design

Vancouver’s Neon Neighbourhoods

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ovaltineHaven’t been here in a long time and I thought I’d open up again on the blog to show some of the things I’ve seen and done lately. Almost a year ago now I co-curated an online exhibit with the Virtual Museum of Canada and the Museum of Vancouver about Vancouver’s neon history. The exhibit is called The Visible City and I highly recommend it for the stories and the images, told and captured by some of Vancouver’s finest including Dal Richards, Joe “Sh*thead” Keithley (DOA), Gregory Henriquez (architect of the new Woodwards complex), Mark Brand (Save On Meats), and Bill Pechet (Great White Way on Granville Corridor) .

This post links you to many of the photos I took for the exhibit, which I’ve featured here in my Neon Neighbourhoods set on flickr. Enjoy!

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“We” back-lit on Sunset Beach

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, originally uploaded by inklake.

Caught this with my iPhone.  Phenomenal sunset last night behind “We” by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa. Part of the Vancouver Biennale on English Bay above the appropriately named Sunset Beach.

Vancouver Opera gives Lillian Alling world premiere

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If you’re thinking about heading out for a walk this weekend, you’re probably planning on a few hours, tops – and likely on pavement, or at very least a well-worn path.

But when Russian émigré Lillian Alling went for a walk in the 1920s, she strode clear across North America – through dense bush and over steep mountain passes – with nothing but the clothes on her back and an iron pipe for protection on her way from New York to British Columbia, then north to the Yukon.

Complete article here.

Stunning commitment to original work from the Vancouver Opera.  Here is another example of their innovation.

Song Dong’s mother lode: Beijing artist turns mom’s hoardings into art

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What a sight: The second storey of the Vancouver Art Gallery, usually stark and pristine with priceless works of art, is filled with stuff. It would not be unfair to call the items, spread out on the floor across three large rooms, junk. But these things – pop bottles, cans of Raid, bits of outdoor carpeting, socks – were a treasure to one woman, and as such have travelled to art galleries around the world in a monumental installation called Waste Not.

This installation is the work of Song Dong, a noted Beijing-based conceptual artist. Consisting of more than 10,000 items, as well as the frame of the tiny house where he grew up, Waste Not serves as a memorial to his father, Song Shiping, and a tribute to his mother, Zhao Xiangyuan. There are strong echoes here of both the Cultural Revolution and of China’s new consumer culture. And there’s an environmental message too: Nothing in Zhao’s life was thrown out, or went to waste.

Full article here at the Globe and Mail.

UBC E-BEETLE FIRST ELECTRIC CAR TO CROSS CANADA

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History made in an E-Beetle.

This is an amazing accomplishment!  6,400 km in 16 days, showing the durability of electric-powered cars.  If you want to follow their whole journey in retrospect, here’s the UBC Electric Car Club’s E-Beetle blog.  And here’s their video:

From their site:

At 6:00 PM AST, the UBC Electric Car Club’s E-Beetle arrives at ALDERNY LANDING, DARTMOUTH NS and is the first-ever electric car  to complete a coast to coast voyage across Canada. Starting on August 21st, 2010, the E- Beetle has covered 6400 kilometers in 16 days (2 days break in Quebec

waiting for Hurricane Earl to pass) without any support vehicles, using only existing infrastructure.

The E-Beetle’s voyage has been featured on Wired.com, CTV, CBC, and in print media across Canada. The public is able to track the E-Beetle’s arrival by GPS via the UBCECC website.

The E-Beetle is powered by a Lithium Iron Phosphate battery pack with a capacity of 50 Kilowatt Hours, giving it a range of 300km at 100km/h and 500km at 50km/h with a top speed of 140kmh. Charging time is approximately 4 hours.

New Yorker: Banned Book Bummer

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Censorship, to our way of thinking, is generally bad news. Is there ever a good reason to ban a book? Maybe not, but the cause for a recent Canadian ban on Annabel Lyon’s “The Golden Mean” strikes us as particularly silly. BC Ferries, a maritime transportation service in British Columbia, has removed Lyons’s novel from its bookshops—not because the author penned a controversial scene or racy bit of dialogue, but because the paperback’s cover art features a naked man’s rear-end!

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Over at the ABE Books blog, Richard Davies offers this humorous assessment of the offending cover: “It’s a very nice naked bottom and the horse’s naked arse isn’t bad either.” And as for protecting children? “As a father of four-year-old and eight-year-old girls, I can vouch that children wouldn’t give a flying fig about the arse on this book cover.”

Lyons’s own response to the ban seems equally apt. The book will not be available at BC Ferries stores, she writes in a blog entry, “since the trade paperback still features a bare bum on the cover. Oh, BC Ferries. You have one too, you know you do!”

Read more on the New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2010/08/banned-book-bummer.html#ixzz0xUmWdIE6

Golden Mean cover too “offensive” for BC Ferries bookstores

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You won’t find Annabel Lyon’s brilliant debut novel, “The Golden Mean”, on BC Ferries bookstore shelves anytime soon due to a no-nudity policy.  I wonder if bookshops in Florence refuse to sell books that feature images of Michelangelo sculptures or if the Musee Rodin wraps a “belly band” around the nudes on display there.  Seems to me if you have to have a no-nudity policy at least you consider what the object is.  This is a book that should be celebrated, not kept off the shelves because of a misguided nudity policy.  Seriously, is there any possible way of misinterpreting this cover image as offensive?  If so, I’d like to know how.

Bare bums are banned at the B.C. Ferries bookstore — even when they’re on the cover of an award-winning novel by a New Westminster author.

The offending work is The Golden Mean, by Annabel Lyon, which won the 2009 Rogers Writers’ Trust fiction prize and was in the final five for both the prestigious Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award.

Lyon wrote on her blog earlier this year that the novel, while on sale in paperback across Canada, was not available on B.C. Ferries, “since the trade paperback still features a bare bum on the cover. Oh, B.C. Ferries. You have one too, you know you do!”

B.C. Ferries spokeswoman Deborah Marshall defended the move Friday.

“The publisher of this book approached us over a year ago,” she said. “Because we’re obviously a ‘family show’ and we’ve got children in our gift shops, we had suggested we could carry the book if there’s what’s called a ‘belly band,’ wrap around the photo.”

She said when publisher Random House refused, B.C. Ferries chose not to carry the book.

The cover features a picture of a naked youth on a horse and the book is a fictional account of the time the philosopher Aristotle was tutor to a young Alexander the Great.

“While some people might think it’s art or appropriate or whatever, parents of young people might not think it’s appropriate for young children to view,” added Marshall.

The book has been widely praised in literary circles.

“In this alarmingly confident and transporting debut novel, Lyon offers us that rarest of treats: a book about philosophy, about the power of ideas, that chortles and sings like an earthy romance,” reads the citation for the Rogers award.

Read more.