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Better Not Tell You Now

A two-part interactive work focussing on the tight-knit Millican Ogden community as it prepares for construction of the Calgary Transit green line.

About the project

Nestled between CP rail and The Bow, Millican Ogden  is somewhat disconnected from the rest of Calgary. A shared sense of separateness amongst its residents has helped establish it as a tight-knit and exceptionally community-oriented place. The neighbourhood celebrated its 65th anniversary in 2022 and is currently undergoing some development as The City prepares for construction of the green line. Ogden Road is emerging as a kind of ‘Main Street’ through the community, connecting the otherwise divided geographic regions of the area.

Residents have mixed feelings about these changes promised by development. There is a back-and-forth dialogue taking place about maintaining Millican Ogden's If You Know You Know quality, and embracing some of the benefits that could come with a stronger connection to the rest of Calgary.

In this innovative two-part new work by Cassie Suche, the artist chose to use Magic 8-balls to embody this sense of uncertainty.

The first component is comprised of three interactive Magic 8-Ball sculptures placed on a wooden stand inside the SE Calgary Community Resource Centre, 2734 76 Avenue SE. The custom sculptures are made from plastic and coated in metal leaf. 

The second part of the work features 11 sets of triangle-shaped aluminum signs mounted on street poles in the neighbourhood. Both the 8 Balls and the signs display short phrases that capture community members’ sentiments about the neighbourhood’s past, present and future. 

The interactive 8-balls were created using residents’ responses to open-ended prompts about the neighbourhood. Each contains a series of messages and predictions from the residents. In addition, these messages are also displayed on aluminum signs mounted throughout the community. They are organized into sets of four, reading as impromptu poetry.

Titled Better Not Tell You Now (a traditional, ambiguous 8-ball response), the project highlights the notion that this mixed apprehension is fuelled by a deep and resounding love of the neighbourhood. It aims to encapsulate some of the playful spirit of the Millican Ogden while expressing the community’s collective inquiry for what comes next. 

About the artist

Cassie Suche is a Calgary-based multidisciplinary designer whose studio practice explores repetition and pattern through experimental process. She generates abstract narratives using a visual language of modular and linear forms, exploring the intersections of nature, technology and the sublime. Distinguishable for an intuitive balance of organic and mathematic elements, her work often displays literal evidence of her chosen process. Suche is a graduate from Leeds College of Art in Yorkshire, England and has exhibited work across Canada, the United States and Europe.

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