Highlights from Shaping Our City: Brainstorming Session

Walter and Victoria

Last Friday,  a group of us gathered by the fireplace at Civic Space for some continuous conversation and had a great time discussing and sharing ideas, even creating new ones together! With Edgar’s suggestion, we dubbed the night ‘Tertulia’, a word used to describe any kind of social gathering of intelligent or artistic thought.

The group

Walter lead the discussions, modelling it much like the success of our City Counseling Session in 2011.  Our talk  began with a project Walter worked on in the summer time called WE Data Glow.  Though he created small prototypes and tested installations, the group aided in giving suggestions on how he could take it further, including install locations, new design, and possibly ‘sponsorships’ from local companies for materials. That discussion lead to each of us agreeing that we wanted to see more art pieces like this one around the city,  but not just limiting to visual arts. Jessica, a lover of music (especially opera) hopes for more musical events that cater to classical-lovers.

Another thing that came up were the city’s priorities. Where  do we want to see money going into? What would certain spaces look like if artists took it over and had their say? What places do we want to keep, what places to we want to work on, and what places can we do without? (looking back to Sites of Apology/Hope.)

The notes.

We want to see art happening in places we don’t expect! Or, places we once expected. Like the old band shell inside Jackson Park.  Wouldn’t it be great to see a big band play in that big, beautiful park, Jess? Or, free outdoor movie nights in an old abandoned lot.

At the end of the night, we decided everyone wanted to continue this discussion again. We’re hoping for a monthly meet-up, perhaps in different locations. The more people that come out to join, the more conversation and a chance to build connections and make some of our wishes happen! What’s important here is that we’re talking, whether it’s with three people or twenty people.

Any info on an upcoming Tertulia will be posted so you can come out.

Notes from our City Counselling Session in 2011.

Zine Night End-Of-The-Year Party with RIOT GRRRL Tuesdays!

Zine Nights will be slowing down for  holidays with a very awesome end-of-the-year wrap up party in collaboration with Riot GRRL Tuesdays, a monthly feminist collective hosted by 99.1 fm’s  Milk and Vodka.

Our next and last zine night will be held on Tuesday, December 18th, at Phog Lounge. Beginning at around 9pm, we’ll begin working together on a publication where we’ll ask contributors “What is your feminist new year’s resolution?”

Come and take part in our last publication of the year and celebrate with some new friends, beer and perhaps poutine!

Zine Nights will begin again regularly on Wednesday January 9th, 2013 !!


Here Comes the Neighborhood


HCTN EPISODE 1 : INTRODUCING THE WALLS from Here Comes the Neighborhood on Vimeo.

I dream daily about a colourful, messy, city as this one.

For the amount of dead space that lies between places, there should be something to pull people in and make them walk by and engage in something, even if it’s only momentarily. It reminds me about something I had thought up a while ago in re-imagining Maiden Lane as a more interactive space…. (more on that at a later time.)

HERE COMES THE NEIGHBORHOOD explores a unique juncture in history as a new community emerges and evolves. A progressive urban revitalization campaign is examined in the first person, using this year’s new Artists and their commissions as a lens to explore a neighborhood in transition. The Series is framed by colorful overview and concluding episodes, providing the scope of past, present and future.

An outdoor museum. Why can’t some form of this project be done here?

Thanks Tom.

33 Questions Per Minute

In 2000,  Rafael Lozano- Hemmer messed around with some computer programs, lcd screens and a dictionary and created ’33 Questions Per Minute’, an installation featuring 21 lcd screens set up in various places and positions that generate unique and absurd questions thirty-three times per minute.  The text is sorted randomly together through a generator and appears on the screen just long enough for the viewer to read it, and a new one appears in time before anything can be pondered further. According to Hemmer’s website, the system would take up to 3,000 years for all randomized questions to be asked!

“This piece is loosely based on the long tradition of automatic poetry. It is full of anti-content. It attempts to underline our incapability to respond, faced with an electronic landscape made up of demands for attention. The piece provides useless and slightly frustrating machine irony. Tireless grammatical algorithms perform a romantic and futile attempt to pose questions that have never been asked.

The effect of the installation is destabilising due to its speed. The rhythm of questions excludes any rational answer. 33 questions a minute is the threshold of legibility : there is no time for reflection.”


As soon as I came across this, it reminded me of Justin’s work experimenting with arduinos a while back.

Make This Better: Drouillard Road

Here is some good news:
Amidst the biased newspaper articles and the rumoured reputations, Drouillard Road is actually in an okay place.
A year or two ago, I was irked by a few things I had read in a familiar news source, depicting residents as downtrodden and troublesome, crimes and drug deals treated as the norm. But I knew better than to believe one reporter’s opinion and assume that Drouillard Road was a place with no hope.

Continue reading “Make This Better: Drouillard Road”


Thanks to an email Justin had sent me a few days ago, I’ve discovered the existence of mail art!

Sometimes, I miss the qualities of snail mail; the anticipation of its arrival, receiving it, and the heartfelt ingredients  inside of it.

Lately, I’ve been all about sending letters. The photo above is one of three top secret birthday letters.

Justin referred me to Hyperallergic, a grand site-of-all-trades (or a blogazine, as they’ve coined)  that houses creative ideas, ways of thinking, projects, and ridiculous amounts of other things pertaining to art and it’s discontents.

What I really enjoyed was their Mail Art Bulletin, an endeavour that invites anyone to submit their own personalized letter to be posted on their bulletin and  in turn is featured on their blog for everyone to see. I’m going to spend one of my free nights working on a surprise of my own to send in!

Continue reading “Mail(Art)”

Taking Initiative: Ford City Community Garden

The news of yesterday’s election was undoubtedly disappointing, but it still doesn’t stop me from rejoicing in the amount of progress that is happening on a national level, and on a municipal level.

On that note, Pina Ciotoli of WindsorEats posted a video documenting the beginning of a new initiative by the Ford City Community Garden.

The city is leasing a chunk of property on Drouillard Road to the community organization and work is already underway to develop it. It will be made available to the local neighbourhood to grow and foster it, and founder Steve Green is sure that it will become a positive meeting place where other ideas will flounder.

Other information can be found on the FCCG Facebook page.

Things are still happening, make no mistake. This election proved that determined communities and groups can have their say and break ground.

It takes time, but there is strength in numbers.

Photo taken by David Schalliol.