Today, a very brief summary of some things that I’ve been thinking about and noted over the last few weeks…
Above, a portal. Perhaps a cross-border portal. An under-used, long forgotten relic of a portal prototype. Cordoned off, waiting for a new route. Partington and Wyandotte on our side, where’s the related neighbourhood in Detroit? Maybe the portals we’ve been thinking about are more readily located than we’ve realized, or maybe this is all about something closer to what Rosina pointed out last week. I’m certain that it’s worth re-appropriating all kinds of infrastructures for our own imaginary impossibilities.
Down the street, a message from an anchor in the neighbourhood. Somehow this made me feel like things are going to be okay in this end of town — maybe that this hair salon sits steadily against the constant tide of rental units, impermanence — or maybe business is just really bad, but maybe, just maybe, this hand-written notice to passersby suggests that 19 years went by with some things really able to stay the same.
And across the river, a simple sign, retroreflective glory, the layout, the strangeness of nearly all type of informative signage, somehow these messages always make me ask more questions — that is, curiosity about the space between what this sign can tell me and the uncertainty of the missing information and details about just how to get back to where I started, a parking lot I can’t geographically place in my mind days after leaving my car and after hours of travel. Signs everywhere communicate with a strange grammar, commands and directions, and I’m continually interested in why I often have to reread signs so many times to try to ascertain exactly what they’re trying to get me to do.
Perhaps a summary was too generous. This is more just a collection, an attempt to annotate these photos before they’re long buried in a photo library and an attempt to try to think through some projects on the go and in the works.
For one of my last projects with Sigi Torinus as part of my BFA degree I made an iphone App.
I was able to speed up a usually lengthy process by skipping over the coding portion of creating the app. This was made possible by using Buzztouch, a web-based content management software (CMS) out of Montery California that helps build iPhone and Android apps. Buzztouch provides tools that allow people to create mobile apps and provides a back-end database to support those apps over the long-term. They do both of these things for free, for anyone. The source-code that app owners download for each of their applications is released under an open-source license.
This project explores the invisible terrain of WiFi networks in urban spaces by light painting signal strength in long-exposure photographs.
A four-metre long measuring rod with 80 points of light reveals cross-sections through WiFi networks using a photographic technique called light-painting.
This builds on a technique that was invented for the 2009 film ‘Immaterials: the Ghost in the Field’ which probed the edges of the invisible fields that surround RFID readers and tags in the world. It also began a series of investigations into what Matt Jones richly summarised as ‘Immaterials’.
An interesting and quiet exploration of the city and one of its many infrastructures/interfaces.
After a long day of classes and studying, a few friends of mine wandered into the Lebel gallery to let loose and make ridiculous things out of heaps of cardboard boxes. The creating of the ‘box city’ was open to anyone curious enough to take part. Of course the essentials (boxes, scissors, coloured tape, paint and brushes) were supplied and all that was required was a bit of imagination!
Timing is everything. There’s been so many conversations had, links passed, and emails exchanged in the last few weeks are we embark on our How to Forget the Border Completely project that I’m still sorting through it all.
What’s missing, in all of this, is more time to make a visit to our neighbours to the north. But in the meantime, I thought I’d share some quick links that are well worth perusing…
Next, a quick read by the always insightful Diana Lind calling for plans for urban redevelopment to extend beyond the physicality of the process, in her first column in the New York Times, The Bright Side of Blight.
I found this post not too long ago and have been wanting to make one of these ever since. What’s making these balloons glow is the pollutants in the air around them, with colours ranging from green (signifying excellent air quality) to red (poor air quality).
Street artist Ceyetano Ferrer specializes in blending urban objects into their environments by painting layers over them in a way that makes them seem transparent. Ferrer uses photo stickers on public objects like street signs, boxes and billboards and camouflages them to create an illusion of the objects fading into the landscape. -via PSFK.com
The public art works of Ceyetano Ferrer are quite stunning on first glance. The optical illusion he creates seems at first impossible and mysterious, though the process is as “simple” as placing a well-planned sticker on to a surface. As far as “street art” goes, this very much falls in line with the guerilla style shock and awe that makes the genre so exciting and valuable in a certain sense of subversiveness.
OPENED UP: A walk through lost, forgotten, vacant, and underused spaces.
For an hour and a half after work on Tuesday, November 30, we’ll be walking around downtown Windsor and getting access to a variety of closed / vacant / underused spaces. Justin Langlois will be guiding it with Tom Lucier and we’re hoping to have a lot of ambitious and excited people out with us. City-owned buildings, privately held storefronts, and cavernous bingo halls are all a part of our route, and you’re invited to join us in imagining a different downtown for our city — one with ample, affordable, and exciting spaces for artists, performers, musicians, and other creative-minded folks. We want to start a real conversation about what it would take to get these spaces filled with people who need them. We want to help give people a reason to be excited about being a practicing artist in this city again. We know that finding space needs to be at the top of that list, and we want to help.
This walk has been organized as part of the Artscape Creative Placemaking workshop being held on December 1st. Artscape, if you’re not already familiar with their work, has brought together and led numerous partners and stakeholders to realize massive studio and live/work retrofits of a variety of underused spaces in Toronto and figured out ways to make spaces for artists not only affordable, but integral to the surrounding neighbourhoods and economies. This walk has been something on our to-do list for a while and Artscape’s workshop just gave us the perfect excuse to do it.
Meet us at Phog Lounge at 5pm sharp. We’ll wind our way through the downtown core and head back to Phog for some food, drinks, and lots of conversation. We really want you to be there, let us know if you have any questions.