Looking back to a Fall semester in residency at Emily Carr, it was a privilege to be welcomed into the heart of this passionate place, to explore with the staff and students the culture and community of this school of art and design, and to teach our class on the Art of Place. A thought provoking experience, how do we connect the activities of an art institution to the city, how do we teach about place and people? What do we hope for the future of our art education? A new chapter of work begins and this was a wonderful place to start, thank you to everyone who hosted us throughout Vancouver, we look forward to returning.
This week, April 25-26th, we’ll be speakers at “The art of developing a city“, a conference organised by Koro and the City of Oslo.
From the conference’s introduction “How can society renew itself by integrating the unruly power that art represents in city and place development? How to avoid public art that could have been "anywhere" and facilitate art that leaps out of forces and ideas with roots instead? Can art be a means of building local communities from the bottom up, and at the same time signal identity and distinctiveness to the outside world?”
The conference explores the interface between art, planning and place and community development and addresses current issues related to how art and artists can play a role in building, neighborhood, area and regional level. The conference will bring together leading international professionals and actors, the Norwegian academic community including cultural planners, planners, developers, curators and artists.
We’re looking forward to the opening of ‘Here’ in Kansas City tonight at the The KCAI Crossroads Gallery: Center for Contemporary Practice.
This exhibition project was developed during a residency for the Center for Contemporary Practice program at the KCAI Crossroads Gallery. It is a combination of intimate memories of diverse places, bringing to the fore the human aspect of place.
The memories were gathered through a specific interview exercise we created to reach these often forgotten moments. Derived from theatre rehearsal methods, psychoanalysis and Police cognitive interview techniques devised to jolt witnesses memories about the details of a past event, the methodology took the participants on a journey through their own lived experiences.
The memories presented at the exhibition are a combination of moments generously shared by KCAI students and also from Calgary Canada and Laramie WY.
April 5 - May 3, 2019
Iconic Site (#5) will be installed until the 30th of November, as part of The Bentway’s Fall Art Exhibition If, But, What If?
Positioned atop a hill at The Bentway’s newly opened Strachan Gate, the work reflects equally on the changing nature of the surrounding communities and the ambitions of The Bentway project itself, which has transformed one of Toronto’s most significant landscapes into a new shared public space for the growing city. It is here that we recognize each signature city project is part of a larger continuum of change, remaking a site “iconic” time and time again.
Opening Saturday 15th of September 2018, Iconic Site at The Bentway.
Iconic Site was created as a response to the situation of many cities, where massive waves of new developments have changed the face of our urban environment, often replacing the character of the place with hollow words and meaningless sentences. Originally developed as a commission for the Centre for the Urban Built Environment in Manchester, the work has been re-imagined for its new context, with the iconography and typography of signs found on North American roadsides. Here, in the dense heart of Toronto, where a two-decade long development boom has radically transformed both the cityscape and the lexicon used to describe it, the work takes on new relevance.
The Bentway is a new public space and programming platform that is both of the city and about the city. Through the lens of arts, culture, and recreation we explore the changing landscape of Toronto and urbanism on a global scale.
The Bentway is a member of the High Line Network, an international network of projects that transform underutilized infrastructure into new urban landscapes.
Text from The Bentway
Coinciding with the conclusion of Katja Aßmann's artistic direction of Urbane Künste Ruhr, Kerber Verlag has published Urbane Künste Ruhr ARTS IN URBAN SPACE 2012 - 2017 (edited by Katja Aßmann, Dr. Vera Battis-Reese, Lukas Crepaz, Florian Heilmeyer). It offers a multifaceted retrospective of the art projects initiated and realized by Urbane Künste Ruhr and discuses curatorial practice and the intention to combine art and city, with contributions, essays and interviews by and with participants illuminate the basic themes and methods of Urbane Künste Ruhr.
Sans façon participated in Urban Lights Ruhr in 2014, 2015, and 2017 and for Urbane Künste Ruhr ARTS IN URBAN SPACE 2012 - 2017 we contributed an essay speaking to the experience of co-curating in the 2015 edition.
Dr. Vera Battis-Reese
Last week was the opening of An Audience of One for Urban Lights Ruhr. It will be on the Forumplatz in Marl until October 29th.
Thank you again to all the people made it possible, especially to the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium and all the generous people who shared their hands to record the clapping.
We were delighted to re-enact one of the walk from Odd Sympathies 10 years later for the occasion of the book launch Walking Through Social Research. Although the time, season, day were not the ones for which the composition was created, the walk was interestingly similar with some of the sounds still coming in on cue.
Walking Through Social Research is edited by Charlotte Bates and Alex Rhys-Taylor (Routledge 2017). Charlotte Bates is a Sociologist at the Cardiff School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University. Alex Rhys-Taylor is a Sociologist at the Centre for Urban and Community Research, Goldsmiths, University of London.
We are currently developing a new piece for Urban Lights Ruhr, An Audience for One, and we had the pleasure of working at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, recording in their beautiful space. Thanks again to all who took part in the evening.
On Thursday, 25th of May, Tristan and Charles will be making the closing keynote speech at the 'Culture Grows Here' Conference in the city of Barrie, Ontario.
This year's conference will be hosted at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons at 16164, Highway 12 East, Midland, Ontario L4R 4K8 and the Midland Cultural Centre at 333 King St, Midland, ON L4R 4K4.
Closing keynote - ‘Uncertain Places’ - Sans façon talk candidly about their past and current work (both successful and less so) to explore questions around contemporary public art that affect all of us involved in the creation and facilitation of work in the public realm. Through the session Sans façon will share how they translate ambitious visions into realizable projects, and their take on the ingredients that need to come together for successful site specific and contextual projects
Tristan is speaking in the Gravity guest lecture series tomorrow afternoon, 16 February from 4:00-6:00pm. at Sheffield Hallam University.
The Gravity guest lecture series examines the process of making visual art, how encounters with objects can generate new work, methods and methodologies, philosophies and u-turns. Previous presenters include: Jeremy Deller, Karla Black, Malcolm Le Grice, Ian Kiaer, Simon Bill, Martin Boyce, Lizzie Fisher, Kim L. Pace and Edmund de Waal.
Please stop by if you're in Sheffield, the lecture is open to the public.
For more information, please visit their website.
Please join us at the Esker Foundation on Saturday, 3rd December.
Our talk, Uncertain Places, will be starting at 1pm. Following that Master Perfumer, Irene Schnell will be giving a talk about her relationship to the project, and then there will be a panel discussion until 3pm between Irene, Glen Bodner, Professor of Psychology, and ourselves. Followed by that there will be a reception downstairs beside the project space.
You can pre-register for the event below:
October 31, 2016 – January 22, 2017
Jasmine from Grasse is an invitation to journey to a specific moment in someone else’s life through an olfactory encounter. Sans façon, with the help of Professor of Psychology, Glen Bodner, and Master Perfumer, Irene Schnell, have faithfully recreated the scent of a place and time drawn from the individual memories of six members from the Atlantic Avenue Art Block, generously allowing us to share in the intimacy of a long moment through its particular scent.
This spring, Sans façon was selected to lead the development of the UEP Phase II public art plan for the City of Calgary with our multidisciplinary team; amery Calvelli, Hesse McGraw, Ciara McKeown, Josh Shelton, and Ben Spencer.
Phase II will provide a 10-year plan for the implementation of a diverse range of public art projects, events and experiences commissioned through the Utilities and Environmental Protection department (UEP), which encompasses Environmental & Safety Management, Waste and Recycling Services, and Water Resources and Water Services.
Thursday evening in Seattle, Sans façon will be presenting the CSO Art Master Plan curatorial framework, ethos, and opportunities for commissioned artists, for the next 15 years of public art for King County Wastewater Treatment Division, with 4Culture. We will also be participating in a panel discussion that will focus on artists' working in the context of water utilities and infrastructure.
Please stop by if you're in the Seattle area, the event will be taking place at:
Art + Water at Oxbow in Georgetown
June 16, 2016, 7:00—9:00 pm
6118 12th Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98108
For more details follow this link.
The City of Lawrence Commissioners has voted to officially receive our proposed plan for the redevelopment of East 9th Street, connecting Massachusetts Street to East Lawrence and the Warehouse Arts District in Lawrence, Kansas.
For a detailed look at the plan please follow this link.
In 2015 we produced a new work Freeman's Wood a board game for Storey G2's project Landed (Freeman's Wood). Three artists were commissioned to make new work responding to the Freeman's Wood site which is located on the edge of Lancaster town centre, UK. This piece of land, that while being owned by a multi-national property investment company, has remained vacant/unclaimed for decades which has brought to question public vs private space, colliding interests of the local community and those of global capital, and challenges the perception of land ownership. Completed last year, Landed (Freeman's Wood) has received widespread attention in 2016, below is a quick summary:
It has been presented in Stockholm at the Undisciplined Environments conference, in Gateshead/Newcastle at the Cultural Heritage in Landscape conference, and the Freeman's Wood video was shown in Visualizing Contested Cities at the international conference in Madrid .
Artists Goldin+Senneby included a model which they produced of A3 A Plot, their commissioned piece on Freeman's Wood, at Prince Eugen’s Waldemarsudde castle, in Stockholm. This was part of their retrospective exhibition, Standard Length of a Miracle, which took place at multiple venues from 27 January-15 May.
An article was published in Landscape Research Group LR Extra newsletter Issue 75 LR Extra promotes interdisciplinary dialogue on issues related to contemporary landscape. It has members and subscribers in more than 40 countries.
The Guardian - 1
An excellent article by Bradley Garrett, “What the battle for Freeman's Wood says about the future of our common land”, was published on 10 February.
“For years, Lancaster locals treated Freeman’s Wood as common space – until its Bermuda-registered owner submitted a development plan, and erected fencing to keep them out. Now the commoners are fighting back.”
The Guardian - 2
Freeman’s Wood was mentioned in a further article by Bradley Garrett:
“Hands off #OurLand: gifting green space to QPR highlights wider threat to cities” on 13 June.
“Around the country, common spaces on the edges of cities – Freeman’s Wood in Lancaster is another long-cherished example – are coming under threat of development.”
'Elsewhere – A Journal of Place'
An interview with Layla Curtis about her Trespass app was published on the 'Elsewhere' blog entitled “Crossing the fence: The Trespass app and oral history” on 27 March.
'Land is Free'
An article was published on the “Land is Free” website in May
‘Common Ground’ and ‘The Woodland Trust’
An article was published in the Summer 2016 edition of “Leaf”, a magazine published by ‘Common Ground’ and ‘The Woodland Trust’.
On 4th July 1845, Henry David Thoreau walked into the woods near his hometown of Concord, Massachusetts and decided to stay. He found a spot next to a lake called Walden Pond and built a hut. For the next two years he attempted to live entirely by his own resources.
Walden, Thoreau’s account of his ‘experiment in simple living’, is one of the most extraordinary and unclassifiable books ever written. Magnetic North’s adaptation - a collaboration between director Nicholas Bone and Sans façon - is a beautiful, simple distillation of this classic meditation on self-sufficiency, the individual’s relationship with the environment and the desire to ‘live deliberately’.
The production is performed in an intimate, in-the-round setting: 12 benches made from American cedar join together to create an arena for the audience and actor, with just 40 audience members able to attend each performance.
Mon 30, Tue 31 May, Wed 1 June, 18.30 & 20.30
Over the last couple of weeks our lovely project manager Ciara McKeown was taking part in two events.
She was also a panelist, speaking on a City of Calgary Public Art 101 panel, investigating the role of the public in public art at the Nickle Gallery in Calgary.