Friday, July 23, 2010

on the eve of Urban Art 2010

I'm not at Carp Market this weekend so I won't have to stop and let the geese pass this Saturday like I did last week.

Instead I'll be out marking spots for artists and getting booths set up and wondering where item X is and did I remember to bring it?

I don't know where the time is going but it seems I'm always busy or thinking about what I have to do next. I'm either saving my energy for the "next big thing I have to do" (I usually do this by watching AC360 podcasts. Ever since I dropped the cable tv to save money last December I've missed Anderson Cooper the most.)

I'm on the eve of one of my bigger yearly events, namely Urban Art @ Minto Park. This year it's 5 years old and my 2nd time organizing it with my good friend and fellow artist Tim Hunt. We had far fewer breakfast meetings this year than last. A testament to how busy Tim was too.

So I had one stand out day this week. I was interviewed by Michael Bhardwaj for In Town and Out a local CBC Radio One program every Saturday morning from 6am to 9am composed of information and interviews concerning events happening in our area over the weekend. I was so happy to be able to get the word out about Urban Art and to get an opportunity to talk about the community Post-It Note event which will happen during Urban Art tomorrow.

Basically Ottawa is a town with a lot of office culture. What more familiar format than the post-it note can you have when you are used to office spaces? In the park I will set up a pseudo office and I am inviting the public to write a thought, an idea, a grocery list, a to do reminder, a pet peeve on a post it and to put it up for all to see. I hope I get so many post it notes that all the surfaces are covered. And, for those who want to tell me a secret, I'll have my Top Secret File available in the filing cabinet, so you can leave something hidden if you want.

Really I am wondering what's on the mind of the people in Ottawa. What are you thinking about?

After the show I'll gather the notes up and make them into some kind of art piece. I did this before, when I bound secrets anonymously dropped into a ballot box for me into a book form called a flag book. Each secret was glued against the spine and then the book flies open in a great dramatic gesture, one flap lying atop the next all the way down. I'm not sure if the post-its will become a book. I have to wait and see what I get. But that's the fun for me. It's out of my hands.

The other thing that made my interview day a very auspicious occasion was the fact that I caught the double-decker OC Transpo bus both ways. What are the odds of that?

View from the front at the top
I also spent a few days postering with Tim this week. Between us we put up 230 posters in the downtown core. Someone always takes most of them down during the week - I've seen city workers and private citizens do this - but hopefully some remain and hopefully all the other artists have done their share as well. Now all we can do is hope for good weather, and if we don't get, to go on with the show anyway.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

UV 11 + Humidex 41C + full sun and no air conditioning

Like the guy on some movie I saw ages ago who told the other guy "hey turn it up to 11" cause he wanted to rock out, our UV index around here is on 11 today. I was wondering how high the UV could go as it's been steadily 8 or 9 and then 10's across the board and today: 11.

If I go out will my eye balls burn or will they just get silently damaged to show up as cataracts a decade from now? What's with the sun going to 11 for Pete's sake?

Apparently the scale goes to 11 and then they don't count it anymore.
What if it's really a lot more than 11?
Makes you want to retire to your damp cool basement and not come out until the sun and the mosquitos are gone.

Until then all my windows are closed *sigh*. I wait all year to have the windows wide open only to have to grudgingly concede that if I want to sleep a few hours at night then I have to close them during the day. We don't have an air conditioner and this year I can't hear the hum of the neighbour's units either. We're all either too poor to afford the hydro bills that come with them or we're all just putting up with it. Eventually the temperature breaks. But this week, we'll suffer.

Better find my hat. And my sunscreen. And wear both.