An Artist Fellowship at San Francisco’s de Young Museum explores, maps and interprets the meaning of hidden urban infrastructure.

Urbanauts is a speculative exploration of urban infrastructure and its relationship to the everyday experience of the contemporary city. Through a series of interwoven conversations, urban expeditions, design charrettes, and conjectural artworks based at the de Young, Matthew Passmore collaborated with artist Sean Orlando to examine and explore the ways in which urban inhabitants relate (or don’t relate) to the largely unseen mechanical systems, societal constructs, and cultural imperatives that mediate and structure life in the built environment.

Urbanauts began with an exploration of a range of potential sites that provide glimpses into hidden infrastructure at a variety of scales, including the de Young Museum, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco and the broader Bay Area region. Over the course of the 18-month fellowship, we explored, examined, documented and discussed a variety of sites, which informed a series of sculptures, photographs and installations displayed during three one-month gallery exhibitions at the de Young Museum’s Kimball Gallery.

Several editioned photographs and sculptures from the de Young exhibitions are available on the Purchase page.

For more information on the Urbanauts, visit the project website.

Urbanauts received substantial support from the inimitable Black Rock Arts Foundation.

  • Date: May 2012 - October 2013
  • Client: de Young Museum
  • Location: San Francisco, CA

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