Friday, March 24, 2006
And today, a group of five of us will be reading at TRU's clocktower lecture hall. Sharron Proulx, Garry Gottfriedson, Hiromi, David, and me, a reading panel we're calling the "translocal: readings from here and there." I'm going to try out some of my Playa del Carmen poems, roughed in as they are. All quite exciting.
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Reflecting on the Multiculturalism Issues SSHRC work that our team is doing, thinking back on various "arts" practices and I think about CBC's "King of Kensington," a tv show set in the heart of multiculti kensington market in toronto. Spent the morning shooting a king of k redux of sorts, reflections through slow shutter speed and gestural photography from coffee shops and streets, getting a sense of that same market in a different light. Rapid fire images coming at us at one just about every second, a melange of the market...
Friday, March 17, 2006
Have added a new link to Glen Lowry's page and podcasts in my links section. Glen is directing a project called "eMigrations" and working with me and CICAC to ensure public access to some fascinating speakers and readers. The first grouping is from a series of events in Taiwan last November. Definitely worth checking out, listening to some of this stuff online or downloading to ipods. Much more to come and, when we have a CICAC website up and running, will be sure to link to them directly. (The photo is one I took of Glen alongside Smaro Kamboureli while we were travelling in Germany together.)
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Started off the day meeting with folks from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design to talk about the multicult researech and the CRC in general. Started with Academic VP Kenn Honeychurch, then chatted briefly with Barbara Rounder, Dean and then met up with nscad's crc in film studies, Darrell Varga. Lots of potential here for future collabs and both Kenn and Barbara interested in having me visit more formally sometime soon.
Took the afternoon to explore the harbour in this blustery march weather. Hopped the dartmouth ferry, felt that bone-chilling atlantic breeze topside before descending to the protected lower levels of the boat. Quite dead in this cool spring as operators wait for the summer tourist season. Rounded things out by checking out the NS art gallery. Not interested in the ancient egypt show, but browsed through some new aquisitions plus a Christopher Pratt section, an Alex Colville room, and a Tom Thomson exhibit. Pratt's work, the lines clean, the colours cold, seems oddly right for the day. And Thomson's, that all-too-familiar G7 imagery, caught behind gaudy frames -- funny how these originals remind me of Thomson postcards!
Will see "Who's afraid of VW" @ the Neptune 2nite, then chk out some of the nearby music scene, a paradoxical mix of hiphop and celtic in the clubs tonight. More interviews at nscad tomorrow, then peripatetically back to TO and then parts westward. On y va...
Canada Research Chair in Cultural and Artistic Inquiry
Thompson Rivers University
migratory patterns flyin flyout on the wings of a, this is the way we flutter borders it seems as if it is in our blood
blood left on the floor of the barcelo transmigrated to doorhandles and toilets some rooms away so the reports say, how far can blood travel on a wing and a, there are two sides to every story but each side genuflects to the other refracts the right light and through such bending makes two become three, and so here the incommensurability of blonde canadians and darkskinned mexicans, is it three or is it four, who is it so fast and unhesitating with that stiletto
first morning up well before dawn on this the parting day and the lateness of a saturday night blends uncomfortably with a sunday morning, our taxi driver herding us in as drunken youth herd past, first they use you and then they abuse you slurs the one and thoughts drift across darkened beaches to unwedding parties alone in a room first used then abused
kensington market over coffee and harper paragliding (was it) into kandahar a back page story about how an rcmp forensic team invited to playa to reinterpret, that whole game of looking twice back and forth in and out from both sides now
wheels down over halifax international leaving pearson and thoughts of woodbridge behind as another ocean looms oh that water that breathes life and sometimes the other but here on the briny ocean tossed will there ever be a sigh
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Wheels down just at midnight at Halifax International, a bit later than sched'd cuz of some regulation de-icing at Pearson. Always find the east coast is darker than anywhere else -- not bleaker, just darker, as if the buildings, the bodies, soak up light as they do sea air, everything swallowing everything else. Check in at the Barrington across from NSCAD where I'll be doing interviews wed & thurs for my Multicult SSHRC grant -- finding out where equity happens here in "fax town. Decide to take a walkabout, see what's open. Round the corner, teenagers spill out of the Pedlar, an art college hangout, and i wander along and wonder at the blackness of the streets. A guy stops me to ask for change -- i have none having expended on the hefty cab fare on in, but he doesn't believe me. Find the Apple Barrel, the 24hr food joint and settle in on an Oland's Ale (after much discussion with the boy-waiter) and the seafood chowder. After all, back at my childhood home, gotta go with surf. Except they're out of soup, so fall back to nachos. How's the oland, asks boywaiter. Good, i nod. Girlwaiter chastises boywaiter, it's probably like any other Oland. Boywaiter points and says, but he's never had one before. An exaggeration, but point taken. The same guy who hit me up for change sees me througjh the window, triesd to engage me through mime, that he could use some food. Boywaiter yells across the room for him to go away, tells me not to give him money if he comes into the diner.
The streets are still black. No cars on them but cabs, all with avail lights on. The guy comes by the window again. I mime to him that when I'm finished I'll meet him out front.
Then I'll go back to the Barrington, try to catch some sleep, maybe dream of dartmouth and what it was like growing up on sea air and black streets. All of this a long way from cancun, even if it is the same ocean, of a sort.
Canada Research Chair in Cultural and Artistic Inquiry
Thompson Rivers University
Friday, March 10, 2006
On the road to Tulum
That is me, overlooking the tustle of sea meeting rock meeting ruin...
calls of are you canadian touted from the shadows of awnings, distinctly oddly hanging in the air, the identity questioned, and follow the rationale: those holding cdn or eu passports decry and deny americanness would prob angrily retort negatively being called on as americans, but to be called the innocuous cdn elicits a different response: canadians pose meekly, why yes, how did you know, how nice of you to ask; eu-ers shake their head and volunteer their country of origin; americans grin widely (being mistaken for canucks, which they aren’t really, but nonetheless drawn in toutly conversation), and usually throw forward their state, so everyone’s pleased and the touts get their business
tulum to playa del carmen the halfway point the Barceló hotel where the murders happened... language across the internet about news suppression
one trip advisory blogger writes: “the Barceló hotel chain could also have considerable direct and indirect liability if its employees were involved or were negligent. So far, there seems to be no rumor -- much less evidence -- that Barceló withheld any evidence or access”
and the news today that now four mexican hotel workers suspected, suddenly having disappeared from the hotel post murder and questions of race and nationality and class circle wind and wave
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
a certain latitude in shifting latitude
seeking south while language follows around
can we or can’t we cancun
and the everypresent sense of the beach and how sand signfies (how it ever came to be other than beaten down rock)
staying current with currencies, dollars of an american variety, pesos, the notion of exchange as if it was something for something and not nothing for nothing (cash, the value of paper and ink)
and listening to psychothriller on a ‘pod, run run run away while L points to expressions in a spanishenglish phrasebook how about this one all about pickups and comeons and the laugh and the lark
transgressing borders, all, the political regional linguistic sexual, all of us cats leapt from a balcony pirouette and tangle but always feet down first
wheels up over the quays waiting flying wondering what when wheels down can come in cancun
white comes off on everything that leans upon or brushes against the washed walls and if not for the colour of snow would be blood the way the stain remains on contact
cappucino also white and full milk the scalded surface floating liquidtosolid transubstantially altering in my mouth so thought-of milk goes thick could be wax in my mouth lit with a wick and fire breathing
touristas cameraing the colour and iguanas in catcages and storm troopers at bank doors and somewhere in a five-star not far there is a room shuttered in forensic and hygiene and somewhere else is a soul or two who knows with what pressure with what conviction to drag a blade across a soft underside of neck
Friday, March 03, 2006
Then, this eve, a dose of quite wondrous reality. A great evening watching six-year-old godson Jacob extemporize on life and living, swim in the hotel pool, jump on mum-sonia's back and pretend to be a saddle-bronc-cowboy, explain how he's lost four baby teeth now, delight in perfecting the lie to me that they had parked six blocks from the hotel so we had a frigid walk ahead of us (when they were but a block away). Then picking up babysitters and traipsing off with Sonia to a downtown music club where a friend was playing, and from there we all went to a Scottish pub to drink draughts, eat shepherd's pie, and talk about various moments of flirtatious excess in our variegated pasts, recent and distant. This night ending far younger than the previous couple, curiously enough, since tonight was play and the previous two, work, but a good day and evening of discovery and energy. Photographs, then, of Jacob, the next gen, floating in memory.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
If it's Thursday, it must be... but that's not what my calendar says. Travelling twixt time zones, makes me apoplectic at times; or, perhaps not beside myself with anger, just beside myself. I've taken to changing the time on my bedside clock on the morning when i rise and know i'll be bedding down in a different time zone. Add an hour or two or three, or subtract same, flip close the clock and throw it in my toiletery bag. And once i'm vehicle-ensconced, usually plane but sometimes car, i turn the time zones on my computer, my bberry, to the soon-to-be-home-terrain. Confusing, though, as when i adjust my bberry (and not to would be disastrous since i use it as my clock n'est-ce pas, and showing up an hour or two late for an appt, even for me, is a bit much), all my appts change to the "appropriate" time zone. Not so with my mac, which graciously asks me if i'd like to change my ical to adjust. I say no, cuz if i make an appt whilst in kamloops to meet someone in toronto at 1 pm, we both know we mean EST. We still don't live in a clockless universe where times shift effortlessly. Be that as it may, it means that while my computer clock says it's the early morn hours of march 2, my calendar, still lounging about in bc, will tell me it's only march 1 and late in the evening. Had an interesting chat with research-assistant-extraordinaire bill this eve over email, playing a game of where's waldo where waldo is me. (I recall saying to someone recently that some of my friends don't start phone conversations with me with 'how are you' but with 'where are you,' and while i try to oblige, more often than not i respond honestly that i'm 'at the airport,' which, as you might surmise, is itself a meaningless location -- for the airport could be the tiny YKA in the loops or O'Hare in the windy city for what anyone might know, plus, if i'm at the 'airport' it's because i've just arrived or am just leaving to somewhere else. So maybe an appropriate question would be, take a breath, ashok, in three hours from now, where exactly will you be, latitudinally and longitudinally...) Bill was trying to track my whereabouts cuz folks were asking and he said, apologizing that he didn't want to act nursemaidy, he didn't always know what to say becuase, well, he didn't know where i was at. Join the club!
Anyway, to circumvent this somewhat, and to make the circus that is my life even more public, off to the right in the "Links" section, i've added a line so's that my daily sched is but a click away. Dangerous, yes, in case i decide to pencil in evidence of fiscal irresponsibility or malicious lies about acquaintances! But useful, too, especially for hapless friends who want to know what city i'm inhabiting and for colleagues who want to know exactly when they might catch me in (their) town. Not that the calendar will/might be that explicit -- indeed, might be crazily cryptic as it is essentially a scratchpad to remind me of what to do when i get up in the morning -- but when you click on the 'month' view it might give you a sense of where i'm at, or where i will be at, or what i'm pretending to do that month. And yes, it is read-only, so 'fraid for those friendly folk who would schedule me for trysts or asignations not to my liking or knowledge, no can do ;)
And this post yet another mode of my procrastination as i sit in the Lord Elgin Hotel in ottawa at ten to three in the morning (yes, EST, making it a reasonable pre-midnight hour in the timezone from whence [or where?] i just came), overlooking the gangliness of my sshrc grant app for "international opportunities," cobbling together what i can in the less than 48 before it's due -- fortunately, as time and space would have it, just five blocks down the road. Indeed, that morn am meeting with folks from the writing and pub section of the Canada Council which shares the same building/block with sshrc. Almost like being a real lobbyist, though for that kind of money, one has to do down the street to Parliament Hill i suspect.
Sitting in the departue lounge of YVR, waiting to board our ottawa-bound flight. Staring glumly at my too-much carry-on, wondering where all I'll stash it on this sold-out flight. Folks alreayd jockeying for a place in line despite stern warnings over the aircanada PA that boarding by row # will be strictly adhered to. What a way to begin three weeks on the road. More difficult since central and eastern canada is submerged in a deepfreeze and I'm heading to such places -- tho in between I'll be heading down to the now-infamous Playa del Carmen near Cancun. This resort now on the map cuz of the Woodbridge couple murdered in their 5-star hotel there last week. The original suspects were said to be three canadian women, not good news for me since I'm travelling down with three canadian women. I'm pretty much assuming these are different sets of women. I can hope. More on these travails as i travel. Must seek out my place in line now so i can secure some overhead bin space...
CRC in Cultural and Artistic Inquiry
Thompson Rivers University