Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Tree Museum

The Tree Museum is a curated space for artists to create site specific works in nature. Located in Muskoka near Gravenhurst, it's a ten minute drive from Highway 11 on Doe Lake Road.

The museum is curated by EJ Lightman and Anne O'Callaghan, and they have been committed to exploring the relationship between humans and nature.

I produced a 10 minute television arts piece on the Tree Museum several years ago, and I recently paid a visit with my family.  We were fortunate that EJ Lightman was on site. We chatted about the evolution of the space and the relationship of decades-old works and their natural surroundings.

Here's a short iPhone video I shot during my visit last month:

Saturday, September 8, 2012

TIFF, Future Projections: Springtime by Jeroen Eisinga

Dutch artist Jeroen Eisinga's "Springtime" is a startling and impressive performance work captured in a black and white. In the film that runs 19 minutes 5 seconds, he sits patiently as a swarm of over 250,000 bees engulfs him.

I happened to meet Eisinga at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCCA). He and I struck up a brief conversation, and he talked about how the process of sitting for the bees was somewhat meditative. Yes, he was stung numerous times. But he the sensation of the bees to be pleasurable connection with nature.

The film was curated by Andréa Picard as part of the Toronto International Film Festival's Future Projections programme, and is on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCCA) in Toronto until September 16, 2012.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

TIFF, Day One

The Toronto International Film Festival opened today. Here's a short iPhone video I shot capturing the buzz at the TIFF Bell Lightbox:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Daniel Liebskin's Michael Lee-Chin Crystal at the ROM

It's been several years since the completion of architect Daniel Liebskin's Michael Lee-Chin Crystal at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). I have been meaning to take a closer look at the structure and its relationship to the street, but rarely find myself in the neighbourhood.

Recently, I was riding my bicycle along Bloor St. at Avenue Rd. in Toronto, and wanted to capture some video. Interestingly, what caught my eye were the reflections of traffic and street life in the windows. Here's my short iPhone video:

Friday, July 27, 2012

Play Me, I'm Yours: Panama

Having visited three pianos in the Play Me, I'm Yours exhibition in Toronto, I think the best way to experience them is through discovery. It's a lovely experience. I came across the Panama piano at Sunnyside Park on the boardwalk. It was created by Oswaldo DeLeón Kantule.

Here’s my short video:

Monday, July 23, 2012

Play Me, I'm Yours: Mexico

Discovering the "Play Me, I'm Yours" pianos is perhaps the best way to experience them. Another way, to experience them is to make a plan to visit them. On the day, I discovered the "Play Me, I'm Yours" in honour of Mexico created by Alex Flores I met a gentleman who was planning to play each of the 41 pianos. After playing a quick tune, he was off to visit the piano at OCAD.

Here's a short video I created of the "Play Me, I'm Yours" piano in honour of Mexico:

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Play Me, I'm Yours: Costa Rica

I was at the TIFF Bell Lightbox for a screening of Beasts of the Southern Wild. To my delight, one of the "Play Me, I'm Yours Pianos" was in the lobby. From July 11th-31st, 41 pianos will be installed throughout Toronto's public spaces. Each piano represents the 41 countries participating in the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Para Pan Am Games, and has been painted by an artist from the country it represents.

Here's my video of the Costa Rica piano, which was created by Francisco Castro Lostalo:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Parkdale No. 6

Here's a video of the condo construction at the south-west corner of Queen and Dufferin. Ah, Parkdale:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I'm trying out the Blogger iPhone app, and wanted to test its photo uploading feature. Here's a picture of some gelato from Boreal on Queen Street West in Parkdale.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Shiny, Object, Person by Katie Bethune-Leamen

Katie Bethune-Leamen's "Shiny, Object, Person" is currently on view at the Art Gallery of Ontario's Young Gallery (inside FRANK). It's is a multimedia exhibition that includes works on paper, a video, a sculpture and a book. Katie Bethune-Leamen is a Toronto-based artist.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Empty Track at the Honda Indy

On my way home one evening this week, I rode my bicycle through the CNE grounds where groundskeepers were preparing for the Honda Indy. It was cool pedaling around the track where there'd be IndyCars racing in a few days. Here's my short video:

Monday, June 4, 2012

Parkdale No. 5

With the Dufferin jog eliminated and replaced by a new well-lit underpass, the complexion of Queen and Dufferin is going through a transition. Here's the fifth in my series of videos shot in Parkdale that documents some of this change:

Here are links to the first four in the my series of Pakdale videos: No. 1, No 2, No. 3 and No. 4.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Hot Docs Film Festival 2012

I attended the Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival this year. From dissident artists and mad drummers to American matriarchs and Thai brides, there was incredible variety. Here's what I screened:

"Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry"
"Lifer and the Lady"
"Shadows of Freedom"
"The Invisible War"
"Meanwhile in Mamelodi"
"Beware of Mr. Baker"
"Tilman in Paradise"/"My Thai Bride"
"Petra's Poem"/"The Frog Princes"
"Shut Up and Play the Hits"

Friday, April 27, 2012

Parkdale No. 4

One of the reasons I started my series of short videos about Parkdale is to document the changes in the neighbourhood. At the south-west corner of Queen St. W. and Dufferin Ave., there's a new condominium being built. The fourth in my series of short Parkdale videos takes a look at the very early stages of construction:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Parkdale No. 3

In February, I started creating a series of short videos about Parkdale. My intention with the series is to capture the changes in this rapidly changing Toronto neighbourhood. So far, there are a couple of videos. (Here are the first and second in the series.)

Here's Parkdale No. 3:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Necropolis and Memorial by Tasman Richardson

Artist Tasman Richaardson's "Necropolis" is a multi-media installation that consists of six audio/video works housed within a twisting, darkened structure. (It was on view at at the Museum of Canadian Contermporary Art between February 4 - April 1, 2012.) You immerse yourself into the structure and confront each of the works after a short yet, at times, unnerving walk in pitch black. The visual images and audio speak to the haunting effect video can have on us in the present and in our memories.

Below is a short video of Memorial,  an excerpt of Necropolis:

Memorial takes its form from the stained glass found in the rose windows of Gothic cathedrals in France. It's indeed strikingly beautiful as a whole, but a closer look shows that each opening has an edited video fragment of Joan of Arc from the four film adaptations of her life. In the centre, there's a reminder of her violent death.

The combination of darkness and strobing imagery makes Richardson's "Necropolis" the kind of work that makes the heart race. It has the power to compel us to mediate upon the lingering and haunting effect of images that surround us whether they're abstract, terrifying or sublime.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Untitled (home) by Melissa Penney

Toronto artist Melissa Penney's "Untitled (home)" is a mixed media installation comprised of a neon sign, four painted canvases and a doll's house. She created it for the OCAD thesis course in Sculpture and Multimedia in collaboration with Gallery 1313,  Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects and Tomorrow Gallery. It's currently on view at Gallery 1313 in Parkdale, Toronto.

We spoke about the work when I visited the gallery recently. She has been researching different kinds of homes and houses in Ontario, and in this installation, she uses different materials as a way to explore and represent different notions of "home". Here's a 30 second video of the installation:

You can see Melissa's installation at Gallery 1313 until April 1. You can follow her on Twitter: @melissa_penney.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The George Rhoads Sculpture at the Ontario Science Centre

If you've ever been to the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, you've probably seen the giant ball machine on the fourth floor. It's called the Rhodes Sculpture and is named after George Rhoads. It uses force, motion and the laws of physics to keep the balls moving and has inclined planes, levers, pulleys and gears.

Here's a short video I created on recent visit to the Ontario Science Centre:

I was fascinated by the sculpture and its intricacies. And when I started researching George Rhodes so that I could fill in the YouTube metadata for the video I discovered more.

George Rhoads is a painter and sculptor. He is best known for the large audiokinetic sculptures found throughout the world in airports, hospitals, art museums, science museums, shopping centers and other public places. His sculptures can be found at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Art Institute of Chicago, Boston Museum of Science, and the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto.

Who knew? Let me know if you've ever seen the Rhoads Sculpture.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Parkdale No. 2

The next in my series of Parkdale short videos was shot in the Queen and Dufferin area. There's the new bridge that solved the jog problem that lasted so long. There's also lots of condo development. (Here's a link to my first video:  Parkdale No. 1)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

TTC Subway

Many use the TTC on a daily basis. Here's a brief glimpse of the Yonge Street subway line as it travels south with footage captured between Davisville and Bloor.

Monday, February 27, 2012


I recently captured some video of Parkdale as I strolled along Queen Street. I was compelled to capture the footage because the streetscape is changing so rapidly -- as a new business seems to open every month -- and because the light was quite flat. I plan on shooting similar videos to capture the changes in the neighbourhood.

Here's my short video, Parkdale No. 1, Toronto, February 2012:

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Haliburton Highlands Winter

I recently spent a few days at a winter camp on Koshlong Lake in Ontario's Haliburton Highlands. It was quite a peaceful way to mark the new year. I made a short video capturing some of the wintry views: