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Redhawk, Documenting Standing Rock

Ryan Vizzions: Photography Raising Consciousness, Dakota Access Pipeline—   A lot has been happening in North Dakota since the Standing Rock Sioux tribe first stood up against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) that threatens the 174,00 sq mile Ogallala Aquifer.   At least 76 law enforcement agencies have been called in to protect corporate interests, against the peaceful water protectors who oppose them. Representatives from an estimated 280 groups of indigenous peoples (a first in U.S. history) as well as 5,000 veterans have showed up in solidarity with the tribe. Peaceful water protectors have been charged with rioting and attempted murder, while laws are being … [Read more...]

The Human Side of Drone Warfare

National Bird (2016), Produced and Directed by Sonia Kennebeck— What happens to humanity when you take the humanity out of warfare? The documentary, National Bird, which opens in theaters in New York and around the country on Veterans Day, November 11, addresses this question head on. The official argument would have us believe, that at least in the US, humanity benefits. Our servicemen and women conduct war safely, here at home, playing with cool technology that negates injury and losses. But, as with any adoption of a new technology, the planned effects may differ drastically from the actual outcome. National Bird offers us an opportunity to see this war through the eyes of both the operators and their victims. The film … [Read more...]

The Godfather of the Media Hoax

Joey Skaggs, Art of the Prank, directed by Andrea Marini — Credit: Relight Films LLC At the NYC premiere screening of the movie Art of the Prank, media satirist Joey Skaggs, the movie's subject and protagonist, pulled a prank. The movie screen went blank and the projectionist claimed that the disc was blank. Nobody fell for it. Unlike the mainstream media and much of the rest of the world, too many us in the 500+ audience at the SVA Theatre were already fans of the man who brought us the Cathouse for Dogs, Dog Meat Soup, Comacocoon vacations, The Fat Squad diet commandos, Baba Wa Simba, the roar therapist and Maqdananda the psychic attorney; all news stories, none true. A rarity in any day and age, Joey Skaggs has succeeded in … [Read more...]

The Christmas Card that Never Was

But Reached Biblical Proportions Despite — Christmas Creativity Beginning 6 years ago I started work on a holiday card that would feature a series of gun-toting Jesus’ from online. I was tempted by the eye-catching efforts of various “artists” to recruit this man, legendary for his non-violent views, to their own base purposes. It was to be an irreverent, “He’d Turn in His Grave” kind of card. I would staple it together into as a found-art booklet that would amuse and impress friends with my Crazy Christmas Creativity. Little did I know how vastly infectious the Jesus meme is when it enters one’s life and consciousness. So, how do we know who Jesus is? We readily recognize this bearded longhair, even in disguise. Google Jesus … [Read more...]

Passages

Paths and Proximities, Photography by Robert A. Kato — In my conversations with Robert Kato he states his intention is to frame these photographs as not of paths, but of things in their proximity, things that had compelled his attention when he wasn't predisposed to look for anything in particular. These photographs speak to the individuality of each passage. Robert’s journey is not about destination but about staying with the moment, a mindfulness practice: impressions, bifurcations, mist, frost, a bush, a history in prints, scratches within scratches, scarification by repeated footsteps, cool colors, green, pale blue, grays and browns, deterioration, the passage of time. “There is no difference between Time and the three … [Read more...]

Nesting Instinct – Outreach

The Nests of Lindsay Wildlife Museum – This is the third  installment of a three part series on the Nests of Lindsay Wildlife Museum. Part 1, “First Encounter” tells how the author-photographer first became a part of the museum’s conservation efforts. Part 2, “Behind the Scenes” takes a look at how the nests are collected, categorized, conserved and studied before display. This final photographic essay is accompanied by the text “Outreach”, an interview with the museum’s Natural History Curator, Marty Buxton. ***** Naomi Pitcairn: Can you walk me through the creative process of preparing an exhibit? Marty Buxton: The process can be quite variable, but essentially it involves choosing a theme and tweaking it enough to fit the … [Read more...]

Nesting Instinct – Behind the Scenes

The Nests of the Lindsey Wildlife Museum – This is the second installment of a three part series on the Nests of Lindsay Wildlife Museum. Part 1, "First Encounter" tells how the author-photographer first became a part of the museum's conservation efforts. Part 3, "Outreach" is an interview with the museum's Natural History Curator, Marty Buxton. Behind the Scenes The word curator comes from the Latin word cura, which means care. Also known as a keeper, the museum curator needs to be an authority on the subject of his/her collection to not only assure the collection's good condition, but to organize, and interpret it's contents for the public. By designing meaningful ways for others to interact with the subject matter the curator's … [Read more...]

Nesting Instinct – First Encounter

The Nests of Lindsay Wildlife Museum This is the first installment of a three part series on the Nests of Lindsay Wildlife Museum. Part 2, "Behind the Scenes" will take a look at how the nests are collected, categorized, conserved and studied before display. Part 3, "Outreach" is an interview with the museum's Natural History Curator, Marty Buxton. First Encounter I am not a birder, too much looking through binoculars and neck strain, but that doesn’t keep me from being fascinated by their lives. I first came to the Lindsay Wildlife Museum and Hospital with a small finch, a pine siskin, that had flown into my house, having been attacked by my cats. After delivering my bird, who sadly did not make it, I walked around the … [Read more...]

Citi Wallz

Mission District Wall Painting – I spent the most of the '80s in NYC back in the heyday of the train graffiti. It was such an alive art form; fun, ironic, unashamedly bright, daring and political. Just the way the paint was applied had a living energy. You had to enjoy it in the moment because you might never see it again. Some of it ended up in books and galleries, but most was power-washed away or painted over. You never knew for sure who did it or why. I worked as billboard painter or "wall dog" at the time, which prompted my appreciation of these works of art in progress. There were similarities in the brash, temporary slickness of both mediums and they often competed for real estate. Unlike more formal painting, walls are … [Read more...]

The Politics of Hand Made

The Art of Pam DeLuco On a recent foray to Michael’s – “The Arts and Crafts Store”, amidst a jungle of fake flowers and pre-assembled memories I had an “epiphany beside the wall of Easter Bunnies”. It would appear that hand made has not only lost its place in “art” but also its place in craft. It seems to have morphed into a ready-made elite pastime fashioned on figurines, stickers and plastic jewels. As we carefully decorate, glue and frame with pre-packaged stuff made in far away lands, are we not just supporting the art of mega industry? In our attempts to feel a feigned sense of loving hands of home are we not undermining the very politics of hand made? The time honored politics of "hand made" are those of self-sufficiency; … [Read more...]