In collaboration with Caseem, Vicky, Sam, Gabby, Ashanti, Nadir, Davida, Carlos, and Anthony

David Hartt has spent the past year working in collaboration with the Norris Square Neighborhood Project (NSNP), an organization that provides green space and youth education to local residents. In particular, Hartt partnered with youth from NSNP's Semillas del Futuro summer program to create a film that explores the connections between city planning, community gardens, and civic engagement. Hartt was initially inspired by the gardens maintained by NSNP as connected to both Philadelphia’s founding vision as a “Green Country Town” and the neighborhood’s long-standing investments in their own improvement through greening. Hartt and his collaborators ask, “Who participates in the process of making a city and a neighborhood and how can we imagine a more inclusive future?” To approach these prompts, their film imagines Norris Square in 50 or 100 years as forested cityscapes. According to Hartt, the film is an inadequate monument that memorializes the time he spent working with the youth here and their shared vision of a possible future.


Location: Site 08: Norris Square

Lab Hours: Wednesdays & Thursdays: 3:30pm – 5:30pm; Saturdays & Sundays: 12pm – 5pm



Saturday Spotlight
1pm – 4pm




Exterior: 3M Scotchprint
Interior: Monitor, digital media player, and digital video


The City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, and the Norris Square Neighborhood Project

Project Manager

Cathy Harris



adrift, 2015. Dimensions variable. HD video file transformed to 16 mm film – duration 17:44, 16mm projector and looper – audio equipment, assorted stools, plastic rugs. Score by Tape (Andreas Berthling, Johan Berthling & Tomas Hallonsten).  Courtesy of David Nolan Gallery, Corbet vs. Dempsey and the artist.

About the Artist

David Hartt creates work that unpacks the social, cultural, and economic complexities of his various subjects. He explores how historic ideas and ideals persist or transform over time.  Born in Montréal in 1967, he lives and works in Philadelphia where he is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. He has an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA from the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa.

His work is in the public collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, The Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, and The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. David is the recipient of a 2015 Foundation for Contemporary Art Grant; in 2012 he was named a United States Artists Cruz Fellow and in 2011 he received a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award.


Banner: for everyone a garden VIII, David Hartt. Exterior: 3M Scotchprint // Interior: Monitor, digital media player, and digital video. Norris Square. Photo: Steve Weinik