1W3KND: On Social Practice and Collaboration, 48 Hours at a Time – New Book Available Now!

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Late last year, we started hosting a series of weekend residencies at CIVIC Space. They were designed to bring together two people (and sometimes more) to write about socially-engaged practices. We wanted to provide a platform, or an excuse, or at least a quiet space to spend a bit of focused time writing. We wanted to do this because we were curious about the gap in writing from emerging practitioners, and that curiosity was driven as much out of our desire to read more from our peers as our realization that we have done very little writing on our own.

So, we posted a call for submissions on our website under the title of 1W3KND.

1W3KND stood for One Weekend, Three Thousand Words, No Distractions. It would be a brief, yet focused two days, just long enough to pull away from everyday life, but not so long that the itch to overly-polish any of the writing would arise. It would ideally put people into a dialogue, maybe even with a stranger, to try to tease out new entry-points into likely familiar conversations and capture an urgency around itself. It would concentrate this activity in a specific place without necessarily insisting on a response to it.

Between November 2012 and February 2013, we were happy to host the following artists, writers, curators, designers, thinkers, and scholars:

Penelope Smart & Erin MacMillan, Irene Chin & Megan Marin, Jason Deary & Mary Tremonte, Zoe Chan & Sarah Febbraro, Mike DiRisio & Nathan Stevens, Amber Ginsburg & Siobhan Rigg, VSVSVS & Julian Majewski, Jacqui Arntfield & Emily DiCarlo, Nathan Swartzendruber & Mike Fleisch, and Allison Rowe & Rhiannon Vogl

We compiled what they wrote into a book. It’s available now on Blurb for just $10.

The residency as an experiment, as a site of production, or as simply a retreat, spurred writing that reflects a diversity of approaches towards articulating the concerns, ethics, aims, and ideals of socially-engaged practices. Largely written by emerging practitioners and minimally edited, this is not necessarily a cogent collection of essays — in fact, such an expectation would arguably be missing the point. This book captures an energy and urgency around a complicated set of ideas still unfolding in relation to a world rapidly shifting around them. To have the opportunity to collect the texts, at the early stages of so many of the contributors’ practices is a gift and hopefully a tool for further reflection and dialogue across geographies, politics, and practices.

If we had more time at Civic Space, we’d probably do this again. Maybe someone else can pick up where we left off.

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.

Book Launch: The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit

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Book Launch: The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit

FRIDAY MARCH 15, 7:30 PM

Broken City Lab’s Civic Space, 411 Pelisser Street, Windsor

Please join us for the Canadian book launch of Andrew Herscher’s Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit at Broken City Lab’s Civic Space. Rather than seeing Detroit as an urban problem that needs to be solved, Andrew Herscher suggests that we regard Detroit as a “novel urban formation” and a site “where new ways of imagining, inhabiting, and constructing the contemporary city are being invented, tested, and advanced.” Andrew Herscher is a writer and theorist whose work considers architectural and urban forms of political violence; his research has focused on locations as seemingly disparate as the Former Yugoslavia and more recently, Detroit. He teaches at the University of Michigan where he is cross appointed between the School of Architecture and Slavic Languages and Literatures. Between 2005 – 2009 he chaired the Rackham Interdisciplinary Seminar on Human Rights.

A discussion between Andrew Herscher, Grant Yocom (Lecturer in Philosophy, Oakland University) and Justin Langlois (Director, Broken City Lab) will take place on critical responses to urban crisis in this region and others.

This event is organized by Lee Rodney of the Windsor-Detroit Border Bookmobile and co-hosted by IN/TERMINUS: Media, Art, and Urban Ecologies.

Pg 113 Waking Up from the Nightmare of Participation

“…the specific openness or porosity of contemporary art for instance has functioned as a weird kind of hosting system: as a kind of asylum for various cultural forms and encounters apparently impossible elsewhere.”

— from Michael Hirsch’s Professional Amateurs, Outsiders, Intruders – On the Utopia of Transdisciplinary Work in the Cultural Field in “Waking up from the Nightmare of Participation”. ')}

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]gmail.com

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

Thank you!

Brennan

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!

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.

 

Working at & on (forgetting) the Border, Next Week is Show & Tell

Meeting outside is the greatest. There’s talk of building some kind of mobile table / bistro to make this possible in other locations, but I suppose that’s further down on the to-do list.

For now, we’re immersed in bringing together research and inventions around our How to Forget the Border Completely project to pull into a publication.

Above, we brought lots of reference material on Friday night.

Continue reading “Working at & on (forgetting) the Border, Next Week is Show & Tell”

BCL Report: May 5, 2011 (Big Books & Small Letters)

We met twice on Thursday, and those meetings were after Michelle and I headed over to SB Contemporary Art to finally check out “On Your Mark” (a great exhibition featuring work by many of our friends) and talk about how we could partner in some way on Homework: Infrastructures & Collaboration in Social Practices.

Back at the Ecohouse to try to get the plan together to work on a video we’ve been tossing around for a while — final decisions have been elusive, so we put it on hold for now. Instead, we headed out to the front lawn and reminded ourselves of the what we can do with How to Forget the Border Completely.

Executing these projects is just a matter of carving out a day … we spend time planning, testing, experimenting, brainstorming because we know we’re more curious together and our collective curiosity is the driver for every one of these projects. It’s not about the solutions, it’s about the questions.

Continue reading “BCL Report: May 5, 2011 (Big Books & Small Letters)”

Book Sprinting

The act of authoring a book has traditionally been a long and arduous task consisting of many revisions and often years of work. Book Sprinting, on the other hand, is a sort of reaction to the traditional method of book production. In this case, a small group of writers collaboratively co-author, edit, and revise a book in a week or so. The end result is a finished publication that probably has a cohesiveness not present in some books.

I wonder if attempting a one-off publication project like this would be a good idea for us (Broken City Lab). We usually have a half-dozen research fellows around the table at most meetings. I bet we could pull off a nice mini-publication over a weekend.

Via: We Make Money, Not Art (Image from another similar Book Sprinting event.)