We’ve been really lucky.
For a couple of years now, we’ve been able to do the work that we’ve wanted to do, make the kinds of changes that we want to see, and create a set of projects that have kept us interested in staying in Windsor.
The Storefront Residencies for Social Innovation wrapped up a couple weeks ago. For 30 days, we hosted 25 amazing artists and artist collectives, all of whom worked in downtown Windsor and generated a huge number of new ideas, initiatives, and relationships.
For 30 days, we were very, very lucky.
From June 11th to July 11th, we saw projects that redefined the idea of what BIAs could do, generated new models for micro-economies by exchanging food for stories, unravelled and reassembled long lost sweaters, and introduced an unprecedented level of investigation into the personal histories found in homes (and gardens) across the city.
Projects that openly played with urban infrastructures, investigated the potential for utilizing the postal service for remembering forgotten places, and made many, many, many kinds of maps will all have a lasting impact on the people who were lucky enough to encounter them.
Workshops for children and adults made real and impacting use of open spaces, stories around our border realities were eagerly shared, and many delicious pies, meals and snacks were collaboratively prepared and enjoyed over insightful conversations using fresh and local ingredients.
Installations lit up and animated storefronts, interrupted the social experience of public spaces, and imagined the collapse of municipalities generated a new way to look at materials and architecture.
Performative works demonstrated DIY surveillance methodologies, actively spent time in marginalized spaces, infused the local economy with gambling earnings from the casino, and generated a factory from social media technologies.
All of these things happened here in Windsor in just 30 days.
SRSI created a concentrated series of activities that demonstrated the potential in rethinking how we attribute value to space, changed how we might think about creative activity impacting a community, and looked at the possibility to forget about a set of economic development strategies that haven’t worked for quite some time.
The things that we’ve felt about Windsor — its potential, its frustrations, and the novel possibility for generating creative work that can only happen here — were all reinforced through this residency project. We have to admit that we’ll probably do it again, in some fashion, because we believe that the projects we saw unfold are only the beginning of the incredible things that can happen in this city.
We want to thank everyone who participated in this project — without you, this would not have been possible. Your work made an impact on us, and we might argue, the entire city. Thank you.
Over the weekend, Emily Colombo wrapped up Miss Em’s Friendly Services with an awesome zine-like handout. Lots of food was prepared and shared.
Friday was the last open house for SRSI. Norman Eberstein read some of his log entries written during his job, Emily made some amazing snacks for us, Kero busted out his Lemur, and Laura did another payphone intervention.
SRSI participants hit the street today in the blistering heat to interact with passersby. Lee Rodney’s Border Bookmobile gets re-routed, Emily Colombo serves up some lunch and fixes a few bikes. The Department of Unusual Certainties is working hard planning their Speed Dating for Store Owners event on Thursday, July 8 7pm inside of 406 Pelissier.
Monday saw the last new residents move in to the SRSI spaces; Lee Rodney’s Bookmobile Reading Room and Emily Colombo’s friendly services. To get footage for the SRSI documentary, Daragh followed Norman around, who was on his A game all day.
424 Pelissier was a fun space for kids to be creative all day on Sunday as part of Imagination Lab. Merry Ellen set up her baking station over in that space. Later Sunday night, I accompanied Laura to do some more installations.
Last night Laura went out to install some PL1999 payphones, Kyle Bishop of Andand Collective arrives, and Josh does some more inventions.
Friday was Robin’s big day, as she trained hard outside on the sidewalk then headed down to Caesars around 7pm.
Daragh Sankey has been working hard to release this promo video documenting Andrea Carvalho‘s three tactics to engage in non-places in the city of Windsor. Daragh is filming, logging and editing as much as he can during his residency, and will complete the post-production of the documentary later on this year.