Apartment Gallery / Alternative Spaces


Photo: Robert Wright for The New York Times

It seems as though this discussion crops up every now and again on our site here. We’ve written about alternative spaces before and we’re currently working out of a house on the edge of the University campus. I think that these spaces that can be multi-use, imagined to facilitate multiple activities, and multiple people provide the opportunity to do things that would be exciting and challenging in new ways.

It seems to me from this article in the NY Times, that these apartment galleries (one of them featuring work by Lisa Ann Auerbach is featured above) are possible because of the density of people willing to attend in a place like New York. So, how would this translate to a place like Windsor, with a painfully obvious lesser density? Well, thinking back to Steven’s post back in June, it makes me believe that indeed, spaces/venues like this would be exciting and workable, even with the somewhat limited density we face in the city.

The excitement around these spaces would surely be due to the way in which they could act differently than a normal gallery space does. It also helps to imagine ways of presenting artwork and creative research that isn’t faced with the same kinds of burdens that showing in a gallery space requires. And in some ways, I’m not even sure that it’s really a matter of space, but a matter of personnel, someone willing to commit a limited amount of time to organizing things.

Why aren’t there art crawls down the student rental-filled streets surrounding the University? Even curating work on a series of porches or front lawns? What if the idea of the Open Corridor festival was translated to a much smaller scale, focused on a single block at a time? Would it work?

[via Art Review & NY Times]

Extended Field Trip Day 4: Everything is OK


After four days at our Extended Field Trip #001 in Peterborough at Artspace, we installed our work and presented our research findings  in the main space at the gallery. After nearly 96 hours in the city, we came to realize that everything is ok in Peterborough.

Undoubtedly, we realized this by comparing our experiences in Windsor. Small things such as the fact that the parking meters in Peterborough accept change all the way down to nickels, or larger things such as the incredible number of people who either plan to stay in Peterborough or at least plan to come back eventually, make the city of Peterborough ok.

Though these four days have been only the very first opportunity we’ve had to spend a concentrated amount of time in another city in order to try to engage in some level of research, we felt like we learned a lot. There’s something about the entrepreneurial spirit in Peterborough, at all levels, that has seemed to encourage the right people to stay in the city, and it’s this sense at the very base of everything that we experienced that we need to begin to translate back to Windsor.

This translation, at the very least, will turn into more dialogue with more people back in Windsor. There’s so much to be done here and yet it seems like if more people can be convinced to try to stick it out here, just a little bit longer, that maybe we will be ok too, eventually.

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Gardens in Galleries & Architecture from Recycled Materials


I don’t mean for this to be such a lazy post/reblog, but there’s a few images I’ve been meaning to post for a while. I figured they were good reference points for our magnetic planters project, among others, given the variety of display and function of these planters and the use of recycled materials (see below). So, consider this less any sort of critical discussion of these works, and more just a compilation of image research for stuff we’re doing and would like to do. That being said, I’d highly recommend following the links throughout to read more about the projects.

First up, pictured above is, “The Hanging Smoking Garden”, 2007 by Mikala Dwyer from vvork.

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Homeshop: A Public/Private Project


Homeshop is a collective, a public/private space, an intersection of new art audiences and traditional art markets, a collaborative social practice, and could be an incredible model for thinking about the many vacant storefronts in Windsor. Homeshop is an apartment, an open studio, and a gallery.

I read about Homeshop in an article in the newest issue of the e-flux journal #5 (which I can absolutely recommend going through in its entirity), and the excitement around the potential of this type of organization and use of space was impossible to ignore.

So why continue to think about the impossibility of affording spaces for individual artists in the city, or the seemingly dwindling support for arts in the city, or any traditional route for production / exhibition? This is not to negate the existing infrastructures we have (and cherish), but just to suggest that there are new models for collective and collaborative space and production that could help Windsor is infinite ways.

What if you could rent a storefront downtown, have a small apartment space in the back, and a studio / gallery up front for the same rent you pay now?

Making Things Happen, Day 1

Day 1 in the gallery

Today was a great start to the Making Things Happen (For a Week Straight) show. We got the gallery basically put together, showing some of our existing projects and making it into a big studio of sorts. The major projects of the day were painting the title wall, getting a new adapter for our LED sign, and starting on some wire + newspaper baskets for what’s casually been dubbed as hanging seed bombs.

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Gallery Time-Lapse

This will be updated every few minutes automatically… might eventually move this to the sidebar… I’ll also put up the archives from the folder and the code to do this soon.

// show the 5 most recent files in a folder… http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=925117

$dir = “/home/thelondo/public_html/brokencitylab/mike/_timelapse/timelapse-scaled/”;
chdir($dir );

$show = 1;

$files = glob( ‘*.{html,php,php4,txt,jpg}’, GLOB_BRACE );
usort( $files, create_function(‘$b, $a’, ‘return filemtime( $a ) – filemtime( $b );’) );

for ( $i = 0; $i < $show; ++$i )

echo “


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Making Things Happen (For A Week Straight)

From March 2 – 6, 2009, BROKEN CITY LAB be taking over the Lebel Gallery as a project site. Though we’re using the gallery, this isn’t going to be a normal exhibition; the space is going to function as a big collective office / studio for everyone, so we can work on a number of ongoing projects simultaneously and in a sustained way. Consider it week-long office hours.

And instead of an opening, we’re going to work in the Noiseborder space in the basement of Lambton Tower on Thursday, March 5th at 7pm, in a yet-to-be-announced activity (stay tuned). 

Mark the dates and leave some time to come by and participate. We’ll be posting more details on everything happening that week soon.

Maya Lin, Topographic Landscapes

an installation shot from Maya Lin's show, Systematic Landscapes at the De Young museum in San Fransisco

Maya Lin has created a number of public art works, memorials, and has increasingly shifted her practice towards studies of landscape, often rendering rivers, geographic relief, and water lines. Interestingly, many of her recent works are made exclusively of reclaimed materials—silver from jewelry, computers, and photographic process, and lumber from sustainably harvested wood.

There’s an interesting, but lengthy, video lecture by Maya Lin on the De Young Gallery website, where she explains a lot of her work and the processes behind it. 


Moss Wall

Olafur Eliasson's Moss Wall, living arctic moss installed in a gallery

I’d been meaning to scan this for a while, Olafur Eliasson‘s Moss Wall, which consists of living arctic moss. While we’ve posted about pictorial or textual uses of moss before, I like that this work was done in 1994 and exists as just a large span of green. So, in thinking about our past interest in relocating moss, and my anticipation that we’ll want to think about this more when spring comes around, I wanted to get this posted as a reference for later.