Daily Diigo Public Link 01/22/2008

by Yule Heibel on January 21, 2008

How to make housing affordable (The Toronto Star) Annotated

tags: affordability, canada, cities, development, socialjustice, toronto

“By relying on donations from suppliers, a Brampton developer has managed to build high-quality abodes for low-income families.
When the 16-storey “Chapelview” project, on John St. in downtown Brampton, is finished next year, it will provide 200 apartments for seniors and low-income singles as well as people with disabilities, and if all goes according to plan, it will earn LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.

If he’s successful, D’Angelo believes the Chapelview project, which includes a six-storey garage for municipal and tenant parking, will be the first high-rise social-housing project in North America to receive the LEED platinum rating, the highest benchmark for green building and design.”

And then you wonder why this can’t be done in more cities across Canada…?

“I am eternally optimistic; I am Chinese” – The Art Newspaper Annotated

tags: art, cai_guo_qiang, gunpowder, ideas, sculpture

First time I’ve tagged something under “gunpowder,” but Cai Guo Qiang’s art deserves its own tag and niche. I love this guy’s work (although, admittedly, I haven’t had a chance to see it in person, even though it was displayed at the Seattle Art Museum). Just to give an idea of this man’s thinking:
“Gunpowder is a spontaneous, unpredictable and uncontrollable medium. The more you learn to control it, the more obsessed you become with the material. It is like making love with your husband or wife. The outcome is unpredictable and the same results are never guaranteed. Furthermore, in using gunpowder I can explore all my concerns: the relation to notions of spirituality as well as an interest in spectacle and entertainment, and the transformation of certain energies—such as violent explosions—into beauty and a kind of poetry. An artist should be like an alchemist using poison against poison, which is very much a philosophy from Chinese medicine. Turning something bad into something good…countering the force. It’s the whole idea of the alchemist, using dirt, dust, and getting gold out of it. From gunpowder, from its very essence, you can see so much of the power of the universe—how we came to be. You can express these grand ideas about the cosmos.”

This is philosophy and art, not just tired old ideology and art. Brilliant stuff, truly.

On the Olympics — a salient topic for us, in BC, given that next-door Vancouver will host the Winter Games in 2010 — Cai Guo Qiang notes:
“The Olympics combine the entire country’s efforts, and can do a lot of previously unimaginable things. You can display your work in front of an audience of billions, but at the same time it can feel like you’re making the work for yourself. Through this event, one can contemplate and better understand what “Chinese culture” is. One needs to think about the past, present, and future of China and its relationship with the world.”

That makes me think it’s the most significant statement yet (for the non-athlete) on the Olympics: time to step beyond petty “me me me” memes, and really think in bigger terms…

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