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"We used to be a city that was relatively inexpensive," says Josh MacPhee. "But Chicago is catching up real fast." This weekend at public sites all over town, the Department of Space and Land Reclamation, a loose-knit group of more than 100 artists and activists, will launch a flurry of guerrilla "reclamation projects" aimed at raising awareness of the costs of gentrification and consumerism. MacPhee, who's one of the organizers, says the goal is "to get activists, progressives, and community groups more concerned with the cultural aspects of what they do." Among the 60-some events planned: Trevor Paglen will hide recordings of "monsters" in garbage cans and sewers; Nance Klehm will lead "tree treatments" along Lake Street, cleaning, pruning, fertilizing, mulching, and tagging two dozen trees; the People's Republic of Delicious Food will create an annotated map of the best Dumpsters for diving; the Society for the Representation of Society will roll an eight-foot-tall ball of trash down Michigan Avenue; and Salem Collo-Julin and Dave Whitman will cook bacon and eggs for anyone who's hungry in Lincoln Park. The hub of activity is the Butcher Shop gallery at 1319 W. Lake, which will be open 24 hours a day from Friday through Sunday evening, hosting a variety of discussions, arts activities, and meals. Events kick off Friday at 7 at the gallery with a panel discussion on "the state of public space in Chicago" featuring Therese Quinn from the neighborhood group, Collo-Julin (who's a member of the Temporary Services art collective), a representative from First Defense Legal Aid, and keynote speaker Lavie Raven, founder of the southwest side's Hip-Hop University. It's all free. See for more information.

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