Monday, September 30, 2013

45 pound pumpkin and many other pounds of pumpkin picking at farm and at Pumpkin Hollow

 After the Artist Trading Cards session at the Artful Dodger yesterday, we headed out to the farm and picked all of the pumpkins. These will be nice as extra decorations and for the seeds to roast, but none were really big so next we drove through the valley until we reached "Pumpkin Hollow", outside of Lumsden. We purchased a 45 pound pumpkin to carve as our jack-o-lantern and had some good time in the maze. This is the first real corn maze I've ever been in. It was all tall enough that I couldn't see any of the paths.
Corn maze at Pumpkin Hollow

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Artist Trading Cards at Artful Dodger

Artful Dodger cafe in Regina
 As part of "Culture Days", Margaret organized an artist trading cards session at the Artful Dodger this morning. She and I began a bit of a collaborative series with me writing text on the back of her cards, relating to the "magical land before anyone could remember". I'll put these up on my website sometime in the future. I only have photographs of them as they were all traded to other participants (okay turn out of about a dozen). William wanted to make it a special day so got dressed up. He looks a bit like Dickins' "Dodger".
Artful Dodger in Regina
(In image above, notice that William's legs are waiting for him at the bar)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Culture Days, my newest video at an outdoor dance party

Stacey Fayant
 Culture days. Hmmm. I think that the government has its heart in the right place on this one, with suggestions and funding opportunities for groups across the country to do some sort of community-based cultural events on the same weekend every year. Perhaps it will grow and evolve, attracting audiences who may not usually attend art events to brave the day. However, what I have been seeing for the most part are either seriously dumbed-down arty events with a craft element barely challenging to a 10 year old, or real art which is lost in the overwhelming number of events on everyone's calendars, critically ignored as it would be assumed to be just another artless pseudo-crafty event and ultimately under-subscribed.  We caught the end of the fire dancing, which always attracts a crowd. The weather was great but there were less than half the people there as were at a similar event at the same location a few months ago. Stacey Fayant was in a great costume and doing top notch work, but for an audience of 50 instead of 200.  I made a new video for the Filmpool to show along with some other videos, mixed live by Ian Campbell and played MOS with a DJ session downtown this evening. There were a few people dancing but the numbers had not grow by the time I left. The section of Scarth Street where the event took place was designated a drinking zone so William had to stay outside the fence, resulting in my leaving before the event ended (sorry Filmpool). It looked good though, and I am happy with the project I made (Moments; small, tiny, and modern).
Culture Days in Regina

Friday, September 27, 2013


This week I using old romance comic books as examples for story analysis. I have to admit that I shared my students' interest in the advertisements over the stories. This is an early 70s full page piece that the comic company put in their own comic to elicit a fan-based character or story line. I have no idea if it was successful or if it even played out. Perhaps they are still waiting for enough votes to come in! Print it and send it now, before it is too late!!!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Meeting with Geremys?

3 Geremys and an odd patch of floor in the wall
Thursdays have become busy but somewhat amusing days, beginning with my weekly meeting with Geremy. I had hoped to see his mutoscope in progress but as he was having problems finding parts (need a worm and worm gear, probably about 60 cogs), we did other tasks (the dialogue continues wherever we go). He helped mix some chemistry for tomorrow then we drove around to Princess Auto and to CMS with no success. I had hoped that at least we could add a similarly designed music box to the project but the counter full of them at Gales ended up being spring wound boxes rather than direct drive ones. When I explained that what we really needed was a larger version of such a music box, they suggested a jack in the box, which might be the perfect fit. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Colour me forgetful? I think not!

Just before VOTING ON WATER today, I took this online colour test and scored perfect, proving that my Datsun car [SEE PHOTO] I owned when I was 20 really was green (Margaret now claims my it might be my memory and not my eyesight which is faulty). 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Be afraid of that apple picking ladder!

With a wind storm expected tonight, Margaret parents asked me over to help pick the apples off of their tree before they are blown down. I actually had surprisingly few scratches and no falls this year, which is quite surprising as I was trying to hurry. The stitched photo makes the ladder look particularly dangerous and the image to the right is William's hands but without a head. (click on it to enlarge)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Camera dented while laying cement blocks

On Saturday I was moving patio blocks. I had misplaced the case for my camera some time ago so had just been carrying it in my pocket, keeping it at the ready in case there were any great collections of ants or centipedes under the blocks which we'd kept in the garden since June. I must have banged a block against my hip because at the end of the day I had discovered that the lens hood on the camera has a small dent which results in the cover not entirely clearing out of the way when you turn it on. If I don't notice and push it out of the way manually, I get shadowed areas on the top and bottom. Here is the patio block set up with dark edges from the damaged camera.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Comic Con in Regina

Today was too busy in Regina. We had to fight through Roughrider traffic to get past downtown (and past the motorcycle show on Scarth Street) to the comic book convention held over at the Hungarian Club. William bought a gift for someone and I got the new Valuable Comics edition from Allan Dotson. Otherwise it was mostly window shopping. I get tempted by items such as early Mad from the EC line but overall I have no way to show off comics I buy so would just box them with the rest. I was surprised as the high prices on some comics such as early Wolverine appearances which were in very poor condition and would likely not even be put on display in larger markets. Supply and demand I suppose. William also bought a Mars landscape painted in front of him with spray can outside the doors of the event. While there, we were told that today is the Regina zombie walk, which we participated in last year. There is no way we can get ready for it, particularly since we don't even know what time it is going. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

MacKenzie Art Gallery: "Professional Native Indian Artists Inc" exhibtion opening

Last night we attended the opening of an amazing retrospective of the Professional Native Indian Artists Inc at the MacKenzie Art Gallery. Unfortunately we arrived a bit late and the talks in the lobby of the TC Douglas Building had begun and we were in the far back, standing room only. They had many speakers and some performances, most of which we could barely hear and certainly not see so we slipped upstairs early to see the work ahead of the crowd. It will be up until early January so anyone in the area should try to make it by to look. William and I always love the work of Norval Morrisseau and Daphne Odjig, whose work evoke endless interpretations and we love to stand in front of them and have conversations. The crowd was huge and the food was excellent. The Sioux Chef made some delicious slow cooked bison marinated in maple and served on skewers. I had seconds. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

No, that is NOT a penguin!

Neither the picture of the penguin, nor the cel phone picture of the picture of the picture of the picture of the picture of the picture of the picture of the picture of the picture of the picture of the penguin are actually penguins. There are both just pictures. This is basic semiotics, hopefully made more obvious through he miracle of every one of my nine students having a phone in their pocket. 

Moose Jaw Art Gallery exhibition of Ward Schell opens

We drove out to Moose Jaw this evening for the opening of an exhibition of Ward Schell's paintings at the Moose Jaw Art Gallery. It was quite well attended and they put on quite a spread, music, speeches, etc. His paintings are bursting with colour and seemed to almost glow. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Something old and something not so old

Edison Universal Projecting Kinetoscope, rusty
 Had an intriguing morning with Geremy, first visiting Sean Randall who has a 110 year old Edison Kinetoscope which, tragically had been exposed to the elements many years ago and is completely seized up and in need of more care than any of us know how to deliver. We went from there to the antique mall where we found a box of Star Trek episodes on vhs. I think the seized up piece of metal was far, far more interesting, but I have to admit that the allure of the tape is quite strong....
Geremy Lague and Star Trek TOS on VHS

Procrastinating in my office

Yesterday, as with all Wednesdays this term, has me stationing myself in my office for much of the day, meeting students, planning my night class, but more often than not, staring at my piles of stuff which forever threatens to collapse on top of me. I wanted to try to stitch together a small area rather than a large area. The result is interesting but a bit confusing. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Nihlism, Post-Modernims, and Greek mythology, a philosophy cafe talk with Shadia Drury at the Artesian

I took William to a complex but riviting philosophy talk by research chair Dr. Shadia Drury this evening. I think William knows the gist of post modernism in regards to some art and architecture, but I felt stretched beyond my comfort zone as the post-modern discussion moved to religion, world politics, and philosophy. Anyway, her discussion of Stephen Harper and how he is facing an almost unwinnable battle with pipelines due to a need to combat a myth, and how Americans are blinded by their own mythologies and how, when living with such faith, disillusionment and disenchantment lead to nihilism. We got great seats on the red couch only to discover that they faced the wrong way so we had to either not look at her, or strain our necks. It was a full house of at least three dozen people. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

William's classroom

There was a barbeque and open house at William's school today. We were early enough to get food (there were more people than expected and food ran out). William's teacher is very nice and we got to see his classroom. I forgot to ask what the class size is, but I'm pretty sure he's got a smaller class than last year (very good since he prefers the quiet and craves attention). I had a more difficult time melding these photos, probably because I shot them rather quickly and couldn't arrange him as I'd wanted. I was just calling him over to sit on the floor for the bottom right corner shot when I found myself in the conversation I'd come up to have and could hardly start making rude excuses to avoid it, and thus the gap. We also popped in to see Ellen's classroom, it was friendly and looked like a good space for the kindergarten. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Curiously loud birds

When I went out earlier this evening, the birds up high in my tree were unbelievably loud. As far as I could see, there were no animal to animal or animal to person conflicts going on, and they were not flying around but only occasionally moving from branch to branch. I can't recall such a racket in my back yard before. The camera doesn't pick them up very well though. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

My view of Jon Cate's talk (not to be mistaken for view point)

my view of Jon Cates's talk at University of Regina
For yesterday's Jon Cates glitch talk, I sat at the back with my students were, they said, the cool kids were. Don't they know that the cool kids are the nerds in the front row asking the questions? I guess Ned didn't know that either, he sat beside me and asked a five stage question which Jon took half the lecture answering. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Jon Cates artist talk on "glitch" at University of Regina

Gif of Jon Cates quoting himself at University of Regina
I had not anticipated the scheduling of an interesting art for lunch coinciding with my experimental filmmaking class today. I had to rush my material and then took the class to hear Chicago's Jon Cates who talked, quite relevantly, about glitch-based media art. I was particularly delighted to hear him say that the likes making animated GIFs because doing so makes him happy. I've recently found the same feeling from creating stitched photos.  

Thursday, September 12, 2013

honey toast with tea

My meeting with Geremy this morning was lively and exciting. We talked about viewmasters and looked up the plans for the mutoscope from the 1894 patents and also talked about why I avoid discussing how my teaching of my other classes is progressing. If I say it is going well, what if a student who doesn't agree reads it and comes to the conclusion that this is as good as it gets? What if I say it is going poorly, then a student reading it may be offended or may feel there is less reason to try. I sometimes wonder if I should have a secret blog or maybe even a hand written journal to tell all the truths, as I see them, but without readers, I am not inclined to invest that time. Life is too short. As for today's photo, it was between this stiched together shot I took today of William and Margaret having tea and toast or the images of the viewmaster card cutter which ended up being a simulation and not the correct size, so I'd rather omit it for now. I did set up a new wiki for Geremy to write and post about his mutoscope progress. Not much there yet, but he says he'll update once per week:

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Canister green screen mishap

Geremy requested Canister to perform in front of a green screen for a project today. Geremy took the images for this stitched photo together. It seems that part of Canister's body must have been lost in the time/space vortex through which he is so fond of travelling (see video example)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

1970 "Honest Injun" valentine card

I know I had better things to do, but there is something about office hours which makes me waste time in unique ways. Today during my two hour stint in my every messy office, I started combing through a box of old papers which had come down from my shelf earlier in the summer. Its contents included animation elements, artwork, and scrap books from when I was a kid. On the first page, kindergarten (1970) I found this card to me from "Doug" which reads "Honest Injun! Me wantum you for Valentine". I'm not sure how much longer such images were published, I have not yet found any others similar from later years. This "horning" card from the same time period was also a bit amusing.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Making new videos around the house

While I've not instigated anything new myself, the house has been production central this weekend. William has been working on a new video with his friend, turning the basement into a set. On Saturday I shot a video with Mike and his beard which I did a quick edit job on this evening and is now on William's Youtube channel THE MAGIC BARBER

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Dinner and "The Making of Empire Strikes Back" with Erik Sirke and Geremy Lague

Erik is in town for a while, on a break from the Banff Centre where he will be for the next year. The three of us met up at Ngoc Van for supper. I shot this set of images to stitch together and did so with a couple different variations. One variant, shown only in an excerpt, has Erik obviously wary over Geremy's lack of face.
After supper they asked to watch "The Making of the Empire Strikes Back" on 16mm, something I'd promised them two years ago. As it seemed warm, I invited them to a backyard screening of it. The event didn't begin smoothly as Margaret had begun pickling in my absence, but William joined us and I grabbed the two cans of film I'd acquired from Darrell Prohor's items he left behind after he'd retired from our department. Only when I went to load the first reel did I realized that I'd never opened the cans but had simply trusted the label on the outside. Somebody should make up a saying about covers and believing the contents because if they did, this would be a time use such a saying. The first reel was three variations of a puppet public service announcement from 1985 to stop smoking. The commercials then repeat in French. Reel two was something else about racing and the film began jumping right away, obviously due to the reel being used for found footage, so we didn't watch it. Instead, I switched over to super-8 and began to run "Zamba", a 1949 film which Melanie Wilmink gave me a feature length silent version of. Based on the somewhat lurid cover art on the super-8 cans, I had believed that this was a 1960s European film but instead was a version released with German subtitles. Silent, black and white, and boring, we watched until the family landed inexplicably together after parachuting from a plane onto a tropical island. The boy seems to suck on his mother's cheek for a moment before they basically throw him from the plane. Surprisingly, the boy was played by Beau Bridges in one of his earliest features. I continued to put up random reels including the ending of Metropolis on standard 8, a shortened version of The Wolfman on super-8, and "Anansi the Spider", a peculiar 1972 African folk tale on 16mm (also courtesy of Melanie). It rained for a couple minutes but the projector was under the umbrella and the canopy of trees lets very little through, so we were okay. I think we ended up having a good movie night without really watching any good movies.

Mike's magical beard

Mike Grzesina came to Regina today to shave off his beard, based upon a wager/promise made through volleyball. We created a video around the shaving, with Mike's ideas combined with some of William's improvisations (CLICK HERE TO SEE "Magic Barber" VIDEO).

Friday, September 6, 2013

Z'OTZ* opening at the Dunlop, William on fire doing commentary

Click photo for video of William's enthusiastic interpretation of the artwork
The art collective Z'OTZ* opened an amazing exhibition of crazy dream-like drawings at (and on) the Dunlop Art Gallery tonight. William was totally engaged, constructing an endless descriptive/interpretive monologue of the work, barely taking a breath for an hour. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Bombed office, part 2

Another angle on my office, this is sort of how I look at the world when I'm sitting there. Of course on most days I delude myself into thinking everything is in place.
I met with Geremy today to begin in work on the mutoscope. This is the device which hopefully will bring his thesis project together, allowing him to work in a true combination of print and moving images. More on this as it progresses.

Paul's birthday

low light, trying to get image before candle was blown, sorry for blur
Paul's birthday was yesterday so, racing to get it done before the day turned too hot, I got a lemon cheesecake in the oven, cooking it simultaneously with the roast. Afterwards, while Margaret was out at a meeting, he and William tried to watch The Terminator on Netflix but for some reason the image was so pixilated and low res that it was unwatchable. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Did a bomb hit my office?

Back to classes today. I also attended a talk, a department meeting, and a welcoming gathering for new grad students (where I met my new student An). I had been trying to clean my office but things slipped again as summer came to an end. I can't believe it has taken me this long to shoot a stitched photo of it:
(click photo to enlarge)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

William's first day of grade 7

William was happy to return to school this morning, even though the school start time is seven minutes earlier. In fact he got there early. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Bike ride to Safeway

William and I are having a diverse day of tv, bike riding, running, audio books, blogging, and generally appreciating the last day before school starts. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Go Green!!!!?

Yesterday, without thinking, I pulled a green shirt randomly out of my closet and put it on. I bought this shirt because it is close to green-screen green so I imagined wearing it for effect. Only at supper time in the burger place did I realize that I had inadvertently fit in, that everyone else was wearing green in anticipation of today's Rider game.