Urban Planner: August 2, 2012
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Urban Planner: August 2, 2012

Happening today: a photography exhibition takes a look at indigenous peoples, a new installation explores the nature of the documentary medium, and an astronomy discussion talks about signals in the sky.

A new exhibition takes an in-depth look at what it means to be a documentary. Photo courtesy of Corbin Smith.

PHOTOGRAPHY: You know the old protester chant, “whose streets, our streets”? It’s kind of ironic, don’t you think?—considering, we weren’t here first. “Early Photographs of North American Indigenous Peoples” is an exhibition that explores early ethnographic photography and various capturing techniques. The exhibit includes over 50 vintage prints from a wide variety of photographers. Stephen Bulger Gallery (1026 Queen Street West), opening reception, 5–9 p.m., FREE.

ART: Everybody loves taking glimpses into worlds they’re unfamiliar with but what makes a documentary a documentary? One brave Toronto artist/photographer by the name of Corbin Smith (who also shoots many of the fine stories you see here on Torontoist) is setting out to answer this question in an exhibition called “Fundamental Requirements of a Documentary Work: A Manifesto.” This mixed-media installation features the work of artists from around the world as they each explore characteristics of the documentary medium. Ryerson Image Arts Commons (122 Bond Street), opening reception, 7–11 p.m., FREE.

ASTRONOMY: Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane—no, actually, it’s outer space. If you can’t get enough of the universe and all its properties, don’t miss this talk called “Things That Go Bump in the Night: A Look at Variable Signals from the Sky.” PhD student Jacqueline Radigan will be taking a look at the spectrum of signals that light up the night sky and why they should be of interest to us. McLennan Physical Labs building, MP 102 (60 St. George Street), 9:10 p.m., FREE.

Urban Planner is Torontoist‘s guide to what’s on in Toronto, published every weekday morning, and in a weekend edition Friday afternoons. If you have an event you’d like considered, email all of its details—as well as images, if you’ve got any—to [email protected].