This is the first in what will be an ongoing series of posts as we temporarily install these letters across the city to generate some conversation and creative thinking around how we can indeed make this (place) better. You can check out the process of making these letters in this archive of posts.
Ripper’s Valley is visible from the Riverfront bike path, which happens to be how I first became interested in it. As an avid cyclist, I very frequently ride down this section of the Riverfront path and quite often see a bustling community of families, a diverse range of cultures, a balanced number of mothers and fathers, grandparents, babysitters and children using the play equipment and nearby benches during the day.
However, within feet of this area is a dead-zone. The entrance to the railway cut is dark, looming, and segregated from the Riverfront Park. In my experience, children venturing toward the entrance are most often called back by their parents and reprimanded to stay within the direct area of the play equipment.
Continue reading “Make This Better: Ripper’s Valley”
Soon enough we’ll be getting into the thick of winter and Sergio Lopez-Pineiro–an assistant professor of architecture at the University at Buffalo–is not going to let the snowfall go to waste this year. He is planning a large scale project in Buffalo’s Front Park which involves plowing snow into 15 giant mounds, forming a pattern of oversized polka dots.
At 42 feet wide and 7 feet tall, these mounds will dramatically alter the landscape of the park and its nearby waterfront. The title “Olmsted’s Blank Snow” refers to the famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed Front Park with his partner Calvert Vaux. I have included more mock-up photographs below.
Continue reading “Sergio Lopez-Pineiro’s “Olmsted’s Blank Snow” Project”
Ceyetano Ferrer, City of Chicago (Iowa #2), 2006
Street artist Ceyetano Ferrer specializes in blending urban objects into their environments by painting layers over them in a way that makes them seem transparent. Ferrer uses photo stickers on public objects like street signs, boxes and billboards and camouflages them to create an illusion of the objects fading into the landscape. -via PSFK.com
The public art works of Ceyetano Ferrer are quite stunning on first glance. The optical illusion he creates seems at first impossible and mysterious, though the process is as “simple” as placing a well-planned sticker on to a surface. As far as “street art” goes, this very much falls in line with the guerilla style shock and awe that makes the genre so exciting and valuable in a certain sense of subversiveness.
Continue reading “Urban Camouflage And The Potentials of Commissioned ‘Street Art’”
Anyone who has an interest in the world of guerilla street art probably already knows about the recently published Trespass: A History of Uncommissioned Urban Art. The book, published by Taschen of course, contains photographs of many ephemeral works that might have been easily lost forever. The street art movement is more than deserving of a dedicated book, especially one that encompasses more than four decades of temporary work.
According to Taschen, “Trespass examines the rise and global reach of graffiti and urban art, tracing key figures, events and movements of self-expression in the city’s social space, and the history of urban reclamation, protest, and illicit performance. The first book to present the full historical sweep, global reach and technical developments of the street art movement, Trespass features key works by 150 artists, and connects four generations of visionary outlaws.”
Image Above: Paolo Buggiani, Minotaur, Brooklyn Bridge, New York City, 1980
During World War II the United States was able to mobilize industry and motivate its citizens in breathtaking speed. Factories were overhauled and consumption habits transformed. Strong, graphically compelling posters played a crucial role in the success of this campaign.
These posters presented the actions of individual citizens as vital for the nation and portrayed those who took part as attractive, dynamic American heroes.
Today a similar mobilization is required to address the crisis of global climate change and achieve energy independence. That’s why The Canary Project and its partners have launched Green Patriot Posters.
Green Patriot Posters is a communications campaign centered on posters that encourage all U.S. citizens to build a sustainable economy. These posters can be general (“We Can Do It!”) or can promote a specific sustainability action.
This quote is taken from the About section of the group Green Patriot Posters. The website greenpatriotposters.org allows you to browse the submitted posters, get inspired, and submit your own poster. The aesthetic bar appears very high, though they possess a wide array of styles. Above, the cover for their newly released book “Green Patriot Posters: Images For A New Activism” published by Metropolis Books in the US and Thames & Hudson in the UK. The group is also very proud of their methods of production.
Continue reading “Images For A New Activism: The Posters of Green Patriotism”
Steve Lambert was just one of the artists who were included in the 2010 Art Moves Billboard Festival in Torun, Poland. His work, titled “You are Still Alive” is a tongue-in-cheek interpretation of motivational imagery. The photograph is fantastic and seems to draw my attention more than the billboard itself. It seems like the outcome is a little different when billboards are used to hold an exhibition instead of used in their original locations to a non-commercial end–like our previous …and then the city billboard project. Even though I enjoy the idea of a billboard exhibition, somehow I feel this specific work would make more of an impact in a busy urban center.
Continue reading ““You are Still Alive” Billboard”
On Thursday, January 21st at the Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts in Toronto, we’ll be doing a projection performance that examines the language and ideas surrounding public space, intervention, urban surfaces, and city infrastructures. As part of Propeller’s Public Realm exhibition, we will curate a text-based list of ideas, statements, and questions, that address the concerns embedded in our practice and that appear to be at the heart of the exhibition itself.
We will ask for the participation of those in attendance, along with other momentary collaborators through tools such as Twitter and SMS, for submissions during the duration of the performance. The projection itself will consist of white text and will be projected onto the façade of a nearby building. Photographic documentation of the projection will be installed in the gallery space afterwards.
Public Realm opens on January 20th and runs to January 31st, 2010.
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.
Continue reading “Plasticiens Volants’ “O Estrangeiro””
Anna Gray & Ryan Wilson Paulsen are working on a series of text banners / posters. Sometimes the banners are held between the two of them, other times they each hold smaller cards with texts that work off of one another. Sometimes they write the text on the banners, other times they invite others to compose it.
They’re fans of reading, typography, and from what I gather, lists.
Oh, the things that could be said with banners here—we should get on that.
Since yesterday’s weather was soul-enhancing, to be dramatic, I decided to unload the small stack of tickets in my backpack and distribute them in the parking lots near the University of Windsor. I seem to be getting more and more sly with handing these out, which I’ll attribute to practice. It seems I’ll be able to continue handing tickets out for most of the summer, judging by how relentless the CUPE strike has been. Stay tuned.
Continue reading “Parking Tickets – Update”