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Toronto Canada 2012
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Nuit Blanche images
Talk 2 Strangers, 2012, Photography by John Richardson

Denise St. Marie – Toronto, Canada
Timothy Walker – Toronto, Canada
TIMEANDDESIRE – Toronto, Canada

Talk 2 Strangers 2012
Social Experimental Installation

40 - Yonge Dundas Square
Yonge Street and Dundas Street

[ selected photographs ]  [ video ]

The villager has been replaced by the urbanite, calling upon people to adjust their notions and perceptions within new social arenas. Talk 2 Strangers asks participants to cultivate their sense of self, independent of previous viewpoints, exploring and expanding their personal identity and perspectives while coming together communally. This project aims to assist the participants on a psychological level, guiding and facilitating people towards spontaneous conversations with strangers, while easing awkward, forced and tentative experiences.

This project is an experiential collaboration for the public. The work integrates large-scale signage of "how to" steps, pamphlets, event staging, and volunteers to encourage and guide interactions, building on social nuances, dispersing anxiety and creating a forum for casual to philosophical conversations.

Shifting cultural climates have created new urban walls, both physical and conceptual, impeding meaningful community exchange. iPods, iPhones and Blackberrys have aided social networking, but eliminated the desire for random face-to-face interaction. This project aims to inspire a collective paradigm shift, trading-up the calculated passage of a person within a city for a more open and engaged social citizen.

Artist Biography: TIMEANDDESIRE examines the concept of shared spaces and the role perception plays in constructing our realities. It challenges assumptions about our environment, interactions, observations and activities. Recently highlighted by the Toronto Urban Film Festival 2011, Prefix Photo Journal and Art of the
Danforth 2012.

Toronto Culture / Soctiabank