Cross-plotted: Detroit to Windsor Exhibition Opens November 9th

Cross-plotted: Detroit to Windsor is an exhibition by a group of Master of Architecture students at the University of Michigan. The group is formulated around a research practice that investigates the unfolding circumstances of the city through full-scale-work: making is used as a means to reveal, critique, and alter the realities of our urban settings. The exhibition focuses on specific plots of land in Detroit by exploring their material and atmospheric conditions as well as their immaterial regulations, degrees of neglect, and idiosyncrasies. The capsules work to re-frame materials from the plots in Detroit within their displaced context in Windsor.

The group is collaborating with the artist-led interdisciplinary collective Broken City Lab, as well as the Creative Rights legal team. The attitudes and research practices developed for this work will inform a yearlong thesis studio.

The exhibit opens November 9th at 7pm at Broken City Lab’s Civic Space: 411 Pelissier Street in downtown Windsor.


John Guinn

Tony Killian

Anastasia Kostrominova

Emily Kutil

Sarah Nowaczyk

Harry Solie

Grant Weaver

Andrew Wolking

Ning Zhou

Professor: Catie Newell


FRIDAY, SEPT.14th, 2012 @ WAHC 7:30PM -10PM

WAHC’s year- long exploration of growing up in working class cities or families concludes with the first ever career survey of art and urban research collective Broken City Lab.

Recently long listed for the Sobey Art Award, Broken City Lab’s four years of community engaged interventions across Canada have garnered critical praise, invigorated communities and raised fundamental questions regarding people’s relationships to public and private space within the urban environment, the institutions that define it, our agency as city dwellers within the contemporary urban milieu and the role of the arts and artists in shaping how we experience or engage with these environments.

Based in the industrial centre of Windsor, Ontario, the collective’s work has often deployed their hometown as source of inspiration, testing laboratory and a stand in for the hundreds of other communities across the country seeking to redefine their identities in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis.

This exhibition explores the group’s relationship to Windsor through revisiting their earliest works and illustrating how those works have shaped and defined their undertakings in communities across the country.

About the Artists

Broken City Lab is an artist-led interdisciplinary creative research group that tactically disrupts and engages the city, its communities, and its infrastructures to reimagine the potential for action in the collapsing post-industrial city of Windsor, Ontario.

The processes of Broken City Lab remain grounded in the lab’s observations and concerns about Windsor, as a city, as a community, and as a network of infrastructure, and aim to do two things: first, Broken City Lab works through interventionist tactics to adjust, critique, annotate, and re-imagine the city that we encounter; secondly, through these interventions, the lab seeks to educate, inspire, and facilitate a new way of viewing the potential for interacting with and in the city.

Broken City Lab’s creative activity is rooted in community-based social practice, where the lab attempts to generate a new dialogue surrounding public participation and community engagement in the creative process, with a focus on the city as both a research site and workspace.

This exhibition is supported by the Ontario Arts Council Exhibition Assistance Grant.


Also on September 14 & 15 in Hamilton:

Broken City Catalogue Launch – Friday Sept 14 and Sat Sept 15th, 7-11 pm, in the foyer of Hamilton Artists Inc. including distribution of fibre-based works from the installation on the Cannon St Wall.
Curated by Julie Rene de Cotret.

Exhibition Design (in progress)

Exhibition design, photographs, tape, and negatives (1)

As we continue to paint the letters, we’re now moving onto some exhibition design for the launch of the Letter Library.

Exhibition design, photographs, tape, and negatives (2)

Really preliminary ideas here … but the gist of it is around wanting the work to feel open…

Exhibition design, photographs, tape, and negatives (3)

Not sure that we’ll go with tape on top of the photos like this.

Exhibition design, photographs, tape, and negatives (4)

4×6 photos and corresponding negatives.

Exhibition design, photographs, tape, and negatives (5)

Lovely test stamp.

Exhibition design, photographs, tape, and negatives (6)

Call and response.

Exhibition design, photographs, tape, and negatives (8)

Excite, grid.

Exhibition design, photographs, tape, and negatives (7)

A proposed stamp for the backs of the letters.

Hiba and Sara are still at the space, I’m heading back later this evening. Huge shout-out to Kiki for kicking ass alongside Kevin today, painting white styrofoam white.

More tomorrow.


New Exhibition: Unrest Everywhere (Tools for Playing with Halifax)

Just back from an incredible week installing at Eye Level Gallery for our show, Unrest Everywhere (tools for playing with Halifax), which runs until May 12, 2012. The show features a number of multiples and interactive works, all of which are yours for the taking and borrowing.

The premise for the show was to create a series of works that could directly or indirectly suggest access points for re-encountering the city and your role within it. We created works that aimed to be highly distributable, playful, and allowed a bit of critical commentary on the ways in which a sense of place comes to be planned, articulated, and established.

Below is a huge pile of documentation of the process — but first — we’d like to extend a huge thanks to all staff and volunteers at Eye Level, especially Michael and Matt, and to Emily and Kaley for the place to crash!

Continue reading “New Exhibition: Unrest Everywhere (Tools for Playing with Halifax)”

Evan Roth’s Art & Hacking Class

Danielle, Michelle and I were over in Detroit at the recent INITIATE panel discussion and Evan Roth made a presentation on the early stages of some of this work. It’s awesome to see where it went — hopefully we’ll have a chance to head over and check out the show. Here’s the details from Roths’ site

Welcome To Detroit
Works by Evan Roth
Curated by Gregory Tom

Eastern Michigan University’s University Gallery
900 Oakwood Street, 2nd Floor
Ypsilanti, MI 48197

Reception @ EMU’s University Gallery October 14, 4:30pm – 7:00pm

March 8, 2012: It is no secret that Detroit’s creative community has been attracting media attention of late. What started as photos of “Ruin Porn” and “$100 Dollar Houses” led to a flood of additional articles on creative activity in Detroit.

Evan Roth’s exhibition, Welcome to Detroit, will feature nearly all-new work, much of it made during his residency. The work follows his core conceptual framework of appropriating popular culture and combining it with a hacker’s philosophy to highlight how small shifts in visualization can allow us to see our environment with new eyes, whether online, at home, in the city or at the airport. His work acts as both a mirror and vault to contemporary society, creating work that reflects and withstands a world of rapid advancements in computing power, changing screen resolution and repainted city walls.

For Welcome to Detroit, Evan mines everything from the spray paint can, to hip-hop music, to airplane shopping magazines and flight safety cards, resulting in a show that moves freely across media, but always with a sense of pop cultural pranksterism. From individual art objects to video pieces to documentation, the work is designed to simultaneously serve as a record of activity and creative output, while also underscoring important issues concerning copyright, public space, and our offline and online identities.

Additional information on Evan Roth can be found at

Wrapping up Production for Hamilton: a quick look at some recent work

As we wrap up production on our upcoming installation, Two Tales of a City, at Hamilton Artists Inc., our Friday night meeting was shifted to Lebel where we set out to coat the bunting with some scotch guard and just started laying everything out.

Rosina braved the quick spray

The rest of the crew helped moved things around — the bunting is all connected and somewhere around 100 feet long.

Touch ups on the reverse side of the bunting.

Some details of some of the transfers. Michelle was at Jodi’s helping to do some of the few remaining cut-outs for the letters that we’ll be placing over the fabric square.s

Josh being detail-oriented.

The bunting are 18″ long.

Some of the pile.

More details. We’ll be shooting photographs of these today before boxing them up.

And the crew trying to get some perspective on the work.

We also spent some time pulling together some installation instructions and doing a preliminary collection of possible texts that will rotate throughout the run of the installation on the fabric banner. We’re really excited to see this go up in Hamilton next week. If you’re in town, come by our workshop on March 9th!

Upcoming Show: Two Tales of a City / Deux Contes d’une Ville

Two Tales of a City

March 9th – May 4th, 2012

Workshop & Opening: Friday March 9, 3:30pm @ Hamilton Farmer’s Market & 6:30-8pm @ Hamilton Artists Inc.

161 James Street N. Hamilton L8R 2K9


Two Tales of a City aims to examine a range of social, economic, cultural, and political dualities tracked throughout Hamilton’s past, present, and future. Gathered from archival research, interviews, and pop-up surveys and timelines, Two Tales of a City will present competing, intertwining, and parallel narratives of Hamilton through a large-scale fabric banner, oversized bunting, a workshop, and forthcoming publication.

The fabric banner installed along the side of HAI’s new building will feature a rotating series of call-and-response dualities over a six week period, while the oversized bunting will span 135 feet hung across the roofline and act as a timeline of collapsed and thriving industries, experiences, struggles, and victories of the city.

While created by drawing on stories, experiences, and data from Francophone and Anglophone communities in Hamilton, the project will culminate in a re-distribution of the timeline bunting to the community by allowing gallery visitors to take pieces with them at the close of the exhibition.

Featuring documentation of the projects, essays, and a collectively written story, the publication will be created from activities at the upcoming workshop, and will be available in print at the close of the installation, April 27, 2012. The Tales of a Timeline: Hamilton’s Stories Workshop will take place on Friday, March 8th at 3:30pm at Hamilton Farmer’s Market, with the exhibition officially opening later that night from 6:30-8:00pm at HAI.

Please contribute to the exhibition by filling in this fill-in-the-blank form and telling us your story about Hamilton!



Deux Contes d’une Ville

9 Mars – 4 Mai, 2012

Ouverture Vendredi le 9 mars de 6;30-8pm, & Les Fables d’une Chronologie : Histoires de Hamilton Marché Fermier d’Hamilton (35 boul. York, Hamilton), dans la cuisine communautaire à 3:30pm

Hamilton Artists Inc.

161 rue James N. Hamilton L8R 2K9

Ouvert ce vendredi « Artcrawl » le 9 mars jusqu’à 11pm.


Deux Contes d’une Ville vise à examiner une gamme de dualités sociales, économiques, culturelles et politiques soulignant le passé, le présent et le futur de la Ville de Hamilton. À partir de la recherche amassée des archives et de l’histoire chronologique de la ville, d’interviews et de questionnaires, Deux contes d’une ville nous présente des narrations de Hamilton en conflit, entremêlées et parallèles en utilisant une bannière à grande échelle, une série de fanions surdimensionnés, un atelier et une publication rétrospective vers la fin de l’exposition.

La bannière de tissu installée sur du côté du nouvel édifice de « Hamilton Artists Inc. » affiche une série de phrases contenant des dualités, extraite du questionnaire. Cette bannière changera au cours de la durée de l’exposition, soit huit semaines. La série de fanions géants mesure 135 pieds de longueur et est suspendue au long du toit. Ces fanions représentent l’histoire chronologique des industries disparues et celles toujours existantes et des expériences, défis et victoires de la ville.

Créer à partir des histories, expériences et de l’information accumulée au sujet des communautés francophone et anglophone de la Ville de Hamilton, le projet culmine avec la redistribution des fanions à la communauté en permettant aux visiteurs de la galerie d’en prendre des échantillons, à la fin de l’exposition.

Mettant en vedette la documentation du projet, des ouvrages littéraires et une histoire écrite collectivement, la publication sera créée des activités de l’atelier à venir et sera disponible vers la fin de l’installation, vers le 27 avril.

L’atelier : « Les Fables d’une Chronologie : Histoires de Hamilton »,  prendra place Vendredi le 9 mars, 2012 au Marché Fermier d’Hamilton (35 boul. York, Hamilton), dans la cuisine communautaire à 3:30pm, avec l’ouverture officielle de l’exposition plus tard le même soir de 6:30 à 8:00pm à « Hamilton Artists Inc. » (161 rue James N. Hamilton).

S’il vous plaît contribuer à l’exposition en remplissant ce formulaire fill-in-the-blank et nous dire votre histoire sur Hamilton!

Two Tales of a City: Hamilton History Hunters Day 2

We spent the day in Hamilton again, this time walking around downtown as Official Hamilton History Hunters, building a timeline of Hamilton’s history with the help of city residents and visitors around Jackson Square, a multi-use complex in the downtown core.

Both Hiba and I had specific tasks that we alternated during our investigation. Hiba had our timeline, pins and post-its while I started off with the camera and a clipboard with research articles from our last trip up.

We met a lot people who ere eager to speak about Hamilton, others were rushed or didn’t have much to say.

This man was visiting Hamilton because his wife was in the hospital. He was a retired auto worker and had some good insights into that industry.

Our timeline quickly started to fill up with experiences, events, feelings, regrets, and hopes for hamilton’s past, present and future.

This person was a student and spent some time briefing a few articles and marking key words and phrases.

This woman was an infinite source of information about Hamilton’s Steele and Textile industries. I feel like we could have talked with her for hours.

Hiba did a fantastic job taking down her points for the timeline as she spoke. I think we must have had 5 or 6 different post-its filled before we continued our hunt.We used sewing pins to attach the post-its to the timeline. It was fast enough for me to manage but Hiba was having a hard time reaching from behind it.


Halfway through, I handed the camera off to Hiba and donned the timeline. I quickly realized that I now needed to renegotiate moving through city space.

Lots of hustle and bustle around Jackson Square on this morning, we headed out super early to catch students and workers on their daily commute.

It seemed productive to hang around the bus stops to spark up conversation with people coming on and off the bus.

This guy had some good stories about Hamilton’s past. As I was talking to this guy, Hiba was having a good discussion with another enthusiastic Hamilon Historian.

We were catching many people’s curiosity and interest. Some people were too busy to talk, some didn’t have much to say, and others enjoyed the invitation to share. One lady was just hanging around this area because she was looking for an address and couldn’t find it.

We had some yellow police officers follow us back to our car, I think they thought they were protecting us from the homeless people outside of this mission. I felt pretty safe, though. The night before, we also saw police officers on horses downtown. The only other time I’ve seen that was in Calgary. 

After about a solid two hours we returned to our parking lot and looked over our gathered notes.

Close up of our findings.

What will happen in Hamilton in 100 years?

What are you looking forward to tomorrow?

What happened 100 years ago in Hamilton?

What do you hope for Hamilton in a 100 years?

What did you do yesterday in Hamilton?

What will happen in Hamilton in 100 years?

Hamilton history.

100 years ago, the mafia came here from the old country.

Hamilton’s past.

The two day trip turned out to be really successful! We met and talked a lot of interesting people throughout the streets of Hamilton. Thanks to everyone at Hamilton Artists Inc. for making our stay enjoyable and productive.



Martha Street Studio Residency Day 3: Install & Exhibition

A quick three days at Martha Street Studio finished up with the opening for our exhibition, All the Stories We’re Not Telling About Winnipeg. The show features a series of posters made by participants from our workshops and created in response to the stories they collectively wrote.

The exhibition runs until January 5, 2012!

We have to extend an incredibly huge thank you to everyone at Martha Street Studio for facilitating this residency and exhibition. We were floored by the support we received there and were lucky enough to host some exceptionally great Winnipegers at our workshops.

Needless to say, we had a great time — and below is how it all came together.

Continue reading “Martha Street Studio Residency Day 3: Install & Exhibition”