M:ST News – July 2008

Rain, Rain, Go Away…

Well, for those of you in Calgary the past few days, you’re well aware that it has been raining pretty much around the clock. Not exactly the best weather for a bike ride. I did however get to go out on a tour of The Tender Mountain Clan’s favourite street art spots before the rain last Saturday. Here are some pics from the tour:

The tour included wildflowers, community gardens, back alleyways, identification of both illegal and legal graffiti, tags, murals, dumpster diving, flyers, leaflets, posters, some relaxing in a field, and some good conversation. I was at first apprehensive about a tour of local street art spots as I really wanted to avoid the topic of what is and isn’t art or what could be and what couldn’t be art. That topic is so boring I can’t even begin to talk about it, much less write about it. Luckily, once we were on our third stop somewhere in a back alley of Sunnyside, it was obviously not going to be brought up. Breaks at community gardens, where people were busy tending to their crops as well as personal anecdotes from our tour guide about specific neighbourhoods, kept the conversation enjoyable and creative. We stopped to appreciate everything from junk piles to well manicured yards. It seemed as though our group was mostly interested in seeing the city from a different perspective with different people.
On a bit of a side note, I’ve been spending more time with cycling people than art people lately and I must admit, I am rather happy avoiding artists altogether. Don’t get me wrong, bike people have their issues (just try to walk into a LBS and ask for help without feeling like a total fool afterward) but they are no worse than record store people or electronic store people or comic book people or coffee people that prefer to be called barristas. I’ve actually been impressed by how cyclists come out to events just to be around people and just for the community. There is no “networking,” no “making connections,” no guilt involved if you decide to not go, no attempt to be “seen,” or to “make an appearance,” or to “be professional.” When the Movement Movement ran the Glenbow Museum with M:ST 4 back in October 2008, I was excited to see so many people who were there to run… not just participate in an artwork as a “collaborator” but to actually RUN. It was the people running that made it interesting for me… by that I mean NOT the artists running but the people running.

The act of doing, in that case running and in this case cycling, allowed for a subtle shift in perception that was less pretentious. The motivation for looking and experiencing was different, if not prior to the ride then definitely during and after the ride. It sounds like a simple shift and in fact it is… I guess my point is just that some art is better experienced in the periphery of vision… at that point just before it’s washed away by something else.

True Love is Riding Bikes
Guided bike tours/self-guided map
Saturday, July 18 2009, meet at 1:30PM
Leaving from The Good Life Community Bike Shop