Friday, September 30, 2016

CVAF garage sale

We helped out a bit sorting books for the Cathedral Village Arts Festival garage sale, happening this weekend on 13th Avenue. The weekend is crazy busy with this sale as well as multiple Culture Days events, a film festival, and a gaming fest. There is no possibility of taking it all in. What a time we live in. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Leesa Streifler Expressionist talk follows Carmen Robertson's book launch

 Two events at the University this Thursday. First was Carmen Robertson's book launch for "Mythologizing Norval Morrisseau", which Margaret was excited about talking to her about, having read it earlier in the week. After a quick supper we went back where the Caligari Project speaker series went into its second week. Leesa Streifler spoke passionately about German painters. The comparison to her own drawings and painting was quite eye-opening. A very nice evening.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Talkies presents Time Slingers

This Canadian-Romanian co-produced film, released in 2013 but somehow set in 2001 (I'm suspecting that it sat unreleased for many years, for good reason). Here is the trailer:
It's actually much worse than it appears here. These are the best parts.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Divesting for art's sake

Shed a few odd artifacts to benefit Jeff's pop-up Saskatchewan display. He still has a few empty spaces and we have way too much odd stuff around the house: a match made in heaven. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

John Kennedy and Debra Bell married

Congratulations John and Deb on your marriage and thanks for bringing everyone together last night for such a wonderful bash at the exchange. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Christine Ramsay lecture on ..... ME!

To begin the MAP lecture series, Christine Ramsay discussed the Strandline Collective curatorial project Meet Me In The Middle with a focus on my exhibition (station 6 of 14) today. Contrary to the image above, there was a solid crowd of over a couple dozen students and faculty there with many challenging questions directed to me afterwards (I'd not actually considered that I would be asked intellectual/creative questions at this event). I am deeply honoured to be the focus of her attention again. 

Expressionism at the MacKenzie Art Gallery

Cabinet Collective with Timothy Long
I am thrilled at the incredible exhibition that just went up at the MacKenzie Art Gallery. Timothy Long curated from the MAG collection along with a large number of works borrowed from the Winnipeg Art Gallery to mount a beautiful and moving display as part of the Caligari Project. Thank you everyone.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Caligari Lecture Series begins with Ian Germani

Dr. Ian Germani from the History Department began the Art of Expression Speaker Series at the University, as part of the Caligari Project. We had a great crowd of 96 in attendance. His powerful paper about German Expressionism and the European Avant Garde in the first world war was very interesting and gave us some highly engaging thoughts to lead into tomorrow's gallery exhibition at the MacKenzie. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


In 2001 or 2002 we had swarms of these "maple bugs" on our garage. I filmed them extensively and used them in my 16mm film "Toxic 6: Final" (which was actually the second of the six films that I made. They must live in cycles as I've not seen many over the past decade until this year. This is just a single blob of them. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Minutes before deadline

I starting having some major memory/rendering problems with my new puppet/frankenstein/expressionist film last night (I've finally titled it: "The Testament of Frankenstitch", which references both Fritz Lang and Jean Cocteau). I rendered it in 30 second pieces over night and had to try to fix things and assemble a soundtrack to be able to submit it to the Filmpool "Cinema of Dr. Caligari" screening by midnight. I did it, but it is a bit of a mess. I think I need to either make it more of a mess, or less. Hopefully I'll have a chance to do one or the other. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Roger D. Wilson and the Windows Collective

Big thank you to Mike Rollo who curated in a cool exhibition from Ottawa's Window's Collective to the RPL and managed to bring Roger Wilson to Regina to talk about it. I liked some of the films, in particular Roger's work which involved some very inventive manipulation of 16mm film (250 degrees with syrup for 15 minutes). In general, the formalist pieces were beautiful and engaging. The ones that relied on content were less interesting to me. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Computers in full use

I needed to let William use my computer for a few hours today to finish his dvd video game which he wanted as his presentation medium for his project on early video games. I went to Kevin's and got a couple of calls for help, which I was limited in doing. Once I got home I coached him through the glitches and hung out with him until he finished it at 2 am. My editing went on hold for that time. 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Art Walk in downtown Regina

I have to admit that we didn't do the official walking tour of the pop up gallery series that just opened, but we did go to see Eric Hill's video game that you interact with through motion from the outside of a bank window. We also saw five other works and found ourselves at the back of the tour after it was all done so we could sort of pretend we were there. I was working all day on my new video (due on Tuesday). William started a new "drawing with sharpees" class with Aaron. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Long day at university

Animation class today was going to be in the studio but, due to the very nice (even hot) weather, we went outside instead. I was overly glitchy with software once we got back inside, but I think is was mostly just me trying to talk and work at the same time. At 5 I went to the university club for the reception for a new photography exhibit opening there. Lots of people and good work. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wrapped film, now I need a title

I got back to my monster expressionist film today, picking up the last of the shots in the morning before our Caligari meeting, in the early afternoon before our department meeting, and finally getting the last safety close ups before supper. This evening we took in the reception for the new exhibition at the AGR and then went for coffee with Erik and Geremy where we threw words around for the title of this project. Nothing has quite stuck yet. Perhaps something with "sky" or "mirror" in it like "Monster in the Mirror Sky". Not quite, but getting there.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Combat Improv, new season

William and I went to the first night of the new season of Combat Improv. The cast was a bit smaller than usual but the show was quite strong. Without doubt the best set was a two person scene with Annie and Cam as quarreling roommates. It was so full of emotional angst that I think most of the audience were afraid to laugh but still did. It was the strongest piece of improv I've seen at Combat in a couple of years. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Battery bars completion

I've been fighting with the cold all day, trying to shoot in my unheated garage on the coldest day since March (temperature sat around 6 degrees all day). Cold hands are my excuse for blowing a bulb on one of my arri lights (they are 150 w and not big enough to warm up my garage). Erik was over a couple of times and we completed some of the most complex shots together (without anyone losing an eye!). At 10:30 my battery died and I've decided to resume in the morning (two sequence remain and one of them is set up and ready to go).

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Shooting in the YAAG Hi-Fi MOS micro-Soundstage

I got about 20% of my film shot today. It seemed that every time I needed to move something, three other things needed to be moved first. Between cramped quarters and my sore back, I'm surprised I got that far. Tomorrow I will need to be good form if I expect to finish it this week (I'll need to get the majority in the can before Tuesday). 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

With Erik's help, shooting Frankenstitch begins

photo by Kara Sirke
I have my last voice and my first shot of my new expressionist Frankenstein puppet film today. Erik is in town for a few days and visited at our house with his sister for the afternoon. It was a good mix of conversation and creativity. I feel more like the project is possible again. However, not that I realize that it is going to run seven minutes and I'll need to shoot the bulk of it in two days, I'm still worried. 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Shanell Papp in Estevan

Although already exhausted, we made a last minute decision to go the Estevan to attend the opening of Shanell Papp's exhibition at the Estevan Art Gallery. We got there at 8 (it is a two hour drive) but caught most of her talk and had a great conversation with her afterwards, sharing bizarre ideas about the nature of her highly evocative knitted art. At one point we wondered if the middle figure in the image above had just given birth to the macabre heads on the floor, having gotten married just in time (note the wedding veil). Hugely worthwhile.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Classes start, Expressionist at RPL finalizes

With unusual nervousness, I got back into the classroom and began the term. Thursday is animation. It feels like it will go well. This was also the last night for Christina's curated series of German Expressionist films and modern equivalents at the RPL. She paired Fritz Lang's rather old fashioned "Destiny" with the always fantastic "Run Lola Run". Earlier this week someone set fire to the book return at the library. Among the stuff emptied out was the silly set of trees in the current Dunlop exhibition.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Expression at home

Stayed home all day, preparing for classes and getting props ready for my newest film (with deadline on the 20th). I don't know if I can juggle it all, but I'll feel bad if I don't try. I've got some ideas that are worth pursuing like this figure in progress above. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Mooky's voice

Mooky came by the house today for a great conversation and for me to record her for one of my characters in the film that I'm having a difficult time finding the right time to shoot. I think this weekend will be when I either shoot it or put it on the shelf (again). Mooky has me very inspired. My props list is not quite filled yet, but close. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Home from Winnipeg

We had breakfast with Leslea, Leif and the girls at "The Falafel Place", which was great. It was really hopping as it apparently has a crowd almost all the time. No stores are open in Winnipeg today (Labour Day) so we headed back early and got home before sunset to do our laundry and so on. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Winnipeg Art Gallery

We took in the exhibitions at the WAG. Most of Winnipeg is closed today, it being Sunday and the Labour Day weekend. It seems strange. Lunch at Stella's on Portage where we toured the current Plug In show. There was a fun video installation about the weight of history where Polish weight lifters were trying to pick up historical monuments. They couldn't pick up Reagan. At the WAG we enjoyed the Chagall but, as always, William and I got the most enjoyment from the Inuit sculptures. They are so weird. Supper at Leslea and Leif's wehre I also got a recording of Teagan for my Frankenstein film. 

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Winnipeg trip begins

We got a slow slow start heading to Winnipeg. It was a bit of a last minute plan as we wanted to catch the Chagall exhibition at the WAG before it closes in a couple weeks. Margaret has been nursing a big scrape/burn on her leg this week and decided to have it checked by a doctor at the clinic before we left. She was told it is healing well, but that took over three hours so we didn't arrive at the hotel until it was getting dark. We booked the Mere Hotel on the waterfront. It was very cool. We were trying to decide if we should eat at the cafe which is about 30 feet out the back door when we heard a noise. We found ourselves standing in the  rain, crowded under one umbrella, watching the fireworks explode over the Forks. Nice night (cafe was good too). 

Friday, September 2, 2016

An An successful MFA defense

Congratulations An! Your defense of your film "It's Good For You" with external examiner Ann Marie Fleming went very well. You have done great work and I'm very proud of you. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

First day of grade 10

It is going to be a tough transition to getting up in the morning. He was able to begin at 10:30 today but as of tomorrow, it will the crack of dawn (or 8:30, close enough).