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July 22, 2012

Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters 205 – Radio Activity

Filed under: Art Matters,Podcast — Ninja @ 10:46 pm
Artscape at Wychwood Barns Where NAISA’s home is

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205HotFRM (60Mb)

For the last eleven years New Adventures in Sound Art has conducted what has been known as a Radio Without Boundaries art symposium.   This year the name was advertised as the Trans X Transmission Art Symposium.  This symposium was part of the Deep Wireless festival of radio and transmission art that was held throughout May this year.   I have for the last several years wanted to attend and this year I was able to.  I wasn’t sure what to expect – but I found that it increased my interest and appetite for sound experimentation.

From the program here is the abstract from Darren Copeland’s opening remarks:

“Rooted in the earliest experiments with radio, Transmission Art has continued to flourish with experiments with wireless communications technology over the past 100 years. The 21st Century is not excluded from this experimentation as artists have ventured into exploring a variety of mobile based platforms and more lesser known forms of transmission such as VLF (very low frequency transmitters). The terrain of transmission art is dynamic and fluid, always open to redefinition.   With NAISA being a sound art organization, we ask the question: What new sound art experiences are possible in the transmission and mobile media platforms?“

Darren Copeland is the founding Artistic Director of New Adventures in Sound Art and a Canadian sound artist.

For today’s show I recorded one of the last sessions of the weekend, this one led by Victoria Fenner.  It was  broadcast live during the symposium, but this is my version of it from my Zoom H2 and binaural mics tightly secured in my ears;  complete with rustling, coughs,  laughter, and one or two minor factual errors – and by that I mean to let you know up front that It wasn’t Hector that screamed twice during his performance,  it was  James just in case that’s not clear.   So here is  what ended up being the spur of the moment panel discussion led by Victoria, with the ad-hoc studio shared with Ninja, Galen, Jim, Tom and Hethre.  Also mentioned:  Twitter, Soundcloud, iTunes, FM, Community Radio, Citizen Journalism – Other Links:

http://www.naisa.ca/deepwireless/

http://free103point9.org/about

http://nplusonemag.com/

http://islandsofresistance.ca/

Listen to the show:

205HotFRM (60Mb)

Victoria Fenner at Work
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March 11, 2012

Copyright : http://www.flickr.com/photos/photopia/with/6796758098/ Some rights reserved by HiMY SYeD / photopia

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Or Download HotFRM 203 (36mb)

Podcamp is more than a way for podcast hobbyists to get together once a year and talk about how we are podfading. Although, we did that too. It was also about social media, networking, how to use social media and other internet community tools to make a difference be it artistically or politically. That’s what podcamp is for me. All the different ways people are using the internet and social media to make a point, or make money. I must admit, the monetizing bit somewhat escapes me. Maybe because I am not making any money doing it.

To set the stage, for this show, it’s Saturday, podcamp toronto at Ryerson University, late February. We’re at the end of a full day of half hour sessions. A group of us are sitting off to the side after the last session, just chatting about the caveman diet, running, meditation and one woman’s father’s book called Dancing in the Mirror, self described inspirations of peace and joy. Oh yes did I mention the caveman diet?

People in the podcast community in attendance:  Bill DeysScarborough Dude, Bob Goyetche, Valerie,  Diets mentioned:  The Paleo, Caveman, Hunter Gatherer.   Podcasts mentioned: Dancing in the Mirror  Surround Sound Sites Mentioned: Holophonics

http://www.crossfitmodig.com/
http://www.crossfitmodig.com/

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Or Download HotFRM 203 (36mb)

February 21, 2012

Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters 202 – It’s So Fruity on My Tongue

Filed under: Podcast — Ninja @ 10:58 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,
Sabba’s Hookah (Photo by Ninja)

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The Hookah is a single or multi-stemmed device for smoking tobacco. The smoke is passed through a water basin before inhalation. And the smoke is inhaled through a long hose, a slender flexible tube that allows the smoke to be drawn for a distance, cooling down before inhalation. In the Arab world, it is used as part of the culture and tradition. Social smoking is done at parties and at cafes. Last week Special K and I visited Sabba and Burt and we were treated to the relaxing ritual of hookah smoking. Sabba bought her hookah on a trip to Egypt years ago and decided to share the experience with us. Shisha is the tobacco smoked in a hookah. It is a very moist and sticky tobacco that has been soaked in honey or molasses. There are a variety of shisha flavors including apple, plum, coconut, mango, mint, and strawberry. I’m not sure what kind we had, but it was definitely a fruit flavoured shisha. It was a pinkish red colour that Burt mistook for mashed cranberry when he first saw it. According to tobaccofreeu.org, it doesn’t matter what you smoke in a hookah, it is just as dangerous as cigarette smoke. Hookahs generate smoke in different ways: cigarette smoke is generated by burning tobacco, while hookah smoke is produced by heating tobacco in a bowl using charcoal. The end product is the same—smoke, containing carcinogens. Oh well. It doesn’t matter, we had great fun.   Listen to the soundscape of the wonderful time Special K and I had smoking a hookah for the first time.

(Sources: Wikipedia and tobaccofreeu.org)

Listen to HotFRM 202

or download: Hotfrm 202 (44mb)

Announcement

Just like Auntie Vera Charles, Mevio.com is no longer allowing me to use their site for podcasting hosting.  My account has been suspended.  I knew this day would come and that’s why several months ago I purchased space on the wordpress site and started to post the show directly here.   It’s the second time in six years that I have lost my podcasting host.  It also messes with my iTunes feed, that now stops at episode 201.   So until I find a new host and recreate my iTunes entry, I’ll continue to post here.

 

December 23, 2011

Hot Fossils and Rebel Matter 201 – A Snow Globe Musical Mashup

Filed under: Art Matters,Humour,Podcast — Ninja @ 7:25 pm
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An Anne Keenan Higgins Stocking Hook – (Photo by Ninja)

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Today I give you a Ninja original Snow Globe Christmas Mashup with ambient household white noise including the refrigerator.

Reindeer in Tutu with Santa (Photo by Ninja)

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November 26, 2011

Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters 200 – A Trip to the Museum of Gender Archaeology

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Every year, Toronto participates in an all night festival of art known as Nuit Blanche, so named because it colloquilally means “all-nighter” in French,  but literally means “white night”. It’s a sunset to sunrise event on the first Saturday of October. There is so much to see all over the city, and it is by design impossible to see everything. The most popular events seem to be the ones that use lots of light shows and sound. For example, many exhibits feature projections against walls and buildings. One exhibit that was a hit was the tennis point played over and over all night long called The Tie-break. It was a re-enactment of the legendary fourth set tie-break from the 1980 Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Singles Finals between Björn Borg and John McEnroe. That would have been something to watch. But we limited ourselves to one area of only a few of many possible events that night.

First we dropped by the Museum of Gender Archaeology that eventually led us into the GendRPhone booths. I’ll admit, apart from the gender changer, commonly used for electronic connections, and the display of so-called ancient bathroom signs for male and female, most of the meaning of the items in the small collection were lost on me. And Ninja is all about exploring the nuances of gender. I get that it was meant to represent a future bygone world of gender dualilty and it was a great start, but it simply wasn’t enough for me. I love shock factor in art (I just revelled in the outrage caused by the kissing of the pope and the imam), and I wasn’t shocked, merely amused. If that is what the artist was after, then it that sense, it did succeed. The installation invites us however to re-imagine our gender. On the gendRphone, you can select the sex and gender of a potential lover and hear their words of love. In the words of Marshall McLuhan, “When you are on the phone, you have no body”.  Just a disembodied voice. I love that concept. It’s full of possibility. Not sure that the installation piqued my imagination though. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood.

My favourite installation was the sound and poetry presented by a local group called New Adventures in Sound Art.  Go figure. I loved the beat and words that went with it. You’ll hear some of that. The last two installations we went to were light and sound shows. The first was called Night Light Travels and the second was another installation by the NAISA (New Adventures in Sound Art), called Sonic Spaces (The Kinetics of Sound). Both used feedback mechanisms and other triggers to change sound and in some cases light in real time. A Markov chain is a mathematical system that undergoes transitions from one state to another, between a finite or countable number of possible states. The next state depends only on the current state and not on the sequence of events that preceded it. This kind of “memorylessness” is called the Markov property. Markov chains have many applications as statistical models of real-world processes and Shawn Pinchbeck uses them to evolve the sound in Sonic Spaces. He also used Vocoder (Voice encoder) technology and theory to change what we hear in the installation.

Have a listen and see if any of this art is your cup of tea.

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November 12, 2011

Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters 199 – I Want My I Want My MT…Therapeutic Seal

Filed under: Art Matters,Humour,Podcast — Ninja @ 8:24 pm
Tags: , , ,

This past summer,  Special K, Dragon, Fly and I went to Ottawa’s Canadian Museum of Civilization.  The highlight of the visit was the exhibit called Japan: Tradition.  Innovation.  The exhibit showcased Japan’s achievements in design.   I wanted to take home everything I saw, including a robotic seal intended for elder care.

Links:  Japan: Tradition and Innovation at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Therapeutic Seal, Museum of Civilization


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September 10, 2011

Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters 198 – Filling Up and Spilling Over

mmm…doesn’t that look refreshing?

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Are you a lesbian? Have you ever been a lesbian? Well Holly Near was. Singer, songwriter and activist, she was a lesbian-feminist in the heady, crazy days of early gay and women’s liberation. In the 70s she sang with the prolific and talented ladies of Olivia Records; with the likes of Cris Williamson , Meg Christian, and Teresa Trull.  Olivia Records eventually stopped producing lesbian-feminist music and morphed into a cruise line and travel company. Oh and Holly Near herself morphed into a heterosexual.

Today’s show is about the Olivia Travel company. During a recent trip to Ottawa, we had the pleasure of dinner with some friends of our travel companions who live there. Talk turned to what it was like to holiday in a resort exclusively for women. Also mentioned, in case you don’t know her, is the comic Karen Williams who has worked as a comedy writer, host of In the Life, and featured in the documentary We’re Funny That Way. Marga Gomez, as part of the resort entertainment, was also on the trip. Other Musicians Mentioned: Carole Pope, Kevin Staples.  Other Artists Mentioned: General Idea, A.A.Bronson.  Lezebrities Mentioned: Rosie O’Donnell

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August 19, 2011

Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters 197 – Watermageddon

Filed under: Art Matters,Podcast — Ninja @ 7:50 pm
Tags: , ,
This is How Much Water We Have to Use for 7 Billion People

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On Canada Day this year, July 1st, Special K and I went to Royal Ontario Museum, the ROM to view three separate exhibits. The first is on water, what it is, what it means to us, what it means to everything on the planet and how little of it there actually is. The second was an exhibit of Edward Burtynsky’s photography. A well known local and international photographer, the exhibit showcased some of his more stunning and beautiful pieces. I try to describe his photography as I move through the display. See what you think. The last exhibit is a display of Bollywood showcards and I try to get you interested in the delights and promise of the most popular cinema art form in the world.  Important Links:

The Big Picture Science Podcast

http://www.ec.gc.ca/eau-water/default.asp?lang=en&n=300688DC-1

How Much Usable Water? Really?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_distribution_on_Earth

http://www.allaboutwater.org/water-facts.html

Listen to the show

 

August 5, 2011

Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters 196 – Pride 2011 – An Interview…or Two

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Dina Paige explains SIS (Photo by Ninja)

At 1:20am on the morning of Saturday June 28, 1969, police entered a Mafia run gay bar called the Stonewall Inn. It is still located at 51 and 53 Christopher Street in Greenwich Village New York. The police had raided the establishment countless times before to take their payoffs. It appears that the combination of delays getting patrol wagons to the site, police mis-communications, and undoubtedly, a growing sense of frustration with the constant raids, a riot broke out on the street, amid crys of “Gay Power”, against the police. Michael Fader, quoted by David Carter in the book Stonewall: The Riots that Sparked the Gay Revolution, explained:

We all had a collective feeling like we’d had enough of this kind of shit. It wasn’t anything tangible anybody said to anyone else, it was just kind of like everything over the years had come to a head on that one particular night in the one particular place, and it was not an organized demonstration…. Everyone in the crowd felt that we were never going to go back. It was like the last straw. It was time to reclaim something that had always been taken from us…. All kinds of people, all different reasons, but mostly it was total outrage, anger, sorrow, everything combined, and everything just kind of ran its course. It was the police who were doing most of the destruction. We were really trying to get back in and break free. And we felt that we had freedom at last, or freedom to at least show that we demanded freedom. We weren’t going to be walking meekly in the night and letting them shove us around—it’s like standing your ground for the first time and in a really strong way, and that’s what caught the police by surprise. There was something in the air, freedom a long time overdue, and we’re going to fight for it. It took different forms, but the bottom line was, we weren’t going to go away. And we didn’t.   (source: Wikipedia)

This period in American history also coincided with other civil and social movements of the time, including the African-American civil rights movement, the counterculture of the 1960s and the anti-war movement. The riots lasted for the next six days. It stands as a marker and pivotal moment when the gay liberation movement in North America came of age. Since that year, the last weekend of June has been a weekend of choice for Gay Pride parades, the world over. During the 1970s, Toronto had over the years various events to mark gay pride, but in 1981, after the Toronto bathhouse raids by police where 306 men were arrested, Lesbian and Gay Pride day was incorporated and Toronto’s first official celebration occurred on Sunday June 28.

This year the parade – known simply in Toronto now as “Pride” or the “Pride Parade” was held on July 3 during the Canada Day and American July 4th long weekend. The first year since 1981 that Pride Day wasn’t held on the last Sunday of June was in 2010 when the G20 summit literally closed down the Toronto core during the last week of June. Now it seems that between the city and the Pride Committee, the decision stands to hold it on the long weekend in July, a move that barely conceals the money making, tourism, and commercial nature of the week long Pride festivities.

I am not alone in feeling this way among Toronto queers, but we all don’t feel that way either as CP tells me in today’s show recorded during the pride weekend this year. I should apologize to CP because she might actually wished I referred to her as SP. So…sorry about that SP. D’oh. In today’s show I also talk to Dina Paige, a woman who has created the S.I.S. or the Sexuality Identification System. Using different categories, I can chart my level of femaleness, maleness or gender ambiguity that show where on the gender spectrum I define myself. I spend a few minutes talking to her about that. Enjoy the show.
Listen at:

HotFRM 196 (16mb)

July 29, 2011

Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters 195 – Savage Beauty and a Little Bit O’ Gershwin

A Typical McQueen Creation

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Special K follows the fashion world, so it made sense that she didn’t want to miss the late designer Alexander McQueen’s retrospective Savage Beauty. It was showing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art during our New York trip. I’m normally not so keen on fashion, so I didn’t expect to be blown away by the exhibit. On Feb 11 2010, McQueen tragically killed himself in his London flat at the age of 40, just days after his mother’s death. He was known for his runway spectacles, outrageous edgy performance art meant to compliment his fashion creations and make a statement. I didn’t even know any of this about him when I followed Special K and Dragon into the first gallery. Despite the crushing crowd, straining to get a glimpse of his works adorning mannequins and on display platforms, I lingered over what I realized were oddly compelling works of art. I couldn’t believe that anyone would collect razor clam shells, strip them, varnish them and then drape them over a woman’s body or make a leather suit with bleached denim attached and taxidermy crocodile heads. I think the pieces that intrigued me the most were his monstrous lobster claw shoes and the endless variety of masks, some playful, some nightmarish, adorning the mannequins’ heads. To me, it is brilliant, ironic, and a little mischievous that these pieces are even called fashion. Instead, each garment tells a story and makes a point, sometimes terrible as illustrated by his collection called Highland Rape. 

Besides seeing this exhibit, we also took Dragon and Fly through Central Park and through an photographic exhibit by the Korean artist Ahae. Walking through the Vanderbilt Hall in the Grand Central Terminal, we saw but a small sample of the many photographs he took over the course of two years from one window where he lives and works in Korea.

And what trip to New York would be complete without a pianist in Washington Square Park playing Gershwin’s iconic Gotham tune Rhapsody in Blue?

Washing Square Park Rhapsody
Playing Gershwin in Washington Square Park (Photo by Ninja)

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