Long time no chat.

Hello website world. It's been 7 months thus far that I've spent in Antigonish, Nova Scotia and theres a lot to share.
 

 Adventures abound in Nova Scotia

Adventures abound in Nova Scotia

 

Currently I'm one of five artists-in-residence at ASAP where I've been using the space to help me craft and launch concepts for installations. I have a bunch of crap in my space there... old radios, toy keyboards, paints, collage materials... basically any time I need to get my head working on a new project I go and spend some time making things in this studio. As it's shared with five other artists, it makes for some great conversations and a laid back work environment. I've also been voted onto their board recently, which is an honour as the feeling that ASAP gives me when I'm in the studio is unlike so many other places I've worked out of. To have the chance to shape the future of ASAP in even a small manner is exciting to me.

One thing I've been working on is interactive projection mapping, which has many applications. From experiential marketing, to interesting set design and interactive video installations... I can't wait to see how far I can take this.

I also have had three of my latest video art projects featured in two festivals. You can check those out here-
https://vimeo.com/210767222

https://vimeo.com/203832434

https://vimeo.com/144391204

Last but not least, I had the opportunity to curate and coordinate the 20th anniversary of the Gathering of The Arts festival in Antigonish. It took two months, but I was able to secure 12 venues to showcase 21 artist's work. I'm currently (very slowly) writing the final report for that.
 

Well, thats it for now. Onto finding the next contract and the next way to make the world a little prettier.

New video piece I made about gender and wrestling.

This is a short video piece I put together that was played during the "WWF Wrasslin' Fundraiser" put on by the ASAP artist centre.

It takes a look at what are usually considered to be a very masculine role portrayed in popular media and culture- the wrestler. Upon closer inspection, it's not hard to see how mouldable, flexible and fragile these rigid binary stereotypes become. They especially seem this way when pushed to their breaking point in the theatrical way that wrestling portrays.

Check out my installation called Ephemerality @longwinterto

After about a month of figuring out what exactly I was going to do for my Long Winter installation, I finally landed upon an idea. Below you'll find a video with no audio, but some text explanations and examples of the piece.

Thanks again to everyone at Long Winter who used some serious pixie dust or something to pull this all off!

Ephemerality is an interactive video installation that challenges participants to rethink their relation to time.

Slit Scan Video

On December 2nd, I'll be exhibiting at the Long Winter Festival at the Polish Combatants Hall in Toronto. Can't wait to participate again this year.

I've been working away at some slit scan video effects for my installation. This was a previous attempt, a study of sorts, so I could better understand what I wanted or didn't want in a video.

The installation I'll be presenting looks nothing like this. It's going to be an interactive piece.

Before I explain what the installation will be, here's a diagram of the general setup-

 Diagram I drew for Long Winter 2016 handlers/admins/awesome team people

Diagram I drew for Long Winter 2016 handlers/admins/awesome team people

Basically, I want this installation to be at the entrance to the hall as a welcome of sorts to the attendees. It has three components;

1. Video Camera fed via USB into my laptop

2. JavaScript running in Processing on my laptop

3. Projector outputting a live video

As folks walk by the camera, their image will be put through a code that interprets the pixels from the camera sensor into whatever I want- in this case standard slit scan video.

Imagine one vertical line of pixels being "pulled" from the centre of the sensor, and "smeared" horizontally across a wall- like dipping a fresh paintbrush in multiple colours of paint and running it horizontally along a piece of paper.

I'm really into impressionism as a style right now, and I am thinking that this piece, if executed properly, should produce some impressionistic effects.

I'm hoping to create a video of the process behind the piece and include an example of the prototype, then post that up here next week.

RAW Portraits of your favourite songs.

 01 22 (OVER S∞∞N) - A Portrait of Bon Iver's song.

01 22 (OVER S∞∞N) - A Portrait of Bon Iver's song.

My fiancé (oh yeah, thats a thing now) bought me two presents for my birthday. I got to open them early. One of them is Bon Iver's newest album "22 a million" which is just outstanding. The other is Bahamas is Afie, which came out years ago but I've been waiting till I could buy it before listening because I'm a fanboy of his.

As you may know I've been really delving into javascript, glitch art, data bending and more digital forms of creation vs. analogue forms or mediums. It's less expensive, more fun and allows for a greater visual understanding of the medium in certain forms once you know what you're doing- which I certainly don't as of yet.

One popular form of glitch art is glitched songs. There are many ways to process your favorite songs into weird glitchy sounding things, but one that interests me the most has a very "visual" element to it. It involves changing the file extension of an audio file to a RAW format which allows you to see the raw 1's & 0's of the file via a bunch of gray, black and white pixels. You then open that file in photoshop, toy with the file as if it were a standard static image, then save the file back into a playable audio format.

What really caught my attention with this specific processing method however, is the part in between. When the file is in a RAW format and viewable as a static image, it seems that every song has it's own unique finger print as it were. Above is the song 01 22 (OVER S∞∞N) from the aforementioned Bon Iver album. Below you'll see the next track 02 10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⚄ ⚄

 02 10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⚄ ⚄ - another Bon Iver track

02 10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⚄ ⚄ - another Bon Iver track

As you can see, comparing the two at a macro level reveals some obvious differences and patterns within the two. Where it gets really interesting though, is that more patterns are revealed as the images are zoomed in on.

Anyway, don't know if this will go anywhere, but I plan on at least turning this album into a gallery of images and posting them on the stills part of my website. So keep an eye out.

Watch my video- Read my newsletter.

Here's a new video piece I'm working on in preparation for Long Winter Festival 2016.

So blogs are great, but it seems to me that personal notes on growth and decision making are best shared in a setting that looks a whole lot more like an email inbox than a "professional" website (air quotes used heavily there)

If you want to signup for the newsletter, you can do so here. I'll be sending out personal and professional updates, quotes, videos I find interesting... basically it'll be like having a conversation with me but more one sided because I can't respond right away.

Goodbye Toronto, hello old friend.

EDIT! There used to be a longer blog post here, but I've decided to transition my personal notes and ramblings to a newsletter which you can subscribe to in the contact section of the website.

A new day, a new video and the possibility of a new life.
Today's colours are Red and Yellow.

In personal news, I am moving to Nova Scotia. Yup. I'll be "from away" for a time being. My partner got a job in Antigonish and I've decided to go with her. Toronto is a great city, it'll always be home.

 Me this morning, moments before writing this post. Why share this photo? I thought I looked cute this morning.

Me this morning, moments before writing this post. Why share this photo? I thought I looked cute this morning.

Here's a song that sums up my feeling recently.

It's gonna be a Long Winter again

Yesterday after work, I got home and almost passed out. Dead tired. Currently I'm driving a moving van and working as a labourer helping to stage and de-stage houses that are for sale. Lot's of couches and stairs. None the less, I went to the local coffee shop and got all the promo in order for Digestible Culture. When I got home, I passed right out.

After I woke up from a long nap, ate dinner, cleaned and folded laundry, my brain was still needing something to work on. So I decided to start teaching myself DataMoshing- or glitch art. I've had a love/hate relationship with this stuff since I first saw it in a Kanye West video and bubbling up through the depths of that SeaPunk look that broke through the pop-culture barrier a couple years ago.

Here's a few of my first attempts with photos, which are much easier to mess with than videos. 

Oh also, the team from Long Winter Festival which I exhibited at last year sent me an email last night saying that they'd like me to participate and exhibit again this year. I got all giddy and excited. Maybe if I can figure out this glitch video stuff before then, I'll be able to use it for a piece in their festival.EDIT! Just realized these images may not display right on all devices. I'll try and fix that


 

 This one was fun as I eventually figured out what little phrases and words combined in the raw data and code (well kinda) to get those lines to happen.

This one was fun as I eventually figured out what little phrases and words combined in the raw data and code (well kinda) to get those lines to happen.

 This one was really all about playing with the contrast and RGB values, which seemed to all be situated in a very specific part of the raw data.

This one was really all about playing with the contrast and RGB values, which seemed to all be situated in a very specific part of the raw data.

Colour My Day, Blue and Black

I'm really looking forward to possibly exhibiting all of these "Colour My Day" videos one day in the future. I am thinking of maybe projecting them all up at once, in a split frame video on loop. We'll see... so many projects and ideas, just gotta keep going till they pop out.

Today's colours are Blue and Black. Found these colours on my way to work.


I want to leave you with another excerpt from something I love. I'm currently reading "Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert and it's really helping me put my creative bursts- that resemble a manic state more than a creative pursuit- into some sort of context, hopefully making it easier to answer that weird little divine call of inspiration when it comes knocking. Here's a poetic quote from that book-

"Creativity is sacred, and it is not sacred.

What we make matters enormously, and it doesn’t matter at all.

We toil alone, and we are accompanied by spirits.

We are terrified, and we are brave.

Art is a crushing chore and a wonderful privilege.

Only when we are at our most playful can divinity finally get serious with us.

Melting Video v.2

This is another experiment with a melting video. It's so cool seeing just how psychedelic these videos can get, when the right source material is used.

Tonight I'll be showing a whole bunch of these outside of my house (hopefully) on a big stretched out bed sheet in the front yard as to add some creepy halloween ambience to our neighbourhood.

Talk soon all!

 

Melting Video- v.1

This is a new technique I'm playing around with. Visually I'm aiming to make the video look as if it's melting. I imagine the video acting as paint on a painter's palette, with a heat gun over top of it. Depending on the angle of the "heat gun" or the "palette" (read; video effect parameters) the video will shift, melt, freeze and create different patterns. I'm going to work more on this technique and evolve this style. Keep an eye out for more work like this.

I've lined this one up with a Bon Iver song because at 1am last night when I was working on this, I had the song on repeat and it's atmospheric nature seemed to fit somewhat well.

I don't really know as of yet how I'll apply this in my practice. I am thinking with a transparent background and a projector, this could be a great piece. Imagine watching this on the right background or texture... it could look like the video is melting off the screen or wall.

I found out that films/videos with stark lighting effects (ex. Film Noir) work best with this technique.

For now I'm simply enjoying the tactile feel this video has- almost like you could reach your hand into the drippiness of the frame, and pull out your hand to reveal some liquified Bella Lugosi on your finger.

Digestible Culture; Video Art Film Festival

On November 25th 2016 I'll be running a small film festival. It'll be called "Digestible Culture" and will feature the work of Andrew Stewart, Jessie Hannam and Kalen Artinian. I'm hoping to turn this into an on-going series featuring new artists with each iteration.

Digestible Culture is a film festival that challenges three filmmakers to each repurpose and respond to found footage pulled from the depths of the web. 

The filmmakers are given 50+ video clips they have never seen before from all genres of film and television and have 30 days to reimagine then re-edit that material into a whole new 3-6min long film.

Filmmakers have been given source material from two specific decades. In the case of our first presentation, the videos selected come the 80’s & 90’s. 

What will the filmmakers craft? I have no idea! There are only 5 rules;

1. Each artist gets the same source material- An assortment of 50 videos pulled from the depths of the web.

2. Not all videos have to be used, but you cannot use only one video.

3. You may not acquire new footage by filming or photographing anything. You must only use the videos provided.

4. Films must be no longer than six minutes and no shorter than three minutes.

5. Titles are encouraged.

 

This film festival will be a night of laughs, beer, food, special brownies and a celebration of video art. 

Before the screening of the three films, the audience will watch a 30min selection of the raw, un-edited footage that the filmmakers were given and then an intermission for food and snacks. Afterwards we will have some words from the filmmakers, and watch their wonderful new creations!

There will be time afterwards for Q&A and hanging out.

Digestible Culture aims to get artists and audience members alike to re-think how we consume, distribute, contribute and create our modern western culture within a visual medium.

Hopefully, D.C. will also act as a spring board for new collaborations and ideas.

Colour My Day; Orange and White

Next up in the "Colour My Day" series are the colours (and a shade?) Orange and White. The interplay of the shadows against the contrasting colours in this image is what initially drew me to film it.

In personal news, I'll have a big announcement to make in the coming weeks that may mean a big upheaval in life. Exciting things are brewing "from away."

I'll get some female poets up in here soon. If you can suggest some for me to read, please contact me! In the last post I quoted Rilke, today I'll leave you with something from another one of my favourite poets- T.S. Eliot.

    "...Shape without form, shade without colour,
    Paralysed force, gesture without motion;
    
    "Those who have crossed
    With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
    Remember us-if at all-not as lost
    Violent souls, but only
    As the hollow men
    The stuffed men."

 

New website, new offerings.

Through launching my new website, I am hoping to create new creative connections and rekindle past ones. To quote Rilke "I live my life in widening circles, that reach out across the world." 

In my time on this earth, I've learned the importance of community and exploration. As my circles widen, or grow, so do the mediums I choose to communicate with. This website allows me to stretch out my arms, eyes and mind to a global audience (narcissistic much?) and explore the world alongside the audience viewing my work.

To celebrate a new circle, I'm launching a project I hope to add to often. This project is called "Colour My Day". The goal is to explore fleeting moments of colour and geometry while trying to teach myself about time and aging- two contributors to my ever widening circles.

I'll be releasing a series of 4 "Colour My Day" videos through this website in the coming weeks before they go live on Vimeo. So keep checking back here regularly. I'll have a big announcement on November 4th, 2016 so stay tuned for that post too.

I hope you have a wonderful day, here's some silver and gold.