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.