Ashley Bristowe and Chris Turner commissioned the House Project as a wedding gift for their new neighbors and longtime friends, Sara Simpson and John Johnston. What started as a present became an experiment in re-imagined spaces, and then a vaguer, more poetic statement about the potential in forgotten places and empowering temporary homes for the arts, now.

Who’s to say? For the artists, the freedom behind the House Project lies in the fact that it’s temporary, transient and scheduled for demolition, (hey, we got to tear holes in the walls!) But the essential ideas behind the show may be more lasting…

Interested in hearing more about this perspective? Read Chris Turner’s article called Planning to tear down your house? First, let it be art, published on Mother Nature Network’s website.

Photo by Randy Gibson

Holy heck, the last three days have been a whirlwind. The House Project, after being featured in the Calgary Herald on Thursday, and Swerve Magazine on Friday, managed to scoop an audience of 400+ people at the Opening, and about 600 over Saturday and Sunday, for a total of 1000 viewers! (including my 86 year old Grama…)

And while that number is pretty baffling to me, as the curator and an artist in this entirely independent, community-run show with a budget of $400 plus a $190 Totem Gift Certificate, I reserve the majority of my admiration for Lane, Danny, Ian, Lauren, John and Wayne. For me, at least, this project has been an awesome, challenging and educational experiment in re-imagining potentials and trusting in my peers. Ashley and Chris, the next-door-neighbours and commissioners of this piece said nothing but YES throughout this entire process. For the House Project, encouragement and unconditional faith have been fantastic catalysts towards free imagination. I’m sure this won’t the last project of its kind in Calgary, but it might be the first one, with the least pressure, and the greatest pay-off.

In the next day or two, I’ll be posting images from the Opening of the House Project, but in the mean time, take a look at Drew Anderson’s take on the House Project for Swerve Magazine here.

Art house: Calgary home set for demolition turned into creative project.

Journalist Heath McCoy of the Calgary Herald came to check out the House Project a couple days ago. He composed this article about what he saw. Moments later, video journalist Rick Donkers of the Calgary Herald recorded the above video segment about The House Project.

But don’t worry. In between bouts of surprising media attention, we’ve still managed to focus at least a little bit on the project itself…

Photo of Danny Kirk in his space by Stuart Gradon, Calgary Herald

Janet Dirks from CTV news came and interviewed Lauren Simms, Ian Ward, Daniel Kirk and (indirectly through Kevin Green) Wayne Garrett and myself a couple days ago. The footage played on the National News at 11 pm on Friday. Again, internet-magic can also be employed to watch the segment by clicking here.

Yesterday, Wayne Garrett and I (and several unsuspecting neighbourhood kids) were interviewed by Kevin Green of CTV News.

Thanks to the wacky wonders of modern technology, you can catch the whole interview right here, right now, by clicking on this link.

Karen Moxley conducted and composed this interview about the House Project for CBC Radio’s The Eye Opener. It played  pre-7:00 am this morning.

Apparently between us (the artists) we listen to a lot of CBC radio – I got a text message from John Frosst at 7 am and an e-mail from Ian Ward this evening. Both fellas caught the broadcast live. Pretty impressive considering the night-hawkish tendencies of artists (and the fact that nobody knew when it would be playing).

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This afternoon Daniel Kirk and I had the great pleasure of being interviewed by Karen Moxley of CBC radio for tomorrow morning’s broadcast. This is the first time I’ve ever been interviewed by CBC, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Considering a classic Canadian childhood and my fair share of homeschooling, a healthy respect …

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Meaghan Baxter wrote this article about the House Project from Saskatchewan. She called each one of us individually and gathered everything together, and then FFWD published “Re-imagining the Unusable” this morning.

Also this morning: Greg Chernoff, the fantastic host of Soapbox Derby on CJSW, had John Frosst, Andrew Frosst, Wayne Garrett and myself on the radio. Wish I’d thought to snag a recording!