Untitled Sign No. 2

Untitled Sign No 2 by Kasper Sonne

This building vaguely reminded me of something on the University of Windsor campus…  this could be somewhere near Leddy library or Essex Hall. It’s actually part of the Tempo Skien Annual Temporary Outdoor Exhibition, in Norway.

The work is by Kasper Sonne, who regularly works with text in his gallery and public work.

If the University of Windsor was really smart, they would get that awful yellow sign down from atop of the residence building so readily legible from the Ambassador Bridge and make that space an annual international public art competition. They could attract artists from across the world to make work that could be seen by an international audience every single day.


Mapping Windsor

Mapping Study Areas in Windsor via Google Maps

Next Tuesday night, December 2nd, at 7pm, Broken City Lab will be holding a Social Mapping Event, where we’ll use the tools Google gave us and highlight potential study areas (and broken points of interest)—the Google Map itself will be made public afterwards. We’ll also make a screencast of the process and make it available on the website afterwards.

So, if you’ve been meaning to come out to our weekly Office Hours, but haven’t had the time yet, clear your schedule for next Tuesday.

Commuter School

parking lots on University of Windsor campus

I saw an article on GOOD Magazine today that talked about initiatives that US colleges on the west coast are taking on to encourage more students biking to school. Among these initiatives are giving out free bus passes, car and bike sharing programs, shortening the school week and even paying students not to drive.

The University of Windsor (partly pictured above), as a commuter school, is essentially surrounded by parking lots. For some students, coming up from Essex County or even Tecumseh, taking public transit is not an option… (Let’s forget that there was once a commuter train that went from Kingsville, through Essex, and into Windsor). There are a number of obstacles for other students to get to school, even if they live within range of Transit Windsor’s routes—namely that it takes far too long to get to school by bus and to take a bicycle anywhere but along the riverfront is taking your life into your own hands. 

There are proposed solutions to make the campus into more of a campus, with a sustained student body, and less of a drive-thru educational depot, such as increasing the cost of parking even more, and I’m wondering if the next few years might not be especially crucial to shift the student body onto public transit. With the economy so depressed, affording gas, insurance, parking, and car payments may be impossible, so why isn’t there another referendum to try to instate a University bus pass? Especially for students at Lebel, making it to main campus and back again in time for classes that are back to back is difficult, what if there was an electric shuttle that could get you back and forth in five minutes? How much would you be willing to add to your tuition for that? What if there was a dedicated bike path from Lebel to main campus? What if there was a bike sharing program with drop-off points at Lebel, the St Denis Centre, Odette and the Library? Should we buy some bikes and make our own bike-sharing program?


some street art in Windsor, near Indian Road, on Mill

I saw this on my way home from Lebel today. Earlier in the day, on my way to school, I had seen some bright yellow chunks of asphalt on the south side of Mill Street, where that little cul-de-sac is, right beside Huron Church. I didn’t think much of it, though remained curious about it. There are a few more pieces placed around the area, some purple-coloured sticks, other orange coloured garbage, and some more yellow asphalt. At first I didn’t like the idea of placing more garbage around there, but then caught myself—I hadn’t really noticed there was garbage there before at all. 

The more I thought about it and saw the pieces subtly (if bright orange plastic containers can be subtle) spread around, peaking out from the leaves on the ground, the more I liked it. Is this work from Advanced Sculpture?… I know they’ve been working with the idea of interventions.

Odd Windsor By-Law – No Reptiles allowed

no reptiles allowed

Since 1985, The city of Windsor has prohibited the selling, buying or keeping of reptiles/snakes in the city. Apparently LaSalle and Tecumseh don’t have this law. I came across a discussion on this topic on Windsor Users

Why do you think reptiles are not allowed in the city? Comment with your answer!

Here’s a Halloween inspired idea: make reptile costumes for the fire hydrants or garbages around the city.

What Google thinks of Windsor

Google ads

I am sure we have all been a little spooked by google’s prediction power. You type a gmail to a friend about India and in the side bar you get curry recipes. You exchange thoughts on stress levels cause by final exams and you get vacation deals.

With halloween coming up, I thought there was no better time to explore this spooky phenomena than now.

I just sent a rudimentary email to Justin regarding the down trotten state of Windsor. He replied, and I examined what google predicts Windsor will need.

There were a few ads regarding social work. Google knows Windsor may need some help, and google feels for us to make Windsor better, we may need to focus on social work and the social infrastructure. Spooky… The email never said anything about said social infrastructure being the primal concern.

Google also thinks that someone who is concerned with the state of Windsor may also be interested in fitness. (M test 2) I guess good fitness does equal a happier more active populace. but again, how did google know that?? this is starting to mimick the twilight zone a little too much.

Finally the one thing that is really frightening, is that google knows we should conduct regular testing for melamine. Is this an omen? Is WIndsor crumbling because we are all experiencing the toxic effects ofmelamine?

To investigate this spooky phenomena I will creat a data base that tracks what ads google predicts we may be interested in depending on the contentI place within pseudo searches and gmails.

I have never tampered with the occult before, but I know it can get me a show on A&E.


Sexy Intersection

Apparently you can see porn on your rear-view video monitor when you drive past Forest Glade Drive near Esplanade Drive

While the humour of this article from the Windsor Star is not lost on me, my immediate reaction is: How do we do that? Apparently, one driver’s rear-view car monitor is picking up porn when he drives past Esplanade Drive on Forest Glade Drive. The article goes on to quote someone from a local car-audio shop, who suggests that the person watching porn must be broadcasting on a low-frequency to wirelessly distribute his television signal throughout the house. The driver’s wireless camera and monitor is operating on the same frequency and thereby picking up the signal.

Targeting these screens in people’s cars is a really fun idea, just not sure how many people actually have them. Maybe we can consider the technology for some other project.

TVO’s the Agenda Camp in Windsor

TVO's the Agenda Camp in Windsor, Ontario

I spent the day at AgendaCamp, which is part of The Agenda’s series on the manufacturing economy. The idea was to get a bunch of people in the community together and create discussions around the manufacturing economy, the city, and the future of both. From there, the discussions were summarized, photographed, twiettered, video(ed), and uploaded to a wiki, where hopefully the discussion continues. 

The question I asked in my session was, “Why should I stay in Windsor after I graduate?” I was hoping to provoke not only discussion, but some real things that could happen in this city to encourage me and people like me to stick around after graduation. This is a question I really want to ask the city council and mayor, but that’s another project down the road. A lot of people were receptive to what I briefly described at BCL’s activities and I think we made some new connections with like-minded people in the community.

Tomorrow night there will be a live broadcast of The Agenda in its regular roundtable discussion format, and I’ve been asked to reiterate my question on live television.

Indian Road

Broken City Lab presents preliminary documentation of a section of Indian Road, a street located immediately west of the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ontario. This area is one of our potential research sites. Ideas?