A Consultancy Installed

Broken City Lab: A Consultancy

Last night was the opening for a couple of shows connected to the Parking Garage on the corner of Pelissier and Park, including our project, Broken City Lab: A Consultancy. Danielle, Steven, Leesa, and I spent the better part of the afternoon (attempting to dodge the rain) in the space setting up. Along with this wall, Steven set up a Floridian Embassy, and Leesa had a huge number of balloons pushed up against one of the windows and surrounding a small stage.

The work that went into this basically occurred over the last 48 hours. Danielle and I spent Wednesday night drawing, painting, printing, cutting, and gluing, and then Thursday in the space. Thanks to Steven’s bulletin, we had a general idea of how to organize the space, but it was really amazing to spend such a concentrated amount of time working in this way alongside Danielle, Steven and Leesa.

Our projects generally get drawn out, just due to the sheer complexities, unknowns, or relationships that need to be developed to pull them off. In this case, we had the space, we had a rough idea, and we had the support to make it happen.

We’ll plan to be in and out of the space as much as possible over the coming weeks, hopefully adding to the wall, going deeper into brainstorming on the potentials for the entire buildings, as well as just shifting to conduct our general research in the space.

I’ll get some more photos in the daylight soon. In the meantime, you can read a quick one-page statement on the project.

Guto Lacaz’s Periscopio

Periscopio by Guto Lacaz

I was reading an old issue of Public (issue 32 – Urban Interventions) and came across a description of Guto Lacaz‘s Periscopio.

Installed for the 1994 Arte / Cidade in Sao Paulo, Periscopio was a nine storey high periscope built onto the facade of the Electric Company Building. People walking by on the street could see the exhibition on the top floor, while people in the gallery space could see the movement on the street.

I want to do a large-scale project in Windsor, now.

Text In-Transit Test Panel

You Made My Day

I picked up five test panels on Friday from the printers and got a test shot of them installed on the buses. These first five panels were made up internally at BCL (we still haven’t had the chance to start going through all the submissions yet). I’ll be going back to the downtown terminal this evening to actually install the five test panels on a couple of buses, so keep an eye out for them over the next week.

I’ll post some more photos of the panels installed tomorrow.

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. 


Truth from Poland

Installation / intervention by Truth in Wroclaw, Poland

Using found plexiglass, PVC, and other found materials, Truth has put up a number of installations around Poland, most recently in places outside of cities. His earlier work is more geometric, often cubes, and small squares coming out of buildings; little additions to the architecture where he tests the public’s perception of a known space.

Home Movies by Jim Campbell

Home Movies by Jim Campbell

Jim Campbell’s Home Movies is a large-scale video installation consisting of hundreds of LEDs that render films spanning four decades into nearly illegible light and shadow. Seems like a good fit for such a cold night.

Oh, and I now have in my possession 200 10mm LEDs.


A City Renewal Project

A City Renewal Project from Dan Bergeron on Vimeo.

There are a lot more images of this work that better show the enormity of it and help to frame the reading of the description of it, but in some ways this video is a more interesting introduction (as time-lapse always is). 

A City Renewal Project is a project by fauxreel and Specter that recreates a neighborhood full of abandoned storefronts inside a 4000 square foot warehouse at 39 Lisgar Avenue in Toronto (which is going to be demolished to put up a new condo). The project focuses on the state of decay within the city, renewing these dilapidated buildings as artistic monuments and documenting their history amidst the gentrified frenzy of urban change. The Mr. Loogie building you see in the above video is the entrance off the street into the warehouse.

The article in the Torontoist spells out some of the specifics of the installation as well as some of the politics surrounding it (the work is sponsored by Gallery 381, which receives financial support from Red Bull). That argument is detailed in an article in NOW.

I enjoy the project as it exists as a partial, imaginary archive of the city, and I enjoy it even more because it’s housed in a warehouse that’s going to be torn down in favour of gentrified architecture and space, but the more I think about it, the less I enjoy the project for those same reasons.


Usman Haque's Primal Source

[NOTCOT at GLOW: Usman Haque’s Primal Source from Jean Aw on Vimeo.]

As part of GLOW in Santa Monica, Usman Haque’s Primal Source was a huge interactive light/projection installation on the beach. Rear-projecting onto a water-screen, the installation responded to sound from the crowd with microphones being placed along the crowd’s edge on the beach. The event went on for 12 hours throughout the night. The software was built withProcessing and PD (an open-source cousin of Max/MSP/Jitter). 

[via] & [via]

Plant-Reactive Robots Make Music

Plant-Reactive Robots Play Bamboo, Chinese Instruments at Royal Botanic Garden, Scotland

An installation in Palm House, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, Scotland where a variety of traditional Chinese instruments and chimes are controlled robotically in response to people and plants. The sounds produced by this are incredibly beautiful, watching the video of the installationis highly recommended. Built using Arduino, the installation reacts to the presence of humans and changes in the soil of the plant beds.

Similar and equally cool—Botanicalls, an open-source project that uses sensors to determine when plants need to be watered and then automatically calls its owner to ask to be watered.