My City's Still Breathing

Lasting Impressions: Ephemeral Artworks in the City

To what degree can temporary creative experiences facilitate contemplation and action with a view to building community? Inspired by Joseph Beuys’ notion of "social sculpture", this panel seeks to address the potential meaning and impact of ephemeral public artworks while taking into consideration means of tracing social and other relationships inspired by such projects over time. Emphasizing work that encourages reflection on the ways we organize and understand our world, the primary strategies to be discussed will include participatory and/or collaborative performance and intervention as well as alternative and experimental approaches to reading space and interpersonal connections.

Maps are inherently political, and are an ideal form to visualize the connections between people, place, and power. In “Counter-cartography and the City”, Lize Mogel will discuss her work over the past decade involving creating and disseminating counter-cartography with an emphasis on three public projects motivated by her activist desires to challenge the mainstream narrative of a site or history and promote social change.

Interested in mapping with a view to sharing the Cree practice of linking melody, lyric, and rhythm to landmass, Cheryl L’Hirondelle will speak about her current contemporary audio mapping/songwriting of Vancouver and Toronto on this land now known as Canada and share insights and anecdotes from this meaningful performative, musical and sonic activity. She notes that our ability to listen to and understand the land changed has shifted and finds the Cree worldview (nêhiyawin), which can be defined as four-directional, can helps us achieve a very dynamic sense of groundedness and place.

Dr. Graham van Wyk is involved in exploring the potential for interdisciplinary exchanges in relation to the concept of social sculpture and will address how related networks serve to benefit citizens in relation to understandings of Joseph Beuys' notion of "capital" defined as an economics of well-being. He will elaborate on examples of recent to summarize how he has been involved in translating the idea of social sculpture into tangible terms and how citizens have participated.

Milena Placentile at My City's Still Breathing

Photo by Leif Norman

Milena Placentile Writer/Curator
Winnipeg, MB
Lasting Impressions Moderator Biography
Abstract

Milena Placentile

Milena Placentile is a Winnipeg-based curator and writer. Over the years, she has worked with various organizations including Video Pool Media Arts Centre (Winnipeg), SMART Project Space (Amsterdam), and the Ottawa Art Gallery. She recently served as Acting Director of the University of Winnipeg's Gallery 1C03, and she will join Konstfack University of Art, Craft, and Design in Stockholm as a curator/researcher in residence in the fall. Holding a Master of Museum Studies from the University of Toronto, Placentile maintains an interest in socially and politically engaged artistic practices, audience experience, and progressive cultural policy. She is a member of the International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art (IKT) and has recently joined The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics to contribute to the hosting of Encuentro 2014 in Winnipeg. For her work as a curator, she has received generous support from organizations including the Canada Council for the Arts, the Winnipeg and Manitoba Arts Councils, the Consulate General of France in Toronto, the Henry Moore Foundation, and the International Association of Art Critics (Armenia). In addition to commissioned critical responses, Placentile has written for Fuse, Border Crossings, Muse, Akimblog andLaPinta (Barcelona). She is a regional contributing editor to Fuse. Her recent exhibitions include No Time to Lose (Aberdeen, 2008), The Arts of Togetherness (Toronto, 2009), The Pinky Show: Class Treason Stories (excerpts) (Winnipeg, 2009; Toronto, 2010), and three online exhibitions for the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad: Competition,Corporatization,and Consumerism (2009/2010). Showing Up, Speaking Out, a month-long series of performance-based interventions in Winnipeg launches in September

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6.3 mB

Cheryl L'Hirondelle

Cheryl L'Hirondelle Interdisciplinary Artist, Singer/Songwriter, Curator
Vancouver, Canada
Nikamon ohci askiy : songs because of the land

 Biography
Abstract

Cheryl L’Hirondelle

Cheryl L'Hirondelle (aka Waynohtêw, Cheryl Koprek) is a nomadic mixed-blood multi and interdisciplinary artist, singer/songwriter and curator. Her creative practice is an investigation of the junction of a cree worldview (nêhiyawin) in contemporary time and space.

In 2004, L’Hirondelle was one of the first Aboriginal artists from this land now known as Canada to be invited to present her new media work at DAK’ART Lab, part of the 6th Edition of the Dakar Biennale for Contemporary African Art, Dakar, Senegal. In both 2005 and 2006, L’Hirondelle was the recipient of the imagineNATIVE New Media Award for her online net.art projects: treatycard, 17:TELL & wêpinâsowina. Her 2008 interdisciplinary project nikamon ohci askiy (songs because of the land), was recognized as an honoree in the Net.Art category of the 13th Annual Webby Awards. In 2009 she was curator of Codetalkers of the Digital Divide (or why we didn’t become ‘roadkill on the information superhighway’) and new media advisor for imagineNATIVE Film + Media Festival’s 10th Anniversary.

Cheryl is currently working on a Toronto version of her Songlines project and is in production on a new net.art project entitled NDNSPAM Celebrity Edition Cookbook. In addition, she is also curating another new media exhibition for the 2010 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Festival entitled RE:counting coup.

Nikamon ohci askiy : songs because of the land



Cree worldview (nêhiyawin) is land-based and also intrinsically related with sound and identity. To speak the language means to sound the worldview. One definition of what ‘nêhiyaw’ means is to be four-directional, so it is feasible to imagine a process of ‘sounding’ into one’s environment to achieve a very dynamic sense of groundedness and place. Songlines is the method of mapping the land melodically, lyrically and rhythmically – practiced by many indigenous people around the world since time immemorial.



Pre-contact, indigenous people from this land now known as Canada traveled extensively, having much larger territories than current day reserves and settlements. These lands would be seasonally traversed, tracking animals, gathering plants for sustenance and finding shelter and places to camp to endure the extremes the seasons offered. There were places within these territories that were gathering sites, some for trade and others for ceremony. With the onslaught of newcomers to this land, forts and settlements were strategically situated where indigenous people naturally congregated. These places have grown into the many North American cities we know today.



Many of these cities share similar architectural aesthetics and planning systems. The materials to construct buildings are largely no longer regionally derived, yet these structures eventually become part of the land and create sonic corridors and new avenues for travel.



With our relationship to the land shifting, so too has our ability to how we listen to and understand the land changed. Though we may have a genetic memory of how things were done, sometimes we’ve forgotten why or the deep layers of intent that made the activity so robust a part of our responsibility in keeping the world turning. Louis Riel said, "My people will sleep for one hundred years when they awake, it will be the artists who give them their spirit back." It seems that it is the artists and musicians who are tapping into these ancient modus operandi and bringing back ways of relating to the world around us.



Cheryl L’Hirondelle will speak about her current contemporary audio mapping/songwriting of Vancouver and Toronto on this land now known as Canada and share insights and anecdotes from this meaningful performative, musical and sonic activity.

 
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19 mB

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20:45

Lize Mogel
Lize Mogel

Lize Mogel presents at My City's Still Breathing

Photo by Leif Norman

Lize Mogel Interdisciplinary Artist
New York, USA
Counter-cartography and the City Biography
Abstract

Lize Mogel

Lize Mogel is an interdisciplinary artist who creates and disseminates counter-cartography (maps and mappings that produce new understandings of social and political issues). She has mapped public parks in Los Angeles; cultural migration patterns in Idaho; and future territorial disputes in the Arctic. She inserts and distributes and cartographic projects into public space and via publications. She is co-editor and co-curator of the book/map collection "An Atlas of Radical Cartography" and the related exhibition which is touring internationally. Her work has been exhibited at the Sharjah and Gwangju Biennials, PS1 (NYC), Casco (Utrecht), and Experimental Geography (touring).  www.publicgreen.com

Counter-cartography and the City

Maps are inherently political, and are an ideal form to visualize the connections between people, place, and power. There are a growing number of cultural producers who use mapping for social and political transformation. My own interests in maps and mapping in cultural practices is focused on work with a critical and activist intent. These are often cross-disciplinary and collaborative—moving between art, design, media, architecture, geography, cartography, organizing, activism, education, journalism, and so on.

‘Counter-cartography’ is a practice that uses maps and mapping to challenge the mainstream narrative of a site or history, from a political or activist perspective. This practice overlaps with ‘radical cartography’ which more explicitly uses mapping to actively promote social change. Both of these use and appropriate cartographic conventions in order to analyze and create a balance of power. Much of this mapping work is hybrid, combining aesthetics and information. It is also temporal and anti-monumental, because it is responsive to a political moment.

In “Counter-cartography and the City”, I will discuss my work over the past decade of creating and disseminating counter-cartography. I will talk about three public projects: a call for creating public parks on Los Angeles brownfields and vacant lots; an investigation of the economy and geography of sewage infrastructure in New York City; and a critical exploration of how a World’s Fair and an Olympics were leveraged to develop Vancouver’s False Creek.
 
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18 mB

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19:38

Graham van Wyk
Graham van Wyk

Graham van Wyk presents at My City's Still Breathing

Photo by Leif Norman

Graham van Wyk Social Sculpture Research Unit, Oxford Brookes University
Oxford, UK
Imagination and Transformation: Ephemeral Art in Cities Biography
Abstract

Graham van Wyk

Graham van Wyk is a member of the core network of the Social Sculpture Research Unit at Oxford Brookes University in the UK where he is exploring ways to take the social sculpture ideas of Joseph Beuys into wider fields of inquiry and practice. A particular area of interest is the idea of 'capital' in Joseph Beuys' thought and its implications for an economics of human well-being and citizenship. Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Graham was actively involved in cultural, community and workers organizations. His social and cultural concerns led to participation in the South Peninsula Educational Fellowship, New World Film Society and the Artists' Alliance. He researched and documented conditions of farm workers and rural communities in the Little Karoo region and contributed to the organization of domestic workers in Cape Town. He helped organize artists to participate in the Culture and Resistance conference in Botswana in 1982. Graham has worked closely with artist, Shelley Sacks on projects, most especially the early development of her work, Exchange Values. Graham, trained as a sociologist, is committed to making connections and crossing boundaries in thinking and doing in order to explore ways of shaping a humane and ecologically viable society. He is currently a lecturer at Oxford Brookes University and a visiting tutor at the Royal College of Art.

Imagination and Transformation: Ephemeral Art in Cities

This talk aims to explore a set of questions in relation to art and action in urban settings. What is the transformative potential of creative social actions in the city? What is it that artists seek to transform? Who are the participants? Is there an audience beyond these participants? What is the desired outcome? How do we “measure” success? What, if anything, is enduring in ephemeral art actions in the city? Today, cities are spaces for the interplay of varied social forces with creative and destructive consequences. Cities can be seen as communities where people realise their need for association and cooperation; however, they are also spaces of economic and social rupture, dislocation and alienation. Modern cities are increasingly becoming ecologically unsustainable crucibles of over-consumption and wastefulness in which creative social engagement and imaginative action are severely circumscribed. The ecological and social crises we face today demand our urgent response. Joseph Beuys’ assertion that “everyone’s an artist” was both a provocation and a challenge to the art establishment of the time, but also arises from an astute and visionary insight that the real crisis we face is a crisis of the imagination, of seeing anew possibilities for humanity to shape democratic, sustainable alternatives to the ways we live in the world. Inspired by the social sculpture idea that sees the latent creative and transformative power in every human being, interdisciplinary artists who work with participatory processes – often employing thought, speech and discussion as material in their work – and, informed by an expanded conception of art, work both within and beyond the specialised sphere of art. This emphasis on the “invisible materials” in an expanded conception of art, available to us all, has been influential in framing the responses of artists to the socio-ecological crisis and to working as “agents of change,” concerned with the connections between the individual and the social. The talk will explore such action, in particular through the work of Shelley Sacks, a former student of Beuys’, whose work has been seminal in developing new methodologies of practice for social sculpture practitioners. Her work in the cities of Stoke-on-Trent, Edinburgh and Hanover, while raising many interesting questions, has also pointed to new strategies for creative social actions in cities.

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21.1 mB

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