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Archive for May, 2009

Be_liveone of the very cool gifts of urban life is street art. discovering new pieces in random locations resonates with me on a bunch of fundamental levels. super creative people making the city their own, sharing it with the rest of us if we are conscious enough to notice.  everything from stickers to graffiti to stencil to paper and on… the act of civil disobedience inherent to the process of bringing (uncommissioned) street art to life.

VPL container

the dark

i definitely have my favs.  i can’t get enough of the paper roll ups which were around more last summer than now. anyone remember the boys with scooter heads on the abbott side of the woodwards site?  my fave was the old man who showed up on the back of the wooded side of 1000 parker.  i am not certain, but i think it was the work of the dark. i love that guy’s stuff. genius. unfortunately, all the pics i had of that time were destroyed recently, but here is a shot of the dark’s commissioned work this winter at the VPL.

lately it has been all about office supplies incorporated.  OSI is totally on a poster bender.  feels like i can’t turn a corner without finding another gem.  the latest was down on alexander, though my crappy blackberry camera refused to capture that particular photo, here’s one from just off main & 8th:

office supplies incorporated

office supplies incorporated

OSI was also generous enough to donate some fantastic pieces to the ‘It’s Yours Take It! free street art event at the Vancouver Art Gallery a few weeks back.  IYTI! was conceived in 2008 in the spirit of creating art and sharing it with others in a spontaneous way.  how freaking fantastic is that?  the flash mob of street art.  having taken place in cities like chicago, belfast and sao paulo, the organizers are already working on the next vancouver event set for august.  The theme is going to be re-used and recyle (trash to treasure).  can’t wait.

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hampster wheel

yesterday was election day in my fine province.  i had no real hopes that things were going to change radically. this is rather ironic considering an essential part of my job was to attempt to influence the outcome.  the depth of our 2-party partisan wedge First Past The Post system makes it almost impossible to imagine anything other than a hamster wheel configuration.

the thing is – we are the ones to blame.  the cogs, the people, the complacent, lethargic citizens who fear change and love to be spoon fed our opinions and beliefs, hold the critical analysis and self reflection please.  i know i sound bitter, but i guess i really am.

i woke up this morning to a world that is essentially the same as the day before.  only 48% of eligible voters even bothered to cast ballots. so much $ and time and energy put into a process that may see a turn over in faces, but politically it is the same moonscape as far as the eye can see.  and the future?  it ain’t so bright, friends.  not for healthcare, not for housing or the homeless, not for education or childcare – and certainly not for folks who are living in poverty and had hoped they may one day be paid a living wage to do the work we all take for granted each and every day.

being engaged in the political has for a long time been part of my own creative outlet.  It is something i will likely never stop doing.  but i got to say, not sure i am down with propping up the status quo one more second.  blech.  moments like these make me desperately want to exit stage left.  to quote the brilliance of metric, “burn out stars, they shine so bright.”

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stories

in my mind, the purpose of grad school was to learn more about the world i lived in in order to be more affective in the process of changing it.  i had all sorts of weird ideas for thesis work, none of which seemed to fit with any of my professor’s interests or research.  eventually i was nabbed by the crazy radical planning professor whose prestige had been built on collecting people’s stories.  stories of their experiences in their cities and communities, in their politics, in their identities, class, race, gender and in the intersections therein.

pump house workersi really dig people’s stories.  i didn’t dig so much that my thesis advisor had built her personal wealth compiling her student’s and friend’s personal tales and publishing said compilation under  her name…. but  i suppose i am just as guilty,  her books provided an inspiring read. (more…)

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i had the best conversation last night with an old, wise friend.  i can honestly say i would not be who i am without that guy.   he was the first to snap me out of my alberta bubble of early twenties self indulgent youth and gently nudge me into the world of global activism.   moving to the rainforest may have helped too.  oh ya, and a bunch of other amazing freaky fantastic peeps along the way.

it was good to take a moment and reconnect with that touchstone.  been struggling with the last round of WTFs… particularly and growing in importance: my own effectiveness in transforming my world to a place that makes more sense, is more just.  resistance for resistance sake has had its day.  with 2010 looming i find myself wishing that i could find others who i could gather and hash all this shit out with and together we could come up with something inspirational, based on a strategic and grounded vision of what we want to see come next. course i still haven’t been able to find the motivation to join the folks who are already organizing in town…..and herein lays my conflict.   any ideas out there?

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