Fate of the Machinery: The Fall of REO in Lansing, Michigan 1955-1975

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Date(s) - Monday, 09/14/2015
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

9338 Joseph Campau


Over the past year, artist and documentarian Kate Levy has been mapping the deindustrialization of Detroit through the history of industrial auctions from 1955 to 1999. The project has a personal dimension for Levy since her family built a significant global business as the predominant industrial auction house in the city. In this role they worked with companies to liquidate outdated assets that ranged from primary manufacturing equipment to the contents of retail stores. 

In this 4-part discussion and reading series Levy will introduce the project via some of the material that has influenced her conceptualization of it. All events will take place at 9338 Campau Gallery in Hamtramck

6:30pm, Monday September 14, “The fall of REO in Lansing, Michigan 1955-1975” a reading/discussion of this case study by Lisa Fine of the demise of Diamond REO trucks in Lansing. Diamond REO was one of the many bankruptcy auctions conducted by Norman Levy and Associates, and Kate’s uncle, Robert Levy, will be at the discussion to share his own memories of the Diamond REO story, and other bankruptcies of the era

6:30pm, Monday September 21, “From Institution to Nexus” a reading/discussion of a section of the book “Managed by the Markets: How Finance Restructured America” with its author Jerry Davis

6:30pm, Monday September 28, “The Long Shadow of Usury a reading of a section of the book Capitalism and the Jews that has been particularly influential on Levy’s thinking for the show

6:30pm, Monday October 5, Readings from the zine “Fate of the Machinery,” over the course of the project Levy is constructing a zine that illustrates her research to date. This event will comprise a group reading/discussion of transcriptions of some of the interviews she has conducted with her family for the project.

Related events

4pm, Saturday September 26, “Understanding Family and Capitalism” a discussion with Beryl Satter, author of “Family Properties: Race, Real Estate and the Exploitation of Black Urban America

7pm, Wednesday September 30, “Sustainable Economies in a time of Global Capitalism” a moderated conversation with Bryce Detroit, Jackson Koeppel, and other local activists