Browsing articles in "essay"
Sep 4, 2016

This is not a bikini (2016)


On July 5, 1946, five days after the explosion of a nuclear bomb on Bikini Atoll, French automobile engineer and clothes designer Louis Reard unveiled the first bikini bathing suit to the world. It was daring and shocking. Reard’s inspiration was the nuclear blast on the tiny Pacific Ocean atoll of the same name. The French newspaper Le Monde said that the word ‘bikini’ was as lashing as the atomic explosion, that it had annihilated clothing as we knew it, and brought forward an extreme minimization of modesty. Some called it ‘the first a(na)tomic bathing suit in the world’ (… la première bombe an-atomique).

But the bikini is not a modern idea; the Greeks and the Romans had it all figured out. In 1959, the Italian archaeologist, Gino Vinicio Gentili, excavated the ‘bikini girls mosaic’ at the Villa Romana del Casale. This artwork entitled Coronation of the Winner shows young women in two-piece suits performing various sports. Perhaps the discovery of the bikini girls mosaic paved the road for even more daring inventions. In 1964 fashion designer Rudi Gernreich unveiled the monokini, the first topless swimsuit for women. Gernreich believed that the prefix “bi” as in bikini meant two. He was wrong. Similarly to the famous butterfly’s wings in Brazil, this mistake started to create a series of storms across the globe. All kinds of swimsuits were invented based on the same assumption: microkini, tankini, trikini and now the famous burkini.

According to the Wikitionary, kini means many things. It is an alcoholic beverage in Hawaïan, a woman in To’abaita, the adverb now in Malay, to nip in Maori and KINI is a radio station in Nebraska. Unfortunately, kini has nothing to do with the lower part of a two-piece swimsuit. By naming the Islamic inspired swimsuit burkini, Aheda Zanetti, the fashion designer who created the garment, only perpetuated the misconception. There is nothing ‘kini’ about the burkini. In fact, the burkini is similar to the 1800’s bathing gowns that embodied Victorian ideals of religious morality and prudery. The problem with the construction of this word is that when we talk about the burkini, we invoke the bikini. In our minds, we allude to revealing the body of the swimmer, while in fact the burkini is covering that same body. It is an oxymoron like ‘sweet agony’ or ‘true myth’. If the bikini was born out of an explosion, the burkini is closer to an implosion. The bikini fashion started with a bang while the burkini is threatening to close the trend with a whimper.

Nevertheless, the dress code war that is being waged in France is not new. What is sanctioned and what is forbidden to wear on a beach is part of a long-time struggle to break away from the iron collar of modesty. In 1921, Louise Rosine, a writer from California, was arrested in Atlantic City for rolling down her stockings and showing her bare knees on a public beach. She fought back saying that it was ‘none of Atlantic City’s business to roll them up or down’ and she threatened to bring the City to court. Before that, in 1907, the Waverly Shire Council in Sydney, Australia required the wearing of a skirt-like tunic by male bathers. Mayor, R. G. Watkins said:

After contact with water… the V-trunks favoured by many of the male bathers show up the figure… in a very much worse manner than if they were nude… people who patronize them should not be compelled to overlook bathers whom they do not agree with.

Soon after, the Sydney bathing costume protests erupted. Thousands of male surf bathing enthusiasts wearing women’s clothing made a point to show the ridiculousness of the proposed regulations.

What we should have learned by now is that people should be permitted to decide for themselves. If people want to wear bikinis, let them wear bikinis, if they want to go to the beach in long swimming gowns, let them do so. We know that “those who look directly at [a nuclear] blast could experience eye damage ranging from temporary blindness to severe burns on the retina.” The problem here is that explosion and implosion are two different ways to detonate nuclear weapons. The advice is not to look at the blast, but in the battle royal between fashion police and morality squads, we have decided to stare.

Daniel H. Dugas
3 September 2016



• Le Monde, 1947,  ‘Bikini, ce mot cinglant comme l’explosion même … correspondant au niveau du vêtement de plage à un anéantissement de la surface vêtue; à une minimisation extrême de la pudeur.’
• For an informative write-up about the transformation of swimsuit through the ages see The Evolution Of The Bathing Suit From The 1800s Until Today
• Bikini Girls mosaic: Villa Romana del Casale
KINI 96.1 FM is a radio station broadcasting a Variety music format.
• Louise Rosine: Keep her knees bare in Atlantic City jail, The New York Times, September 4, 1921.
• For Mayor R. G. Watkins’ comments see ‘Tourism and Australian Beach Cultures: Revealing Bodies‘, Christine Metusela, Gordon Waitt, Channel View Publications, Toronto, 2012, p. 32.
• Sydney bathing costume protests: Fun on the Beaches, The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser, 23 Oct 1907
• Bathing Machine: Sea-Side Etiquette, Victoriana Magazine
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Radiation
• TOP IMAGE : The Delineator magazine

Aug 15, 2016

People Carrying Signs (2016)


People carrying signs

Two images
of people carrying signs
a refinery
a pipeline

Then it was Seadade
A chemical plant and an oil processing temple
along the shores of Biscayne Bay

Now it’s Energy East
A continental pipeline
to be laid across the land
over rivers and rivers and rivers
until it reaches the edge of the Bay of Fundy

Two images
of people carrying signs
of old folks and kids alike

The man with the cigarette in his mouth
and the woman with the pointy glasses
never saw their dream come true

But what about the YES PIPELINE kid
Will she be part of the sacrifice?

I don’t think
they understood then
or understand now
what is at stake
the gamble at play

The sheen of oil is making us mad
when we are willing to risk everything
to ease our pains

The sheen of oil is making us mad
when we believe that this endless tube of tar is not the Moloch
to which we will have to feed our own

Daniel H Dugas
August 12, 2016

Tales of two bays

The Bay of Fundy in Canada and Biscayne Bay in Florida are separated by more than 3,000 kilometers. At first glance, they seem to be worlds apart, but looking back into archival material, we realize that these two ecosystems have a shared history with industrialization. In this drama of progress we find two key players: K. C. Irving, one of Canada’s foremost 20th century entrepreneurs and Daniel K. Ludwig, shipping magnate and businessman with numerous companies, sometimes referred to as the American Onassis.

In 1959, Ludwig began buying acreages in South Dade, Florida to build a deepwater port and a refinery on a bayfront site east of Homestead Air Force Base. The project called Seadade was approved in 1962 and was supported by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, but soon faced growing opposition from the Safe Progress Association (SPA). The SPA argued that Biscayne Bay, a warm and shallow, salt lagoon could be easily and irreversibly harmed by industrial pollution. Support for the project faded and in 1968 the American Congress passed the Biscayne National Monument Act, establishing a 96,000 acre preserve.

The industrial developments threatening Biscayne Bay are not isolated circumstances, they are happening everywhere in the world. The geological makeup of the Bay of Fundy in Canada seems to be diametrically opposite to the one of Biscayne Bay. Fundy is known to have the highest tides in the world whereas Biscayne Bay is a shallow semi-enclosed lagoon. But similarities emerge when we look at the relationship between humans and these ecosystems. The first parallel is between the historical players behind the refineries of Seadade and the Energy East project. Energy East would send its tar sands oil across a vast section of North America to Irving’s refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick. The narratives arcs of the two tycoons followed similar trajectories: Ludwig was born in 1887 and Irving the founder of Irving’s empire, was also born just about the same time, in 1899. Both magnates died the same year, in 1992. The two of them were involved in a wide range of holdings, shipbuilding, pulp paper and oil refinery among other things. Their fortunes were equally formidable. In 1982, Ludwig was #1 on the first Forbes 400 “Richest Americans” list, while Fortune Magazine in 1989 listed K. C. Irving as the 11th wealthiest man on earth.

There is a second connection between Biscayne Bay and the Bay of Fundy. Both locations have nuclear plants built on their shores. The Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station was built just next to Biscayne National Park in 1973 while the construction of Point Lepreau in New Brunswick was started in1975. Both stations have had their share of safety problems in the past and are still plagued with ongoing problems today

The two bodies of water, on the Atlantic coast of North America, are magnificent. They are true natural wonders of the world. The question is why pristine areas are such magnets for big polluters? Why do they have to choose the most biologically diverse ecosystems to set up shop? If Biscayne Bay managed to avoid Seadade, can the Bay of Fundy do the same with Energy East? The two already have their own nuclear stations, their own safety, and cost management conundrums, it seems that this should be enough danger to deal with.

Daniel H Dugas
August 14, 2016


The Florida Experience: Land and Water Policy in a Growth State, Mix-up on South Bay, Luther J. Carter, RFF Press, New York, 1975p 157-192.

Daniel Ludwig, Billionaire Businessman, Dies at 95, The New York Times:

K. C. Irving, 93, Industrial Tycoon Dominant in Canadian Province, The New York Times:

Study shows severe nuclear accident at Point Lepreau 40 times more likely than initially thought:

Evidence of salt plume under Turkey Point nuclear plant goes back years:

Nuclear energy, David Suzuki:
‘Nuclear power creates radioactive waste for which there is no accepted method of safely managing or storing. It is also prohibitively expensive.’

SAFE PROGRESS ASSOCIATION, INC. is a business entity formed in Florida and is a Domestic Non-Profit under local business registration regulations. Having the registration number 703668, according to the official registry, it is now Inactive.

Left: Pro Seadade demonstrators, January 23, 1963. South Florida History Magazine, Vol. 23, no 1, Winter 1995. / Middle: 18th-century depiction of the Moloch idol from Johann Lund’s Die Alten Jüdischen Heiligthümer (1711, 1738). / Right: Video still from CTV Atlantic ‘Pipeline arguments at NEB hearings’ by Ashley Blackford, August 8, 2016.

Jun 27, 2016

BILLIE Magazine (2016)

We are very happy to have contributed to the issue. The layout is beautiful!
The article is “reproduced with permission, billie spring 2016 issue”.

iconmonstr-file-33-240Flow: Big Waters


Beaverbrook Art Gallery launches second issue of BILLIE: Undercurrents in Atlantic Canadian Visual Culture

Fredericton, NB, June 1, 2016 — The Beaverbrook Art Gallery is pleased to announce the second issue of BILLIE: Undercurrents in Atlantic Canadian Visual Culture. This issue will be available at the Gallery shop, and at outlets around the region and across Canada through Magazines Canada.

In its second issue, BILLIE explores Inside/outside as its theme. A cross-section of writers cover a wide range of artists’ work in relation to Atlantic Canada’s place in the rest of the world, and the world’s place in the development of the visual arts of the region. It is a meditation on comparisons, influences, exchanges and relationships between the local and the global in Atlantic visual arts.


BILLIE: Undercurrents in Atlantic Canadian Visual Culture was launched in Fall 2015, in conjunction with the re-launch of the Marion McCain Exhibition of Contemporary Atlantic Art. Taking its name from the late Marion McCain, whose lifelong nickname was “Billie,” the journal explores what is below the surface of contemporary art in Atlantic Canada and the diverse and complex narratives flowing from the region’s particular histories, peoples and landscape.

Subscription and purchase information:

For more information on how to purchase a copy or subscription, please contact the Beaverbrook Art Gallery by phone at (506) 458-0974 or by emailing



La Galerie d’art Beaverbrook lance le deuxième numéro de sa revue « BILLIE : Undercurrents in Atlant

Fredericton, N. B., le 1er juin 2016 – La Galerie d’art Beaverbrook est fière d’annoncer le lancement du deuxième numéro de sa revue « BILLIE : Undercurrents in Atlantic Canadian Visual Culture ». Ce numéro sera en magasin à la boutique de la Galerie et chez divers marchands de la région et à travers le Canada par l’entremise de Magazines Canada.

Dans ce deuxième numéro, BILLIE explore le double thème de l’intérieur et de l’extérieur. Divers auteurs abordent les œuvres d’un grand éventail d’artistes et, de ce fait, situent la région atlantique canadienne sur la scène mondiale tout en discutant de la place du reste du monde dans les arts visuels de la région. Il s’agit d’une réflexion sur les comparaisons, les influences, les échanges et les liens entre ce qui est local et ce qui est mondial dans les arts visuels de l’Atlantique.

À propos de BILLIE :

« BILLIE: Undercurrents in Atlantic Canadian Visual Culture » a été lancée en automne 2015, en parallèle au renouvellement de l’Exposition Marion McCain d’art contemporain de la région atlantique. La revue BILLIE, ainsi nommé d’après le surnom de la regrettée Marion McCain, explore ce qui gît sous la surface de l’art contemporain de la région atlantique ainsi que les récits divers et complexes qui émergent des histoires, des peuples et des paysages particuliers de cette région.

Souscriptions et achat:

Pour plus d’informations sur comment acheter un exemplaire ou une souscription, veuillez svp. contacter la Galerie d’art Beaverbrook, par téléphone au (506) 458-0974, ou par courriel à

Aug 26, 2014

Home of the New Balance: Nota bene (2014)


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 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.


Part 2:
Spem reduxit / Hope restored (2014)


[1] Auditor General troubled by debt growth,

[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.

[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.

Jun 10, 2014

MPB-X: launch (2014)



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: (6 mb)

ePub: (5.1 mb)

MOBI: (10.9 mb)

The book can also be read online at:

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


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

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 treizième recueil de poésie « émoji, etc. » / « emoji, etc. » vient de paraître aux Éditions Basic Bruegel.

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 thirteenth book of poetry, 'émoji, etc.' / 'emoji, etc.' has been published by the Éditions Basic Bruegel Editions.

Date : Mars / March 2022
Genre : Poésie / Poetry
Français / English

émoji, etc. / emoji, etc.

Date: Mai / May 2022
Genre: Vidéopoésie/Videopoetry