Make It Work: Exhibition & Panel Discussion

I’m excited to note that in addition to the current exhibition, Make It Work, on at SoVA Projects Gallery (nee LeBel Gallery) featuring work by Michelle, a new poster installation that I did, and a ton of other incredible local Windsor-Detroit artists, there’s a panel discussion featuring guests from across the country.

If you’re remotely interested in some of the things we talk about here on the blog, you should really make a point of attending the reception and panel discussion on Thursday, February 3rd, starting at 5:30pm.

From the description of the panel discussion:

While the idea of creative economies has become commonplace in large cultural centres, there has been less consideration of the possibilities and challenges of working in economically distressed cities that are at a distance from cultural capitals and the art market.

Research into the trend of shrinking cities in recent years has drawn attention to the question of how to consider cities that are losing population and basic infrastructure. Possible answers to the problems raised by shrinking cities have not been coming from economists or politicians, but from artists, designers and architects.

Discussions will arise around questions such as:

What might locality and local production mean when two cities are located on an international border? What role do artists and grassroots organizations have in redefining local realities? How do ethnic, racial, religious, and cultural realities play out in negotiations of place and identity, and how can these negotiations posit new sorts of regional or global identities? And what might local mean in the Detroit-Windsor region, for example, where some creative practices are focused on audiences at the scale of the neighbourhood or even the block, while others seek audiences far beyond?

The Panel Discussion runs 6:30-9 pm SoVA Projects Gallery University of Windsor Huron Church Road @ College Avenue and features Anthony Kiendl (Director, Plug In Institute for Contemporary Art, Winnipeg, MB) Shauna McCabe (Director, Canadian Textile Museum, Toronto ON; Canada Research Chair, Mt. Alison University, NB) Andrew Herscher (Assistant Professor, Taubman School of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan, and co-founder of The Detroit Unreal Estate Agency) J. Monte Martinez (Creative Director, 555 Arts, Detroit, MI) Justin Langlois (Lecturer, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Windsor; Director Broken City Lab, Windsor, ON)

Moderator: Lee Rodney (Associate Professor, Art History and Visual Culture, University of Windsor; Curator of the Border Bookmobile, Windsor, ON)

Rolling Economy

Last Wednesday at The Green Corridor‘s Drive-thru Symphony event I showed a projection entitled Rolling Economy. This site-specific piece served as a digital representational count of the Windsor-Detroit border trade that passes through the corridor. The piece, which lasted about an hour, was visible to those in cars and trucks coming off of the Ambassador Bridge.

Rolling Economy

Rolling Economy2

Don’t Do It Yourself

Journal of Aesthetics and Protest

I recently got a copy of Issue 6 of the Journal of Aesthetics & Protest, based on a recommendation from WMMNA. I’m still making my way through it, but an article by Lisa Anne Auerbach entitled, “D.D.I.Y.: Don’t Do It Yourself,” really caught my attention.

Auerbach basically argues that D.I.Y. culture has been hijacked by corporations and their marketing departments and we’re not going to get it back anytime soon. What had started as a revolt against these very centers of consumption has been flipped on its head and is being sold back to us as a lifestyle brand. Auerbach goes on to issue a new battle cry, “D.D.I.Y,” noting that we only need to look as far as our neighbour’s garage for the tools or skills we need to complete a project (and in all likelihood, that neighbour is looking for some skill we have). In her words,

“[It] means working with friends, hiring a professional, consuming wisely and conscientiously, and providing for ourselves while working with others. We do what we do best, do what we know how to do, while allowing others to help us with what we are not equipped for.”

Of course, there are many things that can benefit from a D.I.Y. mindset—not the least of which include being able to get things done for yourself, but in a broader sense, I know there are a lot of people I see every week that can do things a lot better than I can, and in turn there are likely some things that I can do better than them. Why don’t I ask for their help more often (or offer my help for that matter)? I’m not entirely sure, but it’s something to start considering a bit more seriously.

You can read the entire article online.

Economic Meltdown

the word ECONOMY as an ice sculpture

In honour of the 79th anniversary of Black Tuesday (the day the U.S. stock market crashed), artists Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese installed this ice sculpture of the word ECONOMY in front of the New York Supreme Court building on October 29th. Over a period of several hours, the sculpture melted completely. The artists interviewed viewers on-site and also took time-lapsed photographs as well as video of the project.

Go Here for more information on this project!

 This piece is almost too perfect. We have been throwing around many ideas for upcoming winter projects with ice, and I somewhat wish we had thought of this first! It fits all too well with the current situation Windsor finds itself in, and what we, as artists, are trying to accomplish in the city. We can definitely learn a lot from this project.