Imagination Is Funny

Paint the Golden Gate Bridge gold and tilt Coit Tower: Those were some of Lawrence Ferlinghetti's poetic plans to make San Francisco better as he accepted the title of municipal poet laureate. Perhaps inspired, Packard Jennings and Steve Lambert recently created an Art on Market Street kiosk exhibit called “Wish You Were Here! Postcards from Our Awesome Future.” The project grew from the devious duo asking sane professionals in the city planning biz, “What would you do if you didn't have to worry about budgets, bureaucracy, politics or physics?” The artists then went completely apeshit with the answers, rendering office buildings on tank carriages, pulling the Transamerica pyramid up by its roots, and inventing the milk-spitting festival they call the “Z-Line.” (The reimagined BART cars, with their dog-walking and karate lessons, remind us of a children's book called Old MacDonald Had an Apartment House, in which dirt carpets are laid down indoors so Old M. can grow tomaters.)

Who were the people who legitimized this anarchy by answering such a question with a straight face? At the boringly named San Francisco Urban Visions Panel, Jennings and Lambert welcome a host of transportation officials, architects, and urban planners (real ones) into their world of fabulous nonsense that can't be done. Discussion ensues.
Mon., Feb. 4, 7 p.m., 2008

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