Aug 26, 2014
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Home of the New Balance: Nota bene (2014)

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Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.
John F. Kennedy, Inaugural speech, January 20, 1961

Everyone knows it; the province of New Brunswick is in dire straits. The Auditor General, Kim MacPherson, describes the debt problem as “very concerning” and is calling for “significant changes to improve the financial health” of the province.[1] Every four years, the election cycle kicks in; electoral signs pop up everywhere and talking heads reveal their latest strategies to resolve the ever-growing debt problem. The best plan of action for many is to encourage gas exploration by means of hydraulic fracturing. Many are opposed. We know details of the proposed scenario, but never the whole story. What I would like to propose here is another way of resolving this lingering problem.

Sao Paulo, the 4th largest urban area in the world, believes that prohibiting advertising such as outdoor posters will free its citizens, the province of New Brunswick, the 8th smallest province in Canada, could certainly take example from this South American city and do exactly the opposite.[2] Let’s give advertisers what they are denied in Brazil: a world of total advertisement! We need to surrender, to abandon not only the sides of our roads and of our buildings but our very own nomenclature! We need to become somebody else! We need to BECOME THE SPONSORS! The idea is not new; other places have traded their souls before. In 1999, the village of Halfway, Oregon, changed its name to Half.com for a one-year period in accordance to a contract with the eBay subsidiary. In 2005, the town of Clark, Texas changed its name to DISH. In return the company DISH Network awarded DISH residents free cable service and programming for a period of 10 years. This lease is expiring very soon and if logic prevails, that little town’s name could switch to Netflix in the future.

What has never been done is what New Brunswick could try now, a systemic change of names. The names of all villages and towns, all roads, all monuments, all public buildings, even the name of the province would be on the shopping block. There are many ‘naturals’, names of company that could fit with existing communities. Through a sponsorship agreement with the communications and media company, the well known Rogersville could become Rogers. By adding an S to the town of Bailey in Sunbury County, they could probably make a deal with Gilbeys of Ireland, makers of the famous Baileys Irish Cream. Bay du Vin, on the south shore of Miramichi Bay, would certainly attract the interests of any number of wine makers. The little rural community of Burton could stay the same as long as Burton Snowboards get on board, so to speak. Add Tyres to Dunlop in Gloucester County and you get Dunlop Tyres. Popelogan Depot, an unincorporated community in Restigouche County could drop the Popelogan for Home and become Home Depot, and so on. As far as the name ‘New Brunswick’ goes, the footwear manufacturer New Balance seems to have the ideal credentials to take the big prize, in exchange for lots of royalties for NBers. Their logo is already a match with the current abbreviation of our province. On the other hand, settlements like Big Hole in Northumberland County and Baghdad near Grand Lake might have to be rebranded altogether. But imagine if there was a town called Sony, Irving or IBM. For one, the locals would have interesting demonyms. The IBMminions could even sing songs from their parent benefactor. The collection: Songs of The I.B.M. published in 1931 includes Painting the clouds with sunshine by J. P. Saxton:

We don’t pretend we’re gay.
We always feel that way,
Because we’re filling the world with sunshine.
With I.B.M. machines,
We’ve got the finest means,
For brightly painting the clouds with sunshine.
Records we make only to break,
Teaching the whole world we know
I.B.M.’s line, will all the time,
Help it to grow.
When things do not look right,
Our products make them right,
And keep on painting the clouds with sunshine.[3]

This grand project would not only redefine our onomastic landscape, it would also create a boom on employment: the lawyers, of course; the signage industry; the mapmakers and souvenir shops, would all be working overtime. But that’s not all; an underground network of hard-core genealogists unhappy with all of the changes could rise in every corner of the province of New Balance. Members of these cells would try to keep the old ways alive. It would be foolish to try to crush them. Au contraire, they should be encouraged, even if we have to create historical parks of taxonomy. Le Pays de la Sagouine and King’s Landing are two obvious models for this new world of ours. As for the sets of names to be sold, they would be auctioned to the highest bidder and would be legally binding according to the agreements drawn up by the province’s lawyers. With this plan, I truly believe that we could be out of debt in no time. If the DISH people, with the weight of all of their 201 citizens, got free cable for ten years, imagine what we could negotiate right here!

Daniel Dugas
Aug 23, 2014

P.S. Speaking words and marketing, we all recall the heated debate surrounding the slogan on New Brunswick’s licence plates: Be… In this place – Être… ici on le peut. As we know the slogan was discarded. The funny thing is that the province of New Brunswick was standing right in front of it’s very own slogan, a phrase that spells it’s own name, and on top of it all: a phrase that could be read in both official languages. This silver bullet is the Latin expression Nota bene, a phrase that means, “note well” and is often abbreviated as N.B. in English and N. B. in French. Sometimes ideas are sitting in front of us and only need only be picked up.

___________________________________________
[1] Auditor General troubled by debt growth, http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/auditor-general-troubled-by-debt-growth-1.2451996

[2] The city of Sao Paulo promulgated in 2006 the Cidada Limpa (Clean City Law) banning all outdoor advertising. The text stipulates that every citizen has a right to live in a city that respects the urban space, heritage and architectural integrity of the buildings. http://ww2.prefeitura.sp.gov.br/cidadelimpa/conheca_lei/conheca_lei.html

[3] Songs of The I.B.M. Fellowship Songs of International Business Machines Corporation, 270 Broadway, New York, N. Y. 1937. Painting the clouds with sunshine, p.14. http://www.robweir.com/blog/attachments/songs-of-the-ibm.pdf

Aug 14, 2014
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Standard de vérité (2014)

Standard de vérité / Standard of Truth has been included in this year’s Liberated Words Festival.
It will be screened on September 13th at the BRISTOL 2014 FESTIVAL.
http://liberatedwords.com

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Excerpt: Children do not have any archives, they are born free. They do not have to worry about all of those boxes of paper stating this or that truth, they do not have to pay storage fees, or check the levels of relative humidity in the vaults. The past has not yet arrived. They have nothing else than life ahead of them. The meaning that flows in their veins is not saturated with antibodies; they are made of oxygen. Maybe that is why they have big smiles.

 

Here are the people who will be having their films on the theme of ‘Memory’ screened in Liberated Words on 13th September as part of the Bristol Poetry Festival. It’s a great line up. Patrice Etienne, Hala Georges, David Richardson, Tamsin Taylor, Sheila Packa , Edward Kulemin, Chaucer Cameron, Susanne Wiegner, Keith Sargent, Robert Peake, John Scott, Marc NeysMatt MullinsDaniel Dugas, Suzie Hanna, Don Carey, Rhianna Edwards, Trama Afona, Kate Sweeney, Diana Taylor, Meriel Lland, Irina Nedelcu, Antonio Alvarado, Helen Dewbery. for ticket information please follow the link below.
http://www.poetrycan.co.uk/component/content/article/18-news-frontpage/628-brispofesta-2.html

Aug 3, 2014
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Everglades reverberations (2014)

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The following writeup was originally published on the Knight Arts website on July 25th 2014

By Daniel Dugas and Valerie LeBlanc, AIRIE

We came from the north. As we approached Miami, the pilot said something about the weather while swerving to miss storm cells. A few hours later, after we had landed, the downpour started in earnest. The rain was heavy, the sky black. It was a big storm; actually it was the first tropical storm of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane season. It later strengthened to become Hurricane Arthur and it was tracking northward. Hurricanes often follow the Gulf Stream current and affect the Maritime region of Canada where we live. But this one was going for the jugular; our town was right in the middle of its path. There were a slew of warnings posted on the Environment Canada website, tropical storm, rainfall, wind, special weather statement, and a tropical cyclone information statement. We followed the evolution of Arthur and worried for our house. At the last moment the storm veered left and the town where we live got a good soaking but not the anticipated deluge. It was pretty amazing to arrive in Florida just in time to witness the birth of a storm that slowly moved northward to die almost outside of our doorstep. It was a reminder of the interconnectedness of all things.

1-HURRICANE-ARTHURHurricane Arthur, July 5, 2014, National Hurricane Center

We are here to do a soundwalk project; fictional stories, voices, swamp recordings. It is this concept of interconnectness that is calling for our attention. We are looking at the connections between: the Everglades National Park geography and its inhabitants; those living close to its borders; and those, like ourselves, who come here to commune with the environment. We recognize that ecologically speaking, our understanding and experience of the Everglades is a relatively short moment in time. As we research through the networks and components that is the Everglades, we try to understand something of where it all sits in the grand scheme of things.

Upon arriving, the first thing that we did was to try to visualize the park, to construct a mental chart of what exists where. In the first few days we covered as much ground as we could, recording ambient sound, the weather, and the insects. The mosquitos hit the shotgun mic with anger. We saw sunrises, sunsets, walked in the warm waters of the slough at Pa-Hay-Okee, attempted to hike among the mangroves at Christian Point Trail, immersed ourselves in the song of crickets, frogs, of rustling in the bush, of movement in the trees.

Daniel, ChokoloskeeDaniel, Chokoloskee

The type of collaboration that we do is diverse. We have been collaborating for over twenty years on many projects. Often we work within a framework that allows for individual sensitivities to bubble to the surface, this is the case with our Everglades project. As we go out on hikes and explorations we experience the same location but from two different perspectives. Our individual takes are like stones thrown into a lake; the ripples of both, the points on intersections lie where the waves combine. That is often the place of creation.

Soon after arriving, we realized that we were in a world of layers. That we would have to see through the mosquito layer, the mosquito net layer, the humidity layer, the heat stress layer and the DEET layer. Every task becomes monumental, every clap of thunder, every raindrop intensifies, maximizes the experience.

We quickly learned to operate in the environment, to be there. Because audio recording demands silence and stillness, it is an obvious target for the hordes of skitters. In the spirit of adaptation, Valerie developed a Tai-Chi-like series of movements to repel them away from the microphone pickup area. This slow motioned waving of blue rubber gloved hands became the symbol of a certain level of peace.

Valerie’s Tai-Chi-like series of movements, Pa-Hay-OkeeValerie’s Tai-Chi-like series of movements, Pa-Hay-Okee

Of all the layers present within the Park, it is the human presence that has become the focus of our work. Whether it is the recently abandoned Chekika Day Use Area, the HM69 Nike Missile Base,

Valerie and Daniel, HM69 Nike Missile BaseValerie and Daniel, HM69 Nike Missile Base

the shell mounds of the Calusa Indians on Sandfly Island or the Deer Pen ruins near Paradise Key, all of these traces reveal something about human interventions in this place. Trace elements become covered, overgrown, eaten or corroded as plants, animals and climate reclaim. Sites can be seen as momento mori, reminders of mortality, but they are also reverberations of life.

Deer Pen, Paradise Key, NPS archives July, 1934Deer Pen, Paradise Key, NPS archives July, 1934
Deer Pen, July 2014, left to right: Daniel Dugas; Hillary Cooley Botanist, Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks and Valerie LeBlancDeer Pen, July 2014, left to right: Daniel Dugas; Hillary Cooley, Botanist, Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks and Valerie LeBlanc

Jun 10, 2014
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MPB-X: launch (2014)

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LAUNCH!

MPB-X launched June 9, 2014.

Critical Discourse Surrounding Ideas of Portability in Art and Art Dissemination

The publication features a foreword by editor Diana Sherlock and is followed by essays from Renato Vitic, Michael McCormack, Daniel H. Dugas and Valerie LeBlanc.

The eBook discussions draw from MediaPackBoard (MPB) programming carried out since 2005, in the context of contemporary portable art projects.

Valerie LeBlanc, MediaPackBoard creator, is formulating plans for a 10th year MPB outing. This year’s event, to be announced later this summer, will underline release of the publication.

MPB-X, is available for reading and free downloads:

version 2.0 / June 11 2014

PDF interactive: http://bit.ly/mpb-x-v2-PDF (6 mb)

ePub: http://bit.ly/mpb-x-v2-ePub (5.1 mb)

MOBI: http://bit.ly/mpb-x-v2-MOBI (10.9 mb)

The book can also be read online at: http://mpbx.pressbooks.com

ISBN paper 978-0-9735206-6-8
ISBN PDF 978-0-9735206-7-5
ISBN ePub 978-0-9735206-2-0
ISBN MOBI 978-0-9735206-8-2

mpb-x website

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This project is supported by the New Brunswick Arts Board
Ce projet est soutenu par le Conseil des arts du Nouveau-Brunswick

May 7, 2014
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Mot Dit 7 (2014)

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Le Mot Dit 7 est né ! Valerie LeBlanc et moi avons des textes et des images tirés de notre projet d’installation vidéo Ce qu’on emporte avec nous. Page couverture : Rouge (Daniel Dugas). Valerie LeBlanc and I have some texts and images included in the Mot Dit 7. The work has been extracted from our video installation What We Take With Us. Cover image: Red (Daniel Dugas).

May 5, 2014
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Videopoetry (2014)

For me, the poetic experience has always been a visual experience. Although videopoetry is often a collaborative process between a poet and a filmmaker, it is for me, most of the time, one continuous action. When I started to write poetry I also started to experiment with super 8 and creating live soundtracks for the reels. The blend of text, image and music seemed a natural transaction between mediums. But it is not only a back and forth movement between words, images and sounds, the action quickly becomes a passage to discover something new, to unearth a unique presence. We know now that the lines between mediums are fragile, that the walls are now porous and we are thankful for this evolution. We can travel from one genre into another to try to make sense of the whole world. Video poetry sits at the juncture of oral tradition, typography and vibrations: a fork in the road. It sometimes tells a story through words (narrative-poetry) and at other times, through moving images (non-linear abstraction). In spite of the fact that videopoetry always shows with a red wavy underlines in Microsoft Word, it is not an error. It is a form a comprehension. It is a good road to travel.

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Still from What We Take With Us at The New Gallery (2012) Video installation with Valerie LeBlanc

Apr 29, 2014
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Des ravins au bout des lèvres (2014)

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Après quatre ans de travail, voici Des ravins au bout des lèvres, un projet d’écriture sur la mémoire et le doute, sur l’oubli et le souvenir.

Il y a bien entendu le drame de la maladie de l’Alzheimer – le livre est dédié à Auguste Deter, la première patiente à recevoir en 1901, un diagnostic de cette maladie – mais il est aussi question de l’histoire de l’imprimerie, de la menace des insectes bibliophages qui dévorent lentement les fonds d’archives, de l’art de la classification, de la mémoire absolue, de la mémoire artificielle, du stockage de l’information et de la photographie, technologie de la mémoire.

L’idée d’écrire ce livre m’est venue voilà quatre ans déjà, alors que je transférais des données informatiques. L’ère numérique nous a propulsés dans une situation des plus singulière où le vieillissement de la population et les pertes de la mémoire encourue par celle-ci coïncident avec une accélération et une prolifération de toutes les mémoires artificielle. L’évanescence de la mémoire virtuelle est quelque chose de relativement nouveau qui nous incite à articuler de nouvelle façon d’approcher le passé, mais aussi de nouvelles façons d’envisager le présent et l’avenir.

J’ai voulu, parce qu’il s’agit de la mémoire, nommer ce qui m’a inspiré, ce qui m’a guidé, et les sources sont nombreuses. Ce réseau de reconnaissance se présente sous l’aspect d’une fouille archéologique, composée d’une multitude de strates. Il y a bien sûr les poèmes, mais il y a aussi des notes qui mettent en lumière certains aspects du processus d’écriture. À cela s’ajoute un index ludique qui pourrait être « un point de départ pour les lecteurs gauchers » comme le disait Matthew Goulish. Et parce que le livre parle de la mémoire et des trous de mémoire, le livre est aussi transpercé d’un trou.

Le lancement a eu lieu au Café Aberdeen le 24 avril 2014.

Apr 23, 2014
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Afflux – Urban Influx (2014)

Une première!  Un de mes textes intitulés Afflux a servi d’inspiration à Robert Lemay pour créer Urban Influx une oeuvre pour quatuor de saxophones. La pièce a été présentée le 23 mars 2014 à la salle de l’University of Illinois in Urbana-Champagne, USA, avec le Proteus Saxophone Quartet.

Voici le texte et la pièce:

Afflux

sur les artères immobiles
des villes en mutation
dans le brouillard du matin
le smog de la pensée
dans le flux et le reflux
de cette vie productive
ça roule
sans cesse sans pause

 

robert-lemay-urban-influx


 

Apr 18, 2014
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Daniel H. Dugas

Artiste numérique, poète et musicien, Daniel H. Dugas a participé à des expositions individuelles et de groupe ainsi qu’à plusieurs festivals et événements de poésie en Amérique du Nord, en Europe, au Mexique et en Australie. Son huitième recueil de poésie Des Ravins au bout des lèvres vient de paraître aux Éditions Prise de parole.

Daniel Henri Dugas is a poet, musician and videographer. He has participated in solo and group exhibitions as well as festivals and literary events in North America, Europe, Mexico and Australia. His eighth book of poetry: Des Ravins au bout des lèvres has just been published by Les Éditions Prise de parole.

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