Squatter un satellite… Étienne de Massy at DAÏMÕN

February 5th, 2013

Friday evening, while exhausted from an escalating cold, I took a planned-detour on my way home in order to be immersed in beauty. I went to DAÏMÕN, where a compilation of Montreal-based artist, Étienne de Massy‘s work was being screened. From beginning to end I sat with an audience of captivated fans, as de Massy’s […]

#BustOutYOW… it’s Maker: Nigel Vezeau

January 16th, 2013

This month I caught up with Nigel Vezeau, an Ottawa-based maker. This post is part of the #BustOutYow series which aims to showcase people and projects that are creatively intervening in and engaging with the architecture of our surroundings; that are discussing or revealing public stories –publicly. They are people who are playing and learning […]

Why *make*? To affect quality of life.

November 29th, 2012

  ‘Making’, ‘to make’, ‘maker’ are more of those questionable terms like ‘new’ and ‘contemporary’ – used within the current cultural dialect with ambiguous and broad meaning. Most importantly though, like ‘new’ and ‘contemporary’ they all pack a powerful punch as far as representing evolving human creativity. While, making is still most often categorized as a […]

Contemporary Art World – please drop the “”s around New Media and help establish the artists of this aesthetic.

October 31st, 2012

Time and life has changed radically in the last 20 years. Most people are now vested in, and depend on, multiple forms of digital technology in their day-to-day routines. Starting a post with this argument, even sounds antiquated, as Western dependency on the digital is woven in to so many elements of life and the […]

What’s wrong with digital art? – Part 2 with Jason St-Laurent

October 19th, 2012

The Problem with Digital Art is the Future   “[New media art] questions everything, the most fundamental assumptions: What is a work? How do you collect? What is preservation? What is ownership? All of those things that museums are based upon and structured upon are pretty much thrown open to question.” – Jeremy Strick, Director, […]

Art technically/ a sample of Nuit Blanche Ottawa artists

September 20th, 2012

On Saturday September 22nd, Ottawa will host its first Nuit Blanche, an all night event which sees artists take to the streets to animate them in new ways and to temporarily alter the pedestrian path into a new culturescape. Here are a few projects that are of particular interest to me for their sophisticated uses […]

The gulf between theory and reality (We are not a creative city part 4)

September 18th, 2012

Wow it has definitely been more than a week since my last crack at this – where did summer go?! As things started to ramp up to September I fell behind posting, and then I had a tragic wordpress incident as I was trying to post a while back that saw my words disappear into […]

What’s wrong with digital art? – Part 1 with Jonathan Shaughnessy

September 10th, 2012

In having been asked to lead off this discussion, the relevant issue that comes immediately to mind is a about autonomy and/or integration. Should new media be afforded a special or separate artistic status in comparison with more traditional media? Is this what artists want? If so then is the challenge for a contemporary curator to recognize distinction before integrating media arts into the fold of contemporary art and exhibitions? Doesn’t the nature of new media art itself often aim to challenge the very nature of traditional (gallery) art viewing contexts and behaviour? Isn’t it possible to accept that all contemporary art, from new media, to photography to painting are more or less different branches of one big diversely coloured tree? On the face of it I have always looked upon media arts this way, as one avenue artists have open to them for exploration. Of course particular knowledge and aptitudes are required (as they are for any artistic medium) but if the goal is to create an art object then is there really that much difference when it comes to reconciling media arts with everything else? Or do I have this all wrong? Like language laws enacted to protect the cultural fabric of a minority community within the broader mainstream, is this how those who speak in media art’s name feel with respect to the governing structures of the contemporary art world; i.e. that to make all sides compete as though the playing field is equal is to place the distinctiveness of what makes media art media art at risk?

We are not a creative city! (Part 3)

August 14th, 2012

This is the third installment of our tête-a-tête with Cultural Planner and artist Kwende Kefenste.

My catchy title might betray what I would like to be a more constructive discussion. Kwende has usefully unpacked the crossroads of cultural planning and creative city branding for us to consider the creative class concept in a wider context. What this broader view highlighted to me was more about the general nature of theoretical analysis, rather than specific issues with Richard Florida. Theories about the city, like Florida’s (or Jane Jacobs/Ebenezer Howard/Le Corbusier/…), are extremely important as innovative filters for understanding a complex world. However, the world we act in is not a theoretical framework. The gulf between theory and reality is wide and challenging to cross. Messy reality is filled with tension and compromise of all kinds. What I would like to talk about in this post is navigating the reality of a specific place; the role of art in guiding that navigation, and most precisely the role of cultural organizations and cultural practitioners building those routes with the people of that place.

#BustOutYOW → The Laser Musicbox

August 8th, 2012

It’s perhaps fitting that my last post opened the ‘#BustOutYOW’ project with an ambitious aim ‘to beam your content to the world’ and this post picks up the challenge with a tangible laser-based opportunity. Christopher Smeenk, a researcher working between the University of Ottawa and National Research Council within the Joint Lab for Attosecond Science […]