The Experimental Station is working to build independent cultural infrastructure on the South Side of Chicago. We do this by fostering a dynamic ecology of innovative educational and cultural programs, small business enterprises and community initiatives. Since 2006, we have both built our own programming to address a variety of identified local needs and have fostered, hosted, and sponsored numerous other initiatives.

Drone Fair

Sat, Sep 19, 2015. 3:00pm

What are the implications of a technology whose accelerated development has taken many directions in recent years?
For this event Beate Geissler , Oliver Sann, Dan Peterman and the Experimental station invite artists, activists and citizens working with, against and around drone technology and optical media in general. drone fair will provide a platform for a presentation of a diverse spectrum of work and for an engaged discussion about flying eyes, flying cameras, surveillance, privacy, technology and the upcoming changes in FAA regulations concerning drones.

Peterman's Privacy

Wed, Sep 16, 2015.
6:00pm to 7:30pm

What is privacy? Is it an essential human right of citizens in a civic society? Is it an achievement or just an overrated, anachronistic value in a world of technologies that facilitate our lives? Something which is private to a person usually is inherently special or sensitive. Privacy also takes the form of bodily integrity. Can we experience privacy and its violation at the same time? Do we have the right to be invisible? Or is it our right to be visible? What role does technology play? Can drones dream of freedom? © Geissler/Sann

Salvage 3.0: Built Space

Fri, Sep 25, 2015.
1:00pm to 5:00pm

The Object Cultures Project continues to explore the act and art of salvaging. This conversation addresses the dynamics of material deterioration and restoration, and the rhythms of destruction and construction, that transform the urban fabric. How can social, material, and aesthetic questions converge within buildings, blocks, and neighborhoods? How are the values informing preservation or reanimation shared, contested, and reconciled? As the city of Chicago continues to shape the architectural imagination, what role should salvage play?

Sunlight on the Brink

Sat, Aug 1, 2015.
8:00pm to 10:00pm

Agile Rascal Traveling Bike Theatre is touring their original play, 'Sunlight on the Brink' across the United States this summer, traveling the whole way on bicycles. With their lights, costumes, sets and props in tow, Agile Rascal will perform in over 16 cities and towns across the country. 'Sunlight on the Brink' is an intricate, wildly imaginative exploration of the intersection of Capitalism, Spirituality and Technology. After catastrophic drought on the west coast has forced everyone to migrate east, several holdouts attend to a lonely gas station in the Southwest desert. Or were they abandoned? With dwindling resources and the wily wilderness rapidly encroaching, a Scientist rolls up, out of gas and with a strange specimen that might offer a glimpse of what comes next.

Blackstone Bicycle Works co-sponsoring June 6th talk with James Longhurst

Thu, Jun 4, 2015.
6:00pm to 7:00pm

Blackstone Bicycle Works and the Active Transportation Allinance are co-sponsoring an event at the Seminary Co-op on June 4th at 6pm. James Longhurst, author of Bike Battles: A History of Sharing the American Road, will uncover the forgotten sidepath movement of the 1890s and discuss its implications for the present.


RSVP here.


Invisible Institute's Youth/Police Conference Featured On Chicago Tonight

Photo via Invisible Institute

The Invisible Institute, in conjunction with the Mandel Aid Clinic, will host a two-day Youth/Police Conference this weekend—as featured on Chicago Tonight. The conference will continue the Invisible Institute's focus on "everyday encounters between black youth and Chicago police officers," with moderated public conversations centered around introductory media and performances. By "placing the experiences and perspectives of black youth at the center of the discourse, [they] hope to enrich the national conversation about police practices, relations, and accountability." Steve Edwards, Executive Director of the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago and a former NPR host, and Jamie Kalven of the Invisible Institute will moderate the panels.

Blackstone Bikes Slow Roll Chicago Ride

Photo via Slow Roll Chicago

As the first part of Slow Roll Chicago's "Showing Love to Community Bike Shops Series," Blackstone Bikes will host a community bike ride on Wednesday May 6. Everyone will meet at Blackstone Bikes (6100 S. Blackstone Ave.) at 6pm, and the ride will start at 6:30pm. Rides usually last an hour and a half to two hours, and this route will go through Woodlawn and south side landmarks, ending back at the bike shop. Riding will be slow, so cyclists of all abilities are welcome. For those rolling on over, please read Slow Roll Chicago's code of conduct, which focuses on safety and community respect.

Here's a link to the event page on facebook.

61st St. Farmers Market Fruit Tree Orders

Photo by Hintau Aliaksei/Shutterstock, via This Old House, a great resource for urban fruit tree growing.

The 61st St. Farmers Market is offering a variety of apple, peach, and pear trees to order this season. All trees are $24 each (or $27 with PayPal) and can be pollinated without other trees. All are cold hardy enough for late frosts (perfect for Chicago's Zone 5 climate) and should fruit within 2 or 3 years, as they are currently small two-year-old semi-dwarf varieties. Eventually they will grow to be 10-15 feet, depending on the variety. The 61st Street Farmers Market will provide a tutorial on how to plant the trees, since the trees should be planted soon after they're picked up. The market will also guide you through the maintenance of your trees as the seasons and years progress. Here's a pdf with pictures and descriptions of all the varieties we have for order!

The ordering form can be found here. If paying by PayPal, you can find links for payment below.

If you have any questions about ordering trees, please email Kim Werst.

Pay for your trees by PayPal here!

2015 Outdoor Market Dates

61st street farmers market winter season

The Experimental Station is happy to announce our eighth outdoor Farmers Market season, beginning on May 16th, 2015.

The Market will take place from 9am to 2pm each Saturday, outdoors until October 31st and indoors until December 19th before moving to a monthly schedule.

City Development from the Bottom Up - A Conversation with Günter Westphal

Sat, Nov 22, 2014. 5:00pm


The Experimental Station is happy to host a presentation by Günter Westphal called “City Development From The Bottom-Up” or “Art Comes First” – As Seen Through The Example Of The Hamburg (Germany) Neighborhood Münzviertel. The presentation will be followed by a discussion.

For 13 years, Günter Westphal has been artistically exploring the Hamburg, Germany, neighborhood Münzviertel. The neighborhood lies directly south of the Hamburg main train station. Its urban landscape is characterized by two large citywide social institutions; one for drug addicts and the other for the homeless. The central idea of his artwork is to contemplate the intervention power of art in public, social and political spaces.