Saturday, November 29, 2008

Eco Drawing Brings You Full Circle

Circular Painting from Fly on the Wall on Vimeo.

Groups like the Barn Stormers have made a name for themselves with time lapse drawing. This project was done on a circular wall and filmed with a rotating camera. Having done a smaller project like this I appreciate the effort and love its blend of good aggressive drawing, voice overs, great filming, and cool music.

I found this video on the Doodlers Anonymous blog.

Monday, November 24, 2008

An unstoppable force

Ahmed Fadaam, an Iraqi refugee working in Elon, North Carolina had his sculpture vandalized on Saturday Nov. 15th, 2008. Someone came into his studio while he was away and attacked a statue of women he was preparing to cast. It is too ironic that Ahmed was at the Visualizing Human Rights Conference in Chapel Hill when this act occured. Add to this that the statue is in honor of women in Iraq who are loosing their freedom through intimidation and violence. It is also too ironic that Ahmed had his art and University art program destroyed in 2003 during the looting of Baghdad. Most people would throw their hands in the air and give up.

Ahmed has repaired the sculpture, after documenting the violence leveled against it. He writes:

"I have fixed the statue and will cast it soon, nothing can stop an artist from doing his work and tell his message, art survived and will always do because of us, the artists. and a bunch of people like those who burned my school in Baghdad in 2003, or those who have attacked my statue now will not stop you or me. All the best and God bless you."

More on this event with pictures of the damage and repair can be seen at:

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Project Orange: New Twist on Graffiti

My students love the graffiti art aesthetic. Here are some Detroit artists making a very different statement with orange paint.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Iraq, Paper, Scissors

I recently read a quote that said there are only two kinds of people; those who create, and those who destroy. I had been thinking about that statement a lot when I came across this project on my friends' blog Groundswell. These Iraqi veterans are reinventing themselves in a profound way. This is a touching and thought provoking project.

He Showed the Way for Others

Joseph Bueys showed the way for many activist artists. His belief in the healing value of art, his funny little performances that come with such wise content, and his life affirming narrative that buries the monster ego of war, are all sign posts that point us in the right direction. This video has dialogue that is hard to hear but is still worth watching.

Worth Reading

Found this on my friend Roch Smith Jr's website. Worth repeating.

The Mountain Disappears
By Leonard Bernstein

I believe in people. I feel, love, need and respect people above all else, including the arts, natural scenery, organized piety, or nationalistic superstructures. One human figure on the slope of a mountain can make the whole mountain disappear for me. One person fighting for the truth can disqualify for me the platitudes of centuries. And one human being who meets with injustice can render invalid the entire system which has dispensed it.

I believe that man's noblest endowment is his capacity to change. Armed with reason, he can see two sides and choose: he can be divinely wrong. I believe in man's right to be wrong. Out of this right he has built, laboriously and lovingly, something we reverently call democracy. He has done it the hard way and continues to do it the hard way--by reason, by choosing, by error and rectification, by the difficult, slow method in which the dignity of A is acknowledged by B, without impairing the dignity of C. Man cannot have dignity without loving the dignity of his fellow.

I believe in the potential of people. I cannot rest passively with those who give up in the name of "human nature." Human nature is only animal nature if it is obliged to remain static. Without growth, without metamorphosis, there is no godhead. If we believe that man can never achieve a society without wars, then we are condemned to wars forever. This is the easy way. But the laborious, loving way, the way of dignity and divinity, presupposes a belief in people and in their capacity to change, grow, communicate, and love.

I believe in man's unconscious mind, the deep spring from which comes his power to communicate and to love. For me, all art is a combination of these powers; for if love is the way we have of communicating personally in the deepest way, they what art can do is to extend this communication, magnify it, and carry it to vastly greater numbers of people. Therefore art is valid for the warmth and love it carries within it, even if it be the lightest entertainment, or the bitterest satire, or the most shattering tragedy.

I believe that my country is the place where all these things I have been speaking of are happening in the most manifest way. American is at the beginning of her greatest period in history--a period of leadership in science, art, and human progress toward the democratic ideal. I believe that she is at a critical point in this moment, and that she needs us to believe more strongly than ever before, in her and in one another, in our ability to grow and change, in our mutual dignity, in our democratic method. We must encourage thought, free and creative. We must respect privacy. We must observe taste by not exploiting our sorrows, successes, or passions. We must learn to know ourselves better through art. We must rely more on the unconscious, inspirational side of man. We must not enslave ourselves to dogma. We must believe in the attainability of good. We must believe, without fear, in people.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Slum Dog Millionnaire

Every now and then a movie comes along with a window into another world. In the US, we usually expect space ships and aliens to take us to a new place. This movie does it with a mix of Hollywood, Bollywood, and documentary approaches to show the rest of us life in modern India. When plane tickets to travel overseas are rising out of reach for most, a ticket to this movie is a bargain passport.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

No Message, Just Cool to Watch

By Black Dice.

Our Daily Bread

Official Website for Our Daily Bread

Director Nikolaus Geyrhalter has made a film that is as cool and unblinking as the machine that is our industrial food production industry. Cute little chicks are seen moving on conveyor belts like so many soda bottles, pigs legs are lobbed off and intestines separated by bored, machine like workers. Devoid of dialogue the films moves from one scene to the next engrossing as it is gross. In some ways this film shows just how natural our abuse of the natural world is; actions taken without remorse, just one life form feeding on another. Whether we fit into the web of life is another question. Watch this for a window into a world that ends on all our plates.

This excerpt starts out slow but stick with it. You will be surprised at what emerges from this sterile lab-like room. More excerpts are available on You Tube.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Speech as Art

This "special comment" transcends its medium to become art- pure and simple. I place it beside MLK's "I have a Dream" speech.