Have fun, kids.
I’m off to work.
I’m intrigued. The Geostationary Banana Over Texas project calls itself “an art intervention” and is scheduled to be ready for launch in August of 2008. The 300 meter banana will be constructed of bamboo and paper and be filled with helium. It will float at 30 to 50 km above the state of Texas, which will put it on the line between Earth’s atmosphere and space. From the ground, the banana will be visible and recognizable day and night from all over Texas. On thier “The Team” page, they list the Canadian Council for the Arts as a contributor.
Sanex has created a beautiful film that transforms over 100 naked strangers into living skin cells for their new brand campaign. A UK exclusive, it just went live this week. The mesmerizing advert, built to sell how Sanex different from other skincare products because it works with your skin’s natural processes to “keep it at its healthy best”, was made in only three days by Director Lucy Blaksted, with a crew of 45, which included four skin airbrush artists.
This style seems to be part of a trend. Vaseline did two shorts this year that also featured astonishingly nice use of naked people – Sea, which has beautifully placed people in enchanting situations I wish I could have been part of, it sparks of a seriously fantastic art director, someone who could maybe make me cry, and Locked, which is lighter in tone and only uses hands.
Stuck is a nice piece of work too. A two minute viral spot promoting a Canadian Becel Margarine contest, it uses the idea of an escalator break-down to play nicely on public assumptions of transportation. The type-casting is a little strong, but I think it works well. Apparently it’s based on a short film created back in 2003 by the writer/director that I’ve been unable to track down. The cute 30 second TV version is available on ihaveanidea.org, (appropriately, as it’s a margarine ad, a contender for “slimmest website”).
While we’re on the topic of art tied to the hand of advertising, V&A and Playstation® sponsored something interesting this season, ‘Volume’ – an array of columns that respond to movement set in the centre of the V&A’s John Madejski Garden in London. A luminous interactive sculpture, the columns have been programmed to respond to movement with startling audio-visual displays that ripple complexity. On the surface this sounds hokey, a science-centre trick from the 80’s that’s been done countless times before, but the photos by John Adrian are unexpectedly lovely. The striking placement of the pillars and the obvious depth of the patterns mix so nicely with everyone’s obvious delight that it makes me wish I could hear the project as well as see it. It seems like such a perfect thing to stave off the darkness of winter.
(mcstrick, who put up the Volume pictures I linked to, also posted about Jeongmee Yoon, the artist behind the eerie Pink & Blue Project, a collection of photographs wherein children are almost lost in the vast mono-colour array of their blandly gender-coded belongings.)
New Years EVE Skytrain Dance Party at VCC Clark. Meet at 7:45 on December 31st, bring everything – music, costumes, party favours, instruments, etc. “At 8pm we hop an Accordion Train to the Future.” Total Trip time 1hr. 8pm to 9pm.
The Dancing Fields. A movement, they kiss. Every smile is a line inscribed. He makes her laugh. This is not a new thing, but another attempt. Her distance allows for the illusion of successful intimacy. This is the first time he’s met her at the door with his hands.
Heart of the World news. The current owner has put the Bollywood films up for sale on Craigslist. The letter of my contract says As Is, meaning, everything in the building is coming with the building that was there when I saw it. I’m sure that it was implied somewhere that this was to mean only fixtures, but I’m willing to kick for a discount off the price. I think we can roll with this. The realtor, though he seems nice, as it is his job to do, is still going to receive a silly amount of money, no matter, so I don’t feel I’m cheating anyone by complaining.
I’m also thinking about what it would mean to us if we bought them off Craigslist ourselves. Currently the films are stacked all over the theatre in big spilling reels and awkward tin boxes that we’ll have to organize, box up, sort, etcetera. If we buy them off Craigslist, not only will we be paying less for them than if they’re included in the theatre price, that will all be taken care of for us, and we’ll have to spend significantly less time cleaning the space up for performances. It might be worth a shot.
W.C. Fields began his career as a juggler, so good that he performed for royalty and heads of state. A portion of his routine was committed to celluloid in 1934’s The Old Fashioned Way. There’s a clip of it up on YouTube.
An Italian cafe, Cafe Calabria. Double-consonant beverages and nude white statues of mythical heroes with santa hats perched on their faux-marble heads. A Mediterranean cover of Bryan Adams’ Have You Ever Loved a Woman, “Lei mai ha amato una donna?”, piped past hanging cakes that frame the renaissance revival ceilings. Two nights in a row I sat there, nursing a delicious hot chocolate to within a drop of its life, and waiting for friends who never walked through the door. Tonight, the second night, I winked at the man behind the counter who called me “bella” and decided to try to be a regular.
I wavered over the Emily Dickenson, but I took Alan Moore: Portrait of an Extraordinary Gentleman off the shelf instead and gently flipped through it as I sat on the bed, brushing my hair with my fingers, before deciding I lacked the proper background and putting it back. Paul caught me in the hallway and offered me Gravity’s Rainbow, Kathy Acker’s Great Expectations, and a collection of short stories by Robert Coover, so now my bag is pleasantly heavy with books I’ve never read.
Today’s Sunday Tea devolved eventually into a Jean-Pierre Jeunet double-feature, Delicatessen and City of the Lost Children. Tomorrow, I’m not sure what I’m doing. I’m told I have the option of being picked up in the morning by a “new fangled horseless carriage” to Darwinismas, the celebration in honour of this humble scientist and his epic martial arts hand to hand combat battles with the magical Jesus. I’m not sure how long I would stay, as I’ve also been adopted by the Elliot’s and I’m trying to find time exploring Persepolis.
A wax paper packet of home made toffee, soon to be marked with the name of her lover, sits on the bed. She is clothed in black rags, shreds of leather, dreams of crackling silk.Tired to the point where her own voice feels distant, her thoughts are a dense forest, decorated with curious wild flowers that are beginning to wilt. In the hall outside her apartment, there are footsteps marked in water. Small, precise as velvet, they can be followed back to the mouth of an oven. Her belly softens at the memory of children, creatures who don’t know how to be quiet. Dusk coils between the harsh trees in her mind, waiting for her to sleep. Instead she smiles as she lies on her bed, as a memory soars bird-like between the huddled branches to drop upon her, swift like hunger and as downy soft as a bleached story.
She sings old songs, stretches her arms greedily above her head so that pale skin can be seen, alabaster fighting against coming night. The bird, its beak opens, drops a pebble into her hand. Her fingers move to catch it, and pulse, the smile. The stone marks the path of a child, unconsciously walking and barefoot, led by a woodsman, too wise for his own good. His head catches on clouds and brambles both. To her flicking eyes, her fingers are handling the shape of a hand, tracing the edge of a family written in curls, and she is not alone.
In certain lights, she would be pretty. Now she is merely strange, clucking her tongue like a pigeon might, cooing protectively over a plate of breadcrumbs and the head of an axe.
Helsinki Complaints Choir – Finnish artists Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen collected the pet peeves and angst-ridden pleas of people in Helsinki and then composed this choral work around the list of complaints. Music composed by Esko Grundström.
I woke to find myself alone, so twisted with cold that my teeth had chattered through the edges of my tongue. The blankets had been pulled off me and pushed out of my reach. A fairly clear message in winter. I sat up and curled into them until the shivering stopped enough for me to pick up my glasses. “Happy New Year.” Outside the building, I spat my mouthful of blood onto Georgia St and walked home barefoot, my shoes in my hand. My coat was too thin, a morse code of warmth that travelled over my body in response to the wind. No one spoke to me. Two nights without proper sleep and the sky looked like a renaissance painting as the soles of my feet silently burned across the cold pavement of the viaduct. From where I was walking, too tired to think or care very much, I could watch as, one by one, swinging slowly, the construction cranes turned off their christmas lights and began to smoothly arc across future decades of glass tower living. I uselessly wished only for breakfast, knowing there would be none, and didn’t stop moving until I was home.
Foxtongue Productions Inc. is still selling shares for 200$CAN. If you’re interested, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andrew pointed me to a nice site today – The Unseen Video. It’s a dynamic flash music video with content changing based on weather data from your area. It’s really very pretty. Mine today is olive green, with light rain and complicated branches that fade into tender vintage photographs and flowers made of small crawling clips of footage. I like this kind of thing, that people took the time to make it and let it loose.
There’s a Flickr.pool of screencaps of the video from all over the world, that’s nice to peer through. I posted four of mine there. The amount of variation seems a little intense. I’m going to try and remember to check back later in a few months, when Vancouver has weather again. I’d like to get the clip of the woman or see what the crystals look like when they’re animated. This rainy hail doesn’t change the details very much from viewing to viewing.
There’s a letter from Martha Graham to Agnes DeMille (that Duncan posted, bless his soul) that burns my heart with accuracy:
“There is vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it.
It is not your business to determine how good it is; nor how valuable it is; nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.
No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatsoever at any time. There is only a queer, divine, dissatisfaction; a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”
I can’t tell if enthusiasm about Heart of the World is flagging because of the holidays or from the misconception that we’ve managed to get the down-payment together already. To clarify, we’ve raised the $48,000 deposit, not the $500,000 down-payment. Until we get it together, we’re dead in the water. I recommend writing anyone you think might be interested in financing the project. Every little bit helps.