I’m in Windsor for the weekend doing 1W3KND writing residency with fellow OCADU student Jason Deary at Broken City Lab’s Civic Space.
So far I’ve gotten a little walking tour of downtown Windsor, in a flurry of preparations for a Holiday parade. The quiet downtown is a bit surreal with speakers blasting Christmas carols and children posing for photos in front of an ice sculpture of a beaver.
Now I’m hunkering down for some focused writing on public space and transformative engagement. Stay tuned!
More about 1W3KND and Broken City after the jump.
1W3KND is aimed at developing essays, interviews, manifestos, critiques, reviews, and other texts around ideas of collaboration, socially engaged works, artist-run culture, and public practices. We’re hoping to publish these in one form or another some time next year. There have been a number of books released over the past year discussing socially-engaged practices, but we’re really interested in reading more from artists themselves, especially those in the earlier stages of their career. We think there’s a need to make more time to write through the ideas, questions, and concerns that come through engaging in these kinds of practices, and we’re hoping we can help to accommodate those interested in doing that writing.
The structure of the residency will attempt to focus and frame the writing by way of an envelope on the table with a list of instructions, including a brief overview of subject that the paired writers in residence will be spending the weekend exploring, discussing and of course writing about.
Broken City Lab is an artist-led interdisciplinary collective and non-profit organization working to explore and unfold curiosities around locality, infrastructures, education, and creative practice leading towards civic change.
Our projects, events, workshops, installations, and interventions offer an injection of disruptive creativity into a situation, surface, place, or community. These projects aim to connect various disciplines through research and social practice, generating works and interventionist tactics that adjust, critique, annotate, and re-imagine the cities that we encounter.
Much of our activity has been focused on Windsor, Ontario, a once-collapsing, now gradually stabilizing post-industrial city at the edge of Canada. We believe that Windsor provides an exemplary vantage point from which to consider the role of artists in challenged communities, but we have also worked on various interventions, installations, and other creative endeavours in cities across Canada. Our work has been created across media – from temporary interventions to large-scale community events and from gallery exhibitions to various workshops and publications – but we also often take on the role of organizing and facilitating the activity of other artists and creative practitioners through residencies, conferences, and writing projects. We aim to creatively respond to the issues we directly experience in a community, while also negotiating the ways in which other community members experience the same issues, differently.
Over the past four years, Broken City Lab has worked with the City of Windsor’s Transit Authority to install community-created text-based art in its buses, generated an interactive outdoor projection detailing hundreds ideas for saving the city onto a building in its downtown core, designed and distributed removable micro-gardens, written interactive text-based performance software, told thousands of Windsorites that “you are amazing,” projected large-scale messages visible across an international border, hosted artists from across Canada and the US for an interdisciplinary storefront residency project, painted a 350 foot long message on a parking lot, visible from planes and satellites, and led numerous psychogeographic walks, DIY workshops, and community brainstorming sessions in cities across Canada.