Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Gastown Police Riot




Long before the mayors of Burnaby and Vancouver took a stand against transnational companies and their potential threat to the environment, when a magazine like the Georgia Straight concerned itself not with the advertising revenues of private developers, as it does today, but a critique of the social forces behind such companies, there was the Gastown Police Riot.

Friday, November 21, 2014

On Burnaby Mountain




My respect and admiration for those who, on these rainy days, have left the comfort of their rooms to take a stand on Burnaby Mountain against a Texas-based oil company that wants to make as much money as it can, by whatever means, and a Canadian federal government that is acting as its enabler.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


A small room inside a bay window. A single bed, a table and chair, and a sink. I could manage something larger, with more conveniences, but I could never match the view.

At my bedside are four books. Each book has a different bookmark.

For this one, a plastic picnic knife:

“Immersed in solitude, he would dream or read far into the night. By protracted contemplation of the same thoughts, his mind grew sharp, his vague, undeveloped ideas took on form.” -- Joris-Karl Huysmans, À rebours (1884)

For this one, a receipt of its purchase:

“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” -- Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own (1929)

For this one, a real-estate agent's "Just Sold!" postcard:

“I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.” -- Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space (1958)

And for the English translation of Karl Ove Knausgård's My Struggle: Volume One (2012), a printout of Kyle Buckley's November 4, 2014 Hazlitt interview with its author:

"I feel the novel is very much like a room, or rooms: that you’re in this room or that room, and that the whole aim of writing is to create a room where you can say something. And that’s what writing is about. You have to build up a place where it’s possible to say something. If you understand what I mean."

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Lobbing Potatoes at a Gong (1969/2006)




The above work was made at the Western Front (1973-), in a large upstairs room known as the Grand Luxe Hall.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

"Numb" (1993)




Received in my inbox this morning notification of SFU Galleries' upcoming For a Long, Long, Long Time: The Music Appreciation Society Presents Drones, to be held at Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre on Wednesday, November 19th at 7:30PM.

Say what you want about U2, but who can forget their 1993 "Numb", a monotonal droner that the band released as the first single from their Zooropa album at the height of their record-selling powers.

Note the opening of the video, which features an impatient homage to Bill Viola's He Weeps For You (1976), with later allusions to Yoko Ono's Cut Piece (1965) and General Idea's Body Binding (1970)