Homework: Conference Schedule & Presenters

After a long wait, we’re very excited to announce the (working) schedule for our upcoming conference, Homework: Infrastructures & Collaboration in Social Practices! We’ll be updating this page with information regarding the venues shortly.

Please note that the following is subject to change, but this is what we’re planning so far:


DAY 1: October 21, 2011 at the Art Gallery of Windsor

Introducing Homework: 9am

with Justin A. Langlois, Research Director, Broken City Lab.


Panel #1: Education: 9:30am

Unpacking the artist’s role in education and beyond educational institutions, what art education does and could look like, the changing roles of student and educator, and the dissemination of knowledge through creative praxis.

Heather Davis
Stephanie Springgay
Amber Yared
Elizabeth Underhill & Stacey Sproule


Panel #2: Collaboration: 11am

Examining resistance through collaboration, models for processes and participation, collaborative possibilities across disciplines, and collaborations with communities.

Yael Filipovic
Tim Maly
Markuz Wernli Saito
Labspace Studio
Susan Gold


Panel #3: Artist-Run Infrastructure: 1:30pm

Looking at existing infrastructures accidentally and intentionally support alternative practices, borders creating opportunities and crises, role of artist-run centres as a counter infrastructures, and the motives for working creatively between infrastructures.

Sarah Margolis-Pineo
Anthea Black
Anna Lise Jensen 


Panel #4: Cities & Space: 3:00pm

Unfolding spatial pockets of everyday life, the in-betweeness of cities and engagement, uses and misuses of public spaces, the ways in which we understand place, and open-ended landscapes.

Megan Mericle
Ryan Legassicke
Catherine Campbell
Ellyn Walker
Burcu Yigit Turan
Dannys Montes de Oca


Panel #5: Collaboration at Work: 4:30pm

Featuring all Homework artists-in-residence discussing their work together over the course of the four-day residency.

Andrea Carvalho
Brennan Broome and Chloé Womack
Brett Randall Jones & Jack Forinash
Charlie Michaels
Department of Unusual Certainties
Zoe Kreye
Elliott Jocic
Immony Men
Laura Leif
Lea Bucknell
Megan Deal
Nick Tobier Ann
Rodrigo Marti
spmb
Roving Studio

Special Parallel Projects: Ongoing

Amber LandgraffRevolting Dance Party (see info below)
Allison Rowe & Nancy NowacekCrouch, Touch, Engage

Keynote Panel Discussion: 7:00pm at the Art Gallery of Windsor

More details are available on our Keynote Page.

Gregory Sholette
Temporary Services
Marisa Jahn

Revolting Dance Party with Amber Landgraff: 10pm at Villain’s Beastro

The Revolting Dance Party is an ongoing project, based on Group Material’s project of  the same name, that engages with music that is focused on social and political issues. Amber Landgraff DJs the event using songs shared on sites like Youtube in order to bring social media as an act of activism back from the imaginary space of the Internet and into a physical community space.


DAY 2: October 22, 2011 at the Art Gallery of Windsor

Publication Plans: Saturday am

Homework is a four-day residency, two-day conference, and collaboratively written publication, and as such, we will utilize the morning of Day 2 to start generating content for our book, together. Details about times and locations to participate in this process will be forthcoming. However, as you already know, simply by attending, you have the opportunity to participate in the creation of this book. More soon.


Group Work: 12pm-5:00pm

Large discussion groups led by each keynote to delve into further detail around the issues being addressed throughout Homework. These Group Work sessions will address the following:

How do we support or invent the practices that are needed to respond to the economic, social, and political realities of today? How might we find solutions, inspirations, and models for a way forward through new schools, new byproducts, new practices, and new infrastructures, leading us toward a critical and novel way of integrating art with everyday life.


Group Work #1: Marisa Jahn: 12pm
Practices that embed themselves in existing infrastructures.


Group Work #2: Temporary Services: 1:30pm
Practices that invent infrastructures and infrastructural services.


Group Work #3: Gregory Sholette: 3pm
Practices that collectivize against and alongside new, old, and unimagined infrastructures.


Closing Remarks: 5pm

with Broken City Lab.


Accommodations

Group Rates

We have secured a group rate for anyone attending Homework to stay at one of three hotels in Windsor’s downtown core. If you book the room, please note that you would like the Broken City Lab Homework Conference rate. This group rate is only valid until September 19th, 2011.

Hilton Windsor: $115 per room, per night, $11 self parking per car, per night or $21 valet parking per car, per night.

Windsor Riverside Inn (formerly the Radisson): $105 per room, per night, $10 self parking per car, per night.

Travelodge Hotel: $89 per room, per night, $10 self parking per car, per night.


Homework: Infrastructures & Collaboration in Social Practices is generously supported by the Ontario Arts Council, the University of Windsor’s School of Visual Arts, and our community partner the Art Gallery of Windsor.

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.

Errante by Hector Zamora

Gorgeous ‘making of’ short for Hector Zamora‘s Errante — a large-scale urban hanging garden. The rest of his work is well worth some exploration too.

via The Pop-Up City ')}

Neighbourhood Deterioration and Suburbanism

As I think about where I live, in a subdivision off of dominion road near the Holy Name of Mary Highschool, I immediately think of the current hollowing and cutting into the forest and brush that’s going on to make room for more houses, and more roads. The illumination of this by me is quite ironic however, considering my family and I live in one of these very suburban houses.

It’s obvious this has negative impacts on the wildlife that exists. I see coyotes almost every night trotting just outside the back of the house. During the winter months (such as it is now), we tend to leave dry corn in a wooden box with some apples in the backyard. Some nights I’ve counted 12 dear hanging out just behind my house.

It’s interesting to think of how the literal physical border of this city, via the road and the backs of houses, keep cutting further and further into this small forest landlocked in the middle of the city of Windsor.

 

This is an older image taken from Google Earth, but I have highlighted one of the sections where they have clear cut the forest and brush. (There’s another large area they have cut on the other side of the bush that I couldn’t fit into the image). The area in yellow today is full of empty streets, and empty  lots with pipes sticking out of the ground.

I guess where I am getting may be partly an environmental awareness and a defense for this landlocked micro-environment, but also an awareness of the suburbanism that has occurred in a city where its downtown core has not been kept up infrastructurally speaking, and has been ‘hollowed out’, so to speak.

Suburban housing development has not only contributed to the hollowing out of the downtown core, but also has been a result of various things such as dependency on economic sectors (auto industry, higher paying jobs, etc…), which has allowed those fortunate enough to buy a house away from the deteriorating core of Windsor itself. The core isn’t getting the economic, social, and infrastructural attention it needs to function in a more cohesive and economically and culturally integrated way (especially considering how the Windsor/Detroit area has had so much potential of economic integration in the past with the integration of the auto industry. But as we know, Detroit is also suffering from neighbourhood deterioration).

I think these conversations also imply other things such as generalizations of classes of people in both cities being a large contributer to the attention (or lack of) payed to certain neighbourhoods, and implies many other cases to think about, like the shallow analysis political leaders of our municipalities provide as a way to talk positively about improving infrastructure of older neighborhoods in city planning.

The irony is, I have only provided a shallow analysis of the problems discussed, which started with me thinking about the geography and situation of my immediate neighbourhood.

This is a ‘before’ picture of the field and forest, which has now been paved with new streets. (I should really provide an ‘after’ picture for effectiveness)

 

Maybe the ‘make this better’ would be placed in a deteriorating neighborhood, possibly housing or buildings? Although I havn’t chosen a direct area to do this, I hope at the least that it can generate at least one good conversation. I’m still thinking about it!

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”

A Pay-As-You-Go City

parkingmeterfail

An interesting article over at BLDGBLOG imagines new options for cities facing huge deficits, essentially asking: if you didn’t pay taxes, would you be willing to pay higher fees for service, or would you rather pay even higher sales taxes and have zero fees attached to any municipal use or service?

Could an entire rethinking of city services and tax structure do anything to save a destroyed infrastructure system?  Are there economies that depend on the pay per use model (as in, what would the meter reader people do for work in a city with a large lump sum paid once per year)? And, is it inevitable that cities move towards a subscription-based model of service, where you choose a package at a specific price-point for the things you actually use?

Anyways, many questions, but certainly worth a read …

Photo by compujeramey.

Pay to Rest

Pay To Rest

Pay to Rest by Vinchen is a simple-enough intervention, adding a suggestive coin-operated mechanism to a city bench.

It may be a one-liner, but it caught my eye a couple days ago, the photo sat on my desktop, and now this morning upon reading Amherstburg’s idea to introduce pay-per-use fees to soccer fields, baseball diamonds, etc., it made me curious about the priorities of a city when such significant money can go into certain forms of maintenance, but then shift other services to another kind of access model.

I’ll admit I’m making a bit of a leap here, but if benches were indeed pay-per-use, would it result in better kept parks? If an entire city shifted to a pay-per-use model, would things get any better? What would be the first bit of infrastructure to collapse? If the entire city operated on a subscription service model, would there be any positive change?

[via Wooster Collective]

Knitta Please

Knitta's work in France

Knitta formed in 2005 out of frustration of unfinished knitting projects sitting around the house. Instead of trying to finish sweaters and mittens, they decided to go out and bomb the city’s infrastructure (and sometimes garbage) with yarn, starting with their hometown of Houston, Texas and eventually tagging the Great Wall of China. Above you can see a project they did in France. They’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of this project, though things seem to have slowed over the last year.

Anyways, it reminded me of that idea Michelle brought up about dressing up infrastructure in the city for Halloween.