12-06-20 4:39:10 PM

The day before our launch. Rosina paints with Kiki.

The table of letters, ever-changing as each layer dries.

The letters that remain to be painted as of this afternoon.

Josh and Kevin’s project for the day…

Sara and Rosina headed out to do a bunch of short installs and photograph them.

The single-use camera Hiba brought. Later Sara bought another 15 or so of these.

Looking like this is exactly what they’re supposed to be doing here.

Sara reaches.

The letter H. Can’t wait to see these photos.

Meanwhile, back at the space, Kevin and Hiba take a rotation on the paint.

Josh begins to assemble their invention.

Hiba and I picked up the special occasion permit for tomorrow!

Kevin and Josh. Heading back to the space now … more later.


Tuesday Afternoon: Work continues, now with Postcards and the Library Cards

Printed postcards, gas masks, paint, assembly line (1)

Lucy stopped by this morning to keep cutting. Hiba and I painted the letters.

White it is.

Printed postcards, gas masks, paint, assembly line (2)

We had a lot of leftover wall paint, which means we not only have more than enough paint, but the letter faces will gain a bit of rigidity and protection since it’s epoxy paint.

Printed postcards, gas masks, paint, assembly line (4)

Hiba paints.

Printed postcards, gas masks, paint, assembly line (3)

After trying to paint the letters on the wall, we shifted to a make-shift table. Easier to avoid paint running.

Printed postcards, gas masks, paint, assembly line (5)

We made a drying rack.

Printed postcards, gas masks, paint, assembly line (6)

Protection. Recommended originally by Jennifer Willet. We should actually have more of these on hand.

Printed postcards, gas masks, paint, assembly line (7)

The drying rack doing it’s job.

Printed postcards, gas masks, paint, assembly line (8)

But, of course, it didn’t fit many letters, so we just started lying them out on the table.

Printed postcards, gas masks, paint, assembly line (9)

Two brushes — these might be leftovers from Make This Better.

Printed postcards, gas masks, paint, assembly line (10)

Also, picked up the postcards from Dan Bombardier, while he installed for an upcoming show at Artcite.

Printed postcards, gas masks, paint, assembly line (11)

Also, Daragh Sankey posted another section of In-Store, his documentary on SRSI … we’ll post it on here.

Printed postcards, gas masks, paint, assembly line (12)

Stack of postcards!

Printed postcards, gas masks, paint, assembly line (13)

Oh, and our library cards for the Letter Library.

Printed postcards, gas masks, paint, assembly line (14)

The back of the postcards, as you can see — lots to come!

“Alive & Well” viewable on Google Maps

Alive & Well, screenshot from Google Maps, colour-balanced

Our project for the 2011 Windsor Biennial, Alive & Well, was created with the hope that it would be captured on Google Maps to make a monument or announcement of sorts to the rest of the world about Windsor as we near the end of the year and ahead of being torn up for the new Aquatic Centre. We did the project with full expectations that the timing might not be right to ever have it appear on Google Maps, but this morning on a random search, I found out that there was a little update — Alive & Well is now on Google Maps, when you zoom into Windsor’s downtown core.

We created the work with this in mind:

The city appears to have survived the lowest lows of the economic crisis and our social, cultural, and political realities seem to hold some sense of hope and possibility. Even while the auto industry continues to hold precarious sway over the future of the city, the opportunity to own our history and commemorate it should, appropriately enough, be explored in a vast parking lot. In celebration of our community’s continued survival, we propose to demarcate the launch of a cultural future for the city, as demonstrated by the starting date of the 2011 Windsor Biennial along with IAIN BAXTER&’s curatorial role, and the very fact that the city has, despite any hardships, not yet imploded, with the following text, “AS OF 2011.09.21, WE ARE ALIVE & WELL.

Huge thanks to the Art Gallery of Windsor, MacDonald & White Paint, and Google for making this possible.

View Larger Map

Installing at Forest City Gallery

We spent the weekend in London, Ontario. We were installing for our upcoming exhibition at Forest City Gallery, while also briefly wondering about what it would be like to not do site specific work. Anyways, you should plan to come to the opening on September 9th!

We’re working on an installation using our “…and then the city” framework for exploring and unfolding the layers of narrative that go into shaping a place. We’ve pulled together some historical overviews of London, but have really enjoyed using an online questionnaire to hear about some of the narratives on the ground here. Huge thanks to Forest City Gallery and London Fuse for helping to spread the word. All of the answers have fed into the installation in some way, so it’s been a really effective way to get to some of the overarching stories about this city.

The show will run until October 21, 2011, and, in the meantime, what’s more fun than a peak of the install process?

Continue reading “Installing at Forest City Gallery”

ATTC Calgary Day 3 & 4: the Tales & Timelines of a City

On Day 3 of our ATTC Calgary with Truck Gallery’s CAMPER Urban Discovery project, it rained, and so we planned. We planned and discussed and reviewed some of the answers we had received from our activities on Day 2 — glimpses of the state of Calgary, from a ground-level perspective.

For Day 4, we had to condense our planned events into an single afternoon, collecting answers to a series of fill-in-the-blank statements and eventually creating a CAMPER-wide chalkboard to collect a timeline of Calgary.

Working to understand Calgary through these gestures provides insights to a city in between many things — a military fort and a sprawling urban centre, a longtime home and a temporary situation,the site of the first roadhouse and the place that Tim Hortons amalgamated with a small coffee shop, a celebrated Olympic site and the place of someone’s first concert. All of these experiences, memories, and invented histories create a space for dialogue around the narratives that create the social shape of the city and not only how we interact with it, but how we interact with one another.

Continue reading “ATTC Calgary Day 3 & 4: the Tales & Timelines of a City”

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.

Primer: Another Friday Night’s Worth of Collectively Making Things Happen

We’re on to priming the letters now, in anticipation of the bright red coat we’ll be giving them in the coming weeks. Things are moving ahead at a good pace, and hopefully will continue to, as we’d love to not be working with these finished letters in snow.

While we do get together every week, it’s usually only for a couple hours. As I’ve noted before, trying to find a common time between so many schedules is hard, when what we’re doing collectively is really above and beyond the responsibilities everyone has, so we’re thrilled with the progress… but a Saturday afternoon painting party might be in order.

Continue reading “Primer: Another Friday Night’s Worth of Collectively Making Things Happen”

A Love Letter to Syracuse

COLAB and Syracuse University brought Steven Powers to Syracuse to work on a project similar to his efforts in Philadelphia, A Love Letter For You, aimed at transforming some railway overpasses that literally divide the community.

After having a number of discussions with the community, Powers selected from a series of things that residents loved and hated about their city to paint some phrases that span six lanes of traffic. The work was created on an overpass that doesn’t look all that different from overpasses that we have, particularly on Dougall, north of EC Row, and in Syrcause, which is a rustbelt city in its own right.

We’re written about Powers in the past, and his work continues to be a huge point of inspiration. Trained as a sign painter, I’m continually amazed at the ways in which Powers’ work can uplift an entire community and yet be such a personal message.

The video is directed by Samuel J Macon and Faythe Levine and was shot in collaboration with the University of Syracuse, Steven Powers and his crew. Parts of this short film will make its way to a larger documentary they’re working on called, “SIGN PAINTERS. STORIES FROM AN AMERICAN CRAFT.”

[via This Big City]