A Potential Toronto [CFC]

A Potential Toronto (working title)
Toronto School of Creativity & Inquiry series


14 September – 27 October, 2007
Toronto Free Gallery and various sites throughout the city.

Another city is possible. But what is to be done? Better, what is being done? How are individuals and groups organizing themselves to do it?

A Potential Toronto is the working title of a 6-week event series. We invite you to join us in conceiving, refining, organizing, and animating the series. It is a preliminary step in what we hope will be a more long-term counter-cartography initiative. Researching and mapping some of the city’s alternative economies and minor spaces is the substance of this project: wild spaces, free services, co-operatives, community currencies, off-grid housing, informal systems of mutual aid… Where are they? How do they work? Do they connect? How might we map them as a local area network?

In order to map sites and tactics of difference, dissent, deviance, and refusal it is necessary to invent concepts and create ways of working. This requires cooperation of minds and bodies engaged in the self-organization of a collective event. The process of mapping, or of cartography, we are proposing to mobilize does not just mean surveying a territory from above, or representing a process that has unfolded in the past, but instead, effectively fleshing out the contours of a living social dynamic, of an event which bears the future, of potential.

Each of the six weeks will traverse a series of shared concerns: work, housing, ecology, health, sexuality, creativity, mobility, space, history… Every Friday evening we will gather at Toronto Free Gallery for a collaboratively generated event. Event formats could range from walking tours to collective dinners to informal conversations. Gatherings will involve participants in and theorists of alternative economies and minor spaces.

At each event we invite participants and guests to leave behind a trace—an image, a tip, a guide, directions, a piece of writing, a web link, a recommended resource… These will be added in the gallery to a collaborative emergent map of another Toronto.

Every Monday night throughout the series there will be concurrent reading groups addressing the commons, migration, counter-cartography, dynamic networks, and the art of organization.

A Potential Toronto is motivated by our desire to learn more about and raise the profile of various alternative social, economic, and subjective experiments underway locally. Our practical hope is to increase the use of these alternatives so that in our everyday lives more of us might reproduce what we value rather than what we oppose. From this, a counter-network may become visible, and, we hope, lay some groundwork for next steps towards a counter-cartography of Toronto.

Call for Collaboration [CFC]

Toronto School of Creativity & Inquiry is in the midst of mobilizing a counter-cartography initiative and we need you! A Potential Toronto is a first-step towards mapping alternative economies and minor spaces within Toronto. It begins this fall with a 6-week event series and we invite you to join us in conceiving, organizing and animating the event series.

Join us at an Open Assembly to learn more and become involved:

Open Assembly #5:
Monday 17 September
8:00 – 10:00
Tequila Bookworm
512 Queen West

Open Assembly #4:
Park, Potluck, Plan
Wednesday 15 August
7:00 – 9:00
Scadding Court / Alexander Park (Bathurst & Dundas)

Open Assembly #3:
Tuesday 31 July
6:30 – 8:30
Alterna Room (large boardroom on 4th floor)
Centre for Social Innovation
215 Spadina Ave, Suite 120

We will be looking at examples of counter-cartography that have been points of inspiration. Bring yours to share over a potluck dinner.

Open Assembly #2:
Tuesday 17 July
6:00 (potluck dinner)
Toronto Free Gallery
660 Queen Street East

Open Assembly #1:
Moderated by Darren O’Donnell
Sunday 8 July
Toronto Free Gallery
660 Queen Street East

Come out and share what you are doing with your hearts and minds, your bodies and organs, your spaces and flows and how you are living in your neighbourhoods, in your city, in your corporeal and technical networks.

[Go here for project description.]