Naturalized Area: Accidental Meadow

Naturalized Area

Installed across the road from the University of Windsor‘s Naturalized Area, our sign highlights one of the many wonderful accidental meadows, created by the ongoing city workers strike.

These naturalized areas allow for a moment in which one might be able to mistakenly believe that Windsor is a progressive city, a place where this type of naturalization is encouraged for its beauty, for its potential to attract wildlife, and for the stories our landscape is capable of telling.

With rumours circulating about a potential 30% of the newly naturalized areas across the city remaining in their naturalized states even after the strike is over, there is the potential for being able to believe that there is hope for Windsor.

Designed with the help of Steven and printed exceptionally fast at FastSigns, these signs will pop up over the coming days in other particularly wonderful locations most suitable for advocating the maintenance of their naturalized state.

Alley Bunting

alley bunting

An random chance to catch up with Laura, Sam, and some other folks I hadn’t seen for a while turned into this quick intervention.

As part of their OH! C.N.A.P. fun, they had made a lot of bunting for another party they had to attend, but it seemed too great to not temporarily put up somewhere in the city. So, in the alley next to Phog, the bunting was quickly strung up with the help of staples (after some difficulties with the wind), and really was an great example of what’s possible with some paper, yarn, and a amazing group of people.

Check out more photos of the process at Laura and Sam‘s flickr sets, or check out Sam’s tutorial on making the bunting, should you be so inclined to take up a similar project.

David Blatherwick’s Talking Trees

David Blatherwick's Talking Trees

David Blatherwick‘s Talking Trees was recently installed as part of the Green Corridor’s Open Corridor Festival. A small number of trees along Huron Church, south of College Ave are equipped with outdoor speakers that loop audio of children complaining. Josh played a big part in realizing this project, as he was one of the almost 60 students to take the Green Corridor class during intersession, so if I’m missing any details, I’m sure he’ll fill in the blanks.

Blatherwick, a former member of the Visual Arts faculty at the University of Windsor (he’s now at Waterloo), suggests that these trees have a lot to complain about, being alongside the road that still carries around 10,000 trucks daily to the Ambassador Bridge.

The speakers are loud enough that you can catch bits of it while driving by, but it’s worth a walk-thru to experience not just Talking Trees, but the other works that are part of Open Corridor.

I’ll be posting more on the other works in the coming days.

Guerrilla Art Residencies at DIY megastores

fourniture 2.2

In Paris, there is a new (guerilla) residency program initiated by Paul Souviron and Antoine Lejolivet through the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (ENSAD. The residencies consist of spending some time in a DIY megastore and creating temporary installations.

There’s numerous ideas about artist residencies that don’t necessarily take place in the traditional space of galleries or centres, but instead focus on the potential for artists having a role in more everyday places. Schools, landfills, and city halls have been the site for artist residencies, and I have to wonder about the possibilities of artist residencies here in Windsor; and I’m not even that interested in thinking about residencies at the Big 3, Caesars Windsor, or city hall.

What about residencies at the library, at the riverfront, at Walkerville Brewery, at the corner of Randolph and University, at the corner store, at Milk, at the parking garage, at the bridge, or at the bench on Wyandotte near Kildare? And why wait for someone to make one? Why don’t we create a series of residencies? Why don’t you offer your front porch for a week-long artist residency?

Steven’s ideas from last week are looking more and more enticing (and possible).

[via we make money not art]

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]

Braiding Grass in Windsor

Leesa Bringas (along with some fellow Windsor artists) spent the weekend braiding the long grass at Great Western Park. The process leaves spirals of braided grass around shoots of flowers. It’s quite beautiful and seems meditative (though admittedly, I didn’t venture out to try myself).

Political issues of the strike aside, I quite like seeing the riverfront in a naturalized state, and it’s great that Leesa found such a quiet way to work with the space. Given the other activity in city parks over the weekend, this project is a welcomed intervention to the strike now going into its seventh week.

You can see more photos on Steven’s site, or more video on Darren’s site, or read more about the project on the Windsor Star.

Public Sculpture Tackle

Public Sculpture Tackle

Public Sculpture Tackle rethinks interaction with public sculpture. Performed by the Bruce High Quality Foundation, the work is pretty much what it sounds like; artists in the BHQF wear makeshift-athletic gear and attempt to tackle public sculptures in Manhattan, which is, by nature, “on the defense.”

I keep thinking about what public sculpture looks like in Windsor and wondering about what it means to have a sculpture ghetto garden. Public sculpture should be integrated into the streets.

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.

Interventions in Madrid


There is a lot of great work by SpY, so I’m not entirely sure why I chose to post on this work, other than maybe it was the most dissimilar from ideas that we’ve had in the past. Fabricating these letters picture above that can stand as an urban fence or bike rack, SpY typically works by inserting humourous (though always necessarily political) objects, infrastructures, texts, and images into the cityscape.

Starting as a graffiti artist in the mid-eighties, SpY has since moved into interventionist territories, all of which is entirely worth a look at over at his website.

[via rebel:art]

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.