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The Art of Broken City Lab

The Art of Broken City Lab
culture
Matthew Newton
  • 23 july 2009

In Windsor, Ontario, ‘creative research group’ Broken City Lab uses art as a means to “tactically disrupt and engage the city, its communities, and its infrastructures to reimagine the potential for action in the collapsing post-industrial city.”

Located just across the river from Detroit, Windsor shares a similar economic plight to that of its U.S. neighbor, mainly its reliance on automotive manufacturing as a primary source of revenue (Windsor is home to one of Chrysler’s Minivan plants, among others).

And just as groups like Detroit Unreal Estate Agency seek to shed light on the urban landscape that has slipped off the mainstream public’s radar, Broken City Lab’s actions are focused on finding new and positive ways to interact with the city.

Some examples of the group’s initiatives are its Text-In-Transit panels, seed bomb program, magnetic street planters, and community gardens. Starting this September, the group will embark on an ambitious public light installation it calls Cross-Border Communication:

Cross-Border Communication an interventionist performance series based on the desperate need to communicate with Detroit, Michigan from Windsor, Ontario.

Using a 6000 lumens projector, Broken City Lab will transmit a message to Detroit once a week for 45 minutes from September to November 2009. Each week will feature a different message that we write and project onto the CIBC building, located at Ouellette Avenue & Riverside Drive in Windsor and clearly visible from downtown Detroit.

(Image via Broken City Lab)

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