ABOUT

====\\DeRAIL Platform for Art + Architecture, is a registered nonprofit, independent arts producer, and alternative platform for dialogue and collaboration across disciplinary, geographical, and ideological boundaries. Established in 2016, we bring urban and rural landscapes to life through contemporary art by moving beyond the walls of a traditional gallery space to offer a new experience to both citizens as participants and artists as contributors. ====\\DeRAIL commissions and produces place-specific art projects to foster new conversations about public space design.

Our 2020/21 program safely draws visitors into a placemaking experiment to inspire new ways of understanding the Millennium Trail of Prince Edward County, Ontario. Our program invites audiences to pause, to listen, to observe, and to consider how we might think differently about this unique public landscape. Where time is something to be considered rather than counted, ====\\DeRAIL invites you to add your own layers of meaning to this heritage linear landscape beyond its functional role as a mobility corridor.

TEAM

====\\DeRAIL is the vision of designer and public art curator Gelareh Saadatpajouh and landscape architect Victoria Taylor (VTLA). With years of combined experience as designers, artists, exhibition and public art curators, these two cultural producers push the definition of public art to produce unique and creative socially-engaged/place-specific programs. Together with their collaborators and supporters, our vision is to inspire and expand the public dialogue around contemporary art, placemaking, landscape, and the experience of the outdoor spaces that we share.


Victoria Taylor Co-founder, Director/Curator
Gelareh Saadatpajouh Co-founder, Director/Curator
Farsan Farahani Web developer, Technologist
Bailey Austin-Macmillan Design intern, Digital Storyteller (social media)
Natalie Stone Digital Storyteller (photos and videos)

SITE

Millennium Trail, Prince Edward County

Inspired by the dynamic, linear landscape of the PEC Millennium Trail, and in partnership with Tourism Industry Association Ontario and The County of Prince Edward (future partners to come), ====\\DeRAIL Platform for Art + Architecture presents WALKING WITH THUNDER by Conrad Beaubien, and JOIN OUR HERD! by The Department of Illumination.

The program takes place during the slower tourism months, October 2020 to May 2021, to safely draw people into a placemaking experiment in an open green space to inspire new ways of understanding this popular local trail. Conrad Beaubien’s meditative monthly walks with a donkey, and The Department of Illumination’s celebratory bike parade in spring, both invite audiences to pause, to listen, to observe, and to consider how we might think differently about this unique, shared public landscape beyond its usual function as a movement corridor. Where time is something to be considered rather than counted, ====\\DeRAIL invites people to add their own layers of meaning to a linear landscape beyond its functional role as a mobility corridor.

West Toronto Railpath

====\\DeRAIL is currently focused on animating the dynamic linear landscape of the 2.4km West Toronto Railpath, located in the west end of downtown Toronto. The WTR is the result of the visionary efforts of the Friends of West Toronto Railpath and the office of Councillor Ana Bailao (Ward 18).

Since opening in 2009, the WTR has been widely successful as a community mobility corridor – “a place to move through“– but less successful as a public space to enjoy - ”a place to be“.

PROJECTS

2020-21

Millennium Trail at Consecon Lake. Image: Bailey Austin MacMillan for ====\\DeRAIL 2020

Walking with Thunder, an enchantment of stories and images by an artist in the company of one savvy beast.

Thunder is a 12-year-old donkey who’s sure to tell you that he’s no jackass, mule, or run-of-the-mill beast of burden.
---- Conrad Beaubien

Led by storyteller Conrad Beaubien, Walking with Thunder is an adventure into the landscape, a monthly trek with a donkey through the seasons from October 2020 - May 2021. A passage of self-reveal, a re-finding mission, Walking with Thunder takes a close-up look at the stuff of every day during this time of social isolation and rapid change. Walking with Thunder is storytelling of today; it is an exchange with an audience through new media and conventional means of communication.

Walking with Thunder is also a mission to raise funds to employ established artists and field naturalists to help evolve mental health programs in support of those in need in our current era. The effort will financially assist artists, artisans, field naturalists, and others established in their practices to creatively invent opportunities for small, safe, and welcoming gatherings in studios, work settings, and the out-of-doors. These inspired, all-ages engagements are intended to further mental wellness in a time of heightened loneliness, stress, and anxiety.

To accomplish this, the Walking with Thunder Fund will establish a coordinating base in the hamlet of Consecon, Prince Edward County, Ontario. This will take advantage of the multiple facets of the region's natural heritage and the noted population of professionals engaged in an extended range of the arts and other expertise. So why not come together in spirit, let’s lend cheer for Thunder so that with donkey-like stubbornness - maybe we are too impatient- we can open unseen paths ahead.

The narrative of the walk will be told in print, social media and radio as posted images of the walk-in-progress will also preface each upcoming leg of the journey. As interest is earned on social media, Walking with Thunder will reach out to the curious with a call to lay their feet on the path of discovery itself.

Special thanks to Paul + Nadia, Noble Beast Farms.

Join our HERD!, a springtime celebration of bicycle beasts.

In May 2021, The Department of Illumination invites the Consecon community to create a joyful herd of bicycle beasts and parade them along the PEC Millennium Trail. Join our HERD! will begin with an outdoor workshop in the open space beside the Trail at Salem Road/ Hwy 33. Here, artists from The Department of Illumination will provide participants with materials and instruction to turn bodies and bicycles into fantastical creatures on wheels and on foot! We’ll ride together down the Millennium Trail to discover untold surprises, and return to our point of origin for a fun-filled celebration with live music, food, and drink. Specific event details to be released in the new year.

2017

PAUSE PLATFORMS and "WE PAUSE AT TWILIGHT" for Nuit Blanche

The theme of PAUSE inspires ====\\DeRAIL's 2017 curatorial program, which launches for Nuit Blanche to draw people into an experiment that inspires new ways of understanding a familiar place beyond its usual functionality. As a critique on the singular A to B movement of the active mobility corridor, ====\\DeRAIL's program invites audiences to consider how we might think differently about our city and our shared public landscapes: to pause, to listen, to observe and to imagine new creative possibilities for the various nodes and niches along the West Toronto Railpath. Where time is something to be considered rather than counted, ====\\DeRAIL invites the public to add their own layers of meaning to a linear landscape beyond its functional role as a mobility corridor.

PRESS RELEASE

Performance times:

5:30pm Sat 30 Sept at Dusk
Meet at Pause Platforms on the West Toronto Railpath behind 128 Sterling Rd.

Performance continues north on railpath for approx 1 hour.

6:45am Sun 1 Oct at Dawn
Meet on top of the Wallace Bridge on the West Toronto Railpath at Wallace Ave.

Performance continues south on railpath for approx 1 hour.
Wear comfortable weather appropriate clothing and footwear. Bring your cell phones with data and headphones.
All performances are free and open to the public

PAUSE PLATFORMS are a series of three, 8FT diameter wood and raw steel platforms inspired by the concept proposed by Parkdale resident and designer Andrew Jones (add lnk) and fabricated by Marek Kubat in Fall 2017. Pause Platforms are an artistic response to the recently decommissioned groundwater pumping wells, installed by RioTinto in 2006 as a part of the 158 Sterling Road Groundwater Pump and Treat Groundwater Remediation. Pause Platforms are located along the West Toronto Railpath, just north of the Dundas/Sterling entry node in the Junction Triangle neighbourhood (Ward 18).


"WE PAUSE AT TWILIGHT" is a place-specific, ephemeral live dance performance intervention and participatory audio-choreography by artist Cara Spooner that explores the idea of pause and activates the Pause Platforms in the golden twilight hours of sunset and sunrise along the West Toronto Railpath.

A site- and time-specific ambient recording complements a choreographic score for participants to experience a series of connected vignettes of physical meditations, prompts for interacting with their surroundings and invitations to move their bodies and to understand themselves and their environment in a more nuanced and physical way. Each of the audio vignettes are tethered to a specific node on the railpath, inviting the audience to pause in those spaces; to see, hear, smell and engage their bodies in new ways related to the environment and their own physicality.


Coinciding with Cara Spooner's performance, MOCA and Drake Commissary in collaboration with Sedition present “On the horizon the shadow speaks another story”, a curated display of video artworks on the screen at 128 Sterling Road from dusk ’til dawn throughout Nuit Blanche.


Cara Spooner is an acclaimed Toronto-based choreographer working in dance, performance art and theatre. “We Pause at Twilight” builds on a 10 year practice of creating performances, maps and scores to be activated in public spaces by dancers and non-dancers. Her work has been presented at The National Arts Centre, PuSH, Canadian Stage, Magnetic North, World Stage, The Goethe Institut, The Performance Arcade and Stromereien11.

2016

MOBILE INK FACTORY

For its inaugural commission in Spring 2016, ====\\DeRAIL presented MOBILE INK FACTORY by artist Jason Logan/Toronto Ink Company. Educational, playful and participatory, the work drew attention to biodiversity and the inherent colours of the railpath. Visitors explored the rich palette of the West Toronto Railpath with Jason Logan/The Toronto Ink Company through a weekend-long ink making workshop. The MOBILE INK FACTORY demonstrated a sequential process of how to harvest colour from possibly anything, whether it’s manmade or natural. At the end, participants left with a bottle of railpath ink as a souvenir of place, time and experience.


====\\DeRAIL's 2016 curatorial program was generously funded by Doors Open Toronto 2016 presented by Great Gulf. Special thanks to Toronto Laser Services and Japanese Paper Company.

The Globe + Mail's architecture critic Alex Bozikovic listed ====\\DeRAIL among the top five places to visit for Doors Open 2016.


Jason Logan is an internationally recognized designer, creative director, author and artist. His work is often playfully interested in mapping the space between words pictures and the senses. He is the founder of the Toronto Ink company, an experiment in urban wilds, and citizen science through colour extraction. His work appears regularly in the New York Times and his fine art has been shown in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto and the Yukon. He has been recognized by the American Institute for Graphic Arts, The Society of Publication Designers and the Canada Council for the Arts.

SUPPORTERS

Join us on this journey to explore and expand the idea of public urban landscapes, public art, urbanism and placemaking in the outdoor spaces that we all share. For partnership opportunities, and/or to discuss a project idea, please contact: we (at) derail (dot) com


FUNDING PARTNERS

2020/2021 Program

CULTURAL PARTNERS

County Arts Council, Councillor Bill McMahon, Councillor Ernie Margetson

CONTACT US

For inquiries regarding artist submissions or sponsorship opportunities, contact: derailart (at) gmail (dot) com

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