Browsing articles in "commentary"
Oct 13, 2004

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 Black Boxes which are really orange
In Time to Live
In Smileys:
Ta Ta For Now
Smile Smile with a large nose
Laughing hard
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

In apples with worms
In the names that are given to computer viruses
Like Clone
War 547
C Magic

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


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
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

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 ( ),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


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. Videopoésie / Videopoetry, coécrit avec Valerie LeBlanc, vient de paraître aux aux éditions Small Walker Press.

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 eleventh book of poetry, co-written with Valerie LeBlanc, Videopoésie / Videopoetry has just been published by the Small Walker Press.

Date : April 2020
Genre : Vidéopoésie/Videopoetry

Videopoetry / Vidéopoésie

Small Walker Press



Follow Me on Pinterest