It was a quick week, but such an excellent start to our Artist-in-Residence program at CIVIC SPACE. Sam Lefort, bee lover, excellent designer, and most generous workshop host spent the week teaching members of the Windsor-Essex (and beyond) community about a range of sustainably minded practices and interventions, hopefully many of which will be carried on in numerous locations around the region.
We’re already looking forward to bringing Sam back, but in the meantime, here’s a look at the week (and possibly what you missed!)…
Continue reading “Exploring Urban Ecology with Sam Lefort (a look back at our week of workshops)”
Dear Indian Road is near the very top of my list of favourites from Daragh Sankey‘s nearly complete documentary series on our Storefront Residencies for Social Innovation project. It’s kind of unreal to think about the things that have changed (and haven’t) around Indian Road, the border crossing, and the fallout from this ongoing political and infrastructural battle.
Here’s Daragh’s background on the video:
I was quite impressed by Leesa’s project. The visual impact, the collective participation, the subtlety of its activism – it all came together beautifully.
When it came to the issue of representing Indian Road on film, I couldn’t get it out of my head that the ideal technique was a single tracking shot. The road is patrolled by private security hired by the bridge company, so I wasn’t about to go lay down track or get a steadicam rig and walk the length of it. The answer was a surreptitious car mount. I found a cheap suction mount and stuck it on there. This was about a year after the residencies. My lady friend and I rented a car and drove up to Windsor to get this and a few other shots (there was some car mount footage in this one too), but unfortunately the car rental place I used didn’t let you specify what model you wanted, so we wound up trying to sneak up Indian Road in a bright orange jeep with a camera mounted on it. Like the ninja! But somehow we stayed out of trouble, and I’m very happy with how the footage looks.
This is the semi-final film. Next will be a brief coda wrapping up the series. I still have tons of great stuff dealing more specifically with Broken City Lab themselves, but I’m not promising that any time soon.
There’s more here on the rest of the In Store series.
When the Letter Library was up earlier this month at CIVIC SPACE, each participant had the option to borrow a disposable camera from us, photograph their letters, and bring the cameras back. Well, after developing nearly all the cameras (still a few more to come) here is the nearly complete archive of all the photos we received from the project.
Feel free to comment below if any of these photos are yours, and please link us to photos that aren’t up in this archive that you took yourself!
Thanks to everyone who participated in the Letter Library and captioned the city.
Continue reading “The (Nearly Complete) Letter Library Archive”
Today, we’re pleased to kick off the first workshop from our first artist-in-residence at CIVIC SPACE! Samantha Lefort will host a series of workshops this week on Urban Ecology — starting today at 3pm with Urban Apiaries (BEES AND YOU, IN THE URBAN LANDSCAPE).
Need to know more? Check out more info on Windsor’s CBC Radio’s The Bridge in an interview with Sam!
Sam and Hiba spent the bulk of Monday preparing the space and materials for the workshops.
Some prep for the window installation and urban container gardening workshop.
Box of supplies!
We also put up some signage in the window … translating Sam’s banner graphic into a vinyl cut.
Justin and Sam at work.
Can’t wait to see all of this come together.
Sam’s to-do list on some ledger sheets she found in an attic in Philadelphia.
Bundles of bamboo.
Hiba prepping the vinyl transfer tape.
The cut turned out well — and white looks great on the windows.
I think we’ll be changing our other graphics to white as well.
Free workshops all week on making our city a more livable place! Check out the details here:
Also, we’re still looking for some moss for Thursday night’s workshop– anyone have any leads?
WTPh? – What the Phonics from Andrew Spitz on Vimeo.
Super fun project … thanks to @RichardZimmer for the link!
WTPh? (What the Phonics) is an interactive installation set in the touristic areas of Copenhagen. Street names in Denmark are close to impossible for foreigners to pronounce, so Andrew Sptiz and Momo Miyazaki did a little intervention
Andrew Spitz – andrew-spitz.com/
Momo Miyazaki – momomiyazaki.com/
For more info, check out soundplusdesign.com/?p=5405
Lafayette Coney Island from Detroit je t’aime on Vimeo.
Nora Mandray (director/producer) and Hélène Bienvenu (co-producer) are part of a growing group of people who believe that Detroit, MI, is a laboratory for the city of tomorrow. They’re a duo of French filmmakers/journalists, and they’ve been working for over a year on an interactive documentary project supported by the French Film Institute. DETROIT JE T’AIME tells the story of the DIY spirit that’s leading the Motor City’s transition from the assembly line into a new collaborative economy.
DETROIT JE T’AIME is an interactive documentary that weaves together three stories of com- munity-building in the post-industrial era. It follows a group of female mechanics, an urban farmer and an activist hacker who are each working to transform Detroit into a sustainable city through small-scale DIY projects.
Here’s the interactive part:
* DETROIT JE T’AIME will be broadcasted on a website made up of a series of web pages or “screens.” Each screen will feature a video.
* When you decide you’re finished with a page, you’ll click on the next one. You’ll be taken through the documentary at your own pace.
* At anytime, a “DIY toolbox” will be available in the corner of the screen. The “DIY Toolbox” will adapt itself to the story: guidelines and tools will suggest you to start similar projects depending on what’s happening on the screen (be it a community garden, basic bike repairs, or an LED light project.)
* You’ll be able to share ideas from the film with your friends across social networks.
* Through each screen/video, you’ll have access to a different Detroit neighborhood — historic background will be provided through datavisualization, interviews and/or archival footage.
There’s also a Kickstarter page (they’re looking for funding until the end of July 2012).
And, on the short video above:
Detroit and Lafayette Coney Island has the best coney hot dogs in the world (so say Detroiters). The chili, mustard and onion topped super fast treat is a Detroit staple that simply can’t be argued with. Whether occasional delights on the way to a Red Wings, Tigers’, Lions’ game or daily food, the experience is pure Detroit. The classic style of the small Downtown space recants the Motor City glory days, the customers joke with the Yemeni cooks and the waiters do magic tricks… Mind you it’s hot!
Several months in the making, CARTographyTO formed through word of mouth when the first Astral Media pillars were sunk into the sidewalk in Toronto: concerned citizens, artists and others with a creative streak came together with the desire to reclaim the lost public space in their neighbourhoods.
A spokesperson for cARTographyTO stated, “These structures are billboards masquerading as sources of useful public information. When you look at the pillars, it’s hard to find the maps, and this goes against the City’s own public space guidelines. How could City Hall allow this to happen? Beyond mere visual pollution, these pillars are a safety hazard. And Astral’s influence on our city is a public insult and embarrassment – more power has been given to those who already have the loudest voices, to the detriment of all who use these spaces.”
Love that this happened.
While some of us were away last week in North Bay, Sara and Kevin caught up to talk through some ideas around the next project we’ll be hosting out of CIVIC SPACE. It was an excellent welcome home to walk into a wall of notes from their conversation. Anxious to keep talking through these ideas later on this week.
Civic Maintenance is the working title of this next project, and it’s moving towards the direction of a letter-writing campaign to thousands of citizens of Windsor. We’re thinking about what it means to maintain relationships and connections in the city and how simple gestures might reframe the ways in which we feel connected (or don’t) to the city.
Sara drafted a potential design on the chalkboard.
If we’re going to be able to write a couple thousand letters, we’re also going to be looking for ways to open up the project for other community members to participate.
Sending letters to city hall.
Funny question around planning for a potential exhibition of the letters and letter writing process — “is this too art?”
Letter design templates.
This drawing opened up the idea of having a series of mailboxes on the walls (at least for me!)
Fill in the blanks to generate content?
Submitting writing and letter drafts through a web form.
The wall and caption. More soon.
This one goes out to Josh for his love of play, design, and Calgary…
Innovative drinking fountains are being installed in Calgary. Linked to the drinking water system through fire hydrants and designed to have their workings exposed, the fountains have three distinct design “characters” suggesting different gathering around water: “strangers” (or the “dating fountain”), “family” (set up like an family picture with bowls at different heights and the dog bowl), and “group”. Each fountain also has taps to fill bottles and dog bowls.
This initiative was developed by the City of Calgary UEP department through the WATERSHED+ art program, the fountains were designed by Sans façon and built by the municipal fabrication workshop.