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Downtown Windsor Parking Lot Sends a Message to the Sky

Wednesday October 12th, 2011, 12:45pm


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Windsor’s Broken City Lab, “an artist-led interdisciplinary creative research group that tactically disrupts and engages the city, its communities, and its infrastructures to reimagine the potential for action in the collapsing post-industrial city of Windsor, Ontario” has completed a new project in Downtown Windsor

Famed for Cross Border Communication, Psychogeographic Walks, Text-in-Transit, and a number of other local projects, Broken City Lab, through the Art Gallery of Windsor has painted a message to airplanes, satellites and residents of tall buildings — a public art project — on the site of the future Downtown Windsor Aquatic Centre.

“AS OF 2011.09.21. WE ARE ALIVE & WELL”

Broken City Lab completed the writing, done in white paint, over the Labour Day Weekend in early September while planning the written date to coincide with the opening of the Art Gallery of Windsor’s Bienniel.

Each letter of the phrase is approximately 20×18 feet and covers an approximate square footage of 650-700 feet within the City of Windsor’s parking lots located just south of the Art Gallery.

Catherine Mastin, director of the AGW described the public art project as an avenue to make “a tremendous statement of collaboration between the City of Windsor and the visual arts”.  Mastin, in a letter to City Council in August ensured that the project wouldn’t interfere with normal parking lot operations and that Broken City Lab, under the direction of Justin Langlois, invites the project to be walked on and driven over.

While described as an “unusual proposal”, the project would bring “art to the very feet of the people of this city and thus breaks down any traditional conceptions of art being contained to sacred spaces”.

The project is visible from gallery windows on the AGW’s upper floors, and if various online mapping websites such as Google Earth, Bing Maps or Yahoo Maps update their satellite photography between now and the end of the proposed project in early 2012, the project will be visible to the entire world.

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