Written by Denise Deby.

Yow_Lab_04 poster from We Make The City website http://www.wemakethecity.ca/ (Creative Commons)

Yow_Lab_04 poster from http://www.wemakethecity.ca/ (Creative Commons)

Ottawa has no shortage of creative people who are putting their energy into making our city more livable and community-oriented.

You can find some of them this week at We Make The City! We Are The City! That’s the 2013 edition of Electric Fields, a festival that brings art, technology and performance together.

This year, We Make The City! We Are The City! highlights the collaborative contributions of artists and the public to shaping urban spaces. Here are a few examples of what’s on offer:

  • Agit POV allows people to express their views using LED lights powered by their bicycles;
  • Rhythm Ride transforms bikes into musical instruments and the canal path into a moving concert;
  • Impromptu Playground‘s Dynamic Maze puts the play back into urban space;
  • Landline enables people to record their experiences of places in the city that will be used to create an audio “map” of the city.

Add some other intriguing-sounding performances and a closing Forest Party at the Vanier Sugar Shack, and there’s bound to be something for everyone. Electric Fields runs September 11-15; check the website for the schedule and registration.

Here’s how Artengine, the artists’ collective that runs Electric Fields, describes We Make The City! We Are The City!:

We are the city. Collectively we form the fabric that ties it together. Outside of shopping malls, office blocks, restaurants, cafes, condo towers and government houses there is a common space we all navigate. How we move, meet and play in this space shapes the city itself. More than a collection of pathways, the city unfolds from the connection, friction and contradiction of the shared world between the buildings around us. Together we make this city; the city is us and we are the city.

This city, Ottawa-Gatineau, is the venue for Electric Fields 2013. We turn ourselves inside out and move from the lab, the studio, the gallery, the theater and onto the streets, sidewalks, courtyards, front yards, backyards, back alleys, buildings and balconies. The projects at the heart of the festival are a part of the city and the city is part of these projects.”

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