Ideas of Canada (Part 2)

June 21 - June 21, 2018



DodoLab’s goal with their Ideas of Canada programme has been to creatively explore current perceptions of the country and provoke critical and thoughtful reflections on the ideas that continue to shape and define national identity. Through iconography and objects, DodoLab looks to trigger responses and discussions, to question and think harder about the stories told and imagery projected about Canada. As part of Harbourfront Centre’s Canada Day programming in 2011, DodoLab ran a new version of their Icons of Canada Bingo Card survey, asking people to choose from a collection of icons to express how they see Canada today. In addition, they installed a series of simple dioramas containing groupings of items suggesting narratives or scenarios about relationships to nature, national security, the built environment and traditional or popular Canadian icons. While none of the dioramas had a specific meaning, they all suggested basic stories, ideas and/or values. Visitors to Harbourfront Centre were asked to select the three dioramas they felt least represented their idea of Canada today using a simple token voting system.

Displayed here in the project space are DodoLab’s creative responses to their programme of public inquiry with the most popular icons from the Bingo Card survey transformed into a set of new Canadian flags along with groupings of selected objects from the dioramas with commentary drawing on participant responses. Ideas of Canada continues to evolve as an ongoing initiative of DodoLab.


This new installation is the second phase of the Ideas of Canada programme, a Fresh Ground new works 2010 commission.

Fresh Ground new works is made possible by the generosity of several major individual donors and partners who have actively assisted in the creation of new Canadian artworks: Peter Allen, William J. S. Boyle, Lionel F. Conacher and Joan Dea, Margaret and Jim Fleck, John Kazanjian and Susan Soloway, Michael and Sonja Koerner, Judy and Wil Matthews, George E. Myhal, RBC Foundation, Sonja Smits and Seaton McLean; and grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the J.P. Bickell Foundation.



DodoLab is an evolving collaborative programme lead by artists Lisa Hirmer and Andrew Hunter engaged with provocative, experimental and creative approaches to research and community actions. Their work is critically playful and highly public, emphasizing open participation and exchange. The state of the natural world, adaptive challenges to communities and institutions, the built environment and cities in transition are their primary areas of interest. They employ creative interventions, surprise encounters, innovative publishing and design, and genuine collaborations to enhance and encourage public conversations, dialogue and knowledge sharing within and across cultures, generations, disciplines (and sometimes species). Through commissions and collaborations, Dodolab works  with individuals and organizations in Canada and internationally (including universities, municipalities, social service organizations and the arts) and is supported in a number of projects by the Musagetes Foundation with whom they share a commitment to art as social catalyst.

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