The Night Sky Billboard Project by Charlie Michaels & Bird

The Night Sky Billboard Project from Charlie Michaels on Vimeo.

In collaboration with a local sign painter named Bird, who has been leaving his mark along Detroit’s streets for decades, an artist and our friend, Charlie Michaels turned an old vacant Detroit billboard into a big painting of the night sky – for star gazing in the city.

Above the intersection of Mack Ave. and Mt. Elliott St. on the east side of Detroit, a billboard that’s been sitting empty for decades displays an image of the night sky. Allowing those who pass underneath to see the stars more clearly than they are visible in the city, it offers a quiet reminder to notice what is always present but cannot always be seen.

Charlie says, “The collaboration with bird came out of a desire to integrate the project into the neighborhood somehow instead of simply using it as the destination. Streets on the east side of Detroit are covered with hand painted ads and murals – seeing this project as an addition to this gallery already in the street and wanting to acknowledge those artists whose work is already so present, I decided to seek out a collaborator. Bird was amazing to work with because his work is really everywhere, an entire lifetime of painting on view all over the east side.”

The video provides a very cool behind-the-scenes look at the installation and creation of the work. I heart billboards and this project.

Plasticiens Volants’ “O Estrangeiro”


In keeping with our ongoing research about creating a Windsor parade, I thought I’d share some photos of Plasticiens Volants‘ “O Estrangeiro” parade in Sao Paulo. This parade, presented by Lost Art, gloriously displayed public art in the form of inflatable plastic floats and gathered thousands of people into the city streets. Besides funding, there aren’t many reasons why we couldn’t pull something like this off (possibly on a smaller scale). There are a few more excellent photos of the parade after the jump.

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100 Ways to Save the City Projection

Broken City Lab light projection in Windsor

As part of FAM Fest 09, we did a projection performance on the roof of Metro Cleaners accessed from Empire Lounge in downtown Windsor.

For about an hour and a half, we presented our 100 Ways to Save the City and then asked for ideas from the folks on the ground, at Phog, and on the Twitterverse.

After the jump, there’s 160-something photos from all the ideas that were projected on Saturday night.

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TACET by Ulla Rauter


So we didn’t get a Rhizome Commission, but it doesn’t mean we’re not still planning a way around making Cross-Border Communication happen.

In the meantime, we’ll keep collecting images and reference points about ways of imagining the project happening.

Above is TACET by Ulla Rauter, which refers to acoustic pauses by drawing on the urban background noise making it the unwritten score of that piece of art. There’s something about instructive text that I quite enjoy.

[via VVORK]