Archive for the 'Art' Category

Oblique Strategies

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Oblique Strategies was created in 1975 by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt. It’s a deck of cards, and each card contains a vague suggestion, aphorism, mood, or whatever.  The idea is that you draw a card for inspiration or direction when you get stuck; it’s a tool for breaking creative blocks. Brian Eno makes a lot of his art and music using random processes like cellular automata and I think that kind of stuff is pretty far out, so I was curious to see what the cards were like.

The contents of the following deck were painstakingly extracted by hand from an ancient Visual Basic executable, using a hex editor. It consists of 132 cards from the third edition. 

Click to draw a random card.

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Wednesday, August 6th, 2008


Vague Undertakings, Nihilism, Man Man

Monday, April 2nd, 2007

Friday night was the Vague Undertakings opening at the Chapel, featuring music from The Clips, Bend Sinister and Panurge, and art from various artists, including: Gabe Deerman, Adam Dodd, Wendy Dyk, Neal Everett Nolan, Chloe Gammon, Sally Hutcheon, Robert Mearns, Melissa Pavlovic, Evan Shandler, Ed Spence, Terra Varey, and Contexture Design Workshop.

The Chapel was a funeral home now converted into an artist-run space, and it’s an absolutely incredible venue. The main chapel room acoustics are wonderful, with a good sized space for dancing, and there are plenty of other hallways and rooms for mingling and looking at art, and even a pool table upstairs. I arrived late and missed the Clips, which was a little disappointing, since of the three bands playing I enjoyed their myspace tracks the most, but Bend Sinister and Panurge both brought solid, energetic sets that really got the hipsters moving.

The art is up at the Chapel (on Dunlevy near Hastings, around the corner from Pat’s Pub) until April 15th; do yourself a solid and go take a look. I’m really looking forward to seeing more events there.

Saturday night I had a dream that I was in a classroom writing an exam. It was in a large lecture hall, and I was supposed to write an essay about nihilism. I wasn’t worried at first, confident that I knew quite a bit about the subject, but then I realized that I hadn’t been to class all term and didn’t have the text books that everyone else was referring to (it was an open book exam I guess). Also, I had to write it on blue construction paper with a white crayon. I started to get angry and frustrated — why didn’t I study or go to class? I tried asking the prof for clarification about the topic, but he was mumbling and I couldn’t understand what he was saying. I ended up just drawing a big white circle on my paper and handing it in in a fit of pique.

And then Sunday was the much-anticipated Man Man at Richards on Richards. I had high expectations for this show, all of which were surpassed. The sheer quantity of gear on the stage was staggering, with all manner of objects to crash and smash and shake in a seamless frenzy. Unfortunately the opening band, Victoria Victoria, was boring boring. The best thing about them was the drummer’s mustache, but it could not make up for shitty lyrics and weak melodies. They were fine at the Lamplighter a few weeks ago, opening for other local bar bands, but they had absolutely no place opening for Man Man.