Archives for posts with tag: city art

Law Libe

The Law Library at McGill University in Montreal, commissioned for Mr. Edward Brook by his mother for Christmas. 

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// a personal geography of the Trinity Bellwoods neighbourhood in Toronto.

Toronto!

You have a new type of street furniture to join your highly esteemed offerings of Astral Media benches, trash cans, bus shelters and “info pillars”!

It’s the ever-ubiquitous, prodigious in its immense geographic coverage, the find-it-on-every-corner Condo sandwich board!

Today, these low-profile objects literally cover Toronto’s downtown streets. Passersby can easily revel in the wide selections of “authentic” loft lifestyle condos advertised on every street corner, and luckily are even pointed in the right direction.

Just another effect of the incredible number of condominiums being built in Toronto on the city’s streets.

UPDATE!

Dan Bergeron, as part of the Luminato Festival, has created an incredible condo sandwich board sculpture, highlighting the incredible rise in Toronto housing prices since the 1970s. And it’s located at the crossroads of St James Town, Cabbagetown and Regent Park! Woah!


This morning I embarked on my first CITY MAIL delivery-route, and observed a lot as I negotiated the streets of Halifax: from as far south as Hollis and South, to as far north as Kane Pl. in the Hydrostone neighbourhood.

The CITY MAIL box at Trident on Hollis St.

Here are some of my initial observations/reflections:

– Wandering the city with purpose provided a fresh and dynamic orientation to the streets: before, I was an aimless wanderer — but my engagement with the city’s roads and built environment transformed Halifax into the background of a journey through a maze-like series of paths and nodes — streets ending abruptly were my foe, and I had to rely on the map of the city I had created in my head, and friendly folk on the street to achieve success

– I experienced the true meaning of the “Travelling Salesman Problem“which had been introduced to me through GIS — using the program’s algorithm function to develop delivery routes that minimize path-over lap and maximize efficiency. As an actor within a wider delivery system I found the greatest challenge was route-planning, and was frustrated when I had to back track.

– The systems of the street numbers often lie! The street numbers up Newton hop – skip – and jump, skipping hundreds of houses — this instilled doubt as to my orienteering capabilities as I tried to locate houses along parallel streets based on inference.

– CITY MAIL gave me the vehicle to tap into an otherwise invisible network in Halifax centred in the North End. A lot of the mail-boxes I delivered to were very far from the North End, but indicators such as the Ecology Action Centre‘s “No Fliers Please” stickers, and “We Support Our Postal Workers” affirmed that these houses in the South and West were distant outposts along a centralized network of communication.

– Many mail boxes, such as the one above, are located outside — which is indicative of the immense trust folks place in others in the city – or perhaps a tacit reverence for the written word; it would be unimaginable to leave your email inbox open on the street giving others the opportunity to rummage through it.

As I continue to negotiate the paths and projects  that make up Halifax, and specifically, the North End, I have begun to formalize the structures that are defining my experiences in a screen-printed series of hyper-real, fictionalized, and semi-constructed street scenes.

I have adopted a style that is exploring the use of lines and lived-perspective in the definition and experience of urban space. I am attempting to adopt an “objective” architectural blue-print style, contrasted with warmth due to imperfections and a quality of familiarity

The above-photo is the first draft of the first print of the series: a sequence of four houses on Agricola south of Willow.

I look forward to sharing the rest of the series with you — keep posted!