Archive for April, 2009

28
Apr
09

Please Stay Calm…

The birdhouse installation I’d been planning has been pushed back a li’l while due to my lack of a stepladder, which I’m trying to get hold of now.

But stay calm, folks…
Swine flu??

I wanted to make a relatively upbeat swine flu-themed streetart piece. I’ve seen other flu-related streetart and graf from other cities where people have made stencils of coughing pigs or Randall Flagg. But more is coming.

17
Apr
09

Street Art Updates coming soon…

I’ll be uploading pics of one of my newest projects within the next couple of days. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some action/installation shots as well.

I’ve recently gotten into grad school and will be starting a 2-year urban planning program in September. Now I’ve been thinking of the ways which street art might be harnessed in the service of urban planing and design. How can I draw on an art form whose beauty comes in part from its transience in order to build something more permanent?

I’ve been reading the book “Deleuze and Guattari for Architects”, which looks at certain key ideas of the two French philosophers in an architectural context, recently. One phrase in particular has been running through my mind for days.

“Vitruvius inscribed a square and circle around the human figure, and these forms were seen to embody something important about the human form…Renaissance drawings show grids of squares with human figures superimposed across them, which turn into the ground-plans of churches, and in doing so embody divinely ordered proportion. The body in the Deleuze-and-Guattari world is utterly different. It shits and fucks, is engaged in processes of production and consumption, and it connects in multifarious ways within itself and with its surroundings”

Working from this, how should we design our environments for what we really are rather than for an idealized image of ourselves?

12
Apr
09

New Swap Box

Can you guess where it is??
New Swap Box

The swap box is a form of interactive street art. It beckons those who encounter it to look inside and “take somethin’ and leave somethin’ “. Who knows what you might find inside…

09
Apr
09

SWAP: The City is Breathing

Well, folks,

At last…the director’s cut of the Swap Box Short Film is complete and online.

Catch it at the link above.

05
Apr
09

Nice things? I wish we could have ‘em…

I’m tempted to say that this is why we can’t have nice things.

But then again the amazing bit about that particular installation (while it lasted) is that I only built one of those 3 boxes. I wonder who made the other two…but great job nonetheless. The flower box was awesome.

03
Apr
09

Useful Advice

This was one of my favorite street pieces to make. To put it together I went to Value Village for the wood box, Irving Rivers for the (dummy) bullets, a dollar-store for the cap-gun and CANUS Plastics in order to dig through their box of discarded plexiglass odds-and ends.

I wanted to make something that would catch people’s attention and make them smile, as well as something that would reference Halloween (which was then about two weeks away). I’ve made a few “IN CASE OF X BREAK GLASS” style street pieces, and I like the format as it gives me a chance to insert a bit of absurdity into the lives of Ottawa-dwellers. Bright-red glass-fronted boxes are a symbol and tool-set deeply ingrained into our culture. They contain tools which will supposedly keep us safe and/or get us out of a certain emergency situation which might arise, and warn of a potential danger at the same time.

One of the reasons which I love making street art like this is that it gets people to reconsider their surroundings. Folks will start walking around with their heads up and their attention focused on looking for other things they might not have previously noticed before. A piece like this or one of the Swap Boxes can get people coming back to interact with it and see what has changed since their last visit.

02
Apr
09

More artists I like.

Mark Jenkins
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Glen Angus
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and Gatineau-based artist Angie the Barbarian
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oh, and two birdhouses are finished. These were made entirely from scrap plywood and particle-board and fastened with wood glue, polyurethane caulk and nails. Now to get ‘em painted…





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