Friday, July 1, 2016
Thursday, June 30, 2016
Now that we are allowed to talk about the Lower Mainland real estate market as a commodity market driven by foreign financial institutions (mostly Chinese), something similar is happening in our provincial parks, where RV rental companies are snatching up campsites and, after doubling or sometimes tripling the government permit price, are adding them to travel packages geared at the tourist market (mostly European).
In other news, the Vancouver School Board has said no to the provincial government's suggestion that it sell VSB-owned land underneath the Kingsgate Mall (valued at 80 million dollars) in an effort to balance its budget. In response, B.C. Education Minister Mike Bernier tweeted: "Very disappointed the #VSB had a chance to help students and they said no they would rather own a mall."
Mike, how is selling the Kingsgate Mall lands going to help students? Not the students in school today, but those down the road? A longer term solution might involve sharing some of the property transfer tax revenue the government has benefitted from despite having lost millions of it while turning a blind eye to the now-outlawed practice of "shadow flipping."
Which brings us to another recent announcement: the B.C. government will once again regulate the real estate industry (the previous premier, Gordon Campbell, had it deregulated because his brother the moneytalker told him to), this time appointing a Superintendent of Real Estate.
Parks have superintendents, schools have superintendents, so why can't real estate?
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
The inheritors of NAFTA are meeting in Ottawa today. I wonder what they will talk about. Brexit? Likely. A national housing program? Doubtful.
Doubtful Señor Mexico will remind Señor Canada that the latter is the only G8 country without a national housing plan.
Doubtful Senor Canada will suggest that a national housing plan would not be an issue if the current Vancouver real estate market was not such a global shit show -- as corrupt as the now-defunct Vancouver Stock Exchange that preceded it.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
While visiting Jeremy Borsos's Mayne Island studio in advance of his Immaculate Debris exhibition at Deluge Contemporary the artist showed me a picture he made (rephotographed) from four photographs he purchased online, after typing in the words "lens obstructions."
What unites these photographs, what makes their assembly a work of montage, is the four corner distribution of their "obstructions" -- what becomes, in effect, a super finger.
Immaculate Debris is up until July 16. Click here for my exhibition text. And here for one of my favourite rawk songs, ever!
Monday, June 27, 2016
Yesterday Julian and I worked on "Caged Bag", an art song we are composing for the hell of it. After a couple hours we took lunch at Don't Argue, then to Dynamo, where artists Andrew Lee and Khan Lee (above) have mounted Ascending: Black, White, and Brown, an installation featuring electric organs (Farfisas, Galantis, Wurlitzers) that the two gathered ("free") from Craigslist and placed on a seven-step stage.
Once installed, the organs are plugged in and, as if to prompt the gallery-goer, objects are placed upon their keys. The result is a drone that begs to be broken, but like most of what passes for life these days, can only be augmented, diminished or suspended.
Here is Julian:
Another gallery patron below him:
And another at the foot of the stage, on the church organ:
Ascending is up until July 3.
Sunday, June 26, 2016
One of the most powerful of the unchallenged subject positions took a hit this week. Not in Great Britain, not in the UK, but in England, home of the English.
Could I really believe what I was hearing on the radio as I was driving around town on errands: that the English could be so confused about who they are as to vote in favour of something they did not think would happen and are now signing petitions so that they can vote once again for what they really want in a political economic relationship?
As for Scotland, it is this country's residents, not England's, that should have (had) a bigger say at the dinner table of what we might soon be referring to as the FUK (Former United Kingdom).