In late September, 8 artist-driven cars became moving micro-galleries, welcoming visitors to experience a series of strange, immersive, whimsical, playful, absurd, and satirical artworks – each tucked inside its own automobile. Traveling in a law-abiding motorcade, IDLE WORSHIP responded to Alberta’s car-centric culture in a slow rally from familiar place to place – traversing the Calgary landscape as so many commuters do daily, but with an utterly different intention. Pithy and playful, IDLE WORSHIP was equal parts community project, commentary, and intervention in plain sight.
Cities were sculpted – at first by accident, and later with great intentionality – around the mobility of their occupants. Especially in western Canada, where colonial aspirations commodified the land within living history, the century-old grids of cities reflect pragmatic and linear thinking, overlaid on a sprawling geography. In Calgary, urban sprawl creeps across the river valley and outwards into the foothills and prairies. Geographically, there is no body of water or mountain range nearby enough to impede this wicking outwards, and so the expansion of our city is limited only by one factor: just how far are people willing to travel to accomplish their daily tasks?