Friday, 3 February 2012

When the Crow Calls

 To begin with some missing photos from the last blog, of Chinese New Year with LUM seen below

It was a packed house, we must have had about 40 people for dinner

Here is the one and only Linus Lum. A great addition to the residency I have to admit. Having this handsom and intelligent little one around has made for a beautiful experience at any of our social events.

Included only because I would feel the only reason to stand on a toilet seat may be to tap dance... 

Daily may have been misleading, as I have now begun to realise that weekly is more applicable. There are far too many things going on in this lovely town for me to even remember to check my email let alone keep my promise of checking in with this blog. I will attempt to keep this a bit more updated as the final two weeks of my residency are approaching. How scary.

The project is in its final stages. SO EXCITING. I am in awe of its formation and although diligent planning was necessary at the beginning and process was slow, it was all in good measure and things have worked out smoothly because of it. I am now working on constructing the top piece. The interesting part of all of this is the fact that the idea has been with me for almost a year now, so the concept of it is somewhat in flux. I hope to finalise those thoughts over the weekend. Perhaps I will put some pictures up of its current state, wish I would have done more process shots...

The lovely part about working in the shop (where most my project is forming) is that I also have a beautiful and large studio space to do whatever I like, which I may have mentioned before. Forgive my memory. So with that being said I should mention that I had another studio visit with LUM this past week. I must admit that I was unsure of what may happen during this visit. I was optimistic and pessimistic prior to our meeting. Pleasantly surprised, I had an amazing revelation. There was a point in my works where I was putting up a block still, there has always been an issue of this underlying barrier within most my works. LUM addressed it with knowingness revealing that it was clearly more obvious than I had thought. Interesting as well was that my tribulations with our seminars and the thickly layered theory readings were unmasked within the studio. I did not feel intimidated with my works beside me, and LUM noted that he needed no convincing. He liked my work....

The seminars on that note have been bipolar to say the least and there are quite a lot of dramatised emotions being unearthed. Comical perhaps, but also a bit disrespectful. Our readings this week included Barthes -Myth Today and Benjamin - The Author of Producer both of which LUM said we should have read by this time in our careers. I have to say, I am surprised that these readings were not recommended to me earlier as they were very applicable to my works and studio research. Barthes in particular, as Benjamin became a bit politically charged for me. Everyday experience is language, yet so much of it is beyond language. I am not sure I want to speak on the experience in class too much, it is quite theory based and just as it was confusing in class, I believe it will become confusing in blog/written form. Let me just say that we discussed semiotics, and the differences between Sign, Form, Signifier, Signified, Symbol, Meaning, and the Crisis of representation. Meaning = Form. Meaning = concept. Form motivates concept but simultaneously concept motivates form.
My head hurts all over again

Wednesday we decided to move our seminar into the studio world and attempt to critique another residents works she has done here in the residency at this point. I was quite excited for this moment as I have to admit that critiques are something that I enjoy. I will admit my disappointment in this critique, although I knew it would be interesting and perhaps difficult with so many new personalities there were etiquette issues that could not be ignored and I felt negatively influenced the whole experience.

Critique Etiquette 101 (artists should know THIS by now...dare I declare)

1. Do not answer your phone during a critique - especially if the critique is of your work. (This includes texting)
2. Do not leave the critique for unknown reasons and upon returning ask for explanation of conversations already had during your absence
3a.  Talking is not necessary to be engaged within the critique, but silence and disengagement is rude and to be frank, you may as well leave.
3b. Non-verbal engagement can translate as a sign of your participation and comparable to anothers verbal input at times.
4. Allow the completion of anothers thought before you interject with your own
5. Do not argue, but rather rationally discuss. In arguing there is a disengagement from the work and wasting of vital time within the critique. These conversations -which become personal arguments and unrelated to the work- can be discussed amongst one another post critique.

These may be personal - but I would like to think they are transparent within critique etiquette... I would like to think

So if that wasn't enough, I haven't even begun to talk about all the other things that have been going on in Banff. We have a visiting artist with us Maria Thereza Alves who is such a lovely lady. Her works will be within Documenta 2012. She is a close friend to a woman within the Trading Post residency so we have had the opportunity to spend some time with her in a relaxed environment. Which brings me to my next event which was learning how to bead! Bev Koski (the close friend of Maria) has been kind enough to host some small workshops for learning to bead and I have learned it is quite an extravagant art. I am in awe of their creations here so far and anticipate their final projects. During my encounter with Bev I created a ring of a certain stitch which I can not recall the name of. It has become a thumb edition in accidentally making it too large, but I enjoy its affinity to belong to my thumb.

This past Saturday I attended LUMs badminton session which he has been hosting every Saturday. I guess one thing that I have not revealed about Banff is their amazing recreational facilities. They have a great gymnasium with a running track as well as a weight room, squash courts, a climbing wall, a pool/hot tub as well as an array of classes which we can attend for free. I have been going to Yoga twice a week here since I arrived, been able to see the gym a few times but not as much as I had hoped. Back to badminton, I was seen as the secret weapon I guess, don't let this blond hair fool you. My physical abilities were greatly underestimated by the people in attendance which I found humorous. I was surprised most of all by LUM, who questioned why I hadn't attended more often, which of course is the fault of my need to work while attending the residency. So I have been travelling back to Calgary Saturday evenings to work Sundays. Although he admired that I had a - if I may I quote him -Gentle touch- he still annihilated me in our singles competition.

This brings me to my next physical event that is happening this afternoon. I am hosting a curling seminar for the residents here. I cant even begin to describe the diverse reactions and understandings of what Curling is. Someone said to me, its not played on skates? At which point I looked into doing a seminar. I will let you know how it goes.

I was invited to enjoy a lovely Moose Meat themed dinner last night hosted by Brian Jungen. A Selfless offer that turned into a grand evening. Much conversation, compassionate company, and as I have always believed good food creating good memories. I was able to run into a few people that I had not met officially and in those conversations learned some amazing attributes. This Banff environment is so full of diverse and creative people and experience - it has become my utopia of art.

Jordan in the kitchen with Jungen (to right) and friend (to left)
Vincent messing around during dessert creating the tower o lonely squash

Last Friday we had a bonfire as a group here. What a fantastic evening. I decided that I wanted to make some Bannock for the event and spoke to another resident here for some help in making it, although I believe it is not that difficult. As per usual, I forgot about my request but I was pleasantly surprised when the resident (Autumn) sent a bowl of Bannock for us! She had gone snowboarding and did end up arriving later on in the night but I was so happy she was so generous. Some others brought an assortment of vegetables, garlic, and spices and created a tinfoil dinner I call it. The Bannock turned out to be the star of the night. We made just simple Bannock buns but also Bannock wrapped hot dogs, and my inspired creation Bannock Smores. All I have to say is my life has changed. They were the most incredible dessert I have had, and all in good time as we discovered during the bonfire that one of our cohorts was hiding from us that it was his birthday! It actually happened to be the gentleman who is helping me with my project in the Wood Shop. His name is Sean and it was a delight to share with him his birthday celebrations. Tonight we are hoping to have another bonfire since it was such a hit last time.

And now, I believe I have sufficiently updated you all and myself. I hope to check in a little sooner than last time but I make no promises as I wander through the endless marvels of this utopia in the woods.

The thought of something
The thought of nothing
The thought of you
Full of nothing

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Off the Grid

What a busy time it has been! Many things to report, but without an internet connection for about 3 days I was left without. So this will be a great time to reflect as I reach the mid point of the residency.

Well after the excitement of arts birthday and dinner with LUM I was about to leave for Calgary and my little dreamweaver wasnt having it. She didnt start up all weekend :( I think it was an issue of some condensation in the lines because after an entire morning of attempting to get her going nothing was working. So I instead caught a ride in to Calgary with a gentleman who is working as a work study here at the gallery... very generous of him. We ended up all going to the Ian Baxter& installation at the Glenbow, but I have to admit that I was much more excited to see Laurie Andersons work, incredible installation. Of course, there was Edward Burtynsky there as well and his work is alwasy interesting to see.

Ended up catching a ride back home with Stephanie (thanks again steph!) just in time to see a screening of a movie from LUMs private collection. He is showing movies every Sunday night here that are rare art movies from all diferent eras. This past Sunday he showed The House Maid by IM Sang-soo I believe. Great movie, created some contraversial convesation afterward.

Monday we were reading Walter Mignolo Bilanguaging Love: Thinking between languages. This was one of my favorite readings this far. I really enjoyed the ideas Mignolo brought up about colonialzation and the way it changed language, as we still change it today. Bilanguaging is not to be confused with bilingual. It is a mixing of languages to create a third catagory. I enjoy these ideas as I am somewhat applying them withinmy work, more so as material mixed with language creating a third language.

LUM hosted a chinese new year dinner just last night for everyone here at the Banff Centre. Truly amazing kindness for him to celebrate with us. He made 6 courses! I dont even know if I can remember them all, we had shrimp with tomatoe sauce, fried rice, teryaki chicken wings, pork with cabbage, some of the ladies in the residency made dumplings, I made a coconut quinoa salad dont ask me how that is chinese... and then we had a red bean dessert with red bean cakes. SO GOOD!

Earlier that day I got to do some RAKU here at the centre. RAKU is a form of pottery making, so I decided to give it a try. I attmepted to make a small watering pot for my small plant that was gifted to me on my house warming in Calgary... Lets just say that it has struggled to stay alive with me. I thought I would have no problem keeping a plant alive. I thought wrong. So this small pot (if it makes it through the firing) will help sustain this poor life that was left in my hands. Turns out I am equally awful at RAKU as I am with sustaining plant life.

Today I was locked out of the shop (where most my project is) so I worked in my studio a bit. It has been nice to have two worlds to work in. If one is not working or their happens to be a certain distraction there, I can just seclude myself in the other world. Turns out this distraction has become overwhelming and I must not focus on it, although it is hard not to. The lack of discussing this distraction is necessary.

I will blog again before Sunday, with pictures, and more time to elaborate as I am somewhat caught up on my doings now.

When did I lose it
That part of me
That loved you
I fear that it is not lost

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

If all else fails, add cream cheese

Please disregard the horrible cuticles here but admire the beautiful nail art done by Miss Richelle! In lou of ARTS birthday. Yes that is correct ART has a birthday, and it happened to be yesterday night here in Banff. Celebrations were had during ART's 1,000,049 fantastic party, many art productions occurred during the night and Richelle's Nail Station was one of them. Happy Birthday ART!

Tonight's dinner, there is a beautiful lounge in the bottom of our residence and we have been using it pretty much weekly for get togethers where someone always volunteers to cook. Tonight LUM (above right ) made a pea and pancetta risotto, Lisa and Nick (above left) made two very delicious salads, and I had the chance to make some dessert (below)

A fruit crisp! Meagan style of course. aka there was cream cheese involved...


Far left here is my roommate Joy and to her right is Candace Hopkins. Candace is the artist and curator running the Trading Post Residency which is concurrently happening with our residency. Candace gave an artist talk yesterday which was quite lovely, its always great to hear how our mentors came to the point they are in their respective practise's. I am looking forward to another artist talk tomorrow afternoon with Janice Kerbel, she is the artist currently working with the Walter Phillips Gallery here at the Centre. Janice's show KILL THE WORKERS opens this Friday evening.

Space Time Delusion

My week in Banff :) This wasn't even accurate, it was more like -30 since Sunday. Had a cold drive back from Calgary Sunday night, but with some good company. Dreamweaver was a trooper.

Posted on our bulletin board.

I had some company during breakfast on Saturday. The best part was the deer actually using the pathway and stairs to travel down to our plateau where the first deer was.

Some interesting things happening in my studio. Which now has heat, just in time too.

Couscous Tuesday with Richelle! An apple and blood red orange couscous with dried cranberries, almonds, and spices.

Had the chance to see one of the great shows here a the Banff Centre put on by one of the other residencies, it was a puppet residency. They had two intensive weeks to learn/make/perform puppetry. It was a fantastic performance and they actually were not allowed to have open dialogue, the language was within the movements of their bodies and enacting them within the puppets. I cannot even describe some of the amazing moments of pure brilliance in the ability to give an inanimate object life.

The seminars have been going good, Monday we covered a lot of ground in the excerpt from Greenblatts text Marvellous Processions. It was a really interesting read in a historic sense but its crossover to the way we understand image and culture is quite concerning and opened up a great dialogue within the class.

Monday w/Greenblatt
New Historicism being a new way of understanding the histories of art in the context of not just the artwork itself but also bringing into relevance the things that were outside of the frame that influenced its creation. Such as politics, race, location, material accessibility...etc. Surprisingly, this is a newer concept.
Anecdote Understanding what an anecdote is... perhaps my blog is a form of anecdote
UR moments
Being faced with opaque language
Treasures for trifles
Lessons in relationship to otherness in terms of art today
There will always be limits in art, we must know what they are and at that point also thoroughly understand how they work and function

Wednesday: Open dialogue
Understanding a decade: 1960
Pop art - Minimalism - Conceptualism
Conventions - Tendencies - Movements
Ahistoricism - fetish of the new
European vs American regarding movements tendencies and conventions
Media Specificity

Now I am off to create a delicious dessert for a group dinner with Lum and the gang...

One Day
To Day
Yester Day
Some Day
If everything were connected
and you
and I
made sense

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Mid Week Fragmentation

I made something!

Seems silly but I had a huge block when it came to creating anything even with this beautiful studio I have. Took a little talking to from LUM to get me going. I had my first studio visit with him yesterday and it went fairly well, I wish I could have had something to show him but as I mentioned before, lack of production in my studio recently. We chatted about my approach to art and why I am here, since I was questioning that from the beginning and it was clearly evident beyond my own self knowledge. He made some things clear for me and just in speaking with him I felt a bit more confident ( although you may disagree, I am constantly self doubting (perhaps one of my best/worst qualities)) So, I made some things and it felt good, although I am not happy with them as pieces they are out of me and in front of me to critique. Now, I can finally move forward.

On another note, my proposed work is moving along just swell. Most of it is in the wood shop so I have been down there a few times now making fine strides. I was hoping to push forward yesterday but the shop was closed due to a safety meeting of some sort. Photos to come :) ps. if anyone has a 6V adaptor to donate please let me know.

Odd news today though, I some how got an eye infection! I just don't understand how and the doctor of course didn't help me out much. I had to go to the emergency room, waited some length of time which did not bother me as I have over time acquired skills in sleeping at a vertical. Had to do an eye test which has been years for me! Funny enough I was 20/16 then and I still am now which is reassuring and an interesting personal factoid you can now know about me. I got a drop that stung, and a drop that dyed my eye orange (stand back boys) he took a look and decided there was nothing in my eye, diagnosed it as an infection (ew) and away I went with some drops in hand and a big orange ring around my eye. My only complaint (thus far) is that he sent me out of the emergency room giving me no knowledge of the orange cyclops I had become, seriously help a sister out! I walked a few blocks and even ordered a coffee before I realise my horrid new choice of eye make up.

In Regards to the Seminar:
We had a good conversation today with LUM in the seminar. We have two seminars a week with him, the first entailing conversations around a specific reading we are given and the second on any topic of the groups choice. Today,
  • we started with how art was affected within the recent Occupy demonstrations
  • progressing us to attempt to describe the Art World in a contemporary light and our positions within it or rather our cultural position in society
  • We discussed queer art, and the reality that if there were no queer art the Art World would be quite dismal
  • mid way it was stated that all artists are prostitutes
  • which led us to an ending question of doyou want your art to be in the context of high contemporary art... to which LUM stated our answer could only be YES otherwise why were we here?

Which as you have all seen in my past post I am sure, that I was questioning why I am here. It is healthy I guess, since if I were not questioning, then I would not be moving forward.

And I leave you now with some writing, poetry perhaps, I am unsure of what it is other than my own thoughts. Recorded in small books which you will see me carrying - always.

There must be a reason
Why I am still here
and you are not
I just wanted you to know
That I don't know
And I think that is ok

Monday, 9 January 2012

A sweet reunion with reality

So I had forgotten my cameras and was deterred from posting because of that. I feel rejuved in the ability to write but left quite daunt in my position at the residency. Lets back up a bit though...

I left you last with our orientation and introduction day. From there we were given the day or so to finalize a 10 minute artist presentation for the multiple areas within the center to view and learn a bit about us and our practice. This seems like a simple enough task, and I wasnt too concerned but I was overcome with stress because of it and the more I found out about the people I am participating with. They are all so well versed and dynamic in their education, I think I am one of the few that does not have a Masters. I know I am one of the youngest. SO I believe I put together a constructed presentation but do not believe it was my best showing, as nerves got the best of me and the inability to speak without people questioning if I had parkinsons definitely left me doubting my credibility.

After the presentation, I ended up travelling back to Calgary to be sure I got to the gallery openings. Fantastic shows going on in Calgary right now and completely amazing to travel back with Richelle and see everyone I did this weekend. A small reunion with an old friend who just arrived back in Calgary from Texas made the weekend exciting and unfortunately caused me to attach to the city in a way I never thought possible. I know now that in the future when I choose? to leave it will not be as easy as I once thought it might be.

In arriving back to Banff, I was able to bring much of my supplies from home so I can get started on my project! (I even rememebered my chargers for both cameras) So below you can find some images from the last week or so. I have organized the mechanics and slowly my brain is opening up once again to the world of motors, servos, positive, ground, and bread boards. Cant wait, I am starting with something called a geneva gear. I need to actually create the gear before I go anywhere. Oh, and I need to find mirror/mirrors/mirror like products. Any ideas?

Today was our first day of formal seminar with LUM. All I can say is I feel unworthy, and much more research and preparation will need to be done on my part to anticipate the questions and conversations for these discussions. I will have to really work on my memory skills which I feel is a battle I have been recently avoiding. Again, it will be a struggle keeping up with the fabulous minds surrounding me here. I question why I am an artist, but perhaps that is a good thing?

The Drive from Calgary

My room? I cant believe how nice they are. They make my bed for me everyday... I am spoiled rotten here

This is my studio?! Its massive! Apologies for the orientation of the picture, my computer is being snooty.
 This is the building my studio is in, right above the Walter Phillips Gallery and right below the rockies
This was my drive back last night. Full moon, no wonder I am questioning everything right now.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

The Rain

A slow moving day today organizing studios and touring the facilities. Finally got to meet Mr. Lum and had a great conversation with him. Already, we have been given a reading assignment which I am about to get started on.
My studio.... MASSIVE! I heard it is the same one that Matthew Mark had while he was here.... small world lol.
I found a letter press in the print studio today.... enough said? EXCITING
Really though, that is all, had a little meet and greet with everyone tonight. Realized that I will have to review my witty and casual humor levels, for they are very low and it is not helping me in the mingle and meet process. I do have to admit that I am quite intimidated by some of the people here, and I dont have the patience for that. Why cant we all just get along? Or maybe its just me? Story of my life...
Plus it rained the entire day, I wish it had snowed.