Saturday, August 02, 2008

Weaving in Technological Time

Six Colour Warp Workshop at the Montreal Center for Contemporary Textiles.

computer simulation of 6 colour warp, two colour weft double cloth colour test

In the beginning at the computer you work, you work at understanding not only how the software works, but how your own software (brain) works. There still seems to be a mistaken incomprehension as to the makers hand involvement in digital driven design and production technologies such such as those used to produce jacquard weaving. Believe me as a maker your "hand" or rather bother hands are never removed from this processes, except when you have a coffee in one and a cigarettes in the other, at which point your brain is juggling the endless the possibilities

Once you understand how and that the software does work. Using this sequence of six colours repeated across the width of the warp as your base it becomes a process of designing weave structures that draw the weft threads (two or more shuttles) across, underneath or hidden in the middle the warp to bring colour. texture and pattern to the surface, front and back of the cloth being woven.

using this design

here are weave structures for 6 of the 9 colours created using two weft threads black then white

In the simplest way, think of threads crossing as pixels, in the images above there are two wefts drawn across in the same direction, a black square is a warp thread on top of a weft thread, and this spread of six are stacked/ shuffled together up for black or below for white and compressed to be seen / taken as one pixel of colour.

These black and white squares are instructions for the loom

Simulation of design above ( it is a mirrored vertically)

You create simulations, get colour test woven, tweak line, shape, shade, design. As in all creative work you are involved in on going decision making until you achieve the piece of cloth you envisioned.

this a scan of the sample of part of the design that was woven (Click on it for a larger view, use back button on browser menu to return to blog)

For your viewing and listening pleasure a commercial, i mean a mini movie

The weaver/loom technicians at the Centre, in this piece of "Video Art" the weaver is Dahlia Milon.

after all that its time to relax

Monday, May 05, 2008

The Nancy Ward Residency / summer 1991

"The Nancy Ward" was time and space provided to me by Artspace in Peterborough Ontario. For a two month period I wonder the streets finding things to paint on, furniture, cardboard an Ice cream cone sign. One way or another everything ended up with "romantic" landscapes on it.

During this time there was a weekly "Cerebrate" or "poetry Slam" that was documented on both video and audio tape. during these evenings I would occasionally sing a song (watch video for sample) but mostly told an on going serial story" the future adventures of Black Betty" present as if it were a 1930's Radio Soap., local writers and actors also present there own work.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Interior Murals

"Tom's Chicken" private home Peterborough Ontario. 1989

Sneeky Dee's , College St,and Bathurst, Toronto "Yuppies Go West South 8' X 4' 1990

Flight- Cameron, Toronto July /August 1994

home Life STyle Objects At Bloomsberries 1994 -95

Bloomsberrries Clothing and Art, 808 Queens St East. An exhibition/ installation of painted furniture, home decor object and mural and faux finished walls

Friday, May 02, 2008

Where You Goin' the Mall 1987

poster for return performance December 1987

Where You Goin' the Mall ( multi media solo performance ) was originally created / presented at Mutli Cab 5 Regional Performance Festival at Artspace in Peterborough, Ontario in the spring of 1986, it was subsequently submitted and accepted by the Edmonton, Vancouver and Los Angeles Fringe Festivals (the LA performance was dropped and a "ode to Italy and Other poems substituted and after good advance media coverage, it didn't happen) (oh well, such is life)

the Edmonton Sun Thursday August 20. 1987

GONE WITH THE FRINGE :Musings left crowd baffled

By NEAL WATSON Staff Writer

Joe Lewis in costume as one of his four Where You Goin’, The Mall? characters. However, only the changes in attire distinguished their personalities. (Monica Manly of Colour Your World Cosmetics)

—Photo by Robert Taylor

Although billed as a multi-media performance, Where You Goin The Mall? does not entertain or provoke — or provide even remotely interesting viewing on any level. With slides blinking random newspaper clippings about shopping malls on three different screens, writer/actor Joe Lewis engages in a monotonous, seemingly off-the-cuff, monologue. The common thread is his erratic lecture-style musings about the sociological significance of mall shopping. It is not worth taking notes. During the course of the performance, Lewis disappears behind the screens for what seems an eternity, eventually returning as one of the four characters be plays in the Fringe production. The characters are essentially interchangeable, with only costumes to distinguish them. Lewis then continues his lecture to a totally baffled crowd. Most of the audience couldn’t fathom this one and made for the exit when Lewis conveniently disappeared behind his screens to change.
Zap the clown/ janitor (Edmonton Journal)

The Edmonton Journal Friday August 21, 1987 — James Adams

Where You Goin’, The Mall? (Stage 8)

You’ve heard of performances? Well, how about an anti-performance? That’s what Ottawa actor- writer Joe Lewis delivers in this intentionally atrocious 40-minute mixed-media one-hander that may or may not be “a quasi- examination of information and how it’s presented

Lewis plays four characters — Monica Manly, a beautician; Bill C-54, “a comic-book character;” John Cruising, a businessman; Zap, a janitor turn clown. They each deliver utterly banal, seemingly off-the-cuff monologues while sitting before three running TV sets and three screens backlit with slides of paintings, newspaper clippings about shopping malls, a picture of Marxist theorist Walter Benjamin, slogans and a photo of a brick wall, among others. At one point, Lewis scatters balloons among the audience. Later he hands out advertising flyers. There’s talk about sex in mall washrooms and being videotaped by the police.

Actually, to say that Lewis “plays” these characters is to over state the case. About the only thing that distinguishes each character is the costumes Lewis changes into behind-screen. Throughout all this, Lewis’s rambling delivery remains flat, un- involving, off-hand; it’s as if he’s perversely determined to give the audience the worst possible experience of the Fringe, to tread that line between “boring” and “intriguing.” You won’t enjoy Where You Goin’, the Mall? But it’s awfully interesting, and interestingly awful, in its wilful refusal to entertain.

THE VANCOUVER SUN, Thursday, September 17, 1987

Split Skits: some funny, some flat By LLOYD DYKK

At the Western Front, Ottawa’s Joe Lewis has a piece of performance art called Where Ya Goin’ — the Mall? It’s bland, vague and unstructured and that may be the point, considering the subject. The one thing it’s not that malls are is disorienting. You’re always aware that this is performance art.

There weren’t many shoppers there on Wednesday night — maybe eight people — but Louis was valiant. While slide project ions of malls in various states of activity flashed on three screens and videos played on two TVs, he portrayed four mall denizens:

Monica Manley, a salesclerk at a “color your life” cosmetics counter; Bill C52, a cartoon boy born at age 20; a straight man in the habit of frequenting wash- rooms for illicit purposes; and a janitor/part-time clown. None of these is as developed as you might hope.

The commentary was as rambling and flat-toned as mall life and seemed largely improvised. It’s a very loose show. Maybe the funniest and loosest thing Lewis does is hand each member of the audience a copy of Plain Truth magazine to riffle through while he goes behind the screen to get into another costume.

He’s likable despite everything. And he’s done some homework apropos of malls. One of the throw-away passages quoted on the screen is from the anthropologist Abrams: “The human animal has always required a central area to which others of his species can gravitate to exchange glances, boasts, confidences or protests.”

The Barbie Show On tour 1985/ 86

The Barbie Show, part four, Tulip Café, Paris On..
part three, The Rainbow Room, Toronto, On.
part two, Peter Robinson College, Trent University, Peterborough, On.
The Barbie Show, part one, Metropol Espresso Bar, Calgary, AB.

PETERBOROUGH EXAMINER—; Friday January17, 1986

Artist uses Barbie do as symbol of female stereotyping


It was while thumbing through the toy section of a Sears’s catalogue that Peterborough artist Joe Lewis came up with the idea for THE BARBIE SHOW, an exhibit of paintings — not dolls — now on display at the Peter Robinson lecture hall.

When the former Trent University ‘student saw the rows of Babies dressed in a variety of outfits, he saw not an innocent children’s toy, but a symbol of what he calls insidious stereotyping communicated by the western media. So there are no ‘real” dolls in this show, there are only painted variations of the clean, blonde and blue-eyed plastic model of this supposed womanly ideal, a premise Lewis rejects absolutely,

Lewis’s art is sarcastic, iconoclastic, a little frantic, and theatrical, reflecting perhaps his experience in Toronto and Brantford theatre groups. He amuses, he provokes. On the surface, his work seems like one big, flamboyant hoax. But the narratives that deface the images, the messy symbols that crowd his cheap paper canvasses, contain a serious intent and a clear message.

Lewis has managed to incorporate everything that he thinks is threatening in this world into the image of Barbie. At first she represents the dumb blonde who has more fun. He develops a perceived link between stereotypical women whose proper place is serving men and a rigid, right wing society that supports Ronald Reagan, who is equated with the bomb.

The most powerful image, perhaps is the final one: a pampered woman wears diamonds in one magazine photo, and another woman’s hands are shown at the typewriter “ Typewriters are a girl’s best friend.”

The show continues into February largely for students who use the lecture hall. The public can see it Mondays and Thursdays from 9 to 11a.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays from 7 -10 pm