|1. Source: Art Competitions provided by Artshow.com|
|Item: Nature's Gift of Water: Exhibition 2014 - Tacoma, Washington|
|$2,700 in awards. Deadline: October 15, 2014|
|2. Source: Art Competitions provided by Artshow.com|
|Item: The 3rd Zebra Awards International Monochrome Competition - Online exhibition|
|US$2000 Grand Prize. Deadline: December 31, 2014|
|3. Source: Art Competitions provided by Artshow.com|
|Item: National Fiber Directions Exhibition 2015 - Wichita, Kansas|
|$7500 in cash and purchase awards. Deadline: December 29, 2014|
|4. Source: Art Competitions provided by Artshow.com|
|Item: Ceramics Biennial Exhibition 2014 - Manchester, New Hampshire|
|Over $2,000 in prize money. Deadline: September 15, 2014|
|5. Source: Art Competitions provided by Artshow.com|
|Item: Dave Bown Projects 9th Semiannual Competition - Online exhibition|
|$10,000 in cash prizes and purchases. Deadline: December 6, 2014|
|6. Source: Art Competitions provided by Artshow.com|
|Item: Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Artist Residency - Waltham, Massachusetts|
|$3000 stipend, $250 materials subsidy, studio, solo exhibition. Deadline: October 8, 2014|
|7. Source: Art Competitions provided by Artshow.com|
|Item: Rockies West National Watercolor Exhibition - Grand Junction, Colorado|
|$1,000 Best of Show/ $1,000 Best of Colorado. Deadline: December 1, 2014|
|8. Source: Art Competitions provided by Artshow.com|
|Item: 2015 Hunting Art Prize - Houston, Texas|
|$50,000 prize. Deadline: November 30, 2014|
|9. Source: Art Competitions provided by Artshow.com|
|Item: Yosemite Renaissance XXX - Yosemite, California|
|$4,000 in awards. Deadline: November 15, 2014|
|10. Source: Art Competitions provided by Artshow.com|
|Item: Au Naturel: the Nude in the 21st Century - Astoria, Oregon|
|$1000 in cash prizes; Up to $2000 in purchase awards. Deadline: November 7, 2014|
|11. Source: booktwo.org|
|Item: On the Rainbow Plane|
Date: 4 July 2014, 8:38 am
I recently completed an installation at Farnborough in Hampshire, where I got to do something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while: draw a rainbow plane. (More images of the installation are available on Flickr.)
Farnborough is the home of British aviation, site of the first powered flight on British soil (by the American showman William Cody) in 1908, as well as the British Army Balloon School, the formation of the RAF, the Royal Aircraft Establishment, and the research facilities which produced the jet engine, carbon fibre and more. Much of the site of the RAE has now been cleared, but, thanks in large part to the efforts of the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust, several buildings have been saved, including the extraordinary wind tunnels and the magnificent, reconstructed airship shed, under which the installation is sited.
Like the Drone Shadows, the Rainbow Plane is a 1:1 outline of an aircraft – in this case, the Miles M.52, an experimental jet plane developed at Farnborough in the 1940s. The M.52 never flew, but several of its innovations, including the all-moving tailplane and the biconvex “Gilette” wing, were crucial to the success of the American effort to break the sound barrier with the Bell X-1.
The M.52 is shown here as if distorted by the characteristic pansharpening effect of satellite photography – as if viewed, in flight, from space. I’ve been fascinated by the “rainbow plane” effect visible in satellite maps for some time, and have collected many examples.
I’d seen many of these but didn’t really understand what I was looking at, until I started to process the imagery myself. After installing the Washington DC drone shadow, I purchased commercial satellite imagery of the city, in order to try to see my drone from space.
The image which I purchased came from Digital Globe’s WorldView-2, a 6000lb commercial observation satellite fired into space aboard a Delta II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, in October 2009. Digital Globe was originally founded in 1992, ahead of the 1992 Land Remote Sensing Policy Act which permitted private companies to enter the satellite imaging business. It received its initial funding from Silicon Valley, and corporations in the US, Europe and Japan. Much of Google Maps imagery is purchased from Digital Globe.
The image shows 25 square kilometres of Washington, D.C., photographed on the 26th August, 2013 – but it’s not a photograph. Observation satellites do not carry conventional cameras, but multispectral scanners which contain an array of sensors for recording data across a range of frequencies. WorldView-2′s scanner contains 8 sensors with a resolution of 1.85m per pixel: four in the visible spectrum, recording red, yellow, green, and blue, and four more, in the deep blue, the red edge, and in the inner and outer near-infrared, covering a total spectrum of more than twice the visual range of the human eye. One more sensor measures panchromatic intensity across the visible spectrum, allowing images to be sharpened to a resolution of 0.46m per pixel.
In order to make this image, it is necessary to combine data from different sensors, so a 5-3-2 image, in this case, composites data from the visible red, green and blue sensors into a single, “true colour” image (although there is nothing ‘true’ about this). This image is then used to add colour to the higher resolution but black-and-white panchromatic image, a process called “panchromatic sharpening.”
This is the process which produces the rainbow planes, which move fast enough to blur themselves across the satellites’ different chromatic sensors. It’s a glitch, but like all good glitches the rainbow plane is also a key to uncovering the functioning of the image-making machines, a glimpse into the way the machines see the world.
|12. Source: booktwo.org|
|Item: Spectacular Sports Visualisations|
Date: 29 June 2014, 4:36 am
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.
|13. Source: booktwo.org|
|Item: #Rorschcam NYC|
Date: 11 March 2014, 10:35 am
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.
#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):
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.
|14. Source: booktwo.org|
Date: 18 December 2013, 11:19 am
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.
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!
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.
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:
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).
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.
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.”
|15. Source: booktwo.org|
|Item: DIY Drone Shadows|
Date: 6 December 2013, 9:30 am
The Drone Shadow Handbook is available for sale. You can also download an electronic copy for free below.
Last week I drew a Drone Shadow, number 006, in Brixton, London, for the premiere of Jeremy Scahill’s investigative documentary Dirty Wars. The work was commissioned by Picturehouse and Britdoc, who are distributing the film nationwide. You can read more on this site about the previous Drone Shadows in Istanbul, Brighton and Australia, as well as in Washington DC. There are more photos of the Brixton shadow at Flickr.
Dirty Wars is an excellent and powerful film investigating America’s covert wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere. Scahill visits the communities and families affected by the ever-expanding policy of special forces actions and drone attacks outside declared theatres of war, and digs deep into the politics and policies behind America’s version of ‘total war’. It is currently touring the UK and I urge you to see it – you can download it from the website if there’s no screening near you. I’ll be taking part in a discussion of the film at the Hackney Picturehouse this weekend.
As well as the Drone Shadow installation, I created a projection for Picturehouse which is touring the country with the film. It has so far appeared in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, York, Liverpool, and elsewhere.
The Drone Shadow is a piece of public art, undertaken in public space, for the purpose of public debate, originating in work performed at public protests. For some time, I’ve wanted to open up the project, so that anyone can draw one. With this in mind, I’ve created a handbook, which gives guidance on how to draw a drone shadow, including advice on measuring and materials, and schematics for four of the most common types of drone: the Predator, Reaper, Global Hawk, and Hermes/Watchkeeper.
Please consider supporting the Drone Shadow project by purchasing one or more printed handbooks: Buy Drone Shadow Handbook.
You can also download it free here: Drone Shadow Handbook [PDF, 572KB, CC BY-NC-SA] ↓
For Dirty Wars, Britdoc and Picturehouse printed 2000 copies of this handbook (above), via the ever-excellent Newspaper Club, which are being distributed at screenings.
Several Drone Shadows have already been drawn based on these plans, including one in Detroit’s Eastern Market for The Gallery Project‘s ‘Drones’ exhibition (installed by Lea Bult) …
… and several around São Paulo, Brazil, as part of the IV Mostra 3M de Arte Digital (these are Elbit Hermes drones, in use with the Brazlian airforce – which has used them to film football matches. A variant, called the Watchkeeper, is currently on trial with the British Army):
If you do use the plans to draw your own Drone Shadow, please have a read of the handbook, let me know about it, and send any feedback you have.
|16. Source: booktwo.org|
|Item: Recent Work, November 2013: Render Ghosts, GPS, Landsat.|
Date: 15 November 2013, 7:55 am
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 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.
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:
This 3D-printed object is the same thing under discussion in Where You Are:
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.
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.
|17. Source: booktwo.org|
Date: 31 October 2013, 11:06 am
“Occupy the Cloud”, an installation for Open Heart Surgery, The Moving Museum, 180 Strand, October – December 2013.
“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.
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.
|18. Source: booktwo.org|
|Item: Australia: Drone Shadows, Diagrams, and Political Systems|
Date: 5 September 2013, 8:03 pm
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.”
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.
|19. Source: The Guardian Culture Podcast|
|Item: The Truth podcast: Eat Cake|
Date: 14 February 2011, 9:22 am
|Can coconut cake + random phone calls = love? Find out in our alternative Valentine's Day radio drama from US producer Jonathan Mitchell|
|20. Source: The Guardian Culture Podcast|
|Item: The Heckle 02: Mistaken identities|
Date: 7 August 2007, 5:35 am
|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.|
|21. Source: The Guardian Culture Podcast|
|Item: Venice Biennale: Interview with Sophie Calle|
Date: 15 June 2007, 5:35 am
|The Guardian's Adrian Searle talks to artist Sophie Calle about her installation, Take Care of Yourself, on display at the Venice Biennale 2007.|
|22. Source: ArtScene with Erika Funke|
|Item: Michael Cloeren - July 22 2014|
Date: 22 July 2014, 11:00 pm
|Michael Cloeren, award-winning founder & producer of the Pocono Blues Festival, talks about the annual Pennsylvania Blues Festival, taking place July 26-27 at Blue Mountain Ski Resort in Palmerton. For more information, www.skibluemt.com or 610-826-7700|
|23. Source: Western Front|
|Item: Collective Works: Questions and Answers|
Date: 20 July 2014, 12:38 pm
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.
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.
|24. Source: Western Front|
|Item: LIQUID TRUST|
Date: 19 July 2014, 1:35 pm
Tickets $5 / Free for WF Members
Reflecting on accelerated states of labour, leisure, and social interaction Liquid Trust takes inspiration from the “trust molecule” or “love hormone” oxytocin, sometimes prescribed for anxiety and designed to increase an individual’s social integration and trust. The video performance evolves from moving image tableaus with a live sound track which involves spoken word, music, and a choir to create the visual and acoustic spectacle. Szuper Gallery (London, Munich) and Curtain Razors (Regina, SK) have been collaborating together since 2008 creating works in Canada and then touring internationally.
This is their third collaboration with video, sound, text, by the Szuper Gallery duo Susanne Clausen, and Pavlo Kerestey and spoken word created and performed by Michele Sereda of Curtain Razors, Regina, SK. The performance also includes original composition by musician-in-residence Ben Brown performed with the China Cloud ensemble (Elisa Thorn, harp; Dominic Conway, saxophone; Colin Cowan, contrabass; Ben Brown, drums), and the Express Your Voice and VOICE OVER mind choirs.
POST-CONCERT TALK BACK SESSION + BOOK LAUNCH
Liquid Trust marks the first in a series of post concert conversations inviting audiences to engage with the artists. Join Ben Brown, Susanne Clausen, Pavlo Kerestey and Michele Sereda for an open conversation about their work alongside a book launch of Ballet.
Ballet is a new publication by Szuper Gallery, featuring recent performance and exhibition projects at the Kunstmuseum Thun, Switzerland (CH), Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina (CA), Perm Museum of Contemporary Art (Russia) and Museum of English Rural Life in Reading (UK. Ballet documents Szuper Gallery’ongoing collaboration with Michele Sereda and Curtain Razors and contains video and installation stills, performance scripts and essays by Timothy Long, Dorothee Richter and Lars Gertenbach, and Susanne Clausen and paintings by Pavlo Kerestey.
Liquid Trust is supported by Saskatchewan Arts Board, Szuper Gallery, Curtain Razors, Arts Trend Company, SOCAN Foundation, BC Arts and Canada Council.
Szuper Gallery is a co-operation by Susanne Clausen and Pavlo Kerestey, who are based in London and Munich. Szuper Gallery engages with filmed and live performances, video installations, interventions and curatorial projects. In these works the performance and the installation are a site for post and meta-production in which the stream of film and performance images are placed into a critical sphere. Installations resonate theatrical film sets and stages, where the development of the work can be experienced. Performers and actors are choreographed within these sets, enacting texts and movements, thereby generating a structure of social, cultural and political references and associations within the work.
They have since co-operated with other artists, curators, writers. They have exhibited in various international venues, including Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, 1999, Kunsthalle Vienna, Western Front 2005, MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Perm Museum of Contemporary Art, Russia, National Museum of Art Ukraine 2013.
Curtain Razors encourages the practice of modern theatre by creating and presenting new ways of telling stories. Personal, intimate and experiential, Curtain Razors is Saskatchewan’s longest tenured experimental theatre company and encourages the practice of modern theatre in Saskatchewan, across Canada, and internationally. Artistic Director Michele Sereda is a multidisciplinary theatre and performance artist and the artistic director of Curtain Razors, an experimental theatre company that cultivates and engages in diverse modern performance events in Regina and beyond. Traversing the worlds of theatre, visual art, movement, performance, and film Sereda works nationally and internationally with a direct focus on performance actions in site-specific arenas, one-off pubic events, and mixing together different mediums with different artists from different ethnic diverse backgrounds.
Current performance projects are a new work with Skookum Sound System Where The Thunderbird Lives that premiered at the Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina, 2014, the newly formed Collective Performance Storytelling intercultural performance art ensemble with a new performance Trans-Actions at First Nations University of Canada October 2014, slated for the National Theatre in Tunis, Tunisia in 2015, and training with intercultural performance master Phillip Zarilli in Wales, UK. She has been artist in residence at Payepot First Nation for the past four years creating large performance projects with the entire community.
China Cloud Ensemble is a new quartet comprised of musicians from Music and Movement Mondays. It includes Ben Brown, drums; Colin Cowan, contrabass; Elisa Thorn, harp; and Dominic Conway, saxophone.
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 and is currently in recording sessions with Vancouver vocalist/pianist Alicia Hansen.
Dominic Conway has played in numerous jazz, rock, and R&B bands over the course of his eleven year career and has participated in the Vancouver International Jazz Festival as a member of The Bletchley Bombes and The Malleus Trio, both of which highlight his long running collaboration with drummer/composer Ben Brown.
Colin Edward Cowan is a Vancouver-based musician/comedian/curator. Current projects and collaborations include Colin Cowan and the Elastic Stars, as well as Dan Mangan, Analog Bell Service, Chris Kelly, Vows, White Knife, Tishomingo String Band, Rob Butterfield, Jenn Bojm, MALCOM JACK, and Tariq Hussain.
Elisa Thorn is a Vancouver-based harpist/curator. She currently composes and performs with her group Gently Party, and produces the Vancouver concert series Sound(E)scape, which brings together musicians with dancers, poets, puppeteers, and visual artists.
|25. Source: Western Front|
|Item: Life and People|
Date: 18 July 2014, 12:39 pm
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.
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.
|26. Source: Western Front|
|Item: New Forms 2014: Kevin Beasley Talk|
Date: 16 July 2014, 4:30 pm
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.
|27. Source: Western Front|
|Item: Krista Belle Stewart|
Date: 15 July 2014, 12:47 pm
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.
|28. Source: Indianapolis Museum of Art Blog|
|Item: Oscar Tusquets Blanca – The Gaulino Chair|
Date: 16 August 2013, 2:21 pm
Oscar T. Blanca, designer (Spanish, b. 1941), B.D. Barcelona Designs, manufacturer
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
|29. Source: Indianapolis Museum of Art Blog|
|Item: Straw Bale Gardening: A How-To Guide|
Date: 5 June 2013, 8:00 am
1. Start with a bale of Straw.
2. Saturate it with water for about 3 days.
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.
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!
6. Continue watering gently and occasionally add dilute fertilizer or compost tea about once per week. The continued watering will leach the fertilizer out.
Advantages to Straw Bale Gardening
Possible Disadvantages to Straw Bale Gardening
|30. Source: AGO Art Matters|
|Item: Meet the artists of the 2014 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize shortlist|
Date: 15 August 2014, 10:19 am
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.
Image courtesy of the artist.
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.
On David’s work:
Image courtesy of the artist.
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?”
Image courtesy of the artist.
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.
Image courtesy of the artist.
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.
|31. Source: AGO Art Matters|
|Item: Conservation Notes: Looking at ephemera in Betty Goodwin’s notebooks|
Date: 11 August 2014, 3:32 pm
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?
|32. Source: AGO Art Matters|
|Item: Artist’s statement: Christi Belcourt on The Wisdom of the Universe|
Date: 7 August 2014, 2:51 pm
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.
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.
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.
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.
|33. Source: AGO Art Matters|
|Item: Catching up with Chino Otsuka, 2013 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize finalist|
Date: 29 July 2014, 11:22 am
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.
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.
|34. Source: AGO Art Matters|
|Item: Conservation Notes: Artist Betty Goodwin’s thoughts on paper|
Date: 28 July 2014, 8:00 am
Marianne at work in the studio
As Digital Special Collections Assistant in the AGO Library and Archives this summer, Marianne Williams is building new enclosures to preserve decades’ worth of sketchbooks and notebooks of the late Montreal-based artist Betty Goodwin.
Goodwin bequeathed more than 100 sketchbooks, notebooks, agendas and diaries to the AGO. Many of them were featured in the Gallery’s 2010/2011 exhibition Work Notes, which showcased Goodwin’s artistic practice and process. Once off display, the books were wrapped in acid-free tissue as a temporary storage measure, as seen above.
Click through slideshow to see all the steps
The first step in creating a new enclosure is measuring the dimensions of the notebook to the millimetre and then creating a custom-made box from archival-quality materials to house the book. Using these materials protects the notebook from acid normally found in paper materials that can yellow and deteriorate over time, causing brittleness and increased risk of damage.
The customized box, called an enclosure, is then labelled and tied together with cotton tape in order to secure all of the flaps. This protects the books from shifting around when being handled, prevents scratches or rips and ensures that any loose materials, like pressed flowers or loose leaves of paper, stay snug in their original places.
The individual book enclosures are then placed in larger boxes for storage in the AGO Library and Archives vault.
The re-housed notebooks will be kept in the AGO’s Edward P. Taylor Library and Archives, where curators and other researchers will have access to them to study and examine in the future.
Curious about Conservation?
|35. Source: AGO Art Matters|
|Item: Canadian migrant-rights activist Pablo Muñoz wins WorldPride 2014 National Youth Solidarity art contest|
Date: 26 June 2014, 9:51 am
No Walls Between Us, Pablo Munoz, Vancouver (British Colombia)
Round dance on Parliament Hill, Fabric, Acrylic, Sharpie, 2013, Roxanne Martin, Sault Ste. Marie (Ontario)
Sans titre, Matthilde Cing-Mars, Trois-Rivières (Québec)
United, Leo Samilo, Surrey (British Colombia)
Untold truth, Bogdan Salii, Toronto (Ontario)
Complexity, Brianne Walker, Windsor (Ontario)
Selected as winner by more than a thousand Canadians of all ages from across the country, Vancouver-based artist and rights activist Pablo Muñoz receives $1,000 and will work with a seasoned public art practitioner to see his art mounted on the western wall of the AGO.
His work, No Walls Between Us, highlights the unique experiences of migrant and racialized LGBT youth. It was one of six pieces of art chosen by a jury to represent the theme of “Solidarity with Canada’s Two-Spirited and LGBTTIQQ Communities,” in an unprecedented exhibition celebrating WorldPride Toronto 2014.
On view at the AGO between June 22 and Nov. 15, 2014, the Youth Solidarity Exhibition will inspire Canadians to work together to promote safe, inclusive and healthy communities for Two-Spirited and LGBTTIQQ youth throughout the country. The other young artists featured in the exhibition are:
This project is actively supported by more than 55 human rights, faith-based, arts, newcomer, Aboriginal and health organizations across Canada. For a full list of project collaborators, click here.
About Pablo Muño
About the 4th Wall program
|36. Source: AGO Art Matters|
|Item: Listen: Jim Munroe, Mark Connery and Jonathan Mak talk video games and comics|
Date: 4 June 2014, 8:00 am
Click to play:
Recorded: March 26, 2014, at the Art Gallery of Ontario
In this podcast, hear AGO artist-in-residence Jim Munroe in conversation with artists Mark Connery, a Toronto-based comic and zine artist, and Jonathan Mak, a Toronto-based game developer, about their work, indie culture and how playfulness factors into their practices.
Jonathan Mak is a Toronto-based game developer working under the title Queasy Games. He recently collaborated with I am Robot and Proud (aka Shaw-Han Liem), a Toronto-based electronic music artist, on Sound Shapes for PS Vita and PlayStation®3. Sound Shapes features music by Beck, Deadmau5 and Jim Guthrie and graphics by Capy, Superbrothers, Pixeljam and Pyramid Attack.
Mark Connery is a Toronto-based producer of comics and zines. He is most known for the mini-comic adventures of Rudy. In addition to his own publications, his work has appeared in many group exhibitions and has been published in Exclaim!, Kiss Machine and in many small-press lit zines in Toronto and Vancouver.
|37. Source: Digital Filmmaking Blog|
|Item: TTTOW - A unique film festival|
Date: 22 August 2013, 1:40 pm
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.
The film festival will focus on certain broad themes:
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">submissions page.
Hurry, the submissions deadline is September 10, 2013!
|38. Source: Digital Filmmaking Blog|
|Item: 10 Free Video Editing Software for Filmmakers|
Date: 6 July 2013, 6:48 am
Money is, by definition,
always a difficult issue for the low budget filmmaker. The challenge is in getting as much of your meagre budget up on the screen as possible. Luckily, by the wonders of open source development, just about every $800 software package has its freebie equivalent.
PC ( LINUX public beta released early 2013, MAC TBA)
An incredibly powerful editing package that is head and shoulders above all other freebie editing packages. Just take a look at their website to see some of the high profile projects that have used Lightworks. Lightworks has features that even some of the big packages don’t have without the addition of expensive plugins. With a strong community supporting it, this is only going to get better.
Get Lightworks here
2. HyperEngine-AV – Equivalent to Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro
A decent editing package. A step up from the likes of imovie though still not up to the professional standards of the pricey packages. For simple edits though, you could do a lot worse.
Get HyperEngine-AV here
One of the best free editing packages out there. Avidemux allows you to do basic cutting, apply filters and work with a wide variety of different file types. It gets better with each release.
Get Avidemux here
4. Windows movie maker, pinnacle videospin
These lightweight freebie editors should not be overlooked entirely. For quick edits and changes there’s no need for the big guns.
Get Windows Movie Maker
Get Pinnacle Videospin
5. Avid Free DV
This was a great idea but has sadly been discontinued by Avid. Avid Free DV is a free version of their high end editing software, preserving the interface but removing many of the advanced features. Great for simple editing whilst also learning your way around Avid. Copies are still floating around online, though now it’s unsupported it is just going to get more out of date with time. Get it while it’s still useful.
Get Avid Free DV here
6. MPEG Streamclip
Another powerful, professional encoding and conversion tool. It accepts even the most obscure video formats and can even download YouTube videos. It is widely used as a simple tool for transcoding unwieldly DSLR footage.
Get MPEG Streamclip here
A powerful encoding tool that can read and convert just about any video file format.
Get ffmpeg here
8. DCP Builder – Equivalent to taking your project to an expensive post house
Want to screen your film at the utmost quality? Modern digital projectors require something called a DCP (Digital Cinema Package). Most post houses will charge you several thousands for the privilege, even for a short. DCP Builder is free.
Get DCP Builder here
9. Open DCP
Another DCP package. Personally I’ve had better results with this one than with DCP Builder. But hey, they’re both free so give them both a shot and see what works best for you.
Get Open DCP here
10. Black Magic DaVinci Resolve Lite
A good colour correcting job can make your budget movie look a million dollars. Black Magic now offer a lite version of their powerful colour correcting tool absolutely free!
Please feel free to add your own favourite free software that give an edge to the filmmaker.
|39. Source: Digital Filmmaking Blog|
|Item: Free stock footage, music from Video Blocks|
Date: 11 January 2013, 9:54 am
Got an email yesterday about an upcoming company called Video Blocks that's offering free stock footage from their collection of over 50,000 video, motion backgrounds and production music - if you sign up for a 7-day trial.
The offer seemed really tempting so I did some research on Video Blocks and realized they were featured on TechCrunch too:
Anyhow, I still have to check them out. The 7-day trial offer is really tempting, the only catch is that they require your credit card info to complete the trial sign-up. This is so that if you forget to cancel your trial in 7 days you will be charged at their regular monthly fee of $79 per month. But this kind of marketing tactic is not new at all...many big and small retailers, including Netflix have used a similar model of internet marketing to generate leads.
In any case, if you're into video editing or post production this offer is really attractive. Even the monthly cost of $79 is quite a decent deal for the amount of stock footage and clips that Video Blocks have on offer. But if you think you're not at the stage where you can afford a recurring cost, just take up their 7-day free trial and remember to cancel before it ends!
|40. Source: Digital Filmmaking Blog|
|Item: How Apple's new computers impact filmmaking|
Date: 26 October 2012, 12:04 pm
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?
|41. Source: Digital Filmmaking Blog|
|Item: 6 Frequently Used Transitions Between Shots|
Date: 1 October 2012, 4:04 am
Film editing is all about making (mostly smooth) transitions from one shot to another. Here we briefly discuss the 6 frequently used transitions between shots:
1. CUT: The end of the first shot is attached to the beginning of the second shot. The most often used of all transitions, it creates an instantaneous change in one or more of the following: angle, distance, subject etc. In narrative films, normally only cuts are used within a scene.
2. MATCH CUT: A match cut (sometimes called a form cut) maintains continuity between two shots by matching objects with similar shapes or movements or both similar shapes and similar movements. One of the best known examples of a match cut is from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), in which a bone slowly tumbling end over end in the air is replaced by an orbiting spacecraft with a similar shape. Watch video below for reference:
3. JUMP CUT: A jump cut is a discontinuous transition between shots. For example, one shot shows a woman running on a beach towards the water, and the next shot shows her running away from the water. A jump cut is sometimes used to surprise or disorient viewers. It may also occur if the film print or video has missing footage. Many filmmakers and film schools associate a jump cut with bad editing.
4. FADE OUT, FADE IN: The first shot fades to darkness, (normally black); then the second shot fades in(by degree goes from darkness to illuminated image). The fade out, fade in can provide a short but meaningful pause between scenes and sequences. If this editing transition is doe slowly, it can serve as a leisurely transition.; if done rapidly, it is less noticeable or not noticeable at all. Perhaps because of the current popularity of fast pacing in films, this transition is used far less often than it used to be,
5. LAP DISSOLVE: The first shot fades out as the second shot fades in, overlaps the first, then replaces it entirely. Lap dissolves may be rapid and nearly imperceptible or slow and quite noticeable, creating a momentary superimposition of two images, sometimes suggesting similarities or even meaning.
6. WIPE: A wipe seems to push one shot off the screen as it replaces it with the next shot. The wipe, which comes with many variations, has been popular in science fiction, serials and action movies. but it has also been used in such diverse films as It Happened on Night, (1934), The Maltese Falcon (1941), The Seven Samurai (1954), Ed Wood (1994) and Battlefield Earth (2000).
Many other transitions are used but much less often than these six mentioned above. We will post more on video editing techniques on the Digital Filmmaking Blog in the coming days,
|42. Source: Digital Filmmaking Blog|
|Item: SXSW festival being streamed live|
Date: 11 March 2012, 5:36 am
The South by Southwest multi-day gathering, also called the SXSW Festival, since it’s being livestreamed from Austin, TX, enabling viewers around the globe to feel the love even sitting in the comfort of their home.
From March 9 - March 18, there’s a party going on, and you didn’t even need to fly there in order to attend. This event, which is popularly know by its acronym SXSW is streaming various live events, music and photos online here. Events are best viewed using Internet Explorer 9.
This year, more than 500 parties — a record — are on tap at venues around town. With its focus on music, film and interactive offerings, SXSW naturally attracts interest each year from record labels, film distributors and high-tech firms looking to make a big splash with lavish events featuring celebrities, freebies and, of course, lots of food and booze.
Overall, SXSW is known as a great creative mashup attracting filmmakers, distributors, music promoters, talent buyers, members of the national and international press, digital creatives, technology geeks, entrepreneurs, fans and fanatics. This year is the 19th time the South by Southwest film event is being held. The largest demographic represented among attendees are people in their 30’s (40%), followed by twenty-somethings (31%).
While it has a reputation for being hip, it aims to steer clear of being a stuffy, snobbish atmosphere, and based upon press testimonies , the South by Southwest gathering seems to have reached that goal in past years. And then some.
The interactive part of the festival continues for 4 more days through March 13th, while film viewing will last 8 more days through March 17th and for those who love the music events, there’s a great line up that will take folks out 9 more days, through March 18th.
A Microsoft gala last year at downtown's ACL Live venue, for example, reportedly cost $750,000. But the festival also appeals to other firms, including automakers, fashion designers, television networks and even the makers of Red Bull energy drink.
All are eager to reach the 20,000-plus trendsetters in town, hoping to generate buzz, which, in turn, generates sales.
Visit the South by Southwest home page for a more comprehensive list of events and programs.
|43. Source: Digital Filmmaking Blog|
|Item: George Clooney honoured at Palm Springs Film Festival|
Date: 23 November 2011, 8:20 am
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
|44. Source: Digital Filmmaking Blog|
|Item: Final Cut Pro X released|
Date: 24 June 2011, 10:11 am
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:
|45. Source: Digital Filmmaking Blog|
|Item: Shortie Awards Youth Film Festival|
Date: 6 May 2011, 4:28 am
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!
|46. Source: Digital Filmmaking Blog|
|Item: Short Film: Damn Your Eyes|
Date: 26 April 2011, 4:52 am
David Guglielmo, an alumni of School of Visual Arts, New York emailed me his short film titled 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.
|47. Source: Digital Filmmaking Blog|
|Item: Tribeca Film Festival Launches Online Version|
Date: 23 March 2011, 6:50 pm
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 .
|48. Source: ArtRightNow News|
|Item: Emerging artists wanting to participate in the Splendid festival read on...(May 2011)|
Date: 20 March 2011, 1:03 pm
|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.|
|49. Source: Digital Filmmaking Blog|
|Item: Salon Films launches filmmaker training program|
Date: 10 January 2011, 9:02 am
|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.
|50. Source: ArtRightNow News|
|Item: Winners for the 2010 Gold Coast Indigenous Art and Design Award|
Date: 19 November 2010, 10:47 am
|Anthony Walker is the winner of the 2010 prize.|
|51. Source: Digital Filmmaking Blog|
|Item: Tribeca announces filmmaking grants|
Date: 17 September 2010, 1:08 pm
|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.
|52. Source: Digital Filmmaking Blog|
|Item: Taiwan's Tsai Liang is Asian Filmmaker of the Year|
Date: 6 September 2010, 4:47 am
|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.
|53. Source: Digital Filmmaking Blog|
|Item: Latest Web startups for filmmakers|
Date: 18 June 2010, 1:39 am
|As the author of the Digital Filmmaking Blog I often get emails about the launch of a new film camera or filmmaking scholarhip or film training program requesting to get featured on this blog. Often I find those things overtly promotional and commercial and decide to ignore them. But I would like to list a few good web startups for filmmakers:|
1. Tyro TV: tyrotv.com is a website that's intended for emerging television and filmmakers. They are sponsoring a new kind of online film festival/contest. According to the site owner,
We give young filmmakers a topic and everything they need to create their own movie -- video, music, and sound effects. Then let them create the best short film they can using these materials. Because everyone's using the same "building blocks," contestants will be judged not by their budget but on their creativity and storytelling abilities.
Their first competition is called "The Marijuana Mash-Up." For this contest, they are asking contestants to “mash up” (that is, creatively condense and re-edit) an hour’s worth of hilariously dated drug education films from the 50s and 60s to create a short campaign commercial that convinces people to vote for or against legalizing marijuana. The contest is motivated by the California initiative that'll be on the ballot this fall, but young filmmakers across the country have passionate views on this issue, to say the least! Finalists will be named late in the summer and a winner just before the election.
|54. Source: Digital Filmmaking Blog|
|Item: Jumpstart Your Film and Television Career: 5 powerful TIPS on how to land more tv film jobs than you can handle|
Date: 23 April 2010, 5:57 pm
|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?
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
|55. Source: - Features RSS Feed|
|Item: Kasimir Malevich's 'Black Square': What does it say to you?|
Date: 15 July 2014, 6:00 pm
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?
|56. Source: - Features RSS Feed|
|Item: Should galleries display more art by women?|
Date: 7 July 2014, 1:12 pm
One of the Royal Academy of Arts’ most senior figures has called for a quota to ensure equality between the balance of male and female members. Eileen Cooper, the first woman to be appointed to the role of Keeper of the Royal Academy in 2011, also thinks that national collections should display more works by women artists.
|57. Source: - Features RSS Feed|
|Item: Stunning photos from the National Geographic Travel photography contest|
Date: 17 June 2014, 5:50 pm
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.
|58. Source: - Features RSS Feed|
|Item: Portfolio: Californian Austen Ezzell spent five months photographing football pitches around the globe for his project The World's Game|
Date: 24 May 2014, 6:00 pm
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.
|59. Source: - Features RSS Feed|
|Item: Aiko Tezuka, artist: 'History is interwoven in the fabric. I decided to mix cultures and to make layers'|
Date: 22 May 2014, 9:00 am
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.
|60. Source: - Features RSS Feed|
|Item: The supersized cultural life of Abu Dhabi|
Date: 19 May 2014, 6:00 pm
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'."
|61. Source: - Features RSS Feed|
|Item: Phyllida Barlow: The sculptor on splodges, what she learnt from her mother – and not teaching the YBAs|
Date: 17 May 2014, 6:00 pm
I've been called 'the mistress of the splodge' [in recognition of her preference for sculpting rounded works], which I rather like. But even when critics are rude they have revealed things about my work that's accurate. [The Sunday Times art critic] Waldemar Januszczak once described a piece [for a show at the Serpentine Gallery, in 2010] as like snot thrown on the wall. But I think the disgustingness of a spillage or a splodge has its own beauty, and fascinates me.
|62. Source: - Features RSS Feed|
|Item: Look out Lena Dunham, here comes mom! Laurie Simmons is set to direct a movie with a 'small role' for the creator of Girls|
Date: 14 May 2014, 5:00 pm
Creativity definitely runs in Girls star and creator Lena Dunham's family. Her mum, Laurie Simmons, has been nominated for the prestigious Prix Pictet photography award, along with 10 other leading photographers from all over the world, who are competing for the prize of £67,000. The winner will be announced on 21 May at London's Victoria & Albert Museum, followed by an exhibition of their work.
|63. Source: World Art News at IrishArt.com|
|Item: Lowry Art Trickery?|
Date: 3 March 2009, 1:23 pm
|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|
|64. Source: World Art News at IrishArt.com|
|Item: Caged Art Recognised|
Date: 1 March 2009, 4:44 am
|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|
|65. Source: World Art News at IrishArt.com|
|Item: "Nazi" Picasso's Stay In NY|
Date: 10 February 2009, 3:42 am
|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|
|66. Source: World Art News at IrishArt.com|
|Item: Joe Boyle's Art at Waterfront Hall, Belfast|
Date: 25 January 2009, 4:10 pm
|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|
|67. Source: World Art News at IrishArt.com|
|Item: Irish Art Thieves Took Taxi|
Date: 9 November 2008, 11:43 pm
|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|
|68. Source: International Art Competitions provided by Artshow.com|
|Item: Small Wonders: A Fine Art Small Works Exhibition - Annapolis, Maryland|
|$1,000 in awards. Deadline: September 10, 2014|
|69. Source: International Art Competitions provided by Artshow.com|
|Item: Craft Forms 2014 - Wayne, Pennsylvania|
|$6,000+ in awards. Deadline: September 12, 2014|
|70. Source: International Art Competitions provided by Artshow.com|
|Item: Joshua Tree National Park Art Exposition 2014 - Twentynine Palms, California|
|$6,000 in cash awards and an Artist-In-Residence award. Deadline: September 15, 2014|
|71. Source: International Art Competitions provided by Artshow.com|
|Item: 81st Annual International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature - North Bethesda, Maryland|
|$6,000 in awards. Deadline: September 20, 2014|
|72. Source: International Art Competitions provided by Artshow.com|
|Item: Endangered: Art for Apes - Online contest and exhibition|
|$8,250 in awards. Deadline: October 3, 2014|
|73. Source: International Art Competitions provided by Artshow.com|
|Item: Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Artist Residency - Waltham, Massachusetts|
|$3000 stipend, $250 materials subsidy, studio, solo exhibition. Deadline: October 8, 2014|
|74. Source: International Art Competitions provided by Artshow.com|
|Item: Nature's Gift of Water: Exhibition 2014 - Tacoma, Washington|
|$2,700 in awards. Deadline: October 15, 2014|
|75. Source: International Art Competitions provided by Artshow.com|
|Item: Art Basel Miami Week 2014 | Cosmic Connections Exhibition - Miami, Florida|
|$3,000 in awards. Deadline: October 31, 2014|
|76. Source: International Art Competitions provided by Artshow.com|
|Item: 8th GICBiennale 2015 International Competition - Gyeonggi-do, South Korea|
|$48,100 Grand Prize with solo exhibition in 2017. Deadline: November 7, 2014|
|77. Source: International Art Competitions provided by Artshow.com|
|Item: Au Naturel: the Nude in the 21st Century - Astoria, Oregon|
|$1000 in cash prizes; Up to $2000 in purchase awards. Deadline: November 7, 2014|
|78. Source: International Art Competitions provided by Artshow.com|
|Item: Yosemite Renaissance XXX - Yosemite, California|
|$4,000 in awards. Deadline: November 15, 2014|
|79. Source: International Art Competitions provided by Artshow.com|
|Item: Dave Bown Projects 9th Semiannual Competition - Online exhibition|
|$10,000 in cash prizes and purchases. Deadline: December 6, 2014|
|80. Source: International Art Competitions provided by Artshow.com|
|Item: The 3rd Zebra Awards International Monochrome Competition - Online exhibition|
|US$2000 Grand Prize. Deadline: December 31, 2014|
|81. Source: Network Front | The Guardian|
|Item: Bring on the defeat of the EU-US free trade deal|
Date: 2 September 2014, 11:52 am
|The TTIP is an aggressive expression of the free market ideology that should have been binned with the financial crash|
In spite of previous suggestions to the contrary, the proposed EU-US free trade deal will, after all, include the NHS, trade minister Lord Livingston admitted on Monday. The deal, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership or TTIP, is a priority of David Camerons government a once in a generation opportunity. But officials have been taken aback by the extent of public hostility.
At the heart of this opposition is the fear that the TTIP will give big business vast new powers over public services like the NHS, and undermine rights at work, environmental protection and food safety standards. call-on-cameron-to-exclude-nhs-from-us-trade-deal/" title="">According to a poll commissioned by Unite, 68% of people in marginal constituencies oppose the inclusion of the NHS as part of the deal. Even among Tory voters, just 23% supported its inclusion. Continue reading...
|82. Source: Network Front | The Guardian|
|Item: Man found guilty of sending menacing tweets to Labour MP Stella Creasy|
Date: 2 September 2014, 11:16 am
|Peter Nunn retweeted messages threatening to sexually assault MP after she backed Jane Austen banknote campaign|
A man faces jail after sending abusive Twitter messages to Labour MP Stella Creasy after she supported a successful campaign to put Jane Austen on the £10 note.
Peter Nunn retweeted "menacing" posts threatening to rape the Walthamstow MP and called her a witch. He launched his "campaign of hatred" after she backed Caroline Criado-Perez's campaign to keep a woman on a British banknote. Continue reading...
|83. Source: Network Front | The Guardian|
|Item: Tom Cleverley makes loan move from Manchester United to Aston Villa|
Date: 2 September 2014, 10:34 am
|Paperwork sent through at 1.15am on Tuesday|
Everton failed with £5m bid for midfielder
Arsenal sign Danny Welbeck for £16m
deadline-day-sky-sports-swearing-sex-toy" title="">Sky sorry over swearing and sex toy
Tom Cleverley has been granted a season-long loan move to Aston Villa a day after the transfer deadline ended, despite the requisite paperwork being filed later than a two-hour extension granted by the Premier League.
Villa are thought to have pleaded to the Premier League board that, while it was around 1.15am on Tuesday with the transfer deadline having been at 11pm on Monday when the application to take Cleverley on a temporary basis was finally sent through, the wheels had been set in motion and the club had tried its utmost to process everything as quickly as possible. Continue reading...
|84. Source: Network Front | The Guardian|
|Item: County cricket as it happened|
Date: 2 September 2014, 10:22 am
With Richard Gibson at the Riverside for Durham v Notts and Andy Wilson at Old Trafford for Lancashire v Yorkshire
Andy Wilson reports on a record-breaking performance
This Yorkshire team can now call themselves Roses record-breakers, and they could well be champions elect at some point in the next 24 hours.
Richard Gibson reports at tea
Tea on the third day at Chester-le-Street and the position of this match is that Nottinghamshire are 292 runs away from recording a new record chase at the ground. Inconveniently, they have lost a trio of top-order players along the way - Steven Mullaney, James Taylor and Samit Patel - while at least a dozen of Michael Lumbs runs have come through the slips.
Richard Gibson reports on a century at the Riverside
Paul Collingwoods highest County Championship score of the season - and first hundred in it for two years - has dictated that Nottinghamshire will have to complete a record first-class run chase at Chester-le-Street to maintain their hopes of keeping Yorkshire in range at the top of Division One.
Andy Wilson reports on a special game at Old Trafford
We are witnessing a game that will earn a prominent place in the long history of Roses cricket, especially in Yorkshire.
Richard Gibson reports from the Riverside
Gary Keedy hopes to remain Nottinghamshires chief cook and bottle washer beyond his current deal at Trent Bridge, and further wickets for the left-arm spinner in Durhams second innings will only enhance his chances of getting a new contract.
Andy Wilson sets up the day
A blissful morning at Old Trafford, with an end-of-term feeling, on the day most of the children in these parts have gone back to school. With the prospect of Yorkshire building on a lead that is already formidable, and of Adam Lyth aiming to complete his double century, perhaps its a decent time to ponder end-of-season awards.
Today we have Richard Gibson at the Riverside for Durham v Nottinghamshire and Andy Wilson at Old Trafford for Lancashire v Yorkshire. Here are their reports from yesterdays play:
Nottinghamshire veteran Gary Keedy panics the Durham ranks
Yorkshire have the advantage in Roses match against Lancashire
|85. Source: Network Front | The Guardian|
|Item: Australia v South Africa: tri-series as it happened|
Date: 2 September 2014, 10:02 am
Daniel McDonald has proven that he has a genuine Australian postal address so he will recieve the book, even if his request that I slip in a few World Cup tickets was met with the same facial expression I had when I first looked at the ticket prices for said tournament.
Well, for a while there it looked as though Faf du Plessis was going to get the job done by himself but his wonderful innings of 126 was met with little support from teammates so Australia have won this game convincingly.
The Proteas innings was about du Plessis and du Plessis alone. Once the stout support of Ryan McLaren ended this game was effectively over and the Aussie bowlers spread the load well to force breakthroughs when they were required. Johnson, Maxwell, RIchardson and Marsh all finished with 2 wickets and only Mitch Starc really failed to fire when he was thrown the ball, primarily in his expensive second spell.
Tahir is here for a good time not a long time and the reintroduction of Maxwell sees him charge down the wicket and flog one high into the deep, but Mitch Marsh moves around to take the catch and tie up that Australian bonus point.
43rd over: South Africa 218-9 (Phangiso 2, Tahir 0)
Robert Wilson is back: Is it just me or is it becoming ever harder to judge which teams are the best one day teams (England excepted naturally).Would these two cane India? Or vice-versa? Does anyone know? I think it depends on the conditions. Australia would be close to favourites for their home World Cup but if it was played in India? Not a chance.
If you were expecting resistence from Morne Morkel, youre fresh out of luck. Johnson quite predictably cleans him up and this contest is almost done. Australia do though need to dismiss the Proteas for under 225 to claim the bonus point and progress to the final.
Faf du Plessis finally falls and fittingly enough for such a brilliant lone hand, he gets himself out when he steps back to Richardsons short ball and treads on his own stumps. Its the only way they would have got him to be honest.
Scaramouche, scaramouche, will you do the Phangiso? Those are the words probably not on the lips of Proteas fans right now but their side looks to be cooked.
41st over: South Africa 211-7 (du Plessis 124, Phangiso 0)
It has been confirmed that Daniel McDonald lives in Toowoomba and is not currently incarcerated. Unless any of you OBOers out there comes up with something brilliant in the next half hour hes going to get the Gideon Haigh book.
If Steyn can stick around here and stay off strike, this game is delicately poised. Mitchell Johnson is back into the attack with 3 overs of his alotment remaining, but despite his earlier venom, du Plessis will also rather fancy that pace on the ball. Its an attacking move from Bailey, who is strictly adhering to the theory that the best way to stop runs is to take wickets.
From Johnsons third delivery, Steyn bunts a single but Steve Smith swoops from mid-off to throw down the stumps with a literally stump-shattering throw and Steyn is gone!
40th over: South Africa 205-6 (du Plessis 119, Steyn 5)
Well, if anyone was going to get taken apart at the end of this innings it was Mitchell Starc so I cant say Im entirely surprised when du Plessis starts the over by pasting him for two huge sixes. Starc tries to bowl to his field threater, digging it in short, safe in the knowledge that he has men in the deep. Bailey might give him a spell now though I think.
39th over: South Africa 190-6 (du Plessis 105, Steyn 5)
Faf is on the war path now, cracking Richardson for a boundary and then Steyn does the same with slightly less grace than his colleague.
38th over: South Africa 181-6 (du Plessis 100, Steyn 1)
The McLaren wicket ended the 37th over and in the next Starc immediately has Steyn ducking a short ball that didnt get up to any great height. Moments later he gets pad on a misdirected Starc yorker and it skips away to the fine leg boundary.
Kane Richardson has been biding his time for a while now but returns with the task of breaking this impressive partnership between McLaren and du Plessis and he does it! Again a South African batsman perishes to a terrible stroke when McLaren suffers a rush of blood to the head and slogs one across the line and straight into the hands of Steve Smith at a wide mid wicket position.
That makes it very hard for du Plessis to get his side over the line.
36th over: South Africa 168-5 (du Plessis 97, McLaren 19)
Lyon bowls out his the last of his overs and as Im poring over the madness of Daniel McDonalds Simon Barnes fan fiction once more, du Plessis farewells the off-spinner with a towering six to move within three runs of his second ODI hundred in a week.