8/30/2005 03:44:00 PM|||arts_guy|||
I had a little tiny 200 word piece on iPod subway maps in the Globe Toronto section over the weekend. It'll be PDFed and up on this site soon. Gotta start somewhere.
|||112543123007117293|||Piece in the Globe and Mail8/25/2005 03:49:00 PM|||arts_guy|||
I stopped laughing long enough so I can post this. Apparently there's a stealth anti-Toronto campaign going on in Hamilton.
|||112499952502872684|||Toronto Sucks?8/25/2005 09:10:00 AM|||arts_guy|||
The crippled CBC reports that Canada's cultural workers make less money than the average Canadian. Wow, stating the obvious huh. I guess my mom is right and I better think about law school.
|||112497562504023397|||This is news?8/24/2005 11:20:00 AM|||arts_guy|||
Summer is winding down, which means tons of summer shows are also coming down. I went to see the mammoth Square Foot show last week at AWOL gallery. The folks at AWOL have crammed over 500 artists into their small little space. There's some amazing work there.

I'm going to be heading to the Andre Kertesz show at Stephen Bulger gallery. Stephen Bulger is definitely one of the best places to see photography in the city (TPW, Monte Clark and Prefix are some of the others).

For those who don't want to spend time inside there's this.
|||112489715084425311|||Summer Art8/23/2005 11:14:00 AM|||arts_guy|||
I just recently finished Steven Johnson's Everything Bad is Good for You and will probably be posting a brief critique fairly soon, but to tide you over why don't you go to the New York Observer's MediaMob blog. It's a cheeky insightful look at New York's media circus.
|||112481007867116714|||What I'm Reading8/22/2005 03:11:00 PM|||arts_guy|||
Jon Friedman, writing in MarketWatch, lauds the New Yorker's partnership with Target. Hey, the New Yorker has only recently been profitable, so maybe Friedman's got a point. Paying all those writers, photographers, editors and illustrators cost money, a lot of it. Let's just hope that the New Yorker doesn't start selling its covers for a bit of extra cash.
|||112473811795941447|||Target Ads Hit the Spot?8/19/2005 03:47:00 PM|||arts_guy|||
You might notice something funny about this week's issue of the New Yorker. No, it's not a glaring mistake, or an eye-popping cover. The head honchos of the New Yorker decided that it was a great idea if every ad in the current issue was from Target. The result turns the New Yorker, for one issue, almost into a magalogue, those much maligned bastard children of the magazine world.

Gothamist blogs about it. And the Sun-Times has some choice words for David Remnick and Co. calling it "the most jaw-dropping collapse of the so-called sacred wall between editorial and advertising in modern magazine history." Target has called on some of the industry's best illustrators (some of 'em regularly contribute to the New Yorker) to blur the line a little more. Heck even the red and white beach balls on the covers look a touch like Target bullseyes! The Target issue irks magazine types but as Slate points out it's part of a long line of marketing and branding innovations that Target has been responsible for. And in the Wal Mart dominated retail environment, every store needs every edge it can get.
|||112448183141896931|||The New Yorker Way Off Target?8/16/2005 12:25:00 PM|||arts_guy|||
Tons of people have written about this but I love the idea, so here it is again:

Deep below the streets of Toronto on Planet Earth, subterranean bliss erupts before your eyes. You step onto a subway car, hear three chimes and suddenly you are riding the rocket. Ads are replaced with art, aliens blow bubbles, astronauts dance and robots sing. On Tuesday, August 16th, you are invited to join a subway party for a night of cosmic proportions. Bring: costumes, instruments, bubbles, decorations, cameras, space toys, glowsticks, moon boots or just a friend to the southbound track of Downsview station at 11:22 PM. Your destination: alpha centauri! You blast off with enough time to catch the last rocket back to Earth.

Tuesday, August 16th, 2005
Ride the Rocket subway party
Downsview Station, Toronto
11:22pm. Meet at the end of the southbound track.


- Lori and Kevin

Be there or be square.
|||112420954612658125|||Ain't No Party Like A Subway Party8/18/2005 9:51 PM|||José|||Hey Ron!

This is José, one of the guys with cameras last Tuesday. I posted some of the pics in my p-blog:

Take care man!

J :-)8/15/2005 12:05:00 PM|||arts_guy|||

I had a great time yesterday at the Blackout anniversary/Pedestrian Sunday at Kensington Market. The 2003 blackout was pretty important to me, it was really the first collective experience that I had in Toronto. Something that made me feel like the city was mine and that I wasn't someone that I had moved here. Biking home and seeing some take charge and direct traffic, and others just plain happy to be out of work a bit early will be pretty damn memorable.

My friend Paige wrote about how there should be an imposed blackout once a year, and Christopher Hume tongue in cheekly wrote about how the blackout is a portent of the apocalypse, and maybe the end-of-the world won't be so bad. Me, I prefer the idea of a candle night, A la Japan.
|||112412195092876113|||In Praise of Blackouts8/12/2005 01:36:00 PM|||arts_guy|||
I don't read Gawker that much but they've been pretty damned good the last couple of days. Like this little bit of cattiness!

Who am I kidding, you lazy farts won't click the link. Here's the excerpt from Gawker:

From The Nation’s review of Sean Wilsey’s Oh the Glory of It All:

One of the open secrets of literary life is that it’s easier to get a book deal for a first novel, or for a work of nonfiction, than it is to get a short story or an article published in a serious magazine. This is because book publishing now revolves less around the book itself than around the marketability of the author — physical appearance; ethnicity, race, religion or sexuality; media or social connections — while serious magazine publishing, for all of its shortcomings, is still about writing.

This prompts two thoughts. First: Oh, snap. You’re gonna take that, publishing folks? And second: Lee Siegel just made us feel better about ourselves. How unusual.
|||112386838341972761|||The Claws Come Out!8/12/2005 12:02:00 PM|||arts_guy|||
Guess what all that reality TV and brainless tv might not be bad for you at all. Video games, aren't corrupting your younger brother, they're actually teaching him important cognitive processing skills. But you already knew that didn't you?

Judging from the overall positive media coverage that Steven Johnson is getting for Everything Bad is Good for You: How Today's Pop Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter, everyone and Malcolm Gladwell seems to believe it too.

We live in a heyday of pop culture. There's probably more artists working today producing everything from zines and Flash-based games to predictable sitcoms and blockbuster films. It's not whether all of this pop culture is dumbing us down but whether we have the energy and inclination to find something better.

Why watch Fear Factor or the Apprentice or America's Next Top Model when you can watch the Simpson's, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Sopranos or Six Feet Under? I'm looking forward to reading Johnson's book.

If you're interested in reading insightful, critical and well written stuff on what most consider pop culture dreck check out my friend Jim Munroe's group blog the Cultural Gutter.
|||112386390765354991|||I've Got it Bad and That Ain't Good. or is it?8/11/2005 10:44:00 AM|||arts_guy|||
My friend Norman Yeung, another transplanted Vancouverite has a great show playing at Summerworks. Pu-Erh is a father-son story about language, miscommunication and, of course, family. There's another couple of shows left. Go. Don't take my word for it. Take Now's or the Globe's (no link, but they gave it a recommendation, honest).

This one's for the ladies.... here's Norman looking stylish in Now. OW.
|||112377188455516004|||Stormin' Norman8/10/2005 10:44:00 AM|||arts_guy|||
Margaret Wente stirred up a hornet's nest with her column yesterday.... This line is a doozy right here:
"It’s no accident that bus and subway riders are mostly young and poor. They take public transit not because it’s the better way, but because they can’t afford to drive. The moment they get a little older and a little better off, they move to the suburbs and buy a car. The only cities where the middle-aged middle classes resort to public transit (London, New York) are places where driving and parking in the city core are nearly impossible."

This isn't the first time our Accidental Canadian has professed her love for SUVs. But seeing how we're on the 57th smog day of the summer and gas prices are at record highs you figure she'd change her tune.

Responses here and all over the letters page today. Margaret this is what I think of your SUV.
|||112368560441685219|||Margaret Wente and her SUV8/09/2005 04:26:00 PM|||arts_guy|||
So "Toronto the Good" is dead. It probably never existed. Summer seems to bring the worse out of the people in this city. Shootings are one thing, but if you don't get a bullet in the chest you'll die a nice slow death from smog (56 smog days and counting) and you won't even have the internet or the TV to dull the pain.
|||112361936701343858|||Toronto the Smoggy8/09/2005 02:04:00 PM|||arts_guy|||
I posted a story yesterday on the Spacing wire. It's about how cities are using urban planning software to empower citizens on planning choices. Honolulu, Chicago and Boston have done it or are doing it. Why not us?
|||112361075171205254|||The Spacing Newswire8/08/2005 01:13:00 PM|||arts_guy|||
I've been reading the Tyee on and off for the last year or so. The online mag is BC based and fills that little hole in my heart for things West Coast. Some of BC's best journalists write for this, and every once in a while something quirky pops up. Like this little series on the 100-mile diet, where two journalists lose a SHITLOAD of weight trying to eat only things locally produced. I smell a new diet fad....
|||112352138479844501|||Reeling in the Tyee Save Template Changes.