Category Archives: Art

Did Earth Day Not Quite Do It For You This Year?

Some years, Earth Day clicks for people in a profound way. I’ve spoken to a few who were distinctly non-plussed with how things didn’t come together for them and their dreams this year.

If you need some optimism for the rest of your week, check out this compendium. Pay attention to the ages of those in photos, and immediately scroll to the bottom to read what our dear Cascadian friends to the south got up to at U-Dub. What would that look like in your community?

Embrace peace, watch your footprint, look up for bald eagles, imagine the future you want and pick one thing to enact before Earth Day next year.

Earth Day 2013: Highlights from The Face of Climate Change

People across the globe came together for Earth Day 2013 and united in a single call for climate action. Participants in this first phase of The Face of Climate Change campaign shared their stories about how climate change is affecting their lives, showed the world what they’re doing about it, and made commitments to continue being part of the solution.

Below, you’ll find some regional highlights from the thousands of photo-testimonials we received between February 22nd and April 22nd, 2013.

via Earth Day 2013: Highlights from The Face of Climate Change | Earth Day Network.

A Pinterest is Worth 1,000 Blogs

OK, maybe not, but let’s try this.

I’ve been trying to figure out how Pinterest could complement this website. We’ve kicked it around and ended up speechless. Which is appropriate. See below.

I was asking the wrong question. And since I slid into Pinterest this week I can see that it is a silence generator. It’s an iconic language. It’s a place to let images wash over my axons and dendrites and pineal gland in a way to stimulate existence just like words, but without words.

So to fully embrace irony, I have now written a blog post about what Pinterest does for me.

And what better initial winding path in a field to meander along than steampunk:

Braids, Lights, Grimes: Canada’s Electronic Forces

There is some great art/electronic music coming out of Canada lately.

Lights seems to be quite well known. Grimes, now out of Tokyo, is rising in recognition as a talented musician, who has a nice vibe of offering us to download her music by donation. They are making Canadians proud that their particular talent comes from our nest. Check out their work below but first…

I suspect you haven’t heard of Braids. They are worth indulging in. Music is indulgence, don’t you know. Soak them in. On repeat.

Braids’ “Lemonade”:

Lights and Grimes:

 

Politics, Re-Spun Catches Up with Art for Impact, and Ou(x)po

On December 3, 2012, Politics, Re-Spun’s Kevin Harding spoke with Natalie Gan and Andrew Hawryshkewich about Art for Impact and its ninth show, Ou(x)po, which took place on December 8, 2012 at the Russian Hall.

Catch up on Art for Impact and their shows on the podcast, with some Rage Against the Machine for fun at the end.

Listen to the podcast here: itpc://dgivista.org/pod/Vista_Podcasts.xml 

Or you can listen to the mp3 file herehttp://www.dgivista.org/pod/2012.12.03.Coop.ArtForImpact.mp3

And below, learn about Ou(x)po, in case you missed it!

Ou(x)po, exploring the possibilities found within creative constraints…

All proceeds are going to Instruments of Change and their Women Rock! program, a 12-week project for women in the BC prison system to gain self-empowerment through learning to play rock instruments, forming bands, managing gear and writing songs.

Ou(x)po invites guests to roam the building and enjoy the many pieces (ranging from classical music and dance to shadow puppetry, clown, film and beyond), all going on in unconventional locations.

Doors open at 7:30 (featuring an art auction and a pre-show by musician Angie Inglis), show starts at 8! There will be drinks available for purchase, and this year we’re featuring an afterparty (10pm-midnight) featuring the awesome band Miss You in Tuques, and a raffle draw.

Featured Artists Include:
Zane Barratt
The Story of Force and Motion
August Bramhoff
Clara Shandler (Sidewalk Cellist)
Shauna Elton
Aaron Malkin/Alastair Knowles
Rob Kitsos/Flick Harrison
Jenni Rempel/Brian Shannon
Renée Sigouin/Kelly McInnes
Angelina Krahn
Lindsey Shaw
Areli Moran Mayoral/Tyler Layton-Olson/Diego Romero
Myola Pautler
Forbidden Flutes
Anna Kraulis/Amy Teper/Hannah Carpendale/Bronwyn McIvor
Erica Mah
Mika Laulainen
Dave Stevens
Stephanie Lai
Dr. Ray Hsu

Can’t wait to see you there!
~the AFI Team: Natalie, Anna, Alisa, Andrew and Kevin.

No, Taylor Swift. No.

[Here is what some of us have been wanting to say about Taylor Swift, but didn't because A. Lynn did it first, and perhaps best, reposted her with her kind permission. Thanks to Jarrah Hodge for pointing us to this piece of brilliance! Enjoy! - seb]

I’ve been mentally composing this blog for forever and now I’m finally trying to piece it together. Hm. How do I say this?

Y’all…Taylor Swift is the worst.

Whelp. There it is. That’s my thesis and let me now back it up.

I’ve long argued that girl on girl hate is awful and counterproductive so I’m truly trying to stay away from that. This isn’t a complaint about something nit picky like her hair or her clothes or her voice–I could take or leave it all. I mean, it’s true that something just rubs me the wrong way about her but I’m putting all that aside because I really do have legitimate feminist concerns with Swift and her place in pop culture.

1) Swift is peddling dangerous messages to girls.
I’ve written about this before so I’m not sure I need to rehash it all. Basically, the bulk of Swift’s music is focused on boys and them being her Romeo or her knight in shining armor. But Swift’s brand and its messages for girls goes beyond that. In a piece for the Huffington Post, Andrea Lampros detailed her experience at a Swift concert with her children. She said,

If you’re thinking you’ll see a sweet Southern singer/songwriter on stage with her guitar, a few pretty dresses, and simplistic but heartfelt lyrics, you won’t. The overwhelming message of the Swift concert to the sea of girls ages 5 to 55: be pretty, be conventional, be quiet (well, it’s OK to scream for me), and definitely put on some lipstick.

…The scene was sweet until you got to the CoverGirl stands (Swift is a CoverGirl) where girls of all ages sat on stools before stage mirrors to receive makeovers — perhaps selecting the lip and eye colors that Taylor wears.

…The message — you’re not really beautiful until you cake your tiny, pre-pubescent face with makeup — wasn’t the empowering one I had envisioned.

…I didn’t expect Taylor Swift to make any radical, edgy, feminist remarks, but I also didn’t expect Gidget meets the Little Mermaid. What an incredible platform for Swift to say something as simple as “Girls rock!” or something even crazier like “Love yourselves!”
Instead, she finished each song by looking wide-eyed into the crowd and noting how “amazing” it was that so many people came to the show and how “beautiful” everyone looked (incredible how she could see people with all those lights in her eyes).

2) She believes in the post-feminist myth.
Lampros wrote that piece in 2009, and now having heard Swift’s recent comments about feminism, I’m not surprised that her concert in no way challenged the super typical pretty, pretty princess messages that girls receive in their daily lives. When asked about feminism Swift said, “I don’t really think about things as guys versus girls. I never have. I was raised by parents who brought me up to think if you work as hard as guys, you can go far in life.”

This type of post-feminist nonsense is commonly peddled by people who have never really examined gender but who are asked about feminism and taken off guard. I expect that Swift is in that boat. Knowing her songs and persona, it’s no surprise that Swift doesn’t “get” feminism  (It would have been really shocking if she DID, especially given that there are so many voices, specifically other pop singers, disparaging it as well.) Jessica Wakeman at The Frisky pretty nicely summarized my thoughts on Swift’s comments.

Are we surprised that Taylor Swift doesn’t really consider herself a feminist? Not really. But it’s still completely dismaying that “guys versus girls” and that when women don’t succeed it’s because we just didn’t work hard enough is apparently what she thinks feminism is.

And you see, this is but yet another message that Swift is saying to girls…she’s quite literally telling them that she’s not into feminism because it views men as an adversary. It’s absurd. And if you think her audience isn’t listening or paying attention to her every action, you obviously haven’t been around a tween girl lately.

3) Swift is specifically marketed at the youngest girls.
The real kicker as to why I’m worried is because Swift is widely considered a “safe” option for tween girls. There are so few tween-friendly acts that when someone nice and sweet comes around, parents just assume that their girls should be listening to her. I remember when I went to the Miss Representation screening and one of the super concerned parents said something to the effect of, “It just feels like the only singer I can trust is Taylor Swift!”

I almost screamed. Like I mentioned when I blogged about that screening, too many of the parents were looking for ways to shield their kids from everything instead of actually helping their kids become critical consumers of media who analyze and question the messages they receive.

I have a feeling that if more parents actually stopped and thought about what Swift is peddling, they might not like what they’d see (like Lampros.) I remember having a discussion with my friend Myranda the last time I was home in Indy about how we’d take Nicki Minaj over Taylor Swift any day. I know it’s a controversial viewpoint, but it’s not a joke. When I stop and really think about the messages each of them are sending, I do have more concerns with Swift.

And, again, because Swift is specifically marketing at and intended for teen girls, adults far too often give her a pass without actually thinking about what they want for those girls. It’s not OK. Just because something appears innocent or cute, like Swift’s persona, it doesn’t mean that it’s not perpetuating the same sexist BS.

I understand that finding empowering pop role models for girls is nearly impossible, but perhaps we shouldn’t be looking to pop starts to be role models at all. Yes, girls will continue to consume pop music regardless, and that’s why it’s our duty as adults to have actual conversations about it all.

Art for Impact presents: Ou(x)po, Dec 8

If you live in the Vancouver area and enjoy arts of all flavours, and contributing to amazing causes, you will absolutely want to check out Ou(x)po, Art for Impact’s ninth show, upcoming on December 8. Here are some details:

Join Art for Impact at Ou(x)po

What: Art for Impact’s ninth event – Ou(x)po ! (oo-EX-poh)
Where: Russian Hall (600 Campbell, close to Hastings/Commercial)
When: December 8, 7:30pm – late
Tickets: Advance tix ($15) are limited, so get them soon! Otherwise they cost $20. All tix include the afterparty.

Buy tickets at inci.pe/ouxpo.

Join us for our 9th event, Ou(x)po, exploring the possibilities found within creative constraints…

All proceeds are going to Instruments of Change and their Women Rock! program, a 12-week project for women in the BC prison system to gain self-empowerment through learning to play rock instruments, forming bands, managing gear and writing songs.

Ou(x)po invites guests to roam the building and enjoy the many pieces (ranging from classical music and dance to shadow puppetry, clown, film and beyond), all going on in unconventional locations.

Doors open at 7:30 (featuring an art auction and a pre-show by musician Angie Inglis), show starts at 8! There will be drinks available for purchase, and this year we’re featuring an afterparty (10pm-midnight) featuring the awesome band Miss You in Tuques, and a raffle draw.

Featured Artists Include:
Zane Barratt
The Story of Force and Motion
August Bramhoff
Clara Shandler (Sidewalk Cellist)
Shauna Elton
Aaron Malkin/Alastair Knowles
Rob Kitsos/Flick Harrison
Jenni Rempel/Brian Shannon
Renée Sigouin/Kelly McInnes
Angelina Krahn
Lindsey Shaw
Areli Moran Mayoral/Tyler Layton-Olson/Diego Romero
Myola Pautler
Forbidden Flutes
Anna Kraulis/Amy Teper/Hannah Carpendale/Bronwyn McIvor
Erica Mah
Mika Laulainen
Dave Stevens
Stephanie Lai
Dr. Ray Hsu

Can’t wait to see you there!
~the AFI Team: Natalie, Anna, Alisa, Andrew and Kevin.

Call for Artists – Art for Impact 9: Ou(x)po

Art for Impact is a volunteer-run organization established in 2008 that raises awareness and funds for humanitarian and environmental issues, both local and international, through interdiscplinary art events. Art for Impact aims to bring wider community support for the arts while promoting and celebrating art’s capacity for social change.

Art for Impact is seeking artists of all disciplines to perform in our ninth event will be taking place on December 8th at the Russian Hall in East Vancouver. All proceeds from the evening will benefit Instruments of Change and their “Women Rock!” program, a 12-week project for women in the BC prison system to gain self-empowerment through learning to play rock instruments, forming bands, managing gear and writing songs.

Entitled, Ou(x)po, the show will explore the potential found within creative constraints.

Thus, we are asking artists to define their own creative constraints.

Upon acceptance, we will provide each artist/group with spatial and temporal constraints. Ou(x)po will be a gallery-style event where audience members will be encouraged to explore the venue and discover the multiple performances that are occurring simultaneously.

Thank you. and we greatly look forward to hearing from you!
The AFI Team — Natalie, Anna, Alisa, Andrew and Kevin

Interested in applying? See more here.

Sounds from the Diaspora: Asia Indie Music in Canada

Youtube has propelled Asian talents like Kina Grannis, Andrew Garcia, and Clara C to the forefront of DIY music fame. These Californian artists have garnered an overwhelming share of social media attention and it begs the question: do Canada’s indie industries compare? Are we capable of producing our own indie, Asian music celebrities?

We know that the Canadian indie genre is wildly successful, as evidenced by international celebrated bands like Stars and Arcade Fire. But it is difficult to find comparable Asian music from Canada, and as a Canadian of Chinese descent, I find this particularly distressing. Is Asian Canadian music not getting the recognition it deserves, or are Asian Canadians simply not musically talented?

Clearly, it is not a case of the latter, so I became determined to scout out these musical obscurities. Some of the most notable Asian songsmiths in the country include Youtube stars Andrew Gunadie and Andrew Huang, or gunnarolla and songstowearpantsto on Youtube, respectively. Gunadie is the co-producer of Canadian Please, a viral video hit that invokes fuzzy feelings of true north patriotism with lyrics like, “Where else do you find mounted police / Or go to the hospital and not pay fees? / Yeah I know that you wanna be Canadian, please.”

Huang must first be commended on his perfectly triangular eyebrows, but his claim to Youtube fame is otherwise based on his fearless creativity and his enterprising internet sass. The headline on www.songstowearpantsto.com says, “Andrew makes songs based on your ideas” and in a blog post he writes, “I’ve yet to be met with a song idea or a style of music that I can’t make happen.” In the past, Huang has met even the most challenging submissions head-on, including the suggestion: “I think you should write a song about a man ordering a burrito and being extremely intimidated by the size of it. The music should be Celtic techno.”

Gunadie and Huang both hail from Toronto, but No Luck Club is one of Vancouver’s own. “There’s a lot of hippies in Vancouver,” says laptop sampler Trevor Chan, “so we know when we do our funky thing, people are gonna throw down.” Along with his brother Matt Chang and DJ Paul Delen, the trio make up an electronic hip hop band which produces music in a chameleonic range of genres – from Hong Kong gangster movie soundtracks to activist sound collages.

It is all too easy in Canada to celebrate the success and prominence of our indie music industry and to forget that music from ethnic minorities still remains relatively unknown. The number of prominent Asians in the Canadian music scene speaks to our level of cultural diversity and is therefore worthy of our attention and support. Indie music will be even more a source of nationalistic pride when it is enriched by our sense of multiculturalism.

 

*Note: Know any other Asian Canadian musicians? Let me know about them in the comments! It was especially hard to find female Asian Canadian musicians other than Sook-Yin Lee and some of the members from Ohbijou so please let me know if you know of any.

Quebec singer Ariane Moffat releases single against Bill 78

Via OpenFileMontreal:

Quebec singer Ariane Moffat has released a song, entitled “Jeudi 17 mai 2012″, which is targeted squarely at the Charest government’s emergency law Bill 78.

Chanteuse québécoise Ariane Moffat a lancé une chanson, “jeudi 17 mai 2012.” Cette chanson est contre la Loi 78, enactée en réponse des manifestations contre l’hausse de scolarité. C’est, d’accord, magnifique.

Listen – Écoutez:

Yas A., Kagan Goh and Carmen Aguirre: Monday at 6pm on COOP Radio

Monday night at 6pm on The Rational on COOP Radio [livestreamed], 102.7fm in/around Vancouver:

  1. Alnoor Gova interviews Kagan Goh and Imtiaz Popat about the world television premier of their documentary Stolen Memories on Sunday, March 4th at 9pm on OMNI TV.
  2. Alnoor Gova also has the sublime opportunity to interview the renaissance woman Carmen Aguirre, who was recently the winner of CBC’s Canada Reads. And you should definitely watch this excerpt from her time on Strombo, and you can see her in IMDB here.
  3. Yas A with another instalment on Italian political song writers.

And the show archive is here if you missed it. It was a fantastic show! Well done, all!