The Chicago potter, activist, and American Social Practice Installation artist Theaster Gates filmed a TED talk this March called “How to revive a neighborhood: with imagination, beauty and art” that is now available to stream online.
In a description of the speech, TED said: “In this passionate talk, Gates describes his efforts to build a “miniature Versailles” in Chicago, and he shares his fervent belief that culture can be a catalyst for social transformation in any city, anywhere.”
Gates is perhaps most well known for his revitalization of the Dorchester Projects on the South Side of Chicago. In this project, the restored a series of buildings, turning them into cultural institutions containing artifacts from neighborhood. Additionally, the artist has worked on the largest public art project in the history of the Chicago Transit Authority and participated in the dOCUMENTA (13) art show in Kassel, Germany and the 2010 Whitney Biennial in New York, among other exhibitions.
Watch the talk here.