“Foam” by Kohei Nawa

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Some of the best installation work can make you believe, even for a split second, that you have entered another world, or a place totally alien or unfamiliar. Artists have made naturally occurring phenomena like clouds appear in a gallery setting using a handful of tactics, but this work by Kohei Nawa uses foam to achieve it’s cloud-like effervescence.

The installation reads like a greyscale landscape of primordial ooze, with mountain-like ridges and valleys suspended on a layer of black sand. It’s lit in such a way that some portions of the foam take on the appearance of clouds, while some remain ambiguous, melting blobs.

via: Colossal

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All Images: Foam, 2013. Mixed media. Photo by Nobutada Omote, courtesy of SANDWICH.

Street Installations by SpY

SpY - Balloons

SpY is an urban artist who has been practicing forms of intervention, mostly traditional graffiti, since the mid-1980s. More recently, he has chosen to work within the confines of urban elements, often playing with their intentions and using them as a “palette of materials”.

I suggest checking out this book for a nice overview of urban intervention art like this. Much of it has a strong element of humour, wit, or playfulness. To me, the strength of this type of work lies in its ability to ambush your everyday life, disrupt your routine, or at the least, make you reconsider what the things around us are made of.

Image Above: Balloons (2008)

via: Colossal

SpY - 0 Likes

SpY – 0 Likes (2013)

SpY - Live

SpY – Live (2012)

Broken City Lab Publications Featured in “On the Road: Detroit”

Publications

The Art Book Review, a Los Angeles-based compendium of reviews about books relating to the subject of art, is including a selection of Broken City Lab publications as part of “On the Road: Detroit“, a collaboration with Creative Rights, a legal service for creative folks based in Ann Arbor and Detroit, Michigan.

They are including three mini publications: Shortcuts and other Practices: 10 Days in a Western City, Hamilton: Two Tales of a City, and Invented Emergency (for Small Cities & Big Towns). Also included is the hardcover publication How to Forget the Border Completely, which investigated the numerous ways one could approach the Windsor-Detroit border as a concept, an object, and an obstacle.

The Social Practice Workbook – Artist Talk with Jen Delos Reyes (watch it online now!)

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Jen Delos Reyes–a Portland-based artist and educator–has curated an exhibition here at Civic Space called The Social Practice Workbook. This exhibition is a collaborative effort between students of Portland State University (PSU) and takes the form of an assemble-it-yourself display of short writings and assignments from PSU’s Art & Social Practice MFA Program. Jen took the time to supplement her exhibition with an artist talk held at The University of Windsor’s School of Visual Arts today.

The entire talk can be viewed below and on our YouTube channel.

Windsor is Forever Tattoo Flash Set Completed!

01 Here it is, the Windsor is Forever tattoo flash set (in two parts). With the help of those who came out on Monday’s Sketch Night, Jason Sturgill has whittled down the submissions to the most poignant designs and optimized them for our free tattoo day tomorrow. If you submitted a story and were contacted to book an appointment, we’ll see you tomorrow! 02 ')}

Windsor is Forever with Jason Sturgill

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Photo by Jason Sturgill from Art is Forever

Tattoos have been a long-lasting part of our cultural history, revealing glimpses of where we’re from, where we’re going, and who we think we are. Windsor is Forever is a new community-driven art and tattoo project that will give residents of Windsor an opportunity to make a permanent mark, on themselves.

Conceived by Portland-based artist, Jason Sturgill, Windsor is Forever will kick off on this Thursday, February 27th with Sturgill taking over CIVIC SPACE hosting events, doing archival research, and speaking with members of the community. Residents are encouraged to come meet Sturgill at CIVIC SPACE from February 27th to March 3rd to talk about their favourite places, landmarks, and people in the city. Sturgill will also be looking for Windsorites to give him guided tours of their favourite  places so that he has source materials for open sketch night where the tattoo designing will begin. That sketch night begins at 7pm on March 4th, with Sturgill co-hosting ACWR’s Sketch Night at CIVIC SPACE with local artist Dave Kant. This work will lead to the end goal of creating a series of Windsor-based flash tattoos ready to be inked onto members of the community.

Then, on March 7th, CIVIC SPACE will be turned into a FREE tattoo shop for the day, hosted by local tattoo artist Dave Kant of Advanced Tattoo. Residents that want to receive a tattoo will be asked to choose from the flash sheet that have already been designed.

Anyone eager to receive their Windsor tattoo or just interested in sharing a story is encouraged to fill out the form below with an explanation on why they believe Windsor is Forever! 

*Please note that since the tattooing is only happening for ONE day, we have a limited number of spots open. So if you’re interested, please sign up below ASAP!

*We’ll be in touch by the afternoon of Tuesday, March 5th if you’ve been selected to receive a tattoo, along with an approximate timeframe for your appointment on Thursday. We’ll do our best to accomodate as many people as we can!

 

 

Heartbreaking by Lois Andison

'Heartbreaking' from olgakorpergallery.com

This one goes out to Josh.

Heartbreaking, a kinetic sculpture by Lois Andison, is a device that gradually works its way through every possible word that can be spelled with the letters H,E,A,R,T,B,R,E,A,K,I,N,G (in that order). Terrence Dick over at Akimbo called it, “the closest thing I’ve seen that’s come to a perfect marriage of word and art.”

'Heartbreaking' from olgakorpergallery.com

Lois Andison was born in Smiths Falls, Ontario. She currently lives and works in Toronto, Ontario. Her kinetic sculptures/installations investigate the intersection of technology, nature and the body. Using movement to initiate an exchange with the viewer, Andison’s work poetically explores social and technological concerns through the construction of the hybrid art object.

'Heartbreaking' from olgakorpergallery.com

She has a number of other interesting data-driven types of works available to view on Olga Korper Gallery.

Simon Rabyniuk on the division of practice and real life

movement (time spent) Maps : part III - 1 by Cara Spooner

This is part of an ongoing set of one-question emails sent to people we know, or would like to get to know, about things that interest us and inform our collective practice. They’ll be featured on the site weekly, usually on Fridays. These questions are more about unfolding ideas than about the people we’re asking, but we do ask those kinds of questions too.

We’re pleased to continue this project with a question for SRSI and Homework alumnus and one half of the Department of Unusual Certainties, a Toronto-based research and design collective, Simon Rabyniuk.


Where does practice end and real life begin?

There is no division between practice and life. My first reading of this question situates it as something about the experience of the individual, and because of the context I’m receiving it in, something about the experience of the individual artist. Although I think it becomes a more interesting question dealt with in broader terms.

What is practice? For an individual a practice is a personal commitment to an action (i.e. the practice of active listening). I would propose that a fundamental quality of a practice is a conscious intent expressed through the process of trial, reflection, and learning; while routine may be part of one’s practice, intent keeps it from becoming route behaviour. For an artist I would propose that commitment be understood as a lifestyle of exploration in the production of material or embodied relationships. I would also propose that there is a distinction between the singular and plural use of the term. An individual can have many personal practices, while they have a professional practice.



movement (time spent) Maps : part III 5 – by Cara Spooner

 

What is real life? Life is form changing through time. Enacted on a sensing being, this change in form becomes a sequence of experiences. Organized as memories these sequences form a narrative and a sense of identity. This definition fails to articulate the social character of a human’ life. Somehow ‘real life’ is different then that. Real life is nested in the colloquial, the work/leisure/boredom cycle, desire, and responsibilities. A day in one’s real life is bisected into what you sell, and what you keep for yourself.

Real life somehow refers to artists having jobs beyond their practice as an artist. The question “Where does practice end and real life begin?” perhaps asks if when an artist’s time is not going towards making things do their practice and real life become separate things within them? Again, I would propose they do not. There are many prominent examples of artists who use their art practice to reflect on and respond to the experience of their present situation. Two examples that may represent a spectrum of approaches are Michelle Allard and Adrian Piper. Allard explores the formal constructive properties of the office supplies she uses in her day job. Piper explores the reaction raced/classed bodies produce in social spaces. One’s experience, including their real life, becomes a source to parse through in ones practice as an artist.


Simon Rabyniuk is a Toronto-based visual artist and member of Department of Unusual Certainties. His work often draws upon performance, video, drawing, and sculpture to explore cities and their systems.

He has presented work across Canada including as part of Hammering Away, Workers Arts and Heritage Centre (Hamilton), Meet us on the Commons, Art Gallery of Mississauga, 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art (Toronto), the Harbourfront Centre’s Hatch Emerging Performance Series, at Ryerson University’s Modernity Unbound Symposium, and as part of Broken City Labs’ Storefront Residency for Social Innovation(Windsor). In 2011 he recieved support from the Ontario Arts Council through their Emerging Artist Grant .

Cara Spooner has been involved in performance related projects as a dancer, choreographer, designer and curator. She has presented work at Toronto’s Nuit Blanche, XPACE Cultural Centre, The Harbourfront Centre’s HATCH Emerging Performance Project, Pleasure Dome, The Mississauga Art Gallery, The Festival of New Dance, Badass Dance Fun and Stromereien 11. caraspooner.com

Writing Art * A ‘Critical Writing’ Group

 

From an email from Artcite Inc… you should consider doing this!

Urge to write about art? Please check out the NEW…

Writing Art * A ‘Critical Writing’ Group Sponsored by Artcite Inc.

So many artists pass through our city un- or under-sung that a few folks at Artcite thought we might form a group devoted to writing about art in Windsor [and beyond], to exploring, in dialogue and in print, local exhibitions and performances, happenings and openings.

With an eye to broad cultural and political concerns, and to informally developing and refining our skills, some of us thought we might get together to think, reflectively, about art practice and exhibition here in Windsoria, our great, good city.

The form of the group is open, as is its membership, but Artcite hopes that students and practitioners, critics and faculty, lovers and discerners find their way to our only artist-run gallery at 109 University Avenue West on Wednesday, 7 March 2012, at 7pm to start to start to think about thinking and writing about art.


Just to avoid any confusion, BCL isn’t directly involved in this, but I know I’m going to try to show up for this initial meeting!

Nick Tobier on art, expectations & encounters

City Walker, courtesy of everydayplaces.com

This is part of an ongoing set of one-question emails sent to people we know, or would like to get to know, about things that interest us and inform our collective practice. They’ll be featured on the site weekly, usually on Fridays. These questions are more about unfolding ideas than about the people we’re asking, but we do ask those kinds of questions too.

We’re ecstatic to continue this project with a question for a recent artist-in-residence at Homework: Infrastructures & Collaboration and all-around excellent Detroit neighbour, Nick Tobier.


What does art do for people who experience something that they don’t necessarily read as being art?

An intuitive response to anything, I think, an honest encounter with the world is just about as direct and honest as you can get in having an experience. Wonder, puzzlement, pique, bemusement, delight–I am a big fan of all that swirling around before we pause and recognize what it is or why it is.

Once it is pinpointed and sorted, and understood amidst all of the other things it most closely resembles, the experience may or may not be (art) but it is starting to fade.

Wonder, for instance, that I imagine 14th century pilgrims to Chartres Cathedral saw when they looked up at the stained glass windows. That may be a type of awe-inspiring transcendent encounter with art, where a gut response is flushed with sheer scale and visual information.

Expectations and context affect just about everything, so with the pilgrimage, I suppose you are somewhat primed for something perspective-shifting. And while maybe that’s too grandiose a claim or romantic a vision, I’d stand up and say that the revelatory experiences I aspire to tend to the wonder/bemusement spectrum up there with revelation

The pilgrim takes off purposefully to encounter an inspiring experience. Our contemporary equivalent (perhaps without the religious directive) may know far too much to be enraptured by a visual display. Tell me it is art ahead of time, and my expectations are set to judge. But shift from the cathedral or its near equivalents in cultural significance to a more everyday context–a suburban strip mall, a highway, an intersection, a routine sequence in life. Here is where the struggle to achieve transcendence is most needed today. If even for a split second, we can sidestep the expectations of what the next second is going to look, sound or feel like, the seconds after that will be infinitely possible.


Nick Tobier (that’s me) would say (I do) that he does public construction. Nick studied landscape architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and subsequently worked as a landscape architect in private practice and with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation/Bronx Division. Through individual and collective work, Tobier’s interest in the potential of public places has manifested itself in built public projects and actions in San Francisco, Detroit and New York, internationally from Toronto to Tokyo, and performances on the stage and in the streets from Milan to Paramaribo, Suriname and at The Edinburgh, Minneapolis and Philadelphia Fringe Festivals.

In his work and teaching, currently as an Associate Professor in the School of Art & Design at The University of Michigan, Tobier focuses on the integration of art and society, and actively challenges artists to expand their self-definitions and scope. These efforts have included partnerships with artists and farmers; critical and celebratory involvements between artists, art students and broad communities; lectures as performances and vice-versa; and a growing commitment to lasting partnerships working with creative individuals and communities in Detroit.