amusing or complicated) stories of owning property and/or tell us about a small item that has an unusual chain of ownership. These will be collected in the ‘Mine/Yours’ artwork (Component 6 at right).
Special thanks to CRC, Southern Gulf Islands Community Resource Centre.
Clouded Title opening reception
May 19, 2018
at Street Road Artists Space
Join us to celebrate Clouded Title, Shandor Hassan's American Matter, Folly by the Santella brothers, and Luyi Wang's new mural, and for our spring cookout.
Concurrent event: the annual Chester County Studio Tour is on this weekend.
Clouded Title is a series of workshops and interviews centered around ownership – its ambiguities, histories, and areas of contestation, especially in relation to land. Different landholding models – especially those emphasizing social and ecological relationships over private posession – are explored.
Conversations, site visits, and visual artworks that draw out these themes are presented in an exhibition at Street Road in 2018. A 2019 publication will follow.
The work expands on Street Road’s overall project of troubling received wisdom around the activity that enabled its inception: real estate investment and speculation.
A starting point for this broad subject are perspectives on ownership held by people in our Street Road community and network: this somewhat arbitrary beginning is apt, as it resonates with the proposition that ownership of places and spaces is intertwined with and constructed by relationships, and is always, everywhere a process rather than a fixed set of stakes in the ground.
Clouded Title is led by Daphne Plessner (British Columbia) and Emily Artinian (Street Road).
Clouded Title is a broad survey, taking in views from diverse groups to build a multi-perspectival understanding of ownership.
Components and participants are added over time.
The below summary of participants and projects is a work in progress and is evolving.
Components with a visual arts-based core are flagged with an ◉.
Components that are interview and/or dialogue-based are marked 🗣.
COMPONENT 1 - Reconsidering Place: thinking through notions of 'ownership' in the Douglas Treaty: Daphne Plessner
This publication is an intervention in the form of a newspaper on the topic of Canada's Douglas Treaty – a Treaty with a history of disputed interpretations and widely differing world views of land and ownership. The newspaper presents readers with a thought experiment that illustrates various readings (both historical and contemporary) of claim-making, providing readers with an opportunity to puzzle through and reflect upon the implications of being party to and present on Treaty land today. How does the legacy of the Treaty inform current attitudes to ‘being’ on treaty lands? How does a Treaty perpetuate the system of aparthied that is embodied in place? The newspaper will be distributed to non-indigenous residents on First Nations (W̱SÁNEĆ / Saanich) territory on the West Coast of Canada (Gulf Islands), Spring 2018.
For further information visit http://www.citizenartist.org.uk
COMPONENT 2. 94 Calls, Denise Holland
60” x approx 110’ (variable), glassine paper, felt pen, 2017.
In 94 Calls, Vancouver-based Denise Holland writes Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Calls to Action backwards with her non-dominant hand in a gesture of vulnerability and a willingness to see the world from a different perspective. The TRC Report focuses on the Residential School system in Canada, highlighting the contentious underpinnings of colonization and land ownership in Canada. The Calls are written on translucent paper that cascade from the ceiling, forcing viewers to walk through the piece. Holland draws attention to the TRC report and encourages us all to be curious about our own prejudices and oppressive actions toward others. 94 Calls is installed at Street Road for the duration of Clouded Title.
COMPONENT 3. Real Estate Dictionary: IMPROVED EDITION, Emily Artinian
Barron's Dictionary of Real Estate Terms (Jack P. Friedman, Jack C. Harris, J. Bruce Lindeman, editors) is currently in its 9th edition. A key reference text for the US Real Estate industry, this useful but capitalism-centric source omits most concepts related to collective ownership in any form and steers well clear of land appropriation, current and historic. IMPROVED EDITION will unbind a copy of the current text, and will insert many elided terms, ideas, and knowledges. The book will be re-bound, and the new - improved - edition will be sent to the publisher and editors upon completion.
COMPONENT 4. Dialogues between Clouded Title and The School of Living, with a focus on Community Land Trusts, Intentional Communities, Homesteading, and Permaculture. Site visits to School of Living sites StellaLou Farm in Cochranville, PA and Heathcote Community in Freeland, MD are included.
Further details to follow. Photo: Heathcote's greenhouse and gravity-fed rainwater irrigation system.
COMPONENT 5. Dialogues between Clouded Title and Our Spaces, The Foundation for Good Governance of International Spaces.
Skype with (left to right): Emily Artinian (Clouded Title), Julia Dooley (Polar Educators International), and Julie Hambrook Berkman (Our Spaces)
COMPONENT 6. MINE/YOURS
A Street Road installation comprised of 1 room cut in half (with a nod to Gordon Matta-Clark), furnished with items with intriguing ownership histories, on loan from Street Road friends. Objects and their stories will be collected in an artist's book, copies of which will be stuffed into the cut down the center of the room before it is sealed up upon the exhibition's end.
Thanks to David A. Parker, Seres Hofundor, Thomas White, Carol Maurer, Thomas Savage, Samantha Ferrizzi, and Tony Pratola for contributions to Mine/Yours.
COMPONENT 7. Dialogues, walk, and site visit with artist Carol Maurer, in connection with her current work, Walking Forward – Looking Back, a practice-based project utilizing a journey through the landscape. The artist is walking from her ancestral home on the Eastern Shore of Maryland through Delaware to Chester County PA, collecting stories, photos, memories and objects along the route. (Note: this project will be a featured solo and participatory exhibition at Street Road, Fall 2018).
The Eruv: A Spiritual Example of Public Domain
Work by artist Felise Luchansky focusing on eruvim, urban areas enclosed by a wire boundary that symbolically extends the private domain of Jewish households into public areas. Dialogues between Clouded Title and the artist will also be held.
Photo: F. Luchansky, Los Angeles eruv, 2018.
COMPONENT 9. Work from project 75ºWest/75ºOeste by artists Maria Möller and Daniel Urrea, focusing on collective re-imaginings of transnational free trade agreements.
COMPONENT 10. 'Ownership by Walking: Traversing Urban Ruins'. Led by Clusters and Entanglements, a Phenomenological Reading Group, based in northeast UK. Walk, workshop, and dialogue with Clouded Title, with visual art outcomes that will be exhibited at Street Road.