oil problems, part 2

My first “oil problems” post was incredibly mean-spirited and cynical. I’m leaving it up though, because it accurately represents my frustration about the oil disaster. One of the points I was trying to make is that a lot of people seem to be missing the bigger picture…the solution to the bigger problem…how can we overcome our antiquated addiction to fossil fuels? I’m seeing a lot of posts from South Louisiana residents about how the moratorium on offshore drilling, and (desire to) move to alternative energy sources will ruin the economy there. Don’t these people realize that this oil mess has already ruined the economy there? I hope that the Federal, State and Local governments can create a massive workforce development program (through the LA workforce commission that already exists) and do some huge on the job training programs for people in the oil industry. I’d like to see this dirty industry transition to a clean one that utilizes the (clean) natural resources of the region. I’m no expert, but it doesn’t seem too far- fetched to think that all of these fabrication companies and oil-related industries have the capacity to make that change. Wind, solar, bio-fuels from the china-ball trees, algae farms…there are so many options. Maybe they could even sink some of the heavy equipment from these machine shops and create new barrier islands! Maybe my brain is coated in oil these days. I’m hoping for a positive change.

These images are from a 1967 Sinclair Oil brochure. Doesn’t seem that too much has changed since then…except now all of the oil companies have their green-washing campaigns where they claim to be developing new energy sources. But I think they all still love dinosaurs.

oil problems

I’ve been thinking about the art that is being sold in response to the oil disaster. I see a lot of people organizing and selling their oil-related work, stating that a “portion, or all, of the proceeds are going to relief efforts”. Although I do think that this is a good idea, in spirit, I have some problems with the bigger picture of it.A lot of these artworks are being shipped across the country, and/or the world to reach the buyers…which uses oil. Lots and lots of oil products (gas, diesel, plastic, etc.) to ship a wee little piece of paper, or trinket…How does that stack up to the actual amount of money to be made from these sales? I suppose local efforts at doing these sorts of sales are not as bad. It really seems that these kind-hearted folks don’t see or understand the soft costs of shipping.Part two of my problem with this: why should it be up to private citizens to pay for damage done by a multi-billion dollar corporation? It isn’t. This isn’t a hurricane, this isn’t natural. Yes people are hurting. Yes a lot of things are going to be ruined for a very long time… yes people are owed money from loss of income. Yes animals are dying, dead or need to be cleaned. I can’t say that I think its wrong to donate to relief organizations, because it isn’t. I just wish it didn’t have to be that way. Thankfully there is the possibility that BP will pay for all of this mess with the Escrow fund. see:

Possible justice. I’ve got my fingers crossed for that.
As for the kind-hearted artists, what about digital downloads for those donation projects?

Ivoire Spectacle

Last night I had the joy of filming a performance by the group “Ivoire Spectacle” at the Roosevelt Hotel. They performed there as part of an African Studies conference in New Orleans. The juxtaposition of the African drumming, dancing and traditional costumes against the lavish, chandelier-ed, wallpapery, Greco-Roman-statue-ed, froufrou carpeted backdrop of the Roosevelt was quite odd. I came in with that mindset, and that awareness stayed with me on and off throughout the performance, but the majority of the time I was completely lost in the music and dancing…completely forgot where we were…and magically transported to a place I’ve never been…the Ivory Coast. This group of talented performers is a true treasure. http://www.ivoirespectacle.com/index.php

*videos to come soon*


ink, watercolor and pastel on paper; large: 48″ x 36″ smaller: 22″ x 30″

*simple synopsis*

I created this series of women confronting and taming dinosaurs during 2008.
The dinosaurs represent my old, cumbersome ways of thinking about “life in general”. I felt happy during their creation.
The drawings were on display in my studio at the Studio at Colton School during Prospect 1. Got some interesting responses…

experimental filmmaking class…for kids

I’ve developed an 8-class series in “experimental filmmaking” and will be presenting it to kids from New Orleans’ 7th ward during june and july, through the Porch’s summer “arts alive” camp at the Colton School.

This will be my first time teaching filmmaking, and I’m quite excited.

The projects will all have an element of experimentation, because experimentation is fun (and because I’ll only be with the kids 75 minutes a day and also because this is the first time that some of these students have used digital cameras). The camera’s are pretty amazing..”aiptek HD camcorder/still/audio” they’re pretty easy to use, and come with remote controls & tri-pods. The video quality is amazing..1080p is comparable to film…they even have a pretty awesome macro function…way better than even my “expensive” sony digital SLR.

The projects are: claymation, stop-motion/incremental drawing (life cycles) stop-motion/found object animation and “paper-cutouts/visual storytelling”, “puppets” and “1 minutes”. since the cameras also have an audio-recording function and a mic input, they will also be working to create soundtracks. We’ll also be doing some analogue animation projects: thaumatropes and flipbooks (which are, by the way, my latest love check out the historical overview link…wow!)

I can’t wait to see and share what they create!