farm city!

dance dance revolution.

January 31, 2010

The Red Detachment of Women. Chinese Ballet. Premiered 1964.

My sister is enrolled in the now-defunct woman’s studies program at Guelph University. She’s writing a paper on this play, The Red Detachment of Women. Women revolutionaries, dancing, guns – this shit must have inspired Marcel Dzama’s recent work, a music video and his Sobey Award nominated series.

The Red Detachment of Women is a ballet based on a novel by Liang Xin about a peasant girl in Hainan Island and her rise in the Chinese Communist Party. The novel was based on the true stories of 100+ member strong all-female Special Company of the 2nd Independent Division of Chinese Red Army, first formed in May, 1931. As the communist base in Hainan was destroyed by the nationalists, most of members of the female detachment survived, partially due to the fact that they were women and easier to hide among the local populace who were sympathetic to their cause.

I don’t have a lot of respect for ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics,’ but I do appreciate the decades of Prop-Art.

(That quote is from Deng, by the way – he basically took over after Chairman Mao’s passing. Art + History, fun!).


text love.

January 26, 2010
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The Regional Assembly of Text. Vancouver.

A friend of mine bought me a button from this store when she was visiting Vancouver last month.
The button was great and the shop looks real good too – lots of non-digital design, letterpress notebooks and stationery, wooden boxes, a letter-writing club, and buttons!
The space is small and functions as a store, a gallery, a library and a studio.
If you’re in Vancouver and appreciated hand-crafted goods, check it out. Consequently, get into it on the net, too.

red cap.

January 20, 2010
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Jacques-Yves Cousteau. 1910-1997.

Personal Style Guide.


i like it.

January 19, 2010
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Department of Eagles. “No One Does It Like You.”

Directed by Patrick Daughters and Marcel Dzama.
A good track. A good video.
Obviously a lot of influence from Dzama here – the video seems aesthetically and thematically linked to his previous work.
You can see my first post on him HERE.

the kids, alright.

January 19, 2010
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Sandinistas. Zapatistas.

hold fast.

January 18, 2010
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MacLeod Clan Motto.

I recently read an interview with Cape Breton author Alistair MacLeod. Although he doesn’t have any tattoos, MacLeod said that if he did get inked, it would be the words “hold fast” on his bicep.
The interview was accompanied by a great illustration of Old Alistair with said tattoo, but alas I can’t find the image on the WWW and I don’t have a scanner. Maybe one day I’ll post a follow-up…
Anyway, I found this bad-ass photo of someone’s knuckles, all family-motto’ed-up.
I was impressed with the motto and with the tattoo. Made me wish that I had some Scotch ethnicity, some hard family motto. I did some basic research but nothing turned up for Lamovsek or Kavcic. I guess that’s understandable?
My friend Dave is a Matheson, and his motto is also great: do and hope.

pick and shovel, pick and shovel.

January 13, 2010
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Sam Cooke. Chain Gang. 1960.

I have an awful job. For days I’ve been picking, shoveling, jack-hammering, shoveling, picking rock.
I can’t get this song out of my head. Minus the racism, the indentured labour, the ball-and-chain, I might as well be working on the chain gang.

Posted in sounds

build it.

January 12, 2010
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fixed gear bicycle + baltic birch wood

Not sure who built it, but this combines my favourite things: nice bikes, beautiful wood, excellent craftsmanship.
See the bike specs here.

Posted in designs
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a history of canada.

January 9, 2010
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Old-time forestry. And animation, too.

goddamn the cpr.

January 6, 2010
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Canadian Pacific Rail. 1881 – Present.

Art by G.Y. Kaufmann, 1924.

Art by Norman Fraser, 1937.

Art by Peter Ewart, 1947.

Art by Roger Couillard, 1955.

Four decades of rail-travel-ads.
Train is the best way to travel, mostly because of the style. Conductors’ aesthetic, dining car elegance, great posters.
I first encountered Kaufmann’s 1924 poster on the wall of an old lover of mine. Made me dig deeper into the golden age of print advertising, look further into the loveliness of train-travel.
Though I’ve driven a car, ridden in a bus, flown by plane, hitchhiked – basically criss-crossed this country many times over – I’ve never taken a train all the way West. It’s a dream of mine, to get one of those ‘sleeping cars’ and a three-piece suit, ride in style.
Check out the CPR site for a really great graphic history.

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