Dylan Reid



I do not have particularly strong artistic abilities, but through my writing and activism I have been involved in a few artistic projects.

In 2007, I was involved with developing Toronto's community participation strategy for the Walk21 conference, an international conference on walking hosted by Toronto in October of that year. I joined with two colleagues, Stephanie Tencer and Laurel Atkinson, to organize and curate an art exhibition about walking. Called Walking Life, it was displayed at the Gladstone Hotel from Sept. 9 to Oct. 3, 2007. It included art in several different media from established artists, community members, youth, and professional architects. You can see the program (PDF).

The Walking Life show included a project that I conceived and that was produced and executed by Michael Pereira. It is a walking map of what was then my neighbourhood, the Garment District in Toronto. The concept was to create a map geared to walkers rather than to cars, and it thus focuses on sidewalks, which are graded for how pleasant they are to walk, and shows laneways, alleys, points of interest and of danger, and benches. You can view it here: Garment District Pedestrian Map (PDF).

I wrote about the arts in Toronto in The State of the Arts, the second book in Coach House Press's uTOpia series. My article, "The challenges of the creative city", argued that if Toronto wants to be a "creative city", it has to accept awkward, problematic and uncontrolled expressions of creativity (such as postering and graffiti) as a necessary part of the deal.

In March 2012, I was pleased to moderate a talk by curator Jorge Munugia at the Urban Field Speaker Series run by the Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art. In October 2013, I was privileged to serve as external examiner for artist Lisa Binnie's OCAD U Master's thesis, "The Port Lands Sensory Walk." In February 2014, I was a panelist for a discussion about art and transit after the screening of the movie Artists on the Underground during the Reel Artists Film Festival.

In conjunction with the first issue of Spacing magazine (2003), which focused on the issue of postering, I created an online photo essay about postering (using a simple early digital camera) called "Toronto Posters."

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