Saturday, July 24, 2010

Stories in Reserve Launch

The Temporary Travel Office is pleased to release the first volume in its Stories in Reserve series of guidebooks.

The series will feature original guided tours created by artists, activists, historians and storytellers that span from polemic narrative to experimental soundscape. Taking its title from 20th Century scholar Michel de Certeau’s The Practice of Everyday Life, the series will attempt to engage with “fragmentary and inward-turning histories, pasts that others are not allowed to read.”

Stories in Reserve: Volume One presents three audio guides that take reader-listeners on journeys within the territory known as North America. Iowa City-based artist and educator Sarah Kanouse guides listeners into a National Wildlife Refuge in Southern Illinois. Kanouse’s tour, America Ponds, intervenes in the conventional knowledge of the Refuge as a preserved landscape, reminding us that the Superfund-classified land is “a place where our most romantic feelings about nature collide with the reality of near-total human engineering.”

In the West Coast border town of Tijuana, Mexico, artist Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga (New York) finds one example of transnational commerce in a rather unexpected place–a dentist’s chair. With Dentimundo, Miranda Zúñiga shares interviews with several dentists working along the Southern perimeter of the US- Mexico border, finding that their practices serve a broad clientele that include a large number of US citizens.

Siting Expositions: Vancouver, a walking tour of Vancouver’s False Creek, examines the history and impact of two global mega-events—Expo 86 and the 2010 Winter Olympic Games—on this rapidly-developed part of the city. Produced by artists Ryan Griffis, Lize Mogel and Sarah Ross, Siting Expositions presents tourists with a conversation among voices that view the development through different lenses.

Volume One consists of one full-color, 36-page booklet and three audio compact discs.
For more information and to obtain the book (available in hard copy and in digital form), contact the Temporary Travel Office or see

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Do Shaded Cars Dream of Solar Powered Sheep?

The New York Times has a recent post on their "Green" blog about one company that is building solar-panel-covered parking spaces. The company's (Envision Solar) CEO Robert Noble refers to their current efforts to produce tilting panels that optimize sun exposure as "solar forestation." He also notes that this will be a benefit to parking lot operators because “you can charge more for shaded parking.”
Why is it that these architects/engineers can imagine a future with automatically rotating solar panels, but can't imagine that future without surface parking lots?