Robert Montgomery: the Post-Situationist Tradition

Robert Montgomery works in a poetic and melancholic post-Situationist tradition. He’s created a number of projects that disrupt and hijack illuminated advertising billboards as well as working more directly with custom-fabricated signage.

I clearly am in love.

[via an email from Rose]

Outpost Journal: Art, Design, and Action from the Fringes

An interesting project to look into …

Outpost Journal is a biannual, non-profit print publication on innovative art, design and community action from cities that have been traditionally underexposed beyond their local contexts. Founded in 2010, Outpost aims to give wider exposure to artists and activists from smaller cities back in more recognized centers of artistic practice and commerce, such as New York and Los Angeles.

Outpost is a journey into the creative heart of a place. Via features like Secretly Famous (profiles of the most infamous artsy locals), guerrilla engagements with tourist attractions, historical explorations, mapping projects, and deep dives into artist collectives and organizations, Outpost plans to expose the myriad ways in which unique local communities arise through creative collaboration and production.

Support it over at their Kickstarter Campaign.

[via an email]

Dynamite Wildflower Guerillas

Guerilla gardener(s) started a website documenting their efforts. It’s simple and makes me very ready to embrace the impending summer.

They write:

throw sseeds some of them take some dont take some grow then somebody cut it down the bastards. why would someone cut it down i dont know.

if it rains too much the seds get washed away.

we went to the sign twice because we thought seeds didnt take but when we got there we found that some grew.  I was surprised and excited to see the plants there

At night I put seeds in an icetray & make ice cubes with sseeds in it.  In the morning I throw the icecubes out the window while im driving

when i see dirt.

They’ve kept a lovely map, noting when and where their plants are blooming.

Here’s to a very nature-filled summer.

I made an iPhone App and so can you !!!

 

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.

Continue reading “I made an iPhone App and so can you !!!”

Immaterials: Light painting WiFi

Immaterials: Light painting WiFi from Timo on Vimeo.

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.

via Julia Hall & nearfield.org ')}

Steve Lambert: It’s Time to Fight

Two things I can’t get enough of — Steve Lambert and huge text signs.

Lambert’s latest work, It’s Time to Fight was installed recently in Pittsburgh, PA over a waffle shop.

Text-based work continues to inspire me; it’s accesible, layered, timely, and tactical. It can be hidden in plain sight. If you catch it, it can disrupt your experience of a landscape, and if you don’t, it patiently and quietly stands in waiting, alongside its capitalistic brethren. Text can steal our attention and interrupt our experience of space, particularly urban space, and that’s why we like working with it, I suppose.

To take a page from Josh’s book: thank you for existing, Steve Lambert.

REPOhistory: Lower Manhattan Sign Project

Stock Market Crashes by Jim Costanzo as part of REPOhistory’s Lower Manhattan Sign Project

I’m making my way through Gregory Sholette‘s epic Dark Matter: Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture. Writing as a participating artist and now dark matter art archivist / dare I say historian of sorts, Sholette writes on an incredible number of projects that work at the edges of the art institution in every sense.

Many of the projects explicitly connect art + everyday life + politics and Sholette offers a generous overview of the practices that build the foundation of dark matter in the art world that art institutions and art superstars rely on for their continued existence.

One of the (many) projects that caught my eye (and on which I’ll be posting) is REPOhistory’s Lower Manhattan Sign Project, which curated these alternative history/information signs into a number of public spaces across New York City.

From the project description: “Placed in front of the New York Stock Exchange, this sign challenges the myths of the free market economy and that stockbrokers jumped out of windows along Wall Street after the 1929 stock market crash. The sign documents that government deregulation and fraud led to market crashes and depressions at the turn of the 20th century, the 1920 and the 1980s.”

In thinking about the projects we’ve done and have considered before, these alternative public demarcation projects continue to feel not only relevant, but necessary. REPOhistory’s project was installed in the early 90s — it’s strange that that is now a long time ago and that urgency seems like a form of nostalgia.

Janine Marchessault & the Leona Drive Project

Photo by wyliepoon.

A couple months ago I attended a talk hosted by Janine Marchessault on the Leona Drive project, which is a collaboration between The Public Access Collective and L.O.T. : Experiments in Urban Research (Collective).

Justin mentioned the Leona Drive Project back in 2009, but for a refresher: The Leona Drive project commissioned artist projects for a site specific exhibition in a series of six vacant bungalows slated for demolition by HYATT HOMES, a developer in Willowdale, Ontario (in the Yonge and Finch area of the GTA). The artists worked with a variety of media: audio, cell phones with GPS, architectural installation, projection, photography, sculpture and performance for a period of two weeks in the fall of 2009.

Continue reading “Janine Marchessault & the Leona Drive Project”

Required Reading: A Users Guide to Demanding the Impossible

A great downloaded book/PDF is available over at Half Letter Press. A Users Guide to Demanding the Impossible by the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination presents a very accessible and readable overview and introduction to the history of art+activism based practices.

Well worth the half-hour or so that it will take to read through it.

The ending, which will particularly resonate with Danielle, I’m sure:

Creative resistance is not simply about designing glitzy visual stunts that the media will pick up on, it’s a lot more than that, it’s about making things that work, fashioning situations that both disrupt the mechanisms of power and show us our own power, our own potential to connect and create. The beauty is in its efficient use, and nothing is more beautiful than winning.

via Half Letter Press

This Probably Isn’t Helping: When Gateways Fail

Physical civic improvements are an important step for Windsor. Our gateways, if you’re unfamiliar with the city, are a bit lack-luster at present. Where gateways do exist, the markers are underdeveloped, poorly executed, and are the kind of “this could literally be anywhere” design strategy.

Why do gateways matter? Physically and visually defining space is crucial to understanding where you are, and if gateways are to be the entrance to a city, they need to clearly enunciate where you are, and one might argue that this should denote a certain specificity. Failing at gateways means failing to define a space appropriately and in turn continuing to fail at getting over the “non-place” hump.

Continue reading “This Probably Isn’t Helping: When Gateways Fail”