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May 3, 2010
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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
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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
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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.

 

Jun 30, 2001
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Foundwealth (2001)

• Artcite, Windsor, ON, May 25 June 30, 2001

 

About foundwealth
What really got me going with the FOUNDWEALTH project is a quote I read from the Canadian investor Andrew Sarlos, who was called the “Buddha of Bay Street”. He was quoted as saying, “I like gold, real estate, and floating rate instruments”. I thought, “so do I,” even though I did not know what he meant by a floating rate instrument. From the Buddha of Bay Street, I met Pope Leo the 13th who, in a 1891 encyclical letter, wrote on the condition of the working classes. The letter underlined the duties of the rich and the duties of the poor. I read the amazing story of John Sutter who was in the process, through his sawmills, of becoming one of the wealthiest men on the Pacific Coast. The discovery of gold on his own property in 1848 ruined him. I got interested in the similarity between the gold rush and the tech rush. I saw, floating in the market, in the office towers, the invisible hand that Adam Smith. He was the Scottish Economist who, in 1776, published his theories: An inquiry into the Nature and the Causes of the Wealth of Nations.

FOUNDWEALTH is not a linear story. There is no particular story, only a collection of stories. It is about money and it is about the relationships between people. It is about the gap. It is about the pursuit of happiness and the idea that joy springs up from the consumption of products. It is about consumerism and society’s danger of self-combustion. It is a choice of events and moments, of fragments that I have put together to help me understand what is going on. I wanted the installation FOUNDWEALTH to be a poetic reflection, a kind of frontal collision-relationship of the rich and the poor. I had an image of a bridge made of burning rags that were thrown over the abyss where the river called Economy runs furiously. I wanted the carpet cleaning trainee to talk to the capital risk investor; maybe they could find some common ground?

I have tried to matched high end materials of beveled glass, a light table, thick carved glass with elements of a lower denomination: dirty oil, broken glass, discarded objects, raggedy assemblages. I was attracted to the showcase idea, similar to the ones found at the Gold Museum in Bogotá. I wanted to have inserts in the walls of the gallery; to suggest a relation between the installation and the building that is similar to the relation of the Economy with Society. I wanted the light to be seen and to indicate both the end of a journey and the beginning of a certain degree of hope. I felt that the moment where the light was seen was a moment where space and time were crunched together into a new thing; the split second where choices are made. I wanted the installation to be about that moment where everything could happen. This moment of decision, or indecision looks a lot like our point in time. It seems as if we are moving into a corridor of weightlessness. Acting like astronauts in a tube, we have to look, while lost in the dark, at the light that may come through the cracks; to guide us and to inspire us to continue forward, to believe that there is some worth in everything and that maybe wealth is not what we thought at first.

The installation is composed of seven works: Wealth Maker; Fake Wealth, Found wealth, Seven Seas, The Invisible Hand of Adam Smith, Huge Promises, and Snake Oil (every thing will be OK). The number 7 has always held a powerful and mystical place in the world; we have only to think of the seven seas, those navigable waters of the world; roads to treasures and adventures. The Seven Marvels of the World included: the lighthouse in Alexandria; the Seven Deadly Sins (Envy among them); the Seventh Heaven where God and the most exalted angels dwell; and the Seven -Eleven, a place where you can buy a 6-49.

Is wealth something that one can find? How can it be found and how can it be maintained? Maybe it happens simply, by fortune. Maybe it happens by ingenuity. Perhaps it is a bit of both, luck and skills, patience, timing and audacity. The final answer belongs to Machiavelli:

“Without that opportunity the strength of their spirit would have been extinguished, and without that strength the opportunity would have come in vain.”

 

My personal brush with wealth

•Winning a Mini-trail Bike
At the time I was 14, I went to a Shopping Mall in Moncton, NB. My attention was suddenly captured by this shiny and beautiful bright blue Honda 50cc mini-trail bike. One of the men, at the Lion’s Club booth, asked me if I wanted to buy a ticket. Without hesitation I bought three. I was sure to win. I visualized myself riding full throttle on the trails around town. A few days later, early on a Saturday morning, I heard a big commotion upstairs in the kitchen. I heard people shouting the loudest that they could: YOU WON! YOU WON! I was pleased but not surprised. I had a strange feeling that the bike was mine when I bought the tickets.

• The Gold Museum in Bogotá
In 1978, after high school, I went into the Canada World Youth Program. The country I had chosen to go was Columbia. It was an important and an amazing experience for an 18 year old. We were 15 Canadians and 15 Columbians living together, first in Montreal for the Canadian segment, and then in Medellin for the Columbian segment. One night in the countryside around Medellin, I remember to have met other people of my age that were guerillos with the armed group M -19. They had rifles and looked very serious. On another day, my group was invited by a woman into her home. She lived with her family. The home had just one room, with just one bed and a dozen babies and kids sitting on it. The house was made with cardboard and pieces of tin. The structure was literally holding up with strings. The woman offered us coffee to drink. I remember thinking that all of the coffee she was offering us would be coffee they would not have at the end of the week or at the end of the month. A few weeks later our group visited the Museum of Gold in Bogotá. At the Museum the group was broken in small units. Soldiers with automatic rifles took us into a corral like anti-chamber. A set of doors opened up, and we were permitted to enter a dark room. Four of the guards came with us. They closed the doors and then slowly, in a dramatic manner, lights went up. The room was made of four walls covered with windows. The cases were filled with gold of the Incas. When the lights rose to full intensity, we were all bathing in the gold light, in a surreal silence. It seems that we had become gold nuggets ourselves.

• My Old UIC Office in Calgary
I was getting UIC at some point in Calgary, and the office that was in charge of my case was located on Fifth Avenue in the North West of the city. Just before moving out of Calgary I notice that the building was for sale. A few years later, I was watching the news about the fraud and collapse of the famous gold mining company BRI-X. I was stunned to see my old UIC building as the BRI-X headquarters. I was amazed to see the ‘now dead’ president of the BRI-X gold mining company entering that building. His building, where I used to fill my cards with the now infamous YES, YES, NO, YES, YES, YES. Lately, I was walking front of the building known simply today as the One Nineteen. From the street one can see that the letters are made of bricks painted gold. It is relatively ironic when you know that the scandal that rocked BRI-X was centered on false claims relating to gold deposits

 

Mega Merger or Meager Merger?
Money is like a sixth sense, essential for the complete use of the five others.
Sir Winston Churchill

Before wealth the most ordinary sentiment is not respect it is envy
Fustel de Coulanges

I am not an economist but I am interested in the Economy. I am interested in Economy because it is everywhere and it defines everything, it touches everyone. In other words, I am interested in it because we are surrounded by economies of all kind: large, small, growing, struggling, abusive, miraculous, reckless, inventive, greedy; ever expanding like a big bang of its own origin. It is at the root of human experience: glorious and tragic; our relation to the world is often understood on an economic level. We are reacting to the Economy or to the absence of Economy. According to Jacques Adda, in La mondialisation de l’économie, we have arrived at the ultimate finality of an economic system invented 1000 years ago, by the mercantile cities of the Mediterranean. 1

News of the economic world has invaded our lives. We are saturated, over inundated by it. We are mesmerized by the growth of the economy, by the expansion of economy; we have become obsessed by the power of industries. There was a time when there was no mention of economic indices on television news. It was considered uninteresting to the public. Today, the Dow Jones, TSE, CBOT, NSDAQ, and NEKEI are all necessary, are all important, and unavoidable. We need them. They mean something. Somehow investment has become fun and sexy. RSSP=SEXY. GROWTH OF FUNDS=GROWTH OF FUN. And sometimes it is possible to have the impression that ‘it is working’ for everyone. In fact, it is working very well, but for a small percentage of the population; 86% of bull market gains in the past four years have benefited the richest 10% of the population. Are they the ones that driving the new cars? Now it is possible to go into a parking lot and have a Jeep Cherokee in front of you, a Jeep Cherokee in back of you, a Jeep Cherokee on your left, and a Jeep Cherokee on your right; and if you really look around, you will notice that you are trapped. We have become sophisticated consumers with surprisingly few tastes. Actually consuming goods has become a spiritual activity and heaven is a wasteland ready for condo development.

According to a Warvick University research, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council of Britain, the price for happiness is at least $2 million. This amount can, according to the study, give “a significant boost to well being.” 2 In 1999 Monopoly was adding its first new piece in 47 years. A sack of money joined 10 others playing pieces that come with the classic board game: a battleship, cannon, dog, horse and rider, iron, shoe, thimble, top hat, wheelbarrow, and race car. Monopoly held an election asking fans to choose between the sack of money, a biplane, and a piggy bank. About 1.5 million people voted at toys stores, by telephone and on the internet. Monopoly was invented during the great depression in 1935. 3 As of 1999-2000 there were seven million millionaires in the world. Since World War II we have had 9 recessions. There are a lot more millionaires than recessions.

Falling Through the Cracks
Study after study reveals that the economic Gap between individuals in society is being defined more clearly. The official position seems to be a desire to close the Gap, but behind the closed doors of power, its function is recognized, maintained, expanded, praised and enjoyed. The existence of the Gap must be a proof in itself that it is a wanted situation. Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote that the first person that fenced off a field and said: “This is mine”, and found people to believe him, was the true founder of the civil society. He went on to say that the world would have been spared crimes, wars and murders if only one person would have taken the stake out of the ground and filled the hole, while shouting to everyone, “Beware of this impostor, you are lost if you forget that the fruits belong to everyone and that the earth is owned by no one! ” 4

Here we are now, like a tribe that lives on a land being ripped apart by a giant earthquake while all of the members can only look at the crevass getting deeper and wider every day. From time to time one can hear: “Watch out! Look out! Step back from the GAP! Become self-sufficient: Sell a kidney!” But most of the time it is too late. The ones on the edge are diving headfirst, sliding into the man-made Grand Canyon. We have taken the custom of saying, “They fell through the cracks.” The only hope, for the ones that are falling, is that the hole will have no bottom. This absence would make the fall eternal, it would be like a gentle slide through the cracks with no one ever being hurt.

The Gap in the Head
Four kids, well dressed, riding BMX bikes, jump from the train station onto the street. The backdrop is a row of taverns and social services agencies blend together in a kind of neo post geo gothic architecture that means nothing to the people who inhabit it. The kids yell to some customers “You can’t even walk on your own legs, bunch of dirt, fucking scum bags! ” The Gap is in their heads as well as in their hearts. It has allowed them to distance themselves from others, and at the end of the day, from themselves. It is easy to see who is holding the shitty end of the memory stickä. The Fabulous Four left the scene, filling the sunset with all the dust they could make with their tires. The Gap is a serious phenomenon that invites exclusion. This is why we have television shows, which reflect the popular psyche, shows such as Survivor, The Mole or The Weakest Link. They are teasing our Roman excitement for the kill. The basic bottom line is that in order for wealth to exist there has to be a lot more sad faces than happy ones. In 1970 the French President Georges Pompidou was asking what was to be done with the high unemployment level that was crippling the French State at the time. One of his advisors told him that is was not a problem but a solution.

Engulfing Gap
An ad on television reminds me of the kids on the BMX bikes. The high end / low-end spot features the famous Formula One driver: Jacques Villeneuves. Jacques (high end) drives a yellow Honda Civic to a streetlight. He is soon surrounded by group of squeegie kids (low-end). They start to work on Jacques’ windows with ardor in role-playing that is reminiscent of the pit workers at a car race. A clock calculates their performance like at Macdonald’s or at Burger King. Jacques looks at them furtively, with distance, like a Russian Tsar floating above the little people. He is protected by the armour of his car; his own little gated community on wheels. He is absorbed by the glory of his class and enveloped by a grand solitude. The kids are done, the time is up. It seems like a good performance. One of the kids opens one of his hand toward Jacques. He his asking for his due, pay for the work he has done. Jacques does not look at him, nor does he pay him, he simply drives away. And then from a distance he looks briefly to his rear view mirror. If you superimpose the gap between people and the gap within one individual does it create a moiré? Will it give you a headache and split your head in two parts like a ripe fruit?

According to an article recently published in The Globe and Mail, the rich are enjoying their wealth more than ever and are not shy about displaying it. The Politically Correct era in which being rich was a burden is finally over! The shareholders are standing firmly on their ground. Example: a recent poll on the Netscape homepage asked people if the pharmaceutical company should offer AIDS drugs at a lower cost to poor countries in Africa stricken with AIDS. The response to the poll by those surveyed was no. (64%)

Such repulsion for humanity is ultimately contributing to the creation of radical organizations such as the Earth Liberation Front who are setting the symbols of suburban success ablaze, “We can no longer allow the rich to parade around in their armoured existence, leaving a wasteland behind in their tire tracks”. 5

The Gap has just gotten a lot bigger, a lot more spectacular. We recently witnessed a US millionaire businessman, Dennis Tito, becoming the first space tourist. 6 Tito paid $20-million US for the trip and fulfilled, we all hope, his wildest childhood fantasy. The chosen few can now float anywhere they want, even around the cracks. From a distance they are free to do a little anthropological study of how falling people wrestle with gravity. One man’s holiday (20 million US) is the collective amount that 100,000 people can expect to earn in one year in Madagascar. 7 It is telling of how wealth is being distributed. Mr. Tito might be a nice person, the fact that he can afford to mingle in the International Space Station (ISS) has no real bearing on his individual qualities. No offence toward Mr. Tito, but with space there is always a symbolic value. We were told that a stroll on the moon was a giant leap for mankind. For the poor, Tito’s vacation in the ISS will stand as a monument to the Gap. In order not to see the poverty, and the misery, and the dirty streets of this world, it might become easier to go into space. It might also be harder for groups such as ELF to blow up space stations.

Notes Towards New Economic Symbols
When I started to write these notes, I wanted to create something positive. This feeling was confirmed and reinforce by another Globe and Mail article, this one by Alan Freeman : Activists’ intimidation a threat to democracy itself. 8 Freeman’s article was written in the wake of the Summit of the America’s. The article talks about an Animal Activist group called Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty. According to Freeman the group is conducting a campaign aimed to shut down the Huntingdon Life Sciences Group PLC, a laboratory that performs tests on animals. Alan Freeman talks about the Animal Activists’ violence and destructive mindset. He also mentions their chilling web site, but forgets to give an address. What is chilling, is the vigor with which opposition is met.

The timing of the article is not a mistake, Freeman and others are trying hard to depict all activists in the same light. Small groups of resistance or protest are a threat to democracy itself. Democracy must crush them as soon as they appear. Will Democracy need to silence every voice of opposition in order to survive? As Capitalism expand and test the limits of tolerance, the demand on nature will increase. There will be people to take the stakes of the fences out of the ground and to fill the holes saying that the earth belongs to no one person.

Personally I do not want to be a threat to democracy itself. This is why I am contributing a new interpretation of these economic symbols in an unthreatening manner. I hope that they can be used in a meaningful way for the common good of humanity.

• The Bear and the Bull

The Bull
We say of people that they have balls; what we mean by that is that they have the reproductive capacity of a bull. That is why those people usually wear loose fit pants to accommodate their huge sexual attributes. They are ready to mate, anytime, anywhere; they can directly invest in stocks on the go using their laptops and cell phones. In brief, their own briefs are full of potential and that confidence is showing all the way. The fight between the Bull and the Matador in the Spanish Corrida is a beautiful expression of the sexual energy and the confidence attributed attached to these animals. To excite the Bull, the Matador waves a red cape. He also wears this glamorous costume with blinding tinsel and sparkles. The Matador starts to dance and the Bull charges, the Matador teases and dodges. In the dusty arena you can see the Matador arching his back and thrusting his sex in the Bull’s face. The Bull is mad now but the Matador has that thing called confidence. And you know that he is confident when you realized that his genitals are covered only by a thin silk opaque pantyhose! The fight goes on and if the Matador usually wins. He will plunge his sword into the flesh of the wounded Bull. At that moment when the hard metal penetrates the Bull’s insides the crowd chants, “To the Vagina! Vagina! Vagina!”

To understand the dynamic on the floor of the stock market it is useful to remember the Matador’s mindset and to never forget that he wears the tight silk pantyhose.

•The Bear
The Bear was adopted to symbolize slowdown of Economy, mainly because it hibernates. When consumers hibernate they don’t drive to the malls to buy stuff that they think they need. Instead they stay home and they slowly burn the goods they have already accumulated. For fear of waking up, they don’t even put the lights on. They don’t shovel the snow that is slowly falling outside their houses, burying them and transforming them into coffin-igloos. Everything stops, even the television broadcasts, the only light now illuminating the sarcophagus, are slowing down. Show Hosts can hardly pronounce the names of the guests. The whole fabric of the world is inexorably freezing over. Fear installs itself deep inside the hearts and the mind of consumers. Wild thought patterns starts to emerge: Will I lose my job? Will we lose our house? Will spring ever come back? Will I stay on top of a high speed train when ‘hobo times’ come back? And then the whole depression era thing, the dust bowl, the soup lines comes haunting us.

Solitary by nature the Bear roams on a huge territory, but unlike the Cow-Bull, he is a wild animal. His freedom is what really fuels our fear for the beast. From time to time we hear stories of people being killed by bears. Tourists, runners, walkers in the woods become slow moving targets. A Bear runs faster than the fastest man on earth, it can climb trees faster than the most fit of monkeys. When it stands on his back legs, it rises as tall as Paul Bunyan himself. It can smell food that is placed inside hermetically sealed bottles immersed into the water of a river. This is probably why there is no Corrida with Bears. The Matadors would have their pretty costumes chewed up in no time. But luckily, they go to sleep every year, it is good news for us but bad news for the Economy.

Hibernation is a funny thing; it is seen as a form of laziness. That does not fit very well into protestant work ethics. At the same time, studies have shown it is a way to live long. How can it be good for the individual but harmful to the collective?

Tales From then and Tales From Now
Throughout History, people have always placed sacred value or character on the killings of animals. The killing was sometime seen as a way to ensure good harvest or a way to obtain the virtue of a specific organ. Courage is in the heart, intelligence in the brain, sexual prowess in testicles or the penis, etc. At the same time, there is the whole tradition of excluding all but man from the realm of divine grace. One thinks, for example, of Pope Pius IX’s refusal to permit a particular society to be organized in Rome. The group wanted to protest the slaughter of bulls for sport and amusement. “… an animal,” he declared, ” has no soul and thus has no claim on man’s moral sympathies.” 9

• June 15, 1637 11:47

“…The Laps consider the Bear the King of beasts and all men who take part in the slaughter are regarded as unclean, and must live by themselves for three days in a hut or tent made specially for them, where they cut up and cook the bear’s carcass…” 10

• May 22, 2000 3:33 PM

The broker that loses his shirt and his customer’s shirt in a bad investment is considered unclean and must live by himself for a few days before he can trade again.

• September 4, 1783, 9:02 AM

In the baptism (of blood) the devotee, crowned with gold and wreathed with fillets, descended into a pit, the mouth of which was covered with a wooden grating. A bull, adorned with gold leaf, was then driven on the grating and there stabbed to death with a consecrated spear. Its hot reeking blood poured in torrents through the apertures, and was received with devout eagerness by the worshipper on every part of his person and garments, till he emerged from the pit, drenched, dripping, and scarlet from head to foot, to receive the homage, nay the adoration, of his fellows as one who had been born again to eternal life and had washed away his sins in the blood of the bull. 11

• February 9, 2000 10:28 AM

In the morning the broker stepped out of the train into the pit of the stock exchange. He donned his colored vest and the number assigned to him. He threw himself into the pit, surrounded by a multitude of screens, sounds and numbers. A deal, which looked good all along became marvellous. In the speed of light the deal was signed and a profit was turned for investors. Papers were falling from the sky. With devout eagerness, the broker received his cut for the transaction. At the end of the day, he emerged, drenched and dripping, almost fluorescent from having been reborn to the eternal life of good times.

New Symbols
Now that the fear of Foot and Mouth disease, and Mad Cow disease is spreading, it seems that the Bull poses more threat than the Bear, which has flat feet. But the Bear, like many wild animals, is known to have worms, which are very difficult to get rid of. Even cooking the meat at high temperature might not kill all of the worms. It seems obvious that diseases and parasites have rendered those folkloric symbols challenged and irrelevant. In the future, biotechnology might offer our economic symbols a new lease on life, but right now it is imperative to revamp the imagery. The Bull symbol could be replaced by a human symbol, perhaps a ‘Blonde Woman Driving a Black BMW’ or a ‘Blonde Woman Driving a Fast BMW in a particularly dusty and poor section of a city’. The Magpie could be another potent animal symbol for an aggressive market. The bird has this obsession of stealing stuff from everybody else. This can only encourage the market toward producing more goods, the basis of the invisible hand proposition referred to by Adam Smith. 12 By searching to fulfill his own personal needs and desire for pleasure, the Magpie, like the rich, is doing society a favor. That would mean that the Director of the Beaverbrook Gallery in Fredericton, New Brunswick, was accurate when he said the Nazi loot of artworks during the Second World War was a blessing in disguise. They protected the works from being destroyed. 13 By satisfying their own greed, and by annihilating the previous owners, the Nazi served the greater good of mankind?

The Bear symbol, with all its worms, has definitely run its time. We need something closer to our human reality. A human symbol to replace the Bear might be the ‘Blind Man Falling into a Manhole’ or ‘The Blind Man Falling into a Manhole, accompanied by a Laugh Track.’ The squirrel could certainly be the animal symbol of choice. I realized it was a perfect fit while watching a special about retirement on CBC television. One of the couples interviewed on the documentary was talking about building their nest to achieve retirement at age 55. They were pointing out, with much pride, that they were not relying on the Canadian Pension Plan system to provide for the quality of life they have come to expect. They were a cast above the cream of the crop. They were doing it by themselves, not relying on anybody, a bit like Jacques Villeneuve. They are the financial survivalists of a new era. As I looked at them, I saw the faces of squirrels stuffing their jowls appear on the screen, in a subliminal manner. It struck me how perfect the squirrel is if a new ‘animal’ symbol is used to replace the bear; squirrels semi – hibernate in the winter, and in bad economics times, they can be eaten. Their flesh is said to taste like chicken.

Falling

oversized teenagers are falling from the billboards

into the GAP that was set for them

 

the wiser of the group says that he is

a cultural reference impossible to ignore

an opera of Purcell by himself

his khaki soul is a viscous trap made of 10W40

 

jeep Cherokees

caught in the mud

are gliding slowly downstream

the occupants are calming their terror

by thinking of Fitzcaraldo’s boat

and the greatness of the vessel reassured them

 

a man in his Rodeo

deeply seated in his sense of adventure

levitates in a terrible silence

his one-seater is a mausoleum of crystal

his destiny crumbles like chalk on a sidewalk

 

in a parking lot

another man disarms his yukon

in the chrome of his bumper

the distorted reflections of his face

are dancing by themselves

 

his hands are sweaty

he holds a molotov cocktail

the streets are flooded with lights

 

by himself he has become a genre of vietnam

his truth belongs between the building logo

his heart floats in a liquid that resembles napalm

 

he likes the lines that are pure and simple

of architectures that are clear and calm

the blue of the sky has become his cerulean azure

and the whiteness of the ground a fragile marble

on which the foundation of his ivory tower rests

 

he is at the cutting edge of the technology

while being heavy in his own heart

he lives a kind of numeric schizophrenia

in a tight and mediocre choreography

his publicity is a reality of anorexia

 

Falling More

standing at a distance

in the model garden of sterilized culture

under the glass pyramids of the great capitals

gardeners dressed in pale green outfits

work hard to preserve everything that has moved

 

the odor of vinegar is proof

of the immortality of all movement

of the impossibility of any advance

the cultural security that they have concocted

is a testament without leg

a plastic tree that collects the dust

 

in the humid greenhouse

a document of complex research is distributed but the data has no meaning

to divert the attention a one legged dancer is brought forward

a woman with three heads toast her hats up in the air

while underlying the historic moment of the ceremony

a man-bloodsucker puffs himself up and takes off

 

a live camera broadcast on a giant screen

the picture of a crowd in distress

 

Falling Ever More

the food banks are now managed by a few cannibals

they seem to invite with success the hungry ones

to come and rest in their ossuary in blossom

 

their intelligence is a warehouse lighted with cool fluorescents

one can hear Elvis Presley singing full blast

I did it my way

 

on permanent display in the coloured stands of the vampires

under the polymer palm trees

there is a scale model of a grand project

the oasis is said to resemble a large macramé with the drawing of an owl in the middle

 

and while the storm is raging

the gardeners extraordinaire

have written in yellow tulips

onto the green lawns of the dominant tribes

y’a de la joie 14

 

in the frequent mud slides

that are happening in the unprotected zones

hundreds of lost heads

are floating away

their mouths open

singing together in chorus

il était un petit navire 15

 

1. Jacques Adda, La mondialisation de l’économie, La découverte 1998

2. Calgary Herald, March 2001, page A1

3. The Globe and Mail March 17, 1999 P. A21

4. Du Contrat Social, Discours sur les origines de l’inégalité, Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Édition 10/18 (1963) p. 292

5. The Globe and Mail, Fighting suburban sprawl with fire, Doug Saunders, April 24, 2001

6. The Globe and Mail, Astronauts approve of space tourist, Melanie Seal April, 30 2001

7. Website : L’Agence de la Francophonie : http://www.francophonie.org/frm/outils/frm.html

8. The Globe and Mail, Activists’ intimidation a threat to democracy itself, Alan Freeman April 25, 2001

9. Nature’s Economy, Donald Worster Cambridge University Press 1994 p.27

10 .The Golden Bough Hunters tabooed The Macmillan Company 1943 p 222

11. The Golden Bough The myth and ritual of Attis tabooed The Macmillan Company 1943 P.351

12. Métaphore due à Adam Smith et qui est depuis devenue courante chez les économistes; toutefois, pour ceux-ci, la main invisible est devenue une autre façon de désigner le ” mécanisme des prix ” (encore une métaphore…), alors que ce n’est pas à cela que Smith pense losqu’il utilise sa métaphore. Les quelques (rares) fois où Smith fait allusion à la main invisible, c’est pour désigner un résultat positif (bon pour la communauté) qui peut découler des actions et des comportements des individus, sans que ceux-ci aient cherché délibérément un tel résultat. Ainsi, dans le Traité des sentiments moraux, Smith écrit : ” Une main invisible semble forcer [les riches] à concourir à la même distribution des choses nécessaires à la vie qui aurait eut lieu été donnée en égale portion à chacun de ses habitants ; ainsi, sans en avoir l’intention, sans même le savoir, le riche sert l’intérêt social et la multiplication de l’espèce humaine. (p. 184 de l’édition de Glasgow des œuvres d’Adam Smith). Dictionnaire d’analyse économique, La découverte 1997 Bernard Guerrien p. 302

13. Calgary Herald, Gallery director apologizes, January 5, 2001

14. Y’a de la joie is a song of happiness written by Charles Trenet during World War Two.

15. Il était un petit navire is a folkoric French Song.

* excerpt from : Le couteau suisse ©2001 Daniel Dugas presented in a poetry-performance at the Symposium d’art actuel Moncton, NB 1999

 

©Daniel Dugas, Calgary May 2001

 

Edited by Valerie Leblanc

 

Daniel Dugas was born on October 29, 1959, exactly 30 years after the Stock Market crash of October, 1929. Between the time this exhibition was first presented, and now, DD saw the shadow of bankruptcy looming over his shoulder. But the shadow left with a shifting wind.

 

*

Dugas Takes message to the streets

by Sharon Navarro
Room # 108
May 24 – June 6, 2001

 


Daniel H. Dugas

Artiste numérique, poète et musicien, Daniel 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 neuvième recueil de poésie L’esprit du temps / The Spirit of the Time vient de paraître aux Éditions Prise de parole.

Daniel 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 ninth book of poetry: L’esprit du temps / The Spirit of the Time has just been published by Les Éditions Prise de parole.

Daniel Dugas es poeta, músico y videocreador. Ha participado en exposiciones individuales y colectivas, festivals y eventos literarios en Norteamérica, Europa, México y Australia. Acaba de publicar su noveno poemario, L’esprit du temps / The spirit of time (Les Editions Prise de parole).

L’esprit du temps / The Spirit of the Time est un projet de transmutation du paysage publicitaire en paysage poétique. Ce livre est à la fois un livre de photographie, un recueil de poésie et un essai lucide mais ludique sur notre société matérialiste. Il a été produit en numérique et imprimé en quantité limitée.

Date : Décembre 2015
Genre : Poésie
Collection : Poésie
ISBN : 9782894239629

Éditions Prise de parole

http://www.prisedeparole.ca/auteurs/?id=148

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