In the summer of 2005, I hung a series of posters on the lamp posts of several overlapping downtown Toronto neighbourhoods. The posters of the Have You Seen This? Project were an invitation to the individuals who lived in, or passed through these neighbourhoods, an invitation to pause and perhaps to experience the more unusual features of the community. The project explored both the power of an individual to make their mark on the urban fabric and the network of visions that exist within the city.
If a passerby’s interest was piqued, the poster provided minimal directions to help them find the magical spot. Their curiosity was rewarded by the location itself as well as by another poster, or two, to guide them elsewhere if they chose. The project included a website that featured all of the posters so the network remained even if a poster was removed.
Feedback on the project came in several forms. Through the website, participants shared their impressions and suggested other sites to add to the project. In the urban environment, participants’ actions demonstrated their attitude towards the posters as a form of local communication. In the residential neighbourhood just north of Queen West West, posters were removed almost immediately. While in other areas, posters were still hanging weeks after their installation, the tabs containing directions to the location torn off.