A Potential Toronto

A Potential Toronto (APT) was an event series and exhibition spotlighting alternative economies, minor spaces, and organizing strategies. It was a preliminary step in a longer-term counter-cartography project which aims to render currents of radical energy visible, audible, and tactile.

APT’s full project description can be read here.

For APT’s launch event, go here.

For APT’s October 2007 events and exhibition, go here.

For APT’s November 2007 events and exhibition, go here.

For APT’s reading group on the commons, go here.

A Potential Toronto │November Event Schedule

Toronto Free Gallery
660 Queen Street East
(w. of Broadview)

Thursday, Nov. 1, 7:30pm
Organizing Strategies

Actualizing potential requires practicing the art of organization. How do we do what needs to get done? What strategies for mobilization and community involvement work? What blocks the flows of these strategies and diminishes the potential to get things done? Anarchist Free University, Multistory Complex, and Planning Action talk about how they organize and why they do it the way they do it.

Friday, Nov. 9, 7:30pm
Queer Publics

What creative potentials for redefining intersubjectivity emerge through the formation of queer publics, and counter-publics? How does the production of minor spaces and practices change the life of the city? And when these spaces are subsumed by dominant practices and politics, how can queer publics re-politicize themselves? Local curators, artists and educators Paul Couillard, Deirdre Logue, John Paul Ricco and Jason St-Laurent talk about the erotic, aesthetic, ethical, and political potential of queer publics.

Thursday, Nov. 15
A Conversation About Worker Co-operatives
, 7:30pm
A Potential
Toronto Exhibition and Event Series Closing Party, 9:30pm
Music, a website, a vibrator, a bicycle and coffee: these are just a few essentials that can be bought in Toronto at a worker co-op—a worker-owned and democratically controlled organization. How are worker co-ops different from traditional workplaces? To what extent does this alternative business model escape, subvert, or resist capitalist conventions of competition, hierarchy, and growth? Join co-op activist and academic J.J. McMurtry and members of Blocks Recording Club, Come as You Are, The Big Carrot, and Planet Bean in a conversation about the possibilities and challenges of the worker co-op as an alternative to conventional business models and workplaces. A closing party will follow!

Thursday, Nov. 29, 7:30pm
Tools for Transversality w/ Gary Genosko
Room 103, Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design [Building], U of T

230 College Street
Democratizing space, cracking constraints, and co-operating differently involves producing situations, tools and modes of operation. The APT event series and exhibition brought different people together to begin to make visible, audible and tactile the forces at work in creating A Potential Toronto. But what connects them? How can these heterogeneous practices, fields, and organisations be held together without either homogenising them or randomly stringing them together? In this talk, Gary Genosko revisits the concept of transversality developed by Félix Guattari. Transversality insists on the “trans” (across, or dynamic movement of crossing). A transversal is a line that cuts across other lines or fields to create new fields. Guattari developed the term transversal to introduce open collective practices that work across the hierarchies of the psychiatric institution, creatively producing new forms of collective subjectivity. Genosko will map the development of the term from Guattari’s clinical work to its subsequent deployments as a force of resistance in other aspects of society.

IN THE GALLERY – October 27 – November 17

24 Hour Gallery (window):
‘Common Sense Revolution’ – Scott Sorli

Lower Level:
‘Toronto’s Urban Unconscious’ – Adrian Blackwell, Tina Chung, Andrea Gaus, Davide Gianforcaro, Kim Ligers, Andrea Macecek, Graeme Stewart, and Geoffrey Thun. Projects from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design.

Upper Level:
A Potential Toronto info-shop and library.

A Potential Toronto │October Event Schedule

Toronto Free Gallery
660 Queen Street East (w. of Broadview)

Thurs., Oct., 11, 7:30pm
Housing Rights, Safe Spaces, Creative Actions
Exposing the connections between poverty, violence and homelessness in women’s lives, Shiri Pasternak talks with Jennifer Plyler (Women Against Poverty Collective) about their campaigns and direct actions to create safe, controlled housing for women at risk in Toronto. WAPC believe that in order for housing to be sustainable, it must be safe, and in order for housing to be safe, it must be controlled by women for women. WAPC will screen their film “Women’s Housing Takeover,” which documents the June 3rd 2007 takeover of a long-abandoned downtown house by WAPC members and allies.

Thurs., Oct., 18, 7:30pm
Youth Generated Autonomous Spaces

Catch da Flava Youth Magazine, E.Y.E. Video, Transmission Zine, and Handy Trans are just a few of the creative projects, programs and services created by and for youth at Regent Park Focus Youth Media Arts Centre and Trans_Fusion Crew (Supporting Our Youth). These youth-driven centres are autonomous spaces for racialized and marginalized youth to explore their identities, voice their experiences and create their own narratives of self. Coordinators and participants of these programs will join Sue Ruddick (University of Toronto) to talk about the possibilities and challenges youth encounter in acts of self-representation. Catch da Flava will launch the September/October Election’s Issue of their Youth Magazine.

Tues. Oct. 23, 7:30pm
Migrants, Borders, Citizenship

How are politicized groups of non-status migrants transforming established norms of citizenship? How are regularization campaigns addressing human rights and migrant safety? What networks of affinity are emerging between self-organising non-status migrants? How are municipal legalization campaigns like Don’t Ask Don’t Tell contributing to a new security for Toronto’s non-status residents? Peter Nyers (McMaster University, Citizenship Studies Media Lab), Cynthia Wright (York University), Patricia Díaz Barrero (Colombian Forced Migration Project), and members of No One Is Illegal (Toronto) open a collective conversation about how citizenship is being rethought.

Mon. Oct. 29, 7:00pm
Abandonment Issues

Join a group of Toronto activists in a panel discussion about mapping the wasted and abandoned buildings, lots, and spaces in the city. Their maps and research support a campaign for a ‘Use It or Lose It’ bylaw that would push for abandoned buildings and underutilized public spaces to be expropriated by the City and redeveloped as badly needed affordable housing and social centres. For more information see Abandonment Issues.

IN THE GALLERY – October 27 – November 10, 12-5pm Wednesday to Saturday

24 Hour Gallery (window):
‘Common Sense Revolution’ – Scott Sorli

Lower Level:
‘Toronto’s Urban Unconscious’ – Adrian Blackwell, Tina Chung, Andrea Gaus, – Davide Gianforcaro, Kim Ligers, Andrea Macecek, Graeme Stewart, and Geoffrey Thun. Projects from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design.

Upper Level:
A Potential
Toronto info-shop and library.

Here be Dragons: Cartography of Globalization

An exhibition initiated by Toronto School of Creativity & Inquiry
12 Nov. – 17 Dec. 2005
Opening reception: Sat. 12 Nov., 8-10pm
Toronto Free Gallery

Centuries ago, map-makers wrote the phrase ‘here be dragons’ on areas that were outside of their known world. Where should this phrase be written on contemporary maps of political and economic territory?

Recently, activists, artists, and researchers have used the form of the map to visually represent the distribution of power, the circulation of information, and the organization of control in the age of capitalist globalization. These critical cartographers make visible the vast networks of national governments, transnational corporations, and international institutions which channel massive flows of people, labour, interests, dollars, and meaning. Making the complexities of our present more graspable, counter-cartography furnishes us with pedagogical tools for cognitively navigating the class-divided, politically administered, and digitally mediated world we live in.

But the point of these maps isn’t to say: ‘Look how trapped we are.’ These networks are contested, and vulnerable. And there exist counter-networks, on whose nodes a multithere_be_dragons1ude of protagonists are searching for and inventing emergency exits. Maps of these powers ‘from below’ give expression to creative resistances and workable alternatives. These are a different type of dragon.

Believing that counter-cartography is a political provocation, the Toronto School of Creativity & Inquiry is initiating a series of participatory events during the mapping show as forums for the discussion of questions raised by these critical cartographers. Where are the dragons today? How might we navigate a course within, against, and beyond the enclosures of the known world?

The exhibition features maps, texts, audio, and video by: