Time Capsule Workshop:
Psychogeography & Site/Social Art-Making
Led by John Loerchner & Laura Mendes of Labspace Studio
This roaming and exploratory workshop was held in conjunction with the Memories of the Future exhibition, a curatorial project that invited contemporary artists to respond to the history and development of the Gibson House Museum.
Workshop participants were led on a socio-historic walking journey through the liminal spaces surrounding the Gibson House, a historic farmhouse built in 1851 in North York.
With a shared goal to create a collaborative Time Capsule, our group navigated between urban and rural, present and past, using applications of memory, heritage and art to inform our journey and creative process.
Participants learned strategies for conceptualizing new site-inspired work, including ways of sensing, feeling and experiencing urban spaces, while employing methods of collecting, documenting and sharing.
Participants took their learnings, ephemera and field-notes home and crafted their time capsule contributions. This physical archive (contents pictured below) will be stored safely with the City of Toronto’s “Living History Collection.” It will be re-opened in 50 years on Nov 2, 2064.
Special thanks to Dorie Billich, Curator of the Gibson House Museum, for hosting our workshop and facilitating our Time Capsule, and to Memories of the Future curators Noa Bronstein and Katherine Dennis.
Sheraz Khan & Scott Kobewka
“We produced a set of ten vials of powder, consisting of material encountered on an experiential walk through North York. Starting at Gibson House, an old preserved farmhouse, we moved through cemeteries, parks, bus interiors, and quiet residential streets.
Most evident to us was the contrast of the materials of the past (Gibson House) and the present (our walk). We sought then to produce a material journal of our day. The material we encountered was pulverized and contained, each vial a small passage in our recording.
The powders sit inside a small wooden box and will be stored in a time capsule in Toronto for 50 years. Ten vials were produced, containing pulverized or ground wood, grass, soil, granite, asphalt, glass steel, plastic, brick, and rubber. A few pictures of the materials and their powders are below.”
“In experiencing the city, the eye doesn’t see things but images of things that mean other things. Buildings speak to us through memories by prompting within us associations that remind us of historical and personal circumstances. As a result, architectural styles have become ‘emotional souvenirs’. In 2015, as we begin to experience a wane in the condo boom of the last few years, we begin to question the communicative powers of this new architecture. Massive condo developments have become a faceless and placeless architecture due to their ambiguity with their contexts and repetitive visual styles. With constant construction and quick turnaround times, what is the connection/ the memories/ the emotional souvenirs we are creating for ourselves and the generations of the future?
The collage Relics, made of clippings from condo ads and architecture magazines of 2014, seeks to visualize the passive observation of the condo boom within Toronto and asks us to question these buildings based on the memories that will manifest in 50 years.”
Terri-Lyn Creelman TLC
“Start at the top of the box in all gold, the Toronto Land Swindle for All to behold. Down to the Latch, counter clockwise you read, after the red maple, it’s time to proceed. Now open it up & there you will see, 2 preserved leaves, shining above, from that grand maple tree. Continue to read from inside back & front, included on the sides are words from TLC. Braided Sweet Grass in ceremony of All, attached is a die, roll twice to play & recall. My painting is placed on the floor of the box. Close, then turn it upside down, to the Riddle from me, which I have yet to figure out, how it all can be.
History has shown that there are those that believe, if they do something now it will be forgotten in years. Present time continues to show that is an immature dangerous & costly game.”
Inspired by the mixed urban setting of Labspace Studio’s Time Capsule walking tour, W.J. Wilson created My Future As A Fuzzy Deer – a soundscape of personal recordings spanning almost two decades. Archived on three media storage types from various eras of his life – the audio cassette, the CD and the USB flash drive – ten original songs act as a patchwork representation of the old and new places along route. Written between 1997 and 2014, the music reflects the physical journey he experienced during the workshop. From the historical Gibson House Museum to the modern buildings on Yonge Street, Wilson filters his personal past through a present day lens and packages this snapshot neatly with optimism for a future generation.
50 Unfinished Projects for the Future (Now Past) 2014-2064 is an artist bucket list that enlists the spirit of ambition in the pursuit of posterity. Created as a personal challenge, Emily DiCarlo gleaned over ten years worth of notebooks to highlight all the project ideas that had never materialized. Functioning as supports for a future body of production, she created fifty gallery wall labels detailing the hypothetical artworks. Though many of the imagined projects carry weighty themes of temporal experience, human will and mortality, DiCarlo’s intention is hopeful. Many of the proposals assert an idealist attitude in terms of scale and feasibility, optimistically assuming the possibility of living another fifty years to see their realization.
and ends with the sun falling into the sea is an informal physical record of the incorporeal, transient dream state. Beginning in Ottawa at the end of one year, and ending in Toronto at the beginning of the next, the seven night exercise used the body – fixed in time and space but free of conscious volition – as a tool to capture impressions from a mind temporarily unburdened by the spatial and temporal limitations of the body.
“My time capsule contribution serves as a personal and public memento of right now, in the form of a message in a bottle. On one side of the paper I quote Horatio Spafford. The other side emphasizes the change that is bound to happen in the years to come and uncertainty of the future. However, through it all, I know that “It is Well with My Soul.”
“My time piece is wrapped with images of items included in our time capsule kit or found along our walk. Inside my time capsule are artistic responses to the day including a small oil painting on canvas and a short poem nestled amongst actual objects and items collected from our walk, secured in an aluminum box with beeswax.”
“The Toronto NSEW 2014 Flipbook was created to provide future viewers with a glimpse and feeling of Toronto in this particular moment in time. Collated using a sequence of hundreds of photographs taken from the CN tower, the Flipbook can be experienced as a historical preservation of movement through space. The city is present in these images as political, technological, economic, and social realities of our time.”