Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Another random find from the vaults of the internet....

The late, great Al Purdy

--this is a poem i "re-discovered" the other day, after not having read it for many years.

Al Purdy was a canadian poet-- Charles Bukowski once said: "There are only two living writers worth reading. Al Purdy is the other one."

Lament for the Dorsets

(Eskimos extinct in the 14th century A.D.)

Animal bones and some mossy tent rings
scrapers and spearheads carved ivory swans
all that remains of the Dorset giants
who drove the Vikings back to their long ships
talked to spirits of earth and water
– a picture of terrifying old men
so large they broke the backs of bears
so small they lurk behind bone rafters
in the brain of modern hunters
among good thoughts and warm things
and come out at night
to spit on the stars

The big men with clever fingers
who had no dogs and hauled their sleds
over the frozen northern oceans
awkward giants
..........................killers of seal
they couldn’t compete with the little men
who came from the west with dogs
Or else in a warm climatic cycle
The seals went back to cold waters
and the puzzled Dorsets scratched their heads
with hairy thumbs around 1350 A.D.
– couldn’t figure it out
went around saying to each other
..............'What’s wrong? What happened?
..............Where are the seals gone?’
And died

Twentieth century people
apartment dwellers
executives of neon death
warmakers with things that explode
– they have never imagined us in their future
how could we imagine them in the past
squatting among the moving glaciers
six hundred years ago
with glowing lamps?
As remote or nearly
as the trilobites and swamps
when coal became
or the last great reptile hissed
at a mammal the size of a mouse
that squeaked and fled

Did they realize at all
what was happening to them?
Some old hunter with one lame leg
a bear had chewed
Sitting in a caribou skin tent
– the last Dorset?
Let’s say his name was Kudluk
carving 2-inch ivory swans
for a dead grand-daughter
taking them out of his mind
the places in his mind
where pictures are
He selects a sharp stone tool
to gouge a parallel pattern of lines
on both sides of the swan
holding it with his left hand
bearing down and transmitting
his body’s weight
from brain to arm and right hand
and one of his thoughts
turns to ivory
The carving is laid aside
in beginning darkness
at the end of hunger
after a while wind
blows down the tent and snow
begins to cover him

After 600 years
the ivory thought
is still warm

© Al Purdy, 2000

Can you hear me?

There is no tail here

Monday, October 30, 2006

In Plain View Winnipeg

Hey cats,

I wanted to let you all know about an upcoming event that I am a part of. In Plain View is a Winnipeg wide open studio tour. We’ll be opening our studios on November 4-5 (this coming weekend) and again on December 2-3. We’ll be open from 12-6pm on both the Saturday and Sunday. I think it’ll be a super fun; in fact I am a bit miffed that I will not be able to check out all the different spaces.

There are all kinds of different artists participating; everything from functional ceramics, glass, jewellery, painting, sculpture and a whole bunch of other weird and wonderful things. Check out our website for complete listings at http://www.inplainviewwinnipeg.com/ Or look for our shiny invitations around town.

So come out and check out what this year’s In Plain View artists have to offer. I for one will be showing 300-400 paintings and will be selling them at damn reasonable prices. I hope to see you out as I would love to show you around my space.


Peter Van Straten

Check out some of the works of Peter Van Straten by clicking here. This painting is entitled 'A woman must serve her God, her Father, and her Husband'.


Saturday, October 28, 2006

Limitation: Water Above, Lake Below

In considering a serious decision I have to make, I consulted the I Ching. Here is the result:
You are experiencing a period in your life called "limitation". Even though it may feel like you are constantly struggling and striving to survive, if you accept these restraints life will become easier. Sometimes it is best to stop trying to fight the current and letting it take you with it instead.
I'm still considering what that means, but I think I know already.

More on Politics and Enviromentalism...

From the New York Times, illustration by Ron Barrett.


Originally uploaded by babajiwotan.
I choose the name Babaji Wotan.

Here I am fighting in the war of terror.
Ive travelled the world and the seven seas.

I hope you guys are all doing well.

We all worship Gods
And the Godess

Pain and pleasure
Do you see?
In this place we have both.

Every place is good and It's fun. Come on and join the parade!
You win! You Win! Enjoy your lucky day!

Mojo Blessings.

the smokeless firecat esq ego. bfa

Proffesor ALfA Quests Ahead to the Space Age, collaborative drawing by Micro, Captain Goldstar, Quitmoanez, and Knick Knackerson

Freedom Consolidation, collaborative drawing by Andrew, James, Carlos, David

Doctor ALfA, collaborative drawing by carlos, andrew, david, and james

The White Moustachio

Torontonez Revealed


Friday, October 27, 2006

The Virtues of Ethanol

Here's another silly little semi-political 'toon I made. (Originally posted on the Disclaimer Blog.)

*Click on the image to enlarge.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

type set

found on the page
with the blades that teeter
balanced on balene

where my
fear to interrupt
the angles that anguish repeats

An old faith

I saw on the horizon
the buffalo void of
magnificent endings,
as they gathered
under swirls
that ate them
to spit up mountains
and butterflies
where two lions
run majestic seeking
the fish of light and wonder
deep within the tower

Blue mountains
red heaped up
on the flowers
soft and yellow
pink of a
brownied green

Sweet bales
mark the long distance
and butterflies
speak to mountains
and we hide
and we play to seek
bouquets of truth
popped like balloons
on the flesh

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


were i Borges-eyed
and gazing out
i would remember
me warm
you sweet
and in tandem
distilling the liquor
of our moment alone
surrounded by biography.

Time to bring it home...

Now that we've heard about the ecological footprint,
let's confront our lifestyles head on.
For better or for worse, here's an online calculator:


sorry no special linking powers....I am but a mere academic.

More Cliff Notes

I recently sat in on Cliff Eyland's painting class and it corresponse with Lone Robert's article on the galleries west site.

Manitoba: Cliff Eyland: Cameras, Cellphones and Hard Drives, Sept 21 to Oct 21, Gallery 1C03, University of Winnipeg

Since at least 1981, Cliff Eyland has been working in tiny, file-card sized paintings, mostly on board. He’s exhibited widely with the style, including an ongoing installation project in the Raymond Fogelman Library at the New School University in New York, in which he's slipped thousands of painted library cards into library books, to be checked out by unsuspecting patrons. He recently installed a two-storey stack of over a thousand small works at Winnipeg's Millennium Library.

But in spite of its consistent medium, Eyland's work has always defied description, falling somewhere between abstraction and figurative work, seeming to combine the recognizable with the baffling.

In his latest exhibit, showing at the University of Winnipeg's Gallery 1C03, Eyland has given us a gallery full of fictive cellular telephones, cameras, and computer hard drives, all as paintings on board or as combinations of paint and stuck-together objects. And as always, the work defies easy description or categorization.

In addition to a quiet electronic track that fills the gallery with sound—a new addition for an Eyland exhibit—the walls are adorned with useless technological devices, creations that somehow claim or aspire to be more than what they are. In Eyland's world, two pieces of board stuck together with some yellow paint between them and a useless power cord dangling beneath, becomes a hard drive. Useless cameras, stationed near the gallery's ceiling, become useful for photo shoots which Eyland's written guide tells us would probably go more smoothly, since the model knew that no pictures were being taken. The cell phones are often blobs of paint on board, or use chewing gum packets as keypads, and all make little claim to be functional as anything other than art—wherein lies much of the show's deadpan sense of humour.

For example, the guide explains drily that other works are "imaginary cellphones that are only useful for talking to oneself or someone within earshot", or that "the keypad on this phone doesn't work because the buttons are made of smeared paint."

In addition to works spaced evenly across the walls, Eyland has made the room's actual electronic components—light switches, thermostat, and alarm keypad—the centrepieces for groupings of his own works.

There's been discussion for a while now about a specifically Winnipeg style of art, exemplifed perhaps by the recent Supernovas exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. The suggestion is that it's work by serious artists that still manages to avoid taking itself too seriously. Think of this idea, and names like Marcel Dzama and the Royal Art Lodge, collage artist and gallery owner Paul Butler, or members of the 2-6 collective immediately come to mind. It's interesting that Eyland has been writing about these artists for years, since that particular style often seems to be so present in his own work.

It's no coincidence that, under another hat—that of fine arts professor at the University of Manitoba—Eyland has taught painting to an entire generation of Winnipeg's young artists who, to some degree or another, could be thought to be bearing his influence.

In this latest exhibit, with its useless technology imposed around the real, so much of what's made the "Winnipeg" style can be seen—it's work that's seems playful in tone, but raises questions about perception and images, and is the product of a relentless and determined practice of art-making.

— BY Lorne Roberts

Here it is in Graphics!

The planet's natural resources are being consumed faster than they can be replaced, according to the WWF.

If current trends continue two planets would be needed by 2050 to meet humanity's demands.

Eco footprints

Lifestyles and the consumption of resources vary wildly from country to country. On average each person needs 2.2 global hectares to support the demands they place on the environment, but the planet is only able to meet consumption levels of 1.8 global hectares per person.

Chart showing ecological footprint Vs planet's health

Humanity's demand for resources is now outstripping supply by about 25%, as the growth of our ecological footprint shows. Meanwhile the health of the planet's ecosystems, measured by the living planet index, is falling, at "a rate unprecedented in human history," according to the WWF.

Global ecological footprints by proportion

Countries are shown in proportion to the amount of natural resources they consume.

We Need Five Planets!

BEIJING — Humans are stripping nature at an unprecedented rate and will need two planets' worth of natural resources every year by 2050 on current trends, the WWF conservation group said today.

Populations of many species, from fish to mammals, had fallen by about a third from 1970 to 2003 largely because of human threats such as pollution, clearing of forests and overfishing, the group also said in a two-yearly report.

"For more than 20 years we have exceeded the earth's ability to support a consumptive lifestyle that is unsustainable and we cannot afford to continue down this path," WWF Director-General James Leape said, launching the WWF's 2006 Living Planet Report.

"If everyone around the world lived as those in America, we would need five planets to support us," Leape, an American, said in Beijing.

The United Arab Emirates, Finland, Russia and Canada also placed in the top five, the report said.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

French question

how would you translate "l'eau qui passe"? the water that has passed? gone? left? died?

Feeding the War Machine

Seeing the "Perpetual Machine" GIF last week reminded me of how fun it can be to animate stuff. I'll admit I had greater expectations for this goofy little project, when I started it, but it's the first one I've done in a while, so it didn't quite turn out as well as I'd hoped. Nonetheless, I hope you are mildly amused :P

The Art-O-Meter

"Art-O-Meter is a device that measures the quality of an art piece. It bases its evaluation on the amount of time that people spend in front of an artwork compared to the total time of exhibition. The measurements are graphically represented by comments and a 5 star rating system."

Note the last line on the display...

Sunday, October 22, 2006


The smoke upon
the earth
At the party
they were kindness

I see with energy

Told not to harm
the grass
Folding, turning
climbing and running

I see with energy

She dances
with moments
as death flees from them

I see with energy

"Stop judging by external standards, and judge by true standards." JC at the Festival of Tabernacles


I was dreaming a place:
to familiar it with visits
and tap warm lullaby
one by one.
I was anticipating:
the missing element
etched in a frozen
sky. Companion
could we moment this?

Saturday, October 21, 2006


What is an Art-o-mat?
Art-o-mat machines are retired cigarette vending machines that have been converted to vend art. There are 82 active machines in various locations throughout the USA.

Check it out.....

Grey to Blue
Building Ball
Drawing with Collage by Stephanie
Student Collage 1

Friday, October 20, 2006

An Independent Prairie Nation II

Riel's last wishes (written on the eve of his execution)

Riel's Jury


Where two rivers meet

Participants in the Northwest Rebellion

Indian Scouts and Canadian Army

A political cartoon of the day

Another political cartoon of the day

Marchin' Army