Events Media Urban Exploration

"Urban Explorers: Into the Darkness" Screens Thursday

Ever wonder what it’s like to prowl an abandoned asylum in the night? What you’ll find in the darkest corners of Paris’ catacombs? Who is sleeping in an abandoned, moldy “house of the future” on a Florida roadside?

Urban Explorers: Into the Darkness follows people who have sought answers to these questions. One of the best things about the film is that rather than make itself about places that are featured in two hundred photos on Flickr, the director hits at a more elusive aspect of urban exploration: the personalities and motivations of those who self-identify as explorers. The film is more of an inquiry into the handful of explorers profiled, and includes great interviews and some laugh-out-load hijinks.

The film screens at 7pm Thursday, September 11 at the Winifred Moore Auditorium at Webster University, 470 E. Lockwood Avenue in Webster Groves.

Thomas Crone has an interview with directory Melody Gilbert here.

Abandonment Riverfront Urban Exploration

USS Inaugural Still Around

Remember the USS Inaugural that was moored on the St. Louis wharf to serve as a museum? During the 1993 flood, the former Navy minesweeper was swept away itself. However, it did not get very far. As “Memory_machine” tells us in his blog entry “Undergroundozarks goes to the Library / The Wreck of the Inaugural”, the wreck of the ship is just south of the MacArthur Bridge, and readily visible.

Documentation People Urban Exploration

Matthew Coolidge Coming to Town

Thanks to Larry Giles for the heads up on this.

Looking for St. Louis

Matthew Coolidge, founder of the Center for Land Use Interpretation, to explore St. Louis urban landscape Oct. 26-29

Oct. 12, 2005 — Forget purple mountains and fruited plains. The contemporary American landscape is more typically composed of parking lots and shopping malls, factory towns and industrial developments, argues Matthew Coolidge, founder and director of the Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI) in Los Angeles. Later this month, Coolidge will host a series of events investigating St. Louis’ urban landscape.

The visit — co-sponsored by the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts and the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University — comes as part of “Unsettled Ground: Nature, Landscape, and Ecology Now!” a yearlong series of lectures, panel discussions, artistic interventions and workshops exploring the intersection of contemporary architecture, art, ecology and urban design.

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, Coolidge will lecture on “Interpreting Anthropogeomorphology: Programs and Projects of the Center for Land Use Interpretation.” (“Anthropogeomorphology,” a phrase Coolidge coined, refers to the landscape as altered by humans.)

The talk is free and open to the public and takes place in the Sam Fox School’s Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, located near the intersection of Forsyth and Skinker boulevards.

On Thursday and Friday, Oct. 27 and 28, Coolidge and Washington University students will examine a variety of “unusual and exemplary” St. Louis sites through a series of workshops collectively titled “Looking for St. Louis.”

On Saturday, Oct. 29, workshop participants will in turn lead additional volunteers over “routes” established by Coolidge.

Events conclude from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday with a special, one-night-only exhibition, also titled “Looking for St. Louis,” at the Sam Fox School’s Des Lee Gallery, 1627 Washington Ave. The exhibition will include images, texts, artifacts and diagrams drawn from the workshops.

For more information, call (314) 935-9347 or email