Utopian Dinners


What if we shifted something at the smallest level of how we interact with one another - how we eat together - ? Could that result in larger cultural change? Part laboratory, part community dinner, our Utopian Dinners are all-age affairs that bring our concept of “training” and research around US cultural history and cultural values to a larger community through playful eating extravaganzas.

This project developed out of research that we began while working on The Radicalization Process. Utopian dinners have been constructed for: Play House (funded by the National Endowment for the Arts) and the MOCAD Mike Kelley Mobile Homestead (funded by the Mike Kelly Foundation) at Sidewalk Festival of the Performing Arts (Detroit) and Dixieland Flea Market (Waterford, MI)

Created by Liza Bielby and Richard Newman

Participating artists have included: Danielle Aubert, Jonathan Flatley, Pavel Mitenko, Salakastar, TGIS (Beijing), Renee Willoughby, Julia Yezbick and attendees across the Detroit Metro Area

The Radicalization Process Papers



A collection of boxes is discovered in the basement of a house on the border of Detroit and Hamtramck. In them, a rich personal archive of publication clippings, which appear to chronicle radical U.S. histories of the 60s and 70s. Using the archive as a performative platform, the artists invite audiences to engage with the materials contained in the boxes that blur the boundaries between fact and fiction, real and imagined. The ephemera and memorabilia in the The Radicalization Process Papers takes audiences on a journey that navigates layers of historical accounts, art, politics, and cultural artifacts and asks audiences to examine the assumptions of freedom and democracy in popular American culture. Created and compiled by The Hinterlands (Liza Bielby, Richard Newman, Dave Sanders) in collaboration with historian and poet Casey Rocheteau and designer Ben Gaydos.

Presented as part of the group shows “The Stand” curated by Prem Krishnamurthy and Anthony Marcellini at p! (NYC) and “Vital Signs for a New America” curated by Srimoyee Mitra at Stamps Gallery (Ann Arbor, MI)

Pavilion dance line 2.jpeg

Voice of the City


A contemporary Vaudeville-inspired performance/installation using local pop cultural and subculture to examining Detroit’s shifting identity in the early 21st Century. After two weeks of live pop-up performances that mixed Motown, the 1970s tv dance show The Scene, new takes on classic Detroit jit, Frank Pahl’s one-man-band, and old jokes with new faces, this gallery in a former department store in downtown Shanghai left became a dressing room for visitors to create their own performance material.

Created by Richard Newman, Liza Bielby, Eleni Zaharopoulos, Haleem “Stringz” Rasul; Featuring the work of Frank Pahl; Scenic design by Zeb Smith; serious thank you to Tian Mansha

Created for Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit’s entry for the 2012 Shanghai Biennale Detroit Pavilion (Curated by Rebecca Mazzei)

Named one of the Top 5 Pavilions of the 2012 Biennale by BlouinArtinfo.

Photo by Ali Elisabeth Lapetina

Photo by Ali Elisabeth Lapetina

Flier design/ conception by extraordinaire Sean Yalda featuring A2Z Auto Repair vs. The Mechanics Shop

Flier design/ conception by extraordinaire Sean Yalda featuring A2Z Auto Repair vs. The Mechanics Shop

Photo by Sarah Sidelko

Photo by Sarah Sidelko

Porous Borders Festival


The Porous Borders Festival (PBF) was a two-day public art festival that took place along the entire border between Hamtramck and Detroit in May 16-17, 2015. Curated by The Hinterlands, PBF used food, dance, pageants, installation, conversation, performance, spectacle, and sports to explore the unique municipal boundary cutting across Michigan’s most internationally diverse zip-code. Visitors and residents viscerally experienced this invisible marker between Detroit and Hamtramck through a celebration of the unique spatial and cultural interactions between these two communities.

All events were walk-able, free and family-friendly. Go to the official Porous Borders Festival website to learn more about the forty plus artists who participated! The over 40 participating artists and organizations included: KT Andresky, Maia Asshaq, Bangla School of Music, Ryan Barrett/Lauren Hood, Border Blasters, Alexander Buzzalini, Tom Carey, Halima Cassels, Esteban Castro, James Cornish, Ana Cukovic, Cutter’s Bike Club, Detroit Folk Workshop, Detroit Homeland Security, Detroit Party Marching Band, Detroit Pleasure Society, ditto ditto/Francis Kulikowski/Power House Productions, Ludmila Ferrari/Juan Leal/Félix Zamora, Jessica Frelinghuysen, Victor Ghannam, Oren Goldenberg and Erin Giley, Hamtramck Free School, Hardcore Detroit, A Host of People, Iyengar Yoga Detroit, Emilia Javanica, Amy Kelly/Jay Jurma/Bob St. Thomas/Susan Giradeau, Felani Khatun, Greg Kowalski, Lac La Belle, Andy Malone, Mariachi Juvenil Detroit, Billy Mark, Katie Grace McGowen, Virginia Melnyk, Tess Miller/KEINHAUS, Toby Millman/Andy T, Joel Mockovciak, Marsha Music, Open Eye Theatre/Carrie Morris Arts Productions, Only a Quartet, Public Pool, Casey Rocheteau, Rosie Sharp, Ross Sinclair/Cedri Tai, Gregory Stasiak, Eitan Sussman, The Golden Horns, Upended Teacups, Shoshanna Utchenik, Walter Wasacz, WAWAD, Eleni Zaharapoulos

Organized by Richard Newman, Liza Bielby, Dave Sanders, Billy Mark, Corina Fadel, Shoshanna Utchenik, KT Andresky, Gina Reichert/Power House Productions, Faina Lerman/Popps Packing, Carrie Morris Arts Productions and numerous, numerous volunteers

Check out this beautiful review of the festival by Marsha Music in Infinite Mile.

PBF was a 2013 winner of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge (Detroit) and recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts 2014 Our Town grant as well as support from the Erb Family Foundation.

Porous Borders: All Over the Map


Building off the research begun in our 2015 Porous Borders Festival, The Hinterlands and friends take a gander again at the borders running through our community. In a celebration nicknamed the Border Blast! we held puppet dispatches from across the Hamtramck/Detroit border to answer our deepest and shallowest questions about what goes on along this bizarre border, brought viewers through a live-streamed two-bike bike ride along the entire border, crowd-sourced trophies for our favorite border businesses, and held the Take-Out Take-Down, a timed race between Aladdin and Reshmi, two of our favorite Bengali restaurants on either side of the border.

With Richard Newman, Liza Bielby, Shoshanna Utchenik, Norma Jean Haynes, Scott Crandall, Maddy Rager, Maddie Etzcorn, Dave Sanders and guests at Aladdin, Reshmi, Hello Shwarma!, Hamtramck Historical Museum, and more

The 2018 Take-Out Take-Down

The 2018 Take-Out Take-Down

Border-business Bishr won Best Fried Chicken on the border. Was there ever any question?

Border-business Bishr won Best Fried Chicken on the border. Was there ever any question?