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?


We visited the Spark Science Centre. We were offered a tour before the building officially opens. We got to peek at the things that make the building come together — the people, the rooms, the storage space, the infrastructure, the tools, the plumbing, the landscape, and the plans. Above, landscape rendering, or rendering landscape.


There’s a prototype lab that I’m sure we’ll visit again in the summer. There are many baskets and bins and shelves filled with things to help you get lost and lose more time.


Further, there are time-delayed questions and answers.


And there is visible infrastructure, immersive, visible infrastructure.


The immersive screen normally shows planetary renderings based on some scripting language. I wondered aloud if you could crash planets together.


The exhibition design at Spark is curious and well done.


So many components made me wonder what does participation look like, or rather, what does the representation of participation look like and what does it ask us to do?


Outside, it’s a warmer day. We see the remnants of a test garden that grew food that no public visitors could eat. This summer, these will be moved and a test patch of wheat will be grown.

We spent the rest of the day on another visit looking at the GIS capacities of the City of Calgary, making some withdraws from the Watershed+ library, and winding back around the kitchen table that’s our office for the time being. There’s one more day until I head back to Vancouver and Josh and Hiba will continue on for another week. More soon.