For those interested in connecting with Surrey-based artists, we are hosting an informal social at Central City Brewing, on Nov 26. You can find more info by visiting sofiacollective.com/social. Below is a flyer I designed for the event. Hope to see you there.
For those who missed our first event with the SOFIA Collective, a poetry reading down at the Newton Cultural Centre, here’s a little video recap and a link to our new podcast. Hearing these poets observe our city, and meditate on ideas of place and shared meaning, still makes my head buzz. We have a bunch of activities and events set up for the upcoming year. If you would like to get involved, you can always contact us here.
You can listen to the podcast with the player below, on Podomatic, or on iTunes.
I am expanding my cardboard horizons and dabbling in a bit of paper mâché. Working on this character, loosely based off actor Klaus Kinski, who is regularly in a high state of alarm. I finished the head, made a wireframe body, and then fashioned together a little outfit for her. Who knew playing with dolls was this much fun.
Over the past year I have become increasing involved with the Surrey Art Gallery, both as a patron and as a videographer. I now work in within their education program and help document and promote events. I am always so impressed by the calibre of work they bring in and the critical discussion they foster.
If you are not seen or heard what goes on there, take a look below.
Over the summer, my friend Eugene Dening and I produced this animated preview of the new Royal Bay Secondary school in Colwood. It’s designed by HCMA Architects and will be a strong catalyst for the new planned community. I was amazed by how much classic styles of animation and design assisted in building this video.
This past year I’ve been working with a great group of artists to host cultural community events across Surrey. We call ourselves the South of the Fraser Inter Arts Collective, aka SOFIA/c, and are comprised of literary, visual, and media artists. Our inaugural event “Verse on the Edge” will be our inaugural event, held next week Friday at the Newton Cultural Centre.
I just came back from a tour of Yukon communities with Skookum Sound System. They did workshops and performances in Haines Junction, Whitehorse, Dawson City, and Old Crow. The trip was very inspirational and learned so much from working closely with this crew. Here’s a video of their lead singer Csetwke singing on the top of Crow Mountain at two thirty in the morning. We climbed on top of the a rock quarry pile, in order to get away from the bugs.
We are getting really close to our trip to Ottawa and things are moving really fast. This week I’ve been busy helping to get all of our marketing and publicity in order for our Vancouver show. It’s both incredibly exhilarating and very stressful at the same time. But things are looking good. One of the best parts is seeing the finished product. I am in love with our posters and I think Jordy Walker did a fantastic job on the sound for our trailer. What’s next? Invite the masses!
Last month I headed down to the Surrey Art Gallery for InFlux, a new art-party event with great food and really great programming. The was a mix of spoken word, DJs, live music, performance art, interactive collage, and a woman in a knitted onesie.
I also remixed some video that I projected during the New Wave band Mode Moderne.
7 days left until “Mirror Mirror” is coming down (Nov 18). The Surrey Art Gallery has three really great exhibits on right now, and admission is free. Come by an check it out. My self-portrait will only be there for this last week. After that, you’ll have to pay the big bucks in order to let me show you it.
Hats off to Amber over at the Cardboard Collective for putting the event together. Check out that wolf’s mask she made just above. It’s extra effective when she’s walking with Little Red. She’s looking for input on making the event greater and more accessible to more people in the future. Cardboard shouldn’t be for just the obsessed. Everyone can join. See you all in next year’s event!
P.S. I added Ram to my CorrugatedCut instagram profile: all cardboard, all the time.
I drew inspiration from a recent road trip down from the Yukon, where we saw many animals, including mountain sheep. We were slowly climbing elevation through 3am fog, with very limited visibility. Silhouetted by the gleam of on-coming traffic, the great horns emerged from the mist. In a casual trot, a small coupling crossed in front of our car. It was absolutely amazing.
I recently came across a folder of photos I haven’t looked at for quite some time. They’re a collection of behind the scenes shots my friend Matt Ooms took during the production of “Unbound Caribou.” It’s a film I made for KIAC 48hr Film Competition, way back in 2009.
I worked together with my wife Alysha and close friends Matt and Land. We ended up winning the niche award of “Best Representation of a Canine Metaphysics.” Leading into this production, I was really inspired by Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away”, which is a dream-like journey anime film where people become animals and spirits manifest in the strangest combinations. I think this film has stayed with me more than I have realized, especially when I look at the masks I’ve been making.
I am pretty excited to start on a new animation project. Brian and I, at Ramshackle Theatre, have been cooking up “Meanwhile Backstage” for quite a long time now. It’s a series of three shorts that fit in as an intermission piece. It’s also a demo of a larger web series we want to make, where we tell all the stories of what happens behind the curtain of a sci-fi puppet show.
Yesterday I was looking through an old blog I of mine, and I came across this video I had totally forgot about. I was in Dawson City, operating sound for a Whitehorse production company, and we were chasing the Olympic torch relay. As there isn’t a lot of room to run around in Dawson City, most of the trip was spent hanging out in the Eldorado Hotel and hanging out with Alisa Camplin and a super-hyper Australian news crew.
One morning, while it was freezing outside, I took my boss’ dog Smokie for a walk. We walked along the Yukon River and watched the hypnotic slush ice. Here’s a little film I made with my trusty flip camera.
Today is the day one of an exhibit I have a photograph in, over at the Surrey Art Gallery. The show is called “Mirror Mirror,” and it’s a collection of self-portraits.
This show runs until November 18, and there’s a reception on Saturday, September 15 from 7:30 – 9:30. Come check it out. There’s some really great pieces in this show and the rest of the gallery is pretty amazing too.
Chipping away at the table top presentation. I’ve rigged the STIGA Hockey Table spindles to work along the top. Pretty happy with it, though I wil definitely need to stabilize it more so they don’t slip out.
I am designing a table top presentation to take with us on our Sci-Fi Puppet Show tour this spring. It’s purpose is to give people the sense of the show without having seen it, inviting them to learn more through the accompanying promo materials and ideally, come out and see us. This presentation is interactive, in that there are around ten different features on it that allow the passer-by to play with.
Two of these features are the Marty the Dog and Queenie running back and forth infront of the words “Sci-Fi.” To make these, I hunted down a hockey table game, to rip and use the guts from. At my first stop, good ol’ Vaule Village in Surrey Central, I found Eric Lindros’ Lightning Hockey by STIGA.
It was great. Someone had put a name tag over the center circle and wrote Winnipeg Jets on it. Unfortunately there was only one player left in the box. The lonely Canadian. And no, it wasn’t number 88.
P.S. I know I misspelt the word “Feature” in the drawing. No more letters, please.
During the recent workshop with Ramshackle Theatre we re-made a lot of the puppets, including this shadow puppet of the Mommy Pterodactyl. With this rebuild, we have totally removed any paper, used 2-ply cross-corrugate thin ridge cardboard, and have used real eyelets to run the fishing line through.
We’ve written out the ending with the nest, but the flying beasts will come in earlier. They are too beautiful to take out completely. In it’s place, we’ve decided hold the the climax in the crater of an active volcano. Gag-zooks! Stay tuned.
Brian Fidler and I are back at it again. Thanks to a grant from Culture Quest, we are taking three weeks to reimagine our show Sci-Fi Double Feature. Today’s day 4, and so far we’ve re-written the script and started rebuilding some of the major pieces of the show.
I’ve taken on a new online moniker as CorrugatedCut, under which name you can find me on Instagram. The idea of this account is take only show pictures of things I have made out of cardboard. To follow me there, just search for “CorrugatedCut” from the Instagram ap from you iPhone or Android, or take advantage of one of these computer aps.
Brian Fidler (ramshackletheatre.com/) and I are developing an animation to tie together the two acts of our show, “Sci-Fi Double Feature.” They feature all of the puppet characters from the live show, backstage where the real drama unfolds.
Here are some of my drawings to help plan the production details. It’s amazing how much you can figure out once you start drawing. To learn a bit more, click the photos to see further descriptions on my flickr page.
Alysha and I are back in Haiti, for our return visit to the village of Bod de Mer. It feels great to be back. The weather is noticeably cooler at this time of year, but it seems we dodged a deep freeze in the Yukon.
Alysha will continue to help develop programs and I will be wearing a range of different hats, including construction manager for a new clinic, wells, and toilets, computer skills teacher, and general photographer and videographer.
In building this website, I created a series of cinemagraphs to display across the banner of each page. These files are a mix of cinema and photography.
I’d like to thank Morgan Whibley for bearing it out during our photo shoot in the gravel pit this past November. Below is some of the unused video from that spree. You can hear Morgan heckling me from behind the camera. It was -25ºC and my cardboard jacket makes it difficult to control my hands. Thanks Mo.
Our premiere of Sci-Fi Double Feature was a hit! We ran five shows, including a Midnight show and a kid’s matinee, and three sold-out performances. Much of the audience came dressed in science fiction regalia, including tight winter one-zees, tin foil helmets, and knee-high golden kickers.
Thanks to all who supported our first run.
From here we hope to expand the show to include an extra animated interlude that ties the two shows closer together. We are looking to produce this portion in the summer, and then hope to remount the show next fall. Stay tuned!
To learn more about the show, check out our press kit. You find out more about Ramshackle Theatre by visiting ramshackletheatre.com.
Thanks to Claire Ness (pictured left) for providing the photo. She was a huge part in presenting this show, parachuting at the end to help us bring together the story and choreography. You can read about her happenings and clowning at www.claireness.com.
Lindsay Dobbin and I won top honours at the First Annual Shadow Challenge, hosted by ED Video in Guelph, Ontario. For our entry we took stylistic inspiration from the work of Lotte Reiniger, arranging shadow cut-outs on a glass table and capturing the images via stop motion.
Thanks ED for the plaque and the inspiration. Check out Lindsay Dobbin’s work at lindsaydobbin.com.