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Culture overload this Saturday!

Blog, Vancouver

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So many cool things are happening this Saturday. The Southeast Asian Cultural Arts Festival starts at 10 am and goes till 5. Kirtan Vancouver starts at 3pm and goes till 9pm (I’ll probably be going to the Kirtan Star Quest bike ride at 7pm). And somewhere in between I’ll be attending a BBQ that Mable Elmore is hosting. Oh, and the night before, I’d like to see MACHiNENOiSY’s Law of Proximity.

Woohoo!

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Upcoming Philosophers’ Café discussions

Academia, Vancouver

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I’ll be facilitating two more Philosophers’ Café discussions this Fall. Both are at the Waves Coffee Shop at the corner of Howe and Smithe in downtown Vancouver at 7pm.

November 3 5: The Experience of Acceleration

The pace of life, it is often said, keeps getting faster. But what exactly are we exactly are we measuring? Is it the number of important things we think about or do in a given day? Is it our perception of time? Is it both? And while some things may have gotten faster, are there other things that have slowed down?

Possible points of departure
(Do you have any others in mind? Leave a comment and I’ll add your suggestions to this list.)

  • Kurzweil, R. (2000). The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence. Penguin (Non-Classics).
    Availability: SFU Library | Vancouver Public Library
  • Davies, P. C. W. (1994). The last three minutes: conjectures about the ultimate fate of the universe. Science masters series. New York, NY: Basic Books.
    Availability: Vancouver Public Library
  • Havelock, R. G. (2011). Acceleration: the forces driving human progress. Amherst, N.Y: Prometheus Books.
    Availability: SFU Library
  • Gleick, J. (2011). Faster the acceleration of just about everything. New York: Books on Tape.
    Availability: Vancouver Public Library
  • (Thanks to Brent Dennis for this link) Robert Genn’s reflections on slowing down

December 5 3: Forgiving and Undoing

What exactly happens when we forgive or are forgiven? Are debts erased? Is harm undone? What are the relationships between forgiving and undoing?

Possible points of departure
(Do you have any others in mind? Leave a comment and I’ll add your suggestions to this list.)

  • Lown, M. (2009). Forgiveness. Teaching and Learning in Nursing, 4(2), 29. doi:10.1016/j.teln.2009.02.001
    Availability: SFU Library
  • Lea, V., & Sims, E. J. (2008). Imaging Whiteness Hegemony in the Classroom: Undoing Oppressive Practice and Inspiring Social Justice Activism. Undoing Whiteness in the Classroom: Critical Educultural Teaching Approaches for Social Justice Activism (pp. 185–202). Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.

    Availability: SFU Library

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Flying fish, fuzzy moments, stolen faces

Politics, Vancouver

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I’ve recently gotten involved with the municipal elections in Vancouver, throwing my support behind the Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) and my friend RJ Aquino (who is running for City Council) in particular. Participating in local politics has been invigorating, although I am still as wary of the game as I am with any other form of “us versus them” relationships.

During the all-candidates debate last week at Langara College, I worked with other members of RJ’s campaign team to make students, staff, and visitors at Langara aware of the upcoming elections by appropriating my newest, coolest internet purchase: a remote-controlled mini-blimp in the shape of a clownfish. Here it is in action:

Cool as this toy is, the problem is that the novelty wears off eventually. But then I realized that this was a perfect campaign tool to grab people’s attention!

As you can imagine, we got lots of attention from everyone. I think the coolest moment of the day, though, was when a sharply-dressed woman who looked about fifteen years older than me came up to me and complimented us on our election tactic. When I asked her if she had decided who she was voting for, she said, “Yes, I have, but I’m voting for the NPA. But you know, the important thing is to get people out to vote.” It was a warm, fuzzy, cross-partisan moment.

The feeling of goodwill had faded by the time, a couple of days later, someone brought to the attention of the COPE campaign team a flier that was being distributed by NPA’s Suzanne Anton. The flier was innocuous-looking enough; in fact, it captured what looked to be another warm and fuzzy moment between Anton and two super-cute Filipino kids. What was wrong with it? I’ll let the COPE press release speak for itself.

Anton Uses Photo of Children in Campaign Literature Without Parental Consent

Vancouver- NPA Mayoral candidate Suzanne Anton has sparked anger from two Filipino families after she used their daughters’ faces in her campaign literature without the parents’ consent.

The leaflet features Suzanne Anton posing with two Filipino girls at a cultural event.  The parents however, were never consulted about the picture being taken, or published.  The photo is featured in the NPA’s promotional material, and is being distributed by Anton herself, across the city.

“Doesn’t she have her own supporters to take pictures with?” asked Cliff Belgica, the father of one of the girls featured in the photo. “Why does she need to steal our children?”

“It’s not right,” he continued. “We were never even asked. It is very shameful behavior – especially for someone who wants to be mayor.”

“We demand an apology from Anton herself, and assurance that this leaflet will no longer be handed out,” added Belgica.

The family is seeking legal counsel on the matter and is considering legal action.   “We want to ensure that the NPA doesn’t use any other children or families for their material, when they aren’t aware of it, and do not want to be associated with the them,” said Belgica.

-30-

Media Contact: Mae Price – 778.986.5863 – media[at]cope[dot]bc[dot]ca

Anton has been reported to have apologized for the flier, but the slip in judgment is pretty eyebrow-raising.

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Why I’m participating in Occupy Vancouver

Advocacy, Communities, The body, Vancouver

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Occupy Vancouver (like many of the Occupy movements worldwide) is inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement. As the National Post observes,

Participants are united by a common grievance: that a small group of corporations hold massive amounts of wealth and decision-making power, while the majority of the population suffers from enormous debt, unemployment and unaffordable health care and housing. The movement still lacks concrete demands, but protesters seem to pride themselves more in the process than the outcome. General assemblies, where decisions about the occupation are made through consensus, are held twice a day.

The movement “challenge[s] corporate greed, corruption, and the collusion between corporate power and government… and oppose[s] systemic inequality, militarization, environmental destruction, and the erosion of civil liberties and human rights.”

Over the past few days I’ve been asking my (middle-class, university educated) friends and colleagues whether they were going to participate in Occupy Vancouver. I was surprised that many of those that I assumed would go weren’t planning to, and some of the reasons that I got were interesting: “It makes sense to occupy Wall Street, but Canada is different from the USA, and we have a stable economy… Vancouver is a great place to live, what’s wrong with it?… It seems that movement is led mostly by white men… We’re already on illegally occupied Coast Salish land… I’m not really the protesting type even though I think the movement is important…” Some of the objections were general and based on not having been part of the first general assembly.

I have are four main reasons for participating in Occupy Vancouver.

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Designing Dance: Engineering and Provoking Audience Experience

Blog, Dance, Movement, Performance, The body, Vancouver

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In this post, I would like touch on two different themes related to experiencing dance, both in its making and its viewing:

  • anticipating (or not) audiences’ states of receptiveness, and crafting (or not) a choreographic response based on prior knowledge of such states; and
  • deciding to what end that choreographic response should be crafted–for instance, whether we want to fulfill “what audiences think they want” versus “what audiences actually need”.

Many of the ideas in this essay came after watching shows from the 2011 Dancing on the Edge festival, and I mention some of them in this post.

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Dancing on the Edge 2011

Blog, Dance, Vancouver

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I haven’t gotten to see anything from Dancing on the Edge (Vancouver’s festival of contemporary dance) in a long time. This year will be different. (I’m definitely seeing the shows with the + icon, which allows you to view it as a calendar event.)

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My Vancouver (a.k.a. Vancouver for cheap)

Blog, Food, Vancouver

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While visitors can probably get a lot of useful information from the Tourism Vancouver website, here’s my own collection of the things that I’ve liked to see and do in Vancouver. This guide maps out some of the stuff that’s a bit more hidden away (and cheaper than what’s available downtown!). It’s a tribute to the Vancouver I know and love.

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Stuff to see in Vancouver

Advocacy, Art, Blog, Communities, Dance, Food, Movement, New Media, Performance, Technology, Vancouver

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As the social events coordinator at the GSA SIAT, it’s my job to organize events for the grad students. It also give me a chance to advertise cool things being put on by friends and colleagues. Here’s a few of them.

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An apple in a truck of tropical fruit: Some thoughts on Vancouver and new media art

Art, Blog, Communities, New Media, Technology, Vancouver

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My friend and dance colleague Melanie Kuxdorf recently filed a report on OpenFile.ca (a “collaborative local news site” which assigns reporters to stories that are suggested by the public) about the informal dance+theatre+technology meetup that I recently organized. The article accurately highlights my motivations for organizing the event, and I have nothing more to add to it that I haven’t mentioned elsewhere, but I did want to comment on one section from the article:

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