This collaborative project will present an investigation of subterranean Detroit, including discussions of Michael Heizer’s 1971 earthwork Dragged Mass; the buried basement at Clairmont and Rosa Parks Boulevard where the urban riots of 1967 began; and Drexciya, a fictional underwater city in Lake Michigan imagined by two techno musicians and two artists in the early 1990s. Detroit has become an emblem of the post-industrial, post-urban city. The book will respond to a rich contemporary discourse on contemporary art practice in Detroit: works by Stan Douglas, the Shrinking Cities project, architect Kyong Park, and Mitch Cope. Mirror-Travel imagines itself in relation to these works, and the authors expect the book to recover the essential strangeness of these constructions that “abandon order for chaos”—not least by experimenting with the historical method.

Julian Myers’s research is concentrated on earthworks and American spatial politics. An art historian, he is the author, with artist Edgar Arceneaux, of Hopelessness Freezes Time (Kunstmuseum Basel, 2011). Recent publications include Give Them the Picture, an edited volume of writings on performance and television from the alternative space La Mamelle (CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, 2011), “Earth Beneath Detroit,” an essay for the catalogue The Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974 (Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles’s, 2012), “Attitudes and Affects” (Wattis Institute, 2012), and “Keith Haring: Urban Fragments” (Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 2013). Other articles have appeared in such publications as DocumentsTate Papers, MousseOctoberArtforum, Afterall, and frieze. He is an associate professor of curatorial practice at the California College of Arts, and is on the editorial board of the Exhibitionist.

Edgar Arceneaux is a Los Angeles-based artist represented by Susanne Vielmetter in Los Angeles and Stephen Adamski in Aachen, Germany. From 2009 to 2011, Arceneaux produced four exhibitions centered on his research with Julian Myers: “Disfigurement in the Face of Illusion” (Susanne Vielmetter Berlin Projects, 2009); “The Algorithm Doesn’t Love You” (Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, 2010); “Blind Pig City” (Galerie Praz-Delavallade, Paris, 2011), and “Hopelessness Freezes Time” (Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Kunstmuseum Basel, 2011). A book by Myers and Arceneaux, also titled Hopelessness Freezes Time, accompanied the Basel exhibition. Previously, Arceneaux has exhibited at the 2008 Whitney Biennial, the 2008 California Biennial, and the Orange County Museum of Art. He received the ArtPace Residency in San Antonio in 2006 and a Creative Capital grant in 2005.