Wednesday morning we set up for our last day of Urban Discovery with Truck Contemporary Art‘s CAMPER, this time stationed in Central Memorial Park. The theme for the day was “Finding Urban Sophistication and Warm Western Hospitality.”
What we wished to explore was the notion that Calgarians are on average a kinder population. We also were curious if there were any trends in the areas that these kind acts occur. Josh, Todd, Randy, and I handled on the day’s activities, while Justin took a break after a marathon work session on our upcoming publication (which we’ll be posting soon).
Before and after a visit from CBC Radio’s Karen Moxley, we cleaned off and re-used our blackboards from Day 4 with a new goal in mind: to find distinct examples of friendliness at street level. Although the park had far fewer pedestrians than Stephen Avenue, we were still able to get useful feedback from Calgarians, while at the same time allowing them to take a break from their busy day to recall previous acts of kindness.
Continue reading “ATTC Calgary Day 6: Mapping Calgarian Kindness”
On Day 3 of our ATTC Calgary with Truck Gallery’s CAMPER Urban Discovery project, it rained, and so we planned. We planned and discussed and reviewed some of the answers we had received from our activities on Day 2 — glimpses of the state of Calgary, from a ground-level perspective.
For Day 4, we had to condense our planned events into an single afternoon, collecting answers to a series of fill-in-the-blank statements and eventually creating a CAMPER-wide chalkboard to collect a timeline of Calgary.
Working to understand Calgary through these gestures provides insights to a city in between many things — a military fort and a sprawling urban centre, a longtime home and a temporary situation,the site of the first roadhouse and the place that Tim Hortons amalgamated with a small coffee shop, a celebrated Olympic site and the place of someone’s first concert. All of these experiences, memories, and invented histories create a space for dialogue around the narratives that create the social shape of the city and not only how we interact with it, but how we interact with one another.
Continue reading “ATTC Calgary Day 3 & 4: the Tales & Timelines of a City”
On Day 2 of our ATTC Calgary with Truck Gallery’s CAMPER Urban Discovery project, our ongoing work finds us asking questions about a city that we’re still just getting to know.
The questions are, necessarily, basic and straight forward. We’re not conducting deep sociological or statistical research, but rather trying to tease out a series of narratives that we know we haven’t yet heard about this place. Over the course of the residency, we’re aiming to develop a practice, a series of tactics that aim to unfold a way to get to know a place and the things that go about shaping the things we can know about a place. Cities are continually enacted through the narratives that we hear, create, and tear apart through daily practice, and we’re interested in both the narratives and that daily practice.
Over the course of a few hours on Thursday afternoon, we hear about many parts of the city that are worth loving, and worth changing. Somehow, an impression is made upon us that aligns with what we felt during our algorithmic walk — that is, Calgary is a city that isn’t readily touchable. It feels distant even when it’s right in front of you, and somehow the things we heard about the city from lifelong residents and people on holiday were the things that are legible from a distance, but in some instances, distanced from lived experience.
Continue reading “ATTC Calgary Day 2: Stories of a Distanced City”
We’re in Calgary working with Truck Gallery’s CAMPER Urban Discovery project, doing a residency based on our “…and then the city…” (ATTC) research. Developed after a six-month community research project back in Windsor called, Save the City, ATTC was initially realized as two billboards in Windsor and an accompanying publication that looked at the cyclical nature of city narratives — the things that we’re told and the things we tell ourselves about the places we live.
We’re here for 10 days working to develop a practice that can begin to unfold the complexities of Calgary and how the people, architecture, infrastructure, planning policies, and connections shape this city. We’re interested in the largest sense in understanding locality in both its reading and practice, and Calgary is already proving to be a wonderfully curious research site.
If you’re in Calgary, you can catch us at CAMPER by taking a look at our schedule, and if you’re away, you can expect posts everyday on our process.
Continue reading “ATTC Calgary Day 1: Shortcuts for Urban Resistance & Algorithmic Walks”
While camping can be an amazing experience, it usually involves some degree of planning to be successful. Imagine if you could camp on a whim without using a vehicle to haul heavy camping gear to your destination. Kevin Cyr, a Boston-based artist, created a functional camper bike back in April of last year. Even if the camper is too heavy to pull long distances, its creation still suggests that we may benefit from rethinking location permanence and our true material needs for survival.
Continue reading “Kevin Cyr’s Camper Bike”