Take Part: Collective Aesthetics

September 15th, 2018 3-4:30PM
SFMOMA, Public Knowledge Library, Floor 2
151 Third St. San Francisco, CA 94103

In an examination of shared and continuing histories, artist collective Bik Van der Pol (AIR ’18) is working with a massive, 3-D scale model of San Francisco created by the Works Progress Administration in the late 1930s. They will bring parts of the model to San Francisco Public Library neighborhood branches in early 2019 to catalyze discussion about the past, present, and future of the city as part of their project, Take Part. In this discussion, the artists talk with local experts about the model’s production, archiving, and reassembly as a practice of “collective aesthetics.”

Bik Van der Pol is artists Liesbeth Bik and Jos van der Pol. Based in the Netherlands, the duo has created conceptual, interdisciplinary art projects internationally, investigating the practices and relationships that shape communities, institutions, and governments. Inspired by (and named for) Anna and Lawrence Halprin’s systematic approaches to developing creativity in groups, Take Part includes an invitation for cultural workers, and everyone else, to participate.


Leisbeth Bik, artist

Gray Brechin, author and geographer

Christina Moretta, photo curator, San Francisco History Center

Jos van der Pol, artist

Take Part is a Public Knowledge project by Bik Van der Pol, commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in partnership with the San Francisco Public Library and made possible by the Artist in Residence Program at Headlands Center for the Arts, where Bik Van der Pol is in residence in the fall of 2018.

The project has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Community Conversations.

Free and open to the public

WPA workers constructing wood scale model map of San Francisco. Photo: courtesy the San Francisco Planning Department Archive at the San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.