19th Annual Media City Film Festival (May 21-25, 2013)

Saul Levine - Film Still

Image: Film Still by Saul Levine

19th Annual Media City Film Festival (2013)

This Tuesday, May 21st, our friends at Media City will be kicking off the 19th Annual Media City Film Festival with an opening night at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD). Then, on Wednesday, May 22nd, there will be an opening reception at the Capitol Theatre & Arts Centre in Windsor. This year, Media City will be screening more than 60 new artist’s films from 20 countries, presented in 10 programs over 5 days. Dozens of filmmakers and cinema professionals will be in attendance from across Canada and the USA as well as England, France, Palestine, Ecuador, Argentina, South Korea and more.

On Friday, May 24th, Broken City Lab’s own Hiba Abdallah will be presenting Program 5 at the Capitol Theatre & Arts Centre at 9:30pm.

Tuesday, May 21st, 8pm – Opening Night at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) (4454 Woodward Avenue, Detroit)

Live performance by legendary free music orchestra CCMCfeaturing distinguished Canadian artists Michael Snow (Companion of the Order of Canada), John Oswald and Al Mattesand Detroit’s own avant-noise trio Wolf Eyes (on the cover of Wire magazine this month!). Also that night: launch party for the vinyl re-release of CCMC Volume Three, a recording lost for 35 years, now reissued by Media City and MOCAD in a limited edition of 500 LPs.

Wednesday, May 22nd  to Saturday, May 25th – Film Screenings at the Capitol Theatre (121 University West, Windsor)

The best of new artist’s film from around the globe, screened in two or three programs nightly. Highlights include a retrospective screening celebrating the career of US filmmaker Saul Levinespanning forty years, the Canadian premiere of Stemple Passthe new film by James Benningplus new films by Kevin J. Everson, Basma Alsharif, Sergei Loznitsa, David Gatten, Friedl vom Gröllerand many more.

Wednesday, May 22nd, 6:00 pm – Opening Party in Windsor at the Capitol Theatre

The opening party will include a special announcement from Windsor-West MPP Teresa Piruzza and Shannon Prince of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Get on the Bus! Sponsored by the Detroit Bus CompanyMedia City offers a FREE shuttle service for US patrons each night of the festival, with pick-up and return locations in Detroit (MOCAD) and Ann Arbor. Schedules and Reservations through the festival website. Ride the one and only cross-border film shuttle in the world! 

Below is a link to the online catalogue which has more in-depth information about this year’s festival:

Media City Film Festival – Online Catalogue

Media Contacts: Jeremy Rigsby / Oona Mosna, Program Directors
Direct: (519) 973-9368 or mediacity@houseoftoast.ca

Hope to see you there!

The Social Practice Workbook – Artist Talk with Jen Delos Reyes (watch it online now!)


Jen Delos Reyes–a Portland-based artist and educator–has curated an exhibition here at Civic Space called The Social Practice Workbook. This exhibition is a collaborative effort between students of Portland State University (PSU) and takes the form of an assemble-it-yourself display of short writings and assignments from PSU’s Art & Social Practice MFA Program. Jen took the time to supplement her exhibition with an artist talk held at The University of Windsor’s School of Visual Arts today.

The entire talk can be viewed below and on our YouTube channel.

Panel Discussion: Intervention: Contemporary Artists in the Urban Space

If you’re in Kitchener on Saturday (or just needed an excuse to check out CAFKA.11), you should consider attending this panel discussion.

Alongside Pedro Reyes and Lucy Howe, I’ll be discussing the installation at CAFKA and BCL’s practice in general in the context of urban interventions.

The details: Saturday, September 24, 2011, 10:30am-12:30pm @ The Museum (10 King Street West, Kitchener)

Keynotes Announced for Homework!

We are very pleased to announce our Keynote Speakers for Homework: Infrastructures & Collaboration in Social Practices!

Gregory Sholette, Marisa Jahn, and Temporary Services (represented by Salem Collo-Julin) will join us on October 21 and 22, 2011 to deliver a keynote panel and round-table discussions.

There’s still time to register — and it’s free!

HOMEWORK: Infrastructures & Collaboration in Social Practices is four-day residency, two-day conference, and collaboratively-written publication aimed at generating conversation around the following:

  • alternative infrastructures,
  • radical collaboration,
  • social practice,
  • art implicated in social change,
  • neighbourhood-level activities,
  • city-wide imaginations,
  • site-specific curiosities,
  • tactical resistance,
  • new models for art education and research.

Facilitated by Broken City LabHOMEWORK calls on artists, scholars, writers, thinkers, and doers interested in any of the above to join us in Windsor, Ontario on October 21 and October 22, 2011.

Gregory Sholette is a New York-based artist, writer, and founding member of Political Art Documentation/Distribution (PAD/D: 1980-1988), and REPOhistory (1989-2000). A graduate of The Cooper Union (BFA 1979), The University of California, San Diego (MFA 1995), and the Whitney Independent Studies Program in Critical Theory, his recent publications include Dark Matter: Art and Politics in an Age of Enterprise Culture (Pluto Press, 2011); Collectivism After Modernism: The Art of Social Imagination after 1945 (with Blake Stimson for University of Minnesota, 2007); and The Interventionists: A Users Manual for the Creative Disruption of Everyday Life (with Nato Thompson for MassMoCA/MIT Press, 2004, 2006, 2008), as well as a special issue of the journal Third Text co-edited with theorist Gene Ray on the theme “Whither Tactical Media.” Sholette recently completed the installation “Mole Light: God is Truth, Light his Shadow” for Plato’s Cave, Brooklyn, New York, and the collaborative project Imaginary Archive at Enjoy Public Art Gallery in Wellington New Zealand, and is currently working on an installation for the Queens Museum of Art, and the Tulca Arts Festival in Galway, Ireland. He is an Assistant Professor of Sculpture at Queens College: City University of New York (CUNY), has taught classes at Harvard, The Cooper Union, and Colgate University, and teaches an annual seminar in theory and social practice for the CCC post-graduate research program at Geneva University of Art and Design.


The editor of “Byproduct: On the Excess of Embedded Art Practices,”, Marisa Jahn is an artist, writer, and community organizer embedded in various social and economic justice groups since 2008. Her work has been presented at venues such as the MIT Museum, The Power Plant (Toronto), ICA Philadelphia, The National Fine Art Museum of Taiwan, New Museum (NYC), ISEA, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Boston Museum of Science, and more. A graduate of MIT and an artist in residence at MIT’s Media Lab, Jahn has been recognized as a leading educator by UNESCO and has been a CEC Artslink cultural fellow in Tajikistan, Estonia, and Russia. Her work has been written about in media such as The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Clamor, Punk Planet, Art in America, and Discovery Channel. In 2009, she co-founded REV-, an organization dedicated to socially-engaged art, design, and pedagogy; she is currently the Deputy Director at People’s Production House, a journalism training and production institute that works with low-wage workers, immigrants, and teens to produce groundbreaking news that has been seen and heard on BBC, ABC, PBS Newshour, Mother Jones, The Nation Magazine, The New York Times, and more.


Temporary Services is a group of three people: Brett Bloom (based in Copenhagen), Marc Fischer (based in Chicago), and Salem Collo-Julin (based in Philadelphia). They collaborate on producing projects, publications, events, and exhibitions. Making a distinction between art practice and other creative human endeavors is irrelevant to Temporary Services.

The group started as a storefront arts and events space in a working class neighborhood in Chicago in 1998. Since then, Temporary Services has been responsible for the publication of over 91 books and booklets (including 2003’s Prisoners’ Inventions and 2008’s Public Phenomena), and have created many projects in public and shared spaces, in spaces often dedicated to art and spaces often used for other things, and on the internet. Most recently, they participated in an exhibition on the Lower East Side organized by Creative Time. The members of Temporary Services founded Half Letter Press in 2008 as a experimental web store and publishing imprint in order to help support themselves and champion the work of others.

Salem Collo-Julin is a Chicago native. In addition to her work with Temporary Services, she writes, edits, and performs. She is a co-founder of The Free Store Chicago.


Homework: Infrastructures & Collaboration in Social Practices is generously supported by the Ontario Arts Council, the University of Windsor’s School of Visual Arts, and our community partner the Art Gallery of Windsor.

Mid-Week Work Period

Yesterday a group of us met at the School of Visual Arts building to work on completing the sub-projects which will appear in our How to Forget the Border Completely publication. It is exciting to see our ideas come to fruition and our publication take shape. We are now at the stage of roughly laying out the publication and seeing how our individual works get along with each other.

Pictured above: Sara and Hiba work on laying out the HFBC publication in InDesign.

Continue reading “Mid-Week Work Period”

Make It Work: Exhibition & Panel Discussion

I’m excited to note that in addition to the current exhibition, Make It Work, on at SoVA Projects Gallery (nee LeBel Gallery) featuring work by Michelle, a new poster installation that I did, and a ton of other incredible local Windsor-Detroit artists, there’s a panel discussion featuring guests from across the country.

If you’re remotely interested in some of the things we talk about here on the blog, you should really make a point of attending the reception and panel discussion on Thursday, February 3rd, starting at 5:30pm.

From the description of the panel discussion:

While the idea of creative economies has become commonplace in large cultural centres, there has been less consideration of the possibilities and challenges of working in economically distressed cities that are at a distance from cultural capitals and the art market.

Research into the trend of shrinking cities in recent years has drawn attention to the question of how to consider cities that are losing population and basic infrastructure. Possible answers to the problems raised by shrinking cities have not been coming from economists or politicians, but from artists, designers and architects.

Discussions will arise around questions such as:

What might locality and local production mean when two cities are located on an international border? What role do artists and grassroots organizations have in redefining local realities? How do ethnic, racial, religious, and cultural realities play out in negotiations of place and identity, and how can these negotiations posit new sorts of regional or global identities? And what might local mean in the Detroit-Windsor region, for example, where some creative practices are focused on audiences at the scale of the neighbourhood or even the block, while others seek audiences far beyond?

The Panel Discussion runs 6:30-9 pm SoVA Projects Gallery University of Windsor Huron Church Road @ College Avenue and features Anthony Kiendl (Director, Plug In Institute for Contemporary Art, Winnipeg, MB) Shauna McCabe (Director, Canadian Textile Museum, Toronto ON; Canada Research Chair, Mt. Alison University, NB) Andrew Herscher (Assistant Professor, Taubman School of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan, and co-founder of The Detroit Unreal Estate Agency) J. Monte Martinez (Creative Director, 555 Arts, Detroit, MI) Justin Langlois (Lecturer, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Windsor; Director Broken City Lab, Windsor, ON)

Moderator: Lee Rodney (Associate Professor, Art History and Visual Culture, University of Windsor; Curator of the Border Bookmobile, Windsor, ON)

Creative Cities Summit: Using Art to Change Cities in Lexington, Kentucky

In just a couple days, Danielle and I will be headed down to Lexington, Kentucky, where I’ll be presenting at this year’s Creative Cities Summit as part of the Using Art to Change Cities panel. The summit runs from April 7 – 9, 2010, I’ll be presenting on Friday, April 9th.

Here’s the panel description (good fit, no?):

Most cities support traditional notions of arts and culture, the symphony, opera, ballet and museums. Beyond those traditional bastions of culture there are artists and entrepreneurs that are actively using art to change their communities for the better. Public art is more than just the statue in front of the building and can be beautifully integrated into projects for startling results. Guerrilla art interventions, some legal, some illegal, can provoke dialog and action where before there was gridlock. And art can be used to change our very notions of fundamental things like healthcare and education to astounding results. This eclectic panel will attack this issue from their unique perspectives and is not the traditional arts and cultural conversation.

I’m so excited to get to be a part of this conversation and Danielle and I are both anxious to hear more about other cities and how they’re responding (or not) to the idea of becoming a creative city. Complex and holistic problem-solving seems to be at the foundation of what this conference wants to address — we’re hoping to learn a lot.

Did you make it to Detroit’s edition back in 2008?

City Share Conference in Chattanooga

We’re packing up and heading down to Chattanooga, Tennessee tomorrow to attend CreateHere‘s City Share Mini Conference.

What the conference is all about:

“City Share is a conference for seeding innovative projects.We bring great minds from across disciplines together in Chattanooga, Tennessee to teach, share, plan, and change. The result? International knowledge-sharing; a growing network of change-makers; and organizations across the world better equipped to serve cities, for one, for all.”

We’re excited to catch up with our friends from CreateHere (who visited us back in November), and also to meet a ton of new people. I’m quite sure we’re going to be very inspired — just check out some of the other participants.

As we continue to work on our projects, our research, and our practice, it’s really great to continue to get to know other people who aren’t necessarily working as an arts collective, but are attempting to do some of the same things we are — namely, re-imagining creative activity in response to a place.

Canadian Association of Cultural Studies Conference, McGill University


Danielle and I will be heading to Montreal to speak at this year’s Canadian Association of Cultural Studies Biannual Conference at McGill University. We’re presenting in the Cultural Production panel under the theme of Social Practice and Public Space.

Our presentation entitled, “Social Practice: New Models for Collaborative Cultural Production,” will frame the city of Windsor and the research and practice of Broken City Lab as a model for collaborative cultural production and an experiment in tactically infiltrating the institutions of the city.

It should be a really great conference with other papers tackling, “Youth Artist Networks and Cultural Policy: Possibilities and Pitfalls” by Miranda Campbell, McGill University, or “The Art of Change? Toward Theorizing Community-based Cultural Production” by Sheryl Peters, York University … things like this are hugely good for getting a really fast overview of what other kinds of research are going on across the country—awesome!!!

(Plus, catching up with long lost friends and seeing Immony’s opening at Videographe are huge bonuses!)

Conflux 2009 Day 2


Day 2 of our trek to New York was filled with excellent adventures, some more great lectures, and lots of discussion. It was amazing to get to see some of the artists we’ve talked about before right here on the blog, and it continued to inform what we were continuing to try to define as our collective practice.

It’s already been five days since these pictures were taken, so I hope you’ll excuse my poor memory for some of what we saw.

Continue reading “Conflux 2009 Day 2”