In Store: A Series of Documentary Shorts on SRSI

We’re incredibly excited to be able to post this trailer for the forthcoming series of documentary shorts, In Store, produced, directed, and edited by the astoundingly talented, Daragh Sankey. Here’s the background from the In Store website:

It’s been a long time coming, but I’m finally posting stuff from my work in Windsor. It is a series of documentary shorts called In Store. It’s stuff I shot during Broken City Lab’s SRSI Project. SRSI stands for Storefront Residencies for Social Innovation, and it involved artists from across the country doing residencies in three vacant Windsor, ON storefronts.

I’ve got a trailer up now, and the shorts themselves will start showing up in a week or two. To stay on top of it, you can follow the sitethe twitter feedThe RSS feed. Or, if you’re reading this from the main Angry Robot site, the posts will show up there too. Or you can wait for me to just beam the stuff into your brain, which I’m sure will be available as a delivery platform any day now.

What can you expect from this? There will be about 10 films total. Most follow an artist as they do their thing on the residency, but they’re not all summaries; some single out moments. A longer one will be about Broken City Lab, the organizers of the event, and will be a bit broader than just the SRSI event. One will be about Windsor. I’ll be releasing a new one every week or two.

What’s it all about? Surprisingly, many of the artists used the space less as a gallery, and more as a base camp for engaging with the city. They produced art that was questioning, playful, exploratory and thought-provoking. You will see: disco balls, transplanted plants, fictional security guards, roving libraries, Detroit, gambling, a long street of vacant houses. If there’s a theme, it may be the challenges facing post-industrial cities like Windsor, and the role of art in articulating and helping face those challenges.

Hopefully, you’ll enjoy it.

Keep your eyes here:

Two Countries, One Street

With our ongoing How to Forget the Border Completely research project in mind, I’m just about to sit down and watch Two, Countries, One Street on the National Film Board of Canada website.

Filmed in 1955, this short documentary visits the 3 Québec border towns of Rock Island, Stanstead and Beebe, and the Vermont town of Derby Line to see how residents and officials cope with a civic life that is cut down the middle by an international boundary.

It will be good to think about how residents and officials living in Windsor and Detroit might begin to cope with the reality of the border today and in the future, in relation to a similar situation in Québec circa 1955. Mind you, the wide river is what visually distances Windsor and Detroit from each other, and it seems that the communities of Rock Island, Stanstead, Beebe and Derby Line are not separated by a body of water.

It’s only 22 minutes, so check it out!

Listen to the City: an Overview

Back in January, we asked nearly 40 people two questions: Why did you first come to Windsor? and Why are you still here? We asked those questions at an event called, Listen to the City, which was the first part of the five-month long project, Save the City. It was an incredible night.

The answers we got over the hour and a half we spent together at Phog Lounge in downtown Windsor presented not just answers to those two questions, but sprawling conversations about what it means to live in Windsor, how we’ve shaped this city, and how it’s shaped us.

The five-minute edit you can listen to below is just a slice of everything that was talked about that night. Initially, we thought we might be able to cut a lengthier audio documentary together, but there were pragmatic implications that kept us from doing that. Hours of audio with conversations that covered more ground than we could have ever imagined meant that it was a lot more difficult to piece something much larger together.

There were many voices that we unfortunately couldn’t include in the edit below, but only because of the amazing conversations those folks had, which in turn didn’t offer the kind of brief samples similar to those that we cut together. We added some music and tried to capture a general direction of conversation that we gathered from gradually listening to all of the conversations (Danielle took on the considerable task of doing just that and creating the assembly edit of this excerpt– hours and hours and hours of work, but we’re so excited to finally be able to share this).

So, while this excerpt in no way does justice to the range of conversations that we had that night, we hope it might be a good introduction, or a good marker in time, of what a group of 40 Windsorites thought about this city at the start of 2010.

Listen to the five-minute excerpt: (updated – thanks to Stephen Surlin for finessing our mix)


Or you can also download the MP3 of Listen to the City.

For good measure, we can also provide the original recordings in their entirety in a zip file if you’re interested. We make no promises about the audibility/legibility of every minute of these recordings, but if you have the time, they’re worth listening to as a whole. However, the zip file is over 700mb and so not easily uploaded to our servers. However, as promised, we will be officially handing over a copy of the five-minute excerpt and the raw audio files to the Windsor Archives soon.

We need to sincerely thank everyone who came out that night and shared with us.

Broken City Lab: Save the City was generously supported by the Ontario Arts Council.

SRSI : Non-Places Promo

Daragh Sankey has been working hard to release this promo video documenting Andrea Carvalho‘s three tactics to engage in non-places in the city of Windsor. Daragh is filming, logging and editing as much as he can during his residency, and will complete the post-production of the documentary later on this year.

This project is generously supported by the City of Windsor: Cultural Affairs OfficeArts Council Windsor & RegionWindsor Pride, and the Ontario Arts Council.

Eric Boucher’s Micro-Residency Project, Windsor: a Micro-Documentary

As part of Eric Boucher’s ongoing micro-residency, he created a trailer for the documentary (see it above) and is now looking for music (preferably from Windsor and preferably instrumental) to complete the project!

If you have music that you’re willing to pass along under a creative commons license or something to that effect, get in touch with Eric via his Twitter page. Or just let us know and we can pass along the info.

We can’t wait to see how this turns out!!!!!!

Eric Boucher Micro-Residency Iteration 6/6

Eric Boucher interviews Sam as part of his Micro-Residency

This past Saturday I did my portion of the BCL collab/micro-residency with the lovely and talented wunderkind, Mr.Eric Boucher.

For the collab I had Eric interview my sister’s good friend, Sam. Aside from her notable charm, I think Sam was a good candidate for the project because she is a student who came from Sarnia to study at the University of Windsor and could provide us with an honest “outsider” perspective. Under the supervision of Sam’s curious cat Joseph, she and Eric chatted about her first impressions of Windsor as well as the similarities and differences between the two border cities, Sarnia and Windsor.

What I found most interesting about the process was the organic way in which the conversation unfolded and continued to unfold after the camera was off between Sam, Eric, my sister and I(as I am sure was the case for the other interviews as well), which was a clear indication of the desire to participate (Windsorites and new windsorites alike) in the pro-Windsorian discourse……we love to talk about our underappreciated city!

I also think it is interesting to note that neither of us are native Windsorites (although my sis, Eric and I are county kids), we all had post secondary education as a common draw to the city, yet, I got the sense that we all seemed to feel like true Windsorites, ready to defend our city to the naysayers, the uninformed, the tresoners and the ones who lost hope.