A Collection of City Thoughts

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Things We Lose

If you happen to be riding the subway in Toronto this month, keep your eyes out for our latest TTC art project.

The Things We Lose is the third (and final instalment) in a series of public art projects we've been developing for Art in Transit, driven by public contribution and inspired by the stories we don't often share in public spaces.

In 2012 we hauled around a portable confession booth from city to city and aired the secrets of strangers to millions of subway commuters; in 2013 we travelled to various seniors' homes and kindergarden classes to collect sage advice on happiness for weary subway riders.

The concept of this new project is simple: we've given strangers the opportunity to reconcile with a long lost item or person of significance via Toronto's subway system.

For months we've been scouring the Lost & Found section in Craigslist (and soliciting submissions) for unusual, intimate and strange stories from the public. We've managed to compile a nice collection of interviews that we've turned into short videos and subway posters that you'll find floating around every station for the entire month of October.

Our collection runs the gamut: from long lost lovers, to lost memory cards, to lost wedding rings, to lost (runaway) fathers, and on and on. 

As someone who chronically looses things (more proof), I know the feeling of letting go of things and people… of becoming comfortably numb with the past that can never be changed. This whole experience has been a cathartic one for me.

Ultimately, the goal of this project isn't to help people find their lost things (although I hope this might happen for some) but rather to give people the opportunity to come to terms with their loses and with circumstance.

I'd like to think that this project is as much about letting go as it is about finding.