Spacing, Utopia, and other west-end snobs
dysPEPSIa: A critique of Utopia and the Spacers.
What could there possibly be to critique? Well, we can start with the fact that they pretty much pretend the east end doesn’t exist . And I’ve got the numbers to prove it. (2006.02.20)
- The Spacers’ idea of a treasure hunt is one that occupies “city-savvy” people, which they define as those who know the area around the Gladstone Hotel. (2006.02.26)
It seems that fruiTOpia is about to spawn a Hollywood- or at least Dundas Square–style sequel.
Our recent anthology, uTOpia: Towards a New Toronto, has been, much to our surprise, a huge hit. As it turns out, Torontonians are ravenous for dialogue about our city.
To that end, we’ve decided to follow up with another book – this time less deliberately scattershot. Our emphasis this time is going to be on culture and its intersection with politics. We don’t have a title yet, but it’ll include something along the lines of ‘The Politics of Culture and the Culture of Politics in Toronto’ .
This is still a broad topic. In our initial discussion, we came up with some suggestions: Art banks and banks’ support of the arts, institutional Official Art vs. guerrilla, DIY art, the history of the Opera House, alternative performance spaces, City Hall as theatre, arts movements in the burbs, Google maps, blogs, the state of the documentary in Toronto, public art, etc. And some questions: Are there right-wing arts groups in the city? Is the granting system effective? What will happen to the exploding indie-music scene? Municipal arts initiatives: good or bad? How could they be better? How, at this time, can a young Torontonian start up a publishing company/theatre group/art gallery?
This time, we’re sending a call for proposals far and wide. If you’re interested in participating, we’re asking you to send a one-paragraph description of what you’d like to write about, along with your name, address, phone number and E-mail. [...]
Specs: Pieces should be 2500 words max. Black and white images are great. We’d like to avoid dry or academic writing; the tone should be accessible, anecdotal, maybe even playful. We’d like the pieces to be forward-looking and positive – that’s not to say that they can’t criticize, but we’d prefer something constructive and with an overall positive tone. And they have to be about Toronto. We can’t offer big bucks, but contributors will receive $100, a copy of the book and our undying gratitude.
So, to sum up, you’ll be expected to write for 4¢ a word, falling somewhat short of the $1-a-word standard that has itself not budged in 15 years, and on some nebulous artsy-fartsy topic on which you have to stay positive. Sign me up. (2006.02.26)
- Take a look at my statistical analysis of articles in Spacing.
- There’s also my entire Spacing category at my personal Weblog.