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26 Comments

news

Orange Flowered Bike Safe for Now

20110602bike1.jpg
Goodish developments! Since we first wrote about the beloved but sadly ticketed orange bike that recently caused a kerfuffle on Dundas Street, its creators received some happy news from area councillor Adam Vaughan (Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina). Caroline Macfarlane tells us by email that Vaughan’s office “has said I don’t need to worry about the bike being removed immediately. We are going to sit down and discuss the matter [this] week, and try and come up with a more permanent solution!”
This is, to be sure, a small thing in the overall picture of life in Toronto. It pales in comparison to the underfunding of our transit system or the cancellation of bridges that might enliven whole neighbourhoods. But symbols matter. Small acts of creativity and engagement matter, and we are glad that this one has life in it yet.

Comments

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    A (potentially) minor victory against the blandening of the city. But will Ford ignore the matter out of spite for cyclists (the sculpture allegedly stops cyclists from using the post, though we all know that's not true), or try to make it a council issue out of spite for Vaughan/Trinity–Spadina/all traces of cycling/art?

  • mjennings

    Why is this such big news? This is not an important art piece or very original as a sculpture. Flower encrusted bikes have been riding around Toronto streets for over 20 years, I guess every generation re discovers the wheel. Leave it up for a month and then donate it to a charity auction and free the space for the use it was intended.

  • Calvin K

    I haven't seen many cyclists trying to park there. And since you know that no one is going to ride the orange bike anytime soon you can actually just lock your bike against it.

  • http://twitter.com/MarkJull Mark Jull

    Rules are rules. Artists who break the rules give all artists a bad name. :p

  • Calvin K

    I think there is a symbolic component to it. Will we be cleaning out any form of expression (especially the harmless kind) as soon as it encroach on some sort of predetermined rights of some potential scenario? Especially with the fact that before the colouring the bike was there for a long time without any city intervention.

    If no one complained when it was unadorned, painting it orange, giving it some life shouldn't suddenly get into anyone's way. Unless it's not really about the intended use, but an allergy to expression.
    (And I have seen many pedestrians liking it)

  • gbread

    Or they could just remove the bike, like they should have done quite some time ago, and discuss more important things instead.

  • torontothegreat

    been getting a fair amount of ink and doesn't deliver very much

    – And a TON of conversation.

    so I think you may have answered your own question.

  • mjennings

    And your comment is continuing the theme of not delivering anything.

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    It's “big” news because it wasn't doing anyone any harm, it was in fact making some people happy, and then The Man noticed and decided it should be destroyed.

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    “Artists who break the rules…”

    Are doing their jobs

  • mjennings

    Yawn, with comments like these i now understand why this non-story has become a story. Slow news day I guess.

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    Pardon my hyperbole, I didn't know I was addressing a buttoned-down insomniac. If you'd actually followed the story you'd know the bike had been abandoned and rusting there a year or more, but nobody raised a fuss and it wasn't targeted for fines/removal until someone decided to make it art. Nothing but the colour of it has changed, but somehow that's enough to make it illegal.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PNYID6QQFFNTJ7LJS2ZNL6UBZI Calamity

    mjennings, if this is such a non-story then why is it worth your while to comment so many times? All that you are “delivering” is negativity. Go ahead and try to prove me wrong with a reply. 

    Also, ss charming as your blood-encrusted bike idea is, sometimes a small gesture that makes people smile is just as important as a dramatic gesture intended to make people think.

  • torontothegreat

    That one flew right over your head…  I promise, this one will be slightly lower in altitude for you.

    The fact that people are talking about it MAKES it relevant art.  The fact that you DISPUTE it, MAKES IT RELEVANT ART.

    You obviously don't appreciate or understand the FUNDAMENTALS of art at all, so why bother commenting?

  • torontothegreat

    right over your head…  The fact that we're having this conversation makes it relevant art.  But you don't seem to understand the fundamentals anyways, so why bother discussing something you obviously have no clue about?

  • Calvin K

    One of Duchampe's most famous work is an urinal that he scribbled some letters on. He didn't even make the urinal himself. 

    Now back to this… if the city didn't try to ticket it, if someone didn't all of sudden care that it is there, then you might have a point. Art is made when people react to it. If one consider it with the context it's in, it became more interesting and can be better appreciated. It might not work for you, but the fact that it's working for quite a bit of people meaning it's rather successful.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Stemmler/644800361 Robert Stemmler

    Are conversational resources so sparse that we can only discuss the most important things (whatever those would be)? Must there really be a hierarchy of conversational topics, such that the effect of a piece of art must never be discussed?

  • gbread

    “We” can discuss it as much as we want of course, I was referring to city hall. The hierarchy question is also a good one, but I wasn't even considering that. Illegal street art should be such a low priority that it simply doesn't register, or if there is a hierarchy, it should be very close to the bottom.

  • gbread

    And artists who work within the confines of the law are, of course, despicable, soulless people.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Stemmler/644800361 Robert Stemmler

    I'm including City Hall in that “we”. When City Hall is expected to only address the Big Issues, City Hall then has the power to prioritize away any issue it doesn't want to deal with, simply by deciding that it isn't important enough to waste time on. I don't think that's the kind of power I want someone as spitefully partisan as Rob Ford to have. Do you?

  • http://twitter.com/Blackbird_2 Bob Dunkin

    Let the bike stay.  It's obviously started a lot of conversation, including looking into the practices at City Hall.  The bike had been there for a while, and NOT looked into by the city until what, they could see it?  If they JUST put flowers in the basket, would it have been subject to removal?  I'm guessing no. 

    One thing I like to jokingly point out is that according to one story I read, neighbourhood cops stopped by a few times to check on it's progress.  They have likely seen the bike there on patrol, and likely knew that it didn't belong to the artist.  Yet, they let it continue.  If this was such a problem…why would they allow her to continue to vandalize someone elses property? : )

  • gbread

    I don't consider this to be an “issue”. It's a bike that's violating a bylaw. Issues are complex, this is not. But yes, if we were discussing actual issues, I would agree.

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    No, no, they're just whores.

    :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Stemmler/644800361 Robert Stemmler

    But see, that's the point–YOU don't consider it an issue. And because you don't consider it an issue, you're blind to the complexities of it, choosing instead to limit your understanding of the issue to simply a violation of a bylaw. That's the exact thing I'm talking about when it comes to a hierarchy of issues at City Hall. I surely don't want someone like you deciding that some issues are important and others aren't, because you've demonstrated quite succinctly that you're not willing to think deeply about those things you don't care about.

  • gbread

    What do you have against whoring?

  • rich1299

    All I have to add is I'm glad to see they took such care painting it and not getting over spray everywhere around the bike, its definitely better now than the rusting ugly thing it was before.