COLAB and Syracuse University brought Steven Powers to Syracuse to work on a project similar to his efforts in Philadelphia, A Love Letter For You, aimed at transforming some railway overpasses that literally divide the community.
After having a number of discussions with the community, Powers selected from a series of things that residents loved and hated about their city to paint some phrases that span six lanes of traffic. The work was created on an overpass that doesn’t look all that different from overpasses that we have, particularly on Dougall, north of EC Row, and in Syrcause, which is a rustbelt city in its own right.
We’re written about Powers in the past, and his work continues to be a huge point of inspiration. Trained as a sign painter, I’m continually amazed at the ways in which Powers’ work can uplift an entire community and yet be such a personal message.
The video is directed by Samuel J Macon and Faythe Levine and was shot in collaboration with the University of Syracuse, Steven Powers and his crew. Parts of this short film will make its way to a larger documentary they’re working on called, “SIGN PAINTERS. STORIES FROM AN AMERICAN CRAFT.”
Ok, it’s an advertisement for a paint company, and it strikes me as being a pretty bad idea (in a long-term perspective, I kind of cringe when I see brick buildings painted here in Windsor). Inevitably, a bit history is being completely lost by painting over these walls.
However, the video is stunning and if for a moment we can forget the parts of it that make this a possibly poor long-term choice, it does get my imagination going thinking about how we could repaint blocks of concrete in this city.
Let’s get this out of the way: I am a sucker for scientific art, period. This particular work, a fossilization machine, was created for the Tatton Biennial by Austin Houldsworth. He is attempting to use this machine to create fossils in a matter of months, a process that usually takes thousands of years and requires specific circumstances to be present. According to his project description, “the project starts with the attempt to petrify both a Tatton-grown pineapple and pheasant, and conclude when it is a human that ends up fossilised.”
He has an extensive background in metal fabrication and working in a foundry, and he teaches at the University of Windsor. His work explores the social and cultural economies of everyday objects, and in particular, his Bronze Dumpster is going to be testing some of those economies as it slowly travels to alleyways across the city over the course of the summer.
Hopefully we’ll get to play with Zeke and Lucy sometime soon.
Luzinterruptus is a Madrid-based light art intervention collective. They’ve done some really large-scale works in streets around the world, this project, Garden for a not too distant future, being one of their most recent.
From their site, “For this installation we used 110 transparent food packaging containers, inside which we put leaves and branches found in the trees in the area and lights of course. Afterwards, we placed them on a wall in an ugly square in the center of Madrid and there we left our form of fashionable vertical garden.”
The work critiques the arguably impractical value of vertical gardens in public spaces, with the collective stating, “… if we continue to eradicate it from public spaces or reducing it to inaccessible vertical faces, the only form of contact with nature will be in supermarket refrigerators, packaged with expiry dates.”
I suppose what I find most interesting about their work is the relentless necessity to encounter it at night — and that they insist on working in the context of outdoor space. According to an interview on UrbanArtCore, they head out nearly once a week to create an installation; here’s hoping summer gives us that kind of time.
This one goes out to Josh, our resident wood worker.
Steve Lambert on video making his latest work, 98.5%. From his vimeo page, “While this video only takes three and a half minutes, the actual sign took several days to make. Victoria Estok and Kyle Hittmeier helped along the way – Kyle can be seen painting, Victoria is more elusive. The soundtrack is from some old friends.”
OX works on billboards across Paris, France to disrupt perspectives, commercial aesthetics, and daily encounters with forever-scaling urban signage.
The artist has sent us a few emails in the past, so I’m happy to finally be able to post about it. You should check out OX’s site featuring a huge number of works and on the Poster Time blog. Many of the interventions are quite playful, other times being rather loud with oscillating colours and lines.
Having just arrived back from the Creative Cities Summit, and hearing a really incredible presentation by the organizers of the Philadelphia Mural Arts project (which we’ve posted about before), I’m feeling rather anxious to consider how we could transform the many, many surfaces across the city that intensify the sense of non-place that seems endemic to Windsor.
72 Hours is an audiovisual intervention comprised of a series of video projections evoking the personal histories of neighborhood residents, which will be seen through the building’s windows, and one unit will be opened to the public for a walk-through sound installation that evokes lives of former owners. You can see some of the projections above, as installed in a gallery.
The houses in question, clustered together in the space of a city block, are owned by Deutsche Bank and other international banks. During the Block Rebellion, demands will be made to immediately cease all no-fault post-foreclosure evictions and begin negotiations to sell back the vacant units at real value.
According to the artist, John Hulsey, “the projections serve as injunctions, insertions into contested areas of the city. Transforming private neighborhoods into public arenas for debate, the projections may create spaces in which dialogue can be breached.”
It’s an interesting project, makes me wonder about the possibilities for Grace Hospital — certainly, a different set of issues, but at the very least, this is an interesting example of highlighting contentious spaces.
Drawdio is a DIY music project by designer jay silver that let’s users draw the instrument of their choice on a piece of paper and play it with their finger.
While possible to use in a variety of objects, when used with a pencil, the graphite acts as a circuit on the paper, transmitting the electric signal across the drawing to produce a different sound based on the specific form.
If you can get past the sort of hilarious / awkward editing in the video, it’s a very cool and simple design. It makes me curious about the potential for creating some kind of traceable sound-map, what sounds would Detroit’s streets make versus Windsor’s streets? What would happen if you added new roads or buildings — what sound could that make?
I’ve been collecting a bunch of great ideas lately, but haven’t had the time to post them, so I thought it was about time to get them up here, again as reference points, context, and markers for projects we’re hoping to do and general inspiration.