Dear Indian Road is near the very top of my list of favourites from Daragh Sankey‘s nearly complete documentary series on our Storefront Residencies for Social Innovation project. It’s kind of unreal to think about the things that have changed (and haven’t) around Indian Road, the border crossing, and the fallout from this ongoing political and infrastructural battle.

Here’s Daragh’s background on the video:

I was quite impressed by Leesa’s project. The visual impact, the collective participation, the subtlety of its activism – it all came together beautifully.

When it came to the issue of representing Indian Road on film, I couldn’t get it out of my head that the ideal technique was a single tracking shot. The road is patrolled by private security hired by the bridge company, so I wasn’t about to go lay down track or get a steadicam rig and walk the length of it. The answer was a surreptitious car mount. I found a cheap suction mount and stuck it on there. This was about a year after the residencies. My lady friend and I rented a car and drove up to Windsor to get this and a few other shots (there was some car mount footage in this one too), but unfortunately the car rental place I used didn’t let you specify what model you wanted, so we wound up trying to sneak up Indian Road in a bright orange jeep with a camera mounted on it. Like the ninja! But somehow we stayed out of trouble, and I’m very happy with how the footage looks.

This is the semi-final film. Next will be a brief coda wrapping up the series. I still have tons of great stuff dealing more specifically with Broken City Lab themselves, but I’m not promising that any time soon.

There’s more here on the rest of the In Store series.

Tuesday Afternoon: Work continues, now with Postcards and the Library Cards

Printed postcards, gas masks, paint, assembly line (1)

Lucy stopped by this morning to keep cutting. Hiba and I painted the letters.

White it is.

Printed postcards, gas masks, paint, assembly line (2)

We had a lot of leftover wall paint, which means we not only have more than enough paint, but the letter faces will gain a bit of rigidity and protection since it’s epoxy paint.

Printed postcards, gas masks, paint, assembly line (4)

Hiba paints.

Printed postcards, gas masks, paint, assembly line (3)

After trying to paint the letters on the wall, we shifted to a make-shift table. Easier to avoid paint running.

Printed postcards, gas masks, paint, assembly line (5)

We made a drying rack.

Printed postcards, gas masks, paint, assembly line (6)

Protection. Recommended originally by Jennifer Willet. We should actually have more of these on hand.

Printed postcards, gas masks, paint, assembly line (7)

The drying rack doing it’s job.

Printed postcards, gas masks, paint, assembly line (8)

But, of course, it didn’t fit many letters, so we just started lying them out on the table.

Printed postcards, gas masks, paint, assembly line (9)

Two brushes — these might be leftovers from Make This Better.

Printed postcards, gas masks, paint, assembly line (10)

Also, picked up the postcards from Dan Bombardier, while he installed for an upcoming show at Artcite.

Printed postcards, gas masks, paint, assembly line (11)

Also, Daragh Sankey posted another section of In-Store, his documentary on SRSI … we’ll post it on here.

Printed postcards, gas masks, paint, assembly line (12)

Stack of postcards!

Printed postcards, gas masks, paint, assembly line (13)

Oh, and our library cards for the Letter Library.

Printed postcards, gas masks, paint, assembly line (14)

The back of the postcards, as you can see — lots to come!

Things Worth Saving Recap

Though we’ve received a few of the postcards back because of a faulty address, for the most part, the 150 postcards sent out for Things Worth Saving, as part of our ongoing Save the City project, have likely now arrived to their destinations.

I must admit that when I first laid eyes on the stacks upon stacks of  postcards that we were fill and mail out that evening I yearned for my San Pellegrino to immaculately transform into Kentucky bourbon. Alas it did not, but thankfully that seemingly desperate moment revealed itself as fleeting as the lovely people who attended the event feverishly jot down their various anecdotes, love stories, musings and mini manifestos regarding Windsor. The writing was non stop – the sounds of the building and camera snaps were overpowered by the sounds of pencils, pens and markers scribbling effervescently.

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Playing Catch Up on Save the City

So, we’ve been busy working on the final parts of some of the Save the City projects, in particular, pulling together the postcards for this month’s Things Worth Saving (April 27th, remember?!)

We wound up with around 65 photographs submitted by some fellow Windsorites of the things that they think are worth saving in the city. We’re planning to write a lot of short letters on the back of these postcards and then sending them out to cities across the country (p.s. you’re invited to help!!!)

Danielle and I have also been out finishing up documenting and officially recognizing the Sites of Apology / Sites of Hope across the city.

You should expect a massive post on this soon… visiting 50 sites across the city takes a lot longer than we anticipated! We’re also trying to figure out where to host our final event of the Save the City project in May — any suggestions?

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

Things Worth Saving

The details: Sunday, April 11th via email & Tuesday, April 27th at 7pm, at Artspeak Gallery.

As part of the Broken City Lab: Save the City project, Broken City Lab is inviting Windsorites to venture out into the city and take five photographs that showcase what makes our city “worth saving.” These photographs will be turned into a series of postcards that will be mailed out to other cities across the country to prompt a discussion around the differences between how Windsor is viewed by its residents versus how Windsor is viewed by people from outside the city.

Please submit your photographic responses to the following criteria in landscape orientation (your images should be wider than they are taller):

1) Someone you’d hate to see leave
2) Something inspiring
3) Somewhere that made you feel something important
4) Somewhere you know you’ll always find a familiar face
5) Something with potential

Once you’ve captured your images of “things worth saving,” please submit all five to by 11:59pm on Sunday, April 11th, 2010. Your submissions will be turned into a series of postcards, so please only submit photographs that you are willing to send out into the world.

Then on April 27th at 7pm, Broken City Lab will host a massive mailout / postcard writing party, at Artspeak Gallery, located at 1942 Wyandotte Street East, where you’re invited to help address all of those postcards and write personalized messages to the rest of the country!

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

Quick Update: LEDs Survived, Postcards are Being Distributed!

Just a quick update…the LEDs in the freezer are still going strong, more than two days later, which is good news for any potential LED-embedded ice or snow project. The glow was way more exciting than this photo makes it appear, as I had assumed the battery wouldn’t have lasted this long at all.

Finally had the chance to pick up some more postcards, and yet continually finding myself not having them when I’m actually talking to people. Cristina picked up a bunch to distribute downtown, Josh went to Walkerville, Michelle went through campus, I’ve mostly been doing hand-offs.

Here’s the remaining pile — 250 goes pretty fast, but we need to get rid of them all by the 24th! We’re excited, hope you already have the date in your calendar!

Snow, LEDs, Flights, Fill-in-the-blanks, Proofs, and Postcards

Meeting twice in a week is awesome. I can’t say that enough. So much time makes us way more productive and makes it a lot easier to be OK with not having everyone there all the time.

First on the list, doing some really, really quick tests of the potential of embedding LEDs in ice or snow. We know, it’ll probably kill the battery and potentially the LEDs themselves, but we have some ideas that might make that worthwhile.

Continue reading “Snow, LEDs, Flights, Fill-in-the-blanks, Proofs, and Postcards”