Understated Flamboyance

In a previous visit to the Lulu Art in the City event, I had a chance to practice my natural joy of bashing nuisances. After this week’s talk by sans-façon it seems I don’t have to stretch my congratulatory muscles too hard.

The city of Calgary is taking management of its urban planning seriously. Seriously! In 2009/10 they’ve employed the services of an art group to be part of, no, to lead an interdisciplinary team “to research the relationship between the Calgarians and their watershed”. Sans-façon, who are Charles Blanc and Tristan Surtees, have taken the opportunity to develop a comprehensive vision that places “creativity at the heart of projects and initiatives”.

Instead of flexing my fingers in typing my own text, here are some copy pasting snippets from source material and their respective links:

“Watershed+ was formally known and commissioned as the Visual Language Project”http://www.sansfacon.co.uk/projects/vlp/vlp.shtml. On this website you can also browse other projects of the group.

From the book  produced to document the project: “the unloved, un-imagined and unknown water infrastructures could, and should, have a role in encouraging a sustainable and creative relationship between people and place. Infrastructures and systems”. Available as a  PDF document.

“The installation of Limelight in Vancouver is part of chART: Public Art Marpole, a creative collaboration between Emily Carr University of Art + Design and the Marpole BIA”.

As it usually is with public speaking, you put yourself into a hit and miss situation by attending. This time I felt fortunate for not missing my chance of joining the audience. If nothing else, the work of Sans-façon opens an opportunity to be inspired. Many thanks to the Lulu Series organizers for inviting Charles and Tristan to share their story.


You Are Here reflects perfectly on our use of 2D symbols, their relationship with the real world and the endless search we are constantly engaged in. http://www.sansfacon.co.uk/projects/youare/youare.shtml

2 thoughts on “Understated Flamboyance

    • You’re right, Michael. I was even contemplating leaving this post without an image in line with the notion of understatement. Enthusiasm is built upon context. Engagement is generated in time and practice. There’s always something left out of the frame which draws me to continue my exploration.

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