Friday, 5 September 2014

Is it worth considering whether Joseph Beuy's theory of Dutch Light could be transposed onto the regional landscape of the lower mainland? Beuys lamented the loss of a particular type of light that had historically reflected off the Zuyder Zee in Holland. The fracturing of the luminescent "mirror" that redirected sunlight off the sea and into sky was due to the installation of marine structures along the Dutch coastline in the 1950's to thwart erosion and flooding. The brilliant quality of this light was beloved by landscape artists who infused their work with the azure blues and puffy ivory clouds that often grace paintings we readily identify as "Dutch". As debatable as Beuy's theory is- whether Dutch Light is specific to Holland, or whether it has in fact been threatened due to development- it gives rise to a larger question which is whether this is merely an effect of a specific maritime geography, and if so, does it exist along a coastline such as Vancouver's? Intuitively I think the vast array of water features here creates pockets of aquatic light that simulate the Dutch effect. While muddy in hue there are Fraser River tributaries, but there is also the sea, the humidity that mountain lakes and streams produce, and pristine mountain reservoirs along the north shore which all contribute to some form of collective reflection. Such light has arguably framed the landscape photography of Jeff Wall, Rodney Graham, Stan Douglas and a host of street photographers in much the same way that Dutch Light infused the work of van Ruisdael, van Goyen and Vermeer.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Framed the clouds mock the end of summer. Fancifully some of us considered Jospeh Beuys notion of Dutch Light and in doing so conjectured the possibility of Vancouver Light or rather New West Light. In any case this proved to be a disused transformer matrix that was freely open to visitation.

Further afield and near the river we considered without excavation the markings in the gravel. Evidence suggested a rally of sorts. A large truck with twinned rear tires racing alongside a normally wheeled vehicle appeared to have agreed to a joint launching ceremony.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Lost and Found #6. The police cruiser washed up on shore after years of futile searching. It was discovered resting against the midden side of the point. Rescue efforts are now directed towards the recovery of the remains of two officers attached to the island police force. Details to follow.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

A sluice gate is the site for staging a view. We arranged ourselves and took turns. With each turn something was learned.

The rag aided cleanliness. Ripples to the right assisted orientation. Old piping lead nowhere with conjecture. Comfort is subjective. Industry is best viewed when abandoned.

Here the sea grasses rustle as the coastal winds roar inland. As high as corn rows and thick like fur there is room to lose your way pleasantly. The mornings are rheumatically chilled much like the evenings past eight. The ocean breaches - drum rolls - just over the crest. The sky is perfect.

Looking northward the view reminds me of a scene from another trip, to another beachhead. But here I think more of the days leading to this place. Of the voyage through a town named Aberdeen where Kurt Cobain vomited under a bridge; where you were constantly reminded of the threat of tsunami wash outs. Then there was the crossing of the mouth of the Columbia River just beyond the place Lewis or Clark named Dismal Point; where you could look out at the water where slaughtered sharks sold their livers to aid the eyesight of American bomber pilots as they guided their arsenal overseas. On the south shore we could see the bucolic wonder of a town lost in time with board and batten and Victorian filigree. And then there were those remarkable beaches where surfers curled and dipped and young women read paperbacks and arranged stones in the sand and sipped white wine from plastic cups as they secretly wished they too could feel neoprene, salt and sea foam against their skin.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

An apparent first edition arts and crafts version of a classic Vancouver house typology- the wedding cake at 608 East 19th Ave.

Walk two blocks east and one block north to view a more traditional version. Here we witness a remarkable pairing of symmetrical homes clad in stucco, clay tile and trim. It takes a village.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

On a day which has seen a flourish of beatification it seems fitting that this sculpture exhibits, if not celebrates, east-side martyrdom.

This detournement concluded with an appreciation of balcony typology on the three sisters. Broadway apartment housing embraces leisure spaces within required fire escape strap-ons.

Spring carnage. Rats, crows, sparrows in decay.

Walk two blocks west and enter the Sunrise market. This is ground zero for simulated flavoring. Aisle after aisle of processed rice flour, gluten powder, shrimp-esque fish fried affordability.

Walk two kilometers in a northwest-west direction towards Oppenheimer Park. The Pay-Less Meats store is long gone. The sign is soon to follow as the building is certainly slated for some version of renoviction. The possibility exists that the first wave of development will accommodate local input. A couple of doors down Tuesday Karaoke night features "Asians vs. Everyone Else."

Overcast skies and yet balmy. Spring murals and ghoul impression. Amusement lay in the solemnity of the portals. Sacred and profane.

A treadophile event lead to the viewing of an exquisite corpse dangling from a line. We were impressed by the possibility of discovery. 1000 Parker Street.

Buy me and Rent me.

The historic pharmacy down the road. Walk a country mile and turn right. The store is an emporium of clothing accessories, skin care products, pharmaceuticals and taxidermy. Bighorn sheep graze along one side of the shop while bison and bear stand watchfully along the opposite wall.

Commander warrior gear to be found at the mid-century mall in Oroville. The digitized camo is made of a fine cotton polyester blend and adorns a complete range of hunting apparel needs: pants, jackets, overalls, hats, caps, t-shirts, gloves, boots, masks, head bands, underwear, long johns, packs, bags and scarves. The ducks don't have a chance. Mallards paddle about in the stream outside.

The arc completes the encampment. Baptism at 5 knots as onlookers gaze on in approval.

A crucifix stands strong in the face of assembly. The fabric awning shades in partial a quiet congregation. At each turn the structure yawns westward.

A summer time compound for the holy seekers of a lost tribe known by some as the god squad. Congregations are secure in the windblown serenity of the lagoon. Cows ruminate in the distance while quail run around under foot.

Long after the old timers moved on a new generation of old timer lives in Hedley. A cautious glare greets the newcomer as he prowls up and down the rundown and historic. The past is now, now is past, past is future continuous. 

A psychogeography primer. Sleeping and storage, transport and tow. Finely detailed and perfectly utilitarian. Native to the region.

A much larger sub-specie with a hint of vintage. Wings flap outwards to accommodate sleeping quarters. Refuge space in rear. Signals received and decoded with plug in.
Beetle-like the carapace is poised for adventure. Illuminated under the sodium vapor lights it watches the road stretch out into the distance. A sense of the forlorn here, within the frame of isolation.
A personal mobile dwelling unit sits idly in the desert. The maintenance schedule has been followed with caprice.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Like bloated seals sunning on the beach, the carcasses of cement mixers lie in a salvage lot near Terminal and Main. Imagining rust, spot weld issues and seam ruptures.

A poignant survey of New York views ten years after can be found here. Both gentrification and decay are on exhibit.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Clay beds with particles consisting of minerals and crystals less than 0.002 mm in diameter dug up from an alluvial pocket. Such developments do not require piling and auger screw drives.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Ride 4.6 kilometers to the CBC Broadcasting Centre. Artist Laiwan has installed her piece Fountain: the source or origin of anything on The Wall. Excerpts from Summer Afternoon give Chinatown a Neo-Realist feel.
Walk two blocks west along 14th East and then turn north on Main and walk fifty paces. Bert's was a fine old diner that served a basic breakfast and cup of coffee for $4.50. You could eat and read the paper while your laundry was drying next door at the Pinky Coin-Operated Dry Cleaning and Laundry Lounge. (VPL)

In 1931 it was an option to have your laundry cleaned at The Monastery Laundry and Dry Cleaners at 562 West 14th. (CVA)

Laundry could also be done by hand much as Robert Jamieson was prone to do as seen here while working at the Good Hope Cannery in Rivers Inlet, circa 1890. (CVA)