Archive for July, 2009


Lamb Rabbit Jewelry is on Etsy!

Check out the lovely jewelry made by a friend of mine at Lamb Rabbit on Etsy

And of course, MaksWerks


Street Art in Toronto

The blog Next American City has a great article on the politics of street art and the many opinions people hold about it titledToronto as a Canvas

From the article:
“Last March at the Artlab Gallery in Toronto, a show opened to great buzz – but not for any traditional artist. The gallery walls were filled with art from the city streets, ranging from graffiti to stenciling, from beer-can sculptures to life-size Val Kilmer cut-outs. Curious Torontonians packed the gallery to capacity early, eager to catch a glimpse of the artists who had been secretly altering the city’s streetscapes. Artlab gave legitimacy and artistic stature to what more conservative city groups had cast as examples of vandalism and property rights violations. Meanwhile, local government has been renewing its efforts to combat vandalism and street art, raising the question: who owns Toronto’s public spaces and should a city accept or even exalt street art?”

What are folks’ thoughts on this matter? If you ask me, streetart and graffiti are not going away. They are the world’s first truly international art movements and their DIY ethos has brought about a wide range of fascinating and beautiful mutations of the genre.

What graf and street art is going against are the forces of staticism. If you ask me, those who want to preserve a certain image or structure against all oncomers can be the most dangerous forces at play within any city.

Oh, and check out MaksWerks on Etsy for some awesome art on sale!


Reverse graffiti time!

Reverse Graffiti’s greatest hits
From the website:

“Welcome to the world of reverse graffiti, where the artist’s weapons are cleaning materials and where the enemy is the elements: wind, rain, pollution and decay. It’s an art form that removes dust or dirt rather than adding paint. Some find it intriguing, beguiling, beautiful and imaginative, whereas others look upon it in much the same way as traditional graffiti – a complete lack of respect for the law. Reverse graffiti challenges ideals and perceptions while at the same time shapes and changes the environment in which we live, whether people think for the better, or not.”

What a wonderful combination of street art and environmental themes…it’s well worth checking out. All you need to pull something like this off is a bucket of water and a rag of some sort.

And in the interest of promoting local artists here in Ottawa, check out Pascale Conspiracy


Oil Prices and Education Funds

NPR’s got a great article up here on the potential positive effects of a drastic spike in the price of crude oil. Christopher Steiner, in his book “$20 Per Gallon: How the Inevitable Rise in the Price of Gasoline Will Change Our Lives for the Better”, lays out a vision of shrinking cities, a return of manufacturing jobs to the United States and a growth in mass-transit and high-speed rail networks.

As someone who’s worked as a roofer, a pothole filler and held jobs at both the Trail Road waste dump and a recycling plant I can attest to the sheer scope of everyday life which revolves around crude oil products. Take a look around you and think of what you might not have anymore when crude oil prices rocket up.

On another note, remember the piece of street art I put up in memory of Kelly Morrisseau last month?

Well, an education fund has been set up for Ms. Morrisseau’s three children, and donations can be made to it by sending a cheque made out to the “National Indian Brotherhood in Trust” to the Assembly of First Nations, 473 Albert St., Suite 810, Ottawa, K1R 5B4. Please specify that you’d like the funds added to the Kelly Morrisseau Education Fund.

And remember… there’s still a killer out there and on the loose. If you’ve got any info, please call it in. We can catch this SOB.


The future of cities, and backyard fish

As some folks may know, I’m going to grad school to become an urban planner. As I see it, while I think we have the tools necessary to solve some of the great problems which will face humanity over the next three decades we simply are lacking both an understanding of how to use them and the impetus to do so.

I’d liken our situation to that of Adama, Roslin & co. on Battlestar Galactica. We’ll have to fight for our future and yet not lose what makes and keeps us human.

Which is why some of these projects interest me so much…

Masdar City, which is currently being built in Abu Dhabi right now, is a test-project billed as the world’s first post-petroleum city… which is a fascinating idea if nothing else. Jane Jacobs wrote that a fool can put his clothes on far better than a wise man can do so for him, and history has shown that plans to design environments around how people should be using them are often problematic. But the tech nerd in me’s eager to see what else they’ll be using.

Oh, and along with the growing trend in small-scale urban farming initiatives comes Aquaponics, or the practice of growing one’s own fish at home.


Street artist Uliveandyouburn arrested

Last month I posted pictures of street-art created by Uliveandyouburn out of traffic pylons…

It seems that Raleigh, NC police have filed charges against the artist, even though officials from the construction company which unwittingly supplied his materials have stated that they greatly enjoyed his work.

article is Here
“Hamlin Associates, the construction company whose barrels were turned into a monster, doesn’t want to press charges.

“We’ve had a fair amount of vandalism, but never anyone turn it into art,” Company President Steven Hussey said. “I actually thought it was pretty neat.”

Hussey said the value of the publicity his company has received is well above the $365 cost of the traffic barrels that Carnevale used.

“It’s been positive publicity for us,” he said. “If we’d known he’d do that good of a work, we’d have given him the barrels.”

Carnevale said he’s weighing Hussey’s offer to reconstruct the monster for the company’s offices in Climax, N.C., possibly for pay. Meanwhile, at least three Facebook support groups have formed to support Carnevale, including “Don’t Charge Joseph Carnevale,” boasting more than 800 members.”

As a fan of both street art and urban exploration who has done my share of dodging police and security-guards in my younger days I’ve gotta say that I really appreciate Uliveandyouburn’s work. I personally have a hate-on for the types who scrawl messy tags on shop doors or scratch their names into windows. Street art and graffiti should improve its settings rather than detracting from them, and there’s plenty of awesome and clever stuff out there.

The Raleigh PD should drop this case. If this case does work its way to court, then the only other acceptable option should be for the City of Raleigh to give this guy a community service term working with road and highway safety to design more pieces like this. After all, he seems to have made more people slow down in construction zones as a result of his streetart creations than any pylons or warning signs ever did.

Oh, and check out MaksWerks on Etsy!


MaksWerks shop now live on Etsy!

Yup…it’s true! Check out MaksWerks on Etsy for awesome arts & crafts on sale.

Or check out WebUrbanist’s collection of Odd and awesome street art. I just love this one here…