CUTMR Panel: Evolution – Design Conversations in a Collaborative City

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Justin heads to Toronto this weekend to participate in Evolution — Design Conversations in a Collaborative City on Sunday, January 27 at 1pm in the Gladstone Ballroom at the Gladstone Hotel. We were there earlier this year for Nuit Blanche, it’s going to be fun to return! Here’s the overview from the curators:

In celebration of Come Up To My Room‘s 10th year, we are asking some big questions about design in Toronto, exploring how far we have come and where we are going.

This panel discussion brings together a diverse group of designers, theorists, critics and writers, this panel will offer a unique look at the intersection between art, design, urban planning and architecture that can and should inform the basis for a collaborative city.

Panelists:
Andrea Carson Barker – Editor & Founder, View on Canadian Art
Christina Zeidler – President, Gladstone Hotel & founding co-curator of CUTMR
Justin A. Langlois – Founder, Broken City Lab
Pamila Matharu – Visual Artist, Arts Educator, and Cultural Producer & founding co-curator of CUTMR
Zahra Ebrahim – Principal & Founder, archiTEXT

Come Up To My Room (CUTMR) is the Gladstone Hotel’s annual alternative design event. CUTMR invites artists and designers to show us what goes on inside their heads. Coming together in dialogue and collaboration, participants are limited only by their imaginations, making CUTMR one of the most exciting shows in Toronto.

As this is an important anniversary for this ever-expanding show, the tenth installment will emphasize the idea that formed the basis for the very first CUTMR — occupying and altering a space in a dramatic, conceptual, or experimental way.

Founding curators Christina Zeidler and Pamila Matharu return this year and are joined by Noa Bronstein and David Dick-Agnew.

 

1W3KND: Amber Ginsburg & Siobhan Rigg

Another weekend gone, which means Civic Space hosted another two great 1W3KND collaborators: Amber Ginsberg and Siobhan Rigg.

Not only did they leave us with another great chapter to add to the final publication, but also left some very animated mind-maps.

Amber and Siobhan have been collaborating for many years virally but their participation in the 1W3KND residency was the first time they were able to collaborate in the same physical space! It’s very cool to have been able to provide a place for them to do so.

More brainstorming.

Mundane acts/put this here.

Here’s a preview of the writing Amber and Siobhan did.

The drawings Siobhan and Amber made are their preliminary sketches and ideas. The finished product will come when the final 1W3KND publication is made.

Next week artist collective VSVSVS will be heading down from Toronto to spend the weekend collaborating with London based artist Julian Majewski.

More soon!

A 1W3KND Update

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We’re almost halfway through the 1W3KND Writing Residencies and the pile of writing is growing! Here’s an update on the last  four residents.

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Mike DiRisio and Nathan Stevens collaborated through the weekend and left us with an awesome collection of notes,  brainstorms, fun posters, and essays. Above: one of their posters.

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Another great surprise: a series of back and fourth anonymous letters.

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Please create responsibly.

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Some more notes.

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As the residency goes on, I’ve found that there’s something really interesting about coming in to work on Mondays and finding cues of an activated space from the weekend passed.

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A more light-hearted piece: “8 Commonly-held Myths, Misconceptions, and Erroneous Ideas about Socially Engaged Creative Practice”.

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Letters among collaborators.

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More notes!

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Before the holiday break, 1W3KND residents Jason Deary and Mary Tremonte spent the weekend collaborating on a set of essays.

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Reflections.

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The collection of work has been really great so far and we’re excited to see how the residency will progress.

This weekend Siobhan Rigg and Amber Ginsburg will be the writing residents. Can’t wait to see what they come up with!!

How to Forget the Border Completely, continued: 707PX

Following up on our How to Forget the Border Completely project from last year, collaborator Tom Provost continues to work on ideas around pedestrian border crossings (which you can read all about in the HFBC book!)

Photos and text by Tom Provost


In the summer of 2011, I was in dialogue with Broken City Lab about the idea of forgetting the border… completely! We thought about what could be done at the architectural scale to overcome the enormous divide between Windsor and Detroit. We thought about the possibility of prioritizing pedestrians over industry. We also considered what kind of architectonic could close the gap between the super-human-scale and the individual – a post-industrial dilemma easily visible from the river’s edge. The result was 707PX.

707PX is a speculative project engaging the border cities of Windsor and Detroit in a new entanglement. The geopolitical division acts as an indicator only, a naïve datum. The architecture examines the surreal condition of complete pedestrian dominance with form as an end goal of the process. Ultimately, it is the process that dominates to form a surreal pedestrian condition along the river. The concept became physical after pursuing the connection of past, present, and future incarnations of the river. It began with a map from 1796 that was meticulously traced along both edges, reifying what has now been striated. These new edges were examined as a whole and then as a part. By repeatedly scaling and the slicing them into multiple sections, it quickly revealed an allegiance to an old-world geographic division native to its very own history – the French ribbon farm. The ribbon farms are noticeable on the map from 1796 as they indicate human presence. They are cordoned off plots, extending narrowly and perpendicular to the river. By alluding back to this system, the architecture can interfere with the modern schema at the human scale.

The multiple collections of river’s edge sections are then distributed evenly on their respective sides, in sequential order. The sequence creates tactility close to rippling, with a rhythm clearly visible on both sides. With the border as a datum, both sides dialogue and seesaw at various moments, creating subito and crescendo. The finale occurs when the sequence, thought of as attached to a string, is lifted and becomes conformed to the unique, precise, and mathematical geopolitical division. It should be noted that the 1796 map omits division. The river appears as a singular moving force between bodies of and is left graphically plain. The form of 707PX reifies the singularity of the river by adjoining both cities and entertaining a pedestrian agenda. This investigation answers the question of how one is to forget the border while simultaneously subverting its presence.

Creative Mornings

Creative Mornings is a monthly morning gathering of creative people and brainchild of my girl crush the ever fantastic Tina Roth Eisenburg (of Swisssiss and TeuxDeux fame). Each event has a 10 minute lecture, a 20 minute discussion, and is done before 10am. They’re also all free of charge and include coffee. The video above is of Michael Bierut of Pentagram and is quite interesting if you can take the time to listen to it.

The event started in New York but is now hosted internationally in over 15 different cities. This is a fantastic way to invite the participation of creative people who don’t have the time to attend a big conference and probably the best way ever to start a Friday morning. ')}

Collaboration in Caribou

I saw this in a newsletter from Ableton. Being a fan and user of the software, I watched this video on how Caribou uses the program live, and it struck me as an interesting view on collaboration.

While there’s a given song structure, at any time, anyone on stage can trigger loops, restructure the song, and introduce new elements, all while moving in a common direction, but without knowing exactly when they’ve arrived at their destination.

Maybe a good model for thinking about collaboration. ')}

Homework Residency: Day 4, by chance

The report for Day 4 of our Homework Residency has arrived with photos and notes from the residents themselves. Be sure to check out more on our Artists-in-Residence.

This post marks the final instalment of documentation from our residency — at least in this form. There’s more ahead that you can anticipate from the Homework publication, videos of the conference presentations, and somehow, more. We’d like to again sincerely thank everyone who made Homework possible and for all the artists in residence for participating. Now without further adieu, here’s some reflections on the final day of the residency, which would be followed by Day 1 of our conference.

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Homework Residency: Day 3, Collaborations Under Umbrellas

Day 3’s report of our Homework Residency comes courtesy of the residents themselves!!! Be sure to check out more on our Artists-in-Residence.

From Artist-in-Residence, Simon Rabyniuk:

Its overwhelming to try and write a blog post about what’s happening… it’s messy to try and recount exactly how things unfold and I mostly don’t remember… There are reflections to be made about the projects we are setting up for ourselves and of course the different decision making models we are using. I feel fine discussing the projects but mostly forget how we arrive at any specific decision. Here are some brief notes Rodrigo, Megan, and I put together this afternoon, with some feedback from Leah tonight. Also, here are some photos from Leah’s, Andrea’s, and my own camera.

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Homework Residency: Day 1, Terms of Reference

Any report on Day 1 of our Homework Residency needs to begin with a huge welcome to all of our Artists-in-Residence. Get acquainted with everyone here!

As a preface, it’s important to note the difficulty in trying to document such an involved process with any meaningful artifacts and with such little time for reflection. Photos cannot do justice to the hours of exploratory conversations, tangents, and negotiations that took place. Nor can my attempts to record some of the overarching concerns that I picked up on appropriately document the frustrations, insights, and moments of meaningful critical engagement, do any part of the day justice.

But, to try to make this as useful as I can, there are large things that need to be framed — in particular, a way of approaching a residency that explicitly asked residents to be prepared to not tackle a pre-designed project, alongside a number of other artists. Throughout the day questions were raised around the possibilites and limits in collaboration within such a large group, the ways in which to facilitate collaboration over participation, and the terms of reference that we all bring, but need to forget about.

Today focused on tackling a set of possible directions and the ways in which 17 people might move there, together.

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Homework: Folder Frenzy

As I promised on Friday’s meeting, I went out in search for the perfect folder to distribute to our guests, who will be attending Homework: Infrastructures and Collaboration at the end of this month.

My first stop was Dollarama. There, I arguably found the worst selection of folders I’ve ever seen. It wasn’t even worth taking pictures. I quickly moved on to Staples where I was much more successful. Below are quick phone photos of folders I thought to be appropriate for the conference.

Posting everything on here is probably the best way for us to collectively choose the best fitting folder.

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