The Arts Supports You

The Arts Supports You is a project thought up by some fellow students and I at the University of Windsor. The project aims to occupy certain spaces for a period of time in which we hold an oversized QR scanning code for passers by (or people situated in the space) to scan. One of the places in which this was done was in the seating at a Windsor women’s hockey game, and the other (not pictured), being in front the University of Windsor School of Music building, facing the intersection of Sunset Avenue, and Wyandotte.

The set up was rather simple: We projected the QR onto some foam core, and taped off the white areas, painting over all the exposed parts. We created our own personalized handles on the backsides, and attached each panel with velcro so that the whole 8 pieces cold fold into one, and unfold into a large piece.

The QR code takes you to a link that has a nice little image depicting the message, and a link to a facebook page that explains the project in more detail.

…and then the city told itself the same old stories

...and then the city told itself the same old stories

For the first time in over 25 years McIntosh Gallery and Forest City Gallery have joined forces to bring the latest contemporary art to audiences in London and further afield. Together, the two galleries have published …and then the city told itself the same old stories by Broken City Lab. This publication documents our recent exhibit at Forest City Gallery, through which we aimed to explore the narratives around London, Ontario. Based on a research project we initially developed in Windsor, Ontario, our exhibition revolved around a curiosity about locality and the ways in which it becomes shaped through shared experience and interwoven narratives.

Both galleries have a long history in London Ontario. McIntosh Gallery, the oldest university art gallery in Ontario, was founded in 1942. Forest City Gallery, among the oldest artist run centres in Canada, was founded in 1973. Their last collaborative project was a 1987 exhibition curated by Bob McKaskell about Marcel Duchamp.

This publication is also the first publication of the McIntosh Gallery Curatorial Study Centre (MGCSC) founded in 2010. With the financial support of the Beryl Ivey McIntosh Gallery Fund, MGCSC includes a resource centre dedicated to curatorial practices and publishes innovative research on museology and contemporary art. …and then the city told itself the same old stories is a co-publication of Forest City Gallery and the McIntosh Gallery Curatorial Study Centre. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Beryl Ivey McIntosh Gallery Fund, which has provided funding for this publication. The McIntosh Gallery wishes to acknowledge the annual financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, The University of Western Ontario and Foundation Western. Forest City Gallery wishes to acknowledge the annual financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the London Arts Council and the City of London.

If you’d like a hardcopy, we’d recommend getting in touch with Forest City Gallery or the McIntosh — we’re fairly certain they have some extra copies. Or, you can also download the PDF version of the publication.

International Day Without Art

December 1 is World AIDS Day and International Day Without Art

A Declaration of loss:
Today we stand together.
Today we stand in silence.
Today we mourn the loss of painters, photographers, dancers, printers, actors, film makers, singers, choreographers, poets, sculptors, musicians, designers… all the artists who have died of AIDS.

Today we collectively grieve the loss of future work from recognized artists, as well as the absence of countless artists yet to be. Today we declare our loss.

December 1 is a Day without Art, an international day of observance which focuses attention on the profound impact AIDS has had on artists and the world arts community.

Since 1990, each year an increasing number of galleries, theatres, artist groups and individuals have participated in a vast array of commemorative events.

Day without Art celebrates the lives of colleagues and friends while mourning their loss in our creative communities.

Dec 1, 2011 DWA activities/commemorations include: gallery closings; shroudings of art; special art exhibitions; distribution of commemorative pins and handbills;
announcements on CJAM 99.1 fm; information campaigns; charitable contributions; and a joint World AIDS Day / Day Without Art public candlelight vigil at 7:00 pm at the Art Gallery of Windsor. The 2011 Windsor Day Without Art Collective are:

AIDS Committee of Windsor
Arts Council Windsor & Region
Artcite Inc.
Backroom Artists’ Collectives
Broken City Lab
CJAM Radio 99.1 fm
Common Ground Gallery
Made in Windsor
Media City Festival
Nobel Peace Project
U of W School Of Dramatic Art
U of W School of Visual Arts
U of W Visual Arts Society
Windsor’s Community Museum
Windsor Endowment for the Arts
Windsor Pride
Windsor Printmakers Forum
Windsor Symphony Orchestra

Please join the AIDS Committee of Windsor, the Art Gallery of Windsor
and the Windsor Day Without Art Collective in celebrating the lives of our
beloved friends and colleagues at a joint World AIDS Day / Day Without Art
Candlelight Vigil at 7:00 pm on December 1 at the Art Gallery of Windsor, 401 Riverside Dr. West, Windsor, ON.

Refreshments will be served; admission to the the vigil is FREE and open to all.

All are welcome!

For more information, download the poster: DWA poster 2011

DX Salon Nights: In Conversation

Poster for DX Salon Night with BCL & DoUC

Michelle and Justin head up to Toronto on December 8th at 6:30pm at 234 Bay Street for an interview with the Department of Unusual Certainties, as part of the ongoing DX Salon Night.

Not familiar with the Design Exchange?

The Design Exchange (DX) is Canada’s design centre and museum with a mission to promote the value of design.  We are an internationally recognized non-profit educational organization committed to promoting greater awareness of design as well as the indispensable role it plays in fostering economic growth and cultural vitality.  We build bridges by improving communication between various design disciplines, educators, businesses and the general public through programs, exhibits, lectures, and workshops.

Yes, we’re excited. Hope you’ll join us.

Swings: Los Angeles

People installing swing sets throughout the city of Los Angeles. I believe to be an interesting use of public spaces that citizens all share! Its interesting way to think what other things people could do to evoke feelings of community within shared spaces…or to imagine using certain spaces in different ways.

I really enjoy the sets installed in unconventional places that aren’t particularly meant for use as a recreational space. Such as: underneath the docks, under bridges, and in that final shot along the ditch. The shots of pedestrians using the swings are awesome.

“In June, 2011 The L.A. chapter of The Awesome Foundation awarded a grant to install $1000 worth of swings throughout Los Angeles.”


BCL Report: March 11, 2011 (Maps & Letters)

Once again, we gathered at Lebel for another fun Friday full of brainstorming and map making. This particular Friday we met with Mel, a jewelry designer with his BFA from Yugoslavia, to discuss the best design for the CAFKA letters.

We are currently deciding whether it would be best to stick with our original plan to build the letters out of plywood, or try a new approach with Styrofoam and stucco.

Continue reading “BCL Report: March 11, 2011 (Maps & Letters)”

Neighbourhood Deterioration and Suburbanism

As I think about where I live, in a subdivision off of dominion road near the Holy Name of Mary Highschool, I immediately think of the current hollowing and cutting into the forest and brush that’s going on to make room for more houses, and more roads. The illumination of this by me is quite ironic however, considering my family and I live in one of these very suburban houses.

It’s obvious this has negative impacts on the wildlife that exists. I see coyotes almost every night trotting just outside the back of the house. During the winter months (such as it is now), we tend to leave dry corn in a wooden box with some apples in the backyard. Some nights I’ve counted 12 dear hanging out just behind my house.

It’s interesting to think of how the literal physical border of this city, via the road and the backs of houses, keep cutting further and further into this small forest landlocked in the middle of the city of Windsor.


This is an older image taken from Google Earth, but I have highlighted one of the sections where they have clear cut the forest and brush. (There’s another large area they have cut on the other side of the bush that I couldn’t fit into the image). The area in yellow today is full of empty streets, and empty  lots with pipes sticking out of the ground.

I guess where I am getting may be partly an environmental awareness and a defense for this landlocked micro-environment, but also an awareness of the suburbanism that has occurred in a city where its downtown core has not been kept up infrastructurally speaking, and has been ‘hollowed out’, so to speak.

Suburban housing development has not only contributed to the hollowing out of the downtown core, but also has been a result of various things such as dependency on economic sectors (auto industry, higher paying jobs, etc…), which has allowed those fortunate enough to buy a house away from the deteriorating core of Windsor itself. The core isn’t getting the economic, social, and infrastructural attention it needs to function in a more cohesive and economically and culturally integrated way (especially considering how the Windsor/Detroit area has had so much potential of economic integration in the past with the integration of the auto industry. But as we know, Detroit is also suffering from neighbourhood deterioration).

I think these conversations also imply other things such as generalizations of classes of people in both cities being a large contributer to the attention (or lack of) payed to certain neighbourhoods, and implies many other cases to think about, like the shallow analysis political leaders of our municipalities provide as a way to talk positively about improving infrastructure of older neighborhoods in city planning.

The irony is, I have only provided a shallow analysis of the problems discussed, which started with me thinking about the geography and situation of my immediate neighbourhood.

This is a ‘before’ picture of the field and forest, which has now been paved with new streets. (I should really provide an ‘after’ picture for effectiveness)


Maybe the ‘make this better’ would be placed in a deteriorating neighborhood, possibly housing or buildings? Although I havn’t chosen a direct area to do this, I hope at the least that it can generate at least one good conversation. I’m still thinking about it!