Monday, May 25, 2009

Warwick Thornton at Cannes Film Fest

the Camera d'Or has gone to filmmaker Warwick Thornton. i am so pleased! the line-up of big films at Cannes this year left me cold, apart from Aussies Jane Campion & Thornton. i loved his two short films at the Dawson Film Fest last month, and i'm just thrilled to hear that Thornton's Samson & Delilah has won this prize. hopefully this means the film will actually get released over here.
here's an interview that pretty well sums up his attitude about art & life.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

live/work artist space: Wychwood Barns

had a great time visiting Artscape's Wychwood Barn project last week, for my Habitats column at blogTO.

i dropped by a year ago & had doubts that the building would be ready for residency in November...
but in fact--despite a few changes to the architect's plan due to budget shortfalls--the Barns are great. with The Stop's food program, the Saturday market, LEED certification, and some good art events, they're really living up to their environmental & community commitments. my only quibble: the one-room live/work studios are VERY small.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Rats of Las Vegas - new cover art

the cover for my novel is looking fantastic. the artwork is still in process, but this is the basic idea for the hardcover version of Rats of Las Vegas, coming from Enfield & Wizenty in the fall.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Snow in May

en route to the subway yesterday, in the 19 degree sunshine, i was a little perplexed to run into slush & snow at the corner of Honest Ed's. a bit more on the film shoot, my post here at blogTO.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Ursula Franklin, scientist

through the whimsy of wikipedia's daily entry, i stumbled upon Ursula Franklin, a Canadian metallurgist, thinker, and pacifist. she's a Quaker, has long been affiliated with U of T, and she's fascinating! she has written a great deal about technology & its impact on our lives. in the 1960s, she worked on analysing the radioactive isotope levels in children's teeth, which contributed to stopping atmospheric weapons testing. and she's just gone from there. i'm hooked by a few quotes i've found from her:
"Silence possesses striking similarities [to] aspects of life and community, such as unpolluted water, air, or soil, that were once taken as normal and given, but have become special and precious in technologically mediated environments."
which gives me something to think about, when next trapped in an elevator with piped-in music & overflow static noise from a neighbour's pod-like headphones.

"Today scientific constructs have become the model of describing reality rather than one of the ways of describing life around us… . Because the scientific method separates knowledge from experience, it may be necessary in case of discrepancies to question the scientific results… rather than to question and discount the experience. It should be experience that leads to a modification of knowledge, rather than abstract knowledge forcing people to perceive their experience as being unreal or wrong.”
a balance of knowledge & experience, of science & feeling. i have a feeling i'll be reading more from Franklin.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

walking the 'hood

i had a fantastic Sunday, walking through Beaconsfield Village, starting at the fabulous Gladstone Hotel...around 80 people turned out for my "Secrets & Lies" walk as part of Jane's Walk. which was wonderful for me because i had the chance to hear great stories from people who live or used to live in the neighbourhood. gorgeous weather, too, which always improves a walk!

Friday, May 01, 2009

Jane's Walk

it's sunny & i'm heading out to walk around Toronto for the weekend. there are 117 different walking tours of the city, all free, all in honour of Jane Jacobs, the urban activist who spent the second half of her life in Toronto...just a few blocks from where i'm writing this.

No one can find what will work for our cities by looking at ... suburban garden cities, manipulating scale models, or inventing dream cities. You've got to get out and walk. (wrote Jane Jacobs)

Jacobs died barely 3 years ago, but her legacy of passionate, intelligent interest in how we live in our cities continues. Jane's Walk celebrates her legacy...and this year, the walks aren't only in Toronto, they're international!

tomorrow, i'm leading a walk through the streets around the Gladstone Hotel--THE IMAGINARY LIFE OF BEACONSFIELD VILLAGE. we meet at 11:30, behind the hotel (at Gladstone & Queen West) so if you're in town, see you there?