In Calgary: Absence & Science


Our trip continues in Calgary. We’re keeping track of unconnected details and losing track of time. We’re wondering about missing information. Are there gaps and absences waiting for us, or do these things wait for no one? We’re inundated with time and arrows. The infrastructure is massive and the number of human hours spent anticipating, planning, shaping, and repairing it must, in turn, be staggering. And so, is it about trying to find new ways to present it, articulate it, hide it, or reason with it? Is it our participation in this larger structure or the aim of fostering participation outside of it that might guide our work here?

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Vancouver: Flagged for Review


Since January, we’ve been in residence at the Burrard Marina Field House, and our work continues until the end of April.

Our four month project, Flagged for Review is exploring the Contemporary Art Gallery‘s Field House Studio’s physical site and its relation to current perceptions of the city rooted in initiated conversations surrounding critical social and political issues in Vancouver. We’re also currently producing a series of flags to be installed at the Field House and throughout the city during the last two months of our residency.

Beginning on Tuesday March 18th and continuing every Tuesday until the end of April , we’ll be hosting a series of public games, temporary installations, and conversations at the Burrard Marina Field House  from 7 – 8:30pm. These public interactions aim to highlight a range of curious and challenging ideas that inform the ways we experience, imagine, and historicize the city of Vancouver. For the first two Tuesday events, we’re inviting YOU to contemplate and define our use of flags in the urban setting. Flag finding, making, and planting will be some of the potential activities we’ll take on over the next six weeks.

Tuesday March 25, 7-8:30pm ( Burrard Marina Field House Studio, 1655 Whyte Avenue)

Annexation or secession?

We invite you to participate in a workshop that encourages the temporary creation of imaginary new outposts, enclaves and territories to better understand Vancouver, the values it holds/supports/ignores and the histories it chooses to hide/reveal. This event will take place outdoors (weather permitting).

Tuesday, April 1: Projecting Forward,  7-8:30pm (Burrard Marina Field House Studio, 1655 Whyte Avenue)

We’ll gather to imagine what the future holds for the city and then create a series of short declarations to project onto the Burrard Bridge that animate our hopes, doubts and dreams for the short and long-term horizons of Vancouver.

Tuesday, April 8: The Trouble is… 7-8:30pm (Burrard Marina Field House Studio, 1655 Whyte Avenue)

Bring your questions, suspicions, and inspirations for art in public spaces to an open conversation on art as troublemaking and troublemaking as art.


As part of Canadian Art Foundation Gallery Hop Vancouver, we’re making limited-edition flags that will be available at the Contemporary Art Gallery as well as participating Hop galleries.

Tuesday, April 15: Capture the Flag, 7-8:30pm (Burrard Marina Field House Studio, 1655 Whyte Avenue)

We’ll host a giant game of Capture the Flag in Vanier Park!

Tuesday, April 22: Flagged for Review Launch and Open Studio, 7-8:30pm (Burrard Marina Field House Studio, 1655 Whyte Avenue)

Wrapping up the end of our residency, we’ll open our doors to the Field House for an open studio gathering as well as the launch of Flagged for Review. Works will be temporarily installed in and around the field house.

Watershed+ Residency Day 1: Getting Acquainted


We have finally arrived to Calgary, Alberta after a delay in travel due to the insane flooding that has happened in the area. The city seems as though nothing even happened, but our minds will soon be changed. Upon arrival we were given a schedule filled with people to talk to and things to see for the next week.


We started our day at the Water Centre. There’s such a huge amount of people that work that this place, it reminded me a lot of Chryslers back in Windsor.


Tristan Surtrees, Watershed+ Residency’s lead artist, started our morning off by giving us a brief history of the Water Centre, its architecture, the types of people that work there, and the impact that this type of facility can have on a city like Calgary.


Our first official meeting at the Water Centre was with Sylvia Trosch, who is the Lead for the Outreach at City of Calgary Water Resources. We had a great conversation with her about how it’s important for the citizens of Calgary to understand the watershed, especially in light of the recent flooding.


Tristan and Sylvia survey a map of where the watershed extends to. The Bow Glacier is the starting point for Calgary’s water source and is our destination spot for Saturday.




Sylvia gave us examples of booklets that she created for Calgarians to begin understanding better ways of conserving water and most importantly, understanding the water cycle.


There’s also a kid friendly version.


After our meeting with Sylvia, Tristan gave us a manual for Watershed+ that is full of valuable information on Calgary, its watershed, and how artists have been interacting with it.







Here is a grid of images related to Calgary’s water infrastructure.


One of the incredible things about Calgary’s rivers is how much they bend and turn. The results are some pretty incredible arial shots of the city, making it look like someone’s doodle/sketch pad.






Information on how the residency is run. We are lucky enough to have been chosen to take part in the first ever version of this residency.


Watershed+ brand image and logo graphics.


More old construction photographs.


Concept sketches.


Joshua hard at work.


Uploading, scanning, capturing.


The water bottle for the water resources in the Water Centre…WATER.


Rachel Duckhouse is a fellow artist-in-residence who has been in Calgary for almost 6 months. Her residency has been extended until October, so her studio has been relocated from Ralph Klein Park to Spark.




As we walk up to Rachel’s studio, she points out to us that the Spark Science Centre offers younger children their own studio space where they are encouraged to build, destroy, collaborate, and think through new ways of problem solving.


All projects are open-ended with the intention that on the next cycle, a new group of kids will be able to come in and re-imagine something someone else has made.


Real tools develop real skills.


Dissembling stuffed animals only to re-sew them back with new parts.


This is the workshop that Spark has given Rachel access to if she need to cut or build anything larger than her studio. They have a really amazing laser cutter set up in there.




The second meeting of the day was with Twyla Hutchison, who is 1 in 2 planning engineers for the City of Calgary. She shared with us a lot of amazing information about the flood that occurred in June and how her research and emergency planning from all these years past was crucial in the evacuation of a lot of Calgarians. She leant this book to Rachel for her research.


Flipping through all the data.


Rachel shares with us the body of work she’s created during her residency.




The body of work she created in Calgary is based off of the way water flows, whether it be in the rivers, through the sanitation plants, or even the homes that were affected by the flood.




The Bow River.


Rachel encapsulated her project aims for us while we toured her studio. She has been thinking through the many ways of representing the movement of water in rivers and around objects. This has been accomplished mostly with ink and paper, but also with plasticine and slices of transparent plastic. Awesome stuff.

Tomorrow we have another day of exploration ahead of us. Stay tuned!

Drift v2+ : Looking for Friendly Android Developers


Maybe you’ve used Drift. If you’re on the iPhone anyways. We’ve never had the expertise or resources to pull together an Android version of our psychogeography-inspired app, but we’ve consistently had a lot of people ask about when we would. The answer has always been, hopefully soon.

Today, we’re reaching out asking for some help. If you’re an Android developer who might be willing to lend a few hours of their expertise, please get in touch. Technically, the app’s core is written in Javascript, HTML, and CSS, and wrapped in PhoneGap to access the iPhone’s core functions. We’re looking to port that over to an Android-friendly version.

We’re also looking for someone with some expertise in PHP to pull out all the great contributions people have made to Drift and make a web-app that features their adventures.

While we don’t have funding to support this project right now, we can promise you credits in the app, on our website, and our sincerest thanks, and if you’re in Windsor, we’ll definitely buy you a beer.

Get in touch!

New Publication Out Now: Invented Emergency (For Small Cities & Big Towns)


We just received a few boxes of our newest publication, INVENTED EMERGENCY (For Small Cities & Big Towns), published through White Water Gallery. They look so good, we can’t wait to give them out!

INVENTED EMERGENCY is built on the research developed for Surviving North Bay, a residency and exhibition by Broken City Lab, hosted by White Water Gallery in the summer and fall of 2012. Surviving North Bay developed as a series of exploratory public interventions, micro-gestures, and tactical responses to North Bay. Each of these exploratory initiatives called on public participation to engage with North Bay, its infrastructures, and its communities. Throughout the residency, we collected research on the city in support of an exhibition that aimed to not only examine the practice and production of a northern locality, but also present a range of resistive tactics that can help the community survive, or help one survive the community. Emergencies became shorthand for this series of resistive tactics and gestures and INVENTED EMERGENCY extends these ideas towards developing a series of starting points and positions for new (and revisited) radical practices.

Pick up your copy at CIVIC SPACE, or let us know if you want one, and I’m sure we can arrange getting one in the mail to you!

Huge thanks to Clayton and Robyn and everyone at White Water Gallery for making this possible!

This project was generously supported by the Ontario Arts Council.