After San Francisco's new mayor announced imminent plans to "clean up" downtown with a new corporate "dot com corridor" and arts district —featuring the new headquarters of Twitter and Burning Man —curators Erick Lyle, Chris Johanson and Kal Spelletich brought over 100 artists and activists together with residents fearing displacement to consider utopian aspirations and plot alternative futures for the city. The resulting exhibition, Streetopia, was a massive anti-gentrification art fair that took place in venues throughout the city, featuring daily free talks, performances, skillshares and a free community kitchen out of the gallery. This book brings together all of the art and ephemera from the now-infamous show, featuring work by Swoon, Barry McGee, Emory Douglas, Monica Canilao, Rigo 23, Xara Thustra, Ryder Cooley and many more. Essays and interviews with key participants consider the effectiveness of Streetopia's projects while offering a deeper rumination on the continuing search for community in today's increasingly homogenous and gentrified cities.
Streetopia's projects were futuristic, idealistic, historically sensitive, and surprisingly practical. They offer enough ideas to keep anyone who cares about public life, culture, and art busy for the next decade. Chris Kraus