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Subway people

May. 13th, 2009 | 09:43 pm

A visitor from California
Drinking from a bicycling water bottle
Abusing the symbol of fitness
Sporting the band shirt Simple Plan,
Which seemed to be the thematic itinerary for this train transit.
His voice reverberated the plexi-glass beyond his rush hour, grid locked body,
And hustled and herded into a subway train door way.
He stands squished beside his newest prodigy;
A tall thin parrot from Here,
Well actually downtown,
Well actually he used to live in Toronto,
He actually grew up in Regent Park.
He is assured he is still cool regardless of his home base.

California love,
Repeat this after me
Before you even knew my name, I dug up Shakespeare’s grave,
Rolled and smoked his ashes before I entered the game.
Now can you tell me a line better that that. I swear to god I will punch myself in the face
I will punch myself in the face if you can.
He no, you think I would be here if I wrote that myself.
Now try it.
No like this,
……before I entered the game.
Fuck Ya,

He re-hydrates his enthusiastic voice from his water bottle.

I am so drunk.
California love Toronto.
Hey sorry, with abrupt stops into a new crowed.

Surprisingly well received,

You must have a lot of trouble keeping the girls away with a face like that un?
I mean How many mirrors have you broken?

Jerking towards the exit doors while recovering balance and words.

I mean because they can’t handle you,
So they have to break.
I am saying your handsome.

Loudly in delivered, with sincerity, in the face.

You don’t have to say thanks.
What can I say, my dad touched me when I was little.
Goodnight, Toronto.

lucky white leg

Jun. 9th, 2008 | 11:28 pm

Albinos, Long Shunned, Face Threat in Tanzania


"Police officials say life is the worst for Albinos in rural areas with less hospitals and people tend to be more superstitious"

A belief system in a culture that murders for multiplicity occurring in the distributive attributes gained from dismantling a skin that ironically is considered lucky(?) even though it's hunt avails to it's death. It is a form of racism to be targeted a white skinned, black person by his/her own people. I would compare to the crusades, but the killing was intended to end life with its possible belief end-trails. to bad for them, martyrdom turned out to be a successful icon to inspire the next generation. But this is actually making a body a rabbit's foot souvenir. This is part of what i was talking about to be a tourist of your own body, dislocated from the idea of physicality in the ideas of identity.

(watch video)

(no subject)

Mar. 19th, 2008 | 11:51 pm

so i have been reading this book called documenta x and i found this really compelling scripture (under the gospel of anti-capitalism) that I want to share and possibly start pamphleteering
Basically, it endorses thinking for yourself. I hope you all get as much out of it as I did.

[documenta x is a catologue overview of a the annual, world wide political art exhibit held in Kassel Germany]

Flag for an organization for whom the following is axiomatic:

1 That Western society is based upon envy engendered by publicity
2 That publicity works upon anxiety: the sum of everything is money, to get money is to overcome anxiety
3 That the anxiety on which publicity plays is the fear that having nothing, you will be nothing
4 That under capitalism, money is life
5 That under capitalism, money is the token of, and the key to, every human capacity
6 That under capitalism, the power to spend money is the power to live
7 That publicity speaks in the future tense and yet the achievement of this future is endlessly deferred. It is judged, not by the real fulfillment of its promises, but the relevance of its fantasies to those of the spectator-buyer. Its essential application is not to reality but to daydreams
8 That glamour cannot exist without personal social envy being a common and widespread emotion
9 That the industrial society has moved towards democracy and then stopped half way
10 That the industrial society is an ideal society for generating personal social envy
11 That the pursuit of individual happiness has been acknowledged as a universal right
12 That existing social conditions make individuals feel powerless
13 That in the existing social conditions, the individual lives in the contradictions between what he is and what he would like to be
14 That the individual can either (14a) become fully conscious of the contradiction between what he is and what he would like to be and its causes, or else (14b) he lives, continually subject to an envy which, compounded with his sense of powerlessness, dissolves into recurrent daydreams
15 That 14a entails joining the political struggle for a full democracy which itself entails amongst other things the overthrow of capitalism
16 That the process of living within the contradictions of present social conditions is often reinforced by working conditions
17 That the interminable present of meaningless working hours is ‘balanced’ by a dreamt future in which imaginary activity replaces the passivity of the moment
18 That only one kind of hope or satisfaction or pleasure can be envisaged within the culture of capitalism: the power to acquire is recognized to the exclusion of everything else
19 That the dream of capitalism is publicity
20 That capitalism survives by forcing the majority, whom exploits, to define their (sic) own interest as narrowly as possible by imposing false standards of what is and what is not desirable
22 That publicity is the life of this culture insofar as without publicity capitalism could not survive
23 That it is desirable that people come to consciousness of these false standards
24 That they should be assisted in doing so (23)

Flags for Organisations: List of Axioms 1978

(no subject)

Jan. 13th, 2008 | 06:09 pm


These guys are from australia and they do a lot of advertising. Pretty funny and clever stuff. But I found this project they did where they were asked to create ariel pictures of what biblical scenes would look like imaged from google earth. And the crusfiction, the garden of eden, the parting of the red sea, i thought it was a neat idea:

(no subject)

Nov. 4th, 2007 | 09:32 pm

Catherine Toth
Allyson Mitchell
Feminist Cultural Theory
FA/FACS 4920
April 6 2007

to be feminist is to be vegetarian

In this paper I will explore cultural use of the English language and language of the visual art and its role creating permission to making animals a secondary species to humans in the same social patterns that women have been made seconds to men. I will surround my discussions in the theory of feminist and vegetarian, Carol Adams. I will first analyze oppressive imagery of women in PETA’s campaign to eliminate wearing fur. I will also discuss colonists’ perspective of how language permits animal experimentation in relation to how women are made Others through scientific validation. Finally, I will look at the visual language in Carol Schneemann’s Meat Joy to tie the discussion of English rhetoric and visual language together in an analysis of representation. Ultimately, these discussions will prove that to be feminist is to be vegetarian.

Carol Adams begins her critique on the association of feminist theory in vegetarianism in her work “Neither Man Nor Beast”. The strategy she develops here is to look at how cultural signifiers found in images and in the rhetoric of the English language, has assimilated a hierarchal attitude towards animals that permits humans to abuse them. She connectively parallels this cultural practice of signification to how women have also been made a second species generating their social inequality to men. Leslie Pace discusses a situation of women participating in activism concerning comparative oppression in her take on PETA’s Anti Fur Campaign. PETA’s "I'd rather go naked than wear fur" campaign collaborates with supermodels such as Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell. The image produced is found on billboards and in newspapers showing the campaign slogan as the model’s quotation above their nude body. Pace accesses Kevin DeLuca’s ideas on image politics arguing that “rhetorical critics tend to focus on discourse and “neglect” images even when the analysis of is of “imagistic media” (Pace 2007, 35). In this work, Pace is drawing off the discussion of cultural theorist such as Kevin DeLuca, Greta Gaard and Laura Mulvey. In a sense, her article is a discourse focusing on the discourse arising from this signification of imagery. Pace discusses Adams thoughts about PETA’s anti-fur campaign using an interview with Carol Adams and Merle Hoffman done in 1995. Adams argues that this comparison of images of animal-as-clothes vulnerability to female-as-nude vulnerability, only shifts the objectification from animals to women (Pace 2007, 37) Adams further states that this campaign “accepts the cultural construction of women’s bodies as commodities” and permits the notion that objectification is allowed, just to women. (Pace 2007, 33) What Pace is trying to access is the relationship between object and subject in relation to the gaze. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have chosen a form of activism that is not carried out in real time. Their choice to create a message through the medium of advertisement enforces the subject-object relationship that eliminates the possibility for immediate and un-removed discussion from the image source. The cultural signification of advertisement is to display commoditized objects; therefore this campaign image associates the body with the object. Furthermore this choice contributes to the distance created in projected communication similar to that of a directed gaze. A nude woman is made into a sexual object and an experimented animal is made into data object. Representation is projected onto an animal or woman, but there is no means created to accept an interactive response. A nude woman or an animal used for experimentation are kept as objects in the lack of reciprocity. The same situation is created with the use of advertisement. In her book “The Sexual Politics of Meat”, Adams discusses the formation of subject in this type of situation. She notes that the male deception of “seeing is being” is a self-identification as the subject on the grounds that he sees the object, thus disembodying the woman of the notion of being and subjectivity (Adams 1990, 41). By Declaring oneself as subject, one assumes supremacy and not intersubjectivity (Adams 1990, 40)

PETA is known for its' stance opposing animal experimentation. They argue the lack of justice towards animals when experimentation is excused on the grounds that it could save human lives. Issues branching from colonist’s attitudes like this permits animal abuse. It is this scientific validation that is relatable to the Othering of women. The Omnivore’s Dilemma is a book by Michael Pollan that examines the anthropology of food selection. Pollan refers to the predisposition our bodies have for an omnivorous diet with the presence of elastin in our stomach. Pollan claims that elastase is an enzyme used to break down the protein elastin which is found only in meat. Using the word ‘meat’, Pollan is separating the body tissue of animals from the body tissue of humans. Pollan’s use of meat disguises is the fact that elastin is also found in our skin tissues and therefore its presence in the stomach may not be for the purpose of digesting foreign meat but may be used for break down and repair of our own tissues. He also uses the koala bear as an example of a species with a small brain that therefore requires fewer nutrients and is then content to eat eucalyptus leaves everyday. He suggests that their brains are not intelligent enough to determine which food would be harmful with more diverse food choices. (Pollan,289) Pollan also pulls a quote from Peter Singer’s “Animal Liberation” which also makes presents ethical logic based on privilege and the assumption of higher intelligence:
“If possessing a higher degree of intelligence does not entitle one human to use another for his of her own ends, how can it entitle humans to exploit non-humans for the same purpose?” (Pollan,307).
Here we have two problems. One is the approaching the difference with the assumption that humans are more intelligent than animals and another is the use of the term ‘non-humans’. This grouping of all animals into the ‘non-human’ category is comparable to the terms that form the problematic Other categories such as ‘non-white’, ‘non-western’. Putting Others into one group forms homogenous and inaccurate ideas about an individual experiences.
Joni Seager, the Dean of Environmental studies program at York University, gave a talk on the feminist perspective of animal rights. Seager discusses how the scientific intelligence testing that is conducted on animals is a search for permission to segregate and make animals a secondary species based on the argument that their communication tools are not as complicated and as evolved as that of humans. She relates this effort to the well known scientific experiments conducted on women in the past to confirm that women are less intelligent than men because their brain is physically smaller (Segar, 2007). Scientific experimentation becomes an effort to understand difference but in the physically harmful and mentally limiting process of doing so, distance is created by power. Cognitive Experimentation approached with a hypothesis to understand how the lesser able mind functions is a display of the dominant reality’s authorized power. Adams analyses of this unprogressive approach of humans trying to understanding difference in animals is exemplified with animal fats. Saturated fat found in meat and dairy is known to be a contributor to heart disease in humans. Here Adams is arguing the dualistic repercussions in both animals and in what she calls ‘corpse eaters’. Animals endure harmful probation and degradation in the quality of life during experimentation while humans themselves also permissively exist in the experiment to analyze the harmful outcome of ingesting these animals. This all occurs during the continuous consumption of what is harming both parties (Adams 1994, 58). Adams is arguing that by being a consumer, humans become objects as well. Returning to the analysis of ways of seeing, animals are objectified their representations as modes in which to obtain data. By animals becoming objects of information, there is a reinforcement of the distance between object and subject and furthermore lends humans with a voyeuristic license which enables the practice of animal experimentation.
With loss of subject in the establishment of subject object, and the development of two objects in the reception of unquestioned representation of the dominant realty, the cycle of oppression exemplifies the danger of seconding Others.

Visual Arts is in itself a language embedded with cultural signifiers that create critical distance between humans and animals. Damien Hirst is an English artist working in the medium of animal carcasses and formaldehyde to comment on cultures attempt to preserve death. Ukraine artist Nathalia Edenmont rearranges cats and mice into home decor to comment on domestication of animals. German performance artist Joseph Boys explains gallery art to a dead hare he strokes in his arms to comment on the rebirth of consciousness in death. These examples show how not the image of animals, but the animals themselves are reduced to visual language, ironically, disembodying their actual existence to make a comment on the way they live. Animals are robbed of their voices to be used for the human voice for artistic commentary. In terms of communication between species, people often anthropomorphize creatures in an effort to understand them. Their actions are then given a human voice over, erasing their voice. This action silences and discredits animal opinion and cognition. In this look at animals in art, a liberty beyond anthropomorphism is taken to the extent of complete elimination of animal and expropriation into object for human use. Carolee Schneemann is another performance from the States working with this animal commentary.
Schneemann’s work Meat Joy (may 29 1984) identifies the cultural signifiers of woman as a sex object and woman as a piece of meat. In the larger frame of her work such as Fuses (1964-67), Schneemann explores what David Levi Strauss refers to as “the rights of the female body and feminine mind in a sex-phobic and misogynist culture.” (Strauss 1996, 27). Schneemann was interested questioning the taboo of sex in the 1960’s society and woman’s oppressive sexuality. In reference to Carol Adams theories of the pornography and the gaze, women are allowed to be sexual objects but not sexual subjects. Meat Joy is a controversial representation of this visual ambiguity. In the performance, four men are coupled with four women. The women wear bikinis with decorative feathers and the men wear black Speedos. This costuming affirms the female body as a cat and reserves the male role to a formal recipient of pleasure. The woman is a cat that has caught and devoured its prey and now adorns her body with the bird’s remains. These men hold up the women to collide them together. They then proceed to smear their partner in fish oil and drag them around the plastic drop cloth. With this action, Meat Joy references and can be considered an appropriation of French performance artist Yves Klein’s Anthropometrie Performance (mar 9 1960). In Anthropometrie Performance, nude women are painted blue and instructed to drag each other over paper laid onto the ground in front of a live audience. Klein’s work situated itself into the Post-Abstract Expressionism of American art in the forties, developing itself into what is recognized as both Body Art and Performance Art of the sixties. This work recognizes the artist as the creator and work is self-referential of its materiality. This self-portrait art process so to speak, creates a work that overtly speaks about the process of art making. In her appropriation of Klein’s work, she is explicitly appropriating Klein’s objectifying instructions. In using women, Klein is coupling the female body to a paintbrush and therefore naming her body as a ‘tool’ in the process of his production.
In other works, Schneemann uses her own nude body to misconstrue her representation of her body as a woman. Dan Cameron contributes to a collective anthology of Schneemann’s work in the book Carolee Schneemann: Up To And Including Her Limits. In this text, Cameron discusses Schneemann's effort of this ambiguous image dialect in her use her own naked body to have “transcend sculpture and became political acts, charged by the public spectacle of a woman dictating the terms by which her body could be viewed.” (Cameron 1996, 11) In Meat Joy, Schneemann is declaring authorship of the depiction of women’s bodies by expressing its deceptive image as sex object. The question here is does this act become affirmation of the view of women’s bodies as sex objects? Or is it progressive in view of being a comparison? Cultural interpretation can only answer these questions and Meat Joy has created an evolving dialogue in the past three decades that has attempted to categorize this work as feminist. In the theoretical realm of Carol Adams, this piece is not a feminist piece. The piece is not progressive, but reactionary. In the act of using dead animals in the work, Schneemann is effectively linking women’s bodies to meat but it preserves the disconnection between meat and animal.
Linguistically, Adams explores the word ‘meat’ in the context of her idea of an absent referent. This idea of the absent referent creates a distance of perception by replacing a signifier term associated with one source, with the signifier of another. In the case of meat, this distance is made between origin and product by replacement of the term “animal” that signifies a living creature with the term that signifies food: “meat”. Adams argues that “Animals in name and body are made absent as animals in order that flesh can exists.” (Adams 1994, 16). Meat accepted as a mass term, is to accept its accuracy and permits its purchase and consumption. This dissociation continues further in the product identification that occurs in the supermarket. “Pig” for example is categorized into cuts and different method of preparation for consumption in labels such as “roast”, “beacon” and “pork” (Adams 1994, 29). Language is used as a disasociative device enabling the loss of origin awareness. Animals are kept as metaphors in the image of the ‘cat’ and as objects in that it renames necrophilic carcass fondling as art. Schneemann is therefore a woman confronting women’s oppressive sexualities by continuing the cycle of objectification that is validated on the grounds that it is art and that it is dead meat, not animal.
Schneemann’s narrates her intentions with Meat Joy in a prose voice over in the documentation video. She declares Meat Joy as a “raw meat fantasy…no justification, no impulse sensor, no explanation, vision which cannot be repeated” (Schneemann 1964). This attitude encompasses the experimental art period of Happenings in terms of fabricating a non-reproducable moment. This concept is that the moment is formulated and planned not to be the art but to become the art. In this case, this style of art is incapable of authorship as what is created is controlled by the interactions of the people and props involved. Therefore, depending instructions given to the performers, Schneemann’s opinion may not parallel that which is expressed in the piece. On the other hand, consciously giving control to the moment and authorizing the piece as hers, the actions become her opinion. In the act of the men shoving the whole dead chicken down their Speedo and aggressively biting their partner through biting the chicken carcass, they are framing idea of ‘chick’ hunting into the same picture of sexual predator. The contact the carcass has with the penis speaks visually of a representation of rape. The chicken used in this piece has been caught and defeathered, remaining now in a state created by and catered to human use. Its image of ‘victim’ and ‘for human’ parallels to the ideas of ‘rape victim’ and ‘for men’ which are associated with the sexual image of women’s bodies. This action not only validates the killing of animals for the human use but in using the same visual linguistic comparison of ‘woman’ and ‘chick’, the validation continues back into that which Schneemann is attempting to oppose. The women or ‘cats’ in the piece are involved and reciprocate the aggressive sex nibbling. The sexual oppression of women is continued when the women disregard the animals which they sexually oppress.
The piece ends with the men dragging the women over to and being thrown in a large pile of plastic. This visual action mirrors the death cycle of animals. After the women are metaphorically vivisected with fish oil, their bodies are transported off to be buried in plastic. Animals are transported from slaughterhouses to be placed in shrink-wrapped Styrofoam, plastic trays. Because the modes of looking at this work remain in documentation, this work can only be extrapolated. This returns back to the problem of real time separation. Although the Happening art form is founded on the concept of real time, what is left for viewers to see today is solely documentation making the activism inactive and inaccessible for relevant discussion.

By the nature of cyclic oppression that is justified through power, women contribute to their continued oppression through the act of specism that enables meat eating. As a feminist, it would be contradictory to ignore the congruency that the validation that is created in terminology and representation oppresses animals is the same way women are oppressed. Justification on the grounds of advancement of science and artistic purposes reduces bodies of women and animals into disembodied venues of dialogue for the purposes of other’s ends. A disconnected view between oppression of women and animals is an ignorant act that contributes to the detrimental events being ignored in society such as rape and physical abuse.


Adams, Carol. Neither Man Nor Beast: Feminism and the Defense of Animals. New York: Continuum, 1994.

Adams, Carol. The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory. New York: Continuum, 1990.

Cameron, Dan. In The Flesh. “Carolee Schneemann: Up To and Including Her Limits”. The New Museum of Contemporary Art. New York. 1996.

Pace, Lesli. “Image events and PETA’s anti fur campaign (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).” Women and Language 28.2 (fall 2005):33(9). Expanded Academic ASAP Thomson Gale. York UNIV LIBRARY (CANADA) 16 Mar, 2007.

Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore’s Dilemma. New York: Penguin Books, 2006.

Schneemann, Carolee. Meat Joy. 1965. Electronic Arts Intermix. 2005

Segar, Joni. “Feminist Perspective of Animal Rights.” York University Animal Rights Group. North York, ON. 24 Jan 2007.

Strauss, David Levi. Love Rides Aristotle Through the Audience: Body, Image and Idea in the Work of Carolee Schneemann. “Carolee Schneemann: Up To and Including Her Limits”. The New Museum of Contemporary Art. New York. 1996.

(no subject)

Sep. 14th, 2007 | 09:13 am


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The long wait is over! We finally got us a show. I won't be at the opening till 2am because I am spinning the webs (mentioned below) but I will be there most weekends.

“FARrAGO” exhibit showcasing painting, photography, sculpture, textiles and print media by local Toronto art collective of 15, pursuing the correspondence between insulated communities of thought and belief; encouraging aesthetic accessibility and navigating esoteric re-entry. Show runs from September 19 to October 13, 2007.

**Opening reception is on Saturday September 29, 2007 from 7pm- close(am because same night as Nuit Blanche)**

The Studio Gallery is located on the Third Floor of 9 Ossington, 9 Ossington Ave., Toronto.

The hours we will be open:
Wednesday/Thursday/Friday -- 6pm to 10pm.
Saturday/Sunday -- 11am to 6pm.


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7pm Till 1am
2nd Floor Lobby

Jonna Pedersen & Ben Bruneau & Catherine Toth
Interactive yarn spinning sculpture-based performance

you can check out what else is going to be at 401 Richmond on their site here:
(there is also a picture of me! crazy! i finally made it!)

(no subject)

Aug. 30th, 2007 | 08:42 pm

frozen toe shots


(no subject)

Aug. 8th, 2007 | 12:15 pm

Dear Miss Apple with no Adam: What I did this July

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After setting up a tent in my hospital room in an anxious sign of wanting out, the doctors let me go after two weeks of complete bliss.
I can breathe and walk and talk all at the same time now!
fucking liberation.
I met Murray Shaffer on his farm in Peteborough. He hollered through a long tube and asked us how it sound from 30 feet away, requesting us to keep walking back further.
We fell asleep a coyote night opera after walking through a labyrinth made of hay barrel construction plastered over in cement.
If you are unfamiliar with hay barrel construction you should check it out. I think it was a trend in the 70s that just continues in places like this.
I made love with my love on a mountain.
I tried to use my oxygen tank underwater. (it doesn't work)
Now, we are in Kensington making clothes and screen printing.
I am working still working on my still film that I hope to finish in two years.
I got kissed in the ear by a hummingbird and pet a fox.

(no subject)

Jun. 18th, 2007 | 03:45 pm

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(no subject)

Jun. 18th, 2007 | 03:38 pm

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