Windsor is Forever: A Short Documentary

With Portland-based artist-in-residence, Jason Sturgill, we reframed his previous project, Art is Forever, as Windsor is Forever  – a community-driven art and tattoo project that gave Windsor residents an opportunity to make a permanent commitment to the city. Participants chose from a flash tattoo set created in collaboration with local artists and illustrators to receive as their free tattoos, which were offered free of charge by Dave Kant of Advanced Tattoo, and Jon Jimenez and Steve Jones of Flying Dagger Tattoo.

During the event, Andrew Frickey captured the tattoo artists at work and conducted interviews. The results were compiled into a short documentary which can be viewed above.

We’d like to thank everyone who came out for the sketch night and to everyone who helped make this project possible.

Tattoos by Dave Kant, Steve Jones & Jon Jimenez.

Short Film Directed and Edited by Andrew Frickey ')}

A Proposal for Making It Easier to Stay Here: On Economic Development, Tax Policy, and Youth Retention

I sat down with a couple of different people over the last few weeks to discuss the possibility to rethink how we collectively address youth retention in Windsor. It’s an incredibly pressing (and yet somehow invisible) emergency. As a faculty member and collaborator with many recent graduates, it’s a professional and personal challenge to see people move away from Windsor. And yet, it’s so rare that recent grads do stick it out that it’s impossible to imagine how huge of an impact they could have on the city.

And, of course, it also begs the question — why do people move?

The draw of a bigger city, their experiences here in Windsor, and job prospects are all often cited for packing up at the end of an undergraduate degree, and for good reason. These things can weigh heavily on a decision of staying in Windsor after graduation, as the city itself cannot offer much in lieu of them. However, I have to wonder what ‘the thing’ is that might help recent graduates decide not to move away. What about this city might be able to draw people to stay and even bring people back?

It started with cheerleaders. Or more specifically, an idea for a guerrilla cheerleading squad. that went something like this: What if we paid unemployed recent graduates to show up to political events — city council, funding announcements, town hall meetings — to advocate for more resources being put towards youth retention? The guerrilla cheerleading squad would show up, make some noise, and hopefully draw attention to the lack of ambition and absence of real work being put towards keeping young and creative talent in this city.

But, that conversation led to an honest assessment of potential impact. A cheerleading squad might make the paper once, it might draw some attention to the issue, but ultimately, we wouldn’t be arming ourselves to have a conversation about what should be done, or what could be done with some imagination, to address the issue. The long-term impact would evaporate.

So, that led to another conversation. How could we enact a kind of long-term impact towards addressing the lack of initiative put towards youth retention at the regional level? It’s a conversation that I’ve been having for two years (and probably even longer), and yet it feels like the exact same conversation over that entire time.

There’s a reality here in Windsor that always seems to surprise people from away when we tell them about it. First, commercial property taxes are really, really high. But that’s not the surprising part. Second, there’s a lot of vacant commercial spaces and a lot of need for affordable space. But, that’s not surprising either. The third and surprising part is that if you own a commercial property, and it’s vacant, you can fill out a two-page form and get a property tax rebate. So, naturally, there’s little incentive to reduce the rent to reflect the realities of the market and economy here. And in turn, there are few opportunities for a young start-up of any kind to get into a space and get to work doing whatever great thing they might want to do.

Long-term impact will be driven by some radical short-term changes here in the city. These changes need to be developed specifically for Windsor, they should try to solve a couple of parallel problems (but not attempt to solve every problem), and they should be something that might be able to make national headlines. With that in mind, there’s a preliminary plan. It’s early, it’s naive, but it’s going to be further developed and researched. And, it goes something like this:

Instead of a tax rebate just for vacant space, that same rebate should be extended to allow (actually, to encourage) landlords to make their space available free of charge for new businesses, artists, and non-profits operating in their first year and still access the rebate. Businesses, sole proprietors (artists), and non-profits would all register to verify that they were indeed a new startup and they would find the appropriate vacant space and interested landlord — perhaps in collaboration with the area’s BIA. The landlord would fill out a very similar to what already exists two-page form, while noting their request for exemption of the necessity for 100% vacancy for supplying space to one of these startups, and ultimately receive the same tax rebate while supplying vital and incredibly necessary space for young creative people. In the second year of such an arrangement, the startup renting the space could pay a graduated fee (perhaps 50% market value in year 2, 75% market value in year three, and full market value in year four if they could stick it out), or perhaps they would just enter into a normal lease agreement. The bottom line is that the vacant space is filled, there is wealth and job creation, and most importantly, a young creative person sticks it out in the city. And, hopefully, we can tell the world that the city is doing this.

As I noted, research on this is really, really preliminary. There might be a huge number of hurdles or there might already be plans underway to do this, there could be a thousand examples of similar programs elsewhere or it might be a truly unique take on municipal action on youth retention and economic development. We’ll find out as time goes on.

In the meantime, if you have any links, resources, or research to share, please post it in the comments. More soon.

50 TITLES / 50 PERSPECTIVES: A Reader’s Guide to Art & Social Practice


If you think about how grand the concept/movement/idea of Art & Social Practice really is, it can be quite overwhelming. What started out as a grass-roots movement has also begun to infiltrate academia, creating even more ways in which people are thinking, researching and writing about the topic. With that in mind, I decided to create a reading list of 50 hand-selected titles that form a cohesive and well-rounded collection designed to reach a wide audience and aimed to define and understand the multifaceted field Broken City Lab’s engaged with.

During the selection process of this bibliography, I tracked down and read several published reviews and customer reviews from a variety of sources, and ensured that each title provided the collection with a different perspective or filled a necessary gap. For academic texts, I also tracked citations in order to determine their relevancy within the field. Therefore, whether you’re an artist, an academic, an educator, or just someone who is generally interested in learning what the heck Art & Social Practice is, you’ll be able to find a title or two to get your thinking started.

50 TITLES / 50 PERSPECTIVES: A Reader’s Guide to Art & Social Practice

Failure!: Experiments in Aesthetic and Social Practices



Antebi, Nicole, Colin Dickey, and Robby Herbst. Failure!: Experiments in Aesthetic and Social Practices. Los Angeles: Journal of Aesthetics & Protest, 2007. Print.

A book of essays, interviews and artwork that traces the idea of failure through contemporary art, art protest and social practice.






Atkinson, Dennis, and Paul Dash. Social and Critical Practice in Art Education . Sterling, VA: Trentham Books, 2005. Print.

Emphasizes “the practical and critical” in art making, while using examples of art as social practice in times of social unrest to facilitate education.




Public Space: Cultural/Political Theory; Street Photography : An Interpretation



Baird, George. Public Space: Cultural/Political Theory; Street Photography : An Interpretation. Amsterdam: SUN, 2011. Print.

Provides insights into the use, identity and representation of public space from a variety of disciplines, particularly political and cultural theory.




Wildfire: Art as Activism


Barndt, Deborah. Wild Fire: Art as Activism. Toronto, ON: Sumach Press, 2006. Print.

Looks at ways in which academics blur the lines of art, activism and academia.  The book also looks at multiple art forms that address social change from different perspectives.  Also provides a Canadian and local context, as the author is visual arts professor at York University.



Collaboration in the Arts from the Middle Ages to the Present



Bigliazzi, Silvia, and Sharon Wood. Collaboration in the Arts from the Middle Ages to the Present. 35 Vol. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2006. Print.

Providing context outside of North America, this collection of essays is from British and Italian scholars discussing the concept and practice of social collaboration in the arts.



Taking the Matter into Common Hands: On Contemporary Art and Collaborative Practices



Billing, Johanna, Maria Lind, and Lars Nilsson. Taking the Matter into Common Hands: On Contemporary Art and Collaborative Practices. London, UK: Black Dog, 2007. Print.

Looks at art and social practice, and collaborative art from the practitioner’s perspective, rather than the theorists.






Bishop, Claire. Participation. Cambridge, Mass: Whitechapel, 2006. Print.

The book is a collection of articles looking at ways in which art can engage with life on a social and political level, with an emphasis on participation and community engagement.



Relational Aesthetics



Bourriaud, Nicolas. Relational Aesthetics. Dijon: Les Presses du réel, 2002. Print.

A defining and seminal text introducing the concept of relational aesthetics which takes art outside of private space and explores it in terms of human relations and social context.



Art and Social Change: A Critical Reader



Bradley, Will, and Charles Esche. Art and Social Change: A Critical Reader. London: Tate Pub., 2007. Print.

A reader which a collection of artists’ texts and critical writings that concentrates on providing a clear overview on the subject.




Street Art, Street Life: From the 1950s to Now


Bussard, Katherine A., Frazer Ward, Lydia Yee, and Whitney Rugg. Street Art, Street Life: From the 1950s to Now. New York: Aperture Foundation, 2008. Print.

Examines the street as subject matter, venue and source of inspiration for contemporary, socially-engaged art.




The Practice of Public Art



Cartiere, Cameron, and Shelly Willis. The Practice of Public Art. Hoboken: Routledge, 2008. Print.

Juxtaposes publicly-funded art to grass-roots socially engaged art practices.




Art and Activism in the Age of Globalization



Cauter, Lieven De, Ruben De Roo, and Karel Vanhaesebrouck. Art and Activism in the Age of Globalization. 08 Vol. Rotterdam: NAi Publishers, 2011. Print.

Questions whether artists should be activists and what that means in terms of social responsibility.



The Practice of Everyday Life



Certeau, Michel de. The Practice of Everyday Life. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984. Print.

Another defining text that examines how we interact with everyday life on an active level.




Imagining Resistance: Visual Culture and Activism in Canada



Cronin, J. Keri, and Kirsty Robertson. Imagining Resistance: Visual Culture and Activism in Canada. Waterloo, Ont.: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2011. Print.

Collection of papers that theorize connections between visual arts and oppositional politics predominantly from Canadian examples.



Tactical Biopolitics: Art, Activism, and Technoscience



Da, Costa Beatriz., and Kavita Philip. Tactical Biopolitics: Art, Activism, and Technoscience. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2008. Print.

Looks at how new technologies are beginning to influence socially-enagaged art, from the use of open-source software, to hactivism.




Evictions: Art and Spatial Politics


Deutsche, Rosalyn. Evictions: Art and Spatial Politics. Cambridge, Mass: Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, 1996. Print.

The collection of essays focus on contemporary art, space, and political struggle, with an entire section dedicated to urban theory and the role of art within processes of urban change.



Cultural Planning: An Urban Renaissance?



Evans, Graeme, and MyiLibrary. Cultural Planning, an Urban Renaissance?. New York: Routledge, 2001. Print.

Discusses how cultural planning can be a form of creative intervention and thinks about it ways in which terms of civic engagement.




But Is It Art? the Spirit of Art As Activism



Felshin, Nina. But is it Art?: The Spirit of Art as Activism. Seattle, [Wash.]: Bay Press, 1995. Print.

Affirms that whether art is “art” is not important, rather, creative minds engaged with social justice is what is important.  It samples both activists and artists, to give a comparison and overview.



Dialogues in Public Art


Finkelpearl, Tom, and Vito Acconci. Dialogues in Public Art. Cambridge, Mass. [u.a.: MIT, 2001. Print.

Presents a collection of interviews with individuals-artists, administrators, architects, a critic, a philosopher, a resident in a public housing project-who were involved in different ways with public art during the 1970’s, 1980’s, and 1990’s.




Recodings: Art, Spectacle, Cultural Politics



Foster, Hal. Recodings: Art, Spectacle, Cultural Politics. Port Townsend, Wash: Bay Press, 1985. Print.

Looks at ways in which art and politics emerge in postmodernism.




Conversations Before the End of Time



Gablik, Suzi. Conversations before the End of Time. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1995. Print.

Uses an apocalyptic tone while addressing art as social 




Exercises for Rebel Artists: Radical Performance Pedagogy



Gómez-Peña, Guillermo, and Roberto Sifuentes. Exercises for Rebel Artists: Radical Performance Pedagogy. London: Routledge, 2011. Print.

Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Roberto Sifuentes use their teaching and performance experience to create workshops that teach about radical performance in a social practice context.



Value, Art, Politics: Criticism, Meaning, and Interpretation after the End of Postmodernism



Harris, Jonathan.  Value, Art, Politics: Criticism, Meaning and Interpretation After PostmodernismLiverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2007.  Print.

Provides a historical and postmodern overview, as well as through a post-colonial lens.



Education for Socially Engaged Art



Helguera, Pablo. Education for Socially Engaged Art: A Materials and Techniques Handbook. New York: Jorge Pinto, 2011. Print.

Acts a critical view of socially-engaged art by looking at its long heritage.  It is meant to be critical history for those who are engaged in the practice.




Communities of Sense: Rethinking Aesthetics and Politics



Hinderliter, Beth. Communities of Sense: Rethinking Aesthetics and Politics. Durham: Duke University Press, 2009. Print.

An assemblage of essays about art historians, art theorists and cultural critics working at the intersections of art, aesthetics and politics.




Escape the Overcode: Activist Art in the Control Society



Holmes, Brian. Escape the Overcode: Activist Art in the Control Society. Eindhoven [u.a.: Van Abbemuseum, 2009. Print.

Looks at activist art from a geopolitical stand point, and cites examples from across the globe, which is overlooked in other titles.




Byproduct: On the Excess of Embedded Art Practices



Jahn, Marisa. Byproduct: On the Excess of Embedded Art Practices. Toronto: YYZ Books, 2010. Print.

Presents texts from a variety of artists, activists, curators, and interdisciplinary thinkers that interrogate projects by cultural practitioners ‘embedded’ in industries, the government, and other non-art sectors.



Cultural Capitals: Revaluing the Arts, Remaking  Urban Spaces



Johnson, Louise C., and MyiLibrary. Cultural Capitals: Revaluing the Arts, Remaking Urban Spaces. Farnham, England: Ashgate Pub, 2009. Print.

An optimistic book about the power of the arts to enhance city images, urban economies and communities.



The Arts: A Social Perspective



Kaplan, Max. The Arts: A Social Perspective. Rutherford, N.J: Associated University Presses, 1990. Print.

Presents an optimistic assessment of how a turn towards creativity and the arts have led to sustainable urban development.  The urban development outlook on social practice in the arts is a nice contrast to the other more theoretical texts, and provides more insight for those interested in design or architecture.


Conversation Pieces: Community and Communication in Modern Art



Kester, Grant H. Conversation Pieces: Community and Communication in Modern ArtBerkeley: University of California Press, 2004. Print.

This book does not set out to only define and conceptualize community or socially engaged art, but to trace its antecedents in art history and locate it in relation to critical theory by providing a framework to evaluate it.



The One and the Many: Contemporary Collaborative Art in a Global Context



Kester, Grant H., and Inc ebrary. The One and the Many: Contemporary Collaborative Art in a Global Context. Durham [N.C.]: Duke University Press, 2011. Print.

Provides an overview of the broader continuum of collaborative art, ranging from the work of artists and groups widely celebrated in the mainstream art world to the less publicized projects.


Urban Interventions: Personal Projects in Public Spaces



Klanten, Robert, and Matthias Hübner. Urban Interventions: Personal Projects in Public Spaces. Berlin: Gestalten, 2010. Print.

Looks at multiple artist’s personal project within public spaces, which is a shift from the focus of collective art in other titles.




Public Art: Theory, Practice and Populism



Knight, Cher Krause. Public Art: Theory, Practice and Populism. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2008. Print.

Compares art in public places and intervention art to art that is institutionalized.




Artists, Patrons, and the Public: Why Culture Changes



Lord, Barry, and Gail Dexter Lord. Artists, Patrons, and the Public: Why Culture Changes. Lanham, Md: AltaMira Press, 2010. Print.

An attempt to debunk how anything can be considered art, and why socially engaged art is valid.  An excellent starting point to begin thinking about these fundamental questions.



Paper Politics: Socially Engaged Printmaking Today



MacPhee, Josh, Deborah Caplow, and Eric Triantafillou. Paper Politics: Socially Engaged Printmaking Today. Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2009. Print.

A collection of contemporary politically engaged printmaking showcases art that uses themes of social justice and global equity to engage community members in conversation.



Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice: Inquiries for Hope and Change



McLean, Cheryl L. Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice: Inquiries for Hope & Change. Calgary: Detselig Enterprises, 2010. Print.

An action-oriented and transformative research text that points to a new path for hope and change while showing how the creative arts in inquiry and in action applied across disciplines can make a critical difference for individuals and society.



Art, Space and the City: Public Art and Urban Futures



Miles, Malcolm, and MyiLibrary. Art, Space and the City: Public Art and Urban Futures. New York: Routledge, 1997. Print.

Looks at socially engaged art from the perspectives of Marxism, feminism and ecology in relation to the city.







PSU MFA Social Practice – PSPJ ISSUE 1.” PSU MFA Social Practice. Web. <>.

A brand new publication that is available free and online and features the newest scholarship that is coming out of the only program in North America that is completely focused on this topic.



What We Want Is Free: Generosity and Exchange in Recent Art



Purves, Ted. What We Want Is Free: Generosity and Exchange in Recent Art. Albany, NY: State University of New York, 2005. Print.

Thinks about how artists should be thinking about their role and responsibility as such, and how social practice can engage and affect peoples lives.




The Interventionists: Users' Manual for the Creative Disruption of Everyday Life



Thompson, Nato, and Gregory Sholette. The Interventionists: Users’ Manual for the Creative Disruption of Everyday Life. North Adams, MA: Cambridge Mass, 2004. Print.

Serves as a handbook to the new and varied work or interventionist art.




Art and Revolution: Transversal Activism in the Long Twentieth Century


Raunig, Gerald. Art and Revolution: Transversal Activism in the Long Twentieth Century. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2007. Print.

Argues that the most important contemporary art is made outside of the institution and has ties to social engagement, revolution and political action.





ARTocracy: Art, Informal Space and Social Consequence : A Curatorial Handbook in Collaborative Practice



Sacramento, Nuno, and Claudia Zeiske. ARTocracy: Art, Informal Space and Social Consequence : A Curatorial Handbook in Collaborative Practice. Berlin: Jovis, 2010. Print.

This book looks at curatorial practice of socially engaged art within “informal” spaces rather than traditional institutions.



Dark Matter: Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture



Sholette, Gregory. Dark Matter: Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise CultureLondon: Pluto, 2011. Print.

Focuses on cultural workers in terms of artistic production, which provides a Marxist view within the collection.




Collectivism after Modernism: The Art of Social Imagination after 1945



Stimson, Blake, and Gregory Sholette. Collectivism After Modernism: The Art of Social Imagination After 1945. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2007. Print.

A collection of ten essays that demonstrate collectivist art social practice in the context of actual artist collectives.



Group Work



Temporary Services. Group Work. New York, NY: Half Letter LLC, 2007. Print.

Temporary Services are one of the most active and successful social practice collectives in North America.  Group Work compiles multiple perspectives of collaborative social practice from both artists, scholars, and even musicians.





Temporary Services. Public Phenomena.  Chicago, IL: Half Letter LLC, 2008. Print.

Public Phenomena is the result of over ten years of photo documentation and research of public interventionist art.




Journal of Aesthetics & Protest



The Journal of Aesthetics & Protest.” The Journal of Aesthetics & Protest. (2001 – 2012). Print.

The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest  is a Los Angeles based artists’ collective’s journal that “sits at the discursive juncture of fine art, media theory, and anti-authoritarian activism.”  It takes critical theory out of the academic or cultural institution.


Living as Form: Socially Engaged Art from 1991-2011



Thompson, Nato. Living as Form: Socially Engaged Art from 1991-2011. New York, NY: Creative Time, 2012. Print.

A very new and current view and history of socially engaged art.  This title will work well as a historical introduction for undergraduates who are just beginning to research the subject.




Wu, Chin-Tao. Privatising Culture: Corporate Art Intervention since the 1980s. New York: Verso, 2002. Print.

Looks at the opposite side of the spectrum and discusses how art is a commodity and has monetary value.  Contrasts well with the rest of the literature that focuses on the aesthetics of socially engaged art, rather than the inevitable business side of all artistic practice.  Also looks at art intervention within these institutions which brings the text back to a politically driven stand point.




Cultural Appropriation and the Arts



Young, James O. Cultural Appropriation and the Arts. 6 Vol. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub, 2008. Print.

Discusses the difference between copying art and stealing art in order to create new expressions.   Looks at ways in which artists have “stolen” bits of culture in order to appropriate them as social commentary, whether political or not.

More Great News: We’re the Recipient of a Windsor Endowment for the Arts Grant!

We’re thrilled to announce this, and very flattered to be in such great local company!!!

Honouring leaders in Windsor’s arts community, the Windsor Endowment for the Arts (WEA) will officially present the WEAs, winners of the WEA Arts Leadership Awards and WEA Arts Grants on Saturday, May 5 at Windsor Music Theatre.  Ten recipients will be honoured including the recipient of the first Elizabeth Havelock Grant in the Arts.

Windsor Endowment for the Arts offers four Emerging Artist Grants to support the professional and creative development of emerging artists. Grants are awarded every second year to successful applicants. Artists who meet the eligibility requirements are invited to apply.

Outstanding nominations, from the public and recognized leaders in the arts culture community identified the seven winners of the WEA Arts Grants. Three arts organizations and four emerging artists will be recognized.

Arts Infrastructure Grants

Community Arts Nancy Johns Gallery & Framing
Performing Arts Chris Rabideau
Visual Arts Media City Film Festival

Emerging Artists Grants

Community Arts Broken City Lab Artist Collective
Literary Arts Kate Hargreaves
Performing Arts Crissi Cochrane
Visual Arts Amy Friend

Elizabeth Havelock Grant in the Arts

Visual Artist Shirley Williams

Huge thanks to Windsor Endowment for the Arts, and to Jennifer Willet and Rod Strickland for the nomination. We’re looking forward to celebrating on Saturday! See you there!

We Made the “2012 Sobey Art Award” Ontario Long List!

We’re really exited to post this … just found out today! We made the 2012 Sobey Art Award Ontario Long List! It’s incredibly flattering to have made it to this stage of the competition, and we owe a huge thanks to Srimoyee Mitra for the nomination.

And, in case you didn’t know, we’re not the first Windsor-based artists to have been included — Zeke Moores made the short-list just last year!

Ok, more soon, but in the meantime, here’s the official news from the press release:

The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and the Sobey Art Foundation are pleased to announce the long list for the 2012 Sobey Art Award, the pre-eminent award for contemporary Canadian Art. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Award. Following a three-month nomination process, the Curatorial Panel has announced the 25 artists vying for the 2012 Sobey.

The long-listed artists for the 2012 Sobey Art Award are:

West Coast and the Yukon
• Sonny Assu
• Julia Feyrer
• Gareth Moore
• Kevin Schmidt
• Corin Sworn

Prairies and the North
• Amalie Atkins
• Paul Butler
• Jason de Haan
• Robyn Moody
• Elaine Stocki

• Broken City Lab 
• Aleesa Cohene
• Annie MacDonell
• Nicholas Pye & Sheila Pye
• Derek Sullivan

• Olivia Boudreau
• Raphaëlle de Groot
• Julie Favreau
• Nadia Myre
• Ève K. Tremblay

• Mark Igloliorte
• Stephen Kelly
• Eleanor King
• Lisa Lipton
• Graeme Patterson

The 10th Anniversary shortlist of the Sobey Art Award will be announced in late June. An exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA) in Toronto will feature select work by the shortlisted artists from October 24, 2012 to December 30, 2012. The 10th Anniversary Sobey Art Award winner’s announcement will take place at a Gala event at the MOCCA on November 16, 2012.

The 2012 Sobey Art Award Curatorial Panel consists of:

• David Diviney, Curator of Exhibitions, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia;
• Louise Déry, Directrice Galerie de l’UQAM, Université du Québec à Montréal;
• David Liss, Artistic Director and Curator, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art;
• Ryan Doherty, Curator, Southern Alberta Art Gallery;
• Bruce Grenville, Senior Curator, Vancouver Art Gallery.

For more detailed biographical information on the 25 long listed artists and members of the Curatorial Panel please go to:

In Store: A Series of Documentary Shorts on SRSI

We’re incredibly excited to be able to post this trailer for the forthcoming series of documentary shorts, In Store, produced, directed, and edited by the astoundingly talented, Daragh Sankey. Here’s the background from the In Store website:

It’s been a long time coming, but I’m finally posting stuff from my work in Windsor. It is a series of documentary shorts called In Store. It’s stuff I shot during Broken City Lab’s SRSI Project. SRSI stands for Storefront Residencies for Social Innovation, and it involved artists from across the country doing residencies in three vacant Windsor, ON storefronts.

I’ve got a trailer up now, and the shorts themselves will start showing up in a week or two. To stay on top of it, you can follow the sitethe twitter feedThe RSS feed. Or, if you’re reading this from the main Angry Robot site, the posts will show up there too. Or you can wait for me to just beam the stuff into your brain, which I’m sure will be available as a delivery platform any day now.

What can you expect from this? There will be about 10 films total. Most follow an artist as they do their thing on the residency, but they’re not all summaries; some single out moments. A longer one will be about Broken City Lab, the organizers of the event, and will be a bit broader than just the SRSI event. One will be about Windsor. I’ll be releasing a new one every week or two.

What’s it all about? Surprisingly, many of the artists used the space less as a gallery, and more as a base camp for engaging with the city. They produced art that was questioning, playful, exploratory and thought-provoking. You will see: disco balls, transplanted plants, fictional security guards, roving libraries, Detroit, gambling, a long street of vacant houses. If there’s a theme, it may be the challenges facing post-industrial cities like Windsor, and the role of art in articulating and helping face those challenges.

Hopefully, you’ll enjoy it.

Keep your eyes here: ')}

“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

Towards a New Collectivity: A Declaration of Principles (for artists, cultural workers, & supporters thereof)

Above, some things I’ve been thinking about lately.

It may or may not be useful to you, but feel free to share, post, tweet, email, photocopy, etc. with a larger image or pdf.

HFBC Book Ready for you to Explore (& get a copy for your collection!)

Remember a couple of weeks ago, we received some copies of our How to Forget the Border Completely book? Well, there were a couple of print issues that have now been resolved, so if you’ve been waiting to get your hands on a copy, now’s the time! HFBC was an 8-month research project that looked at the ways in which we might actually be able to forget about the border between Windsor and Detroit. Whether through small-scale micro-grants or large-scale infrastructure proposals, we imagined these two cities as one big community across 150 pages.

You can purchase the book through Blurb. It should arrive within a couple weeks tops. We’re going to get around to offering a soft cover version too, soon. In the meantime, you can also read through a PDF of the entire book (p.s. it’s 72mb). It’s probably not as fun as having a book in your hands, but the content is there for your perusal.

This book is actually phase 1 of a larger HFBC project — think airplanes, scale models, and a few other things that will take a lot longer to complete than we ever anticipated. For now though, we’re just really happy to see this in print!







BUY a copy!!!

How to Forget the Border Completely is generously supported by the Ontario Arts Council.