Browsing articles in "commentary"
Aug 13, 2012
admin

LONDON 2012: quicker to paradise (2012)

[Thoughts about the fabulous closing ceremonies]

Daniel Dugas with contributions from Valerie LeBlanc
August 13, 2012

LYRICS AND REALITIES
Imagine there’s no countries,
(John Lennon)

With all the flags waving and a massive,
dominating Union Jack outlining the track,
it is kind of hard to do.

There is Nothing to kill or die for
(John Lennon)

Nevertheless during the final minutes of the closing ceremonies,
the Olympic Flag was carried by members of the British Armed Forces.
It’s like they say, if you want peace, prepare for war.

Imagine no possessions
(John Lennon)

VS

I’m wearing all my favourite brands
(Taio Cruz)

+

It’s not about the money, money, money
We don’t need your money, money, money
(Jessie J)

Why are the medals, medals, medals, made of precious metal anyway?
Flash images of winning athletes biting their own.

FASHION
And no religion too
(John Lennon)

Annie Lennox’s Goth Pirate ship with charred sails:
a royally well-matched colonialist image to compliment the fashion extravaganza.

Did anybody see Fellini’s Roma – Catholic Church Fashion Show lately? Fellini’s ironic images must have informed the London’s closing ceremonies. Whether it is the lighted hats of the bishops (glow-in-the-dark hats of the Brazilian dancers), the deacon outfits equipped with roller skates (roller-skating nuns) or the skeleton float (Lennox’s ship). This is especially interesting when you realized that the Queen of England heads up the Church of England.

PSYCHEDELIA
Psychedelic magical mystery tour bus

How can we reconcile the psychedelic in us with the rectitude of the Olympic movement regarding drugs?  Is the magic drink good for the mind but bad for the body?  Go ask Lucy.

BURNING
Was the so-called re-enactment of the Pink Floyd cover Wish You Were Here, death by burning, auto combustion or political reference to last year’s burning effigy of the London 2012 Olympics organiser Lord Coe in protest at the sponsorship role of Dow Chemical? [1]

ENLIGHTENMENT
After reading a comment by the creative director and choreographer of the show, Kim Gavin it now makes sense: “My approach was to say, ‘Let’s not over-think it. . . . Let’s have a party. I don’t want anyone to say, ‘I don’t understand this.’” [2]

MISSED OPPORTUNITIES
Sex Pistols, The Cure, Amy Winehouse.

 

[1] London 2012: India 2012 Olympics protest in Bhopal burns Coe effigy, BBC website, 2 Dec 2011 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-16001266
For more information, please see Tell Lord Coe to stop defending Dow Chemical: http://action.amnesty.org.uk/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1194&ea.campaign.id=15017

[2] London 2012: Closing ceremony the after-party to end all after-parties, thestar.com, August 12, 2012  http://www.thestar.com/sports/london2012/article/1241117–london-2012-closing-ceremony-the-after-party-to-end-all-after-parties

Nov 8, 2010
admin

The Swastika is gone!


The City of Moncton came and repaired the sidewalk on Sherrard Street and it’s beautiful!

For background information, please see: A Swastika in Moncton

May 3, 2010
admin

House on Fire (2010)

House on Fire was written on May 3, 2010 after listening reports on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. As of today, June 3, the oil is still coming out and the spill has now reached catastrophic level. Although the text was written early on in this saga, I decided to publish it on my blog as it convey the feelings of disbelief that I feel might be experienced by others. [2777 words]

House on Fire by Daniel Dugas

May 3, 2010. On the radio this morning, I hear that the oil is slowly gushing out, thousands of barrels a day from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico. What does gushing slowly mean? Can the flow of oil come out suddenly, copiously, forcibly like a hemorrhage, and slowly, all at once? Who has qualified the speed of this spill?

This is such an aberration, especially in the light of what happened in 1989 with the Exxon Valdez. How could something like this happen now? It’s not that we did not learn from the past, it’s more like we don’t want to learn from it. Greed is the motivation and greed will define the actions of many of the players involved. bp will fight to survive and its teams of lawyers are surely working overtime. It is important to remember how the tab was settled with the Exxon Valdez, which was repaired, renamed – the S/R Mediterranean and is now registered in Panama. “An Anchorage jury awarded $287 million for actual damages and $5 billion for punitive damages.” [1] After a number of challenges the punitive damages were reduced to $2.5 billion, this again was renegotiated in a lower court to $500 million and finally Exxon agreed in 2008 to pay 75% of the final invoice. [2]

Cheapness and greed are the two motors that propel and make the big oil machines breathe, eat and grow. The cargo barge Irving Whale is another good example. It sank in 1970 near the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of St Lawrence with its cargo of PCB-laden bunker oil. In the days following the sinking, oil washed ashore onto the islands. There are, to this day, more than 200,000 bags of oil debris buried under the beautiful dunes. The clean up effort continues and officials are still removing the bags as they surface. [3] According to the scientific data of the time, the cold waters of the Gulf made the oil congeal and reduced leakage from the barge. The prognosis changed in the early 90’s when scientists noticed PCB’s leaking from the carcass of the boat. The Government of Canada tried unsuccessfully to force Irving Oil [4] to salvage their boat but Irving had… ‘abandoned ownership of the wreck, since it was considered to be in international waters.’ [5]

When all failed, the Canadian Government went ahead with the recovery on its own. The doomed barge was hoisted from the bottom of the sea and brought back to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where it was going to be cut into pieces and sold for its weight as scrap metal. The Irving lawyers were waiting in the wings, as soon as the ship reached its final destination the lawyers put an injunction rightfully claiming its valuable cargo. They pumped the oil out of the barge and sold it. If this operation would have taken place today, it is certain that the marketing branch of the company would have re-branded the operation as a great recycling project. Something like: “Hey, nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed type of event.”

bp has also invested in its branding, they are after all, the greenest of the oil giants. Its glorious logo is a vibrant leaf-like-sun-emitting symbol of hope and responsibility, a beacon of everything green, or is it? [6] Whatever lies under the beauty of the graphic remains a mystery but the image is so beautiful that we want to trust it. Even the Green Party of Canada must have thought that it was irresistible; as they too have a similar emblem.

Since the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform, on April 20, the disaster and the coverage has been as controlled as it can be. Two weeks later I am puzzled by the lack of attention and coverage. It is as if the spill was a small thing, something that is part of the game, a calculated risk. I heard earlier today, on the CBC airwaves, the soothing voice of Dr. Ed Overton, Professor Emeritus at Louisiana State University’s Department of Environmental Science. [7] Here, finally, we have an expert talking about the oil spill. He spoke of the uncertainty and the scope of this event, noting in a matter of fact way, that it will never be as huge as the Exxon Valdez, “… I don’t think that it will be that bad. ” The good doctor, talked about the oil spreading over a much longer period of time than the ill fated tanker and explained that the effects will be different, “… this is a long-term affair spread over a long period of time …”

I admit that Napoleon could have been killed with a bullet but he was slowly poisoned instead. The difference is minute but the outcome is the same. Dr Overton went on to compare the situation to a house fire; ‘a room might be on fire, but it doesn’t mean that the house is in danger.’ Here I’m guessing that the doctor might be comparing the oil spill, or the Gulf of Mexico to the ‘room’ and the rest of the planet to the ‘house.’ (?) He was actually talking about the environment as a series of compartments, secluded from one another, with fire doors in between habitats. (much like a pillbox of weekly medication) Overton claimed to be not associated with any oil company, but really? Considering the size and significance of the Gulf of Mexico to the planet’s ecology, how could an environmental professor, acting on his own, create this house analogy, and not show more concern for the kitchen?

In the 1970’s the Canadian government built a series of American style bungalows on native reserves in Manitoba. The native people were puzzled by the architecture of the buildings, wondering why someone had to open a door and go through a hallway to open another door to go into another room. It seemed unnecessary and they decided to re-design their homes, opening them all up, effectively creating a space closer to their traditional view of the world. Everybody can see that the clouds and the birds cross the political borders of our world without even thinking about it, and why would they? Like acid rain, oil will not stop on a specific latitude or longitude.

On their website, Time Magazine has brought back its top 10 environment disasters page. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico might even make the list if the leak, as they call it, continues. Oil companies have a specific way of wording their messages. A leak sounds to me like a dripping kitchen tap, something annoying but that you can learn to live with. Obviously this is more than that; it is a rupture, a break, a hole. Suncrude, the world’s largest producer of synthetic crude oil from oil sands in Alberta is the owner on the infamous Aurora tailings pond where some 1,606 waterfowl died after landing in it. [8] The idea of a pond is good, it sounds small and cute, it brings forth image of the famous Walden Pond; a place to reflect and think. They are places where life forms flourish. But those tailings ponds are artificially created, huge lake-like forms where poisons are deposited; they are settling areas for toxic waste.

This latest catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico comes after years of environmental awareness, after years of being told the difference and the importance of not using plastic bags, which are made of oil, after years of composting, of sorting through the garbage – recycling the dry from the wet, the toxic from the organic. We were told, and we believed, that the biggest part of the problem resided with the consumers and not the industries, with us – and not – with them. ‘Our actions will save our fragile planet’, and we bought it. We thought that it was important enough. We listened to Al Gore warning us about the warming of the planet, we accepted to pay more for green energy; every little bit helps as they say. After two weeks, where are Gore and Suzuki? Did they say anything? Will they? Should they? Aren’t their rooms heating up from this localized fire? Is there smoke seeping under their doors? Should I really put my chip bag in the trash or just toss is out in this great garbage can of a world?

We live in a world of slogans, the great motivators of our lives, along with the loyalty programs that exist out there. Beyond Petroleum (bp), Make things better (Toyota), Solutions for Today’s Energy Challenges (Halliburton) or Solutions are in our nature (David Suzuki) – they all offer visions of optimism and possibilities. But this time the deception is complete, our optimism exhausted. What made us believe them, what made us buy into their dreams? What is the next step, the next greenwash, the next empty word to be flaunted before our eyes like carrots. Is there a roundabout in the dead end of marketing?

Environment has become a buzzword – or it was until recently – and a dreamscape where we project ourselves, perhaps into the future. Avatar worked because of all of those years of learning, of trying to be more in tune with Mother Nature, but Mother Nature is about to become one big ‘fucked up’ lady. But wait! There is hope, bp has a plan, the building of a Containment Pollution Chamber as they call it, a huge compartment of steel to catch the oil and pump it onto a barge waiting at the surface. [9] The manager of the Operations for bp assures the public that bp has a plan B, C, D and F, in case the Containment Pollution Chamber does not work. How can bp have so many clean up plans when they were out there drilling without any safety net? Did they really think that all of their dollar bills would cushion their fall? But here we are, in week number 2, and everyone is enthralled about the engineering marvel of the container.

CNN:

It sounds like a Hollywood movie. An impending disaster — think the disabled spacecraft in “Apollo 13″ or the asteroid hurtling toward Earth in “Armageddon” — prompts a daring intervention by engineers to save the day.[10]

Somewhere else another announcer talks about the box as some kind of Egyptian project. Hooray! We will have our own pyramid! The cable news networks keep showing workers welding the metal sarcophagus that will make everything go away. Why are we so in awe in front of this engineering accomplishment? Is it because it creates a simple superhero narrative, with good guys on one side and bad guys on the other. Evil is lurking, slithering, dripping out of the kitchen tap, and meanwhile … the Heros are working overtime on a plan to place a gigantic encasement tomb to save the day. The problem is that the good guys and the bad guys are one entity, one being. And why are we so excited by this chamber and not by the remote control switch technology lacking on the Deepwater Horizon Platform, and still lacking on all of the other 4,000 drilling platforms in the Gulf of Mexico? [11] And how come it was not there? The European Union forces drilling platforms to have a remote control switch to shut off wells. [12] We have the same idea in our homes, which we all agree is a good one – a switch to turn off the water main in case there is an emergency. It is mandatory in EU but not in England where bp has its headquarters. The company refused to implement the practice because of its cost, about half a million dollars.

Will this go away? When will it go away? When will you be able to go to the store and buy Gulf shrimps; when will you go back into the water; walk on the beaches and play in the sand? The executives of bp are as picky as everybody else when it comes time to choose the location of their next holiday. If this spot is ruined, it does not really matter, their world is made of many compartments and they will find a corner that is still unspoiled, pristine, the perfect fit for their families to frolic candidly. And if there are no more corners, they will build one and put fences around it – period.

If we worry about products that are not tested on animals we should be dead worried about this experiment. There has never been anything like it; it eclipses all that we have known. And beside the health risks involved, there are also the risks to the reputation of prominent figures. Armies of lawyers from bp to Halliburton are already devising their escape routes, planning to surrender on their own terms, perhaps even negotiating for immunity – with bonuses. At worst they will go bankrupt like Union Carbide did following the Bhopal chemical disaster in 1984. [13] The bankruptcy of Union Carbide permitted Dow Chemical to purchase the corporation without acquiring the Bhopal legacy. The lawyers for bp and its associates are certainly looking at this option right now. And let’s not forget the banks, which were too big to fail, yet they were rescued. Could bp fall into the same category?

Then on May 1, came Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square car bomb terrorist. [14] Was this for real? The timing of this failed bombing was very strange. It pulled so much attention away from bp that I have been wondering if this was not a set up. Yes I know, another conspiration theory, but you have to admit that timing is everything. The Nashville flooding, on the other hand, would have be too difficult to stage even for big oil.

Even if the Time Square event is not related to the spill, it does bring an interesting thread into play. No terrorist could have created such havoc as bp is doing right now. The effects, the range of devastation and the implication for the ecosystems and the people who live in them is way outside the Al-Qaeda league. The impending approach of the oil slick is terrorizing people and animals alike, it is creating fear and anxiety – in other words: terror. Al-Qaeda could not have done this, but here we are, with bp at the helm. It is backed by the Government of the United States of America that has sanctioned offshore drilling; leading us to rest assured in the belief that it was clean, safe, and environmentally friendly. Good going!

Could this become a case of National Security? Let’s imagine for a moment that the oil slick has reached the coast, and is making its way into the ports, like Mobile, Alabama for example. And then a little thug, a budding homegrown terrorist or one from abroad, goes out on a stroll, throwing a match in the mixture. Could this happen? What would we do with the bp executives then, would they be going to Guantanamo? And what about the US government, would heads roll there? Unlikely scenario.

Could this be a case of crime against Humanity? The human specie, humankind, what is known as Humanity is intimately intertwined with the animal kingdom, isn’t it Mr. Susuki? What is done to them is done to us? Maybe? Unlikely scenario.

Headlines:
bp Finally Caps The Well!
Bravo To The Savants!
World Wins Battle Against Evil!

And then, for years and years and years the company battles in the courts, negotiates the terms of reality, reduces and minimizes its responsibilities. The lawyers decorate their offices and buy new suits and then redecorate again and buy more suits until all the money has gone out, like the oil of an old well. Bankruptcy is declared and then another company comes along and takes it over, plucking it like a dangling fruit, ready to be eaten. Likely scenario.

Daniel Dugas ©
May 3, 2010

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exxon_Valdez_oil_spill#Litigation_and_cleanup_costs
[2] http://www.reuters.com/article/idUKN2641081120080827

[3] http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/2010/01/08/magdalene-islands-oil-recovery.html

[4] Irving Oil is a gasoline, oil, and natural gas producing and exporting company part of the J.D. Irving Limited privately owned conglomerate company headquartered in Saint John, New Brunswick

[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATL_2701#Pollution

[6] http://www.uow.edu.au/~sharonb/bp.html

[7] http://www.cbc.ca/mrl3/8752/asithappens/aihstreaming_20100503_01.wma

[8] http://www.edmontonjournal.com/business/Tailings+pond+breaks+federal+officer/2663851/story.html

[9] http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/05/03/oil.spill.desperate.measure/index.html

[10] http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/05/03/oil.spill.desperate.measure/index.html

[11] http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0726/p03s01-usgn.html

[12] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704423504575212031417936798.html

[13] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Carbide

[14] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faisal_Shahzad

Image: A thick patch of goo and oily water floats in the sea a 1/4 mile from the Sand Dollar Marina in Grand Isle, Louisiana.
(Photo: Lars Gange – Download hi-res here. Usage is permitted free of charge for all uses web, printed & otherwise. The only restrictions is that images can’t be resold and photo credit must be given.)

Mar 17, 2008
admin

This is art VS This is not art (2008)

8:44 am
The cold is intense.  My walk to the College is like an expedition.  My head is in there, somewhere under the layers.  As I breathe frost is forming on my scarf and face.  I feel the cold creeping into my fingers and back.  It is starting to get in through my boots.  Under my hood, all I hear is the resonating squeak of my footsteps like a walk in Styrofoam moon boots.  It hurts.

8:49
The SAIT campus is already bustling with people.  We look like steam engines, puffing white clouds of life that freeze in mid air.  I think it’s minus 40C.
Choo! Choo!

8:52
Horror!  I spot a conductor/student walking leisurely.  His steam is thick like molasses.  He isn’t even wearing a tuque.  He has a jacket with a hood but he is not covering his head!  His face is calm.  The man appears to be immune to pain.  I am thinking, he looks like me in July…

8:53
As I continue, I think that the man must have lost his power of thought.  Then, it strikes me that I am witnessing a performance, an art performance.  As Laurie Anderson once played violin while her standing with her ice skates frozen into a block of ice, I interpret that this man was doing something amazing.  I just didn’t realize it at the exact moment.

8:57
I arrive – I have made it!  I am finally at ACAD.  The warmth of the mall hits me like a wall of bliss.  Others have arrived at the same time; all look stunned by the brutality of the cold.  We move slowly while our clothing regains some sort of flexibility. The mall is filled with the wonderful works of the First Year Studies Exhibition.  Near the elevators, there are a few men kneeling down beside their buckets of cement.  They are busy repairing broken tiles and have set up a barricade with yellow tape.

9:36
On my way to the Faculty lounge I notice that the monitor of the Diversity booth, which sits in the middle of the Mall, is sporting a black label stuck in the middle of the screen.  The label has been made with an old label maker and the white letters state: THIS IS NOT ART.  I gaze around the mall before reading the label again.  My first thought is that the label points conceptually to surrealist René Magritte’s painting, The Treachery Of Images*.  This is after all, an Art school, throbbing with ideas.  Satisfied, I continue to the Faculty Lounge.  Then…

9:49
I have this weird feeling that maybe the statement on that label was not so layered, not so complex.  Maybe someone, here in the innards of this laboratory, needs to have things labelled according to the TELL ME WHAT IS THIS book.

10:31
Time flies.  My Sound I class is finishing the set up for a laptop performance in the arthole.  Things are going well in the placement of two tables, a P.A. system, and with an orderly jungle of cables and adaptors, 8 laptops have been wired up and are ready to go.  Tim from the AV has been helping us.  The idea for our performance is to sample sounds with a microphone and create real time loops with the material.  As there are 8 loops created at any moment it becomes clear that this is as much a sonic experimentation as an exercise in listening.

11:12
We have been creating texture and rhythm for 30 minutes now.  Some of the results are curious, some are engaging, and some make for difficult listening.

11:13
The group has developed a minimal soundscape, almost inaudible, which makes the ghetto blaster of the café overpowering.  After a while I decide to ask the café staff to lower its music.  The person I ask looks at me without speaking.  Without words, the message to me is of the unhappiness of being forced to listen to sound art.  The unspoken words might be that the sound experiment is cutting into the musical dreamscape.  I thank him for lowering the sound of the ghetto blaster.

11:14
On my way back to the laptop area, I realize how bizarre this non-comment is.  I mean this is an Art school.  This is a ‘laboratory environment that is committed to unconstrained inquiry’.  I begin to wonder many students, here at school, boast a dislike for abstract painting over landscape painting, or for curved shapes over square angles, or for lights that are not of the hue prescribed in the TELL ME WHAT IS THIS SO I CAN MAKE SENSE OF IT book.  If there is aesthetic intolerance here, one can only imagine how dangerous it is outside of the lab.

11:40
The performance is over.  We have taken all of the equipment down.  On our way back to the fourth floor I notice that the workers who were repairing the broken tiles are gone.  They have left warnings on the barricade.  The warnings state: DO NOT TOUCH.  THIS IS NOT AN ARTWORK.

11:40:02
YIKES!  Is this another Treachery Of Images or is it just the steam from our mouths making it difficult to see?  It is not yet midday and the opportunity to generate dialogue has raised its head three times.

Daniel Dugas

* The Treachery Of Images (La trahison des images 1928-29) is a painting by Belgian Surrealist painter René Magritte, famous for its inscription Ceci n’est pas une pipe.

NB – All of these events took place, not exactly at the times stated here.

 

Jan 24, 2008
admin

Are you ready? (2008)

ARE YOU READY?

David McCallum  is a musician and a media artist from Toronto.  His day job is editor of Musicworks Magazine, his passion is to discover new terrains.  With a background in physics, music composition and new media, he is one of the new breed of explorers that bring science and art together.  McCallum has a diverse body of work that encompasses music, performance, locative media, video, net art and installation.  The motivation behind all of these works is an insatiable curiosity, a desire to experiment and to share his discoveries with diverse audiences.

LOCATIVE ARTS
In the last few years, we have seen numerous projects rooted in geometry, location and psychogeography.  Projects with names like Geograffiti, Sound Mapping, Urban Tapestries, and GPS Drawings.  All of these are locative art, meaning that they use location-based media such GPS or Wi-Fi as the medium.  WARBIKE, one of McCallum’s most important works to date, is such a project.  It is a bicycle with a clear plastic container attached at the front, loaded with electronics that sonify computer wireless networks.   As the bicycle rider cycles around town, the electronics pick up nearby Wi-Fi signals and turn them into squeaking sounds based on the strength of the signals and the encryption status of the network.  There are two types of wireless networks, those that are encrypted and those that are not.  If the initial motivation of McCallum was to draw attention to the level of safety of any network, the most important effect of his project is to make the participants aware of this invisible layer of communications that is floating in our public spaces.  Those invisible networks of information are now ubiquitous in our urbanscapes.  McCallum points out:

“Did you know that almost anywhere that you go in a city you’ll be sharing space with someone’s private wireless computer network?  All of their personal communication—e-mail, love messages, bank passwords, credit card numbers, and bizarre surfing habits—will be passing through your body without your awareness. Who are they, and how do you feel about sharing space with their personal life?”

The image of emails and love messages and even passwords and bank accounts passing through bodies has an undeniable poetic weight but it also raises important questions about privacy and free access to information.  One of the big questions is how can an Open Society be built around private networks?  This concern is also McCallum’s, as a volunteer for wireless Toronto, a not-for-profit group promoting no-fee wireless Internet access.

Popular geotagging software like Google Earth has help fuelled a passion for anything location. Locative arts projects are sprouting everywhere and McCallum continues to question and to negotiate their relevance and problematic.   Can we compare the WARBIKE rider, seeing and feeling what is around, to the fox in the Little Prince?  Is the rider seeing the invisible?  Is the essential located only in the hip downtown core, in the Hotspots of our cities?  Can this abundance of information that is surrounding and enveloping us all the time keep us warm at night?   In a recent email exchange McCallum stated:

“I’m no longer explicitly interested in pursuing purely psychogeographic things. I’d like to focus more on the experience of people within spaces, be they urban or not… There’s also been a bit of a fall out, at least in Toronto, with the psychogeographic community. Those who were only casually interested, like me, are starting to realize that to truly understand the workings of the city, one must look beyond the hip downtown core and into the rather unhip and desolate suburbs. I’m not sure that this is anything that any of the core psychogeographic boosters are terribly interested in, or are even equipped to handle. This isn’t even taking into account the drudgery of city planning where the reality involves budgets and garbage pail infrastructure and other incredibly tedious but necessary components to a city. And then there’s also the slightly cultish nature of public space boosterism, or the class division between those who have the luxury to spend time worrying about public space and those who do not.”

When in 1897, Guglielmo Marconi sent the first wireless communication message over water, he could never have imagined the complexities of our encrypted digital age.  The message, sent from Lavernock Point, South Wales to Flat Holm Island, a distance of 14 kilometres, was simply “Are you ready”.  110 years later, it looks like this message is still resonating through space.  Are we ready?

PD & Do-it-Yourself attitude
David McCallum is coming to Calgary to give a workshop on PD , which he uses for music. PD, aka Pure Data, is a real-time graphical programming environment for audio, video, and graphical processing.  Miller Puckette developed the program in the 1990s for the creation of interactive computer music and multimedia works.  One of the great advantages of Pd over Max Msp, a similar program, which also originated from Puckette, is that Pd is a freeware.

McCallum is an advocate of the open source movement and of the do-it-yourself attitude.  He does have strong convictions about the craft of new media art and the importance of doing the work by himself or with his collaborators.  David sometimes works with the i/o media group, a collective of media artists exploring real-time improvisation performance .  He also is capable of looking at technological apparatus and using it in novel ways.  His performance i swallow  is a good example. The MacBook’s design has the mic and webcam directly beside each other.  McCallum can play the feedback through the microphone while the webcam captures his actions.  This dual process allows the audience to see a connection between the sound and his actions—something, McCallum says is lacking in most electronic music performance.

David will be at EMMEDIA Friday, January 11, 2008 – 7:00 PM to present his project WARBIKE.  He will also be giving a Pure Data Introductory Workshop January 12-13, 2007, Noon – 5:00PM.
For more information call 263.2833

1. David McCallum websites includes:

http://www.mentalfloss.ca/sintheta/projects/?

http://sintheta.blogware.com/

2. On a technical level, the ‘sniffing’ is done by Kismet, a wireless network detector, the audio by Pure Data, and Python is acting as an interpreter between two.
3. David was the editor of the Locative Technologies issue (March 2007), digital arts quarterly magazine, vague terrain.  For more info:http://www.vagueterrain.net/content/archives/journal06/journal06.html
4. Pure Data: http://puredata.info/
5. http://www.mantissa.ca/iomedia/
6. i swallow was presented earlier this year at the Pleasure Dome’s New Toronto Works Show and at Interaccess both in Toronto.
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOknyZ7QHM0

Text published at EMMEDIA Gallery & Production Cociety

This fall Daniel Dugas has been touring his real time network performance Free Market Karaoke in Mexico City and on the East coast.  He was also invited to the Trois-Rivieres Poetry Festival where he read from his latest book ‘Même un detour serait correct’.  Daniel works and lives in Calgary.

 

Oct 13, 2004
admin

An Artist Statement (2004)

An Artist Statement by Daniel Dugas

from a lecture at the University of Lethbridge – October 2004 / updated in February 2008

So what is it that I do?
What excites me?
What makes me angry?
What makes me tick and go on as an artist?
I am interested in everything but maybe the word everything is too big.
In 1990, I was finishing a residency at the Banff Center and I thought that maybe I could find some work and stay in the area.
I went downtown to a construction site. I made sure that I was wearing my steel-toed boots. I asked to speak with the foreman.
He came walking over, and I remember that he did not look too happy that day,
or maybe he was just a crabby kind of guy.
Anyway he said: “What do you want”?
I answered, “I am looking for work.”
He asked me what I could do, and I said, “Everything”.
He looked at me in Total Disgust and said: “Nobody can do everything, ” and he walked away.
I was left standing in this huge hole of mud, kind of stunned.
Maybe instead of saying ‘everything,’ I could have said ‘many things,’ and I could have added that I like to learn.

The thing is that I am interested in many things.
I am interested in construction,
how things are built,
how people work together to put something up.
I am curious about TAYLORISM: The Principles of Scientific Management.
I am interested in knowing why the foreman looked so angry when he said that nobody does everything.
And, as I don’t know what building they were constructing, I am still curious to know if they put brick or stucco on the façade.
I am also interested in poetry
In the idea of going on a sailboat
In insects – and especially the ants
In patterns on wallpaper In barcodes

In extended memory
In Martha Stewart and bad financial advice
In woodworking and the history of glue
In walking long enough to forget where I am going

In TCP IP DV NTSC ASCII HTML GPS XML URL
In Black Boxes which are really orange
In Time to Live
In Smileys:
Ta Ta For Now
Smile Smile with a large nose
Laughing hard
Screaming
Drooling
Ill with the flu

I am interested in Open source codes and distribution
In wikis In people having a chance to write
In blogs
The story of our world
In inventing meanings

I am interested in cryptography
In the Morse code
In algorithms of all sorts
In the frequency of letters in texts
In the absence of the letter E in the novel A Void

I am interested in loops
In dead ends
In spam
In people working madly to distribute that shit
In people working madly to dodge it
In indexes,
And all of the things that are left un-indexed
And all of those that will never make the cut

I am interested in fungus and rot
In weird and beautiful mushrooms that grow in the dark woods

In information explosion
In logic and in Pascal,
who said a long time ago that the heart has its reasons, which reason does not know
In Ludwig Wittgenstein, who said that our difficulty is, that we keep speaking of simple objects,
and are unable to mention a single one

I am interested in questioning the digital divide
In crossing bridges
In finding common grounds
In trying to breathe

I am interested in the black BMW’s
In the shiny Mercedes
In groups like Earth on Empty
Artists in Action

In wealth
In the Theatre of the Oppressed and Augusto Boal
In Saul Alinsky and Community Organizing
In the words of Winston Churchill, who said that
Money is like a sixth sense, essential for the complete use of the five others.

In stock markets
In crashes
In rise of opportunities
In bad luck In the absence of luck
In Boom or bust economies
In Power In mechanisms of exchange

In high tech and in low tech things of all kind

I am interested in parsing text files
In Apple C
Apple X
Apple V
Esc
Esc
Option
command
F
O

In apples with worms
In the names that are given to computer viruses
Like Clone
War 547
C Magic
COCO2099
Crazypunk.500
Dark_Revenge.1024
DarkApocalypse
Tiny.family

Or the names that are given to racehorses
Like Exaggerate This
Or Trick Again
Or Sightseek who won $630.000 so far this year

I am interested in databases In electrical diagrams In the taste of wine In Pong

In ping pong

I am fascinated with weather, hurricanes in particular
I am interested in models of analysis
And in seeing how they can be used in an art context
I am interested in the names that are given to future storms

Arthur
Bertha
Cristobal
Dolly
Edouard
Fay
Gustav
Hanna
Ike
Josephine
Kyle
Laura
Marco
Nana
Omar
Paloma
Rene
Sally
Teddy
Vicky
Wilfred

Those are the Atlantic storm names for 2008

The most intense hurricane to have hit the mainland United States remained unnamed.
It was in 1935 and was a category 5
With a Minimum Pressure of 892 mb

I am concerned about the repercussion of things
What happens when something is done?
What are the consequences of all actions?

I am interested in the politics of everything
The marketing of the politics
The reduction of the marketing
Newspapers
The online editions of the newspapers
The top stories

The breaking news
The exclusive interviews
The talk shows
I am interested in the wit of the guests
The waste of time
The length of life
The shadows of puppets on the walls
Brightly lit by pepper kits
Sold in advance
Sold out to the crowd
I am amazed that Oprah is on the cover of her magazine every month
I read that Oprah is the leading source for information about life and love

I am interested in pocket PCs
In the culture of pick pocket pcs
In the point and click
In the click and disappear
In the cyclical nature of fashion
In Simple Text Messages
In Thoreau talking about the telegraph
In how loud people talk on their cell phones on the buses
On the complexity of the discussions
And how others are trapped inside this dialog
Delicate choices have to be made between broccoli and asparagus
Between Bits & Bites and Vegetable Thins
All during the ride home on the train.

I am puzzled on why there is a 1-800 number on every box and every bag.
I have never bookmarked anything of Kraft, Pepsi or GM on my browser.

I like to look in the dictionaries
And bounce from one word to another
From one image to another

I believe that the world can be explain through anecdotes

 

Oct 30, 2002
admin

Digital poetry and periphery (2002)

Exchange during empyre- soft_skinned_space / cofa unsw

I am interested in what is being said regarding digital poetry and the idea of periphery.

Digital poetry and music:

Popular music satisfies our need for any poetic experience. Societies have willingly granted the pop music actors the responsibility of inventing the bulk of our poetic substance. If poetry did not lose in the exchange (with music) it did not gain the liberty to freely explore on its own. The digital revolution has given poetry another chance to grow without being weighted down by the musical form. At the same time it has allow writers to not be subjugated to the vision of an editor. Poets and have become writers and editors at the same time.

This shake up also happened with computer music. During the 60’s and 70’s the devices for creating computer music were huge and expensive. There were only a few of those big machines dispersed at the biggest universities and research centres. The big change happened in the early 80?s with the availability of the personal computer, which enabled many musicians to start exploring on their own, without the need of being supported by big institutions. We have seen the results: from that moment the field of computer music grew in an exponential manner.

A reading, a few years ago, filled me with hope that things were changing, that everything was not doomed to stay always the same way it always was. A writer of a New York-based music magazine was saying that the most promising bands were to come from small places outside of the big centres. The writer was talking about the empowerment given to people by new technologies. It was going to be possible, in the years to come, to produce and distribute creative work from the peripheral zones of the world.

This empowerment has given us a chance to re-evaluate the idea of the importance of the location of creators in relation to their audiences / markets. As the revolution continues, we are seeing evidence that a far more fundamental questioning is taking place, that is the questioning of? What is an artwork?

The expanded terrains:

When Valerie LeBlanc and myself decided to use wireless technologies in our project Location, Location, Location: We are getting closer ( www.wearegettingcloser.com ),we wanted the people to be the ‘visitors of the gallery’ and the curators of the show(s). Ben, Birgitta, Valbert, Warren, Lynn and the others became the input and the output at the same time. Obviously, the mobility offered by the technology gave us the possibility of leaving the constructed world of galleries to immerse ourselves in a more chaotic setting, thus closer to a real world environment.

In a way, whatever is outside the galleries is in the peripheral zone. But the idea of periphery is one loaded with bias to begin with. A periphery always defines itself to a center. In other words, it is rarely that a centre defines itself by its peripheries. Jean-Marc Dugas, businessman / poet / performer and, also my brother, wrote a collection of poetry entitled: Notes d’un Maritimer à Marie-la-mer (1993). The last sentence of the book is: Le régionalisme c’est le bout du monde à la portée de la main. Regionalism is the end of the world at fingertips reach – I think this speaks for a more dynamic nature to the peripheral zones than what it is usually given.

Speaking of poetry and of digital poetry in particular, there is something to learn by looking at computers and the way they work. On one hand we have the Central Processing Unit located in the tower, the device that interprets and executes instructions. On the other hand we have the peripherals inputs and outputs: the keyboard, the printer, the joystick, the scanners, the webcams, that are used to bring meaning to the CPU’s. i.e: No peripherals = no fun; just the silence of electronics crunching the void: an electronic stand still. Following this reasoning, and given the world of Internet connectivity, geographical peripheral locations potentially enjoy the same power of input. The questioning of what is an artwork is also being applied in redefining the relation of power between the centres and the off-centres, whether it is a city in relation to a suburb, a curator in relation to an artist or an artist in relation to a viewer.

Being curated gives the impression of being relevant to the world. It gives the impression of being necessaire. It provides a certain level of accreditation and exposure. The authorization of the Curator(s) says: We, the specialists, have digested the proposed product and deemed the item to be highly consumable, for whatever audience the product is being designed for. But let’s face it – the world is made mostly of peripheries. There is more than one way of being relevant and net art offers poets / artists, possibilities and strategies that do not exist outside of the cyberspace.

Daniel Dugas, 2002

Pages:«123

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. Everglades, coécrit avec Valerie LeBlanc, vient de paraître aux Éditions Prise de parole.

Daniel H. 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 tenth book of poetry, co-written with Valerie LeBlanc, Everglades has just been published by Les Éditions Prise de parole.

Everglades
À partir de leur exploration du parc national des Everglades, Daniel H. Dugas et Valerie LeBlanc cartographient dans cet essai poétique les effets de la présence humaine sur le milieu naturel, les traces qu’elle y dépose. Everglades est une ode à la beauté, à la fragilité et à la résilience d’une nature aux prises avec une espèce envahissante, la nôtre.

Everglades
Through their exploration of the Everglades National Park, Daniel H. Dugas and Valerie LeBlanc document, in this poetic collection, the effects of human presence in the natural world and the traces left behind. Everglades is an ode to the beauty, the fragility and the resilience of nature faced with the invasiveness of a particular species, ours.

Date : Mars 2018
Genre : Poésie
Collection : Poésie
ISBN : 9782897441029
Français/English

Éditions Prise de parole

http://www.prisedeparole.ca/auteurs/?id=1148

Issuu

Archives

Shapes

Follow Me on Pinterest