Autonomous cultural spaces are few, everyday less, in a growing system of rules and control-supervision. The self gesture of public spaces means especially an important freedom from political control and economical goals. Therefore, especially in capital cities, places where every square meter is worth like gold, independent places are often threatened by other economical interests.
Even if we mark the importance of these autonomous places in the city, as free spaces of gesture and expression on social, cultural and political level, we see that there is no understanding from the public party to support their presence in the city as part of a 'cultural landscape'..
In Barcelona there is the latest year a large struggle on autonomous places in the city. Especially in the neighborhood Poblenou these places reduced from 30 to 5 (such as Escoseca and Itaca). Main reasons herefore is the re-valuation of the area and reformation of the zone.
The reason of this article brings us to New Yok City, where in one year we saw the eviction or moving of 2 well known music clubs, well known for their 'informal' character; CBGB's and (sub)Tonic. 2 clubs internationally known for their quality of 'open creative spaces' and 'experimental programation'. Both clubs are victim of big cities gentrification, that not only moves people but also small 'culture' places.
Now, CBGB's moved last year to St.Marks Place, next to Bowery, where it can continue his egocentric experimental program of 'avantgarde rock' music; discovering new bands and giving
to young musicians a scene and public. Tonic closes the 17th of April '07 his doors, and continues collaborating in the programmation of other clubs and openair festivals.
In the New York Times (march 31, '07)
"-- The New York music scene can usually absorb the loss of one club or another without too much difficulty. If one shuts down, another will open pretty soon.
But when the Lower East Side club Tonic closes after a performance by John Zorn on April 13, it will be an especially hard blow. For nine years, this tiny room on Norfolk Street, in the former home of the Kedem kosher winery, has been the focal point of the downtown avant-garde scene, with an eclectic booking policy bridging jazz, noise-rock, folk and all sorts of unclassifiable styles.
“Tonic was the last bastion in Manhattan of live, creative music,” said Steven Bernstein, a trumpeter whose bands Sex Mob and the Millennial Territory Orchestra have been fixtures there.
As gentrification has spread through the Lower East Side, Tonic has felt the pinch. Gleaming new apartment high-rises have gone up on either side of the club, and recent raids by the authorities closed its downstairs bar, cutting off a critical source of revenue. --"