Homework Residency: Day 3, Collaborations Under Umbrellas

Day 3’s report of our Homework Residency comes courtesy of the residents themselves!!! Be sure to check out more on our Artists-in-Residence.

From Artist-in-Residence, Simon Rabyniuk:

Its overwhelming to try and write a blog post about what’s happening… it’s messy to try and recount exactly how things unfold and I mostly don’t remember… There are reflections to be made about the projects we are setting up for ourselves and of course the different decision making models we are using. I feel fine discussing the projects but mostly forget how we arrive at any specific decision. Here are some brief notes Rodrigo, Megan, and I put together this afternoon, with some feedback from Leah tonight. Also, here are some photos from Leah’s, Andrea’s, and my own camera.

Today we entrusted our decision making process to a series of three-person councils that each ‘held court’ for one hour.

We spent our first hour together distilling Tuesday activities, concentrating on making visual representations of them.

When the hour was up we started shooting ideas around for what to do today. Two ideas came up. Both responded to rain and wind warnings for the Windsor Region.

1st idea involved riding buses either around town or across the border as a group.

2nd idea proposed involved walking through the city with a grouping of umbrella’s.

There was fairly quick agreement to develop the umbrella project although it took a long time to get moving on it. An informal group took on the responsibility to call around and source cheap umbrellas. There was a commitment to stay together as a group in working on this but it wasn’t until after lunch that actual working groups started tackling specific aspects of the project. Perhaps this happened out of the pragmatism of material construction.

Around noon the entire group ventured into the rain to buy our project materials at the Dollarstore and hardware store. We bought 30 umbrella’s in black and red colors. Up to this point we had a series of design concepts but had chosen not to pin anything down until we had the umbrellas to work with. Along with the umbrellas we bought duct tape, fishing wire, grommet gun, zip ties to and a few small led flash lights and a few packs of glow sticks.

The four methods were:

1) tying corners together using fishing-line

2) taping edges

3) deconstruction

4) grommets

From the presentations we created a prototype involving 16 red umbrellas in a 2×8 formation using fishing-line to bind the corners.  It was completed quickly and deployed into the halls of Label.

Grommet everything! Yet another council’s decree.

Three groups emerged, one grommeting, another experimenting with umbrella formations, and another that did a final materials run…

The design group experimented with interesting ways to integrated the red and black umbrellas…

… eventually arriving at modules of 3 (2 red and 1 black) that could be be configured into numerous larger configurations.

This was followed by a 10-min dance party.

Rodrigo attaches to modules using ziptyes through the grommets to create a larger formation.

All of the umbrellas, while attached, still have the ability to collapse.

Testing the larger formations outside. We will be continuing this project and variations of it tomorrow morning.

Homework: Infrastructures & Collaboration in Social Practices is generously supported by the Ontario Arts Council, the University of Windsor’s School of Visual Arts, and our community partner the Art Gallery of Windsor.