Tuesday, October 31, 2006
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
..........................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?’
Twentieth century people
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
Monday, October 30, 2006
I wanted to let you all know about an upcoming event that I am a part of. In Plain View is a
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.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Saturday, October 28, 2006
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.
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!
the smokeless firecat esq ego. bfa
Friday, October 27, 2006
Thursday, October 26, 2006
the buffalo void of
as they gathered
that ate them
to spit up mountains
where two lions
run majestic seeking
the fish of light and wonder
deep within the tower
red heaped up
on the flowers
soft and yellow
pink of a
mark the long distance
speak to mountains
and we hide
and we play to seek
bouquets of truth
popped like balloons
on the flesh
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
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.
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
If current trends continue two planets would be needed by 2050 to meet humanity's demands.
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.
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.
Countries are shown in proportion to the amount of natural resources they consume.
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
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
Note the last line on the display...
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Friday, October 20, 2006
Riel's last wishes (written on the eve of his execution)
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