Sunday, April 23, 2006

Prairie Landscape #1





Enlarge


This print was the first in a series of prairie landscapes, which I haven't yet posted to my woodcuts site--except for this one, because I needed a jpeg for a local event. The jpeg was made by my wife using her digital camera, and now that I see what a snap it is to use the digital camera, I hope to add more or this seriesd to my web site.

I made "Prairie Landscape #1" for a show hosted by Xylon Quebec, celebrating its 20th anniversary, in the summer of 2005. The Xylon print had to be kept to a particular format--the image had to be 12" x 12", the paper size 22 x 26, and the bottom margin had (I believe) to be 9 inches. It's a lot a paper for that size image but a very attractive format. I used BFK Rives and printed damp with oil-based inks on an etching press.

However, the subsquent series of prints were all printed dry on Japanese papers. I have a lot of Japanese paper in the studio, collected over years, and I've decided that I'm going to make prints to fit the paper and in my usual small editions. This print had to be an edition of 10 for Xylon, and except for the baren exchanges, I don't think I've ever made an edtion of more than 14, usually closer to 6 or 8.



Monday, February 06, 2006

Bstat Zero on the Whitney Artport

After more than a year, and full time for the past 6 months, I've finally completed the installation of Bstat Zero. The project is now featured (for February 2006) on the Arport site of the Whitney Museum of American Art:
http://artport.whitney.org/gatepages/february06.shtml
or just plain
http://artport.whitney.org/gatepages

I described the project earlier in the blog:
http://room535.blogspot.com/2005/11/bstatzeroorg.html
I'm hoping now to get back to the studio to work on some prints, starting with the baren exchange #28.

Because of my involvement with Internet Art, in addtion to having a web site at
http://www.room535.org
I run a small server for various projects, and this week-end, I began fooling around with a "templating" language called Smarty that plugs into php, which is a programming langauge used for web pages and web sites. As a kind of practice project, I set up a page that displays links to web sites that fit in with my interests--new media art and woodblock printmaking. It's at:
http://www.net18reaching.org
Net18-reaching was originally a networking project invovling three artists, which we started at the Banff Centre for the Arts New Media Institute and was housed on a server at the University of Manitoba School of Art, where the address was net18soart.umanitoba.ca and the project was called "reaching". Hence the name.

If you have a relevant link which you'd like me to include, please send it along to me in a comment to this blog entry.

Monday, November 07, 2005

BstatZero.org

In February I began what I thought was going to be a small command-line utility to use on my own web site for retrieving some of the web data and stats missing from what's provided by my web hosting service. The command line utility grew into an increasingly larger set of utilities with a web-based interface that uses the hypertext capabilities of the browser to move around among and display the data. I initially called it bstat ("browser stats").

At first, I would start my record-keeping all over again at the beginning of each month, in effect throwing away the previous month's results. But then I implemented procedures to archive each month's results, enabling me to look back in time. That is, I could select which month I wanted to review and view it in the browser, using all of bstat's tools.

Once I could do this, I knew I had something more interesting on my hands than just a personal tool for seeing what's happening on one's web site. I realized that I could just as easily include the archives of other people's sites The upshot is Bstat Zero, which is aimed at "new media" sites. The idea is to see how these sites are accessed--that is how people get to them, from where they come, how often they come, etc. It's an attempt to see how the net creates a culture of inter-connectedness.

You can go to the Bstat Zero page at:
          http://www.bstatzero.org


Bstat Zero
will be presented in Februrary 2006 on the Whitney Museum of American Art's Artport series. It's also been nominated for a Viper International Award.

I've been working with the web since the initial appearance of the Mosaic browser in 1994. I can still remember my excitement at how a simple stream of ascii text transmitted over a network as HTML could produce a page of graphics-based text and images.
I became an active member of the Internet art community, started up the now senescent Manitoba Visual Arts Network (http://www.mbvan.org/), was an early participant in rhizome (http://www.rhizome.org/) and, already using computers in my work, began making work for the web.




Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Sleep of Reason

I recently bought a new scanner--a Canon 8400F--after my old one collapsed (an HP). It has a high resolution and picks up more detail than the old scanner. This is important to me when scanning slides of my woodcuts which often have finely scratched lines that, with the old scanner, would look like blotches. Both scanners have difficulty dealing with slides made on tungsten film, both adding a color cast in the blue/green range. But the Canon gives less of a cast, making it easier to get rid of it in Photoshop.

This was a test I made from a slide of a print called "Sleep of Reason", based on a an etching by Goya:


You can find the original scan at: http://www.room535.org/woodblocks/ If you compare the two, you'll see (I believe) that the new scan is crisper and shows better detail. (Click on the image to enlarge.)