Maya Lin, Topographic Landscapes

an installation shot from Maya Lin's show, Systematic Landscapes at the De Young museum in San Fransisco

Maya Lin has created a number of public art works, memorials, and has increasingly shifted her practice towards studies of landscape, often rendering rivers, geographic relief, and water lines. Interestingly, many of her recent works are made exclusively of reclaimed materials—silver from jewelry, computers, and photographic process, and lumber from sustainably harvested wood.

There’s an interesting, but lengthy, video lecture by Maya Lin on the De Young Gallery website, where she explains a lot of her work and the processes behind it. 


A Vending Cart of Maps

Making Maps by People, then putting them on a vending cart, project by Katy Asher

With our interest in mapping (and using the fancy technology of Google Maps to try to do so), I thought it might be interesting to post on this project, which is very much not about fancy technology. Katy Asher, a student in Portland’s MFA in Art and Social Practice program, along with Ariana Jacob and Amber Bell, have initiated a project that “aims to make a vending cart of maps made by people from Portland.”

This feels like an intersection of a number of projects we’ve discussed and are also ongoing in the community, and makes me wonder what subjective maps would look like for other Windsorites. Asking for people to map their routes to work, their favourite restaurants, their neighbourhoods would certainly provide an interesting look at the way distances and geography are collapsed or exaggerated and might help to discover some other broken parts of our city and the way it functions (or doesn’t).

Hektor, the Spray-Paint Output Device

I was looking through the book, Design and the Elastic Mind, which accompanied the eponymous exhibit, and came across Hektor. I had seen this somewhere before, or something like it anyways, on my Internet travels, but glad I was reminded of it, as it is surely worth a post. 

Hektor is a simple 2-motor controlled plotter that has toothed belts and a can holder that handles regular spray cans. By programming a graphic in Illustrator using the Scriptographer plugin, you can have Hektor output nearly anything. It was created in close collaboration with engineer Uli Franke for Jürg Lehni’s diploma project at écal (école cantonale d’art de Lausanne) in 2002.

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.


Moss Wall

Olafur Eliasson's Moss Wall, living arctic moss installed in a gallery

I’d been meaning to scan this for a while, Olafur Eliasson‘s Moss Wall, which consists of living arctic moss. While we’ve posted about pictorial or textual uses of moss before, I like that this work was done in 1994 and exists as just a large span of green. So, in thinking about our past interest in relocating moss, and my anticipation that we’ll want to think about this more when spring comes around, I wanted to get this posted as a reference for later.

Austin Green Art

Green Bench

The recent season change reminds me of how much our temperature drops during the winter and how much our city changes aesthetically.  On that note, I was wondering how other “green art”-type groups deal with their surroundings.

I found a group call Austin Green Art from Austin, Texas which seems to focus on using existing materials (disposed or excessively produced) to make useful structures and raise awareness of environmental issues.  While this group is about as different from Broken City Lab – they seem to market to children quite a bit and require constant donations for operation – as it is similiar, it’s nice to see participation from a wide range of age groups in their documentation.

I found this “Green Bench” to be a great example of a project that could encorporate ideas such as: static visual art display (in the plastic cover), shelter, sustaining plant life, and potential solar energy production.  I’d like to see benches like this line a few of Windsor’s streets.

Home Movies by Jim Campbell

Home Movies by Jim Campbell

Jim Campbell’s Home Movies is a large-scale video installation consisting of hundreds of LEDs that render films spanning four decades into nearly illegible light and shadow. Seems like a good fit for such a cold night.

Oh, and I now have in my possession 200 10mm LEDs.


Make an Encouraging Banner

Everything is not Broken

I’ve been pointed to Learning To Love You More on a number of occasions, though it’s only recently that I’ve dug into the site a little bit more. The project was initiated by Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher in 2002 and works around the assignments that participants are supposed to complete and document and send back to be posted on the website (and sometimes included in a book, an exhibition, a screening, or a radio broadcast). The image above is from Assignment #63Make an Encouraging Banner. I think if I were to have made a banner, it might have been something like that one.

That the project does get a fair amount of participants is inspiring, but the thing I like the most are the ideas of the assignments themselves and the fact that they exist, that they were written down, thought about, and attempted. Making a list is, at the very least, a starting point of fixing something.