Archive for August, 2007

blah, blah #15. (prison and homelessness)

August 28, 2007

where I am is not who I am is my gut response to how I sometimes feel perceived while holding my cardboard dream on the street. which got me to thinking how I will often conflate a person’s surrounding with who I think they are, and how certain places seem to “mark” a person… like a prison, or a homeless shelter, or a mental health institution, in a shameful or negative way. and yet I know the “whatever it is that makes us who we are” is often in stark contrast to where we find ourselves. people are all different, and we carry a whole history within us, –each of us came from somewhere before we arrived where we are now.

and I can’t figure out this relation between where and who we are… places mark us, define how we are perceived, how we respond to the world around us. but we are passing through, not permanent residents in any kind of fixed environment, and yet, where I find myself does impact me and how I relate to the world. life is so strange…

this url below is a link to the inmates radio at bordeaux prison. it is a good place to start thinking about the relation between place and perception.


August 28, 2007


translated: Where I am is not who I am.

I was too chicken to go to the prison on my own, so jean-pierre from dare-dare came with me and took some photos. but actually it was o.k., the first place I stood a guard drove up in a truck, got out, and told me I couldn’t stand there. I asked if the sidewalk was o.k. and he affirmed it was. only one person stopped to talk, a man in a wheelchair who was propelling himself down the road. he asked if I was crazy. I replied, “why do you think I’m crazy?” he said only a crazy person would stand with a sign. he wanted to know what the sign meant, and I told him it meant where we are is not who we are. I said, “like you—you are in a wheelchair, but that is not who you are.” he said he didn’t understand and that he couldn’t talk any longer.

left at: Établissèment de detention de Montréal, Bordeaux Prison. 800 Gouin Boulevard, corner of Salaberry.


August 22, 2007

so yeah…the narrative and the visual do not match. the narrative is a small part of what chris carrière (from crum) recorded from my experiences with and around the saint james drop-in centre (this audio may or may not make it into the final version.) the visual is filmed by marco luna (homeless nation) from one day when he came out with me on the street. as you can see that day was not a dream day…it was a response to the question of “why?” day.

August 21, 2007


in my dream I agreed with sinéad, I thought, “yeah, me too! yellow would have been nice.”

left at: parking lot beside 4410 Côte des Neiges, corner of Forest Hill.


and just in case u r not a comment reader, felicity tayler writes:

August 20, 2007

felicity tayler is an artist and the author of the blog: pictorial propaganda (listed on the blogroll) which is definitely worth checking out.

  1. felicity Says:
    August 19th, 2007 at 10:31 pm I suppose I would agree that it is more pleasant to see a message with some personal investment in it than the advertising messages that are plastered everywhere. Regarding enforcing the by-laws, I wonder where the fine line between “depositing” or “distributing” and littering lies? I am thinking of the dreams that you leave places with out actually attaching them to something. Is it in the intention? Is it in the formal qualities of the material? If you had just propped up the cardboard next to the poles without using twist ties would they consider it litter or signage? What about if you had just dropped it off at a private home between the hours of 7am and 9pm? I wonder if it is less expensive or more expensive to be fined for littering than distributing printed matter? I wonder if you would have had less of a problem at election time when there are lots of plastic candidate advertisements on every pole, are they exempt from this by-law?

August 14, 2007


dream translated: I dreamed a girl confided in me, telling me her father comes into her room.

I didn’t hold this dream. I knew I wanted to let it go, float it away in the river… so of course it didn’t… float away I mean. the cardboard kinda just floundered in place and no matter how much I prodded it and tried to send it off, it stayed. maybe the effect of the waves will eventually wash it away.

left at: in the Saint Lawrence River/Fleuve Saint Laurent, under the Canadian Pacific Rail Bridge (once called the Saint Lawrence Bridge), LaSalle Boulevard, corner of Oblats.


August 8, 2007


this is where the dream:  “I dreamt I heard a man declare, ‘It’s good to be among your own.‘  was put up, then taken down.

I had my first encounter with “the law” since starting the project here in montreal. I was trying to attach the dream just below the “welcome to the city of côte saint luc” (côte saint luc is one of the boroughs that de-merged from montreal after being forced to merge) sign, (you can see the plastic tie left behind on the metal leg) when a police car cruised by and the officer yelled out the window, “you can’t do that sir.” I played innocent…the police car swung towards me and stopped, I went over, (the officer stayed seated in his vehicle) whereupon I was informed it is illegal to attach anything to any city sign, and that I could be given a fine of seventy-five dollars. well, actually I think the officer asked what I was doing first, and why, and if I was advertising something, and if I had contact info on the sign. I explained to him what I was doing and why. he was pretty nice about it, and took the time to show me the exact bylaw printed out on some papers he just happened to have with him on his clipboard. apparently the fine in verdun (another borough of montreal) is one-hundred and forty dollars for the same offense. I wanted to ask him if he believed in the bylaw, but I thought I shouldn’t push my luck, but then he said something about people putting garage sale signs on posts and then not taking them down and how this made the city look seedy… so I guess he does believe in the bylaw. personally I think it makes the city feel more alive and friendly to see messages to each other.

the dream was put up and taken down on Westover, corner of Westminster in Côte Saint Luc.

I couldn’t find the “real bylaw” on line but this kinda gives the general picture: the bylaw falls under the general “Nuisance” bylaw.

Resident’s Guide to the City of Côte Saint-Luc Bylaws


You cannot distribute circulars, advertisements, leaflets or other printed matters on the sidewalks, streets, and in private homes, between 9pm and 7am.

Home distribution of flyers

You cannot deposit circulars, advertisements, leaflets or other printed matters on the sidewalks, streets, lanes, or elsewhere than in a mail box of a private home or of a multiple dwellings building.


August 1, 2007


dream translated: I dreamed I loved you more than life.

I remember to whom this sentiment was felt in my dream, but on this side I was trying to think of what I loved more than life (as opposed to who), nothing in terms of a place struck me. I hope someone takes this personally and sees himself/herself as loved.

left at: beside Canada Maltage Cie Limitée, Riverside, corner of Mill.