1W3KND: On Social Practice and Collaboration, 48 Hours at a Time – New Book Available Now!

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Late last year, we started hosting a series of weekend residencies at CIVIC Space. They were designed to bring together two people (and sometimes more) to write about socially-engaged practices. We wanted to provide a platform, or an excuse, or at least a quiet space to spend a bit of focused time writing. We wanted to do this because we were curious about the gap in writing from emerging practitioners, and that curiosity was driven as much out of our desire to read more from our peers as our realization that we have done very little writing on our own.

So, we posted a call for submissions on our website under the title of 1W3KND.

1W3KND stood for One Weekend, Three Thousand Words, No Distractions. It would be a brief, yet focused two days, just long enough to pull away from everyday life, but not so long that the itch to overly-polish any of the writing would arise. It would ideally put people into a dialogue, maybe even with a stranger, to try to tease out new entry-points into likely familiar conversations and capture an urgency around itself. It would concentrate this activity in a specific place without necessarily insisting on a response to it.

Between November 2012 and February 2013, we were happy to host the following artists, writers, curators, designers, thinkers, and scholars:

Penelope Smart & Erin MacMillan, Irene Chin & Megan Marin, Jason Deary & Mary Tremonte, Zoe Chan & Sarah Febbraro, Mike DiRisio & Nathan Stevens, Amber Ginsburg & Siobhan Rigg, VSVSVS & Julian Majewski, Jacqui Arntfield & Emily DiCarlo, Nathan Swartzendruber & Mike Fleisch, and Allison Rowe & Rhiannon Vogl

We compiled what they wrote into a book. It’s available now on Blurb for just $10.

The residency as an experiment, as a site of production, or as simply a retreat, spurred writing that reflects a diversity of approaches towards articulating the concerns, ethics, aims, and ideals of socially-engaged practices. Largely written by emerging practitioners and minimally edited, this is not necessarily a cogent collection of essays — in fact, such an expectation would arguably be missing the point. This book captures an energy and urgency around a complicated set of ideas still unfolding in relation to a world rapidly shifting around them. To have the opportunity to collect the texts, at the early stages of so many of the contributors’ practices is a gift and hopefully a tool for further reflection and dialogue across geographies, politics, and practices.

If we had more time at Civic Space, we’d probably do this again. Maybe someone else can pick up where we left off.

Scapegoat Journal 05 – Excess!!! (art is excess, artists are not excessive, art is not enough)

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SCAPEGOAT: Architecture | Landscape | Political Economy is an independent, not-for-profit, bi-annual journal designed to create a context for research and development regarding design practice, historical investigation, and theoretical inquiry. Edited by friends like Adrian Blackwell, Adam Bobbette, Nasrin Himada, Jane Hutton, Marcin Kedzior, Chris Lee, Christie Pearson, and Etienne Turpin, SCAPEGOAT should be considered required reading.

In the latest issue of  SCAPEGOAT, focused on EXCESS,  BCL Research Fellows, Justin Langlois and Hiba Abdallah tackle the language of excess around valuations of design, art, and civic life. This work comes alongside along work from approximately 60 other contributors (including upcoming Homework II panel organizer, Tom Provost)… and here’s the full epic list:

Contributors to EXCESS include: Ariella AZOULAY, Georges BATAILLE, Jean BAUDRILLARD, Alex BERCEANU, Diana BERESFORD-KROEGER, James BRIDLE, Melissa CATE CHRIST, Tings CHAK, Steven CHODORIWSKY, Vicki DASILVA, Heather DAVIS, Sara DEAN, Amanda DE LISIO, Seth DENIZEN, EMIL, ÉPOPÉE, FALA ATELIER, Valeria FEDERIGHI, Natasha GINWALA, HEBBEL AM UFER, Lisa HIRMER, Gary HUSTWIT, David HUTAMA, Kate HUTCHENS, Jennifer JACQUET, Martti KALLIALA, Prachi KAMDAR, Stuart KENDALL, Chris KRAUS, Abidin KUSNO, Emily KUTIL, Clint LANGEVIN, Justin LANGLOIS, Sam LEACH, Stanisław LEM, Sylvère LOTRINGER, Filipe MAGALHAES, Danielle MCDONNOUGH, Meredith MILLER, Srimoyee MITRA, Jeffrey MONAGHAN, Jon PACK, Keith PEIFFER, Rich PELL, pHgH, Rick PRELINGER, Thomas PROVOST, raumlaborberlin, John Paul RICCO, Erin SCHNEIDER, Ana Luisa SOARES, Scott SØRLI, Raphael SPERRY, Anna-Sophie SPRINGER, Antonio STOPPANI, Maria TAYLOR, Eugene THACKER, Kika THORNE, Emily VANDERPOL, Kevin WALBY, Eyal WEIZMAN, Jason YOUNG, Vivian ZIHERL, and Joanna ZYLINSKA.

The issue is now available online for purchase today. Please share with your friends and colleagues. SCAPEGOAT is an awesome independent Toronto-based journal that’s worth supporting.

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

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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.

A 1W3KND Update

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We’re almost halfway through the 1W3KND Writing Residencies and the pile of writing is growing! Here’s an update on the last  four residents.

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Mike DiRisio and Nathan Stevens collaborated through the weekend and left us with an awesome collection of notes,  brainstorms, fun posters, and essays. Above: one of their posters.

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Another great surprise: a series of back and fourth anonymous letters.

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Please create responsibly.

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Some more notes.

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As the residency goes on, I’ve found that there’s something really interesting about coming in to work on Mondays and finding cues of an activated space from the weekend passed.

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A more light-hearted piece: “8 Commonly-held Myths, Misconceptions, and Erroneous Ideas about Socially Engaged Creative Practice”.

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Letters among collaborators.

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More notes!

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Before the holiday break, 1W3KND residents Jason Deary and Mary Tremonte spent the weekend collaborating on a set of essays.

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Reflections.

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The collection of work has been really great so far and we’re excited to see how the residency will progress.

This weekend Siobhan Rigg and Amber Ginsburg will be the writing residents. Can’t wait to see what they come up with!!

Scattered Notes from the end of the year

The holidays flew by, but here’s a quick look at how we spent part of it — amazingly, we almost all got together at one point or another. It’s been way too long! Right before everyone arrived home, Hiba reviews the t-shirt project … already changed again from the image above.

Rosina and Hiba took another look at the t-shirt phrasing, while simultaneously pulling together a small window installation.

Also, we made our first full-size work from the drafts we did a few weeks back.

We can’t wait to do some more of these! Above, Hiba lays the vinyl over the black background.

Bunting installation at the window.

Holidays.

Call to resolve, made with our little bunting app.

Call to resolve: Participate and Be Patient.

You saw our bunting app, right? This was a first draft of the little graphic.

Also, working on the installation for an upcoming show. Hardware.

Then, the holiday party!

Then, back to the studio, working on hardware for the hearts.

Michelle and Sara.

Karlyn, back from the west, and Hiba.

Josh Babcock + JB Weld.

Michelle’s adventures at the hardware store.

New vinyl.

Planning.

Hardware assembly.

It failed, the first time.

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Second try, with acrylic.

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The gap.

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Scars.

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Notes for a form. We’re finalizing things for this t-shirt project. You’re going to participate, right?!

 

A List of Words by Sarah Febbraro & Zoë Chan

The list assembled by Sarah Febbraro and Zoë Chan this past weekend aims to, as they put it in the introduction, “document the time they spent together, revealing various backgrounds, trajectories, and interests as they intersect with social practice.” It’s an amazingly fun read and I can’t wait to figure out the best way to share this (and all the writing so far). Sarah and Zoë suggest an online and editable list to keep building this, collectively.

A sampling of the great topics listed …

Accessibility, Actors/Non-actors, Actual vs. Symbolic Practice, Block Party, Cats, Chicago, DIY/Punk, Hats, Hierarchy, Messiness, Potluck / Feasts, Strategies of working, Tours …

And there’s more. And there will be more. The next 1W3KND residency starts in about 24 hours with Jason Deary and Mary Tremonte!

1W3KND RESIDENCY: Irene Chin & Megan Marin

Coming in on Mondays after a 1W3KND residency is pretty much the best way to start the week. Above, a beautiful little booklet created by Irene Chin and Megan Marin.

It looks at a number of projects that at a range of tactics and actions: Echo, Rhythm, and volume.

Can’t wait to see where this comes together as the residencies go on — maybe we should get a PDF up here in the meantime?

1W3KND Residency: Penelope Smart and Erin MacMillan

Last weekend we had the writing collaboration of the 1W3KND Residency with Penelope Smart and Erin MacMillan. The result was two pieces of writing: one was essay style and the other was interview style. They stayed the weekend at Civic Space, brainstorming, eating, exploring, and of course writing.

The end result.

The 1W3KND Residency continues this weekend with Megan Marin and Irene Chin.

More soon.

1W3KND: Call for Submissions for a New Writing Residency

We want to invite you to participate in our new residency program, 1W3KND aimed at developing essays, interviews, manifestos, critiques, reviews, and other texts around ideas of collaboration, socially engaged works, artist-run culture, and public practices. We’re hoping to publish these in one form or another some time next year.

There have been a number of books released over the past year discussing socially-engaged practices (here’s a list of a few of our favourites), but we’re really interested in reading more from artists themselves, especially those in the earlier stages of their career. We think there’s a need to make more time to write through the ideas, questions, and concerns that come through engaging in these kinds of practices, and we’re hoping we can help to accommodate those interested in doing that writing.

As part of this project, and in the spirit of fostering more collaboration, we’ll also try to pair you with another applicant. If you already have someone who you’d like to come with though, please just make a note of it in the form below.

We can’t offer a fee, but we can offer to cover your travel up to $250, and a place to stay at CIVIC SPACE for a weekend.

Please fill out the form below. The first deadline to apply is September 24th, 2012 as we’d like to start hosting these residencies in November.

Good luck!


Submissions are now closed. We’ll announce the first-round of selected participants soon.

Planning for Civic Maintenance

While some of us were away last week in North Bay, Sara and Kevin caught up to talk through some ideas around the next project we’ll be hosting out of CIVIC SPACE. It was an excellent welcome home to walk into a wall of notes from their conversation. Anxious to keep talking through these ideas later on this week.

Civic Maintenance is the working title of this next project, and it’s moving towards the direction of a letter-writing campaign to thousands of citizens of Windsor. We’re thinking about what it means to maintain relationships and connections in the city and how simple gestures might reframe the ways in which we feel connected (or don’t) to the city.

Sara drafted a potential design on the chalkboard.

If we’re going to be able to write a couple thousand letters, we’re also going to be looking for ways to open up the project for other community members to participate.

Sending letters to city hall.

Funny question around planning for a potential exhibition of the letters and letter writing process — “is this too art?”

Exhibition planning.

BCL mailbox!

Letter design templates.

This drawing opened up the idea of having a series of mailboxes on the walls (at least for me!)

Fill in the blanks to generate content?

Outdoor mailbox.

Submitting writing and letter drafts through a web form.

The wall and caption. More soon.