Initiate! Open Frameworks Detroit

I’ll be presenting Broken City Lab at:
Initiate! Technology + Collaboration + Community + Change
Saturday, 2/25, 5-9:30 PM
Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
4454 Woodward Ave Detroit MI, 48201

Looking forward to a great discussion on creative uses of primarily open source technology and open source approaches to creating art and social change with a bunch of awesome talented people.

Hope to see you there!

Hi, 5 with Dave Murray

About the Hi, 5 Interview Series

Sara Howie and I are excited to begin a new web-only interview project called Hi, 5 (5 Questions). The project will act as an educational device which will allow us to gain insight into the narratives that define successful individuals. We are interested in the motivations behind ambitious ideas and how change has been affected by those with the passion for progress. I decided to interview Dave because, once I heard about him, I was interested in how he worked the imagery and culture of Toronto, Ontario into his work.

About Dave Murray

Dave Murray is an illustrator and designer, currently based in Toronto, Canada.

Graduating in 2009 with a BAA Illustration from Sheridan College, Dave has continued to push himself to explore new visual frontiers to express both his own and client’s visions. Dave’s work has evolved to reflect his myriad interests; be it the strict design of his Toronto neighbourhood mapping series, or his futuristic cubist takes on portraits and pop culture.

Clients include Stella Artois, Streetcar Developments and Dandyhorse Magazine.

Dave’s work has been featured in The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Canadian House and Home, Benjamin Moore, and 3 x 3 Magazine, as well as countless blogs.

Dave Murray - Polygon Series (Rob Ford)

Dave Murray

January 13th, 2012

If you had to describe your current self to a 16-year-old you, what would you say?

Ha ha, the first thing would probably be that I no longer have shoulder length hair.  I’d probably describe myself as a pretty logical evolution of where I was – everything is mostly the same, just more refined.

Could you describe an evolution in your work or way of thinking?

My work is constantly evolving – but I think the biggest step in the past few years has been the result of really exploring new ways of working that I otherwise wouldn’t usually do.  I’ve really re-kindled my love of drawing, and am more into the history of art and image making.  All of this expansion not only provides me with ways to creatively blow off some steam, but it also informs my more focused pieces.

Are there any people who have been instrumental in the development of your way of thinking and viewing the world?

This one’s actually tricky for me to answer.  I like to think of myself as a passive observer – I don’t always immediately act on things, nor do I always respond to advice or new ways of thinking.  Maybe I’m missing out on a lot, I don’t know.

How do your political beliefs inform or fuel your work as an artist?

Again, this is one of those things that I try not to let creep into my art.  My politics are probably best defined by the some of the projects I take on – Dandyhorse Magazine is a great example.  I’ve done a few pieces for them, and I love that I’ve had the chance to work with them because I love bicycles, and I love cycling in Toronto.  This isn’t my favourite thing to admit, but trying to live as a freelance illustrator means that I’ll be more likely to take jobs from places that I might not necessarily support because it’ll pay the bills – the best part of those jobs, though, is making them fun for myself.

What do you feel a city should be or do for its inhabitants?

I feel like a city should, more than anything else, be an accessible home for everyone who wants to live there.  Mass transit, good infrastructure, reliable services and culture are all things that a city should prioritize and constantly strive to improve.  Toronto, right now, is an example of how not to prioritize these things, and it’s sad.  Our mayor and his cronies are doing a sub-par job (putting it lightly).  What I fear most though, is not that something bad will happen – but that NOTHING will happen.  I’m pretty sure that at the end of Ford’s run, we’re going to be exactly where we were 4 years previous.

“Alive & Well” viewable on Google Maps

Alive & Well, screenshot from Google Maps, colour-balanced

Our project for the 2011 Windsor Biennial, Alive & Well, was created with the hope that it would be captured on Google Maps to make a monument or announcement of sorts to the rest of the world about Windsor as we near the end of the year and ahead of being torn up for the new Aquatic Centre. We did the project with full expectations that the timing might not be right to ever have it appear on Google Maps, but this morning on a random search, I found out that there was a little update — Alive & Well is now on Google Maps, when you zoom into Windsor’s downtown core.

We created the work with this in mind:

The city appears to have survived the lowest lows of the economic crisis and our social, cultural, and political realities seem to hold some sense of hope and possibility. Even while the auto industry continues to hold precarious sway over the future of the city, the opportunity to own our history and commemorate it should, appropriately enough, be explored in a vast parking lot. In celebration of our community’s continued survival, we propose to demarcate the launch of a cultural future for the city, as demonstrated by the starting date of the 2011 Windsor Biennial along with IAIN BAXTER&’s curatorial role, and the very fact that the city has, despite any hardships, not yet imploded, with the following text, “AS OF 2011.09.21, WE ARE ALIVE & WELL.

Huge thanks to the Art Gallery of Windsor, MacDonald & White Paint, and Google for making this possible.

View Larger Map

Contribute to our Upcoming Book!

From Walter's Homework sketchbook

We received this from our friends (and Homework artists-in-residence) Brennan and Chloé, who have been compiling content for our upcoming book on our latest conference and residency, Homework: Infrastructures & Collaboration in Social Practices.

Hi All,

I hope all is well.

We have received a number of contributions from most of you, but there are a few of you we are still hoping to get some materials from.

If any one had an interview, reviews, essays, photographs, sketches, notes, etc. that they would like to add to the publication still please let me know.

A dropbox was created and last I checked it had not been used all that much (if any). If you do have files to contribute, they can be added here, or (smaller) files can be sent to us directly at oerogue[at]

I encourage anyone with any leftover materials to send it our way so it can be included in this publication.

Thank you!


If you attended Homework and have anything you’d like us to consider adding to the upcoming book, please get in touch with us or Brennan and Chloé ASAP!

New Website is Up (but we’re working out the kinks)


It felt like it was time for an update around here. With the winter coming, it seems right to have something a little brighter.

There’s also a bunch of new features that we’re still working out, so please be patient. All of our content is on here, somewhere. Let us know if you have any particular trouble finding things.