Posts Tagged ‘swap box

12
Sep
10

New interview, and Burning Man Photos 2

Well, I’ve been the feature of another journalistic piece, this time by Carleton University’s The Charlatan. Find it here.

…and more from Burning Man…

18
Aug
10

Newnesses

Since it’s been a couple of weeks since I last updated the blog, let me tell you of new things…

The book, “The Art of Swap” is finished, and I am in the middle of writing a number of cover-letters and writers’ statements to send off to a couple of publishers. Part of the process involves explaining where and how what I’ve written fits into the existing literary field, and this I’ve found to be a frustrating and interesting task. Interesting, because little exists in the way of similar work. Most street-art books treat the work as a series of pictures -just like any other visual art book- disconnected from their context and creator, and to my knowledge no one has written a combined street art book/urban planning theory text.

Street art and graffiti are the world’s first truly international art movements. They transcend race, class and gender, and embedded in their practice are a whole lot of interesting issues, ideas and conflicts related to notions of accessibility to and control over public space. Street art and graf, if you ask me, also play into concepts of urban design and renewal (the improvement of areas of public space and the mission of inserting a bit of joy and wonder into people’s lives have always influenced the pieces that I’ve done.)

As it stands now, I’m working on building a swing set to be hung up in a yet-undetermined location. (I’ve seen some similar and very neat pieces where others built swings that could be mounted on trees or even inside bus shelters.) One idea I’ve had bouncing around in the back of my head is to see how GIS (Geographic Information Systems) software could be used in the furtherance of installation-based street art projects. (After all, I am an urban planning student with access to a wealth of powerful planing tools…) Since GIS works on the basis of displaying interactive layers of data on maps, one could potentially display the location of all parks (or pieces of public art, etc) on the island of Montreal, run an algorithm or two to plot an area around each park equivalent to a 5 or 10-minute walking distance and display the urban areas which are in, for want of a better term, a ‘park desert’.

more to come, including pictures from the Elmaks/Meen/AZDEAD “Inglorious Beasties” art show!

01
Feb
10

Sum up the Swap Box Project in a couple of words…

Right now I’ve hit the point where I’m starting to think of potential titles for the book-in-progress, as I’ll be drawing up the cover art by hand and editing it in Illustrator.

I’ve run through a couple and am leaning towards “The Art of Swap” or “Take Somethin’ Leave Somethin’ “…any suggestions?

and since I don’t give you folks nearly enough previews of upcoming pieces, here’s one I’m working on now. It’s for a Valentine’s Day piece in which Cupid is replaced with an arrow-firing UAV.

edit: why not make it a step-by-step update. I don’t think I’ve ever done one of those…


Continue reading ‘Sum up the Swap Box Project in a couple of words…’

26
Dec
09

Swap Box Project in the news!

It looks like the Swap Box Project got some press. In the Montreal Gazette, specifically.

“First, there were random acts of kindness.

Then there was book crossing – the practice of leaving a good book on a park bench or a bus seat for a stranger to discover and enjoy.

The latest concept in the tradition of small acts of humanity in the urban jungle is the swap box – a receptacle for small gifts that invites people to help themselves and pass on the favour by leaving a trinket for someone else to find.”…

The reason this article reads so choppy and disjointed is that I wound up being interviewed via e-mail for something which was being rushed out. There are a couple flubbed or poorly chopped quotes of mine there…for example, while I love the Reflectorman Project I’ve got no intention of copying its robot characters. I have some ideas for using similar materials though…

On the topic of the Champ-de-Mars station redesign, I’ve been giving some thought to the idea of what a public park designed by a street artist would look like. I don’t want to mention too much and give too many ideas away, but I’m looking at interactivity and year-round connections. It has to be engaging, fun to look at and be in and open up a section of space to a wide range of possibilities.

Quebec has policies in place to give design contracts to sculptural and visual artists, and I’m definitely considering the question of what kind of public art to bring in. As I’ve said before, the problem with public art is that most of it is bland, useless and puzzling…

How then can one go from ephemerality to designing something semi-permanent? The former’s my art of choice. And this is the question that’s rattling round in my head.





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