Coast to Coast Artistic Billboards for Resilience in Canada

Resilience (English) from MAWA Programs on Vimeo.

Thanks to the Resilience art project from now until August art is being shown on billboards from coast to coast in Canada. You can locate billboards near you (or on your travels) via their map. It’s a creative way to use billboards to make the world a better place instead of filled with the same old consumer messages. Images by 50 First Nations, Inuit and Métis women artists are being featured not only as an artistic act but also as a political act.

The Resilience billboard exhibition is a response to Call to Action #79 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report: the integration of “Indigenous history, heritage values, and memory practices into Canada’s national heritage and history.” The call supports collaborations among Aboriginal peoples and the arts community to develop a reconciliation framework for Canadian heritage and commemoration. This project is Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art – MAWA’s answer to that call: a creative act of reconciliation, and a public celebration and commemoration of the work of Indigenous women artists, who are still vastly under-represented, not only in positions of power in commerce and politics, but within the art world as well.

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Thanks to Delaney!

Places Erupt Tackles Trolls in Their Newest Video

The Toronto-based band Places Erupt has put a lot of thought into the state of online discourse and decided to share their two cents. Their most recent video is all about online trolls and the disconnect between how they behave in their in person interactions compared to their online interactions. It’s a fun video and song that captures a current issue in today’s strange media climate.

“Bloggers is about the phenomenon of trolling, where people shirk away from expressing their political opinions until under the safe shield of cyber anonymity, ranting angrily online. It’s become a terrifying and unhealthy side effect of the internet, poisoning discourse and breeding hate. In the real, physical world, the troll is blah and beige, while in the cyber world, he grows into this outsized monster, breathing fire over everyone in his path.”

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Disclosure: Greg O’Toole, who irregularly writes on this site, is in the band.

This Artist Wants You to Buy All His Personal Data on eBay

ebay

Oli Frost got inspired by companies earning profit from his data and decided to sell it directly to anybody who wants it. He’s downloaded all his data from Facebook (and you can too) and put it up on eBay for anyone to buy. Proceeds from the sale of his Facebook data will go to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Frost also created some other really neat online projects like lifefaker, a tool for Instagram, and Flopstarter, a platform for terrible ideas.

What’s Included

Every like, post, and inane comment since I was 16.
Photos dating back to when I had a fringe and listened to Billy Talent.
Videos dating back to when my band played gigs at kids play centres.
A list of things I’m apparently interested in, including ‘Gluten-free diet’, ‘Jessie Ware’ and ‘Project management software’.
Stats on how many happy birthdays I got, year by year.
All my friend requests that got ignored.
Every party invite I’ve ever had (all three of them).
Loads more, like who I vote for, my boss’s name, and where all my family live.

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How Trent University Preserves Canadian Architecture

Like other art forms styles come and go in architecture; and when styles go in architecture it can result in demolition of buildings (and thus history). In Canada university and college campuses sprung up in the 60s to accommodate the influx of baby boomers so the style of these campuses reflect the style of the times. Trent University captured the Canadian architectural style the best and, unlike other schools, has embraced their buildings as a reason students should attend. Hopefully other institutions can find the value in their older buildings – even if they look “ugly” today.

Today, Trent is engaged in a careful renovation of its original Bata Library, while new projects – including a new student centre by Teeple Architects – are being guided by attention to the original campus.

In this way, a small institution is setting an example for the entire country: how to retain Canada’s modern heritage, which is both critical and in a moment of real danger.

No wonder. Thom and his talented colleagues blended careful attention to the site, beautiful materials and fine craftsmanship. The buildings, crafted by Thom’s team, including Paul Merrick, are full of complex spaces and details that echo and rhyme with one another. Walking through the original campus is a sensory feast of complexity and nuance; if you ever had the idea that modernist architecture had to be inhumane, this place will cure you of that notion. In the Great Hall at Champlain College, the buttresses and high ceiling make it seem “Hogwarts-like,” as one student told me; but the structure is a lattice of very modern concrete that weaves together skylights and wood slats.

Even the landscape, often overlooked in modern sites, has been well conceived. The pathways across campus are paved with an orange brick, which feels right under your feet.

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Let’s Save Brutalism

Saving architecture through Twitter seems a little odd, yet the #SOSBrutalism movement has engendered an appreciation for an architectural style and saving buildings from demolition. Critics of brutalism describe the style as ugly and oppressive despite its rich history and beauty. As a result of the under-appreciation brutalist architecture many brutalist buildings are being demolished which is bad for the environment and bad for the history of architecture. Take a moment today and appreciate some brutalist architecture and tweet about it.

In 2015, the German Architecture Museum launched a Twitter campaign with the hashtag #SOSBrutalism to document Brutalist architecture, with a particular focus on endangered buildings: those facing possible demolition. It now has a database of more than 1,000 buildings worldwide, from carparks to hotels, union buildings to ministries, university libraries to hospitals, churches to shopping malls and from residential complexes to office blocks. Around 200 of them are in Britain.

It has united – and in some cases, triggered – campaigns to preserve these buildings. Elser says a number of heritage experts have contacted him to express their gratitude at the documentation provided in the catalogue. “It serves as proof that something is valuable,” he says.

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