We’re in North Bay on a residency as we prepare for an exhibition this fall at the White Water Gallery. After spending Monday getting acquainted with the downtown, we ventured further out. Of course, we had to stop at the North Bay arch. Getting a sense of these kinds of structural parts of the city that have, in a way, become shorthand for the entire geography has been helping us to shape the outlines of the exhibition.
This is going to be an incredibly fun project! Our friends at DodoLab finally return to Windsor, make sure you check it out!
A Project by Professor William Starling of DodoLab
May 5 – June 9, 2012
Opening Reception: Saturday May 5, 1-4pm
AGW Talk/Tour: Sunday May 6, begins at 1pm
DodoLab and SB Contemporary Art are pleased to announce the visit of the eminently knowledgeable Professor William Starling to the city of Windsor. Prof. Starling has been discretely visiting Windsor over the past two years to study and converse with the vast flock of his species mates that now roost in the understory of the Ambassador Bridge. While his kind is in shocking decline in his home range of Northern Europe and the United Kingdom, starlings remain ubiquitous across North America where the vast undulating clouds of birds (called murmurations) can be a common occurrence, particularly in the Windsor area.
While studying the starling community around Windsor’s Ambassador Bridge, the situation on the adjacent Indian Road with its long line of boarded up and empty houses came to his attention. Starlings frequent this neighborhood, and so the professor has been developing a rich inter-species narrative of adaptation to changing environments and the phenomenon of “invasive species” and habitat loss (his areas of expertise).
Professor William Starling’s activities are in conjunction with Windsor’s Mayworks 2012. His stay here includes this exhibition of creative research material from a recent visit to the UK as well as an exhibition tour/talk of Land Marks: Contemporary Photographs from the Art Gallery of Windsor’s collection. The professor can also be found on Sunday morning 11am to 1pm, strolling the Riverside between the Ambassador bridge and the AGW.
Please find below a letter from Professor William Starling to the Citizens of Windsor. We are looking forward to his visit here in Windsor and we hope that will be able to welcome the Professor this Saturday May 5 at SB Contemporary Art. Or, tour and visit with him at the Art Gallery of Windsor on Sunday May 6 afternoon as he discusses the Landmarks collection exhibition. This tour is free to the public and begins at 1pm.
An excerpt from the letter:
Dear Citizens of Windsor, It is with great pleasure that I, the eminently knowledgeable Professor William Starling, have the distinct opportunity of informing you of my recent visits of investigation to your fair city. I have been fortunate, on numerous occasions, to secure handsome lodgings in this city’s centre and it has been my intention to initiate and engage in various forms of inter-species dialogue, to share my extensive knowledge of (and ongoing research on) adaptation to changing environments, the phenomenon of “invasive species” and habitat loss. It is my hope that my presence is welcomed and that some of you will wish to be my guide as I explore the city and that you will even deem it proper to share with me your thoughts in response to the following query.
Dear Windsorians, your official city motto states “The River and the Land Sustain Us” yet I have been set to wonder if this statement still rings true to you or if you require something more? What would this new element of sustenance be? You may respond to my question in one of two ways, by sending me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting SB Contemporary Art where the good people of DodoLab have kindly designed and provided for us some lovely black paper starling silhouettes. I would like to request that you take the opportunity to record on said silhouettes that which you feel truly sustains this city today and for the future. Your Starling will be added to a rather unique exposition that opens this coming May 5th and continues through June 9th.
This exhibition is in conjunction with Mayworks Windsor 2012. Please see website for listing of events http://www.artcite.ca/mayworks/
Deux Contes d’une Ville (9 Mars – 4 Mai, 2012 à Hamilton Artists Inc. ) vise à examiner une gamme de dualités sociales, économiques, culturelles et politiques soulignant le passé, le présent et le futur de la Ville de Hamilton. À partir de la recherche amassée des archives et de l’histoire chronologique de la ville, d’interviews et de questionnaires, Deux contes d’une ville nous présente des narrations de Hamilton en conflit, entremêlées et parallèles en utilisant une bannière à grande échelle, une série de fanions surdimensionnés, un atelier et une publication rétrospective vers la fin de l’exposition.
S’il vous plaît contribuer à l’exposition en remplissant le formulaire ci-dessous et contez nous vos histoires de Hamilton.
Two Tales of a City (March 9th – May 4th, 2012 at Hamilton Artists Inc.) aims to examine a range of social, economic, cultural, and political dualities tracked throughout Hamilton’s past, present, and future. Gathered from archival research, interviews, and pop-up surveys and timelines, Two Tales of a City will present competing, intertwining, and parallel narratives of Hamilton through a large-scale fabric banner, oversized bunting, a workshop, and forthcoming publication.
Please contribute to the exhibition by filling in the form below and telling us your story about Hamilton!
Or, do it in French!
In 2000, Rafael Lozano- Hemmer messed around with some computer programs, lcd screens and a dictionary and created ’33 Questions Per Minute’, an installation featuring 21 lcd screens set up in various places and positions that generate unique and absurd questions thirty-three times per minute. The text is sorted randomly together through a generator and appears on the screen just long enough for the viewer to read it, and a new one appears in time before anything can be pondered further. According to Hemmer’s website, the system would take up to 3,000 years for all randomized questions to be asked!
“This piece is loosely based on the long tradition of automatic poetry. It is full of anti-content. It attempts to underline our incapability to respond, faced with an electronic landscape made up of demands for attention. The piece provides useless and slightly frustrating machine irony. Tireless grammatical algorithms perform a romantic and futile attempt to pose questions that have never been asked.
The effect of the installation is destabilising due to its speed. The rhythm of questions excludes any rational answer. 33 questions a minute is the threshold of legibility : there is no time for reflection.”
As soon as I came across this, it reminded me of Justin’s work experimenting with arduinos a while back.
The questions are, necessarily, basic and straight forward. We’re not conducting deep sociological or statistical research, but rather trying to tease out a series of narratives that we know we haven’t yet heard about this place. Over the course of the residency, we’re aiming to develop a practice, a series of tactics that aim to unfold a way to get to know a place and the things that go about shaping the things we can know about a place. Cities are continually enacted through the narratives that we hear, create, and tear apart through daily practice, and we’re interested in both the narratives and that daily practice.
Over the course of a few hours on Thursday afternoon, we hear about many parts of the city that are worth loving, and worth changing. Somehow, an impression is made upon us that aligns with what we felt during our algorithmic walk — that is, Calgary is a city that isn’t readily touchable. It feels distant even when it’s right in front of you, and somehow the things we heard about the city from lifelong residents and people on holiday were the things that are legible from a distance, but in some instances, distanced from lived experience.
We’re participating in an upcoming exhibition entitled, Public Realm, at Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts in Toronto. For the exhibition we’re going to be doing some outdoor projection around the gallery, and we want to have your input!
We want to know what you think about the public realm, and about public and private space, and about what you can do in that space and maybe even, why you’d want to bother doing something in that space in the first place.
To participate, you can do one of two things …
[form 2 “Public Realm”]
We’re going to project all of the submissions we get on Thursday, January 21st, as part of the opening for the exhibition!
If you haven’t already signed up for the Art&Education email list, do it now. Also, make sure you tick off at least the E-Flux list too. It’s nearly always a joy to get these in my inbox, always making me wish I had more time to read, to apply, to attend these exhibitions and schools and conferences that I see advertised on these lists.
Love in a Cemetery is just the most recent interesting thing to come from these lists, with the title taken from a quote by Allan Kaprow that goes like this, “Life in a museum is like making love in a cemetery.” With L.A.-based visual artist Andrea Bowers and curator Robert Sain, students from the Otis College of Art and Design and community organizations from throughout L.A. are participating in this exploration of aesthetics, pedagogy, and cultural politics.
Ok, sounds pretty good, definitely something that we’d generally be interested in, but here’s the really good part…
The project features a unique take on art as examination, as investigation into the future of cultural organizations, including art schools and community-based activist groups in the same learning circle as the better known museums of L.A.
Sain considers the opportunity and obligation for arts organizations to be socially responsible and responsive in an age of diminished resources and uncertainty.
18th Street itself has recently shifted from running a standard gallery program to an entirely different model for using the space — making it active by curating artists involved in process-based work continually. It’s still art, it’s still curated art, but it’s committing to thinking about what art can do or what art can be today.
It’s exciting to read this stuff. You should be excited. It’s exciting because this is part of what we try to do and it’s nice to know that other people like doing this as well.