Toronto Call for Public Participation: The Encampment

Update April 1:
Deadline extended to April 9 - you can still apply to be a Creative Collaborator - see the link for details.

From a media release:

Call for Public Participation
for The Encampment
A Thomas+Guinevere Creation
(Thom Sokoloski & Jenny-Anne McCowan)
A commission by Luminato, the Toronto Festival of Arts and Creativity and
City of Toronto, for the War of 1812 Commemoration
Conceived by Thom Sokoloski - Produced by Sherrie Johnson Productions

Toronto, February, 2012
- The creation of a new version of The Encampment is underway and will premiere as part of the Luminato Festival on June 8, 2012 and be presented every evening from 7:30pm-11:00pm until June 24, 2012.

The Encampment is a large-scale public participatory art installation that proposes the archaeological encampment as its metaphor. A dig for artifacts is replaced by a dig into the collective memory of a public space and its history.

To complete the artwork, artists Thom Sokoloski and Jenny-Anne McCowan are inviting Creative Collaborators to participate. This 2012 version of the artwork will focus on the civilian history of The War of 1812. The final installation of 200 tents on the grounds of Fort York National Historic Site will be a massive expression of art and history.

• The deadline to apply is March 26, 2012.
• Please visit this link for more information.

The Encampment is created over a four-month Installation Creation Process prior to the artwork's opening in which the artists, Thom Sokoloski and Jenny-Anne McCowan, work with the selected Creative Collaborators. Like archaeologists, they commit to "getting their hands dirty" in unearthing and transposing civilian stories into art installations within each tent for the public to experience.

Each installation is meant to evoke the story it represents. For the 2012 version of The Encampment, 200 stories of love, loss, survival and patriotism will be explored, as well as those of collaboration, deception, greed and betrayal.

At its inaugural presentation (then entitled Confinement of the Intellect) commissioned by Scotiabank's Nuit Blanche 2006, The Encampment looked at the history of mental health on Queen St. West between 1870 and 1940 and was set up in the gully of Trinity Bellwoods Park.

In 2007, The Encampment was presented in New York City on the southern tip of Roosevelt Island opposite the United Nations and looked at the island's history of quarantine from 1800 to 1970.

In 2008, it was presented in Ottawa in Major Hills Park across from the Parliament and looked at the history of intellectual disability from 1820 to 2008.

How To Get Involved:
Prospective participants are asked to send an email to including:
• contact information
• a short statement about their background and why they want to participate (no more than 100 words for each).
• The deadline to apply is March 26, 2012.

In 2006, Thom Sokoloski and Jenny McCowan built their partnership aimed at developing site-specific public participatory art installations in a studio partnership, Thomas+Guinevere. Last year they completed their first stage of Ghost Net in a residency in the Aboriginal community of Mapoon on the Gulf of Carpentaria in Queensland, Australia and this coming August, they will be at Socrates Sculpture Park in New York City undertaking a development workshop of The Scarecrows.

• Thomas+Guinevere's The Encampment at Major Hills Park in Ottawa in 2008
• Thomas+Guinevere's The Encampment at Nuit Blanche 2006 in Trinity-Bellwoods Park (then entitled Confinement of the Intellect). Photo credit: Ryan Mallard.

The Encampment - Call for Public Participation
Deadline to Apply: March 26, 2012
Detailed Information: