Weitzman News

Matthew J. Miller and Gabriel Miller: Black Urbanism: YR-001

Thursday, February 7, 2019Monday, April 8, 2019
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Meyerson Hall, Lobby Mezzanine

This exhibition brings together recent photographs by Matthew J. Miller, PhD, and Gabriel Miller. Matthew J. Miller, PhD, is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of City and Regional Planning at PennDesign who relocated to Philadelphia from Los Angeles in the fall of 2018. This spring he is teaching Place, Taste, and Neighborhood Change: Frameworks for Integrating Aesthetics, Equity and Creativity. Gabriel Miller is an artist based in the Bay Area. 

Project Statement:

These images are from our first photography series, a preservation project that aims to map and display the range of Black diasporic life around the world—from the everyday to the spectacular. We launched it in February 2018 and here are samples of the people, places, and products we found near our backyards. The present selection documents life in Philadelphia and California over the past six months.

The term “Black Urbanism,” to us, means many things. It is an evolving intellectual framework illustrating the idea that Black spatial imaginations have made and continue to make cities cool and creative, yet intersectional and transgressive. It is also an emergent approach to urban design, planning, development, and preservation that measures Black belongingness in cities and suburbs. 

On personal levels, Black Urbanism began as a way for us to bond as brothers and commit to an art form. A way to find our voices and our visions. A way to reassert a creative gene from our maternal grandmother and our paternal grandfather. To challenge ourselves to step into those big shoes, even without having the shine. To own our DNA.

Ultimately, as it was birthed as a dedication to Black History, Liberation, and Futures Month, we see it as a way to connect and show love. We hope you feel that too

Follow us on Instagram @blackurbanism.