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Art Chat Podcast

Stephen L Harlow

art practice by practicing artists.

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Recorded: 9 September, 2013

Participants: Steve Harlow, Emory Holmes II, Jim "Jimmy The Peach" Aaron, Ruth Parson, Ferrie Differentieel, Allan Ludwig, Tom Giansante, Anneke van de Kassteele.

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Jim introduces his guest, Tom Giansante, as a "fantastic artist and an iconoclast."

Ferrie says he has switched to a new DAW (digital audio workstation) and is learning how to use reverb to create "rooms" of various sizes and sound characteristics. He has been experimenting with Jim to with various reverb effects, they discovered today how to get Jim's voice from North America to sound like it is beside Ferrie in Europe. He is in process of making some music for a collection of Dutch spoken word using his newly learned techniques. He's mixing the voice and the music in separate "rooms" to bring the voice to the foreground.

Emory says he finds the different sound qualities of rooms to be similar to what he found when traveling, each area stamps the people, flora and fauna with identifying characteristics.

Ferrie says it is true that he is exploring the different feeling the sound elicits from various environments. Music sounds different in the woods than it does in an open field.

Emory asks Allan if the circles Allan is photographing in Maine are different that the ones he finds in New York city.

Allan says yes, in the city there are manufactured circles, such as manhole covers, some made as long ago as 1875, some new ones cast in India. He wonders how casting a heavy object like that and shipping it from India to NYC can be cheaper than casting it in New York.

Jim says he's heard of beaches in India where giant ships have been run aground to be cut up for scrap metal, perhaps that is where the metal comes from for casting NYC's manhole covers.

Allan says, in Maine, he's photographed granite millstones near streams and is reminded of the old song, "Down By The Old Mill Stream."

Steve says he was at the corner of E. Houston and 2nd Avenue in New York a few years ago when a manhole cover exploded out of the middle of a busy intersection, flipping like a coin about 10 feet above ground, falling back to the street without damaging anyone or any vechicle. The explosive sound made him jump 2 feet into the air and the traumatic memory stayed with him for days afterwards, causing him to give every manhole a wide berth. The memory of it causes him fear even now. He wonders if Anneke, in her dance therapy work deals with traumatic memories affecting people's movements.

Emory also wondered if Anneke, in her travels, recognized different types of movements as typical of specific locations?

Anneke says she sees identifying body language from each country in Europe. For example the expression of obedience is different in Austria than in Holland. The physical memory is always being expressed in an individual's movements.

Mary asks if that memory can be changed?

Anneke says yes, that is what she does in her dance therapy work.

Ruth asks if the work involves shifting the emotions?

Anneke says yes. In the split second when frightened, a person must decide between fight or flight responses. In Dance Therapy she gives the person the opportunity to decide whether to run away or attack. Those new opportunities can change the memory.

Emory says he remembers when he was growing up in the South (USA) that people live as if superstitions were an accurate way of understanding the world. His Grandmother said whenever you hear thunder when the sun is shining it meant, "the devil was beating his wife with a hambone."

The community's newspapers would carry "news" items reflecting the mythological understanding, like, "the devil was sighted today taking the daughter of..."

Mary said she just attended the annual Sacred Music Festival in Quebec City, held in an old church that serves the "oldest parish in North America." While listening to Ba...

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Recorded: 2 September, 2013

Participants: Steve Harlow, Emory Holmes II, Jim "Jimmy The Peach" Aaron, Ruth Parson, Allan Ludwig.

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Allan discusses Kickstarter as a means of raising money for art projects.

Steve says there's been a few movie projects from known professionals that have raised multible million dollar budgets on Kickstarter.

Jim asks if the entire budget goal is not pledged within the proposed time period, does Kickstarter keep it?

No, Steve explains. If the budget is not reached, none of those pledging a contribution need to pay.

Allan recalls that Julie Dermansky used a diffferent service, IndieGogo. She asked for $2000 for a reporting trip and got $500. That's better than nothing.

Steve says on IndieGogo, the person gets whatever money is pledged, even when the proposed budget is not reached. He says the Kickstarter model is better for the investors, because they can be assured that they will only be contributing to projects that have reached their budget.

Allan says people would have to be out of their minds to invest in his project of photographing circles. There will be no chance of a return.

Mary says there's money investment and cultural investment. As in all sponsored art, there may be a cultural advantage for patrons.

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Recorded: 26 August, 2013

Participants: Steve Harlow, Emory Holmes II, Jim "Jimmy The Peach" Aaron, Ruth Parson, Allan Ludwig, Anneke van de Kassteele, Ferrie Differentieel.

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Ferrie introduces the subject of government surveillance. By saying he has been very dissapointed in US President Obama. He has allowed the NSA to collect data on citizens. It seems the NSA is more powerful than the President. Ferris would like to discuss the moral aspects of the recently reveiled data collection of civilian internet activities. Are we, as artists ready to make a statement against this development?

Steve says he is not concerned.

Ferrie says government spying on citizens is happening in the Netherlands also and he is concerned.

Steve says Telegraph, telephone, and Internet are all public communication technology with no presumption of privacy.

We were mislead into thinking that we had privacy on telephones, except for extraordinary circumstances when law enforcement got court orders to breach it. We are attempting to apply a simular model to internet use. But it's a sham, all data to and from your internet connected computer is public, it may be intercepted and analyzed by anyone who wants to do it.

Mary says while it may have always been possible to eavesdrop, there was an agreement that the government would not unless dire circumstances required it.

She says she is a private person, but is writing publicly on the web feeling her statements will be lost in all the traffic anyway. She doesn't like the idea of people thinking they have a right to eavesdrop just because it's possible.

Anneke says it is not the collection of data that concerns her, but the labels that may be put on her by those who are analysing. She has a friend in Iran she corresponds with through email. Does that make her linked to terrorists in some misanalysis?. Her concern is over what drawer they put me in. "Can I trust my own government?" she asks. "No," others laugh.

Emory says he's new to this baffling world of internet and has been dissapointed in President Obama. He wonders if the government is entrenched in certain ways of doing things that it doesn't matter who is head of state, it keeps doing the same things in the same way.

He says he's old enough to remember telephone party lines, where you were expected to hang up the phone when your neighbors were talking. A system of trust. He also recalls a friend of his from Zaire, who wore flashy clothes. Deciding to return to his home country after being away for many years, he talked on the phone to a relative there who joked with him about being a king when he got back. He was arrested upon arrival by agents of an eavesdropping government who didn't get the joke and thought he was coming to Zaire to overthrow the government.

That's the dread we are all experiencing regarding surveillance, Emory says.

He writes posts on Facebook which are read by people he'll probably never meet. What pretense of privacy does he have, he wonders.

Allan says he's new to the 21st Century communications we have. He is sure that any government who has access to technology for spying on their citizens or others, will use it. Governments always say they are doing it for "our" protection, but always it is used for their protection, the government's protection. Allan is terrified of the potential, while seeing, at the same time, the potential for communication benifical for the individual.

In his own work, he is in communication with people all over the world, including in countries his government does not approve of. Does that mean he's "linked" to those people or countries? "Linked" is a word his government likes to use when describing individuals targeted by drone attacks, "this individual was linked to Al Qaeda." He always wonders what is meant by "linked?" Very ambiguous, very scary. We are entering a very precarious situation because of the surveillance and the action coming from the surveillance. The drones are being made smaller and now are distr...

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Recorded: 19 August, 2013

Participants: Steve Harlow, Emory Holmes II, Jim "Jimmy The Peach" Aaron, Ruth Parson, Allan Ludwig.

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Steve says he doesn't want to, "hog all the fun," of moderating the podcast. Artistically, he says he admires the directoral style of Andy Warhol, "turn on the camera."

"And take a nap," Emory completes.

Steve says he likes the awkward pauses and people fumbling for words, "that's the best part."

Allan says he's in mid-coast Maine. Emory asks if he's been fishing? Allan says he's been photographing circles. He likes perfect circles, he thinks imperfect circles are grotesque.

Jim suggests a theme of touchstones or starting points for this episode. What caused you to be a creative person? What Is your "pole star," your guide?

Emory says he relies on the Blues. When he started reading Nietzsche. He was impressed by the wit, savagery, and generousity of his thinking. He thinks the Blues is comparable. Funny, tragic, violent, and full of shifting moods. He says every story he's written has drawn from that fountain of expectations.

"Our lives are tragic and we have the ability to bring some light, some texture to our time living here," Emory says. He relies on the Blues to inform him and give him a field of play.

Jim asks if it is the "call and response" of Blues that Emory connects to.

Emory says no, but when he gives a reading of his work, it is always fun to hear the audience give response. When he was on a press junket to Fort Smith, Arkansas, for the movie, "A Soldier's Story." reading a piece, he had written on one of the stars, Howard Rollins, who has in the audience punctuating Emory's lines with, "ah hums" and "well ahhs" like it was a church sermon. The call and response there was appropriate, but a surprise. Emory thinks the concision, the emotion, the storytelling of the Blues is his touchstone.

Ruth says her beginnings as a writer was a story she wrote she was eight years of age. At that time, she was writing to, "hear what I was thinking and it hasn't changed, that's still why I write." Her interest in sculpture started with seeing Rodin's work at Stanford University. She was on her knees hearing the "Les Bourgeois de Calais" whisper.

Les Bourgeois de Calais Musee Rodin

Jim says he enjoyed Les Bourgeois de Calais at The Hirshhorn Museum Sculpture Garden

Balzac at MOMA by dominotic, on Flickr

Ruth also learned from Rodin's waxes in San Francisco, at Legion of Honor, then saw some again in Paris, at Musee Rodin. Balzac was her favorite, "such a mountain of a man."

Allan commends the sense of permanence in the placement of public sculpture in Washington, D.C., saying, each piece there, large or small is in a well considered environment. In New York City, there's so little land, they plopped these things down in tiny spots which spoil the effect of the sculpture. In NYC, the Parks Department thinks that public art is a burden, they rotate sculptures in and out. There was one of Andy Warhol in Union Square, but it's gone now.

The Andy Monument, 17th & Broadway, NY, NY

Regarding motivations, Allan says ...

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Recorded: 12 August, 2013

Participants: Steve Harlow, Emory Holmes II, Jim "Jimmy The Peach" Aaron, Ruth Parson, Allan Ludwig, Ferrie Differentieel, Anneke van de Kassteele.

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Desmond says being moderator for this episode, "really went to his head." He will lead the discussion on travel, what it means for us.

There are two kinds of travel, that which feeds the soul and that which is academic or work related and so, does not contribute to substantially to our development.

Desmond says he loves travel because he can see people, similar to him, acting in different circumstances.

He recalls reading a book by Nevil Shute which included the suggestion that democracy could be furthered by requiring education and travel as prerequisite for voting. Desmond says he thinks people who have traveled, generally, have a more empathetic view of humankind.

David says he is not much of a traveler. He's never been on the European continent. He went to China once, to act in a propanda film made by the Red Army. "We were well looked after, with an interpreter everywhere we went " He wrote an article about his experence for The Vancouver Sun. After that, he thought writing travel articles could be interesting,, but, "went back into my head, where most if my travel takes place. It's quite expansive."

Desmond recently returned from a fiftysix year reunion of his class in Elementary school. After returning from that trip, he went to Gasbay to a friend's summer home. These travels were, for him, preparation for a grand journey back to his birth city, Dublin. The last time he went there, it was not a good time in his life and not a good travel experience. He's looking forward to this trip, he thinks it should be good.

p0ps Harlow's San Francisco Set on Flickr

Steve says he was born in L.A. and always wanted to be somewhere else. He went to San Francisco in 1957 at age of 13, really liked it there and wanted to move there as soon as he could.

Bien Hoa Street

When he got out of highschool, he thought he had to go into some military service, joined the Navy Reserve, he spent his age 18 thru 20 on a small ship going to Hawaii, Japan, Hong Kong, Phillipines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Also the ship spent time in Portland, Oregon and British Columbia. He says he did not enjoy being a military person and thought that briefly visiting exotic locales was not what he wanted, he vowed to any travel he would do on his own would be by moving to a location for a year minimum. Since then, he's lived in rural Central and Northern California, Hawaii, San Francisco, Dallas, Texas, New York City, and he's briefly visited Denmark.

Ruth says she spent most of her life traveling within a 100 mile radius in Northern California, then lived in NYC from 1997 to 2010, during her time there, she had the opportunity to travel for her mental health job a few times in Scandinavian countries. NYC was big and crowded and fast, but, for her, seemed to be, "a terriffic fit." Traveling in Scandinavia she loved, "because she found more like-minded people there. It was brilliant, my whole perspective changed."

Four Women Moving Earth In Wheelbarrows

She continued saying a r...

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