Commanding: Urban Signs


Commanding is a group of artists/educators/students at NYU who hope to create a dialogue about the changing environments in which they live.

They post signs based on simple computer commands that relate directly to the gentrification, development and hopefully preservation of the neighborhoods that we interact with everyday.

A really basic idea, but quite effective to comment and critique, again another quiet project.

[via Make]

Road-Side Signs


Spending some extra time in and around Essex County over the last week has led to the sighting of an incredible number of these road-side signs. Most often, they’re used to advertise a local shop or event, but the abundance of them on a range of properties on main roads is interesting.

Of course, interesting in the way that they hold potential for something more interesting.

Given that there seems to be no bylaws outlining the placement of these things, the next step is to figure out how much they are to rent, where in the city of Windsor they might be able to be placed, and then figuring out what we might be able to do with such signs.

Does anyone know of any particular locations of where to find these in Windsor? Has anyone rented before or have any idea on the potential cost in working with these?

[Image via Dark Roasted Blend]

Making the Signs for Naturalized Areas


We recently decided to demarcate some of many accidental meadows across Windsor with these Naturalized Area signs. In hopes that these signs might momentarily allow residents of Windsor to look at these naturalized spaces for what they are—that is, wonderful additions to our urban landscape—instead of the result of a politically-charged issue, we spent the earlier part of this week designing the signs, getting them printed, drilling holes, and installing them.

Continue reading “Making the Signs for Naturalized Areas”

Naturalized Area: Accidental Meadow

Naturalized Area

Installed across the road from the University of Windsor‘s Naturalized Area, our sign highlights one of the many wonderful accidental meadows, created by the ongoing city workers strike.

These naturalized areas allow for a moment in which one might be able to mistakenly believe that Windsor is a progressive city, a place where this type of naturalization is encouraged for its beauty, for its potential to attract wildlife, and for the stories our landscape is capable of telling.

With rumours circulating about a potential 30% of the newly naturalized areas across the city remaining in their naturalized states even after the strike is over, there is the potential for being able to believe that there is hope for Windsor.

Designed with the help of Steven and printed exceptionally fast at FastSigns, these signs will pop up over the coming days in other particularly wonderful locations most suitable for advocating the maintenance of their naturalized state.

A Sign Can Make It Official: Demarcating Windsor’s New Meadows

wildflower garden

Another walk along the riverfront today, this time with Andrew and Barb from Render / DodoLab. Windsor’s meadows are looking incredible, and if this strike ends it’ll be quite disappointing to see so many patches of long grasses and wildflowers cut down.

I can understand that there was a point at which people could have thought that things looked “messy,” but I think we’re well past that now. Windsor is now into a full-on prairie meadow stage and it’s gorgeous.

So, this sign, and this area pictured above, is as the sign says, a Wildflower Garden. It’s official, it was made official by that simple blue sign on a galvanized pole. So, if all it takes is a sign, why don’t we make official some other prime Windsor meadow locations and reclaim some space for “naturalized areas.” I’m going to be on the look out for particularly great locations to formalize as Windsor’s naturalized meadows.

Or if signs aren’t your thing, but you still want to work with these amazingly wondrous meadows, head out with Leesa Bringas at 8am every morning for some grass braiding.

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]

Windsor Signage

Visit Windsor's Sculpture Garden

I almost didn’t believe this sign existed. The few times I’ve been out to the Windsor Airport, I’ve usually been coming from the south, which (if my understanding of the geographic location of this photo is correct) might explain why I’ve missed it in the past.

Thankfully, Steven has a photo of it and presents two good options for working with it (it’s either a t-shirt or a lightbox (or fodder for Ron Terada)).

Signage has been discussed before at BCL, and while we’ll leave it to Steven to work with this sign in one way or another, it actually collapses two things that I often loosely discuss in introducing Windsor’s cultural landscape (so to speak) to people who aren’t from the area. The level of design (demonstrated above) and this kind of amassing of public art in the form of a dumping ground, ghetto, “tax shelter,” park while the rest of the streets remain the place for bland infrastructure and advertising is a prime example of what may be wrong in Windsor.

And, if you aren’t already reading Steven’s blog on a regular basis, do yourself a favour and add it to your reader.

Caesars Windsor Sign Install

The “heroic” time-lapse video of the installation of that retina-burning Caesars Windsor sign that now pwns Windsor’s skyline. It’s also the first Windsor (the city, not the knot) result that comes up when searching YouTube for Windsor. I’m surprised we didn’t see this earlier.

The LED Sign is Finished!!!

MAKE THINGS HAPPEN, the LED sign is finished!

It’s taken a number of weeks, but we finished wiring the LED sign at tonight’s Office Hours! It was a pretty incredible moment to plug in the sign, turn off the lights, and realize that we made this come together. I’m really, really, really happy with how it turned out!!! There are still a few more things we need to do before this project is completely done, and I would like to try it on batteries, but now that we know how bright it is, I think we’ll come up with some more LED projects soon.

Continue reading “The LED Sign is Finished!!!”