Saturday, January 29, 2005

"It's absurd to demand the "creation of jobs." Enough riches already exist to take care of everyone's basic needs; they only need to be shared around. As for all the production that serves no real purpose, a social revolution will close more factories and eliminate more stupid jobs in twelve hours than capitalism does in twelve years. We will no longer have any reason to produce such things as food colorings, aircraft carriers or insurance contracts. We don[base ']t want "full employment", we want full lives!"(B U R E A U O F P U B L I C S E C R E T S | We Don[base ']t Want Full Employment, We Want Full Lives!)

Friday, January 28, 2005






"Beuys regarded himself above all as an individual attempting to deal with healing and his two great phrases about creativity were 'everyone is an artist', which is in itself a great healing phrase, and, perhaps less well known, 'show your wound'. Most of us go through life hiding our wounds or managing as best we can. The idea of 'show your wound' is a devastatingly radical one which lays you open to all sorts of vulnerabilities, obviously. But Beuys regarded 'show your wound' as the secret to being an artist. You weren't showing your magnificence and your wealth of ideas and your huge creativity, you were showing your vulnerability. And it was your vulnerability that people picked up on. the perception of your vulnerability as a person and as an artist that sparked the creativity in other people."(Tate Modern Talk: Caroline Tisdall Joseph Beuys: Bits and Pieces)

Thursday, January 27, 2005

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Aidas Bareikis : Straight to the Top, I'll Take ...

:: note :: . . . wastescape . . . prodgious wastescapes . . . Bareikis

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

"Consider a mug of American coffee. It is found everywhere. It can be made by anyone. It is cheap - and refills are free. Being largely without flavor it can be diluted to taste. What it lacks in allure it makes up in size. It is the most democratic method ever devised for introducing caffeine into human beings. Now take a cup of Italian espresso. It requires expensive equipment. Price-to-volume ratio is outrageous, suggesting indifference to the consumer and ignorance of the market. The aesthetic satisfaction accessory to the beverage far outweighs its metabolic impact. It is not a drink; it is an artifact."(The NYR of Books|Europe vs. America)

:: note :: . . . part of everyday is grinding the bean, filling the espresso maker and waiting for the aroma to waft upstairs . . . always appreciated the artifact . . .

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Irresolute, no pensive, I'd waited the night in a large empty room of the former Islamic Temple. Cold outside, the apparition approached on horse back not seeming to notice the chill.

Huddled in the corner, next to the heating vent which blasted to life with a disturbing jolt, I would have preferred a crackling fire but was here in a country where most rooms were fed dry heat from gas furnaces. I wrapped the dark brown wool blanket tightly around my shoulders and the drowsiness vanished as the tall weathered figure in a white deer skinned jacket and grey felt hat dismounted his fringes swaying gently attesting to the soft litheness of his quick confident movements.

He knew where he was and I decided, why not, to name him Robert. An unlikely name for a Métis scout. Yes, why not, not knowing anything about his past nor anything about this specific place I could have identified him as Cree. I didn't. I know there's an important distinction. (I'd never committed myself to settling anywhere till now and in my wanderings I was painfully aware of identity.)

His hands snapped brittle twigs from the air. The furnace behind me began to whine like something was caught in the vent and looking up he glared straight into my eyes. Do apparitions see the other world? The sound of the whining stopped but he continued to glare, right through me and out beyond towards the river nostrils flaring as if picking up some strong scent.

The horse neighed quivering but I could have imagined that having only once before been so close to what seemed a wild horse.

Monday, January 24, 2005

"An ad hoc group of Arts & Science students, supported by a number of faculty, have held rallies, media interviews and meetings with college administrators over the past two weeks in protest against alleged cuts to liberal arts programs.( Campus News|Critics and admin. exchange barbs on liberal arts)

"Let's set the record straight. Like all sectors drawing on the public purse, Canadian "liberal arts" education needs more resources. But the U of S uses its funding strategically to give students a high-quality education. SPR reviewers noted the extraordinary dedication of its liberal arts teachers."(|Stories, SOLD unfairly denigrate U of S liberal arts programs ! subscrption required and only seven day archive | disgusting $ for info)

:: note :: . . . a tempest broils . . . admin. in my experience manipulate and falsify information to suit whatever agenda is being administrated . . .

Sunday, January 23, 2005

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(Mary Ellen Mark, "Pinky with Clown Man Passing on Left Side, Royal Circus, India," 1990 © M. Mark and Aperture Foundation)
"'The variety of work - from hard-hitting photojournalism to conceptual art and beautiful landscapes - pushes people to think about history and art and the times we live in in profound ways' Marsh says."(Monterey Country Weely| Looking Ahead PastForward salutes Aperture's local roots with edgy revelations. )

Saturday, January 22, 2005

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Albert Einstein and the World Year of Physics 2005

:: note :: . . . first discoverd this info at U of S News release . . . then at the incredible resource Peter Scotts Library Blog . . . will explore the personal connection soon . . .

Friday, January 21, 2005

. . . Stones in His Pockets by New Theatre Group aegis. . . . energy and virtuosity . . . comedy, above all, is about restraint . . . a playing with intensity and seriousness . . . like a rock skipping over a calm lake surface . . . what parent resists the urge to teach the art of rock skipping . . . scour the beach for the "perfect" flat rock to curl around the forefinger . . . then a strong side arm whip action hitting the "right" angle to breathlessly watch skip after skip after skip till the stone sinks amidst endless ripples . . . such was Stones in His Pockets . . . a wonderfully crafted script by Marie Jones . . . a well-honed director, Susan Williamson, judging velocity & trajectory with practiced exactitude . . . actors Corey Reaume and Bob Wicks keen and sharp, effortlessly skipping from part to part with skill and invention . . . sinking into the rich body of imagination rippling with quiet sentiment . . .

. . . Marie Jones born in Belfast writes with a heart of vision and a tongue of harsh reality . . . it seems no accident that she has been involved in the formation of a number of community theatre companies, has extensive writing credits for radio, television and the stage and has received the John Hewitt Award for outstanding contribution to culture, tradition and the arts in Northern Ireland. . . . Stones in His Pockets makes a plea for people to understand the whole picture and not selective pieces . . .

. . . Susan Williamson's gift is the genius of a director distilling language into clean, articulate and tight physical actions . . . challenging the actors with pace and rhythm . . . letting them amplify the emotional landscape yet knowing the depth rests in the sphere of the audience . . . she carves the text inducing truthful considerations . . .

. . . Corey Reaume and Bob Wicks selflessly work together . . . seasoned professionals they have become . . . exuberant and daring gestures alternate with subtle shifts of phrasing . . . though I know nothing about authentic accents the ear loved each and every voice . . . repetition, bold choices, clarity, transformation, physicalization . . . a veritable clinic in the way of the actor . . .

. . . in the lobby before the show Stefan and I hovered over pictures from past Greystone Theater productions. . . we came across Animal Crackers (1993) . . . one of the last shows at the old Hanger Building . . . directed by Henry Woolf . . . I couldn't contain my laughter at recalling the astounding Groucho Marx impersonator . . .

". . .that was the very first show I can remember Dad ... the soft red seats and the actors throwing something into the audience . . . how easy going and how much fun the people on stage were having . . . there was such a loose and comfortable feeling " . . . he went on to describe the hallways of the now destroyed building and a bicycle rolling down the entrance ramps . . . memories of a six year old . . . he directs his first "big" show these next months . . . we both love to skip rocks . . .

. . . thanks once again Susan & Henry who must be honoured as cultural treasures . . . thank you for realizing another gem and allowing us to be with you . . . theater can only be accessed by being at the edge of the lake and taking the time to listen and watch as the rocks skip endlessly towards the other side . . . please continue to share with us for 75 more years . . .

Thursday, January 20, 2005

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(Vic Cicansky The Creation of the Potato Clay, glaze 1993)

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

"'Generally, their eyeballs roll up in the air when I say I'm a poet, I write poetry," said Halfe. "I keep hooking them by telling them poetry is a short form of story-telling. "I tell them it's about the recovery of people from the impact of colonization, and it's done in story form. "What I have found with my interaction with the public is they find themselves in those stories.'"( The StarPhoenix|Getting the word out New poet laureate ready to offer unique form of communication)

(more . . .)

:: note :: . . . a courageous decision . . . a paradoxical voice . . . small, simple, hugely haunting in specificity, touching the universal . . .

Monday, January 17, 2005

"True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring."(Martin Luther King: Beyond Vietnam -- A Time to Break Silence)

:: note :: . . . read the transcript and/or listen to the speech via mp3 . . .

Sunday, January 16, 2005

"Peters concedes this point might be lost on someone living on Saskatchewan's mean streets. 'Aboriginal households living in areas of extreme poverty talk about fear, housing inadequacy and problems their children face. It doesn't help to tell them they aren't living in a 'ghetto' as defined by academics,"'she says. 'Still, areas of poverty and areas where Aboriginal people live in Saskatoon are not like U.S. ghettos, and it isn't helpful to use language that suggests that they are. The real challenge is to find out what is going on with Aboriginal people in Canadian cities, and not assume that we know by analogy with the U.S. situation. We need a made-in-Saskatchewan, made-on-the-Prairies perspective.'"
(U of S News | Online Aboriginal Atlas Reveals New Realities in Prairie Cities)

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:: note :: . . . high school students constantly involved in the process of identity always refer to the eastside/westside struggle . . . poverty, aboriginal ancestry, housing, municipal planning bias, all contribute to identity . . .

(map from Atlas of Urban Aboriginal Peoples)

Saturday, January 15, 2005

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:: note :: . . . students create fantastic work . . . installations have a tremendous potential . . . space . . . an actor wants to move and shape the spaces between with an imaginative narrative . . . associations, impulses, memories . . . the above installation is perfect for it is not complete in itself . . . leaves open space . . . the work of students can be so compelling . . .

Friday, January 14, 2005

"Although we applaud the government's wish to make everyone in our multi-cultural, multi-faith nation feel that they have an equal stake in Britain, the proposed amendment to the bill is misguided. It is emphatically not the way forward. It creates a climate which engenders events such as the recent Sikh riot in Birmingham. Here a violent mob, on the grounds that a play offended their religion, successfully prevented its performance, acted as censors, and threatened the life of its author."(Guardian Unlimited | special reports |The English PEN open letter to the home secretary, Charles Clarke )

:: note :: . . . this climate is getting hot . . .

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

"One is bound to believe that the handing down of culture will not be suspended, but that is may take new paths which will not be only vertical, between generations, but also horizontal inside the generations themselves, through the combined support of new technologies of communication and information and of the intensification of intercultural exchanges between nationalities and States."(The Handing Down of Culture Smaller Societies and Globalization |Chapter 1 | Fernand Harvey)

"Dumont claims, for example, that his nostalgia for the popular culture he had lost was lined for him with an "opportune distancing, a precious naivete when faced with the scholarly culture that was its counterpart" (1997: 63). And he stresses, against the domination of the printed word and the emergency of the new media, the importance of orality within the milieu from which he came and of live dialogue and verbal interaction in education, at any level whatever."(Mots Ploriels | The dynamics of autobiography: from anthropological anchorage to the intercultural horizons)

:: note :: . . . keeping culture alive . . .

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Here's a story. Remembered while reading Bird, Mountains.

On Keats Island. A tiny chunk of land with a Bible camp at one end and a fifteen minute run along the only road across the island. Lots of undeveloped Pacific coast forest on either side. Occasional pebble beach. Mostly sharp rock face falling into the ocean. Only way in & out is the Dogwood Princess Ferry II.

A cold, wet Vancouver Island January. The sky fragile blue two minutes before the grey smudged clouds portent the coming rain. The island is deserted. At least that's how I reminisce it.

A small group of us are working with Teo Spychalski on Theater of Sources. The proposition to find an isolated spot and practice whirling . The past few days together we learnt the basic technique. It is time to work alone.

First tried a plateau at Observatory Point on the northwest side looking out over Howe Sound. Not much room. Slippery rock and the edge dangerously close. Fear of falling dominates the exercise. I move on to ferret out another site.

Come to a modest clearing. Firm level ground. Able to see, through the trees, towards the western horizon. A scant meadow of long grasses to the east. Perfect place.

Begin the exercise. Slow careful foot placement. All the various instructions booming - peripheral vision, fixed gently curved arms, soft silent motion, dynamic internal energy, faster and faster and don't ever stop. The world will stop.

Ten minutes advance into thirty. The dizziness and nausea pass into an exhilaration of physical joy. The spinning landscape blurs then suddenly shifts into focus like an incredible 360 degree panorama. After another ten minutes a deer emerges from the trees. Till this point I had seen no deer - droppings yes but no wildlife. Tentatively the doe approaches. I don't really know what to do so I continue whirling. She pauses her nose a hand reach away and watches attentively. It seems an eternity her eyes piercing me. Instructed to persist till exhaustion curiosity eventually wins over. I slow to a stop to face her. She's gentle and quivering. I'm in that place. In that moment. Calmly we look into each others eyes. The intimacy that comes with deep eye contact shocks me. I reach out desiring to touch her. She bolts and disappears in a flash.

I can't think of anything at the moment. No stories about the "old ways" or what was that about or talking in the past and not the present tense or even watching the feeling disappear.

That was around 1980. Have never been back to Keats Island. Think I want to return some day. Maybe a fine idea. Hope it won't be a brilliant mistake.

Friday, January 07, 2005

"Zigzag comes from the German word for tack, that nautical side-to-side movement crucial to sailing especially against the wind. "(Canadian Literature|Zigzag Laurie Ricou)

:: note :: . . . to stay alive in any institution is to zigzag . . . the wind blows strong these days . . .

Thursday, January 06, 2005

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:: note :: . . . i remember reading that in older theaters before electricity the stage kept a candle burning on stage to keep the spirits of all the past performers in their place . . . what about the audience? . . .

(Robert Mann Gallery | Nancy Rexroth: Iowa)

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

the beauty, the beauty, the beauty

snow & smoke on the coldest of nights
peering out frost scratched windows
which fog with every breath

thought of fingernail scrawling
a violence against the white
something so naked the untouched brutal cold

covered up the world can be so beautiful

Paul Celan
translated by Pierre Joris

you with the stone:

It is overevening,
I throw light behind myself.
Fetch me down,
take us

Sunday, January 02, 2005

"Actor says consultation gave community representatives the impression they had a veto on play that led to violent protests"(Guardian Unlimited |Talks with Sikhs 'backfired' on theatre)

:: note :: . . . followed this story . . . talk as consultation often equals dead end especially when the participant has no intention to listen . . . listening . . . i've never figured out how to respond after listening . . . decisions rest with some sort of exercised 'power' . . . the creative process demands risk . . . an act of spontaneous watchfulness . . .

Saturday, January 01, 2005

" We cannot live except by forgetting, any more than we can sense some stimuli except by ignoring others; just imagine if you could sense every thing in its own thisness all the time, from the smallest flutter in your lungs to every single point of light entering your eyes. History - a word whose journey into English followed the same path as archive, only earlier, and which originally meant inquiry - works like our perceptual apparatus, whose seeing is enabled by our blindnesses, by focussing on one thing or set of things to the exclusion of others. That is why there can be no one history, only histories, and these can never be complete, ever."(Canadian Literature |History and Archives: Sextet*)

:: note :: . . . archive . . . a space to forget . . . personal history . . . a blind inquiry . . . each year relentless in its oblivion . . . my son gave me Gilgamesh this christmas . . . who looked into the abyss . . . and yet my most cherished scene was meeting Utnapishtim across the Waters of Death . . .