Public Parking
A journal for storytelling, arguments, and discovery through tangential conversations.
A Year of Fluid Realities
Friday, December 29, 2023 | Madeline Bogoch
In 2023, there was nostalgia for bucket hats and for a time of manageable technological (non) crisis. AI has emerged at the forefront of public consciousness following the spitfire rollout of generative models like ChatGPT and Stable Diffusion, forcing the world to take it seriously. A concomitant chorus of AI anxiety has also arisen. The art world is no stranger to precarity, however, only recently have creative workers become the champions of this particular cautionary refrain, recognizing the threat to our livelihoods this technology presents. Alongside these concerns, the ability of these programs to generate convincing falsehoods contributes to a volatile climate of misinformation and distrust that has been spreading like wildfire since the pandemic. 
A Secret History
Thursday, August 24, 2023 | Madeline Bogoch
The Golden Boy is Winnipeg’s most famous top. The statue’s homoerotic qualities are so overt that it’s easy to see it as a knowing wink to the queer community. This is the plausible-if-revisionist history suggested in 'Purple City', a new short film by Noam Gonick and Michael Walker. Modelled after the Greek god Hermes, the statue that adorns the dome of the Manitoba Legislative Building is the symbolic centre of the film, which stages episodes from the city’s queer and occultist mythology. There’s an apt symmetry to 'Purple City' which both begins and ends with Walker, who appears throughout the film, roaming the steps of the Legislature donning a very dark academia look. In between, are scenes from a hookup, an acid trip, goat herders who encounter an oracle in the forest, and some territorial hustlers. At one point Walker, bathed in a red glow, addresses the viewer directly, coyly offering a history lesson in the statue’s provenance which culminates in a sage reminder that “Paris aint Winnipeg y’all, but they both got a river named Seine.”
A Year in Charismatic Trash
Friday, December 30, 2022 | Madeline Bogoch
The phenomenon of photo dumps first entered my radar during the early days of the pandemic when they arose as a practical alternative to the prior era of polished lifestyle photos. You've probably seen them on Instagram, a loose descendent of the bygone Facebook photo album, now used to assemble disparate off-the-cuff snapshots into an impressionistic gallery of one's recent affairs, or an absurdist slideshow of the abject, banal, and/or beautiful. The content and its provenance are less important than the overall sensation left on the viewer. This shift away from the calmness of perfectly composed shots of plants, teak, and pastel walls seems to signal the end of a certain Millennial aesthetic that has begun to recede in favour of a messier and more libidinal image culture. More so than a formula, the best photo dumps tap into an ineffable quality, often expressed as a vibe. The contrastive maximalism of this emergent aesthetic adds substance to the presumption of millennial fatigue, but it also reveals the degree to which photo dumps, and the grimy images that occupy them, rely on felt impressions to encode meaning. This dynamic alone is a timely practice. Around 2021, the idea of vibes made a strong comeback from their New Age-y roots and entered our lexicon as a mode of reading art and culture.