14 May - 11 June 2016
Opening Reception on Saturday, May 14th // 6-9PM

The Aesthetics of Soft Colonies features two installations of projects by artist David White. These projects look at the changing landscape of city development in the context of the increasing trends of urban economic disparity, informal homeless encampments and oft-touted “innovation districts” so prevalent in local, national and international urban revitalization rhetoric. The first installation focuses on David’s project, TARP Reform, which is centered around the distribution of yellow vinyl tarps to the homeless population in East Village. The project also derives its name from the Federal T.A.R.P. (Troubled Asset Relief Program) bailout of 2008. The federal T.A.R.P. program was instituted as a response to the 2008 economic crisis which in large part was caused by speculative investments in predatory high-risk-mortgage-backed securities - i.e. brokers betting on home loans given to people who could not afford them at high interest rates. Inspired by the branding strategies and attention getting uses of the color yellow of both the newly completed Pinnacle at the Park building and yellow “Impounded Property” signage posted by the City of San Diego for the purposes of homeless encampment sweeps in the same area, the TARP Reform project began distributing yellow tarps in replacement of the typical blue tarps so often used by the homeless population as coverings for their belongings, as makeshift shelters and as ephemeral “homes.”

The second project, Rhetorical Displacements, is a video installation that appropriates regional branding videos promoting development interests in the guise of innovation districts, maker, craft cultures, and creative economies. The video juxtaposes the selective imagery and narratives of these development interests with the material realities and alternative narratives of people being adversely affected by these displacements.


David White is an artist and educator who explores issues of urban development and how aesthetic forms are used in this process. For six years David ran Agitprop art space which used the form of the gallery as a tool for long term engagement with a particular locality. From 2010-2012 he helped to establish the Summer Salon Series at the San Diego Museum of Art which featured weekly performances, talks, readings and film screenings by a wide range of artists both international and local. His work has been covered by publications such as ArtForum and Wired. He teaches art and architecture at Woodbury University, Southwestern College, and Mira Costa College.

Space 4 Art, 325 15th Street, San Diego, California 92101
SDS4Art [at] gmail [dot] com

Gallery Hours: 11-4PM, Wednesday-Saturday

Related Details:

David White is an UC San Diego Department of Visual Arts MFA Alumnus.

Image courtesy of Artist David White and the San Diego Space 4 Art Gallery.

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