Tags: vancouver '09


Where's Your Head At?

There is No Wake-Up Call

In an email I wrote to a friend recently I said something that didn't fully sink in at the time, but dawns on me a little more every day: it's weird when your dreams become reality.

I was expecting joy. I was expecting excitement. I wasn't expecting weird. I've been fostering this hope of moving to another city, of finding the right art school for so long it seems like the last month has been happening to someone else...It's a strange feeling; the complete lack of familiarity in surroundings is almost enough to make one doubt the continuity in the person. Now and then I stop and think, wait, this is *me* sitting in this classroom isn't it? This is *me* seeing mountains whenever I look up...

But it's not nearly as disorienting and frightening as I thought it would be. I don't feel like I'm reinventing myself, but the newness makes everything, even tried and true personality traits, feel fresh. Which is not to say that it does not suck from time to time, because it does. Sometimes. Like when all you want to do is get home and collapse, but instead you get lost and have blisters on your feet by the time you finally figure out where you're supposed to go...

But mostly it's been good.

With each day I become a little more convinced this is for real. And little by little I'm allowing myself to believe that this isn't a one off. That there are other goals I might be able to turn into something other than a fever dream.


Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

One of the best things about the move has been my new living situation. The space I share with Joanna is small, but we get along so well it's not an issue, and amazingly we've already settled into a comfortable domestic routine. Most nights we wind up in front of the TV knitting and talking smack about whatever show we're half watching. Between Jo and Janet I've managed to get a pretty good grasp of local geography and politics all the while avoiding what is probably the hardest part of moving someplace new: not knowing anybody you'd want to hang out with.



As far as school is concerned, I'm in heaven. It's true that education out = energy in, but it also helps if your institution is bringin' it, and ECUAD is. This week we toured the research facilities and I just about peed myself with excitement. Between the Intersections Digital Studios (IDS), Prototyping Media, and Programming Studio (PMP), and Code Lab there are enough fancy toys to keep you dreaming for decades.

IDS consists of a huge motion capture studio (one of the largest in North America), 3D scanner/printer, interactive electronics and wearables lab (think: clothing = circuitboard), and an editing suite that can handle the massive files of a Red camera (i.e. about 28 times the resolution of current HiDef footage).

The only reason I didn't *actually* wet myself is that most of this is off-limits to undergrads unless you're interning or working on a special (read: so-brilliant-you-probably-shouldn't-be-in-school) project. The exception is CodeLab, the artist in residence program. Simon Levine, the AiR this year, is developing a project that explores the implications of the surveillance being put in place for the Olympics and extended an invite to students to help him work on it. Time permitting (hah...) I'd like to get involved somehow, not the least reason for which is that it will be presented sometime during the actual Olympic "celebration*".

My actual classes are humming along too. I've got some great teachers, but am particularly fond of Lucinda (analog photography), and Christine (film editing). We've already got two projects under our belts which just goes to show how lazy and distracted I'd been in the last couple of years. Who knew you could get shit done by just...deciding to do it?? It feels good, after some false starts, to be learning some skills I wouldn't mind employing in a career.


There's more I wanted to say. About how friendly people are. About how good the sashimi is (it's good, people. It's good.) About how many classic cars are out on the roads...About how nice it will be to visit Montreal at Xmas...But...another time.

I'll leave you with some...

Vancouver Fun Facts:

The city is hilly as fuck. 95% of the time you will be walking up or down a steep incline. The other 5% of the time you will be resting at an intersection.

There are more Starbucks cafes than people. I'm beginning to suspect it's a cult.

A cannon goes off in Stanley park every night at 9:00 sharp.

When waiting for a bus, people do not line up, they clump.


Good night :)

*Which I am quickly coming to realise will in fact be a two-week-long pain in the ass, neck, and everything in between.