The Mobile Literacy Arts Bus (MLAB) is an artist-run, renovated recreational vehicle that exists as a flexible space open to community members’ proposals for alternative educational and cultural programming.

MLAB is the collaborative effort of the 2007-2008 Social Sculpture class at Syracuse University, comprised of 10 art and architecture students and lead by artist and Director of Community Initiatives in the Visual Arts of Syracuse University, Marion Wilson. Our mission was to transform a used, 1984 Recreational Vehicle Bus into a Mobile Literacy and Arts Bus for use by the Syracuse City School District and the greater Syracuse Community. MLAB serves as a physical manifestation of Syracuse University’s Scholarship in Action initiative, by pairing University resources with community needs in an attempt to address the staggering drop out rates in the Syracuse City School District High Schools. Through the School of Education at Syracuse University, incredible curricula that bridge photography, poetry and literacy currently exist within the public schools-- however due to a crisis of space, the schools don't always have the space or resources to house it. MLAB is this space. The bus serves as a mobile classroom, digital photo lab, gallery space, and community center. As a team, we did it all: demolition, design, and construction.

MLAB is made possible from the generous support of the School of Education at Syracuse University and Entitiative.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Liminal Rambler

When one considers recreational vehicles there is a fascinating multitude of designs, configurations, and equipment. Some are sleek aerodynamic glittering aluminum containers that epitomize corporate high technology and proclaim wealth. While others are rough homemade inbred affairs with things bolted on every which way and proclaim self sufficiency, a transient existence, and self sufficiency.

RVs are paradoxical. RV’s are all about traveling to new places and experiences while being able to bring all the comforts and conveniences of the places you’re escaping from. It’s about going on a journey while transporting your place intact. RVs represent a mobile form of a stable environment. They are a reflection of an itinerant culture’s reluctant to abandon its comforts and technology. The RV facilitates transportation and the crossing over into new frontiers while providing a space and the technology the traveler assumes will be absent without the vehicle. It is a product of technological change while being a vessel of permanence.

In our project we desire to create a space, facilitate experience, and transport students out of the mundane vulgar educational environments and into a world in which they can create and spiritually travel.


Roslyn said...

how poetical!

M-Lab said...

who wrote this - david was that you. I sold you on liminality!

M-Lab said...

i think we should start our own newsletter called The Liminal Rambler

Vincent said...

ramble on