Ah! The Vagaries of Life

I thought it would be at least 10 more years before I would be picking cigarette butts off the pavement…
Actually, our company took part in The City of Ottawa’s “Spring Cleaning the Capital” campaign and a group of us went out and spent several hours picking up trash and debris from Cooper from Bank Street to The Driveway. It’s amazing what people throw on the ground, though I have to say that it wasn’t as much of a mess as I anticipated. We actually finished in record time and a number of us walked along the NCC property along the Rideau Canal, picking up more trash. I left earlier than some of the die-hards because my back was killing me.
It was a beautiful day which made it even more pleasant.


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Night Music: "Dusty"

This is something I have been thinking about doing for quite some time. Until now, I haven’t had a way of creating it.

I drive around a lot, especially at night, always with a favorite CD on the car stereo. I often don’t have a particular destination in mind and usually I try and get out into the country to do it.

A few weeks ago, I was driving back from my friends’ gig out of town and was listening to Fred Eaglesmith‘s CD “Dusty“. The title song, “Dusty” is such a beautiful and haunting song and it hit me that the tune was perfect for this video project. I turned on my camera and restarted the song.

When I got back, I found the sound was awful but the essence of what I wanted was there. I transferred the song directly from the CD to the video’s audio track, added the titles, fiddled with the sync a bit and that was it.

I love it, myself. So far it has gotten some nice responses from friends and I’d like to know what other people think.

Fred’s latest CD is “Milly’s Cafe“. This recording narrowly missed being lost in a fire which destroyed Fred’s studio. Luckily Fred had sent the masters out to be copied just hours before the fire broke out. Unfortunately, Fred lost all his previous recordings, most of his instruments and a lot more.

"Dick"


I just received the announcement of a new painting by a great political artist, Mark Bryan.

I had bought a print from him a couple of months ago of “The Mad Tea Party”. This one is called “Dick” and features Dick Cheney in his element….

“Dick” by Mark Bryan

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George at work
I had my “word” tattooed today….

Thanks to George at Iron Legends.

I also had my nose re-pierced.

Cool stuff: 8th International Collage Exhibition & Exchange

I had posted something about a collage artist sometime ago (perhaps it was on one of my other blogs?). In revisiting her work, I followed the links to the 8th International Collage Exhibition & Exchange collection.

I am a big fan of collage and assemblage art and have been since I was a kid. I think the first time I saw such work was at the National Gallery of Canada as a child. I have sort of dabbled in is and really should start doing more. I have cabinets full of objects and containers which I have collected to creat works but not really done much with them.

A few of the pieces I have done are:

“June Bride” © Anneke Dubash, 1998

“Insect” © Anneke Dubash, 2001

“Memento Morii” © Anneke Dubash, 1999

“Untitled”© Anneke Dubash, 2001

Cool stuff: 8th International Collage Exhibition & Exchange

I had posted something about a collage artist sometime ago (perhaps it was on one of my other blogs?). In revisiting her work, I followed the links to the 8th International Collage Exhibition & Exchange collection.

I am a big fan of collage and assemblage art and have been since I was a kid. I think the first time I saw such work was at the National Gallery of Canada as a child. I have sort of dabbled in is and really should start doing more. I have cabinets full of objects and containers which I have collected to creat works but not really done much with them.

A few of the pieces I have done are:

“June Bride” © Anneke Dubash, 1998

“Insect” © Anneke Dubash, 2001

“Memento Morii” © Anneke Dubash, 1999

“Untitled”© Anneke Dubash, 2001

OÏO

Montreal artist and film-maker Simon Goulet’s film OÏO

“Painting is movement. Mid-flight between the tool and the canvas, OÏO uncovers the driving forces of nature and reinvents the world in the flow of the paint.”

“It is a painting without a canvas where the paint freely comes out of thin air. The artist can decide when the material will render an emotion or when it takes on its full aesthetic value.The experience calls out to the spectator in that the architecture of shapes and colours only takes on meaning in the observer’s imagination.”

How to bang into walls and barf without getting drunk!

1) Go swimming in contaminated water
2) Get an ear infection
3) Go deaf
4) Get periodic bouts of vertigo….
This fun method cuts out the middle-man “alcohol” and gets you right to the “spins” and lets you experience them for 48 hours or longer!!!!
This is pretty much the same as the fun of sea-sickness without the benefit of bracing sea air….
Enjoy!

The Skin Project: I got my word!

I received my word in the mail today.
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If you haven’t heard about the Skin Project, it is the brainchild of hypertext writer Shelly Jackson.

Writer Shelley Jackson invites participants in a new work entitled “Skin.” Each participant must agree to have one word of the story tattooed upon his or her body. The text will be published nowhere else, and the author will not permit it to be summarized, quoted, described, set to music, or adapted for film, theater, television or any other medium. The full text will be known only to participants, who may, but need not choose to establish communication with one another. In the event that insufficiant participants come forward to complete the first and only edition of the story, the incomplete version will be considered definitive. If no participants come forward, this call itself is the work.

Having several tattoos already, the concept of the project really appealed to me.
Since my life revolves around words — I work with all day documents and, for me, thought of participating was very compelling.
This is the text of my “application”

“I would very much like to be part of your book.

I have three tattoos, each with special significance to me, and all done in the last four years. Since the year 2000, when I divorced, started on a quest to find my family, began a spiritual quest, and finally began a quest to “become myself”, I have marked each process with a tattoo. However, I have been waiting for something with which to mark my recent “process”.

I should say that I had previously heard about your book, but did not fully understand what it was about. This evening, when I saw a program about tattooing which talked about your project, I knew what the inspiration for my next commemoration.

After spending so many years erasing myself in order to please others, the last 4 years have been about withdrawing and gaining knowledge about the me I barely knew. Recently, however, I have begun the process of connecting and appreciating the interconnectedness of all humanity. As a Unitarian, I accept and affirm the interconnectedness of all living things; that, as human beings, we are all equal; and that all living beings have dignity and worth.

More and more, I have come to understand and appreciate the diversity and sameness of humans. We all have commonalities and we all have differences. I have learned to celebrate both things in the people I encounter.

Your project really made an impression on me. Firstly, I am a writer of sorts and have lived and worked with books for nearly 25 years.

Currently, I work at deciphering documents pertaining to Indian Residential Schools. For me, words are concrete, and yet transient. Some of the documents I read give cold, hard facts detailing finances, outlining plans, defining laws and regulations. Others explain, complain, wheedle, order, and obscure.

I find it fascinating to read, for example, a letter dismissing a complaint about the lack of proper food or harsh treatment with “You know how Indians like to complain.”, that we, today, would interpret as racist, offensive, and obviously criminal, would, 75 or even 50 years ago, was understood as exoneration.

I look at a documents that lists absences or truancy from school, and see the connection between the conditions in the schools and the lengths of the lists. I don’t need anyone to tell me what would to cause two pages-worth of students to run away from one school in one month, the list of names is enough.

To me, words can be beautiful in their simplicity, but they can also be horrifying in their absence.

A single word, on its own, can mean nothing. Yet, it can also be awesomely profound. Likewise, many words together can mean nothing and everything.

What I find particularly striking about your project is that a single word can be interpreted by every person who sees it in in infinite number of ways. Even the person who is the word, the people who eventually “are” the book, and you, will interpret each word, and the whole book differently. In a way, the words, the book, and the people who wear and become them, are metaphors for themselves. Just as we can never know the “true” meaning of the words, but rather, interpret what we understand the meaning to be, we cannot truly know and understand the “true” person who wears the word. Like the word, we must interpret the person through our own life experience, perceptions, mores, and prejudices.

By participating in the project, each person is doing so for their own reasons, with their own moral and spiritual beliefs, and each will give and take away from the experience a different understanding of what the book is, and what their role in it is.”

March 4, 2004 10:25 PM

Now, I just have to figure out which font to have it done in and where to put it.

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