Thursday, April 30, 2009

Phaedrus incident
In 2007, an exhibition of Twombly's last paintings, Blooming, a Scattering of Blossoms and Other Things, and other works on paper from gallerist Yvon Lambert's collection was displayed from June to September in Avignon (France), at the Lambert Foundation (Hôtel de Caumont). On July 19, 2007, police arrested artist Rindy Sam after she kissed one panel of Twombly's triptych Phaedrus. The panel, an all-white canvas, was smudged by Sam's red lipstick. She was tried in a court in Avignon for "voluntary degradation of a work of art".

Sam defended her gesture to the court: "J'ai fait juste un bisou. C'est un geste d'amour, quand je l'ai embrassé, je n'ai pas réfléchi, je pensais que l'artiste, il aurait compris... Ce geste était un acte artistique provoqué par le pouvoir de l'art" ("It was just a kiss, a loving gesture. I kissed it without thinking; I thought the artist would understand.... It was an artistic act provoked by the power of Art").

The prosecution, calling it "A sort of cannibalism, or parasitism", while admitting that Sam is "visibly not conscious of what she has done", asked that she be fined 4500€, compelled to an assorted penalty, and to attend citizenship classes. The art work, which is worth an estimated $2 million, was on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Avignon.[1][2][3] In November 2007 Sam was convicted and ordered to pay 1,000€ to the painting's owner, 500€ to the Avignon gallery that showed it, and 1€ to the painter.[4] Wikipedia

Cy Twombly

He Draws!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ernie Barnes, Artist

I didn't know about this guy before, but he just passed away. Some nice statements about art in this short video.

Gregory Crewdson

Some pretty good art I think.

Landing in Winnipeg

Artists Can Claim $1000 At Tax Time

If you:
  • composed a dramatic, musical, or literary work;
  • performed as an actor, dancer, singer, or musician in a dramatic or musical work;
  • performed an artistic activity as a member of a professional artists' association that the Minister of Canadian Heritage has certified; or
  • created a painting, print, etching, drawing, sculpture, or similar work of art. For income tax purposes, it is not an artistic activity when you reproduce these items.
Claim up to $1000 in expenses or 20% of your employment income (e.g. <$5000). Here is the full link.

Monday, April 27, 2009

DNA (do the strand)

Mississippi Blues

My cousin Willow (I've mentioned her before) has an article up at (that'd be Knoxville, Tennessee) on the local Mississippi blues scene... that'd be the home of Robert Johnson, among others. You can read the full, longer article on her blog. I think she's a pretty good writer, if I do say so myself.

Our City is a Dance Floor

This is the funnest thing ever-- a bunch of local and transplanted Haligonians (that's Halifax people, btw) celebrate their awesome city with a traveling dance party.

My friend Vivian is the fabulous dancer in the sleeveless red t and skirt.

Credits: Lucas Damberg (with help from Jill Ratcliffe, Ben Gallagher and Vivian Belik)

Publicity Stunt, Apocalyptic Predictor, or Crazy Guy with Too Much Cash?

Excerpt from an article by Randall Sullivan, at

photo by Dan Winters

The strangest monument in America looms over a barren knoll in northeastern Georgia. Five massive slabs of polished granite rise out of the earth in a star pattern. The rocks are each 16 feet tall, with four of them weighing more than 20 tons apiece. Together they support a 25,000-pound capstone. Approaching the edifice, it's hard not to think immediately of England's Stonehenge or possibly the ominous monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Built in 1980, these pale gray rocks are quietly awaiting the end of the world as we know it.

Called the Georgia Guidestones, the monument is a mystery—nobody knows exactly who commissioned it or why. The only clues to its origin are on a nearby plaque on the ground—which gives the dimensions and explains a series of intricate notches and holes that correspond to the movements of the sun and stars—and the "guides" themselves, directives carved into the rocks. These instructions appear in eight languages ranging from English to Swahili and reflect a peculiar New Age ideology. Some are vaguely eugenic (guide reproduction wisely—improving fitness and diversity); others prescribe standard-issue hippie mysticism (prize truth—beauty—love—seeking harmony with the infinite).

What's most widely agreed upon—based on the evidence available—is that the Guidestones are meant to instruct the dazed survivors of some impending apocalypse as they attempt to reconstitute civilization. Not everyone is comfortable with this notion. A few days before I visited, the stones had been splattered with polyurethane and spray-painted with graffiti, including slogans like "Death to the new world order." This defacement was the first serious act of vandalism in the Guidestones' history, but it was hardly the first objection to their existence. In fact, for more than three decades this uncanny structure in the heart of the Bible Belt has been generating responses that range from enchantment to horror. Supporters (notable among them Yoko Ono) have praised the messages as a stirring call to rational thinking, akin to Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason. Opponents have attacked them as the Ten Commandments of the Antichrist.

Whoever the anonymous architects of the Guidestones were, they knew what they were doing: The monument is a highly engineered structure that flawlessly tracks the sun. It also manages to engender endless fascination, thanks to a carefully orchestrated aura of mystery. And the stones have attracted plenty of devotees to defend against folks who would like them destroyed.
Some really interesting videos related to (and, for now, including) the documentary film "The Linguists" are on Babelgum right now. The focus is on endangered, dying, and extinct languages (as well as language revival efforts).

Manitoba Flood Waters

Thursday, April 23, 2009


tiger logo, originally uploaded by babajiwotan.

For the most part, the mainstream media and federal government still treat the economic collapse as something that can be fixed, so that economic growth can resume in a few years. But some commentators are beginning to realize that our meltdown represents a deeper and more permanent paradigm shift. The physical environment can no longer withstand the assaults of our industrial culture. We are experiencing a termination of capitalism as we have known it, a shutdown recently dubbed "The Great Disruption" by Thomas Friedman, in The New York Times. Until recently a leading cheerleader for Neoliberal globalization, Friedman has come to the late realization "that the whole growth model we created over the last 50 years is simply unsustainable economically and ecologically and that 2008 was when we hit the wall." The longer the general population is allowed to remain in denial about what is happening, the more dire the probable consequences, such as widespread famine, civil unrest and a disintegration of basic services.
The truth is that we need to make a deep and rapid change in our current social systems and in the underlying models and ideals of our society. It is highly unlikely that those who have been part of the power structure, whether within government or the mainstream media, possess the necessary will, vision or inspiration to make this happen. Also, when we consider their self-serving support for a delusional model of infinite growth on a finite planet, ignoring all evidence to the contrary, our mainstream pundits and politicos have clearly forfeited any claim to authority, and should never be trusted again.

daniel pinchbeck

Happy Earth Day Cheepskate

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

That is to say

Is there anything real in the world?
Or is it that we recognize good,
say success, by listening for the statements that we believe?

Is there anything real in the world?
That is to say: Is it that we recognize
a positive or a negative
by listening for the statements that we were taught to believe?

Earth Day...


excerpt from "Earth Day: Lost in a Forest of Green?" by Moira Welsh, Toronto Star

Stephen Hazell is the executive director of the Sierra Club of Canada. He believes the symbolism of events like Earth Day is best used to remind the public about the relationship between energy consumption and global warming.

The downside, Hazell says, pointing to Earth Hour, is that "you don't want to give the impression that turning off your lights for an hour or two is going to make a big difference."

"We need to use these more symbolic events to try and get more fundamental change in behaviour," he says. "Hopefully, if people turn off their lights for an hour, maybe that will lead them to question why they have to have their lights on all the rest of the time."

Allan Paints

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The thing that is

On the nature of social rules:

I've noticed that there are rules and things 'I don't need to know about.'

Or things 'that's not what I need to here.'

Otherwise, 'I hear you,' but just go ahead and do it b/cause that's the hidden quality of the world.

There is a hidden quality to the world, and it is generative.

This is where we hook up to the great not known, the thing from which wheels flow.

Book From The Sky

Institution: The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
Materials: Mixed media installation / Hand-printed books and scrolls printed from blocks inscribed with ''false'' characters.

An installation that took Xu Bing over four years to complete, A Book from The Sky is comprised of printed volumes and scrolls containing four thousand ''false'' Chinese characters invented by the artist and then painstakingly hand-cut onto wooden printing blocks.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

7 Gates

tiger logo, originally uploaded by babajiwotan.

Hi. Hate to be a broken record, but Im recording again: big time.

This month Ive been working 9-5 with the utmost in technological recording equipment here in Vancity. After im done Ill hand it over to some professionals who will mix it and master it.

After that we'll put together a real cover and labels and everything.

Before I began I erased all my personal records of any other music I have ever made with the express purpose of channelling all my karma into these seven songs.

I think this is going to be a crazy summer.

J.G. Ballard Obit

Time to dig out my copy of "The Atrocity Exhibition". Sad news.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Thursday, April 16, 2009

This should make you cry with joy...

The Perils of Shin Yu

Why is this infamous artifact in my hands? Perhaps Michael seeks to poison me, to poison my hand and mind with the monstrance of dark, satanic inspiration! The Black Quill performs beautifully, it flows now, but what does the Quill have planned? While I sleep does it write a troublesome narrative with my name in it? Already my brain is dull but still I write- why is the Black Quill in my hands? Surely she grins and gnashes her teeth at the dream-image of me withering, writing; her monkey fiends flying through the night, finding me ghastly and enervated, Black Quill in my hand. Are you free now, Michael? Run then. Though I curse you as you have cursed me: escape from the black crow clutch the maw of the black ink tyrant...
-- Via Wigtads

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009


Lew Dite takes one of the Minglers songs and tours us across an automatic/blind contour drawing. fun!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Zombie Lunch at the Cafe (Renoir)

From the Painting is (Un)Dead Series.

A couple other zombie classics I found

American Gothic

Mona Lisa

(I'd love to find others)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Pissing in Bob's Flakes

Billy Bob Thorton proves what a DOUCHE he is, or, just a non-morning person.
Either way, he insults us Canadians referring to us as "mashed potatoes without gravy".

recent movements, winnipeg


PICT0016, originally uploaded by babajiwotan.

Sorry about the random picture.

This link is one of the most bizarre links Ive ever expereinced on the inter web:

What a Drag!

"Mother and Daughter"
Photo #1
Halloween 200(2)?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

CD Release...

Hey folks - just putting the word out that I am releasing a CD entitled "Odd End" in a couple of weeks, at Le Garage Cafe on April 25th.

I had tracks from the album up at the end of last year for free download on my website, but since then I went and remixed some songs, deleted some, and added others - and now it's all together in a nice little updated package! (Clips of the current tracks are available to listen to at my website.

My trio (Alf Catolico on drums, Meg Dolovich on bass, and me on guitar and vocals) will be playing a couple of sets, while my friend Mark (recently transplanted from Prince George B.C.) will be doing an opening set with his blues duo - Rae King. There will be another special guest as well, if all goes according to plan...

Hope anyone who is in the 'Peg can make it out to the show!

P.S. You'll be hard-pressed to find a band with more O's in their names than Catolico-Dolovich-Onosson.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Ain't going to Nike Town

A distant acquaintance of mine, namely one Mr. B. Darvill (Esq.) has recently released this upon the world. I think he's done good with this one. Seems to be getting better every year like a fine Bordeaux. Also some interesting reading about how he was beaten and kicked at the G20 meeting last week in London on his blog.

Conversation Piece (also published on The Disclaimer)

Here is the link to an article I read today, and my response (as submitted to the WFP commentary, ergo the otherwise nonsensical references to Mr. Lambert and Rev. Blair). Not at all related to art I'm afraid, but from time to time we do discuss worldly matters, non? I am interested in your opinions.

Obama's Emission Cuts: Pragmatic Suicide
by Gwynne Dyer

I'm of the opinion that it really is too late to do whatever the Gwynne Dyer's of the world would have us do about Global Warming (don't get me wrong, Mr. Dyer is one of my favourite columnists). Whether you are of Mr. Lambert's opinion or Rev. Blair's (personally I'm on the fence) it matters not. We are not capable as a species of relinquishing our desire for greater economic wealth, and no threat of imminent doom is great enough or near enough at hand to change the course of our civilization, period.

I myself am very conscious of what I consume and always will be, no matter if I am preventing Global Warming or not. I do so because I believe a better life for me does not exist in things, and I also believe that the generations that come after me should not have to suffer unduly for my greed. But I am also aware that my views are in the minority, and understand (not merely out of cynicism or spite) that most people want to live for today, have been told to live for today and can only live for today. If the world goes through an apocalyptical climactic change sooner rather than later so be it, geologically speaking it was bound to happen anyways. Drive your cars, live your lives, but don't neglect to prepare your children for the tomorrows that you will be lucky enough to escape—perhaps they will be among the few to survive the wars and mass starvation that are bound to follow if the predictions are anywhere near right.

(BTW, not to toot my own horn too loudly but I was made aware today that my most recent to the editorial pages of the Freep was published last week while I was nowhere near a local news stand. Read it here, if you dare.)

Monday, April 06, 2009

What is one to do?

Jeez its been a dogs age since I've been on the blog. I had my laptop stolen in October and i've found it difficult to keep up to the Inter-web without it. Anyway. . .

So, I've had this nameless band with the legendary Vince Andrushko for over a year now and we STILL DONT HAVE A NAME!!! summers coming and we need to start getting shows but whats the point if no one has a way to remember or hear about you. Long story short i want some ideas. Heres some of the names we've been thinking of, let me know what you think! Suggestions welcome!! Here goes:

The Rockford Files
The Silver Bullets
The Shootouts
The Jimmy Swaggarts
Barn Dance
No Cover Free Beer
The Special Guests
The Propositions
Lucky Luke
Triple E
The 151's
The Fortunes
The Longbows
The Hastings

Thats a start. I'll tell you its a real bummer to have a band and not a name. In fact, its more or less futile. Damn it feel good to post on here again! Hi Roberts!!!

Saturday, April 04, 2009


Rising to prominence during the Crusades, though they operated long before (and have survived in greatly altered form into the modern world), the Hashashin were a sect of deadly Muslim assassins-- the Nizari branch of the Ismaili Shia Muslim tradition.

The word "assassin" is generally thought to have derived from their name.

Covertly infiltrating enemy positions, either as sleeper agents who would remain close to their target for long periods of time, or as single-strike assassins, the Hashashin used only a blade or dagger, which they usually left with their target. Generally, it was understood that their mission was one of self-sacrifice, hence their refusal of any defensive weapons or plans for escape. Under no circumstances, however, would the hashashin take their own lives, preferring instead to be killed by their enemies once the target had been achieved.

Occasionally, rather than killing, the hashashin would merely leave a dagger on their target's pillow, a symbol to him that he was not safe anywhere, ever. They also tended to cultivate their terrifying reputation by carrying out assassinations in broad daylight and in full public view.

Contrary to popular belief, hashish and/or opium were not part of their belief systems, and in fact they abhorred the use of any intoxicants. For example, Farhad Daftary in The Assassin Legends: Myths of the Isma'ilis says: "...This propagandist concoction of a 'stoned' assassin fails to fit the complex reality of the discipline and training required for committing what was always an explicitly political act, (and) the popular notion of Nizaris as a community of killers also denies their rich, multivalent culture."

An interesting counterpart to the Hashashin existed in Christendom, particularly during the Crusades, where groups of ascetic warrior monks would accompany Christian armies. These warriors (whose name I forget--Josey, where are you?) were never affiliated with any knights or kings, but followed along the fringes of Christian armies, eating whatever food they could find, sleeping on the ground without blankets, and refusing the use of shoes.

Using whatever random weapons they could find on their journeys (axes, knives, pitchforks, scythes), they were a powerful weapon of terror, as they fought without regard for their own lives, and so were often sent as a first wave of attack. Generally, even the Christian armies they traveled with were somewhat afraid of them, and tended to avoid them outside of battle.

(adapted from Wikipedia, Robert Payne's "The Dream and the Tomb", and John Keegan's "A History of Warfare")

image from

Thursday, April 02, 2009


This image is the delta at the mouth of the Colorado River (photo credit: Visible Earth/NASA) - taken from Andy C. Revkin's blog on the New York Times, called Dot Earth. I'm posting the image because I liked it in an aesthetic sense; but of course, this blog here called ALfA is about more than just art, despite it's name. I recommend heading over to Mr. Revkin's blog and checking it out - even subscribe to it if you find it interesting (I have). I find he takes a very thorough and balanced approach to environmental matters.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Caravagio, first photog?

Revered as the baroque master of lifelike portraits and light and shadow, the 16th-century painter Caravaggio is now being touted as the first master of photographic technique, two centuries before the formal invention of the camera.

The Italian artist has long been suspected of turning his studio into a giant camera obscura, punching a hole in the ceiling to help project images on to his canvas. But new research claims that Caravaggio also used chemicals to turn his canvases into primitive photographic film, "burning" images he then sketched on to for works such as St Matthew and the Angel.

Power House Project (Detroit)

A Detroit couple are attempting to rebuild a neighbourhood in their recession-ravaged city by attracting artists to snap up its cheap housing stock and turn it into something better.They bought a foreclosed home for $1,900 US last year and turned it into both an experiment in operating off the power grid and a centre to link artists and the local community.

From CBC story