Friday, April 28, 2006

The new dog....what to name her

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Hmmmmm.....never go to the SPCA and expect to NOT leave with a pet...this is the couldn't resist, had to have her, half basset, half german shepherd girl named.....well, she doesn't have a name yet. Any ideas?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Sergio y Vanessa at Diary of a Lost Circus

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This past Earth Day I attended with friend and former colleague, Colleen Ayoup a burlesque show at Petit Campus, called Diary of a Lost Circus. It was quite a smashing little show, with tons of entertaining and diverse acts, from steel guitars to boob tassles (naturally) to mimes, and bag pipes. At times the stage, and ambience of the bar resembled the tinted lantern hues of an opium den, and at other times, a good ol' Nova Scotian ho down... all in all - quality entertainment - with a touch of classless class (or brash class - my fave). There was tons of talent on stage, from across the country - but have to say, my heart goes out to Sergio y Vanessa...the sultry spanish duo - with all their fantastic acrobatics and facial expression....definitly a follow up performance is in order.

WARNING: boobs. butts and mustaches galore.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Grand Central Dancing

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A breakdancing troup, breaks it down in Grand Central Station, New York City - to a large commuting crowd, they show off their talents in true New York style. This is just one more of the interesting detours that NY has to offer its constituents and those who flock to the city looking for some artistic, street flavour.

People breakdancing in a New York subway, to me, is what makes the history, and the trends, music, and style that has originated in this city so unique. This artistic communique and dialogue is media at its realist, grittiest, strongest, and finest. Out of the bubble of the internet that often protects us from direct interaction - here is a dose of culture that is so vibrant, that it makes you stop and take notice...the subway is an art gallery of its own - more modern than MoMA....and a lot less expensive.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Potato peeling vendor in NY

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Just returned from New York city over Easter weekend.  So much to see, so these next few posts will be dedicated to this boistrous city.  We stayed at the Virginia House in Spanish Harlem, a great, vibrant neighbourhood, and had the most wonderful staff, room, and wireless internet (so there was no excuse for me not to be blogging/vlogging...but I still thought that I would save all my tales for when I returned. 

 This is a fun little video from Rob and my first day there, where a smooth talking potato peeler vendor puts on a show to sell his wares. Aparantly he has been selling these little gadgets for 15 years in New York, so next time you are downtown, pick one up...just $5 a piece, or 5 for $20..."they make wonderful gifts...and your friends will think of you eveytime they set foot in the kitchen!"

you can also check out photos on my flickr page and on Rob Maguire's page as well.


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Who Owns Culture?

One of my favourite, dedicated Montreal media activists, Patricia Bergeron, the project leader of Parole citoyenne, sent me this video, Who Owns Culture? this is a creative commons film, produced and by Lawerence Lessig, of a speech that he did roughly one year ago, about (of course) the detriment that the old laws of copyright have on our right to freedom/power of creative expression, and open contribution to our culture. He gives a brief history lesson of the "1st Napsters", those technological tools to pirate and/or share creative works of art of others, without paying royalties:

1. player piano companies -were making copies of sheet music - no royalties were paid to the composers
2. radio - broadcast free airwaves of music without paying performers
3. cable tv - antennaes to capture broadcast and sold to their viewers without paying the broadcasters
4. sony beta max - video recorder...basically a machine begging to pirate material.

...and now we have the abundance of digital technology and know-how to share and pirate, and create, and be users, makers, shares, and speakers...

and the past has shown us that when ever there has been a new technology that threatens the copyright law...the law has waited to let the technology evolve, before making an assesment of their destructive qualities ... and the law has always favoured the PIRATE. And, this is because, the positive creative capabilities of the technology have outweighed the destructive ones.

DIGITAL technology is not allowed for this waiting/understanding period - there is an immediate demand, that the NEW techology fit the old law...NOW.

..and, this change from the past, is because it is no longer the CORPORATIONS engaging in piracy - it is the masses, and there has been a push to stop this collective sharing.

Lessig makes it clear that he is against Piracy - that you should not steal the works of artists, but that he is against this "war" on digital technology, and their future creative potential. That these creative tools can and are being used for more than just "hoarding" the artistic property of others, but can be used to make culture, and creatively contribute to our understanding of culture and our surrounds. Especially this boom in re-appropriation, and jamming of mainstream media and culture...the Digital Creativity - remixes and mash-ups, and re-expression of culture, and the tools to share these new creative .

and then he puts it out to us (the contributors!)...that the discussion needs to be turned from the "experts" and that this debate needs to observed in its "natural" techno-online environment, and away from the arguers, and those paid to argue:


- but to listen to the creators, and the future creators.

This is definitly a neat little video, with fun web-famous mashups and remixes included, made by the your average culture contributor and their home computer...who are taking this exciting power of expression and the tools we have, to make them their own shareable contibution and commentary to our culture.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Chin-Yee family fluff

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Making films (and media) will do something to you...or to at least how you interact with the your surroundings. The complete need (and yes, it is totally addictive) to document all things that you do, because they seem to hold some kind of significance, or could at least be interesting to someone (who that is, is often the more grey area of your conviction that there needs to be record of this existing...somewhere), takes a hold of you, and you end up experiencing all moments that seem to be worth remembering, through a screen, with the intension of experiencing later...

all this explanation is overy grandiose (and if you have read this, now you definitly know that you are not in for very much...) to the video that I have put online today...


I was going through old miniDV tapes of mine, without any clue what was on them, and found my documentation of my family (the Nova Scotian Chin-Yees) at Christmas in 2003 - and then skip ahead to last Christmas - 2005, where I had begun my addiction to taping everything on my still digitial camera that has video capacity.

This is dedicated to those that will be entertained, or who at least understand the craziness that is my family, and of course, to the embarressment of my family members.


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Autonomous Media : activating resistance and dissent

I recently returned to a favourite book of mine that came out a little less than a year ago, this is Autonomous Media : activating resistance and dissent, self described as, "a collection essays on street-wise, do-it-yourself media projects. Because this book is not just about saying, but is primarily about DOING."

This collection was compiled by local Montreal media activists, Andrea Langlois and Frédéric Dubois, and is a great, cohesive collection of media testimonials and essays of all sorts, on the topic of self represented, local, grassroots media. Filled with useful links, active groups, and ideas for getting involved in your own local initiatives.

I have appropriated this book, as an inspirational commute read, toilet read, and awesome pick me up, when feeling bogged down by the enslaught of corporate media.

I highly recommend everyone to find a copy of this (Cumulus Press book) publication, and also check out their site/blog, made by non-profit web design organization koumbit, also commited to the use of open source software.