Come Up To My Room 2012: Alternative Artists Take Over Toronto Hotel

Firmament; photo by Lloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

For the last nine years, Christina Zeidler's Gladstone Hotel has been the edgy alternative to the Interior Design Show for Come Up To My Room. It is always interesting, as the artists chosen are given a room to do with what they will, and that's it.

Curators select participating designers and artists based on their past work and experience. Once these creative individuals and collectives have been selected, they are given a public space or one of the 11 exhibition rooms on the hotel’s second floor. Curators consult and discuss public space projects with their makers, but know next to nothing about the room installations. This approach, inherited from CUTMR founding curators Christina Zeidler and Pamila Mathru, ensures that the artists and designers are given the freedom to rock out – creating new, site specific installations that are the ultimate artistic, inventive and/or spatial expression.

Our tech diva Jaymi would probably love the cloud of electronic parts by Skanda Lin and Matthew Blunderfield, bits computers and cellphones floating in the firmament. The artists describe the project:

Dependent on an ever-expanding range of signals and noise, digital networks are anything but firm, and yet we are increasingly surrounded by the physical devices that have enabled our networks to work. Firmament draws attention to how digital culture obscures its very real and physical corollaries, focusing on issues of consumerism, waste and obsolescence as rendered through the life cycle of electronic devices.

Lloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

I just loved Stampbot, a giant machine that prints out posters on craft paper. The artists write:

Stampbot represents an attempt to signal the quotodian practices and disparate sources in a process with is increasingly interwoven, both globally and locally.

Lloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

Fortunately what they print makes a lot more sense.

Lloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

Fugitive Glue invents a term that I think we might see more of on TreeHugger:

UPHOARDING describes the theme of our exhibition as well as the activity of gathering waste objects and materials for use in up-cycling initiatives. The exhibit aims to focus attention on large-scale, eco-friendly, far reaching and non-energy intensive solutions that could be implemented in reusing — what is under current criteria, basically a waste material.

Propane cylinders (which have to be taken out of service or tested after ten years) are repurposed into light fixtures, and stacked artfully in the middle of the room.

More at Come Up To My Room.

Lloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

Just a bit of a reminder of how times have changed; this was the view of Come Up To My Room in 2007, with Castor Canadensis' wonderful installation of dead lightbulbs. Yesterday I bicycled there in the rain.

Tags: Artists | Arts | Toronto

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