This is a very busy part of the city. There are often many people and many vehicles coming and going in all sorts of directions. Be alert. Stay vigilant. The best offence is a good defence.
Start on Barrington St. on the sidewalk in front of Scotia Square/Hotel Halifax near the Downtown Halifax sign. People who are D/deaf/hard of hearing or Bind/Partially Sighted may wish to sit on a bench or in a bus shelter to experience this piece. Face north and press play on the soundtrack.This piece was created in 2021. The demolition of the interchange had not yet begun. Some instructions in the recording may not be possible anymore. , Listen to the sounds of what the land used to be. Who used to live there? Who still lives there? Listen to the songs they sing and look at the land around you. Imagine how it would feel to walk barefoot in the grass. Imagine how the ocean would look on your right and the songs you would want to sing.
Undesign is a sonic collage that recentres the Cogswell redesign toward the generations of people who have lived on that land.
The transcript or descriptive text for this piece can be found by touching the "Text" button in the bottom right hand corner of your screen in the "View the Art" section.
Jacob Caines is a musicologist, Queer+ theorist, and performer based on the east coast. Currently an occasional faculty member at Dalhousie's Fountain School, Jacob is also a PhD student at Concordia University studying community-engaged performance, Queer+ theory, and urban planning. Often working as a conductor and clarinetist, his work increasingly responds to the communities classical music exists within and asks how to recentre the repertoire to othered voices. Jacob is also proud to research performative urbanism with PULSE Montreal. Jacob has been a clinician, conductor, and adjudicator across the country and recently toured as music director with the Canadian tour of Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
One of the EAC’s first victories was stopping the construction of the Barrington Street Expressway, a four-lane highway planned to circle around the waterfront and stretch out to Point Pleasant Park, much like the West Side Highway in Manhattan. EAC organized with other citizen groups to stop this project, and the plan was successfully stopped, but not before construction for this super-highway began. The misplaced, half-finished highway left a chunky, cement-y mess known as the Cogswell Interchange, displacing a thriving and diverse community who used to live here, and effectively cutting off the North End from Downtown. In 2019, HRM Council approved a plan to demolish the interchange and redevelop the area with “a new neighbourhood designed to connect downtown with the north end and waterfront.”