Oct 13, 2004
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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

 

Aug 6, 2004
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How many luxury cars in your town? (2004)

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Luxury cars are a symbol of success and achievement, a measure of power and glory, the object by which one’s place in the world is defined and qualified. Impeccable mechanic, refinement of the interior, leather seats, the full array of safety equipment; whether it is called Brake Assist, Electronic Stability Program (ESP), or Automatic Slip Control. (ASR) The GPS receiver on GM’s ONSTAR system is another example of a feature that discerning consumers might expect to find in a ‘top of the line’ vehicle.

How many luxury cars in your town? analyses the traffic on highways and in one projection, merges fragments of vehicles, with lines from the Book One* of Adam Smith’s An Inquiry into the Nature And Causes of the Wealth of Nations. This project looks at the symbolic of cars as an anthropomorphic fantasy of individualism.

The How many luxury cars in your town? is also a video series project in which a ‘looker’ literally names the luxurious cars that passes on a street.

*Book one – Of the causes of improvement in the productive powers of labour, and of the order according to which its produce is naturally distributed among the different ranks of the people.

Note: For a complete online version of An Inquiry into the Causes of the Wealth of Nation see the website of The Adam Smith Institute

http://www.adamsmith.org/smith/won-intro.htm

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chroma_frontal_redfender chroma_frontal_twofenders Picture-1 Picture-2 Picture-3logo_pict

May 7, 2004
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Blog 1979 (2004)


[Jacques Dubé, Jean-Marc Dugas et Daniel Dugas]

Twenty-five years ago I went on a hitchhiking trip around Canada and the USA.  I kept an obsessively detailed journal of my adventures.  The voyage started in Moncton, New Brunswick, on June 27, 1979 and ended, back in Moncton, on September 2.  During these 68 days I hitched 115 rides and walked 363.5 kilometers.  I ate parsley for three days straight, morning, noon and evening, with Jeffrey.  He had a pack sack full of it and was happy to share the green stuff.  One morning I stood half awake in a bank lineup in San Francisco only to be shaken by the biggest earthquake there in 68 years.  I got robbed a couple of times, once by an ex Hell’s Angel who was mad that I did not carry a camera.  I got kicked out of a crowded van, in the middle of the night by a troop of Moonists en route for a “retreat” in the Valley.  I made a big mistake by putting my hand in Teresa’s pants while sleeping in the back of a transport truck.  The truck driver was giving Byron, his girlfriend Teresa and me a ride from South Carolina towards New York… My rudimentary English of that time, my mouth harp, and my innocence probably saved my life many times.

 

Recently while cleaning some old boxes I found the journal, which I thought was lost long ago. This blog re-tells some of my stories.

 

Starts again: June 27, 2004

 

see blog

 

May 7, 2003
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Nuclear Mickeys (2003)

• Nuclear Mickey, digital prints with sound, Disaster Group Exhibition, Truck, Calgary, AB, 2004
• TSCharlie & Co, digital prints, Faculty exhibition, ACAD, Calgary, AB, 2004

Nuclear Mickeys (Images)
The Disneylandization of fears and the Benettonning of all experiences

The Nuclear Mickeys is a series of manipulated images of nuclear explosions that got a fashion makeover for easy and safe consumption.  The grafting of a Mickey Mouse head on the top of the mushroom cloud brands the disaster, and creates a cultural event, much like the Benetton publicity campaigns of the 1990’s.

 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

The first atomic bomb was detonated at Los Alamos, New Mexico on July 6, 1945. Upon witnessing the first test of a nuclear weapon, the Diroctor of The Manhattan Project stated:

“We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried. Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita; Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and, to impress him, takes on his multi-armed form and says, ‘Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.’ I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.”
J. Robert Oppenheimer

666 seconds of Oppenheimer’s hesitation (Sound)

While listening to the sound file of the quote, I became fascinated by the silences and hesitations of Oppenheimer.  The historic audio recording of Oppenheimer was 58 seconds in length. Of those 58 seconds, 28 seconds were comprised of silences and hesitations. This audiowork is made up of the hesitations repeated 23.78 times, to create a new track 11 minutes and 6 seconds, or 666 seconds in length.  The silence became for me, the incarnation of our ‘loss of grip’ on ‘ the social meaning of nuclear weapons’

Daniel Dugas, Calgary, April 2004

May 6, 2003
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Easy Not Easy (2003)

• Prairie Tales 6th Annual Tour of Alberta Film & Video, touring, 2004
• Faculty show, ACAD, Calgary, AB, 2003

For some it is facile and for others it is difficult. Easy not easy is a tape about Institutions of Power, Economic Systems and how the two direct and permeate society and culture.

 

Mar 23, 2003
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do_wild_loops; do_wild_jumps; [big ceo’s talking to small bugs] (2003)

• EMMEDIA, Calgary, Alberta, March 23 -29, 2003
• New Media Research Networks Conference, Charlottetown PEI, March 26-27, 2004
• Ed Video Media Arts Centre , Guelph, ON July 9-23, 2004

do_wild_loops; do_wild_jumps; [big ceo’s talking to small bugs] (2003) from daniel dugas on Vimeo.

related interactive projects: here

Project realized through the A.I.R. program at EMMEDIA in 2003.

In the spring of 2002, scientists were forecasting a severe infestation of grasshopper for Central Alberta. I became interested in seeing how the farmers were going to deal with the situation. The most common solution, insecticide is also the most hard core. Chlorpyrifos, trade name Dursban, Lorsban and others, is primarily produced by the US multinational DOW Agro a subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company and is used widely throughout the world. Chlorpyrifos, one of about 100 organophosphate insecticides on the market today, is a neurotoxin used to kill insect pests by disrupting their nervous system. The organophosphates were developed during World War Two by Nazi chemists. [1]

According to Dow, Chlorpyrifos, is one of the great success stories in pest control. [2] As The Dow Chemical Company is the main player, I started to look at the company itself; its products, triple bottom-line, history; and the most crucial element of all, its trading values. Dow is known for all sorts of chemistry successes; like the first commercial scale production of bleach in 1898, the production of silicones for the military in the 40’s, the introduction of the revolutionary Ziploc bag (1968), the marketing of the first compact discs (1983), and so on. In 1960, Dow introduced 23 new products. One of them; Agent Orange, would generate enormous profits for the company.

In the 1990’s, Dow Chemical was involved in the silicone breast implants controversy. The Company dodged lawsuits by proving “ … that it only owned half of the breast implant manufacturer Dow Corning Corporation and that they did not develop, test or manufacture silicone breast implants. … ”[3]

In 1999, Dow and the infamous Union Carbide Corporation merged to become the 2nd largest chemical company in the world. Union Carbide Corporation owned and operated the pesticide factory, which caused the worst chemical accident in history. Located in Bhopal, India, over 40 tons of highly poisonous methyl isocyanate gas leaked out of the plant at midnight on December 2, 1984. More than 8,000 people died in the immediate aftermath of what is known as the ‘Chemical Hiroshima’. 10 more are dying every month due to exposure-related diseases. At present, Dow is divesting itself of any moral and financial responsibility related to this tragedy. [4]

May the force be with you
Through my research, I learned that one of the basic ways to curb the grasshopper population is to clean the ditches alongside of the roads, and to turn over the soil in the fields. The process uproots and exposes grasshopper eggs, to greatly reduce infestations. These solutions might be viewed as rather sissy compared to the product solutions proposed by the industry: Lorsban 4E, Warrior T, Capture 2EC, etc.

Some of those products, and especially the Genetically Modified Organisms are re-writing ecology FAST FORWARD. The desire to master the world has never been so tempting, while the power to resist such changes remains limited at best. A quote by Dr. Denis Waitley, Productivity Consultant for Monsanto, one of Dow’s largest competitors, sums up the situation in a very sanitized manner, “There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept responsibility for changing them.” [5]

I became interested in the interaction and the power relation between the “head” and the “tail”, the CEO’s and the bugs, decision makers and individuals. Dow has a Leadership web page with a thumbnail photo and a biographic description for each of its executives. I have copied and pasted everybody who’s somebody and I gave them a big cushy leather executive chair right in the middle of my project. For several years, the focus of my work has been related to the economy. Boom and bust alike. One economic tool that I have followed with regularity is the Map of the Market, [6] which provides a colour coded map of current market values. This visual aid was inspirational for the do_wild_loops’ project.

Working with the Cycling74 MAX/MSP and the Jitter programs, I set up a series of mechanisms to download financial information from The Dow Company (the latest price of a share, the percentage change and the dollar change of a share), setting up a custom “map of the market.” I use this information to affect and inflict changes on the selected movies, images and sound files inside the program. I created a structure where the visitors could re-write, if not history, at least the biographies of the Leaders. Visitors to the exhibition can select and erase a biography, write a new one and upload it onto the server hosting where the project’s website.

1 -Organophosphate: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organophosphate

2 – Chlorpyrifos helps: http://www.dowagro.com/chlorp/about/over.htm

3 – Breast-Implant Verdict Reversed by Appeals Court: http://www.dow.com/dow_news/corporate/2002/20021209a.htm

4 – For more on information see audio file doww19.aif

– For more information on Bhopal: http://www.bhopal.net/index.php

5 – Monsanto Products Overview: http://www.monsanto.com/monsanto/layout/products/default.asp

6 – SmartMoney.com: Map of the Market :http://www.smartmoney.com/marketmap/

7- Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth Vol. 2. No. 12. Dec 1973. Published by National Periodical Publications Inc. N.Y. N.Y.

 

(revised May 29, 2017)

 

 

Oct 30, 2002
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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

Jun 6, 2002
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The Walls Have Ears (2002)

• Passing Moments: EMMEDIA celebrates 25 years,Artcity 2004 Festival, Calgary, AB, 2004
• Fugitive Images: The Global Visions Video Lounge, Art Gallery of Edmonton, AB, 2003
• The Activist Menu, Emmedia, Calgary, AB, 2002

The Walls Have Ears, 2002
Duration: 4min
NTSC • 2007

Everybody is suspected of being an enemy of the state or an undercover agent. It is not “J’ACCUSE” any more,it is “I DENOUNCE.” The Walls Have Ears was realized in the framework of the Activist Menu, Media Activismand Community Collaborations held in response to the Kananaskis Country G8 Summit.

May 7, 2002
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Une conversation avec Léo Belliveau (2002)

Une conversation avec Léo Bélliveau avec Daniel Dugas, Valerie LeBlanc et Corinne Dugas. Moncton Juin 2002. Sujets abordés : La Chasse, Le téléphone, Le Pont de Shédiac, Euphémies Léger, Narcisse LeBlanc, Léandre LeBlanc, Playing dominos, Isaac Melanson, La p’tite Mazerolle, Les chapeaux, La politique, Claudia Belliveau, L’éducation, Les fraises, Shemogue, La grippe espagnole.
DVD, 43 minutes

Vidéo disponible sur Internet Archives

May 6, 2002
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Location, Location, Location, We are getting closer (2002)

• Wireless webcam project across Canada Emmedia-Calgary, Videopool-Winnipeg, Saw video-Ottawa, Atlantic Cultural Space Moncton

Location Location Location: We are getting closer
A roaming wireless webcam expedition by Valerie LeBlanc and Daniel Dugas
@ EMMEDIA ,Calgary, Alberta & Mysterious Metropolises across Canada & The Atlantic Cultural Space Conference, Moncton, New Brunswick E-Lounge Curator for the Conference: Léa Deschamps

This project is part of the E-lounge presentations at the Atlantic Cultural Space: New Directions in Heritage & the Arts Conference to be held in Moncton, New Brunswick May 23 – 26, 2002. EMMEDIA in Calgary and the E-lounge conference facility at the University of Moncton will serve as stationary communication points in the compacted journey east by the two Calgary Artists. While travelling, LeBlanc and Dugas will be touching down to converse with people in major Canadian Centres. Interviews will be streamed to both the Moncton and Calgary locations; visitors to EMMEDIA and the E-lounge at the University of Moncton will contribute to conversations revolving around the cultural characteristics and benefits of living in particular urban locations. Participants in Calgary and Moncton will be invited to guess the locations of the street interviews. Other Centres involved in the project will be announced after the journey has carried LeBlanc and Dugas to their New Brunswick destination. This website will be updated before, during and after the events of this UNESCO event.

 

external website (new site post-April 22 2019)

external website (old site pre April 22 2019))

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

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