ArsRSS Calls and Opportunities http://net18reaching.org/artrss/ Current Term Specific News Feed en-us Tue, 16 Sep 2014 14:00:02 -0500 240 <![CDATA[Embracing Our Differences - Sarasota and Bradenton, Florida]]> Found: deadline, awards, award
$3,000 in awards. Deadline: January 5, 2015

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<![CDATA[31st Annual National Painting Show - Redding, California]]> Found: deadline, awards, award
$2,000 in awards. Deadline: November 15, 2014

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<![CDATA[Cambridge Art Association Open Juried Exhibition - Cambridge, Massachusetts]]> Found: deadline, awards, award
Over $1,000 in awards. Deadline: November 1, 2014

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<![CDATA[One 5 - Cincinnati, Ohio]]> Found: deadline, award
$1500 Cash Award + Solo Feature Exhibit of One Prize-winning work. Deadline: October 27, 2014

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<![CDATA[Simi Valley Art Association Open Juried Show - Simi Valley, California]]> Found: deadline
$1,800 in prizes. Deadline: October 1, 2014

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<![CDATA[Nature's Gift of Water: Exhibition 2014 - Tacoma, Washington]]> Found: deadline, awards, award
$2,700 in awards. Deadline: October 15, 2014

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<![CDATA[The 3rd Zebra Awards International Monochrome Competition - Online exhibition]]> Found: deadline
US$2000 Grand Prize. Deadline: December 31, 2014

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<![CDATA[National Fiber Directions Exhibition 2015 - Wichita, Kansas]]> Found: deadline, awards, award
$7500 in cash and purchase awards. Deadline: December 29, 2014

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<![CDATA[Dave Bown Projects 9th Semiannual Competition - Online exhibition]]> Found: deadline
$10,000 in cash prizes and purchases. Deadline: December 6, 2014

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<![CDATA[Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Artist Residency - Waltham, Massachusetts]]> Found: deadline
$3000 stipend, $250 materials subsidy, studio, solo exhibition. Deadline: October 8, 2014

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<![CDATA[Spectacular Sports Visualisations]]> Found: calls, call, award

The 2014 World Cup in Brazil marks the first time that goal-line technology has been used for FIFA’s international tournament and with that in mind National Football Museum commissioned me to give an overview of where these systems are coming from, and where they might be going. This essay was originally published at The Commentary Project.

When Google unveiled its long-awaited wearable computer, Glass, in June of 2012, it did so through what might be called a lifestyle montage, a series of extreme sports events performed by “some of the world’s top athletes”. The Glass-wearers first skydived out of an aeroplane, then took to mountain bikes to manoeuvre through the conference centre onto the event stage. Throughout, what was streamed to viewers in the auditorium and watching online was not footage of the athletes undertaking the events, but what the athletes themselves were seeing, their point of view. What is spectacular about Glass, despite its real power as a connected, networked object, and what almost all discussion of it concentrates on, is its camera, the ability to see from another’s viewpoint, and everything this reveals.

While miniature high-definition cameras such as the GoPro Hero – particularly popular with the extreme sports community, bracketed to helmets, handlebars and snowboards – have made POV shots possible for a while, there’s something about Glass’ head-mounted position which appeals, as if it were not a camera, but the eye itself. Basketball teams have been early adopters of Glass. The Sacramento Kings, Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic have all used Glass to enhance the “fan experience” by sharing headsets between announcers, resting players, support staff and coaches, and relaying the feed to giant screens above the action – but the NBA has yet to permit the use of Glass on court during play itself.

Another function of these cameras, aside from both the focus on, and the freedom from, a human-centred viewpoint, is that they transform our idea not only of vision, but also of memory. Many wearable cameras are marketed as such, like ‘Memoto’ (now rebranded as ‘Narrative’) and ‘Autographer’, small wearable digital cameras clipped to the chest or hung round the neck which photograph the owner’s viewpoint almost continually, building a continuous stream of images and data called a ‘lifelog’. The promise of such devices is total recall (“we can remember it for you wholesale”) – a promise, of course, which is always illusory.

A more rugged version of Glass, Broadcast Sports Inc’s head-mounted Ref Cam, has been deployed by Major League Soccer in the US. While it looks like a massive pain to wear, its wide-angle lens, bobbing with the referee’s pace, seems to open up a correspondingly wide field of view from the centre of the field, which feels liberating after the surveillance-like gaze of stand-mounted cameras. This is in stark contrast to Sky Sports’ version in the UK, whose chest-mounted ref cam was derided by former England hooker Brian Moore, writing in the Telegraph that “apart from nausea nothing was added to the viewing experience and the only previously unseen footage was that of the sky or the top of the scrum.” Moore’s real point, however, was that there was a fundamental flaw in the idea that such cameras could capture more of the “truth” of the game unfolding in front of them: “What is seen on camera is not a true rendering of what is actually perceived in a stressful moment.” Moore even cited a 2010 science paper on the use of wearable cameras by the Hillsboro, Oregon, Police Department, which found that even when every moment of a police investigation was recorded digitally, this evidence still had the potential to mislead officers, the judiciary and juries because of “the lack of understanding of important factors like the field of view, focus of attention and interpretation” – which sounds, too, like the advice of a particularly astute sports coach.

Indeed, much debate which happens in sports commentary around technologies of vision and adjudication would not sound out of place in academic journals of both the sciences and the humanities. Sporting fields have become the testing grounds for these technologies, providing as they do enclosed, hermetic fields of view, and strictly managed rules of movement and engagement – the kind of laboratory only dreamt of by scientists developing surveillance and monitoring platforms for military and urban situations, their most common applications.

When the English and Australian cricket teams faced each other in the Ashes series of the Summer of 2013, much of the commentary-box discussion focussed on the use of the new Umpire Decision Review System (DRS), a suite of technologies which assist – or rather, overrule – the umpire adjudicating some of sports greatest unknowables, the LBW, and the snick. Of course, these technologies, intended to increase accuracy, only inflamed controversy as their own accuracy was questioned as much as the human umpires. LBW is, after all, an epistemological problem – the question of whether a ball which strikes the batsman would have struck the wicket were the batsman not there is a question for Plato, not for machines. Nevertheless, cameras and sensors descended from military targetting systems are trained on the wicket in order to determine the best possible answer, and the algorithms which make up this situation determine the outcome of games – much to the frustration of many players and spectators. As Test Match Special commentator Jonathan Agnew, echoing Moore, noted: “The problem with the introduction of technology is the expectation of 100% accuracy” – a simple observation, but one which cuts to the heart of applying such supposedly rigorous approaches to sport, a fundamentally human endeavour which thrives on close calls, points of view, and, ultimately, chance.

Digital cameras are always more than cameras: they do not just make images, they ‘see’ and process them. Every connected digital-imaging system is also a computer, observing and making decisions about what it sees. This distinction is particularly well illustrated by “freeD” technology, which stands for Free Dimensional Video, a proprietary imaging system which debuted at Yankee Stadium in the 2013 Baseball season. Video feeds from multiple 12-megapixel cameras around the ground are combined within a dedicated server to produce a three-dimensional “scene”, through which the director can manoeuvre a virtual camera to produce unlimited, even “impossible” points of view. The entirety of the game world is simultaneously captured and re-viewed as a simulation. As with Eadweard Muybridge’s development of high-speed photography, which first allowed us to perceive a galloping racehorse with all four feet off the ground, the augmentation of the eye with technological systems allows us to see sport in new ways.

This total release of the visible “point of view” from any “human” viewpoint corresponds to the perceived freeing of decision-making from human error. This summer, the Football World Cup will for the first time utilise goal-line technology to determine whether the ball has crossed the line. Several different systems competed for selection, including the version of Hawk Eye used in Premier League, but the one which was chosen is a German surveillance system called GoalControl 4D. A total of fourteen cameras mounted on the stadium roof capture the three-dimensional position of the ball to within a few millimetres, enabling not only accurate decisions about goal-line crossings to be immediately relayed to referees via wrist-mounted “smart watches”, but also stored, replayed, and endlessly reanalysed. As in Cricket, the deployment of such decision systems has been much debated and often opposed, most volubly by FIFA president Sepp Blatter who has stated that “Other sports regularly change the laws of the game to react to the new technology. … We don’t do it and this makes the fascination and the popularity of football”. In this too we hear the deeply felt but ultimately fruitless appeal to the idea of sport as a fundamentally human endeavour, not at risk from, but essentially composed of, human frailty and fallibility.

Fruitless, of course, because we apparently find ourselves incapable of resisting the technological promise of an ever greater, ever more incremental, approach to some impossible “truth”, a Zeno’s arrow fired by a linesman towards the centre of the field. In sport, this truth-of-outcome is inextricably linked to the truth-of-performance, wherein one competitor, one side, ‘deserves’ to win because they are better prepared, better trained, better deployed, better equipped with what, in military circles, is referred to as “battlefield awareness”, leading to “full spectrum dominance of the battlespace”. As such, the same technologies of surveillance and appraisal are applied not just to decision-making during play, but also to data-gathering for post-game analysis by commentators and coaches alike.

From the beginning of the 2011-12 season, the NBA started installing STATS LLC SportVU cameras in basketball arenas, a technology expected to be mandated by the end of 2014 (again, like the application of surveillance systems in civilian environments, what begin as experiments in technology are ultimately and almost always codified in law). The SportVU system consists, like GoalControl, of a network of cameras around the arena connected to a data-processing system which tracks not only the ball in play, but individually identifiable players as well. The system’s sophisticated algorithms are capable of determining not only positioning, but through situational analysis, the events produced by and at these locations, such as dribbles, passes, touches and shots. The data is used to produce official NBA stats for every game, but also – for teams which pay a subscription of around $100,000 per year – to analyse and determine optimal strategy for the players themselves.

In March 2013, the Grantland blog revealed that the Toronto Raptors were using the data to – among many other things – “build computerized “ghost defenders” that reacted in optimal ways to every offensive action. The team could then overlay camera recordings of actual game play to see how closely Toronto’s real players mirrored the actions of their ghosts.” Once again, the real-world action on the court is filtered and replayed through simulations in order to re-direct the action back in meatspace. This is what is really driving the adoption of seeing systems in sport: truth-of-outcome not only produced by truth-of-performance, but, through technological feedback, fine tuning that performance as well.

To see where such systems might go in the future, we need only look to their current limitations – and the parallels of and responses to those limitations in other, surveillance-saturated spheres. Cairos Systems was another German-based bidder for the World Cup goal-line job, using a system called GLT which embedded magnetic sensors into the frame of the goal, and into the ball itself (of course, Cairos also has a system, called VIS.TRACK, which tracks player performance data through a network of cameras). On their website, Cairos writes – unusually explicitly for a technology company, that “In football, there are many decisions and scenes that may be discussed controversially. In the end the truth often lies in the eye of the beholder. Penalty or not? Red card or a dive? Active or passive offside?” It goes on to state that whether or not the goal line is crossed is one decision which “is clearly defined by the rules and does not leave space for interpretation. The question whether or not a goal has been scored can be decided without any doubts due to the rules.” As such, this particular decision is particularly amenable to technological intervention.

The counter-examples given here – penalties, red cards, offside – are instructive, because they fit far better what Brian Moore called the “focus of attention and interpretation”, the contentious, context-is-everything moments of sporting contact. Once again, we are in the domain not of observation, but of inference. The claim is now being made, however, that many automated, intelligent surveillance systems cannot only determine what happened, they can infer intent; they not only look back, but forward.

A study by the universities of Bradford and Aberystwyth in conjunction with the UK Border Agency in 2011 used video cameras and high-definition thermal imagery – essentially the same technology used to detect the “hot spot” in cricket – alongside yet more algorithms to determine whether study participants were lying. Telling signals such as eye movement, dilated pupils and nose wrinkling are visible to the human/video eye, but thermal imagery also reveals subconscious swelling of the blood vessels around the eye, a sign of distress or fear which signals that untruths may be in play. The UKBA stressed, as they prepared to install such systems at UK airports in the summer of 2012, that the technology is only useful when paired with an experienced human judge – and by that logic, why should it not be deployed alongside positioning cameras in the stands of the World Cup, to assist referees in determining which of two participants in a contested foul is telling the truth?

Why, after all, should we wait for fouls and other offences, such as offside, to be committed? It should be just as easy to award penalties and free kicks on the basis of players’ intent, and would be much safer and fairer for all involved. Recently, the US Department of Homeland Security’s “Project Hostile Intent”, for example, secured funding for a host of technologies claiming to predict crime based on “suspicious” behaviour. One of them, another camera-server assemblage produced by BRS Labs, uses “a range of in-built parameters of what is ‘normal’, [and] can track up to 150 people at a time to build up a “memory” of suspicious behaviour to begin determining what is inappropriate.” They are currently being installed in more than 300 locations in San Francisco, with strong expressions of interest from other global cities – although, as yet, none from FIFA. But if such systems can be trusted to protect our lives and livelihoods from the threat of terrorist attack, then surely they can be trusted to prevent another Hand of God?

Blatter, Moore, and Agnew, are all, surprisingly or not, for better or worse, at the forefront of a debate which extends far beyond the playing field. When we see sport through the eyes of the machines, we fundamentally change the nature of sport – and reveal, too, the extent to which the rest of society is reformed by our drive to visualise and reframe it with these technologies. As in so many ways, sport itself becomes the lens through which we understand ourselves.

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29 June 2014, 4:36 am f03acc6964c1ddc19e1bffbf2547e41c
<![CDATA[#Rorschcam NYC]]> Found: call, residency

I just arrived in New York for a three-month residency at Eyebeam. I had a rough first week, but on Monday fellow resident Ingrid Burrington showed me the Department of Transport’s online traffic cameras for New York City. I’d wanted to do a new rorsch-thing for a while (see, previously, Rorschmap and Rorschmap: Street View Edition) – and, as the streetview version was a little love letter to London, I thought I could redeem myself with this city by making it something nice: so I did.

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#Rorschcam NYC takes hundreds of live New York traffic cameras, from all five boroughs, and makes what I call rorsches out of them; simple, reflected auto-images – or the network dreaming the city.

They look pretty great at night too (see this Flickr set for more screen captures – but they’re better live):

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Like the city itself, it’s a little grimmer, a little darker than London. And then you start to see the stories. Have fun exploring.

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11 March 2014, 10:35 am 9d893baf571b3918983210bdf10ccc4a
<![CDATA[Planespotting]]> Found: call

Today is International Migrants Day. Last week, I wrote about the failed deportation of Isa Muaza. Yesterday, Unity Centre Glasgow announced that another appeal by Muaza’s legal team had failed, and he was rescheduled for deportation, alongside a large number of others, on Tuesday night.

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I heard at about 7pm that several detainees had been loaded onto vans at Harmondsworth Detention Centre and were on the move. I didn’t know where they were headed, but I knew that many previous flights had left from the private aviation area at Stansted Airport, a largely un-signposted collection of car parks and hangars on the western side of the airport. I arrived there at 8, just in time to see the first of several coaches and security vans, together with a police escort, arrive at the Inflite Jet Centre, a private customs and handling facility mostly used by private jets.

The coaches, five in all and probably from several different detention centres, arrived between 8 and 9, and were accompanied by silver vans bearing the logo of security company Tascor, formerly Reliance, who took over the role of deportation escorts from G4S in 2011 following the death of Jimmy Mubenga. Tascor has a page on its website called Our Values, where it boasts: “We steer clear of politics”. Most of the coaches were from WH Tours in Crawley, although one bore the bright yellow sun and jaunty typography of Just Go!

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It is profoundly uncomfortable watching anonymous people of colour being loaded on and off vans and planes in the middle of the night under tight security. When you know a little of the background of the detainees, when you read their claims of torture and violence, their long battles to secure asylum, the institutional racism and homophobia, it’s terrible. But even without knowing these things, the manner in which it is done should tell you everything you need to know. The British Human Rights lawyer Gareth Peirce writes in Dispatches from the Dark Side, on UK complicity in torture, that “what is in fact the law precisely mirrors instinctive moral revulsion” but that “in this country, the government hardly needs such acceptance, since here the additional and crucial factor is that the public is unlikely to be given sufficient information to trigger revulsion.” Hence the night, the private terminals, charter flights, the hired coaches. All of this is deliberate: it is a policy of not being seen.

The detainees were kept on the coaches for some time, and there appeared to be some confusion about when they were going to depart. It’s standard practice in this situation to bring extra “reserve” deportees to the airport without warning, a practice condemned as inhumane by some MPs and the Inspector of Prisons. Before deportation, each detainee is issued with a plane ticket which gives the flight time – 22:20hrs in this case – and a flight number. As the flights are chartered, the flight number – here PVT091 – is internal, so it’s impossible to find out more details about it, except by going to the airport. The Home Office has been running deportation charter flights for some time, under as much secrecy as they can get away with, and refuses to disclose the companies involved in case it damages their commercial relationships. The ongoing deportation of Nigerians on charter flights is called “Operation Majestic”, but there are regular flights to many other countries, including “popular destinations” such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. Corporate Watch published a comprehensive report on what they call collective expulsion last month.

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On the tarmac by the jet centre sat a Titan Airways 767. Titan Airways is based at Stansted, and describes itself as “the UK’s most prestigious charter airline.” Its fleet ranges from small business aircraft to widebodied airliners:

Since it’s foundation in 1988, Titan Airways has grown into the UK’s most prestigious charter airline, specialising in bespoke air charter, tour operator programmes and high end / corporate air travel as well as airline sub charter and aircraft leasing. It brings the very best standards of care and comfort to all its passengers. Once safely aboard, they can relax and enjoy our superb in-flight service and a wide choice of cuisine and fine wines to complete the experience. Titan’s modern, reliable aircraft can operate from all major international and regional airports day and night, 365 days a year.

It’s cold, and wet, and dark, and some of the deportees have been sitting on board coaches for hours, while Tascor guards mill about, smoke and chat. As it approached midnight, there was more activity around the plane, and it appeared that all the deportees were on board as the coaches left the terminal compound empty and parked up outside. (The next day, Unity tells me that two people were taken off the flight at the last minute, but those people estimated that around 80 Nigerians and Ghanaians were on board, including Isa Muaza, who was taken straight to hospital on arrival in Lagos, and a woman who married a British citizen two years ago, and was not expected to be deported).

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You can watch flights taking off from the far side of the airport, from a muddy lane alongside the north end of the runway. On the way over to it, I was stopped by the Police, who had been told I had been seen around the private aviation area. They were happy that I was a ‘spotter’ looking for planes – and advised me to join Essex Police’s Plane Watch scheme – but also warned me that the private aviation section was a restricted area, and I shouldn’t go there.

At 00:27, the Titan Airways 767 roared down the Stansted runway and into the night. Moments before, its call-sign appeared on Flightradar: AWC48A. And from there, an aircraft registration number: G-POWD.

We can see G-POWD on approach to Lagos a little after 6am. Two hours later, it’s on the move again, making the hop westwards from Lagos to Accra, the capital of Ghana, where it makes another stop. And then at 11am it appears to lift off back in the direction of London – at time of writing, it is probably somewhere over North Africa.

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When I got back to my car around 1, I had a flat battery, and had to wait for a repair man. When he arrived, and I explained what I was doing in this godforsaken place, he told me he’d been at the Inflite Terminal recently too, to jump-start a brand-new Tascor transporter van, whose driver told him these flights happen all the time, and nobody knows about it, not even most of the people who work at the airport. “Makes you think,” he said. “Makes you think.”

*

Photos are available at Flickr

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18 December 2013, 11:19 am e89e215eac93545ed6af598bc198fd46
<![CDATA[Recent Work, November 2013: Render Ghosts, GPS, Landsat.]]> Found: call

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For some time, I have been threatening to write about the Render Ghosts. I was asked to contribute something to Electronic Voice Phenomena, an online literature and art project by Mercy and Penned in the Margins, and so I wrote about my recent trip to New Mexico, in search of the Render Ghosts:

I first noticed the Render Ghosts on the hoardings surrounding a new development near Finsbury Square. On the balconies of some vast, virtual tower, two pixelated figures looked out over a darkened London, a perfect red-pink gradient sunset behind them. He had short dark hair and stubble, wore a black jacket and blue jeans. She had a cropped red bob, white jacket, and a purple knee-length skirt. I didn’t know who they were, but I started seeing them everywhere.

Read the full piece over at EVP.

I also have a short essay and illustrations in the wonderful new Visual Editions‘ book of writing and maps, Where You Are, which also includes contributions from Joe Dunthorne, Geoff Dyer, Olafur Eliasson, Sheila Heti, and more.

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To ask “Where You Are” invites a series of responses: cartographic, historical, social, spiritual, situational; discursive or prescriptive. The GPS system is a monumental network that provides a permanent “You Are Here” sign hanging in the sky, its signal a constant, synchronised timecode. It suggests the possibility that one may never need be lost again; that future generations will grow up not knowing what it means to be truly lost.

The book is available to order now, but you can read the essay, and see the illustrations (much beautified by the designers at Bibliothèque), alongside all the other contributions on the Where You Are website.

The astute among you might notice a strong similarity between the diagrams in Where You Are and the piece I made for Container some months back:

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This 3D-printed object is the same thing under discussion in Where You Are:

This is a model of the Global Positioning System (GPS), a constellation of 24 satellites, in six orbital groups of four satellites, each orbital plane at 55 degrees inclination, and 60 degrees right ascension to its neighbour, 20,200 kilometres above the surface of the earth; a machine we are all living inside.

I’d had the original model sitting on my desk for some time before Tim asked me for a contribution to Container. In trying to draw and understand the GPS system as an abstract machine, I’d modelled the constellation in Sketchup – it was a natural step to flip-flop this nest of intersecting cones of influence back into the physical realm again, so that I could roll it between my fingers, as Einar and I did with airfix models of the drones, before the shadows (Einar’s own thinking about GPS, with Timo and Jørn, led to the Satellite Lamps project.) I call this the “Close Encounters” method.

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A while back, I started the Laaaaaaandsat tumblr, which automatically posts, several times a day, every image released by the USGS Landsat observation programme – an ongoing, comprehensive survey of the planet by another satellite, 700km above the earth’s surface.

The endless stream of off-kilter images – reoriented so North is ‘up’ – remains a endless source of pleasure. So when Aperture magazine asked for 200 words on “What Matters Now” in photography, I thought of this little robot cameraman in the sky. 200 words is not enough, but it’s in the new issue.

NASA’s Landsat is the longest-running program dedicated to photographing the Earth from space, and has created millions of images since its inception in 1969. The first satellite, Landsat 1, was launched on July 23, 1972, atop a Delta 900 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Its mission was to photograph the whole Earth using three cameras which see both visible light and the near-infrared, and a four-channel multispectral scanner. The scanner was the project’s greatest innovation as it reveals hidden details about the planet’s surface, producing data and imagery used for everything from disaster relief, to agriculture, to studying climate change.

In February of this year, the program continued with the launch of Landsat 8. This incarnation features a more powerful scanner which sees in the ultraviolet; the panchromatic; the shortwave, near-, and thermal-infrared; revealing the presence of dust and smoke, of chlorophyll, of sub-surface rock formations, and the shape of clouds. The satellite captures four hundred images every day, creating a complete picture of the planet every sixteen days. Every one of these images is in the public domain, allowing every one of us to use, benefit from, and marvel at this ever-growing, ever-changing automated portrait of our planet.

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15 November 2013, 7:55 am 8b6908130db927b884e2c503ebf340d0
<![CDATA[#OccupyTheCloud]]> Found: call

“Occupy the Cloud”, an installation for Open Heart Surgery, The Moving Museum, 180 Strand, October – December 2013.

Occupy-Long

“Occupy the Cloud” is an installation of three banners on the facade of 180 Strand, a brutalist office block on a main road in central London. The banners are made of pixelated, virtual skies taken from architectural renderings, like those which adorn nearby building sites. They feature three symbols: the lightning bolt through a circle of the international squatters’ movement; the @-symbol used to denote digital location or direction (and acquired in 2010 by MoMA); and the Cloud symbol, which has come to stand for the vast and remote data storage and processing capabilities of corporations and governments. (I have previously made the assertion, both humorously and more directly that the Cloud is a lie.) The banners themselves occupy an uneasy position between corporate branding, and protest.

When I was asked to contribute to the Moving Museum’s London show, I initially intended to make work based on my ongoing Render Ghosts project, which examines the effects of software designs and processes on society and the built environment (I’ve previously written about this for Domus). One plan was to create flags for the Render Ghosts, who are the people who appear in architectural visualisations, to mark their occupation of that liminal space between the real and the virtual, the physical and the digital, the present and the future.

A couple of things focussed the work. The first was a site visit to 180 Strand, a vast and currently empty building in central London, surrounded by major streets, and major developments (the next site on the street, surrounded by hoardings, boasts “a luxurious new development of stunning apartments and penthouses”). The second was my experience of censorship in Australia last month. I realised it would be possible to make a very public work; and there was no point in being subtle.

Occupy-Banners

In the last few months we’ve learned much about the extent to which supposedly secure “cloud” services have been infiltrated by our security services without oversight or consent. The latest revelations detail explicitly how data passed between Google and Yahoo servers is directly intercepted. But anyone who saw the hundreds of metal barriers which were used to fill Paternoster Square by its corporate owners in February 2012 to prevent peaceful protestors approaching the London Stock Exchange is unlikely to assume that we can trust corporations to act in our best interests any more than governments. Indeed, some of them are starting to act like governments, and no less opaquely than the traditional nation-states.

At the same time, the UK government’s primary response to rising house prices and rental costs, a lack of affordable housing, local councils moving residents out of the city, and a steep rise in homelessness, has been to criminalise squatting, a practice which has a long and radical tradition in this country.

The Levellers and the Diggers of the 17th Century occupied public lands and cultivated them for the public benefit – the state and the landowners conspired to imprison and execute them. It was a young Leveller, John Lilburne, whose false imprisonment and torture lead directly to the establishment of the principle of human rights in English law, and the founding documents which became the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. It is those same rights and laws which have been so violently abused over the last decade to permit exactly the same tortures and renditions which Lilburne was subjected to. The brutal reactions to peaceful public protest in the UK, from Occupy to anti-war marches and the student protests, reveal the illusion of “public” space once again.

As I write this, the UK government is debating its own oversight of the intelligence and security services. The MP Tom Watson, as well as linking the abuse of secrecy powers to the CIA’s drone assassination programme, just made the assertion that “An individual’s data is like their vote: individually minor, privately performed, and hugely powerful when aggregated. We should no more tamper with an individual’s data than tamper with their vote.” In my essay earlier this Summer for Matter magazine, Ring of Steel, I attempted to show how our technological systems tend towards secrecy, and are complicit in abuses of state power, and blanket, undemocratic surveillance. In his essay Turnkey Tyranny, Surveillance and the Terror State, Trevor Paglen states that “[b]y exposing NSA programs like PRISM and Boundless Informant, Edward Snowden has revealed that we are not moving toward a surveillance state: we live in the heart of one.” Paglen asserts that networked technologies as they are employed now do “not merely provide the capacity for “turnkey tyranny”—they render any other future all but impossible.” Powerful organisations which are cavalier with democratic rights are also cavalier with personal data and privacy: the two are linked, directly.

The depredations of corporations and governments on the internet reveal that it, too, is only a potential commons: not a zone of freedom, but one of conflict and power. We have re-discovered the efficacy of spatial protest: we can take the banks to protest unjust tax arrangements, but can we occupy the datacentres over the same issues?

It’s hard to shift these debates from the physical sphere to the digital and back again, to make the necessary connections. But as a friend pointed out about the online harassment debate in the UK, the only way to make sense of it was to remove the prefix “online”, and the issue becomes much clearer. In order to act fully and democratically in the world, we need to recognise that that world does not end at the screen, that the shadowy infrastructure of the network and the cloud is both a political territory and as viable and vital a platform for activism and action as the piazza and the high street. We need to fully account for the imbalances in power produced by the shifting of vast computing resources offboard, offshore, and out of sight.

The entreaty to “Occupy the Cloud” is a call to link these spheres of action, to recognise the central role that technology plays in shaping, producing, and sustaining contemporary politics; and to develop the tactics for action and the frameworks for understanding which will allow us to intervene for a more democratic future.

Occupy-Banner-1

Occupy-Banner-2

Occupy-Banner-3

More pictures at Flickr.

Purchase an “Occupy the Cloud” t-shirt. 30% of profits will be donated to Shelter.

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31 October 2013, 11:06 am 6fd0098c88ba4e8e6bcbd73e433df0d6
<![CDATA[Australia: Drone Shadows, Diagrams, and Political Systems]]> Found: calls, call

slq-drone

This week I was due to install another Drone Shadow, this one in Brisbane, Australia (that’s a planning mock-up, above). I had been invited by the Brisbane Writers Festival, and we had received permission from the Queensland State Library to install the work on their premises. Unfortunately, due to the actions of Arts Queensland, the department of the State Government with overall responsibility for the arts, it has been impossible to proceed with the work. The actions of Arts Queensland in this case have been both incredibly frustrating and boringly familiar: they have stalled, dissembled, obfuscated and lied, all in the service of silencing an artistic work and preventing a proper debate occurring, either about the work, or the government’s censorship of it. (For the record, there is a full account of my dealings with Arts Queensland available here.)

I’ve often been asked if I have got into any kind of trouble for creating the Drone Shadows before, and the answer has always been no. This is despite the fact that we have drawn them in Istanbul, during a period when the Turkish government was in negotiation to purchase Predator drones from the US, and in Washington DC – right next to the White House – at the height of the US drone war. But apparently the image – the bare outline – of a drone was too much for the government of Queensland.

In Istanbul we drew a Predator, in DC a Reaper. In Brisbane I proposed to draw a Global Hawk, the largest military unmanned aircraft currently in service. Late last year it was revealed that the United States flew secret Global Hawk spy missions from Air Force bases in Australia in 2001-2006. The programme was revealed by a group of amateur aviation historians who tracked the Global Hawks arriving and taking off. When they revealed details of the flights, they were visited by Australian defence security officials who demanded they not reveal details of the flights. An Australian senator who proposed to notify the public of the flights was silenced by the US Air Force, which demanded the flights remain classified.

Since then, Australia has been in prolonged negotiations with the US to purchase Global Hawks itself, announcing an AU$1 billion programme in 2004, rising to AU$3 billion in 2012. The latest election, which takes place quite coincidentally this Saturday, has led to further fierce debates over Australian defence and the drone program.

Australia’s domestic drone program is primarily aimed at “securing borders”, and its preference for maritime versions of the Global Hawk is due to the need for surveillance of immigration by sea. This program aims to ensure, in the words of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in July 2013, that “any asylum seeker who arrives in Australia by boat will have no chance of being settled in Australia as refugees”, by shifting the problem to neighbouring countries such as Papua New Guinea. There is also a long history of asylum claimants being housed at former Air Force bases – and a long history of government objection to artworks dealing with the subject: see for example the story of Escape from Woomera, a political computer game about a detention camp in a remote Australian Defence Force base in South Australia.

One of the many reasons given by Arts Queensland for their opposition to the installation of the Drone Shadow was the opening at the Queensland Museum next door of an exhibition of thousands-year-old artefacts from Afghanistan, to which members of the local Afghan community had been invited. Arts Queensland expressed their view (after several weeks of denying any such issue) that this community might be made uncomfortable by the work. The community was never consulted, and the Museum itself raised no objection. Arts Queensland called it a “raw issue”. Indeed it is.

Australia’s Defence Forces have been involved in the war in Afghanistan since 2001. This contribution has included ships, manned aircraft, ground troops – and, more recently, drones.

The Royal Australian Air Force has been using drones in Afghanistan since 2009, when it first started to deploy the Israeli-built Heron drone, a twin-hulled surveillance drone the size of a light aircraft. At a 2012 promotional event on Australia’s Gold Coast, a short drive from Brisbane, Australia’s most senior military drone commander stated that the drone program was “like crack cocaine, a drug, for our guys involved – [they] just can’t get enough of it.”

woomera

These drones are in fact still owned by the Israeli manufacturer, and leased via a Canadian company – as Australia’s ABC News put it: “Israeli-owned drones, leased by Canadians, flown by Australians, fighting a war against Islamist insurgents in Afghanistan”. The RAAF drone teams are trained by Canadian and Israeli civilians at Amberley in Queensland, on the outskirts of Brisbane. Before they deploy to the field, they spend hours test-flying the drones over a simulated Afghan village, constructed in 2011, on the Woomera test range, close by the notorious refugee detention centre. (Picture above: a Heron drone parked at Woomera Air Base, South Australia, via Google Earth.)

The RAAF’s Herons are nominally unarmed, but they are equipped with lasers which allow them to mark targets for incoming airstrikes or artillery – the networking of contemporary military forces means that the formal distinctions between the capabilities of different weapons systems are increasingly meaningless. The drones are a key part of the “kill chain”, the process by which targets are selected and attacked by the entire system, and the ADF also calls on US and British armed Reaper drones to support its ground troops in battle.

In describing the contours of Australia’s relationship with drones, we see how, once again, such relationships extend beyond the individual aircraft to encompass far wider issues including domestic politics, international relations, warfare, immigration and networked technologies.

Drones are avatars of the the political process: they are instantiations of a set of ideologies and beliefs, made visible by their reification in electromechanical systems. When we talk about drones, we are really talking about the politics that demand, shape, and deploy them, and the politics which are made possible by them. This politics reflects the drones themselves: it is a politics of violence, of obfuscation, of radical inequality of sight and action, and it is sustained by that obfuscation and that inequality.

No wonder then that politicians are afraid of even artistic representations of the drone. No wonder they cite feelings of “discomfort” at even mentioning them, although in projecting this discomfort onto an immigrant population – without consultation – they reveal even more clearly the complicity of the technology in war and social oppression.

The Drone Shadow is not just a picture of a drone. It is a diagram of a political system. Every time we draw one, we use it to cast light on the actors who would prefer that the reality of their intentions and actions remain hidden.

This is the nature of networked technology today: it is the product of an embedded politics which it simultaneously obscures, through its apparent sophistication, and renders startlingly visible, through its explicit form. That invisibility is the intention of power; rendering it visible is the intention of art.

In the present case, power in all its petty exercise has done its utmost to render such a debate invisible. That it has succeeded for the moment, with the barest minimum of opposition from the cultural institutions which should oppose such exercises at every step, is saddening. It is also, I have to believe, unlikely and impossible to remain the case for long.

*

If you would like to draw your own Global Hawk shadow, you can download a schematic for the installation here.

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5 September 2013, 8:03 pm 1f30a7ddd1481c51a55c7af95cee03d2
<![CDATA[The Truth podcast: Eat Cake]]> Found: calls, call
Can coconut cake + random phone calls = love? Find out in our alternative Valentine's Day radio drama from US producer Jonathan Mitchell
Francesca Panetta

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14 February 2011, 9:22 am 196e56db861cfa8df85f0beefe71e779
<![CDATA[The Heckle 02: Mistaken identities]]> Found: awards, award
In the Guardian's daily podcast from Edinburgh, Lucy Porter and Brian Logan mull over mistaken identities with Phill Jupitus and Andre Vincent and comedy bigwigs report on this year's if.comedy awards, plus Phil Nichol.

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7 August 2007, 5:35 am c98463d1678f7b9315b468b8d649985e
<![CDATA[Collective Works: Questions and Answers]]> Found: residence, award

FREE

In conjunction with their performance of LIQUID TRUST, international video installation artists Susanne Clausen and Pavlo Keresty of Szuper Gallery, and musician-in-residence and curator of Music and Movement Mondays Ben Brown introduce their approaches to collaboration, mixed media, and contemporary practices.

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Biographies

Szuper Gallery (London, UK and Munich, Germany) is a co-operation between Susanne Clausen and Pavlo Keresty that presents filmed and live performances, video installations, interventions, and curatorial projects that incorporate multi-media installations and crash choreography. Szuper Gallery has exhibited at various international venues including the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), Kuntshalle Wien (Vienna), Whitechapel Art Gallery (London), Lenbachhaus Museum (Munich), Kunsthalle Helsinki (Helsinki), Western Front (Vancouver), Shedhalle (Zurich), and Zeh Gallery (Kiev).

Ben Brown is a Vancouver-based musician, composer, and member of the Juno award-winning group Pugs and Crows. He has collaborated with contemporary and ballet dancers including Justine Chambers, Heidi Bunting, Lee Su-Feh, Kenny Pearl, Edmond Kilpatrick, and Megan Walker Straight. He is a mainstay in Vancouver’s creative music scene, performing with Jill Barber, Michael Bates Quartet, The Unsupervised, The Crackling, and the C.R. Avery Band. He is the founder of a new weekly collaborative series between live musicians and dancers entitled Music and Movement Mondays. He has recently returned from a Canadian tour with Tony Wilson and the Pugs and Crows and his duo with Vancouver vocalist/pianist Alicia Hansen is set to release their new album entitled “Companion” in the fall, 2014.

 

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20 July 2014, 12:38 pm 16d9d1a59fd9e3fc29174843b45879dc
<![CDATA[Life and People]]> Found: residency

Mark DeLong Book Launch and Performance:
September 25 @ 8pm, Free

Borrowing its title from Vancouver artist Barry Doupé’s new film, the result of a 2013 Western Front Production Residency, our fall exhibition includes Doupé’s new work alongside sculptures by Vancouver artist Mark DeLong and animated GIFs by Toronto-based Lorna Mills. Often focusing on pop culture material that occupies the fringes of the mainstream, each of these artists produces their work with an intensive, craft-like rigor. Obscuring representation and narrative, these works embody the funny, scary and banal qualities that make up the messy performance of daily life.

Exhibition Brochure and Catalogue Essay (PDF)

Artist Biographies

Mark DeLong (b. 1978, New Brunswick, Canada) is a self-taught artist. His work has been displayed at Acme Gallery, Los Angeles; Bee Studios, Tokyo;  Edward Thorp Gallery, New York; Abel Neue Kunst Gallery, Berlin; Perugi Art Contemporenea, Padova, Italy; Museum Of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto; Little Cakes, New York;  DeLong has collaborated with such artists as Paul Butler, Jason McLean and Geoffrey Farmer. His work has been seen in Border Crossings and Canadian Art Magazine and he has published books with Nieves, Switzerland; Seems Books, and TV Books in New York. DeLong currently lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Barry Doupé (b. 1982 Victoria, BC) is a Vancouver based artist primarily working with video and animation. He graduated from the Emily Carr University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Media Arts majoring in animation. His films use imagery and language derived from the subconscious; developed through writing exercises and automatic drawing. He often creates settings within which a characters’ self-expression or action is challenged and thwarted, resulting in comic, violent and poetic spectacles.  His films have been screened throughout Canada and Internationally including the Ann Arbor Film Festival (Ann Arbor, Michigan), International Film Festival Rotterdam (Rotterdam, the Netherlands), Anthology Film Archives (NY, New York), Lyon Contemporary Art Museum (Lyon, France), Pleasure Dome (Toronto, ON), MOCCA (Toronto, ON), Whitechapel Gallery (London, UK), Centre Pompidou (Paris, France) and the Tate Modern (London, UK).

Lorna Mills has actively exhibited her work in both solo and group exhibitions since the early 1990s. Her obsessive practice includes Ilfochrome printing, painting, super 8 film & video, and on-line animated GIFs incorporated into restrained off-line installation work. In addition to her practice as an artist, Mills has organized GIF installations for Sheroes (year(s)), Toronto; When Analog Was Periodical (2013) Berlin; and :::Zip The Bright::: (2013) at Trinity Square Video, Toronto. Her most recent solo exhibition, The Axis of Something (2013) was exhibited at Transfer Gallery in Brooklyn, New York. Lorna Mills also curated in 2014 a two-part video remake of John Berger’s 1972 BBC production, Ways of Seeing, retitled Ways of Something for Theoneminutes program at The Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam.

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18 July 2014, 12:39 pm bd461507b11d2e2e9a32b5f3b238aa3b
<![CDATA[New Forms 2014: Kevin Beasley Talk]]> Found: residency, residence

Western Front is pleased to present a talk by New York-based artist Kevin Beasley in conjunction with the 14th Annual New Forms Festival.

The physicality of sound is foundational to Beasley’s site-specific practice that works to expose a location’s historical weight by revealing the invisible aural materiality and protracted moments from both mythical and scientific time. Prior to his current residency at the Studio Museum in Harlem, he was an artist-in-residence at the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP) in Brooklyn, NY. Beasley’s sculptural installations and performances have been included in recent internationally renowned exhibitions, such as at the 2014 Whitney Biennial, New York; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland; and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York. He received his BFA from the College of Creative Studies, Detroit, and an MFA in Sculpture from Yale University in 2012.

For more information about the New Forms Festival, visit their website or the event page on Facebook.

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16 July 2014, 4:30 pm 1c78e915254b7609eb31c3ee89127327
<![CDATA[Krista Belle Stewart]]> Found: residency

Vancouver-based artist Krista Belle Stewart will be producing a new media work along with research during her two-month residency. Her work engages the complexities of intention and interpretation made possible by archival material. The work approaches mediation and storytelling to unfold the interplay between personal and institutional history. Stewart has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions, most recently as part of Fiction/Non-fiction at the Esker Foundation (2013), Where Does it Hurt? at Artspeak (2014), and the Western Front production Music from the New Wilderness (2014). She is a member of the Upper Nicola Band of the Okanagan Nation.

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15 July 2014, 12:47 pm 77be7b811db753f0eb3fb3c904149d3e
<![CDATA[The Muted Note]]> Found: calls, call, award

Advance $15 / $10  BUY TICKETS

Door $20 / $12

 

For where love is no word can be compounded

extravagant enough to frame the kiss

and so I use the under-emphasis,

the muted note, the less than purely rounded.

Excerpt from “The Understatement,” Cosmologies, by P.K. Page

 

Unaccompanied trombone and voice boldly interpret the poems of the late P.K. Page through song and dance. Scott Thomson’s suite of songs originally commenced in 2010 as arrangements for his Steve Lacey inspired project, The Rent, but have since been adapted to an intimate duet specially designed for vocalist/dancer Susanna Hood.  Together they fuse word and song with dances choreographed and performed by Susanna Hood, “what emerges is a kind of dance between voice and trombone, between word and sound, a subtle counterpoint between conjoined melodies and ideas of voice, always in close connection to the gestural power of Page’s phrases,” Stuart Broomer, Music Works, 2013.

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POST-CONCERT TALK BACK SESSION

Following their performance, Governor General Award winner and author of Journey with No Maps, A Life of P.K. Page Sandra Djwa leads a conversation with artists Scott Thomson and Susanna Hood.

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Biographies

Scott Thomson is a trombonist and composer who lives in Montréal, having moved from Toronto in 2010. He plays in established groups in many styles, and prizes ad hoc improvising as a way to meet many creative people. He has studied with Roswell Rudd, Jean Derome, Eddie Prévost, and John Oswald. Thomson is one of the founders of the Association of Improvising Musicians in Toronto (AIMToronto), and co-directs the AIMToronto Orchestra, which was formed for a project with Anthony Braxton in September 2007. While in Toronto, Scott was the artistic director of Somewhere There, a performance space for live creative music in Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood that he founded in 2007. Scott has composed a series of site-specific works that he calls ‘cartographic compositions’ for mobile musicians and audiences in unconventional performance contexts, including pieces for the galleries and corridors of the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario. His principal project, currently, is a multi-faceted project with singer and dance artist, Susanna Hood, to perform his suite of songs based on P.K. Page poems. For this project, The Muted Note, Scott and Susanna perform the suite as a duo; with Scott’s quintet, The Disguises; and as a full stage work featuring Susanna’s choreography on three other dancers with live music by The Disguises.

Susanna Hood is a compelling and virtuosic performer in dance and music. She began her career with Toronto Dance Theatre, 1991-95. Independently, she has performed the works of various Toronto choreographers; created singing/dancing roles with Autumn Leaf Productions; acted on film for filmmaker Philip Barker; created music for the dance works of Louis Laberge Coté, Rebecca Todd, and Eryn Dace Trudell; collaborated extensively with composers John Oswald and Nilan Perera; and performed widely as an improviser in dance and music. Her collaborative projects as well as her own choreography and music compositions have been presented throughout Toronto, nationally, and internationally on stage and film since 1991. She has won the K.M. Hunter Emerging Artist Award and the Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance. Her principal project, currently, is a multi-faceted project with composer and trombonist, Scott Thomson, to his perform his suite of songs based on P.K. Page poems. For this project, The Muted Note, Susanna and Scott perform the suite as a duo; with Scott’s quintet, The Disguises; and as a full stage work featuring Susanna’s choreography on three other dancers with live music by The Disguises.

Patricia Kathleen Page (1917-2010) is one of Canada’s most celebrated literary figures, and wrote some of this nation’s finest poems. Although she was best known as a Canadian poet, the citation as she was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada reads “poet, novelist, script writer, playwright, essayist, journalist, librettist, teacher and artist.” She was the author of more than thirty published books that include poetry, fiction, travel diaries, essays, children’s books, and an autobiography. As a visual artist, she exhibited her work as P.K. Irwin at a number of venues in Canada and abroad. Her works are in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario. By special resolution of the United Nations, in 2001 Page’s poem “Planet Earth” was read simultaneously in New York, the Antarctic, and the South Pacific to celebrate the International Year of Dialogue Among Civilizations.

Sandra Djwa is a Canadian writer, critic and cultural biographer. Originally from Newfoundland, she moved to British Columbia where she obtained her PhD from the University of British Columbia in 1968. In 1999, she was honored to deliver the Garnett Sedgewick Memorial Lecture in honor of the department’s 80th anniversary. She taught Canadian literature in the English department at Simon Fraser University from 1968 to 2005 when she retired as J.S. Woodsworth Resident Scholar, Humanities. She was part of a seventies movement to establish the study of Canadian literature and, in 1973, cofounded the Association for Canadian and Québec Literatures (ACQL). She was Chair of the inaugural meeting of ACQL. She initiated textual studies of the poems of E.J. Pratt in the eighties, was editor of Poetry, “Letters in Canada” for the University of Toronto Quarterly (1980-4), and Chair of Canadian Heads and Chairs of English (1989). She is best known for articles on Canadian poets like Margaret Atwood and for her biographies of distinguished Canadians including F.R. Scott, and Roy Daniells. The biography of PK Page, Journey With No Maps was released in the fall of 2012 by McGill-Queen’s University Press. It was shortlisted for the 2013 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction. It also won the 2013 Governor General Award for Non-fiction.

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12 July 2014, 12:51 pm cfd89772b0f20f6f7c28a601af3fe5f9
<![CDATA[Wrong Wave 2014: Art Rock? Reprise.]]> Found: call, opportunity

the grain of the voice

Eden Veaudry, Frog Eyes and Nicholas Krgovich

Door $8

Wrong Wave 2014 is an annual celebration of Art Rock. Brought to you by Unit/Pitt, Western Front co-presents an evening of performances:

 

Eden Veaudry

Eden Veaudry was born in Guelph, ON. Her practice incorporates textiles, video, drawing and sound. Recent exhibitions and performances include Conference On the Wave at CSA Space in Vancouver (2014), Shape Painter at the Audio Foundation in Auckland NZ (2013) and Joining the Periphery at VIVO Media Arts Centre in Vancouver (2012).  She lives and works in Vancouver.

Veaudry will perform new sound and video work.

Frog Eyes

Frog Eyes was formed in 2001 by Carey Mercer with his wife, Melanie Campbell.  Two days after competing the final mixes for his most recent and sixth album, Carey’s Cold Spring, he received a call from his doctor telling him that he had throat cancer. At the time, Mercer had this to say, “Illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but it is a big thing, a thing that impacts a life and forces changes on the way…”.  News like this has a way of understandably overshadowing the music itself, and thankfully, Mercer’s cancer seems to be departed, leaving us the opportunity to appreciate the record without such a dire context.  As a bonus, the record is awesome.

Carey’s Cold Spring was released by Canada’s Paper Bag Records on June 17th, 2014.  Mercer also released his first published collection of written work, Clouds of Evil, in the Spring of  2014 on Paper Bag  Press.

Nicholas Krgovich

Nicholas Krgovich is a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist best known for his work with NO KIDS, GIGI, P:ANO and MOUNT EERIE. He has been releasing records under various monikers since P:ANO’s acclaimed chamber pop debut “When It’s Dark And It’s Summer” in 2002, and most recently to the singular pop dreams released under his full legal name NICHOLAS KRGOVICH.

With songs that owe as much to the Great American Songbook as to perennial favourites like Sade, Prefab Sprout and The Blue Nile, Krgovich creates a dreamland where palm trees cast impossibly long shadows, courtyard swimming pools glow at night, and washed-up movie stars haunt the streets looking for love.  Krgovich released his must hear lp Who Cares? On JAZ Records in 2013.

 

See UNIT/PITT for information on other Wrong Wave events.

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11 July 2014, 12:53 pm ad10028acc04f2fef62315edf3e522fe
<![CDATA[Oscar Tusquets Blanca – The Gaulino Chair]]> Found: award
Oscar T. Blanca, designer (Spanish, b. 1941), B.D. Barcelona Designs, manufacturer Gaulino Armchair, 1987 Indianapolis Museum of Art, Robertine Daniels Art Fund in Memory of Her Late Husband, Richard Monroe Fairbanks Sr., and Her Late Son, Michael Fairbanks, 2013.4

Oscar T. Blanca, designer (Spanish, b. 1941), B.D. Barcelona Designs, manufacturer
Gaulino Armchair, 1987
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Robertine Daniels Art Fund in Memory of Her Late Husband, Richard Monroe Fairbanks Sr., and Her Late Son, Michael Fairbanks, 2013.4

Oscar Tusquets Blanca (who prefers we use both surnames) was born in 1941. The Barcelona native trained as an architect and began working as a designer of furniture and objects in 1972 with BD (Barcelona Design). Since then he has won several award,s including the Spanish National Design Award. Tusquets Blanca designed the Gaulino chair in 1987 and it is a prime example of Spanish design and functional art. Every angle of the Gaulino chair has beautiful complex lines bringing joy to your eyes as you follow along its subtle, sculptural curves. This is the result of his friendship with Salvador Dali and his interests in painting and writing. It seems clear he was also inspired by Antoni Gaudi and Carlo Mollino for which he named the chair.

The Gaulino chair, winner of the 1989 Industrial Design Prize, has a handmade appearance yet it was his first industrial project in wood. Its structure is made of solid ash and is available in a natural varnish, oak stain or black stain. The oak seat can be upholstered in black, natural, or honey leather. It can be stacked, but what a crime that would be! This is a gorgeous piece that I want to sit in, touch, and be close to in order to study every detail. The anamorphic shapes speak to me and fascinate me. I am not surprised to learn that Tusquets Blanca considers this chair one of his best works. The Gaulino chair is now a part of the Design Arts permanent collection at the IMA.

— Marika Klemm, ASID, Marika Designs, LLC

Tusquets Blanca’s Gaulino chair is an inspired mix of masculine and feminine lines. It may be a dining chair but I prefer to see it as a stand-alone chair that exudes an international design ethos of beauty and functionality. At first glance, the Gaulino chair has a masculine stance on the floor that dares you to have a seat. Yet its machismo belies the feminine, almost sensual, lines of the seat and arms which draw you in and seal the deal. Some will use the Gaulino with the matching table. Others will place it in any room as a side chair to add a sophisticated, sublime and lean design element for the occasional aperitif, but I would use it as the ultimate desk chair, in black, at a small writing desk.

— Michael Lubarsky, DAS Member

 

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16 August 2013, 2:21 pm 7caa5db64db9e341c31482c07a46aba4
<![CDATA[Straw Bale Gardening: A How-To Guide]]> Found: jury

1. Start with a bale of Straw.

Bale1

2. Saturate it with water for about 3 days.

Watering a straw bale

3. Sprinkle the top of the bale with 1/2 cup granular nitrogen fertilizer and continue watering, adding 1/2 cup fertilizer for the next 3 days. Then for the next 3 days only add 1/4 cup fertilizer and water.

4. On day 10, begin digging 3 holes in the the top of the bale, a little larger than the plant pot diameter. Then fill the holes with potting soil or compost, or a combination, and water gently.

A straw bale with holes in it

A straw bale with dirt filled in the holes

Be sure to dig your holes slightly larger than the plant pot diameter

5. When the soil is no longer hot to the touch, plant and water gently. Clean gallon milk jugs with their bottoms removed make a good cloche if the temperature drops suddenly!

A planted straw bale with a watering pale

6. Continue watering gently and occasionally add dilute fertilizer or compost tea about once per week. The continued watering will leach the fertilizer out.

A straw bale with plants in it

Advantages to Straw Bale Gardening

  • Easier (raised) for folks with limited mobility
  • Useful if your garden soil is poor
  • Useful if you have little or no soil in which to garden
  • Virtually no weeding (Don’t use hay bales!)
  • Don’t have to rotate crops, use a fresh bale each year
  • At season’s end, provides great compost for rest of garden

Possible Disadvantages to Straw Bale Gardening

  • May look a little messy as the bale decomposes
  • Bales dry out quickly, so ultimately may use too much water…jury is still out on this one

 

 

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5 June 2013, 8:00 am b7dfbe038892baee8e89a874f91645ef
<![CDATA[Meet the artists of the 2014 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize shortlist]]> Found: calls, call

Together with our partners at Aimia, we were excited to announce the 2014 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize shortlist on Aug. 13. Below, learn about the four artists from around the world who were our jurors’ top picks, then head to the Prize website to see more of their work and choose your favourite.


David Hartt

Image courtesy of the artist.

Image courtesy of the artist.

“Our understanding of ourselves is deeply rooted in the spaces we occupy.”

David Hartt was born in Montreal and currently lives and works in Chicago. In his installations, which include photographs, videos, and sculptures, he explores how physical spaces reflect the ideas and beliefs of a particular time and place. By investigating the materials, symbols and histories that shape our surroundings, Hartt calls attention to the ways our built environments exist and evolve. After extensive research and site visits, he distils this material into complex and elegant installations.

Artist’s web page

On David’s work:
David Hartt by Aimee Walleston for Art in America
David Hartt: Stray Light at the Studio Museum in Harlem by Andrew Russeth for Gallerist


Elad Lassry

Image courtesy of the artist.

Image courtesy of the artist.

“The questions for me are about this very mysterious unit that is the picture. It brings on a set of assumptions and built-in ways of looking with which I am in constant battle.”

At the centre of Israel-born, Los Angeles-based artist Elad Lassry’s work is the question: “What is a picture?” His practice suggests that the photograph is an elusive “unit.” Lassry uses multiple aesthetic modes and technologies to create analog images, digital interventions, moving pictures, design applications and applied arts that seem utilitarian but produce complex visual sensations. His ongoing investigation leads him to refer back to and experiment with a variety of visual sources – textbooks, manuals, film stills, marketing materials and science texts – which at turns contradict and play off one another in his work. Lassry uses this dynamic to pinpoint what he calls a “contemporary condition” in which the photograph is a flexible entity, seductively powerful and yet untrustworthy. “Once the photograph is not what it appears to be,” Lassry asks, “what else is at stake?”

Artist’s web page

On Elad’s work:
Elad Lassry by Gillian Young for Art in America
Elad Lassry at David Kordansky via Contemporary Art Daily


Nandipha Mntambo

Image courtesy of the artist.

Image courtesy of the artist.

“I’m interested in uncovering that binary – that in-between space that you can’t always pinpoint or articulate.”

Nandipha Mntambo was born in Swaziland and lives in Johannesburg. She originally trained as a sculptor and then expanded her practice to include photography, performance, and video. Her work investigates such dualities as male and female, attraction and repulsion, animal and human, European and African. Mntambo makes sculptures from cowhide, using her own body to mould the forms. In many of her videos and photographs, she appears wearing her sculptures, suggesting our capacity as individuals to shape the world around us, while also highlighting the forces that form us, including notions of race, gender and history.

Artist’s web page

On Nandipha’s work:
Nandipha Mntambo: Hide & Seek by Kudi Maradzika for AkAthemag
Visiting Artist Profiles – Nandipha Mntambo by Matthew Harrison Tedford for ArtPractical


Lisa Oppenheim

Image courtesy of the artist.

Image courtesy of the artist.

“I want the viewer to ask, ‘What am I looking at? How is it made?’ Somehow, that provides a way of critically reading how images come to all of us through our daily lives.”

Lisa Oppenheim, who lives and works in New York, creates photographs and videos that connect historical imagery and techniques with the present moment. Her process often begins with online research, to source images that she reinterprets using old and new technologies. Oppenheim also employs unusual materials as negatives – fabric, lace, slices of wood – directly recording the objects’ specific textures to create near-abstract compositions. Through her experiments with analog darkroom and digital methods, Oppenheim gives photographic images new forms and new contexts, inviting us to question and to wonder.

Artist’s website

On Lisa’s work:
Lisa Oppenheim by Shama Khanna for Frieze
Lisa Oppenheim: Elemental Process by Brian Sholis for Aperture

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15 August 2014, 10:19 am 822f14b9c0563690f281c6f80964a2e0
<![CDATA[Conservation Notes: Looking at ephemera in Betty Goodwin’s notebooks]]> Found: entries

Ephemera 2
Ephemera 3
Ephemera 5
Ephemera 6

Click arrows to see inside the notebooks.

Betty Goodwin’s notebooks and sketchbooks are both interesting documents of the artist’s process and important objects in their own right, offering insight into her daily life and art practice. The term “ephemera” refers to documents or items that were not necessarily meant to last long and are often made of materials that deteriorate quickly. The ephemera found in Goodwin’s notes comprise a variety of materials, including sticky notes, banana stickers, instant photographs, newspaper articles and pressed flowers. Making sure the sketchbooks are preserved in the exact condition that Goodwin left them, with ephemeral items intact where Goodwin placed them, allows researchers to see the artist’s thoughts on her own works.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s Goodwin, with the help of one of her studio assistants, revisited a number of her sketchbooks from the earlier days of her career, using sticky notes and metal clips to mark key pages, some of which date back to the 1960s. Some sketchbooks have pages that have been removed, with photocopies pasted back in their place, and some of these copied pages even re-appear in later sketchbooks, stuck onto pages or tucked in as loose leaves in agendas or diaries. Maintaining these re-arrangements, along with clips and the sticky notes, lets researchers see which of Goodwin’s own entries, sketches or notes she considered important.

The temporary nature of various ephemeral elements presents some challenges to conservation: the low-tack glue of sticky notes makes them vulnerable to detaching and metal clips will rust. However, each of the individually created enclosures made by Digital Special Collections Assistant Marianne Williams securely contains the ephemera in each volume and ensures no materials or information will be lost. Read about those here.


Curious about Conservation?
If you have a burning question about Conservation, leave a comment below. We’ll do our best to give you an answer in an upcoming Conservation Notes post.


Signature Partner of the AGO’s Conservation Program


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11 August 2014, 3:32 pm 8286761b0935e778998f572437dcdf39
<![CDATA[Artist’s statement: Christi Belcourt on The Wisdom of the Universe]]> Found: award
Christi Belcourt, The  Wisdom of the Universe, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 171 × 282 cm, purchased with funds donated by Greg Latremoille, 2014 ©  2014 Christi Belcourt.

Christi Belcourt, The Wisdom of the Universe, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 171 × 282 cm, purchased with funds donated by Greg Latremoille, 2014 © 2014 Christi Belcourt.

The AGO has commissioned and acquired an extraordinary painting entitled The Wisdom of the Universe by Christi Belcourt, a Métis visual artist and author who received the 2014 Ontario Arts Council Aboriginal Arts Award at a ceremony held here on July 30, 2014. Below, Belcourt discusses the ecological concerns that inspired the work.

AGO.116615.d02
Christi Belcourt, <em>The Wisdom of the Universe</em> (detail), 2014, acrylic on canvas, 171 × 282 cm, purchased with funds donated by Greg Latremoille, 2014 © 2014 Christi Belcourt.
AGO.116615.d01
Christi Belcourt, <em>The Wisdom of the Universe</em> (detail), 2014, acrylic on canvas, 171 × 282 cm, purchased with funds donated by Greg Latremoille, 2014 © 2014 Christi Belcourt.
AGO.116615.d
Christi Belcourt, <em>The Wisdom of the Universe</em> (detail), 2014, acrylic on canvas, 171 × 282 cm, purchased with funds donated by Greg Latremoille, 2014 © 2014 Christi Belcourt.

In Ontario, over 200 species of plants and animals are listed as threatened, endangered or extinct. Of those, included in this painting are the Dwarf Lake Iris, the Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid, the Karner Blue butterfly, the West Virginia White butterfly, the Spring Blue-eyed Mary, the Cerulean Warbler and Acadian Flycatcher.

Globally, we live in a time of great upheaval. The state of the world is in crisis. We are witness to the unbearable suffering of species, including humans. Much of this we do to ourselves. It is possible for the planet to return to a state of well-being, but it requires a radical change in our thinking. It requires a willingness to be open to the idea that perhaps human beings have got it all wrong.

All species, the lands, the waters are one beating organism that pulses like a heart. We are all a part of a whole. The animals and plants, lands and waters, are our relatives each with as much right to exist as we have. When we see ourselves as separate from each other and think of other species, the waters and the planet itself as objects that can be owned, dominated or subjugated, we lose connection with our humanity and we create imbalance on the earth. This is what we are witnessing around us.

The planet already contains all the wisdom of the universe, as do you and I. It has the ability to recover built into its DNA and we have the ability to change what we are doing so this can happen.

Perhaps it’s time to place the rights of Mother Earth ahead of the rights to Mother Earth.

– Christi Belcourt


This work is one of two paintings by Belcourt currently on display in the Gallery. In the video below, Belcourt discusses the other, entitled So Much Depends Upon Who Holds the Shovel (2008), which appears in our exhibition Before and after the Horizon: Anishinaabe Artists of the Great Lakes.

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7 August 2014, 2:51 pm dec498ffcd80dd636ed7ed2efb6b49a3
<![CDATA[Catching up with Chino Otsuka, 2013 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize finalist]]> Found: call, opportunity, residency, awarded, award

Chino Otsuka, <em>Imagine Finding Me</em>, 1975 and 2005, Spain, Japan, 2005, Chromogenic print, 305 mm x 406 mm.</

Chino Otsuka, Imagine Finding Me, 1975 and 2005, Spain, Japan, 2005, Chromogenic print, 305 mm x 406 mm.

Born in Tokyo and educated in the U.K., 2013 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize finalist Chino Otsuka uses photography and video to explore the fluid relationship between memory, photography, and time. She recently completed her residency at the Nikkei National Museum in Burnaby, B.C., which focused on researching Japanese picture brides and their forgotten stories. We caught up with Otsuka to discuss her residency research, work and experience.

AGO: While you were in Vancouver, you worked inside the archives and collection of the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre. What did your research focus on, and what affect has working in Vancouver had on your work?

Chino Otsuka: The research I conduct is integral to the development of my work. For a while now I have been researching the history of Japanese emigrants. When I found out about the residency component of the AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize and was able to choose anywhere in Canada, I knew I wanted to go to the Nikkei National Museum. Since I had previously done similar research on a group of Japanese who went to the Netherlands in the mid-19th century, I wanted to see the museum’s collections and learn more about the history of Japanese-Canadian immigrants.

During the residency I had the opportunity to access and explore museum collections that are not normally seen or easily accessible. I knew very little about the history of Japanese immigrants in Canada, or the hardships and injustice that they suffered. I read and came across so many moving stories. All of this is a very important part of Japanese history, and I’m so surprised that many of these stories are untold outside of Canada.

As my research progressed I became more and more interested in the stories of young women who came over from Japan as a “picture brides,” young Japanese women usually between 17 and 19 years old who came to Canada as in the early 20th century. Their marriages were arranged by showing the prospective bride and groom photographs of each other. Most of these women travelled from Japan and saw their husband-to-be for the first time when they arrived in Canada. I was drawn to their innocence, ambition and courage — their journey. They all longed for a new life in their new country. Yet when they arrived in Canada the life they had imagined was completely different. Hardship and many tragedies would follow them. They struggled and endured so much.

I’ve looked through many photographs and artefacts in the collection and chose to focus especially on their journey to Canada. There is a sense of anticipation around the little moment in their life when they were dreaming about the future. I’ve been working with the old photographs as well as photographing their belongings that they brought with them from Japan.

With your residency now complete, can you speak to the effect that the overall experience has had on your work? Did your work move in a new direction during the residency? If so, how?

The residency has given me a new perspective on my practice, as well as time to explore and experiment with new ideas. The work I started during my residency is not quite finished yet. I’m done with the research and photographing and am now working with these materials through editing and finding ways to present them.

What has the residency allowed you to do in terms of your work and research?

In my work I mainly explore the notion of autobiographical memory, so the residency at the Nikkei National Museum has given me the opportunity to explore and research the history, the collective memory – how the individual memories weave together to tell a story.

In her essay “Chino Otsuka’s Time Machine” Michiko Kasahara writes that your “journeys into the past are not sentimental and do not display a nostalgic atmosphere,” yet much of your work explores issues of duality, history, memory and self. Can you elaborate on/explain your method? Do you agree with the writer’s statement?

I work with the past and many of my works show my past. How I take my works, restage and rework them is really about today, not yesterday.
My works are personal but by carefully selecting the images, and recreating them in the certain ways, I’m trying to engage the viewers’ internal dialogue of their experiences. I hope to make the images/stories resonate and trigger the viewers’ own memories.

Your work, specifically in the series “Imagine Finding Me,” is extremely personal with the subject being your own self and memory. The Aimia | AGO Photography Prize is awarded by public vote. As the subject of the work, what were your thoughts on it being considered in this way?

I visited the AGO during the exhibition while the voting was going on, and when I wandered around the museum strangers came up to tell me that they voted for me. I guess they recognized me from my work, and that was a really strange experience.


*This interview was conducted via email in July 2014 and has been edited for style and brevity.

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29 July 2014, 11:22 am 3bd46b2e3965663e39e76c1b7bb4c671
<![CDATA[TTTOW - A unique film festival]]> Found: opportunity, submissions, submission, deadline
TTTOW or Taxi Takes on The World is a unique film festival where anyone across the world can participate. All you need is a camcorder (a smartphone will do!), a taxi ride and the ensuing conversation with the taxi driver - recorded and sent to the organizers. 




Yes, its as simple as that. But what exactly is this film festival about? 

The Taxi Takes on the World is a crowd sourced interactive documentary about conversations between drivers and passengers from inside taxis all around the globe. This user generated project aims to harness honest grassroots interactions and present the world’s ‘video takes’ on matters that affect us all. 


“Talks inside taxis are usually between people of diverse backgrounds and so offer a variety of perspectives. These ‘takes’ have the power to blur boundaries and bridge cultures. The Taxi Takes on the World will showcase crowd sourced video stories that mainstream media ignores about times when people find common ground and break stereotypes about the ‘other’. Mobile technology allows a democratization of media which aligns with my work’s vision for how new media will shape our future. This film festival will be part of a traveling film festival and offers a great opportunity to showcase citizens’ stories of brotherhood” - Vandana Sood - Giddings, Creator, Founder, Executive Director.

Date & Venues


The film festival will be held from The 21ST of September 2013 to the 2nd of October 2013 in Jammu and Kashmir, New Delhi, Punjab and Manipur. Kashmir and Manipur are both conflict states of India. 

This film festival is a partnership between The Taxi Takes on the World project and Standing Together to Enable Peace, Trust (STEP) a non-profit organization established in New Delhi in 2009.

Themes


The film festival will focus on certain broad themes:

  • Religious and ethnic conflict
  • War and terror
  • Race
  • Gender
  • Class
  • Culture

Each of these broad global topics has regional nuances that the mainstream media often overlooks. Through the prism of the taxi, where every day people from often widely disparate backgrounds meet, this film festival will tell a story about how, given the right space, we all can understand each other and speak a common language.

Where & How to

Need guidance on how to go about it? Check out this short prezi that suggests the kind of questions you can ask to begin a conversation and start your take. Find the application procedure, rules & regulations all on the TTOW submissions page.

Hurry, the submissions deadline is September 10, 2013!

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22 August 2013, 1:40 pm d0adb23994c64fad4eae2c21551a7229
<![CDATA[How Apple's new computers impact filmmaking]]> Found: calling, call

The new Macbook Pro and iMac announced by Apple on October 24 heralds a major shift in the way PCs will be designed and have a cumulative impact on digital filmmaking.



Below are some of the major upgrades that affect the digital filmmaking process:

1.    No Optical Drive: Both the new Macbook Pro with retina display and the new iMac have done away with the DVD drive, with Apple calling it  obsolete in the age of blazing broadband speeds when movies and television can be easily streamed online or downloaded. The new iMac does have 2 Thunderbolt ports and 4 USB 3.0 ports to allow connection of external hard drives and other devices. Seeing that Apple is usually the trendsetter in computer design, we can expect competitors like HP and Dell to follow suit. This could spell the death knell for the DVD industry, and moviemakers will now be looking to go completely digital. Of course, home theatre systems and bluray players will ensure that the home video market doesn’t completely evaporate in the near future, but the transition to a more 'online' movie watching experience is surely on its way.  

2.    Much better screen resolutions: The new iMac has a full HD display (1,920 × 1,080 pixels) for the 21.5” version and 2,560 × 1,440 pixel for the 27” version. It certainly translates into a better film/video watching experience and the computer being used for watching movies and gaming more than ever. The Macbook Pro with Retina display boats of a tantalizing 2,560 x 1,600 at 227 pixels per inch. This one has four times the screen resolution of the previous 13-inch version of the MacBook Pro.

3.    Super powerful processors: The new 21.5” iMac starts with a config of Intel Core i5 Quad Core 2.7 Ghz Processor with 8GB RAM , 1GB dedicated NVIDIA graphics and 1TB hard disk. Even the Macbook Pro with Retina display is all about performance, speed and graphics. It boasts of an Intel dual-core i5 Ivy Bridge processor clock at 2.5 Ghz (minimum) For graphics it has the Intel HD 4,000 graphics support. The RAM is 8 GB and its all-flash storage has three configurations available: 256 GB, 512 GB, or 768 GB. Such top-end configurations in the base models bode well for popular film editing applications like Final Cut Pro.  Apple will be looking to release an even more powerful version of its flagship video editing app to utilize the full potential of its new line of computer devices.

The rise of smartphones and tablets coupled with faster broadband speeds have already given a fillip to the various kinds of digital filmmaking, both in terms of production and post production.  Apple’s new line of smart computers will be prove to be another turning point, particularly because the optical drive has been dropped across its iMac and Macbook Pro ranges.

What do you think of Apple’s new devices, and their potential impact on filmmaking?

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26 October 2012, 12:04 pm 011880692e3f5039023c6a19fbf277a8
<![CDATA[George Clooney honoured at Palm Springs Film Festival]]> Found: awards, award

George Clooney will receive the Chairman's Award for his acting work in The Descendants and his directing of The Ides of March at the 2012 Palm Springs International Film Festival.

The award will be presented on January 7 at PSIFF's annual Awards Gala, a black-tie event that always hands out an array of awards to luminaries who figure to be in the Oscar race.

Like the awards given at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in late January, the Palm Springs event has become a valuable stop on the Oscar campaign trail. Previous recipients of the Chairman's Award include Dustin Hoffman, Nicole Kidman and Ben Affleck.

Oscar-nominated actress Michelle Williams will also be rewarded for her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in “My Week With Marilyn,” which is already generating Oscar buzz.

Williams, 31, will receive the Desert Palm Achievement Actress Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival awards gala at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Previous recipients include Academy Award winners Natalie Portman, Marion Cotillard, Charlize Theron and Kate Winslet.

“My Week With Marilyn,” which opens Wednesday in limited distribution, premiered Oct. 9 at the New York International Film Festival. Directed by Simon Curtis, the film was presented Nov. 6 as part of the AFI Fest at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, where Monroe put her hand and footprints in cement in 1952.

The Palm Springs International Film Festival runs Jan. 5-16 2012 at various venues in Palm Springs

Sources: mydesert.com & Reuters

Technorati Tags: ,

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23 November 2011, 8:20 am ac83454604d81558e40a5489757995b8
<![CDATA[Final Cut Pro X released]]> Found: calls, call
Apple has released Final Cut Pro X, the latest version of its professional video-editing software and one of the most popular programs for digital filmmaking.
Its actually been two days since FCP X was launched, and of course there’s been a strong buzz about it in the market. Video professionals were not only impressed with the new features, but with the new price too. Final Cut Pro X is available in the Mac App Store for $299.99. Compare that to 2009, when the fully loaded Final Cut Studio retailed for $999.99.

Final Cut Pro X is a big update for the powerful editing suite, in no small part because it is now (finally) built with 64-bit support. That means that the app will be able to take advantage of the additional memory space in Mac OS X Snow Leopard and the upcoming Mac OS X Lion.

Installing Final Cut Pro X
Since the only way to get Final Cut Pro X is through the Mac App Store, installation is easy: You just click "Buy" in the store, and the app's icon appears in your Finder, ready to run. You'll be able to install it on five Macs, and you receive updates automatically. The program requires at least a Core 2 Duo-based Mac running Snow Leopard, a decent video processor, 2.4GB of disk space, and 2GB RAM (4GB recommended).


The big new feature is called the Magnetic Timeline, which takes a trackless approach to editing. Like Adobe, Apple has also put a lot of effort into what it calls Content Auto-Analysis, which is another way of saying that the software uses meta-tags to better organize and import content, based on shot type, media format and other information.

Check out this video Apple released to show off the new features in Final Cut Pro X:



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24 June 2011, 10:11 am 828ed496d384fb6fa2923179133ff492
<![CDATA[Shortie Awards Youth Film Festival]]> Found: submit, awards, award, entries


Hollyn Randolph just mailed me in about the forthcoming Shortie Awards film festival.

The Shortie Awards film festival will be held June 5, 2011 in Arlington, VA a suburb of Washington D.C. The Shortie Awards recognizes original short film productions created by student filmmakers, ages 7-18, and their teachers.

This year we have entries from 26 states and 14 countries and India has 36 entries which is the largest number from outside of the US.
Apparently the last date for submitting the entries was April 1, 2011. But we can look forward to the screenings and the winners. Those who live around Arlingtom and Washington DC should attend the event!

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6 May 2011, 4:28 am eaf309efd7724c81c4b80892e456a4ca
<![CDATA[Short Film: Damn Your Eyes]]> Found: awards, award

David Guglielmo, an alumni of School of Visual Arts, New York emailed me his short film titled Damn Your Eyes.
damn your eyes

Damn Your Eyes a Spaghetti Western-influenced revenge film shot on the Sony EX1 digital camera in the NY Metropolitan area for $5,000. It has been successful at film festivals and recently won two awards.


WINNER: "Best Student Film" at Royal Flush Festival '09
WINNER: "Best More Than Horror Short" at Buffalo Screams Horror Festival '10


I liked the visual quality of the film: the lighting, the locations, set, framing, composition etc. The DoP used the Sony EXI camcorder given to him pretty well. Most of the actors did a really professional job and that took the movie experience a notch higher. The screenplay could have been written better. Some of the moments in the movie were clichéd and boring but on the whole it is a decent production. What do you think of the movie? Please watch and comment (feed subscribers will need to visit the blog to watch it).

David Guglielmo must be congratulated for doing his excellent direction. Considering he is relatively new to this profession, he has done a laudable job that commands appreciation.
 Digital filmmaking is indeed growing from strength to strength.

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26 April 2011, 4:52 am 776bfdbc7b6be1364d824c007ec92690
<![CDATA[Tribeca Film Festival Launches Online Version]]> Found: submit
I had recently blogged about Tribeca Film Festival's announcement of filmmaking grants for funding documentaries of social significance. Well now it has gone a step further further launched an online version of the increasingly popular movie fest.

According to Hollywood Reporter, the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, which kicks off from April 20 and ends on May 1 in New York city, will have a new online component where audiences will be able to watch live streams of events and interact with other audience members.

Online audiences will also be allowed to submit questions to a host of festival executives and other notable guests and access detailed information on all of the online fest filmmakers. There will also be a Future of Film blog that will include posts from film and technology experts.

If you want to know about the screenings at Tribeca 2011, check out the Tribeca Film Festival 2011 film guide .

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23 March 2011, 6:50 pm 0c4b2e928c429528894ee3a1ebb2055c
<![CDATA[Emerging artists wanting to participate in the Splendid festival read on...(May 2011)]]> Found: calling, call
Calling creatives of all stripes who have an inquisitive mind, an innovative approach and a desire to collaborate to participate in the 2011 Splendid program.

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20 March 2011, 1:03 pm a0ec52e369c8df0b4b378ef64b241d2e
<![CDATA[Salon Films launches filmmaker training program]]> Found: opportunity
Salon Films will launch a cross-border training program for young Singapore and Hong Kong filmmakers, and a funding initiative in connection with the Hong Kong government subsidy for filmmakers.

The training program is organized with the Media Development Authority of Singapore to bring budding Singaporean filmmakers to work in Hong Kong and China.

The program began in Hong Kong, in partnership with the Academy of Film of the Hong Kong Baptist University, and continues in Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, in cooperation with the China Film Foundation and CCTV, and will conclude in the Hengdian studio, lasting three weeks in each city.

The film crew is shooting a documentary to commemorate the 20th anniversary the establishment of economic relations between China and Singapore.

"Asian culture shares common origins," Wang said, "The training program is aimed at providing an opportunity for young filmmakers across Asia to meet, exchange ideas, and make films that speak to our mutual cultural roots."

To capitalize on the current prevalence of Hong Kong-Chinese co-productions and the growing film industry in China, the program also intends for young filmmakers and film students to obtain hands-on practical experience in China.

Film students at the Academy of Film of the Baptist University will also join the Salon team in Beijing and Hengdian.

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10 January 2011, 9:02 am 2c1f2abad90e1b3a777f8cf10e1b2292
<![CDATA[Tribeca announces filmmaking grants]]> Found: submission, deadline, award
The Tribeca Film Institute announced Wednesday its submission period for grants is now open. TFI will award more than $500,000 in filmmaker support through 2011 and more than $100,000 through its new TFI Documentary Fund, presented by HBO.


The Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund provides finishing grants totaling $100,000 to feature-length documentaries that highlight and humanize topics of social significance. The TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund will award up to $140,000 to support compelling narrative filmmaking that explores scientific, mathematic and technological themes.

The Tribeca All Access Program will continue cultivating relationships between filmmakers from traditionally underrepresented communities and film industry executives, and provide each 2011 participant with $10,000. And, the TFI Latin America Media Arts Fund will support film and video artists working in narrative or documentary film and living in Mexico, Central and South America.


“We are excited to expand the reach and depth of our programming to support individual artists in the field,”
 said TFI artistic director Beth Janson.


The early submission deadline is Nov. 8; final deadline is Dec. 8. More info: tribecafilminstitute.org.

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17 September 2010, 1:08 pm 0d32c63914b979f28151b88278a36904
<![CDATA[Taiwan's Tsai Liang is Asian Filmmaker of the Year]]> Found: awards, award, jury
South Korea's most prestigious film festival said Wednesday it has chosen Taiwanese director Tsai Ming Liang as its Asian Filmmaker of the Year.


The Pusan International Film Festival praised Tsai's work over the past three decades for pioneering unexplored areas that overcome the limitations of the art film industry.

"His 30-year-long devotion to filmmaking has greatly influenced Asian cinema and made considerable contributions to enhance the global status of Asian cinema," it said in a statement.


"He is renowned for seeking fresh ways of communicating with his audience... We can find the root of his endless spirit of challenging himself and the borderlines of art in his earlier works in the 1990s."

Malaysian-born Tsai is best known for "Vive L'Amour" that won the Golden Lion (best picture) award at the Venice Film Festival in 1994, and "The River" that won the Silver Bear/Special Jury Prize at the 1997 Berlin International Film Festival.


The 52-year-old has also won numerous awards with other films.

He is considered a leading exponent of the "Second New Wave" -- a group of Taiwanese directors in the 1990s who produced films with realistic and sympathetic portrayals of life rather than melodramas or action pictures.


The festival, held in the southern port city of Busan since 1996, will be staged from October 7-15 this year.

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6 September 2010, 4:47 am 3096856fd18a45600538a63171daf7c9
<![CDATA[Jumpstart Your Film and Television Career: 5 powerful TIPS on how to land more tv film jobs than you can handle]]> Found: opportunity
This is a guest post by Ian Agard of ianagard.com. Ian is a Toronto based writer/director/film producer who loves to entertain and inspire people through his movies and his filmmaking blog.



As you probably know, one of the most desirable yet challenging industries to make a living from is in the film and television industry.

By far, the most commonly asked question I receive from people throughout my six years working as actor, screenwriter, director and film producer is...how do you get into the industry and make a living?

As a film producer; I have interviewed, hired and worked with several casts and crews while making my films. It becomes quite easy to notice the difference between individuals who struggle to find film/tv work and those who make a comfortable living.

Is it about luck?

Or

Who you know?

I would like to share with you 5 POWERFUL TIPS that will help you jumpstart your film/tv career and get you on the road towards landing more paying industry work than you can handle.


TIP Number One: Be Willing To Work For Free

I know, you probably didn’t want to hear that but it’s imperative that you are willing to either work for free or very low pay. It’s a sacrifice that many in the entertainment industry must do when starting out, however, you’ll have the opportunity to meet others in the business as well as learn on the job. Taking “free” jobs quickly leads to full time careers.


TIP Number Two: Attitude Is Everything

This is one of the most important tips regarding developing a successful film/tv industry career. More important than your talent, your experience or your education; your attitude will determine how far you will rise within your career.
It will determine if people will refer job opportunities to you or hire you again for future projects. You must be a flexible, professional, team oriented person who is committed to “serving” the story/project to the best of your ability.

Production sets are full of egos, there’s no need for one more.

TIP Number Three: Recognize and seizure opportunity

You’ve probably heard the old saying luck is when preparation meets opportunity. I like to believe in a slightly different statement, luck = opportunity + willingness.
A certain film/tv industry work opportunity might present itself to you; you’re prepared...but are you willing to maybe work for free, work for low pay, work 12 hour days, be team-oriented, be flexible and agreeable or go the extra mile to help the project succeed.

TIP Number Four: Network and be visible

The reality of the film/TV industry is that most production jobs are never advertised. Those positions are usually filled through word of mouth and pre-established relationships. That’s why it is extremely important for you to always be committed to meeting new like-minded people.
The best places to meet and connect with people who share your zeal and passion are:

1) Onset while shooting a movie or television show
2) Through industry specific classes
3) At film festivals

TIP Number Five: Always be learning

As humans, we are learning machines. We are most alive and functioning closest to our potential when we are learning, adapting, adjusting and finding new ways, approaches and techniques to improve our lives (and our careers)in some way.

No matter how many years working experience you might have within the film/TV industry it would be hugely important for you to maintain a beginner’s mindset. A beginner looks constantly for one new tibit, one or more ways to expand on their current expertise.

To learn more valuable tips and in-depth advice, listen to my MP3 60 minute audio interview with film and television expert and veteran Stephen Dranitsaris at: www.ianagard.com/tv-film-jobs

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23 April 2010, 5:57 pm 0f5b78331581dc53a92c92be85a8445a
<![CDATA[Kasimir Malevich's 'Black Square': What does it say to you?]]> Found: opportunity

The painting itself sits in a relatively darkened room at Tate Modern, where a major retrospective of the career of its creator, Kasimir Malevich from Kiev, opens today. Given that the painting is black from top to toe and hip to hip, and that it is often said to represent a pivotal moment in the history of abstraction and the art of the 20th century, this strikes the onlooker as an odd decision. Why not be given the opportunity to see it as clearly as possible?

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15 July 2014, 6:00 pm 952c9347a0546661a97d3effee8139fa
<![CDATA[Stunning photos from the National Geographic Travel photography contest]]> Found: entries

Extraordinary entries for a travel photography competition were unveiled on Tuesday – including a man canoeing past dripping globules of molten lava, and a giraffe towering through a window to polish off some crumbs left on a plate. 

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17 June 2014, 5:50 pm 9d2882cb3b45845552bed56285415344
<![CDATA[Portfolio: Californian Austen Ezzell spent five months photographing football pitches around the globe for his project The World's Game]]> Found: calls, call

The United States is hardly known for its love of "the beautiful game", seemingly more in thrall to the pleasures of baseball and American football. But for Californian Austen Ezzell, football – or soccer, as he calls it – was always his sport of choice.

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24 May 2014, 6:00 pm 8153139ab600c402475101472fdbcd8f
<![CDATA[Aiko Tezuka, artist: 'History is interwoven in the fabric. I decided to mix cultures and to make layers']]> Found: residency

Aiko Tezuka came to Europe from her native Japan in 2010, first to London and then to Berlin, on a Künstlerhaus Bethanien Residency. She now lives and works in a flat in the fashionable Neukölln area in southeast Berlin.

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22 May 2014, 9:00 am 5ce1d899b2f5a0d8dc056b122de1ed64
<![CDATA[The supersized cultural life of Abu Dhabi]]> Found: call

They do things (slightly) differently in the Emirates. Today, the Al Raha Beach Theatre in Abu Dhabi will host the grand final of the most popular TV talent contest not just in the UAE but across much of the Arab world. Its elimination format, which attracts up to 15 million viewers, in many ways resembles the spotlit stage ordeals of Pop Idol, The Voice or The X Factor. There's even a diva-like psychologist – Nadia Buhannad – on hand to interrogate the quivering (and mostly male) contestants. "They call me intimidating," Dr Buhannad recently told the local press. "I say, 'Queen of Intimidating'."

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19 May 2014, 6:00 pm 3468bb8e9de9134e7513e497f234ae36
<![CDATA[Lowry Art Trickery?]]> Found: calls, call
Wigan Today reports that an art lover from Cheshire accused of tricking a dealer into buying a fake LS Lowry has told a court he thought the painting was genuine. Maurice Taylor - who calls himself Lord Taylor Windsor after buying the title on the internet for £1,000 - sold the Mill Street scene to businessman David Smith during a meeting in a Ritz hotel room in 2007. Mr Smith, managing director of Neptune Fine Arts, paid over £230,000 before discovering the work was bogus. Taylor, 60, who lives in a mansion near Congleton, had bought the snowy scene featuring matchstick-style figures three years earlier through friend and Lowry expert Ivan Aird. Mr Aird acted as an agent for the previous owner Martin Heaps who, the crown say, sold the picture for £7,500 with an invoice describing it as "After Lowry" because it was created by artist Arthur Delaney. Prosecuting at Chester Crown Court, Sion Ap Mihangel, said Taylor knew the picture was fake, invented history to boost its provenance, and doctored the invoice so it appeared he was sold a genuine work. Taylor admitted telling his buyer and auctioneers Bonhams he bought the painting several decades earlier from industrialist Eddie Rosenfeld. He said he did not know why he lied but claimed Mr Aird asked him not to say he bought the painting through him. He said Mr Aird told him the painting was genuine and said: "When he sold me that picture there was never a question in his mind. I didn't question him, he told me it was original." A team of experts from Bonhams later assessed the work and were taken in by it. They provided a £600,000 insurance valuation and laid on the red carpet treatment, hoping Taylor would sell it through them. Mr Mihangel said Taylor acquired the Bonhams valuation to strengthen his selling position and to ensure a private sale. Taylor denies denies six counts of fraud and one of forging an invoice. The trial continues. (For full source and full article click the Headline). Irish Art

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3 March 2009, 1:23 pm 742b0215e6c8dc96600e8ca9f935efd4
<![CDATA[Caged Art Recognised]]> Found: awarded, award
The New York Times reports that 1974 Tehching Hsieh, a young Taiwanese performance artist working as a seaman, walked down the gangplank of an oil tanker docked in the Delaware River and slipped into the United States. His destination: Manhattan, center of the art world. Once there, though, Mr. Hsieh found himself ensnared in the benumbing life of an illegal immigrant. With the downtown art scene vibrating around him, he eked out a living at Chinese restaurants and construction jobs, feeling alien, alienated and creatively barren until it came to him: He could turn his isolation into art. Inside an unfinished loft, he could build himself a beautiful cage, shave his head, stencil his name onto a uniform and lock himself away for a year. Thirty years later Mr. Hsieh’s “Cage Piece” is on display at the Museum of Modern Art as the inaugural installation in a series on performance art. But formal recognition of Mr. Hsieh (pronounced shay), who is now a 58-year-old American citizen with spiky salt-and-pepper hair, has been a long time coming. For decades he was almost an urban legend, his harrowing performances — the year he punched a time clock hourly, the year he lived on the streets, the year he spent tethered by a rope to a female artist — kept alive by talk. This winter, owing to renewed interest in performance art, new passion for contemporary Chinese art and the coinciding interests of several curators, Mr. Hsieh’s moment of recognition has arrived from many directions at once. The one-man show at MoMA runs through May 18. The Guggenheim is featuring his time-clock piece in “The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860-1989” through April 19. M.I.T. Press is about to release “Out of Now,” a large-format book devoted to his “lifeworks.” And United States Artists, an advocacy organization, has awarded Mr. Hsieh $50,000, his first grant. He is gratified by the exhibitions. But he judges the book, which is 384 pages and weighs almost six pounds, to be the definitive ode to his artistic career. “Because of this book I can die tomorrow,” said Mr.Hsieh. (For full source and full article click the Headline). Irish Art

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1 March 2009, 4:44 am fd7169cf5c1136b48458b08bac45ae05
<![CDATA["Nazi" Picasso's Stay In NY]]> Found: jury
Time/CNN reports that it may have been possible for Picasso's boy to lead that horse without a rein, but it appears that the Museum of Modern Art didn't have the famous painting on as tight a leash as you might have thought. For more than a year that 1906 picture, one of the high points of MoMA's art collection, has been the focus of a Holocaust restitution fight that also involved another Picasso, Le Moulin de la Galette, this one hanging at the Guggenheim. Yesterday both museums settled out of court with three plaintiffs seeking return of the paintings, which they claim had been relinquished under duress by their Jewish owner in the 1930s. As with most settlements the details of this one are sealed, so we may never know whether or how much money changed hands. And by itself the mere fact that the two art museums chose to settle doesn't mean they didn't have faith in their own arguments. (Or, for that matter, that the plaintiffs didn't have faith in their's.) But jury trials are a crapshoot and for the museums at least, the paintings were too important to lose. (For full source and full article click the Headline). Irish Art

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10 February 2009, 3:42 am bc8182e962bd4b6e9594ac931c5d7831
<![CDATA[Joe Boyle's Art at Waterfront Hall, Belfast]]> Found: call, opportunity
There is a small number of artists that savvy Irish Art collectors should carefully track in 2009 - and Joe Boyle (a previous Conor Prize Winner at the Royal Ulster Academy) - is one of them. This Belfast Waterfront exhibition fuses three themes. The first is Boyle's response to a trip to China investigating 17th century dry brush calligraphy combined with Chinese contemporary aspiration for a western iconography. The second is the notion that the fragment can intentionally signify the whole - as part of an ancient object may be considered a work of art - despite that not being the original artistic intention. In this exploration Boyle chooses the Eye as the part that signifies the whole in a meaningful manner - presenting an opportunity to explore different ways of seeing aspects of change in Irish Society. The final theme is a response to Landscape which employs notions of metaphor, edge and parameter to explore emotions which we experience and are challenged by what is often a familiar and sometimes threatening environment. Joe Boyle - Solo Gallery 2 Waterfront Hall 2 Lanyon Place, Belfast Tel: 028 9033 4400 Opens Tuesday 3rd February (7pm- 9pm) until 27th February 2009 Irish Art

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25 January 2009, 4:10 pm 4b446c25110586cb155c74a9f1c63bcf
<![CDATA[Irish Art Thieves Took Taxi]]> Found: residence
Bungling Irish art thieves led Gardai to their door last weekend when they brought their loot home in a taxicab. Two men were apprehended at a residence in Kilmore following the theft of three paintings. It is believed that the thieves were easily located after they hired a taxi to ferry them, and two of the paintings home following the robbery. According to Gardai a plate glass window in Greenacres was smashed and paintings removed from the display. Gardai this week said that while investigations into the matter are 'not yet complete', they are 'not looking for anyone else in connection with the matter'. (For full source and full article click the Headline). Irish Art

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9 November 2008, 11:43 pm 8b31fd7fd4d3a323e3af8af918d320de
<![CDATA[81st Annual International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature - North Bethesda, Maryland]]> Found: deadline, awards, award
$6,000 in awards. Deadline: September 20, 2014

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fcd4e1e92946fefd53d708533592a33c
<![CDATA[Endangered: Art for Apes - Online contest and exhibition]]> Found: deadline, awards, award
$8,250 in awards. Deadline: October 3, 2014

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eded5608ea82174e7041faa5f063e23a
<![CDATA[Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Artist Residency - Waltham, Massachusetts]]> Found: deadline
$3000 stipend, $250 materials subsidy, studio, solo exhibition. Deadline: October 8, 2014

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f004f6950aa389d44096949208d03cb6
<![CDATA[Nature's Gift of Water: Exhibition 2014 - Tacoma, Washington]]> Found: deadline, awards, award
$2,700 in awards. Deadline: October 15, 2014

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10d2cff33c0cbf204e2e96c738caed83
<![CDATA[One 5 - Cincinnati, Ohio]]> Found: deadline, award
$1500 Cash Award + Solo Feature Exhibit of One Prize-winning work. Deadline: October 27, 2014

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f1a676c9942117025675689d1373a9f7
<![CDATA[Art Basel Miami Week 2014 | Cosmic Connections Exhibition - Miami, Florida]]> Found: deadline, awards, award
$3,000 in awards. Deadline: October 31, 2014

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d3be483cbecefe1c644ce2efb54f8a6b
<![CDATA[8th GICBiennale 2015 International Competition - Gyeonggi-do, South Korea]]> Found: deadline
$48,100 Grand Prize with solo exhibition in 2017. Deadline: November 7, 2014

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e87a794202aa9643f3e70d218f35a762
<![CDATA[Au Naturel: the Nude in the 21st Century - Astoria, Oregon]]> Found: deadline, awards, award
$1000 in cash prizes; Up to $2000 in purchase awards. Deadline: November 7, 2014

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93a7ddc3abe2fc8a3c43956414915097
<![CDATA[Yosemite Renaissance XXX - Yosemite, California]]> Found: deadline, awards, award
$4,000 in awards. Deadline: November 15, 2014

]]>
353a8cfbbf026e1e2fe656b07a9e56da
<![CDATA[Dave Bown Projects 9th Semiannual Competition - Online exhibition]]> Found: deadline
$10,000 in cash prizes and purchases. Deadline: December 6, 2014

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35867d21f80168fff18732f3e7a45dff
<![CDATA[The 3rd Zebra Awards International Monochrome Competition - Online exhibition]]> Found: deadline
US$2000 Grand Prize. Deadline: December 31, 2014

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079680ea36e697d95cd356253889b06a
<![CDATA[Embracing Our Differences - Sarasota and Bradenton, Florida]]> Found: deadline, awards, award
$3,000 in awards. Deadline: January 5, 2015

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162b2beb738015a0eb9b1e879e420aaa
<![CDATA[Scottish independence referendum: Ed Miliband disrupted by yes campaigners - live]]> Found: call, opportunity

Will David Cameron have to resign if there is a yes vote? Almost a third of people think so, a new poll suggests. My colleague Frances Perraudin has the details.

The latest poll conducted by ComRes for ITV News has shown that nearly one third (30%) of Britons think that David Cameron should resign if Scotland becomes independent, compared to nearly half (48%) who think he shouldnt. Even if Scottish voters reject independence, 25% of those surveyed thought Cameron should resign if the vote is close.

The poll suggested that Ed Miliband would be held slightly less to blame, with one in four (24%) saying they think he should resign as leader of the Labour Party if Scotland becomes independent.

Heres a Scottish referendum reading list.

Pretty much all reporters I chatted to yesterday agreed that the level of abuse and even intimidation being meted out by some in the Yes campaign was making this referendum a rather unpleasant experience.

And whilst I am sure both sides have been guilty, the truth - uncomfortable as it is to say it is that most of the heckling and abuse does seem to be coming from the Nationalists.

All that said, what Ireland demonstrates is that a small English-speaking independent country, in the European time zone, with a highly educated population, a culture of hard work and a strong sense of patriotism is likely to prosper in the long term.

What Ireland cannot prove one way or another is whether the immediate economic tariff or price for that putative long term prosperity is worth paying.

Arguably that still meant that last week was a better one for No than for Yes. Stopping the Yes bandwagon while it still appeared to fall short of the 50% mark could be regarded as a damage limitation exercise well done. On the other hand, the apparent failure of the independence warnings from banks and business (not after all the most popular of institutions) to make any significant dent in Yes support means the No side can still hardly afford to rest on its laurels.

On moral and ethical questions, the regions seem to have divergent views. A majority of Scots polled (52%) think that British foreign policy should be based at least in part on ethical considerations, rather than simply pursuing the national interest at all times (33%). Londoners tend to agree (47% to 35%). But this is in marked contrast to the rest of the South, the Midlands and Wales and the North, in which national interest trumps ethics (most clearly in the North; 38% to 47%). Scots are less likely than others to think the UK should seek to be a Great Power, although even in Scotland a majority (53%) still support this view. In the South, that figure is 66%.

The late surge to Yes may have changed minds. But these migrants were notably pessimistic about an independent Scotland, with a 31/69 Yes/No split among those declaring for either side. (Ive extrapolated these figures as the authors didnt make it a top-line finding in their briefing.) Yet, as the SNP makes clear, an independent Scotland would seek to join the EU and welcome new migrants regardless of whether it succeeded. So why the hesitation? Why did the pro-Yes case made by a Poznan academic attract the comment (also in Polish): I havent read this much bullshit in a long time?

Here is some Twitter reaction to the Cameron/Miliband/Clegg vow. Some of the tweets are from commentators I recognise, and some arent.

If theyre all sceptical (or worse), thats because I could not find any positive ones.

'The vow' is also devoid of substance, so it'll piss off Scots and the rest of the UK. Finally, then, we have unity again.

To assess the Devo Panic 'vow', just read the 3 autographs at the bottom - Cameron, Clegg and Miliband. Enough said. #VoteYes #letsdothis

These liars so committed to Devo Max they fought against having it on the ballot paper; Cameron, who hands NHS to Branson & Mr Tuition Clegg

"DOC! The signatures on the Record's front page are disappearing!" #indyref #backtothefuture #TheVow pic.twitter.com/tXGAaipHAB

Making promises they can't keep smacks of desperation #indyref #thevow pic.twitter.com/gpVifDtTud

#TheVow 1) undefined powers 2) sharing resources equitably (not equally) 3) sticking to the existing Barnett allocation (fuck NHS) #voteYes

Heres more on Ed Miliband receiving what, in another context (Jim Murphy), was described as a warm yes welcome. Its from my colleague Severin Carrell.

Ed Miliband was forced to abandon a walk-about in Edinburgh after he became caught in a crush of media and pro-independence protesters, who drowned out his interviews with shouts of fucking liar and serial murder.

The Labour leader became the latest pro-politician to be abused and harangued as news of his unannounced visit to meet shop workers and voters at the St James Centre in central Edinburgh leaked in advance.

Sir Sean Connery, the SNPs most famous ex-pat supporter, wont be returning to Scotland for Thursdays vote, the Edinburgh Evening News reports. Not that anyone was expecting him back, I believe ....

Heres an extract from its story.

[Connerys brother] Neil Connery, himself a retired actor, said: I really dont believe he will be making an appearance this week in Scotland.

Asked about the whereabouts of his brother so close to the vote, he replied: Theres only a certain amount of days Sean can be in the country for tax reasons, so I know that he intends to use them wisely.

Yes Scotland is highlighting a report from Capital Economics saying independence could be good for the oil industry. An independent Scottish government would have a greater incentive to create a favourable policy environment for the sector, it says.

Here are some more tweets from the disrupted Ed Miliband visit. Theyre from journalists.

Well-judged campaign visit by Ed Miliband sees him pinned by mob against window of Claire's Accessories, then hair salon called Supercuts

Ridiculously unsafe scrum at Ed Miliband's press call in Edinburgh. Hard to see how this is helping anyone #indyref

Somewhere in the middle of this crowd is Ed Miliband, briefly experiencing what life's like for Harry Styles #indyref pic.twitter.com/QmEGS2gQFd

"Bow down to Miliband, your imperial master! Yes, yes, yes," Yes crowds cry. Chaos as Lab leader tours Edinburgh shopping centre #indyref

So Yes activists greet Ed Miliband by screaming that he's a "f***ing liar". More positive tactics... #indyref

Ed Miliband is campaigning in Edinburgh. Yes campaigners were on hand to welcome him, and it all got a bit chaotic.

Scenes of mayhem as @Ed_Miliband mobbed by crush of cameras, abusive yes activists shouting "fucking liar" #indyref pic.twitter.com/R7jdK5ESb6

.@Ed_Miliband forced to abandon #Edinburgh shopcentre walk-about in chaotic scenes: media, protesters & Labour crush pic.twitter.com/wDHc3F4eRm

Gordon Brown was right about libraries only allowing children to take out a certain number of fiction books, and making them take out non-fiction too, in his youth. See here.

But it was not just in Scotland; readers tell me this was the practice in English libraries too.

That Gordon Brown point about Libraries rationing fiction - I cant speak for Scotland, but it was true in Hampshire in the late 1970s and 1980s when I was growing up. Rather than one swipe card, you were given, I think four fiction and four non fiction tickets, and had to stick to the different sections of the library with them. I suspect it was a common practice before computerisation of the catalogue and stock control in the late 80s.

@AndrewSparrow Not just Scotland. I remember it at Yardley library, B'ham in 1950s. Distinction between 'knowledge' & 'enjoyment'

@AndrewSparrow Was true of my library in Glasgow in 70s ...which is probably why I prefer non-fiction

@AndrewSparrow Not just Scottish kids, I lived in London. 3 fiction, 2 nonfiction. Read about wildlife,theatre,science. Enjoyed it, had fun

Frances Perraudin sends this vine of yes signs around Edinburgh.

Brian Binley, the Conservative MP for Northampton South, has used a post on his blog to protest about the commitment from David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg (or quasi-commitment quite what it means is not clear see here) to protect the Barnett formula. Binely wrote:

I resent that parliament has been ignored and subordinated in this debate: not that long ago, changes in government policy were explained first to parliament. And to top it all we are now told that the three leaders have promised to maintain a charitable situation wherein each Scottish citizen is rewarded with £1,300 per year more than their English counterpart for public expenditure, and that without a by-your-leave from parliament. On this and many other issues parliamentarians havent been able to question those making ever more elaborate announcements as party leaders and not as ministers. Many residents of Northampton thought that they had voted Gordon Brown out of office four years ago, only to find him swanning around making promises left, right and centre apparently with the authority of a government minister.

My support is for an arrangement similar to that explained by John Redwood, whereby English MPs spend some time at Westminster each week considering business that affects only those of us in England (much in the same way that the Scottish grand committee used to debate Scottish affairs). Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs would not be able to participate in these proceedings, but would concentrate on their own affairs. The United Kingdom parliament, meeting at Westminster, would consider matters of import to all parts of our country, at other times.

In support of the no campaign, Lazzaro Pietragnoli, the Italian-born mayor of Camden in London, has the Scottish flag flying atop his town hall.

In Dundee, Steven Morris has been speaking to Tony Cox, a yes campaigner who says the working class are winning it for his side in that city and across Scotland.

Much of what Gordon Brown said in his speech earlier he has said before, but there was one passage, on the distinctiveness of Scotland that I had not heard before. It is worth flagging up because its not just funny, but also rather revealing.

I know the distinctiveness of Scotland. Were sometimes too pessimistic. You know that minister who said: In the beginning there was nothing. And then things got worse. And you know its a good day, and people say, well, my mother used to say, its going to be rain tomorrow. And you know when I was a kid, going to my local library in Kirkcaldy, you were allowed to take out four books. But you could only take out two fiction books. You could not be allowed to have the fun of reading fiction. You had to take non-fiction books as well.

On Newsnight last night Inigo Mendez de Vigo, the Spanish minister for European affairs, said that it would take an independent Scotland about five years to join the EU and that it would have to apply from outside, not from inside.

It is crystal clear that any partner member state that leaves the member state is out of the European Union. If they want to apply again, they would have to follow the procedure of article 49 of the treaties. That means the status of candidates should be granted to the new candidates. This decision has to be taken unanimously. Then it has to go into a negotiation of the 35 chapters. At the end of this negotiation there is also a vote, by unanimity. Then, if again this is granted, it has to go to the European parliament, where a vote is taken by the absolute majority of its members. If at the end of the process, a new vote is granted, it has to go through ratification process of the 28 member states ... It is a process that takes more or less five years.

My colleague Severin Carrell has obtained a copy of the leaked NHS document that has triggered the row between Labour and the SNP over the impact of a £450m shortfall in health spending (pdf).

Frances Perraudin has been out talking to people on Princes Street, Edinburghs main shopping street, about the vow on the front page of todays Daily Record that the three main parties will deliver change to Scotland in the event of a no vote. From the people she spoke to the general view seemed to be that the move was too little, too late.

Cat Thomson, a 20-year-old student, said that she was definitely voting no, so the vow made no difference to her. Maybe the undecided voters will be swayed by it though. I hope so.

It is the SNP who are perpetrating a lie about what the NHS can and cannot do in Scotland. Over these next few hours, you must remind the people in Scotland the NHS has the powers and the Scottish Parliament has the powers to fund the health service, to protect the health service, to stop any privatisation, and to keep the health service in public hands.

One female Tory MP said Mr Camerons promise, issued just two days before the polls open, was desperate.

There will be a bloodbath. Last night as I was listening to Cameron saying we are going to be providing all these additional benefits to Scotland, when we are struggling in so many areas of the UK.

The Westminster revolt against any more powers for Scotland is up and running, and exposes the utter deceit at the heart of the No campaign that additional powers would follow a No. Tory MPs are promising a bloodbath, and are itching to slash Scottish spending - which would do huge damage to our National Health Service.

We dont yet have government by decree in this country, we have a parliamentary democracy, so anything thats been said by the party leaders is obviously subject to the will of parliament. [What the party leaders wanted] didnt happen when the three party leaders agreed we had to reform the House of Lords: parliament spoke up. My constituents are saying hang on a minute, you cant have a devo max settlement for Scotland which were paying for without having a look at the balance of competences and powers within the United Kingdom as a whole.

Standard and Poors said that even without oil and gas, just the onshore economy, Scotland would qualify for their highest economic assessment. Moody has said that looking at all the possible outcomes, Scotland would be among the wealthiest sovereigns in the world. If youre a serious investor, and whether you are investing in business in Scotland or are looking to buy sovereign debt, you would see Scotland as an extremely attractive proposition indeed, precisely because of the underlying strength of the economy.

Among the negative predictions of the impact of Scottish independence, this must be one of the most extreme: a former Italian prime minister raising the spectre of the events that led to the first world war. My colleague John Hooper has sent me the details.

Italys former prime minister, Enrico Letta, a member of the centre-left Democratic party, on Tuesday likened the possible exit of Scotland from the UK to the event that sparked the first world war a hundred years ago.

In a letter to the daily newspaper Corriere della Sera, Letta wrote that to compare the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo with the possible consequences of Scottish independence as a result of Thursdays referendum may not be too far-fetched.

Whole forests will have died to produce the leaflets that are about to fall through Scottish letterboxes. My colleague Severin Carrell has sent some details.

Scottish voters will be deluged with leaflets and contact from yes and no activists in the closing 48 hours of the campaign, with Yes Scotland out in front with the sheer scale of their offensive.

The pro-independence campaign is promising to deliver 2.6m leaflets, a direct mail-out to 1.2 million pensioners, newspaper adverts and 300 billboard sites around the country.

This is what Charles Kennedy, the former Lib Dem leader, said at a Better Together event in Glasgow.

Together, our family of nations has achieved great things. In so many ways we have built the best. In the NHS we have the best health service in the world. We are the worlds second-largest aid donor, helping the planets poorest. And in the BBC we have the worlds best broadcaster, too. Weve built these things together. And I dont believe that we should walk away from them.

And this from Ben Quinn:

Im here today in Aberdeen talking to some of the referendums switherers a Scottish term meaning someone who is hesitating or vacillating from one position to another.

At this late stage, there seem to be plenty in Scotlands third most populous city, which is known as the granite city or, more recently on account of the economic boom emanating from beneath the seas to its east, Europes oil capital.

Callum Hogg, 20, IT worker
At the moment Im undecided because I just havent seen enough of the facts to push me one way or another to be honest, said Hogg, a first-time voter waiting beside a statue of Robert the Bruce before a job interview at Aberdeens council offices.
I have had some things through the mail but there has not been anything that has caught my eye. The currency issue probably worries me most. I think we would probably keep the pound but I dont know if we would have control over our own destiny even then.
[For] most of my friends who are leaning towards yes its not about nationalism. They just see it as an opportunity to create a better society. It will probably be some time tomorrow when I make up my mind. Ill go on to Google and see if I can look it up from both sides and try to avoid any bias.

Stephen Thompson, the Dundee United chairman, is backing yes, according to the BBC. He says:

A yes vote will allow Scotland to maximise its potential on the world stage.

One of our biggest exports and assets has been our people from all walks of life, social and political background and one of the greatest challenges we face is to grow job opportunities so more of our brightest youngsters stay and work here in Scotland.

Following are some brief interviews Steven Morris carried out with key people from the yes campaign at their hub in Dundee.

Alex Salmond has said if the rest of the UK refused to agree to a currency union, an independent Scotland could refuse to pay its share of UK debt. He says he does not favour that, but he has floated it as a last-resort option.

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research has been looking at the idea. It concludes that continuing to use sterling without a currency union, and defaulting on debt in the way Salmond has suggested, would be a disaster. It has set out its thinking in this paper, Is this Plan B? (pdf)

If the Scottish government combines Sterlingisation with reneging on its fair share of UK debt, which judging from the first ministers comments may be Plan B, this would increase rather than reduce the fragility of the currency arrangement. The appeal of this option might be that it reduces the internal and external funding requirements. However, this would be a false economy. International investors are likely to see walking away from debt as opportunistic and either charge very high borrowing premiums or exclude Scotland from international markets. This would imply an immediate return to a fiscal surplus and therefore unprecedented austerity. Entry into the EU would be out of the UKs hands, even if it supported Scotlands case. This would raise doubts about the outlook for exports, particularly for financial services. Whether the citizens of Scotland would accept this policy simply to hold on to sterling would become a source of speculation with a low level of reserves as defence. We would expect the currency arrangement to fail and Scotland would be forced to introduce its own new currency within one year.

Introducing a new Scottish currency has always been the most sensible option. We would recommend this is carried out before losing £7bn of foreign exchange reserves rather than after.

Political editor Patrick Wintour reports:

Betfair Sportsbook say they are so confident of referendum outcome they are paying out on No bets 3 days early.

After Gordon Browns speech my colleague Libby Brooks spoke to two people in the audience, Labour councillor Kath Ryan and Duntocher tenants rep Phyllis Gillan. Gillan said that parts had her in tears.

Better Together and the SNP are going at it hammer and tongs over health.

Alistair Darling, the Better Together leader, renewed his attack on the Scottish government over the reported £450m black hole in its health budget. In a statement he said:

Today we learn that Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon have been deceiving us.

We find they are planning on cutting £450 million from Scotlands health budget, something over which they have total control yet they were going to keep this under wraps until after the referendum.

This is a spectacular own goal from Gordon Brown, who has inadvertently made the case for independence.

If Westminster parties say that there should be an increase in taxes, they must say now which taxes and by how much ...

And heres a SoundCloud with an extract from Gordon Browns speech. Its Brown talking about the SNPs Dads Army defence policy.

My new sounds: Extract from Gordon Brown's Clydebank speech - on SNP's 'Dad's Army' defence policy http://t.co/fkmtMJAQUI on #SoundCloud

My colleague Libby Brooks has sent me this from Gordon Browns speech.

Speaking to an audience of Labour supporters at Clydebank town hall, Gordon Brown is hammering home his message that the greatest threat to the NHS in Scotland is the SNP.

In a direct assault on the yes campaigns most popular message on the doorstep, that independence is the only way to protect the health service from Westminster cuts and privatisation, he said that the SNPs lies had been laid bare and that the Scottish government already had the necessary powers to improve the NHS.

Prudential is the UKs largest insurance company. It is not based in Scotland, but it employs 1,275 people in Stirling and its group chief executive, Tidjane Thiam, has just released this statement opposing independence.

The decision in this weeks referendum is absolutely one for the people of Scotland and whatever the outcome, Prudential will continue to honour its obligations to its customers and staff in Scotland, where we have a long and proud tradition.

From a business and economic perspective I believe it is in the long-term interests of Scotland to remain part of the United Kingdom. Like many foreigners who have chosen to live and work here, I have seen how the diverse strands that make up the UK render the whole more than the sum of its parts.

Gordon Brown is speaking in Clydebank now.

Brown says that Daily Record pledge was 'thanks to prompting of Labour Party in Scotland' #LabourNo #indyref pic.twitter.com/Sv98Rn7XbG

You can read all the Guardians Scottish independence referendum coverage here.

As for the rest of the papers, Ive already mentioned the Daily Records key front page. Here are some other articles I found interesting.

Better Togethers proposed timetable for change, with legislation being brought forward by January, is desirable, but a superficial exercise in public consultation will only undermine the process. It will be the Heralds mission to harry the pro-UK parties every step of the way, to ensure they deliver the devolution Scotland wants and expects.

To them, we say this: the Herald backs Scotland staying within the UK at this stage. But fudge this process, stitch it up and fail to deliver far-reaching further devolution, and make no mistake: you will be guaranteeing another referendum one that you will lose, and deserve to lose.

Complacency, cockiness and cliquiness: senior Tories fear that the Scottish referendum campaign has exposed the underlying flaws in the Downing Street operation that will become ever more pronounced as the general election nears. They point to a trademark tendency to put tactics before strategy that will also be a huge issue for the country and the Conservative party if a renegotiation and referendum on Europe ever go ahead

Only in the past two weeks has Mr Cameron focused on Scotland after a poll showing the yes camp ahead made him realise that he might be about to become the prime minister who presided over the breakup of the United Kingdom. Once he understood quite how high the stakes had become, he panicked, cancelling prime ministers questions to rush north and talk about how heartbroken he would be by separation, while promising new powers if the Scots agreed to stay.

Not only has the union been tugged loose by this referendum, it will keep loosening the day after. All the main parties in Westminster have promised to divest more powers to Edinburgh, starting almost immediately. With all the authority of a man who scraped 29 per cent of the vote at the last general election, Gordon Brown, Mr Camerons predecessor, has promised nothing less than a modern form of Scottish home rule. The fact that he is in no official position to offer anything of the sort, and that neither the English nor the Welsh nor the Northern Irish nor parliament itself have been consulted, seems just a rumple to be ironed out in good time.

We chuckle at the French for their five attempts at a republic but this is constitutional improvisation at its most heedless. Irreversible promises to do with the governing arrangements of the UK are being thrown around as campaign bait by desperate men in the last ditch ...

Moderate backbenchers inclined to loyalty towards the PM are usually a good bellwether. Among those I spoke to last night, the verdict was unanimous: if Scotland breaks away next week, the PMs number is up.

The whole thing has been a catastrophe, said one with a particularly apocalyptic view of the likely consequences of a yes vote. Another pondered whether the PM had been too busy watching DVD boxed sets to pay sufficient attention during negotiations with Scotlands first minister Alex Salmond over the detail of the referendum in October 2012.

Douglas Alexander, the shadow foreign secretary and a leading figure in the Better Together campaign, was on BBC Breakfast this morning. He said it was wrong to think that independence would mean the Scots would always get the government they wanted.

First of all I have got two governments that I didnt voted for and didnt support. I have got a Scottish National party government in Edinburgh and Ive got a Conservative-Liberal government in Westminster. The only way that you ever get the government that you always vote for is in a one-party state and I dont think anybody is recommending that. A 16-year-old voting on Thursday for the first time here in Scotland will have lived her life, three-quarters of it under a UK Labour government so its simply nonsense to suggest that somehow everybody south of the Tweed is an austerity-loving Tory.

The fact is the Conservatives havent won a majority in Westminster for 20 years. The latest opinion polls suggest that prospects of a Labour government are increasing by the day. We have only got eight months left of this coalition governments mandate. Change is coming to Scotland, both constitutional change with the commitment that we gave this morning from the three party leaders, and I believe also the prospect of a Labour government in a few months time. That for my mind is the change that most of us here in Scotland want to see, rather that the breakup of the country.

The CBI is a long-standing supporter of the union. Today it has issued a statement reaffirming that. This is from John Cridland, its director general.

While the referendum is a matter for Scottish voters, the message from our members, which employ half a million people in Scotland alone, is that we want Scotland to continue to play a strong role as part of this successful union.

We believe that Scotland staying within the UK is the best guarantee for creating jobs, driving growth and for raising living standards. We hope the people of Scotland vote to stay with us.

We have more reporters joining our team around Scotland today and tomorrow, ahead of Thursdays vote. Steven Morris has sent this:

Dundee home of Desperate Dan and Minnie the Minx (or at least of Dandy and Beano publishers DC Thomson). The cartoon characters statues have been plastered with yes stickers, which have been half-heartedly ripped off.

Crimson Hexagon, a social media analysis company, has been looking at the social media traffic relating to Scottish independence. It found 23,399 UK tweets on the subject of independence from the 15 August 2014 to date. According to a note it sent out, it also found that:

The yes vote dominates with 88% of the social media conversation as opposed to 12% on voting no

#Voteyes has been the most used hashtag, at over 16,000 times

Ed Miliband is campaigning in Edinburgh later today. Overnight, Labour released some extracts from his speech. Heres one passage.

The will of the people of Scotland for economic and political change has been heard and we will deliver.

Change is coming with more powers on tax and welfare for the Scottish parliament.

Scottish businesses are already moving their money into English bank accounts, my colleague Helen Pidd reports. Heres an extract from her story.

Eyebrow-raising numbers of Scottish businesses are moving their money across the border and into English bank accounts, according to the Cumbria Chamber of Commerce.

Rob Johnson, the chief executive, said he knew of significant numbers of firms transferring funds from banks registered in Scotland to those headquartered in England. We know its happening, but we cant give names, he said on Monday.

My colleague Ben Quinn went along to hear the political theorist Tom Nairn speak last night in Edinburgh. He has sent me this.

While his name has not been as prominent as Alex Salmond and David Camerons during the debate about Scotland and the UKs future, the odds are that Tom Nairn will be familiar to anyone who has engaged in even the most cursory study of nationalism in Britain as a result of his highly influential (some would say prophetic) book the Break Up of Britain.

Decades later, many of the few hundred who crammed into a hall at New College in Edinburgh University on Monday for a rare public appearance by him were not even born when Nairns 1977 work was published but it is clear that his Marxist analysis has made him something of an icon for many young Scottish leftwingers placing their hopes in independence.

Tom Nairn: "We need rid of something I call Eton Oxbridge Home Counties" #indyref "If not Thursday..in a few years" pic.twitter.com/GJ0FxnvTGT

The Daily Record has splashed on the Cameron/Miliband/Clegg vow. The Suns splash in Scotland is rather more eccentric.

The Scottish Sun, meanwhile, go with 'Aye Cloud', the oddest splash I've seen all #indyref. Or all year, at that: pic.twitter.com/62RLub2ZrV

Here is one more line from Nicola Sturgeons BBC Breakfast interview this morning. (See earlier.)

Independence is not a magic wand, we dont wake up the morning after we become independent to find the streets paved with gold. But it is a matter of opportunity, to take control of our own resources and put our hands on the levers of decision making, allow us to make the decisions that shape the kind of country we are.

Here are the key points from Scottish first minister Alex Salmonds BBC Radio Scotland interview.

This cut Alistair Darling is talking about is totally mythical, totally made up.

This last-minute, desperate offer of nothing is not going to dissuade people of Scotland from the huge opportunity of taking Scotlands future into Scotlands hands this coming Thursday.

Their [nationalist] forecasts are so implausible they really should be dismissed out of hand.

Many economic experts take the contrary view. Two examples: one would be Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel laureate, the most famous economist in the world, who wrote on Sunday that Scotland could look forward to a prosperous future, and it was ridiculous for anyone to argue that the land of Adam Smith could not run its own finances. So there are many international experts [who] take a different view.

Here is todays engraving from the wall of the Scottish parliament.

Engraving from the wall of the Scottish parliament pic.twitter.com/s3tEDU36vM

Salmond says the three party leaders have called this a vow because they cannot call it a pledge, in case that reminds voters of Nick Cleggs tuition fee promise.

It is an empty promise, he says.

Q: Aviva has criticised your plans for independence. And Alan Greenspan, the former chair of the US Federal Reserve, has now come out and criticised your plans too.

Salmond says other economists, like Joseph Stiglitz, take a different view.

Q: So why does the paper talk about a funding gap?

Salmond says there are 3.5% efficiencies that need to be achieved, just as 3% efficiencies have been achieve in recent years.

Gary Robertson is interviewing Alex Salmond.

Q: What about the paper showing a £450 funding gap in the NHS?

Scotlands first minister, Alex Salmond, is about to be interviewed on BBC Radio Scotland. Ill be covering it in detail.

David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg have signed a joint vow to Scotland. You can read the text here. The three leaders have also each written an individual piece for the Daily Record setting out what they are promising. And the Record has published its own interpetation of the vow, which goes into slightly more detail than the text.

Although it has not been signed by Gordon Brown, the whole thing is clearly inspired by him he first proposed these ideas in his book, My Scotland, Our Britain and he effectively announced them last night. (Brown is also a past master at using leaked documents to unsettle opponents, and the BBC/Herald leak has all the hallmarks of a Brown operation.) Here are the three main points, and a snap analysis.

Holyrood will be strengthened with extensive new powers, on a timetable beginning on 19 September, with legislation in 2015.

The Scottish parliament will be a permanent and irreversible part of the British constitution.

The guarantee that the modern purpose of the union is to ensure opportunity and security by pooling and sharing our resources equitably for our defence, prosperity and the social and economic welfare of every citizen, including through UK pensions and UK funding of healthcare.

The power to spend more on the NHS if that is Scottish peoples will.

The guarantee that with the continued Barnett allocation, based on need and with the power to raise its own funds, the final decisions on spending on public services in Scotland, including on the NHS, will be made by the Scottish Parliament.

On BBC Breakfast Jim Murphy, the Labour former Scottish secretary, says the SNPs plans are shrouded in doubt.

Q: But Christopher Chope, a Conservative MP, said on Saturday that Tory MPs could block this plan.

Alistair Darling, the leader of Better Together, says new evidence has emerged today showing that the SNP government is planning to cut £450m from the health service. He is referring to this story from the BBC and the Herald, which is based on the leak of confidential papers presented to a meeting of Scottish health board chief executives last month.

Heres an extract from the BBC story.

The papers were passed to the BBC and the Herald by a senior NHS whistleblower, who said they had become frustrated by the argument of the yes campaign that the biggest threat to the NHS comes from the UK government.

The documents state: The status quo and preservation of existing models of care are no longer an option given the pressing challenges we face. ...

Despite Scotlands budget being slashed by 7.2% by George Osborne between 2010/11 and 2015/16, our increases in health spending means that the NHS is receiving record high funding, with a budget increase of over £1bn between 2010/11 and 2015/16.

To ensure we can continue to develop the NHS, its important that NHS boards regularly discuss their future plans to inform budget discussions with Scottish government officials, and to identify how we will continue to deliver quality care and treatment.

It was a ploy that students of Northern Ireland politics will recognise: the signed pledge. In 1998, when Tony Blair needed to win more support ahead of the referendum on the Good Friday agreement, he produced one. And last night, only hours after David Camerons speech in Aberdeen, the Daily Record produced a signed pledge from Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg promising, well, various things, but specifically that the final say on how much is spent on the NHS in Scotland will be a matter for the Scottish parliament.

The Vow - Daily Record front page pic.twitter.com/zbiocQNB9O

Nick Clegg has made a 'pledge' to Scotland. Mmmm. #tuitionfees #indyref #voteyes Continue reading...

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16 September 2014, 11:16 am ef73d6225e6e1b57e5b3c07810e598f4
<![CDATA[Is whaling the biggest threat to whales?]]> Found: calling, call

As countries meet in Slovenia to discuss proposals for whale conservation the headlines are dominated by the activities of whaling nations. Karl Mathiesen, with your help, investigates whether were right to focus so much on whaling compared to other threats, from shipping to climate change.

Post your thoughts in the comments below, email karl.mathiesen.freelance@theguardian.com or tweet @karlmathiesen

@karlmathiesen If you include all cetaceans by-catch is the largest threat in terms of numbers of animals killed by a long way.

@karlmathiesen That said, #whaling is the easiest to stop as a single policy change can save hundreds of #whales.

@adamvaughan_uk @KarlMathiesen Politically yes. Difficult to engage countries on other threats if we say it's okay to kill whales for cash

Many of those who object to whaling on moral grounds accept that hunting some species is not necessarily a threat to their survival. Norway, which operates the worlds only outwardly commercial whaling fleet, says its minke whale quota is sustainable and set on the basis of scientific advice given to the IWC.

Stocks of minke whale that we harvest in the Northeast Atlantic and around Jan Mayen total 108,000 animals. For 2013, a quota is set of 1286 animals. This is the same as the quota for 2010-2012. The stock of minke whales off Iceland and the Faeroe Islands, the central Atlantic stock, is estimated to number 71,000 animals.

This is an interesting point:

.@KarlMathiesen Please add pollution to your list of threats to whales in the @guardian: http://t.co/DhNlWHSkT0

This is a complex issue given the huge number of synthetic chemicals introduced into the environment, the difficulty in establishing whether they have an effect and quantifying any effects detected. However, as agreed at a specialist workshop in 1995, there were sufficient indications from other taxa of potential damaging effects on health (e.g. with respect to greater susceptibility to disease and poorer reproductive success) to warrant concern for cetaceans.

It's a distraction by a well meaning group of people who want a cause that's easy to follow (because it doesn't involve any changes to your lifestyle, or put you in conflict with anyone you know directly, but you still get to feel outraged and good about yourself for it.

Make no mistakes, whaling should be stopped - but the 800 or so, non endangered, minke whales killed every year are becoming a bit like the panda of the oceans... a huge amount of international focus on what is actually a minuscule part of the vast damage we are doing to the planet.

Given that modern day whaling objectively poses absolutely no threat to the viability of any targeted whale stock, why is any focus being placed on the issue?

The moratorium on commercial whaling was implemented as a temporary measure to allow the recovery of threatened whale stocks to the point at which they could again be harvested sustainably. For a great many species, such as the minke and humpback, this point has long since been achieved. The moratorium should have been lifted accordingly, however, it remains in place due to the obstructionist activities of ideologically motivated prohibitionists who have hijacked the IWC. That organisation has been rendered utterly dysfunctional by such recalcitrants, which is why we have this "whaling issue" today despite its irrelevance to conservation.

I think it is right to focus on the whale sanctuary right now because it should, in theory, be a quick and easy win that will have a massive impact on the whale population and subsequent biodiversity. Get that done and then you can start unpicking the infrastructure of all the many, industries, countries and individuals who are damaging the oceans in such a myriad of different ways. If we did it the other way round, they'd be no whales left by the time we got round to it.

The level of noise in our oceans has increased dramatically in recent decades and this effects almost every area of whale life, says Ken Collins of the University of Southampton.

Ship strikes

It is tremendously difficult to estimate the number of whales killed by colliding with ships, says the IWC, because it most often happens without the knowledge of the crew or it is not reported.

For every incident that is observed and reported there will be many others that are missed. This makes assessing the conservation implications of ship strikes very difficult.

Climate change

Entanglement in fishing tackle is not only a far crueler and more drawn out death than for the vast majority of whaling victims. Entanglement affects species without concern for their conservation status, it also kills in numbers that appear to dwarf the annual whale cull.

A 2013 study found that entanglement had killed 43% of whales in which the cause of death could be identified. In 2012, a Yale environment report noted that:

Scientists examining scars on whale skin estimate that 82 percent of North Atlantic right whales and about half of endangered humpbacks between Cape Cod and Nova Scotia have become entangled at least once.

The Icelandic minister of fisheries, Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, has responded to an international initiative calling upon it to cease its whaling practices, saying that its cull is sustainable.

I think that in the past few years we have been too shy about [our sustainable whaling practices] and I think its really burned us, Jóhannsson told Icelands RUV news. People and companies have maintained for a long time [that whaling has damaged the reputation of Icelanders] and pitted tourism and whale watching against whaling. But if we look at this rationally, and analyse the numbers, these two industries run really well alongside one another.

We are especially troubled by Icelands harvestof 125 fin whales in 2009, 148 fin whales in 2010, and 134 fin whales in 2013, all of which are a significant increase from the seven fin whales harvested over the 20 years prior to 2009. The current 5 year quota of 770 fin whales is considered unsustainable under IWC stock assessment methods.

We encourage the Government of Iceland to adhere to the internationally agreed moratorium on commercial whaling and to re-examine the decision to continue to issue fin and minke whale quotas.

We are not convinced that Icelands harvest and subsequent trade of fin whales meets any domestic market demand or need; it also undermines effective international cetacean conservation efforts.

The Japanese whale hunt takes whales at an unsustainable rate, says Paul Jepson, a marine mammal veterinarian at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). But a lot of the whaling done by North Atlantic whaling countries is probably sustainable numerically.

Levels of minke whales remain high in the region because historical whalers did not harvest them, instead focussing on larger, more lucrative species. Thus, the whalers of Norway, Iceland and Greenland may be having limited conservation impact on the species. However, says Jepson, most people would agree that any level of whaling is undesirable.

The number of whales killed by whaling is undoubtedly on the rise, despite the moratorium on commercial whaling. Since 1986, whalers have taken 30,000 animals. Whales killed under the auspices of science made up around a third of the 1500 or so whales hunted last year, according to WWF.

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) is discussing proposals which could put an end to Japans maligned Southern Ocean whale hunt and create a massive new reserve for migratory whales in the Atlantic.

The 88 member states will today vote on the creation of a 50 million square mile reserve that would preserve a corridor where whales could breed and migrate free from the threat of harpoons. Tomorrow it will consider a New Zealand proposal that would block Japans desire to recommence its outlawed summer hunt in the Southern Ocean. Continue reading...

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16 September 2014, 11:06 am 1facef4c4b5e7e7bef7176a10d3db604
<![CDATA[Rihanna blasts CBS on Twitter for pulling her song from NFL broadcast]]> Found: call, awards, award

After CBS canceled singers appearance amid the growing Ray Rice scandal, Rihanna told network Fuck You

Pop singer Rihanna has lashed out against CBS after the network pulled her song from the broadcast of a National Football League game last week amid an unfolding domestic violence scandal.

A song by Rihanna, who was hit by singer Chris Brown before the 2009 Grammy Awards, was to play as an intro last Thursday during the broadcast of a game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens. CBS cancelled the singers appearance hours after the Ravens released running back Ray Rice for violating the leagues domestic violence policy when he hit his fiancee in an Atlantic City elevator. At the time, CBS sports chairman told SI.com: We thought journalistically and from a tone standpoint, we needed to have the appropriate tone and coverage.

CBS you pulled my song last week, now you wanna slide it back in this Thursday? NO, Fuck you! Y'all are sad for penalizing me for this.

The audacity... Continue reading...

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16 September 2014, 10:18 am c31b91e67624caa3a3a7c12b74061403
<![CDATA[The NHS will improve only when there is nowhere to hide its failures]]> Found: call
Exposing huge variations in quality will deliver better hospitals and care homes, says the health regulator, the CQC

It is a pity that politics makes it so difficult to discuss rationally the future of health and social care, especially when almost everyone agrees that the demands of current and future generations need to be met very differently from those of the past. Most importantly, we have to find better ways of caring for people suffering from long-term medical and social conditions associated with old age. We have discovered new ways of living longer but not always living better. The current system no longer effectively meets the needs of our ageing population. There is however, a catalyst for change that could provide a new framework for any conceivable government after next May. I call this intelligent transparency.

Intelligent transparency means putting into the public domain clear, simple, easy to understand information about health and social care. Continue reading...

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16 September 2014, 10:00 am 9e92f24a38aabbadcdf140087f848ace
<![CDATA[McDonalds to trademark 'McBrunch' for a bigger bite of the breakfast market]]> Found: call
One-quarter of the companys revenues come from morning customers, a percentage it wants to increase

In the latest sign that McDonalds is trying to consolidate its control of the coveted breakfast market, the fast food chain has applied to trademark a new word that could appeal to late morning risers everywhere: McBrunch.

The application, which the maker of the Egg McMuffin filed on 23 July, signals at the very least an interest in expanding what has been one of the companys fastest-growing and most profitable day segments. Weve been serving breakfast now for over 30 years and it is one of our strongest day parts, Peter Benson, McDonalds CFO, said in a company earnings call this spring. From a profitability perspective, [breakfast is] the strongest. And so well continue to focus on our breakfast opportunities. Continue reading...

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16 September 2014, 7:29 am 4e97cbb98a31c3083b36eacb98fae513
<![CDATA[VS Naipaul dropped by Bali literary festival over fee request]]> Found: award
Ubud Writers and Readers festival claimed it could not afford the Nobel laureates 11th-hour change to terms

Nobel laureate VS Naipaul will no longer be appearing at a literary festival in Bali after the event declined to meet what it described as his 11th-hour request for a $20,000 (£11,000) appearance fee.

Naipaul, who is 82, had been booked with great fanfare for the Ubud Writers and Readers festival, which is due to take place in October in the Balinese town. Describing itself as Southeast Asias largest and most renowned cultural and literary event, the festival has been running for 11 years since it was first established by Janet DeNeefe as a healing project in response to the first Bali bombing. This years programme features an impressive roster of award-winning writers from around the world including Eimear McBride, Val McDermid and Amitav Ghosh but Naipaul will, the festival has now said, no longer be part of the line-up. Continue reading...

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16 September 2014, 7:19 am 4f224c1d297021f116fb2a8d10d4692d
<![CDATA[UK house prices hit new record as London average breaks £500,000]]> Found: calls, call
Average cost of home now £272k, £514k in capital, as fears build over property bubble and calls grow for interest rate hike

House prices hit a fresh record high in July after surging by 11.7% over the last year, according to official figures.

The average price of a British home stood at £272,000 following three consecutive months of double-digit price rises. Most of the UK's regions saw house values jump above their pre-financial crisis peaks, fuelling concerns that much of the UK's recovery has been fuelled to a large degree by a booming housing market. Continue reading...

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16 September 2014, 5:58 am ea55c749cefb89828ffd93ec721b7f7f
<![CDATA[When given the chance, countries tend to say yes to independence]]> Found: opportunity

Weve looked at about 50 independence votes since 1846, and the vote for independence has averaged 82.9%, and came out on top in 88% of the votes

History shows that when people are asked, they almost always say yes to independence.

Every election, country and places history is unique and different. Scotland is no exception. Yet, when given the opportunity, countries tend to vote in favour of independence, and to do so decisively. Continue reading...

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16 September 2014, 5:31 am d9fc3d1a28079e36d7262fb50901f566
<![CDATA[Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: PCC Shaun Wright resigns]]> Found: calls, call
Former head of children's services steps down 'for sake of victims' three weeks after report reveals extent of abuse

Shaun Wright, the South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner, has resigned three weeks after a damning report revealing the scale of child sex abuse in Rotherham triggered calls for his resignation from the home secretary downwards.

Wright, who was in charge of children's services in Rotherham between 2005 and 2010, said in his resignation statement that the issue of his role as South Yorkshire's police commissioner following the report was "detracting from the important issue the 1,400 victims outlined in the report". Continue reading...

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16 September 2014, 4:55 am 25d93c65e7f75d10f8064d97a1974dbd
<![CDATA[George Clooney to receive Golden Globes lifetime achievement award]]> Found: awards, award
Actor, director and producer to be honoured with the Cecil B DeMille award, recently given to Jodie Foster and Woody Allen, at next year's ceremony

George Clooney 'to make appearance on Downton Abbey'
Clooney to direct phone-hacking film

George Clooney is to be honoured with a lifetime achievement award at next year's Golden Globes. The two-time Oscar-winner, 53, will pick up the Cecil B DeMille Award at the 72nd annual edition of the ceremony on 1 January in Los Angeles, according to Variety.

Clooney has won four Golden Globes and been nominated 13 times by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, who organise the awards. After a stuttering start to his big screen career, including a famously stale turn as the caped crusader in misfiring 1997 superhero sequel Batman & Robin, the former ER stalwart made his name with a series of turn-of-the-century critical and commercial hits. His best known early films include 1998's Out of Sight, 1999's Three Kings, 2000's Ocean's Eleven (and its two sequels) and the same year's O' Brother Where Art Thou? Continue reading...

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16 September 2014, 3:58 am 85fc73af6c1b16c80aa0aafd0d838034
<![CDATA[Bourne on the fourth with Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass]]> Found: deadline

Star Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass are to reunite on a fourth Jason Bourne film, following disappointing receipts and reception for Jeremy Renner/Tony Gilroy outing

Matt Damon looks set for a surprise return to the Bourne spy franchise which made him one of the best known faces in Hollywood after series stalwart Paul Greengrass came on board to write and direct a new instalment, according to Deadline.

The two men are reportedly in early talks for a sequel to 2007s The Bourne Ultimatum, itself the culmination of a trilogy in which Damon starred as an amnesiac agent on the run from the shadowy organisation which brought him into existence.

Greengrass directed Ultimatum and its 2004 predecessor The Bourne Supremacy, while trilogy opener The Bourne Identity had Doug Liman in charge of the cameras. The new film would mark the first occasion on which Greengrass takes on both writing and directing duties, according to reports. Continue reading...

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16 September 2014, 3:47 am 032888bdd841c1f5434e422f49dc8057
<![CDATA[Unreleased Doors film from 1968 tour out in November]]> Found: call

Filming for the rarely seen Feast of Friends took place across five months and 20 US cities

The Doors are finally set to release a poetic concert tour film from 1968. Feast of Friends, which was only ever shown at a handful of film festivals, will be issued on DVD and Blu-Ray on 11 November.

The Doors produced Feast of Friends and asked their official photographer, Paul Ferrara, to direct the experimental documentary. I cant say too much about it, because were not really making it, its just kind of making itself, Jim Morrison explained early in the process. As outlined by website the Doors Guide, filming took place across five months and in 20 US cities, capturing the band on stage, at play and aboard a Hawaiian sailboat. A young Harrison Ford was allegedly among the movies camera technicians; the film would be completed about five years before Fords breakout role in American Graffiti. Continue reading...

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16 September 2014, 2:01 am 1ca77961a8cb66cdb2c4e6ed1ced753c
<![CDATA[V&A CultureCast: July 2006 (enhanced with images)]]> Found: residence
The July 2006 edition of CultureCast features design historian David Crowley discussing the image of Che Guevara within the context of 1960s culture and politics. It also has an extract from a tapestry gallery talk given by Sue Lawty, V& A artist in residence and an article about the cast of the Portico de la Gloria in the Cast Courts.

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10 July 2006, 4:00 am fcc19779ff82a9ae2204dc9125804c34
<![CDATA[V&A CultureCast: July 2006 (no images)]]> Found: residence
The July 2006 edition of CultureCast features design historian David Crowley discussing the image of Che Guevara within the context of 1960s culture and politics. It also has an extract from a tapestry gallery talk given by Sue Lawty, V& A artist in residence and an article about the cast of the Portico de la Gloria in the Cast Courts.

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10 July 2006, 4:00 am 7f45194f7191090b5a3e8a16ef4292f4
<![CDATA[An Uneasy New Life in Dubai in Joseph O'Neill's Novel The Dog]]> Found: award

Joseph O’Neill, the author of the best-selling and award-winning Netherland, discusses his new novel, The Dog, a tale of alienation and heartbreak in Dubai. After breaking up with his long-term girlfriend, the unnamed protagonist leaves New York to take an unusual job as the “family officer” of a capricious and very rich family in a strange desert metropolis of Dubai.

The Dog by Joseph O'Neill
The Dog by Joseph O'Neill

 

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10 September 2014, 10:50 am bb1f53ee691a421cf2e4c6e0f42873b5
<![CDATA[How Our Brains Absorb Information - And How to Improve Learning]]> Found: call, award

Our brains absorb and retain information in surprising ways. Award-winning science reporter Benedict Carey sifts through decades of education research and landmark studies to uncover the truth about how we learn. He discovers that, from the moment we are born, we are all learning quickly, efficiently, and automatically. But in order to systematize the process we have ignored valuable  enjoyable ways of learning—like forgetting, sleeping, and daydreaming. In his book Is sitting at a desk in a quiet room really the best way to study? Can changing your routine improve your recall? Can distraction be a good thing? In How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens, Carey answers these questions and more and explains how to improve how we learn.

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9 September 2014, 11:00 pm 7edfbee67dada0c7ed4f122ebdee61a2
<![CDATA[The Risks of Not Vaccinating]]> Found: calling, call

Across the country and around the world, children are getting sick and dying from preventable diseases—in part because some parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children. Alison Singer, President of the Autism Science Foundation, and Dr. Amy Middleman, Adolescent Medicine Specialist at the University of Oklahoma's Health Sciences Center, examine the science behind vaccinations, the return of preventable diseases, and the risks of opting out. They’re both featured in the PBS NOVA documentary “Vaccines—Calling The Shots,” which airs September 10, at 9 pm, on PBS.

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9 September 2014, 2:43 pm f29c29b8911aaf8c9d486221611d4633
<![CDATA[Lessons from a Foraging Pro on How to Find Edible Plants in the Wild]]> Found: awarded, award

Tama Matsuoka Wong, forager for Daniel Boulud and Mads Refslund and author of Foraged Flavor, explains how to forage for wild plant ingredients, like sumac and mushrooms, in the fall. In 2007 she was awarded the New Jersey Forest Service Steward of the Year award, and she has since worked with botanists and conservation groups to map wild plants and their ecological behavior throughout New Jersey, the mid-Atlantic and beyond. In addition to supplying local, organic and sustainable wild food products, she gives tours, lectures, and landscape stewardship advice to conservation and botanical organizations as well as private individuals.

 

 

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5 September 2014, 12:12 pm c442877f75bb73f32ad89209a9d19f2a
<![CDATA[Vermeer’s Young Woman Seated at a Virginal]]> Found: opportunity
October 26, 2013 - September 21, 2014: Vermeer painted less than forty pictures during his career and this one, Young Woman Seated at a Virginal, is believed to be one of his last. It is also the only remaining canvas by this great Dutch master to be in private hands. The Museum is immensely grateful to the Leiden Collection for the exceedingly rare opportunity to display this work; indeed, it has been almost ten years since a painting by Vermeer has been on view in Philadelphia.

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26 October 2013, 12:00 am f2ec8e0659a64fabafccc1b8f6592d37
<![CDATA[Jeff Wall on His Work]]> Found: calls, call
September 2013 - Jeff Wall, artist. Canadian-born photographer Jeff Wall first became interested in photography in the mid-1960s. He was struck by the perfectionism that characterized the practice at that time—the idea that photographs should, and must, document the world as it is. Photography seemed to be strict reportage, instead of allowing for collaboration between the photographer and subject (as with cinematography). Films were composed of a series of still photographs, but the potential for collaboration within a single photograph had not yet been realized. In this lecture recorded at the National Gallery of Art on April 17, 1999, Wall discusses his work and his relation with what he calls cinematography. He works with performers and prepares the composition to create an image of something that he has actually seen. Through the large-scale photographs for which he is best known, Wall seeks to tell a fragment of a story and allow spectators to finish the story for themselves.

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3 September 2013, 8:00 am d721a9ec8ccc1bbfb462fe7e23015280
<![CDATA[Bronislava Nijinska: A Choreographer's Journey]]> Found: awarded, award
August 2013 - Lynn Garafola, professor of dance, Barnard College, Columbia University. Bronislava Nijinska, the sister of famed ballet dancer and choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky, was a pioneer of the modern tradition of ballet. In spring 2013, Lynn Garafola was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to support her research on Nijinska. In this lecture recorded on July 7, 2013, at the National Gallery of Art, Garafola shares her latest research and thoughts about how Nijinska's life and work not only illuminated modern ballet history, but 20th century culture as a whole. In 1913 Nijinska was evicted from her brother's production The Rite of Spring for getting married, an act that he perceived as a betrayal. Afterward, although she was no longer dancing for her brother, Nijinska still played a crucial role in the dissemination of modernism. The longevity of her career eclipsed that of her brother's, and her work influenced numerous dancers and choreographers. Held in conjunction with the exhibition Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, 1909–1929: When Art Danced with Music, on view at the Gallery from May 12 to October 6, 2013, this lecture was supported in loving memory of Shirley Casstevens.

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20 August 2013, 8:00 am 5df47cc9e8e21a5bb8095e5e029c95e4
<![CDATA[Conversations with Collectors: Robert and Jane Meyerhoff]]> Found: residence
March 2013 - Robert and Jane Meyerhoff, collectors, in conversation with Irving Blum, collector and co-founder of the Ferus Gallery, Los Angeles. To celebrate the exhibition opening of The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection: 1945-1995 at the National Gallery of Art on March 31, 1996, the Meyerhoffs joined Irving Blum to discuss the history and practice of their collecting. On view through July 21, 1996, the exhibition presented 194 works, almost their entire collection of post-World War II art. The Meyerhoffs' acquisitions have been based wholly on their belief in the quality of individual works and not on any preconceived theory or plan. If they were passionate about an artist, they collected his or her work in depth. Their private residence has a room dedicated to each of the following artists: Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, and Frank Stella. The collection is both a tribute to the extraordinarily high level of accomplishment by these artists and to the Meyerhoffs' intuition.

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5 March 2013, 7:00 am f0a4c93d5c20dbb46eab7a09cf4f7c65
<![CDATA[William H. Johnson]]> Found: awarded, award
February 2013 - Gwendolyn H. Everett, assistant professor, department of art, Howard University Gwendolyn H. Everett, scholar and author of the award-winning children's book Li'L Sis and Uncle Willie: A Story Based on the Life and Paintings of William H. Johnson, provides an overview of William Henry Johnson's (1901-1970) career as part of the Five African American Artists lecture series recorded on August 3, 2003. Everett traces Johnson's determination to become an artist, despite a humble upbringing in South Carolina, to his years at a segregated elementary school where art was not part of the formal curriculum. In 1918, during the first Great Migration, Johnson moved to New York to pursue artistic training unavailable in the South. While living in Harlem and working several jobs to support himself, he was accepted into the prestigious National Academy of Design. Noted watercolorist Charles Webster Hawthorne provided critical mentorship at the academy, hired Johnson to work at the Cape Cod School of Art, and sponsored his further training in Europe. Johnson supplemented this sponsorship with prizes awarded by the academy and funds earned working for Ashcan School painter George Luks. In 1920s Paris, Johnson lived in the former studio of James McNeill Whistler and became acquainted with Henry O. Tanner, an African American expatriate artist who had achieved international acclaim and who would become a pivotal figure in Johnson's rise to prominence. Follow along as Everett illustrates Johnson's journey—marked by determination, strengthened by hard work, and bolstered by the support of influential artists—that led him to become one of the greatest American artists of the 20th century.

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19 February 2013, 7:00 am 2321c0b603bb514a53c5b2125b31d6d6
<![CDATA[Artists in Residence: Henry O. Tanner in the Holy Land]]> Found: residence
February 2013 - Gwendolyn H. Everett, lecturer, National Gallery of Art. As part of the Artist in Residence lecture series, Gwendolyn H. Everett focused on Henry Ossawa Tanner's (1859-1937) visits to the Holy Land, and how this travel affected the later religious paintings for which he achieved international recognition. In this podcast recorded on August 9, 1987, Everett explains the formative influence of Tanner's upbringing in an educated, religious family in post-Civil War Philadelphia. Tanner's father was a minister and, later, a bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and his mother administered a Methodist school. Tanner enrolled in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts as the only African American student in 1879, graduating in 1885. His professor, the artist Thomas Eakins, encouraged a progressive method of study from live models instead of plaster casts, which profoundly affected Tanner. after 1891 Tanner resided primarily in France; by 1895 his paintings were mostly of biblical themes, and in 1897 he made his first trip to the Holy Land, where his firsthand experience led to mastery of religious subject matter. He visited the region several times to explore mosques and biblical sites, and to complete character studies of the local population, as he had learned from Eakins. Tanner invigorated religious painting with modernism and with his deeply rooted faith, achieving renown in the international art world.

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12 February 2013, 7:00 am 5ff28065373059eb12f69c3052526c1d
<![CDATA[Roy Lichtenstein's Kyoto Prize Lecture of 1995]]> Found: award
January 2013 - Harry Cooper, curator and head, department of modern art, National Gallery of Art, with original slides courtesy of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein. On November 11, 1995, Roy Lichtenstein was in Japan to receive the Kyoto Prize from the Inamori Foundation. In accepting the award, he delivered a lecture on the evolution of his work since his Pop breakthrough of 1961. Thanks to the generosity of the artist's estate and foundation, Harry Cooper, the National Gallery of Art's curator of modern art, presented this lecture at the Gallery, with the original slides, on January 9, 2013—in honor of Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, the first major exhibition of the artist's work since his death in 1997. The exhibition was on view at the Gallery from October 14, 2012, to January 13, 2013.

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29 January 2013, 7:00 am 4baccc949c7ba076f8003aa2557ce3ce
<![CDATA[Architecture and Art: Creating Community]]> Found: call, award
June 2012 - David Adjaye, principal architect, Adjaye Associates; Elizabeth Diller, principal architect, Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Tom Finkelpearl, executive director, Queens Museum of Art; Sarah Lewis, art historian, author, and curator; and Robert Storr, chairman of FAPE's Professional Fine Arts Committee and dean of the Yale School of Art. In collaboration with the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE) and in the spirit of its Leonore and Walter Annenberg Award for Diplomacy through the Arts, the National Gallery of Art hosted this annual panel discussion on May 15, 2012. Featuring noted architects David Adjaye and Elizabeth Diller, and moderated by Robert Storr, the program focused on how architecture and art bring people together in public spaces. Adjaye currently serves as the lead designer for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, which is slated to open on the National Mall in 2015. Diller, along with Ricardo Scofidio and Charles Renfro, recently completed the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Redevelopment Project. Also participating were Tom Finkelpearl, executive director of the Queens Museum of Art, which broke ground last year on an expansion that will double its size; and Sarah Lewis, a PhD candidate at Yale University who is currently finishing RISE, a book that "explores the advantage of resilience and so-called failure in successful creative human endeavors."

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12 June 2012, 8:00 am caa2c9eb0c6710abdb7351b947b51a4c
<![CDATA[Solving the East/West Conundrum in Modern Chinese Art]]> Found: call
May 2012 - Martin J. Powers, Sally Michelson Davidson Professor of Chinese Arts and Cultures and former director, Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan. At the beginning of the 20th century, artists in China found themselves in a no-win situation: if they made use of Chinese brushwork, their art was considered "traditional," and if they adapted European or modernist methods, it was called "derivative." We may call this the East/West conundrum in modern Chinese art. Against the background of a long history of cultural competition in China, Martin J. Powers explores several ways in which Chinese artists managed to transcend the East/West conundrum in recent decades. Professor Powers delivered this lecture in both English and Mandarin on February 19, 2012, at the National Gallery of Art.

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1 May 2012, 8:00 am 3a4a845ef21b3ae449ff290350060e5e
<![CDATA[Conversations with Artists: Joel Shapiro, Thoughts on the Organization of Form in Modern Sculpture]]> Found: opportunity
March 2012 - Joel Shapiro, artist. Following the installation of Joel Shapiro's Untitled (1989) in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden with other major post–World War II sculptures, the artist received an invitation to curate an exhibition of his work alongside the 19th-century sculpture of Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux. In this podcast recorded on March 9, 2003, Shapiro explains that the upcoming exhibition gave him on opportunity to focus on the continuity of thought in sculpture. Although certain ideas for form in sculpture seem radical and contemporary, their ideas have already been discovered and worked with in earlier times. Shapiro finds that the development of form seems to repeat itself, although it is ever-changing, more or less focused, and contextualized by the era in which it was created.

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13 March 2012, 8:00 am 897af458bedcf0ef2e084562c9199daf
<![CDATA[Conversations with Artists-Compositions and Collaborations: The Arts of Lou Stovall]]> Found: opportunity
February 2012 - Lou Stovall, artist, in conversation with Ruth Fine, curator of special projects in modern art, National Gallery of Art. As part of the National Gallery of Art summer lecture series Five African American Artists: Johnson-Tanner-Johnson-Stovall-Thomas, Lou Stovall participated in a Conversations with Artists program with Ruth Fine on August 3, 2003. "Compositions and Collaborations: The Arts of Lou Stovall" is a rare opportunity to hear Stovall discuss his own work and his collaborations with other artists, and to listen as he responds to questions from the audience. Stovall has been a major figure in the Washington, DC, arts community since the early 1960s, when he arrived at Howard University for his BFA program. In 1968 Stovall founded Workshop, Inc., a professional printmaking studio, where he has collaborated with more than 70 artists over the years. In addition to his own drawings and silkprints, and his collaborative printmaking projects, Stovall is a published essayist and poet.

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21 February 2012, 7:00 am dc89585113d3f4ba620b7d08ebcfc144
<![CDATA[Florence: Days of Destruction]]> Found: calling, call
December 2011 - Bryan Draper, Collections Conservator, University of Maryland Libraries; Norvell Jones, retired Chief of the Document Conservation Branch, National Archives; and Sheila Waters, calligrapher. Recalling the 45th anniversary of the catastrophic flood of Florence in 1966, the National Gallery of Art, in association with the University of Maryland Libraries presented a rare screening of Franco Zeffirelli's Florence: Days of Destruction (Per Firenze) on November 5, 2011. The famed Italian director's sole documentary is a heartfelt call to action containing the only known footage of the flood, accented by Richard Burton's voiceover commentary. The film is in the collection of the University of Maryland Libraries, College Park. Program speakers included Bryan Draper, Collections Conservator, University of Maryland Libraries; Norvell Jones, retired Chief of the Document Conservation Branch, National Archives; and Sheila Waters, calligrapher, who participated in the conservation efforts in post-flood Florence.

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13 December 2011, 7:00 am 55fdbbdb3b91564fd0607107315be7dc
<![CDATA[Morse at the Louvre]]> Found: award
November 2011 - A two-time Pulitzer Prize winning author and recipient of the National Book Award, David McCullough discusses his new book, The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris. In this podcast recorded on September 26, 2011, at the National Gallery of Art, McCullough tells the story of America's longstanding love affair with Paris through vivid portraits of dozens of significant characters. Notably, artist Samuel F. B. Morse is depicted as he worked on his masterpiece The Gallery of the Louvre. McCullough spoke at the Gallery in honor of the exhibition A New Look: Samuel F. B. Morse's "Gallery of the Louvre," on view from June 25, 2011, to July 8, 2012. The exhibition and program were coordinated with and supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

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15 November 2011, 7:00 am faae24724cfa6fcc69ed79e62dc15f12
<![CDATA[The Moment of Caravaggio: Part 6: Painting and Violence]]> Found: calls, call
August 2011 - Michael Fried, J. R. Herbert Boone Professor and director of the Humanities Center, The Johns Hopkins University In a series of six lectures, Michael Fried offers a compelling account of what he calls "the internal structure of the pictorial act" in the revolutionary art of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. The accompanying publication, The Moment of Caravaggio, is available for purchase from the Gallery Shops. In this audio podcast of the sixth lecture, originally delivered at the National Gallery of Art on May 19, 2002, Professor Michael Fried argues that Caravaggio's art should be understood not simply as a monument to a revolutionary style of pictorial realism, but also as an investigation into the psychic and physical dynamic that went into its making. Fried evokes this dynamic with concepts introduced in earlier lectures, including immersion and specularity, absorption and address, painting and mirroring, and optical and bodily modes of realism�what he calls "the internal structure of the pictorial act."

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30 August 2011, 8:00 am b5197218cd11ab04954958eaaa0238f6
<![CDATA[The Moment of Caravaggio: Part 5: Severed Representations]]> Found: calls, call
August 2011 - Michael Fried, J. R. Herbert Boone Professor and director of the Humanities Center, The Johns Hopkins University In a series of six lectures, Michael Fried offers a compelling account of what he calls "the internal structure of the pictorial act" in the revolutionary art of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. The accompanying publication, The Moment of Caravaggio, is available for purchase from the Gallery Shops. In this audio podcast of the fifth lecture, originally delivered at the National Gallery of Art on May 12, 2002, Professor Michael Fried discusses how the "violent" birth of the full-blown gallery picture (as seen in Judith and Holoferenes) is figured in Caravaggio's art as beheading or decapitation, an allegory for the act of painting.

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30 August 2011, 8:00 am 208bee2a69d85d49b78f340bed2b3b43
<![CDATA[The Moment of Caravaggio: Part 4: Absorption and Address]]> Found: calls, call
August 2011 - Michael Fried, J. R. Herbert Boone Professor and director of the Humanities Center, The Johns Hopkins University In a series of six lectures, Michael Fried offers a compelling account of what he calls "the internal structure of the pictorial act" in the revolutionary art of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. The accompanying publication, The Moment of Caravaggio, is available for purchase from the Gallery Shops. In this audio podcast of the fourth lecture, originally delivered at the National Gallery of Art on May 5, 2002, Professor Michael Fried explores how two polar entities in Caravaggio's art--absorption and address--lead to the emergence of the gallery picture.

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23 August 2011, 8:00 am f1bea4046aff5167520c8b61b34e737a
<![CDATA[The Moment of Caravaggio: Part 3: The Invention of Absorption]]> Found: calls, call
August 2011 - Michael Fried, J. R. Herbert Boone Professor and director of the Humanities Center, The Johns Hopkins University In a series of six lectures, Michael Fried offers a compelling account of what he calls "the internal structure of the pictorial act" in the revolutionary art of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. The accompanying publication, The Moment of Caravaggio, is available for purchase from the Gallery Shops. In this audio podcast of the third lecture, originally delivered at the National Gallery of Art on April 28, 2002, Professor Michael Fried argues that Caravaggio's depiction of his figures as so deeply engrossed in what they are doing, feeling, and thinking is revolutionary.

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16 August 2011, 8:00 am cd4ace497aa4170fb490a18d6de77f85
<![CDATA[The Moment of Caravaggio: Part 2: Immersion and Specularity]]> Found: calls, call
August 2011 - Michael Fried, J. R. Herbert Boone Professor and director of the Humanities Center, The Johns Hopkins University In a series of six lectures, Michael Fried offers a compelling account of what he calls "the internal structure of the pictorial act" in the revolutionary art of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. The accompanying publication, The Moment of Caravaggio, is available for purchase from the Gallery Shops. In this audio podcast of the second lecture, originally delivered at the National Gallery of Art on April 21, 2002, Professor Michael Fried addresses Caravaggio's engagement with the act of painting, and contrasts that with specular moments of detachment. Fried argues that this divided relationship lies at the heart of Caravaggio's most radical art.

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9 August 2011, 8:00 am 18d65c3b572afe708aed2e326ce3bd8e
<![CDATA[The Moment of Caravaggio: Part 1: A New Type of Self-Portrait]]> Found: calls, call
August 2011 - Michael Fried, J. R. Herbert Boone Professor and director of the Humanities Center, The Johns Hopkins University. In a series of six lectures, Michael Fried offers a compelling account of what he calls "the internal structure of the pictorial act" in the revolutionary art of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. The accompanying publication, The Moment of Caravaggio, is available for purchase from the Gallery Shops. In this audio podcast of the first lecture, originally delivered at the National Gallery of Art on April 14, 2002, Professor Michael Fried opens the lecture series with a discussion of Caravaggio's Boy Bitten by a Lizard. He argues for its significance as a disguised self-portrait of the artist in the act of painting.

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2 August 2011, 8:00 am 794cf03fc2b84c9a5b50476a47409eb4
<![CDATA[Elson Lecture 1998: I. M. Pei in conversation with Earl A. Powell III]]> Found: awarded, award
April 2011 - I. M. Pei, architect, in conversation with Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art Legendary architect I. M. Pei appears in conversation with Gallery director Earl A. Powell III to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the opening of the East Building of the National Gallery of Art. In this podcast recorded on March 26, 1998, Pei discusses the evolution of the East Building�s design and construction from the time Pei was awarded the commission until the building was dedicated by President Jimmy Carter on June 1, 1978.

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12 April 2011, 8:00 am fb5219651d35827281a6a2a1345c2e2f
<![CDATA[Film Design: Translating Words into Images]]> Found: award
January 2011 - Patrizia von Brandenstein, Academy Award�winning production designer. Production designers define the appearance of a film, bringing to life written scripts by working with producers, directors, and their crews to achieve the desired look of a picture. Academy Award winner Patrizia von Brandenstein shared her practical knowledge of production design and used clips from several of her films, including Amadeus (1984), Six Degrees of Separation (1993), and The Last Station (2010), to illustrate the result of many years of research and visual interpretation.

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25 January 2011, 7:00 am 7013b1fdf9ab32517260ffbd49995951
<![CDATA[Martin Puryear: "Sculpture that Tries to Describe Itself to the World"]]> Found: opportunity
September 2010 - Ruth Fine, curator of special projects in modern art, National Gallery of Art. In this podcast recorded on June 22, 2008, for the Martin Puryear retrospective exhibition opening at the National Gallery of Art, curator Ruth Fine discusses the work of District of Columbia native Martin Puryear. The retrospective included 46 sculptures made between 1975 and 2007. The first exhibition in the Gallery's history to be installed in both the East and West Buildings, it provided a unique opportunity to view Puryear's sculpture in modern and classical settings. Fine discusses the installation process for Puryear's work at the Gallery, designed in collaboration with the artist, as well as the intentions behind the placement of sculptures.

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28 September 2010, 8:00 am 34d1a812d7c4996e580c69657338ea89
<![CDATA[Graft by Roxy Paine]]> Found: calls, call
December 2009, Behind the Scenes - Molly Donovan, associate curator, department of modern and contemporaryart, National Gallery of Art, Washington. In 2009 the National Gallery of Art commissioned American sculptor Roxy Paine to create a stainless steel Dendroid, as the artist calls his series of treelike sculptures, for the Sculpture Garden. In this podcast produced on the occasion of the completed work�the first contemporary sculpture installed in the Sculpture Garden in the nearly 10 years since it opened�associate curator Donovan talks to host Barbara Tempchin about Graft.

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8 December 2009, 7:00 am 0bf543506e49330314f518a1ea4791b6
<![CDATA[Telling the Edward Hopper Story]]> Found: award
September 2007, Backstory - Guest: Carroll Moore, film and video producer, National Gallery of Art. The iconic paintings and artistic impact of Edward Hopper are the subject of a new documentary film that accompanies the exhibition Edward Hopper on its Boston-Washington-Chicago tour. Award-winning producer Carroll Moore speaks with Tempchin about the making of this illuminating film.

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3 September 2007, 8:00 am b0e81bbdb22d778cef5c101b2de22f13
<![CDATA[Newsmaker: Photographer and Writer Moyra Davey]]> Found: calls, call

A Toronto-born photographer and writer, Moyra Davey is known for producing images imbued with a delicate intimacy (close-ups of dog paws and dewy spiderwebs) as well as process-based works such as her mailers—photographs that have been folded to envelope size, mailed to an institution or individual, and ultimately unfolded and displayed, still bearing the markings of their postal journey. Often her work also takes a distinctly personal tone, particularly
 in her films, which—produced, shot, and edited entirely by the artist herself, mostly inside her Washington Heights, New York apartment—have built narratives around subjects like Davey’s psychotherapy sessions and photographs of her sisters in the 1980s.

Davey’s most recent body of work finds the artist—a voracious reader who at the time 
of our conversation was knee-deep in texts by Derek Jarman, Karl Ove Knausgaard, and Hervé Guibert, among others—immersed in the life and writings of French literary figure Jean Genet. For “Burn the Diaries,” her exhibition opening September 19 at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, Davey will touch on the three central elements of her practice with a series of her mailer photographs, a text responding to Genet, and a film, My Saints. She spoke with Modern Painters assistant editor Thea Ballard about using literary encounters
 to explore personal subject matter.

THEA BALLARD: How did you get into this body of work?

MOYRA DAVEY: It all kind of started with reading Genet. I’d never read him before, and a friend of mine, Pradeep Dalal, made a remark that sent me to his interviews, which are really fascinating. I started with the nonfiction, his last book, Prisoner of Love. And eventually I read his novels. But I ended up writing a text that’s organized around this encounter with Genet, and then the video followed, and the photographs. It’s a triangle with equal sides—each one is as important as the other.

TB: What was it specifically about Genet that you first connected with?

MD: Pradeep was a respondent at a panel
on writing and photography that Zoe Leonard and I did at the International Center of Photography, and I was talking a lot about my notebooks, as was Zoe. Something he said was very striking: “Does everything have to be commandeered for art? Can’t some things, like journals and letters, just be private?” And he cited Genet in that context—Genet was asked in an interview which books had influenced him, and he said no particular book: It’s music, it’s theater, it’s film, it’s reading, it’s kind of everything. To me, it’s a real conundrum because on the one hand, 
if you’re an artist or a writer, you have to cut yourself off from life in order to work. On
 the other hand, once the work, the writing, gets some momentum, it’s an incredible high to be in that creative space. But you have to sacrifice everyday life, leisure, just reading for its own sake, listening to music for its own sake, watching film for its own sake. I think there’s a thing that happens to artists where everything is grist for the mill. My friend Alison Strayer calls it “poaching on life.” I say in the video: “Why can’t we just take 
the time to listen to music for its own sake?”

TB: Personal details and images are central to your work. Do you struggle with negotiating what or how much to reveal?

MD: I do have a lot of doubts about revealing personal details and anecdotes. I divulge 
a fair amount, but I’m very careful. I feel like there’s a line that you can’t cross because
it becomes this excess. You want to create a kind of tension, an interest in the viewer or the reader. But the way I deliver the material is very detached and disassociated, and that creates a counterbalance to the intimate stories that I’m telling. It offsets the personal nature of some of the material.

TB: For this exhibition you’re using Genet as something to activate material. In the past you’ve used Mary Wollstonecraft and others.

MD: For each new work that I make, I try and anchor it in reading one person in particular, and it inevitably branches out. A lot of what 
I come across is serendipitous, and to have these accidental encounters in reading is something that’s very pleasurable, to realize that a piece of writing has resonance with
 the thing you’ve been focused on, that it can take you in an unanticipated direction.

TB: Can you tell me a bit about the mailers?

MD: My gallerist in Toronto, John Goodwin, asked me to fold up some photos and mail them to him so he could make a little poster for a show I was doing. Then a few years later, I was in Paris and was asked to be in a summer show at Murray Guy. I remembered what I had done, and I thought, oh! I can take photos in Paris, and just mail them like giant folded postcards. I got hooked on doing it because it’s so manageable. Everything
 is within your control. Even the postal service is reliable—nothing has ever gotten lost. I like turning the photograph back into an object, making it a more casual thing, making it something you can handle, giving it this epistolary thrust. I think the long and 
short of it is I love doing everything myself.

TB: You produce your videos yourself as well.

MD: Yeah, I really like to work
alone. In the case of My Saints, I’m just grabbing people who 
happen to be in my vicinity. 
There’s one person, Angela, who 
I met in another situation, and I discovered she had read all of Genet, so I interviewed her. I like to be able to work whenever I feel like it, though I think I should try working with people to change things up a little bit. It would force me to be a director in a different way, and to plan things out, which, when you’re working by yourself, you don’t really have to do.

TB: What led you to incorporate video into your practice?

MD: The initial impulse was that I felt that
 I didn’t have any more ideas for photography, that I had somehow backed myself into a corner, that my photography had become so enclosed and hermetic within the domestic sphere, focusing on particles of dust. I really wanted a break from that, and I also had this urge to write something. I really didn’t think my first video, 50 minutes, was 
ever going to circulate. I thought it was going to be a bottom-drawer piece. I thought it would be unbearable for people to watch this monologue—and of course there’s always the fear that it’s going to be perceived as solipsistic or exhibitionistic or whatever. But I’ve found that bringing in these other histories—Genet, Wollstonecraft, and so on—it broadens the focus, and it makes these connections that move the work out of your little world. I think that also makes it more accessible to viewers. I just published this little pamphlet for Camden Arts Centre in London. They ask you to choose a quote to put on the back. Mine is from Fassbinder: “I’d say the more you put yourself into the stories, that is, the more ‘honestly’ you put yourself into the story, the more
 that story will concern others as well.” Which is such an interesting idea. From personal experience I really believe it’s true, and 
again it’s like another paradox—you’re revealing something that’s so personal and idiosyncratic, but I guess there’s something about the quality of honesty and truth
 that people can connect to.

TB: When you’re working so closely with the life and work of someone like Genet, is there a point where you have to let go?

MD: Absolutely. The whole time I was reading him I was questioning my impulse to do this. I think it’s interesting to work with someone who you kind of rub up against. It creates
a friction or tension that can be really generative. And now I’m actually reading Anne Sexton, who I have really mixed feelings about. She was pretty crazy, but she could be an absolutely amazing poet. She
was accused by many people of being overly confessional, airing her dirty laundry, that kind of thing. I just made a piece that uses 
a line from one of her poems: “Why else keep a journal if not to examine your own filth?”

Another interviewer brought up this idea that I have hosts—Genet, Wollstonecraft, Benjamin, Sontag, Baudrillard, and so on. I immediately said to her, “I’m a parasite!” I’m sort of feeding on these people. But you have to be careful. I think the challenge is always to find the point where you connect and then pull yourself away and write
 about your thought process.

A version of this article appears in the September 2014 issue of Modern Painters magazine. 

Newsmaker: Photographer and Writer Moyra Davey
Select Photo Gallery: 
Moyra Davey's "Dust Jacket," 2013.
Published: September 13, 2014

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13 September 2014, 6:00 am 045bc06a40dcafc935b55f24bb4fd195
<![CDATA[Meet the artists of the 2014 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize shortlist]]> Found: calls, call

Together with our partners at Aimia, we were excited to announce the 2014 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize shortlist on Aug. 13. Below, learn about the four artists from around the world who were our jurors’ top picks, then head to the Prize website to see more of their work and choose your favourite.


David Hartt

Image courtesy of the artist.

Image courtesy of the artist.

“Our understanding of ourselves is deeply rooted in the spaces we occupy.”

David Hartt was born in Montreal and currently lives and works in Chicago. In his installations, which include photographs, videos, and sculptures, he explores how physical spaces reflect the ideas and beliefs of a particular time and place. By investigating the materials, symbols and histories that shape our surroundings, Hartt calls attention to the ways our built environments exist and evolve. After extensive research and site visits, he distils this material into complex and elegant installations.

Artist’s web page

On David’s work:
David Hartt by Aimee Walleston for Art in America
David Hartt: Stray Light at the Studio Museum in Harlem by Andrew Russeth for Gallerist


Elad Lassry

Image courtesy of the artist.

Image courtesy of the artist.

“The questions for me are about this very mysterious unit that is the picture. It brings on a set of assumptions and built-in ways of looking with which I am in constant battle.”

At the centre of Israel-born, Los Angeles-based artist Elad Lassry’s work is the question: “What is a picture?” His practice suggests that the photograph is an elusive “unit.” Lassry uses multiple aesthetic modes and technologies to create analog images, digital interventions, moving pictures, design applications and applied arts that seem utilitarian but produce complex visual sensations. His ongoing investigation leads him to refer back to and experiment with a variety of visual sources – textbooks, manuals, film stills, marketing materials and science texts – which at turns contradict and play off one another in his work. Lassry uses this dynamic to pinpoint what he calls a “contemporary condition” in which the photograph is a flexible entity, seductively powerful and yet untrustworthy. “Once the photograph is not what it appears to be,” Lassry asks, “what else is at stake?”

Artist’s web page

On Elad’s work:
Elad Lassry by Gillian Young for Art in America
Elad Lassry at David Kordansky via Contemporary Art Daily


Nandipha Mntambo

Image courtesy of the artist.

Image courtesy of the artist.

“I’m interested in uncovering that binary – that in-between space that you can’t always pinpoint or articulate.”

Nandipha Mntambo was born in Swaziland and lives in Johannesburg. She originally trained as a sculptor and then expanded her practice to include photography, performance, and video. Her work investigates such dualities as male and female, attraction and repulsion, animal and human, European and African. Mntambo makes sculptures from cowhide, using her own body to mould the forms. In many of her videos and photographs, she appears wearing her sculptures, suggesting our capacity as individuals to shape the world around us, while also highlighting the forces that form us, including notions of race, gender and history.

Artist’s web page

On Nandipha’s work:
Nandipha Mntambo: Hide & Seek by Kudi Maradzika for AkAthemag
Visiting Artist Profiles – Nandipha Mntambo by Matthew Harrison Tedford for ArtPractical


Lisa Oppenheim

Image courtesy of the artist.

Image courtesy of the artist.

“I want the viewer to ask, ‘What am I looking at? How is it made?’ Somehow, that provides a way of critically reading how images come to all of us through our daily lives.”

Lisa Oppenheim, who lives and works in New York, creates photographs and videos that connect historical imagery and techniques with the present moment. Her process often begins with online research, to source images that she reinterprets using old and new technologies. Oppenheim also employs unusual materials as negatives – fabric, lace, slices of wood – directly recording the objects’ specific textures to create near-abstract compositions. Through her experiments with analog darkroom and digital methods, Oppenheim gives photographic images new forms and new contexts, inviting us to question and to wonder.

Artist’s website

On Lisa’s work:
Lisa Oppenheim by Shama Khanna for Frieze
Lisa Oppenheim: Elemental Process by Brian Sholis for Aperture

]]>
15 August 2014, 10:19 am 822f14b9c0563690f281c6f80964a2e0
<![CDATA[Meet the artists of the 2014 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize shortlist]]> Found: calls, call

Together with our partners at Aimia, we were excited to announce the 2014 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize shortlist on Aug. 13. Below, learn about the four artists from around the world who were our jurors’ top picks, then head to the Prize website to see more of their work and choose your favourite.


David Hartt

Image courtesy of the artist.

Image courtesy of the artist.

“Our understanding of ourselves is deeply rooted in the spaces we occupy.”

David Hartt was born in Montreal and currently lives and works in Chicago. In his installations, which include photographs, videos, and sculptures, he explores how physical spaces reflect the ideas and beliefs of a particular time and place. By investigating the materials, symbols and histories that shape our surroundings, Hartt calls attention to the ways our built environments exist and evolve. After extensive research and site visits, he distils this material into complex and elegant installations.

Artist’s web page

On David’s work:
David Hartt by Aimee Walleston for Art in America
David Hartt: Stray Light at the Studio Museum in Harlem by Andrew Russeth for Gallerist


Elad Lassry

Image courtesy of the artist.

Image courtesy of the artist.

“The questions for me are about this very mysterious unit that is the picture. It brings on a set of assumptions and built-in ways of looking with which I am in constant battle.”

At the centre of Israel-born, Los Angeles-based artist Elad Lassry’s work is the question: “What is a picture?” His practice suggests that the photograph is an elusive “unit.” Lassry uses multiple aesthetic modes and technologies to create analog images, digital interventions, moving pictures, design applications and applied arts that seem utilitarian but produce complex visual sensations. His ongoing investigation leads him to refer back to and experiment with a variety of visual sources – textbooks, manuals, film stills, marketing materials and science texts – which at turns contradict and play off one another in his work. Lassry uses this dynamic to pinpoint what he calls a “contemporary condition” in which the photograph is a flexible entity, seductively powerful and yet untrustworthy. “Once the photograph is not what it appears to be,” Lassry asks, “what else is at stake?”

Artist’s web page

On Elad’s work:
Elad Lassry by Gillian Young for Art in America
Elad Lassry at David Kordansky via Contemporary Art Daily


Nandipha Mntambo

Image courtesy of the artist.

Image courtesy of the artist.

“I’m interested in uncovering that binary – that in-between space that you can’t always pinpoint or articulate.”

Nandipha Mntambo was born in Swaziland and lives in Johannesburg. She originally trained as a sculptor and then expanded her practice to include photography, performance, and video. Her work investigates such dualities as male and female, attraction and repulsion, animal and human, European and African. Mntambo makes sculptures from cowhide, using her own body to mould the forms. In many of her videos and photographs, she appears wearing her sculptures, suggesting our capacity as individuals to shape the world around us, while also highlighting the forces that form us, including notions of race, gender and history.

Artist’s web page

On Nandipha’s work:
Nandipha Mntambo: Hide & Seek by Kudi Maradzika for AkAthemag
Visiting Artist Profiles – Nandipha Mntambo by Matthew Harrison Tedford for ArtPractical


Lisa Oppenheim

Image courtesy of the artist.

Image courtesy of the artist.

“I want the viewer to ask, ‘What am I looking at? How is it made?’ Somehow, that provides a way of critically reading how images come to all of us through our daily lives.”

Lisa Oppenheim, who lives and works in New York, creates photographs and videos that connect historical imagery and techniques with the present moment. Her process often begins with online research, to source images that she reinterprets using old and new technologies. Oppenheim also employs unusual materials as negatives – fabric, lace, slices of wood – directly recording the objects’ specific textures to create near-abstract compositions. Through her experiments with analog darkroom and digital methods, Oppenheim gives photographic images new forms and new contexts, inviting us to question and to wonder.

Artist’s website

On Lisa’s work:
Lisa Oppenheim by Shama Khanna for Frieze
Lisa Oppenheim: Elemental Process by Brian Sholis for Aperture

]]>
15 August 2014, 10:19 am 822f14b9c0563690f281c6f80964a2e0
<![CDATA[Conservation Notes: Looking at ephemera in Betty Goodwin’s notebooks]]> Found: entries

Ephemera 2
Ephemera 3
Ephemera 5
Ephemera 6

Click arrows to see inside the notebooks.

Betty Goodwin’s notebooks and sketchbooks are both interesting documents of the artist’s process and important objects in their own right, offering insight into her daily life and art practice. The term “ephemera” refers to documents or items that were not necessarily meant to last long and are often made of materials that deteriorate quickly. The ephemera found in Goodwin’s notes comprise a variety of materials, including sticky notes, banana stickers, instant photographs, newspaper articles and pressed flowers. Making sure the sketchbooks are preserved in the exact condition that Goodwin left them, with ephemeral items intact where Goodwin placed them, allows researchers to see the artist’s thoughts on her own works.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s Goodwin, with the help of one of her studio assistants, revisited a number of her sketchbooks from the earlier days of her career, using sticky notes and metal clips to mark key pages, some of which date back to the 1960s. Some sketchbooks have pages that have been removed, with photocopies pasted back in their place, and some of these copied pages even re-appear in later sketchbooks, stuck onto pages or tucked in as loose leaves in agendas or diaries. Maintaining these re-arrangements, along with clips and the sticky notes, lets researchers see which of Goodwin’s own entries, sketches or notes she considered important.

The temporary nature of various ephemeral elements presents some challenges to conservation: the low-tack glue of sticky notes makes them vulnerable to detaching and metal clips will rust. However, each of the individually created enclosures made by Digital Special Collections Assistant Marianne Williams securely contains the ephemera in each volume and ensures no materials or information will be lost. Read about those here.


Curious about Conservation?
If you have a burning question about Conservation, leave a comment below. We’ll do our best to give you an answer in an upcoming Conservation Notes post.


Signature Partner of the AGO’s Conservation Program


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11 August 2014, 3:32 pm 8286761b0935e778998f572437dcdf39
<![CDATA[Conservation Notes: Looking at ephemera in Betty Goodwin’s notebooks]]> Found: entries

Ephemera 2
Ephemera 3
Ephemera 5
Ephemera 6

Click arrows to see inside the notebooks.

Betty Goodwin’s notebooks and sketchbooks are both interesting documents of the artist’s process and important objects in their own right, offering insight into her daily life and art practice. The term “ephemera” refers to documents or items that were not necessarily meant to last long and are often made of materials that deteriorate quickly. The ephemera found in Goodwin’s notes comprise a variety of materials, including sticky notes, banana stickers, instant photographs, newspaper articles and pressed flowers. Making sure the sketchbooks are preserved in the exact condition that Goodwin left them, with ephemeral items intact where Goodwin placed them, allows researchers to see the artist’s thoughts on her own works.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s Goodwin, with the help of one of her studio assistants, revisited a number of her sketchbooks from the earlier days of her career, using sticky notes and metal clips to mark key pages, some of which date back to the 1960s. Some sketchbooks have pages that have been removed, with photocopies pasted back in their place, and some of these copied pages even re-appear in later sketchbooks, stuck onto pages or tucked in as loose leaves in agendas or diaries. Maintaining these re-arrangements, along with clips and the sticky notes, lets researchers see which of Goodwin’s own entries, sketches or notes she considered important.

The temporary nature of various ephemeral elements presents some challenges to conservation: the low-tack glue of sticky notes makes them vulnerable to detaching and metal clips will rust. However, each of the individually created enclosures made by Digital Special Collections Assistant Marianne Williams securely contains the ephemera in each volume and ensures no materials or information will be lost. Read about those here.


Curious about Conservation?
If you have a burning question about Conservation, leave a comment below. We’ll do our best to give you an answer in an upcoming Conservation Notes post.


Signature Partner of the AGO’s Conservation Program


]]>
11 August 2014, 3:32 pm 8286761b0935e778998f572437dcdf39
<![CDATA[Artist’s statement: Christi Belcourt on The Wisdom of the Universe]]> Found: award
Christi Belcourt, The  Wisdom of the Universe, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 171 × 282 cm, purchased with funds donated by Greg Latremoille, 2014 ©  2014 Christi Belcourt.

Christi Belcourt, The Wisdom of the Universe, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 171 × 282 cm, purchased with funds donated by Greg Latremoille, 2014 © 2014 Christi Belcourt.

The AGO has commissioned and acquired an extraordinary painting entitled The Wisdom of the Universe by Christi Belcourt, a Métis visual artist and author who received the 2014 Ontario Arts Council Aboriginal Arts Award at a ceremony held here on July 30, 2014. Below, Belcourt discusses the ecological concerns that inspired the work.

AGO.116615.d02
Christi Belcourt, <em>The Wisdom of the Universe</em> (detail), 2014, acrylic on canvas, 171 × 282 cm, purchased with funds donated by Greg Latremoille, 2014 © 2014 Christi Belcourt.
AGO.116615.d01
Christi Belcourt, <em>The Wisdom of the Universe</em> (detail), 2014, acrylic on canvas, 171 × 282 cm, purchased with funds donated by Greg Latremoille, 2014 © 2014 Christi Belcourt.
AGO.116615.d
Christi Belcourt, <em>The Wisdom of the Universe</em> (detail), 2014, acrylic on canvas, 171 × 282 cm, purchased with funds donated by Greg Latremoille, 2014 © 2014 Christi Belcourt.

In Ontario, over 200 species of plants and animals are listed as threatened, endangered or extinct. Of those, included in this painting are the Dwarf Lake Iris, the Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid, the Karner Blue butterfly, the West Virginia White butterfly, the Spring Blue-eyed Mary, the Cerulean Warbler and Acadian Flycatcher.

Globally, we live in a time of great upheaval. The state of the world is in crisis. We are witness to the unbearable suffering of species, including humans. Much of this we do to ourselves. It is possible for the planet to return to a state of well-being, but it requires a radical change in our thinking. It requires a willingness to be open to the idea that perhaps human beings have got it all wrong.

All species, the lands, the waters are one beating organism that pulses like a heart. We are all a part of a whole. The animals and plants, lands and waters, are our relatives each with as much right to exist as we have. When we see ourselves as separate from each other and think of other species, the waters and the planet itself as objects that can be owned, dominated or subjugated, we lose connection with our humanity and we create imbalance on the earth. This is what we are witnessing around us.

The planet already contains all the wisdom of the universe, as do you and I. It has the ability to recover built into its DNA and we have the ability to change what we are doing so this can happen.

Perhaps it’s time to place the rights of Mother Earth ahead of the rights to Mother Earth.

– Christi Belcourt


This work is one of two paintings by Belcourt currently on display in the Gallery. In the video below, Belcourt discusses the other, entitled So Much Depends Upon Who Holds the Shovel (2008), which appears in our exhibition Before and after the Horizon: Anishinaabe Artists of the Great Lakes.

]]>
7 August 2014, 2:51 pm dec498ffcd80dd636ed7ed2efb6b49a3
<![CDATA[Artist’s statement: Christi Belcourt on The Wisdom of the Universe]]> Found: award
Christi Belcourt, The  Wisdom of the Universe, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 171 × 282 cm, purchased with funds donated by Greg Latremoille, 2014 ©  2014 Christi Belcourt.

Christi Belcourt, The Wisdom of the Universe, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 171 × 282 cm, purchased with funds donated by Greg Latremoille, 2014 © 2014 Christi Belcourt.

The AGO has commissioned and acquired an extraordinary painting entitled The Wisdom of the Universe by Christi Belcourt, a Métis visual artist and author who received the 2014 Ontario Arts Council Aboriginal Arts Award at a ceremony held here on July 30, 2014. Below, Belcourt discusses the ecological concerns that inspired the work.

AGO.116615.d02
Christi Belcourt, <em>The Wisdom of the Universe</em> (detail), 2014, acrylic on canvas, 171 × 282 cm, purchased with funds donated by Greg Latremoille, 2014 © 2014 Christi Belcourt.
AGO.116615.d01
Christi Belcourt, <em>The Wisdom of the Universe</em> (detail), 2014, acrylic on canvas, 171 × 282 cm, purchased with funds donated by Greg Latremoille, 2014 © 2014 Christi Belcourt.
AGO.116615.d
Christi Belcourt, <em>The Wisdom of the Universe</em> (detail), 2014, acrylic on canvas, 171 × 282 cm, purchased with funds donated by Greg Latremoille, 2014 © 2014 Christi Belcourt.

In Ontario, over 200 species of plants and animals are listed as threatened, endangered or extinct. Of those, included in this painting are the Dwarf Lake Iris, the Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid, the Karner Blue butterfly, the West Virginia White butterfly, the Spring Blue-eyed Mary, the Cerulean Warbler and Acadian Flycatcher.

Globally, we live in a time of great upheaval. The state of the world is in crisis. We are witness to the unbearable suffering of species, including humans. Much of this we do to ourselves. It is possible for the planet to return to a state of well-being, but it requires a radical change in our thinking. It requires a willingness to be open to the idea that perhaps human beings have got it all wrong.

All species, the lands, the waters are one beating organism that pulses like a heart. We are all a part of a whole. The animals and plants, lands and waters, are our relatives each with as much right to exist as we have. When we see ourselves as separate from each other and think of other species, the waters and the planet itself as objects that can be owned, dominated or subjugated, we lose connection with our humanity and we create imbalance on the earth. This is what we are witnessing around us.

The planet already contains all the wisdom of the universe, as do you and I. It has the ability to recover built into its DNA and we have the ability to change what we are doing so this can happen.

Perhaps it’s time to place the rights of Mother Earth ahead of the rights to Mother Earth.

– Christi Belcourt


This work is one of two paintings by Belcourt currently on display in the Gallery. In the video below, Belcourt discusses the other, entitled So Much Depends Upon Who Holds the Shovel (2008), which appears in our exhibition Before and after the Horizon: Anishinaabe Artists of the Great Lakes.

]]>
7 August 2014, 2:51 pm dec498ffcd80dd636ed7ed2efb6b49a3
<![CDATA[Catching up with Chino Otsuka, 2013 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize finalist]]> Found: call, opportunity, residency, awarded, award

Chino Otsuka, <em>Imagine Finding Me</em>, 1975 and 2005, Spain, Japan, 2005, Chromogenic print, 305 mm x 406 mm.</

Chino Otsuka, Imagine Finding Me, 1975 and 2005, Spain, Japan, 2005, Chromogenic print, 305 mm x 406 mm.

Born in Tokyo and educated in the U.K., 2013 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize finalist Chino Otsuka uses photography and video to explore the fluid relationship between memory, photography, and time. She recently completed her residency at the Nikkei National Museum in Burnaby, B.C., which focused on researching Japanese picture brides and their forgotten stories. We caught up with Otsuka to discuss her residency research, work and experience.

AGO: While you were in Vancouver, you worked inside the archives and collection of the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre. What did your research focus on, and what affect has working in Vancouver had on your work?

Chino Otsuka: The research I conduct is integral to the development of my work. For a while now I have been researching the history of Japanese emigrants. When I found out about the residency component of the AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize and was able to choose anywhere in Canada, I knew I wanted to go to the Nikkei National Museum. Since I had previously done similar research on a group of Japanese who went to the Netherlands in the mid-19th century, I wanted to see the museum’s collections and learn more about the history of Japanese-Canadian immigrants.

During the residency I had the opportunity to access and explore museum collections that are not normally seen or easily accessible. I knew very little about the history of Japanese immigrants in Canada, or the hardships and injustice that they suffered. I read and came across so many moving stories. All of this is a very important part of Japanese history, and I’m so surprised that many of these stories are untold outside of Canada.

As my research progressed I became more and more interested in the stories of young women who came over from Japan as a “picture brides,” young Japanese women usually between 17 and 19 years old who came to Canada as in the early 20th century. Their marriages were arranged by showing the prospective bride and groom photographs of each other. Most of these women travelled from Japan and saw their husband-to-be for the first time when they arrived in Canada. I was drawn to their innocence, ambition and courage — their journey. They all longed for a new life in their new country. Yet when they arrived in Canada the life they had imagined was completely different. Hardship and many tragedies would follow them. They struggled and endured so much.

I’ve looked through many photographs and artefacts in the collection and chose to focus especially on their journey to Canada. There is a sense of anticipation around the little moment in their life when they were dreaming about the future. I’ve been working with the old photographs as well as photographing their belongings that they brought with them from Japan.

With your residency now complete, can you speak to the effect that the overall experience has had on your work? Did your work move in a new direction during the residency? If so, how?

The residency has given me a new perspective on my practice, as well as time to explore and experiment with new ideas. The work I started during my residency is not quite finished yet. I’m done with the research and photographing and am now working with these materials through editing and finding ways to present them.

What has the residency allowed you to do in terms of your work and research?

In my work I mainly explore the notion of autobiographical memory, so the residency at the Nikkei National Museum has given me the opportunity to explore and research the history, the collective memory – how the individual memories weave together to tell a story.

In her essay “Chino Otsuka’s Time Machine” Michiko Kasahara writes that your “journeys into the past are not sentimental and do not display a nostalgic atmosphere,” yet much of your work explores issues of duality, history, memory and self. Can you elaborate on/explain your method? Do you agree with the writer’s statement?

I work with the past and many of my works show my past. How I take my works, restage and rework them is really about today, not yesterday.
My works are personal but by carefully selecting the images, and recreating them in the certain ways, I’m trying to engage the viewers’ internal dialogue of their experiences. I hope to make the images/stories resonate and trigger the viewers’ own memories.

Your work, specifically in the series “Imagine Finding Me,” is extremely personal with the subject being your own self and memory. The Aimia | AGO Photography Prize is awarded by public vote. As the subject of the work, what were your thoughts on it being considered in this way?

I visited the AGO during the exhibition while the voting was going on, and when I wandered around the museum strangers came up to tell me that they voted for me. I guess they recognized me from my work, and that was a really strange experience.


*This interview was conducted via email in July 2014 and has been edited for style and brevity.

]]>
29 July 2014, 11:22 am 3bd46b2e3965663e39e76c1b7bb4c671
<![CDATA[Catching up with Chino Otsuka, 2013 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize finalist]]> Found: call, opportunity, residency, awarded, award

Chino Otsuka, <em>Imagine Finding Me</em>, 1975 and 2005, Spain, Japan, 2005, Chromogenic print, 305 mm x 406 mm.</

Chino Otsuka, Imagine Finding Me, 1975 and 2005, Spain, Japan, 2005, Chromogenic print, 305 mm x 406 mm.

Born in Tokyo and educated in the U.K., 2013 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize finalist Chino Otsuka uses photography and video to explore the fluid relationship between memory, photography, and time. She recently completed her residency at the Nikkei National Museum in Burnaby, B.C., which focused on researching Japanese picture brides and their forgotten stories. We caught up with Otsuka to discuss her residency research, work and experience.

AGO: While you were in Vancouver, you worked inside the archives and collection of the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre. What did your research focus on, and what affect has working in Vancouver had on your work?

Chino Otsuka: The research I conduct is integral to the development of my work. For a while now I have been researching the history of Japanese emigrants. When I found out about the residency component of the AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize and was able to choose anywhere in Canada, I knew I wanted to go to the Nikkei National Museum. Since I had previously done similar research on a group of Japanese who went to the Netherlands in the mid-19th century, I wanted to see the museum’s collections and learn more about the history of Japanese-Canadian immigrants.

During the residency I had the opportunity to access and explore museum collections that are not normally seen or easily accessible. I knew very little about the history of Japanese immigrants in Canada, or the hardships and injustice that they suffered. I read and came across so many moving stories. All of this is a very important part of Japanese history, and I’m so surprised that many of these stories are untold outside of Canada.

As my research progressed I became more and more interested in the stories of young women who came over from Japan as a “picture brides,” young Japanese women usually between 17 and 19 years old who came to Canada as in the early 20th century. Their marriages were arranged by showing the prospective bride and groom photographs of each other. Most of these women travelled from Japan and saw their husband-to-be for the first time when they arrived in Canada. I was drawn to their innocence, ambition and courage — their journey. They all longed for a new life in their new country. Yet when they arrived in Canada the life they had imagined was completely different. Hardship and many tragedies would follow them. They struggled and endured so much.

I’ve looked through many photographs and artefacts in the collection and chose to focus especially on their journey to Canada. There is a sense of anticipation around the little moment in their life when they were dreaming about the future. I’ve been working with the old photographs as well as photographing their belongings that they brought with them from Japan.

With your residency now complete, can you speak to the effect that the overall experience has had on your work? Did your work move in a new direction during the residency? If so, how?

The residency has given me a new perspective on my practice, as well as time to explore and experiment with new ideas. The work I started during my residency is not quite finished yet. I’m done with the research and photographing and am now working with these materials through editing and finding ways to present them.

What has the residency allowed you to do in terms of your work and research?

In my work I mainly explore the notion of autobiographical memory, so the residency at the Nikkei National Museum has given me the opportunity to explore and research the history, the collective memory – how the individual memories weave together to tell a story.

In her essay “Chino Otsuka’s Time Machine” Michiko Kasahara writes that your “journeys into the past are not sentimental and do not display a nostalgic atmosphere,” yet much of your work explores issues of duality, history, memory and self. Can you elaborate on/explain your method? Do you agree with the writer’s statement?

I work with the past and many of my works show my past. How I take my works, restage and rework them is really about today, not yesterday.
My works are personal but by carefully selecting the images, and recreating them in the certain ways, I’m trying to engage the viewers’ internal dialogue of their experiences. I hope to make the images/stories resonate and trigger the viewers’ own memories.

Your work, specifically in the series “Imagine Finding Me,” is extremely personal with the subject being your own self and memory. The Aimia | AGO Photography Prize is awarded by public vote. As the subject of the work, what were your thoughts on it being considered in this way?

I visited the AGO during the exhibition while the voting was going on, and when I wandered around the museum strangers came up to tell me that they voted for me. I guess they recognized me from my work, and that was a really strange experience.


*This interview was conducted via email in July 2014 and has been edited for style and brevity.

]]>
29 July 2014, 11:22 am 3bd46b2e3965663e39e76c1b7bb4c671
<![CDATA[Stephen Shore]]> Found: awards, award
FUNDACIÓN MAPFRE presents the first retrospective exhibition of the work of Stephen Shore, an acclaimed contemporary photographer who has inspired several generations of artists and remains a constant and undisputable reference for upcoming young photographers. His solid body of work as well as the theoretical aspects of the medium conveyed through his teaching have made a pivotal contribution to the evolution of the photographic language.  Throughout his extensive career, which began with a show at the Metropolitan Art Museum of New York when he was just 23 years old, Shore has received prestigious awards, published numerous monographs—some of them now cult objects—and held more than 50 individual exhibits at major venues around the world.

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04be980b51202bfae3d4eee9fc94bb73