With DodoLab & Broken City Lab in Windsor, ON

November 24, 2010 by · Comments Off on With DodoLab & Broken City Lab in Windsor, ON 

From Windsor to Detroit (McKee Park)

I’ve just returned from a research trip to Ontario, Canada with DodoLab where we spent a week planning new projects and doing a site visit to Windsor, Ontario for a batch of projects next Autumn with local artist-led group, Broken City Lab. Windsor is on the south side of the Detroit river from Detroit itself and, whilst being one of the earliest settlements in Canada, owes much of its former prosperity to Detroit’s auto industry. Today it is a town with serious industrial decline, urban blight and heavy pollution from the surrounding heavy industry and the vast numbers of trucks rolling across the Ambassador Bridge from the US into Canada.

Over the next year we aim to participate in DodoLab’s ongoing, intermittent residency in Windsor culminating in a week-long anarchaeological exploration of the city and the history of its futures. Building on the process we are developing through our current series of events here in London, City As Material, we’ll aim to work with local people in and around Windsor to create a series of shareable publications with bookleteer that can begin not just to map out the imagined futures of the past as created by the City and corporations, but also to project new ones based on hopes and aspirations of the grassroots communities who live there now.

As It Comes

November 5, 2010 by · Comments Off on As It Comes 

For the past few weeks I’ve been heading up and down from Lancaster working on As It Comes. It was commissioned by Mid Pennine Arts and Lancaster District Chamber of Commerce and is inspired by both the heritage and future of local traders and shopkeepers.

I have been interviewing and drawing with some of Lancaster’s current shopkeepers and traders to understand more about their businesses and talk about; craft and knowledge; communities and friendships; and the relationship with commodities, food, and people that is different from chains and supermarkets.

The project is continuing my work on markets and shops exploring the people and communities they engender.  I’ve been continually inspired by the skills, crafts and care of traders I’ve met in Lancaster – whether selling fabric, repairing tools or butchering meat. The As It Comes blog is recording some of the thoughts and conversations as the project continues.

Next week I am hanging some large scale work in New Street that combines traditional embroidery with drawing and digital printing on fabric, inspired by these conversations, the history of trade, development of textile technologies and history of cotton weaving in the area.

On the 4th December I’ll be leading a walk around of Lancaster talking about some of the issues raised by the project and thinking about the future of independent traders and town centers. NEF (New Economics Foundation) have published a follow up to their 2005 Clone Town report, entitled Re-imaging the High Street: Escape From Clone Town Britain which supports the need for independent traders; and the Transition Town movement – among others is gathering pace – so I am wondering what we want the new ecology of the high street to be? If you believe that supermarkets and large chains are unsustainable environmentally and socially, but we need some of what they offer, what new retail ecology might we build in the future?

Welcoming our two new placements

November 4, 2010 by · Comments Off on Welcoming our two new placements 

We’re delighted to welcome Radhika Patel and Christina Wanambwa to Proboscis who have both joined us this week on six month placements, funded through the government’s Future Jobs Fund, in partnership with New Deal of the Mind.

Radhika is joining us as Marketing/Business Development Assistant and will be helping plan and deliver new approaches to marketing our projects, activities and products as well as growing our audiences.

Christina is joining us as Education Assistant and will be working on education and learning projects and partnerships, such as our new collaboration with Soho Parish Primary School.

City As Material Series

November 3, 2010 by · Comments Off on City As Material Series 

City As Materials : Streetscapes - 02 Giles Lane City As Material River - 44

We’ve recently started a new series of events called City As Material. Between October and December 2010 we’re running 5 one-day urban exploration and collaborative publishing events which aim to bring diverse groups together around a number of topics to generate some fresh perspectives on urban space and experience. We will be coordinating the creation of a collaboration Diffusion eBook as the outcome of each event, which will be published on diffusion.org.uk and printedin a limited edition using bookleteer’s PPOD service. Each event will also have a special guest who will be invited to share their personal interests in the topic and who will also be commissioned to create their own eBook for the series:

Book places for the events here : cityasmaterial.eventbrite.com
Download publications from the series here : diffusion.org.uk/?cat=976
Follow our reports on the events here : bookleteer.com/blog/tag/pitch-in-publish/