“Industries” exist to collapse.

“Leaders” in the arts have long fought to have them thought of as industries. (I guess they wanted to be Leaders of Industry.)

Congrats, we’ve proved it! Industrial collapse!

To take the waves of lay-offs and closing personally is to ignore the social and economic systems we are entangled in.

3 non-linear phases

[Context note: Written in the summer of 2020 – early months of COVID 19 and a “racial reckoning” sparked by the murder of George Floyd in the USA and the confirmation of mass graves of children at Canadian residential schools.] Sparking, collecting, sharing. In the “shock” of the new perspective, we come to understand our […]

Designing the Organization of small groups?

We need more organization and social wisdom and grace because of the small scale – often precarious and messy but also specific and invaluable. (us cool kids call it “emergent”)

And almost entirely ignored by the “thought leadership” / globalized consultancy of OD – because, as above, there’s no “market” there.

Theatre history poems

The lights are just an expression of the philosophical position.The forth wall has been wrapped around the heart and mind of the actor.She may know that other people are around her on stage and off. But she has been directed not to see them anyways, to spend most of her acting energy on pretending that the current conditions are different.

Ethics and intent – map

Thinking about making a show that involves historical people, especially recently passed ones, means there are some things to think about and articulate. Part 1 of that for The Summer Spectacular is sharing this map. also – a movie about Aaron Swartz is at Hot Docs – I’m looking forward to seeing it.

Conte D’Amour and self-aware problems

Conte D’Amour – which ends it’s run tonight at Harbourfront Centre has been the cause of much chatter on the internet. From a zero-star review in the Globe to reviews not worth linking to, with lots of Facebook stuff thrown into the mix. If you like this discussion, you might like the CopyCat Academy that’s […]

Public Funding – Mixing stability and agility

A little twitter back and forth with Praxis folk plus a desire to respond to Shannon Litzenberger’s Metcalf report, Choreographing Our Future: Strategies for Supporting Next Generation Arts Practice has inspired me to post some thoughts on public funding models. I’ve been thinking lots about this and below is an edited version of some writing about this for a […]

Policy, politics, Rhubarb

The Rhubarb Festival did not receive Department of Canadian Heritage (DCH) funding. Read the letter and response here. Nothing New The DCH is an arm of the government in power. That was true under the Liberals and PC’s when it was used to promote “Canadian” culture abroad and in Quebec. (oh for the ¿golden age? […]

I don’t actually want Batman.

A day after reaction to the Summerworks Shoptalk debate from August 14. There were other triggers as well, but I think those will be integrated into later posts. There’s a fantasy about the rich guy (and sometimes his friends) with the great heart, skills and all the best toys who protects the rest of us […]

Hammer OK/OK/OK – Intimating the Intimate

A few Fridays ago, I went to Hub 14 to see Chad Dembski and Cathy Gordon’s Hammer OK/OK/OK. Both were vulnerable and generous, honest and raw. Both Chad and Cathy are great performers, artists who have a wealth of experience and skills at being vulnerable and generous, honest and raw. They have the internal dramaturgy […]

Otherwise it’s not a change.

I just returned from participating in a meeting convened by the Edmonton Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council that had fifty of us discussing the future of arts research, advocacy and topics spreading out from there. It’s the beginning of a conversation. Here are the notes I spoke from. Who has a relevant voice […]

Images Festival: Material surprise

I caught two programs at the Images Festival this weekend and wondered if –The nature of surprise is different in analog and digital (for the sake of a very digital either/or I’m including live performance in analog and – importantly for my experience at Images – including film as opposed to digital video) maybe In analog, […]

Story Structures for Learning Creative Learning

As part of MIT’s free online course on Creative Learning that I’m taking, they assigned us to learn something and teach something to the online community. After taking a helpful Project Management 101, I decided to give a Freemind talk on Story Structures in a way that could be useful for people across a broad spectrum of backgrounds.

Adding Desire to the Viewpoints.

I’ve started regular idiosyncratic Viewpoint workshops. More hereWhat follows is some thoughts on the nature of those idiosyncrasies. Overlie included “Emotion” and Bogart took it out.1 And I’ve been missing something, in the eyes and at the fingers. In the centre and in the lips. Objective, intention and action are all words that might try to […]

The right blend: formal/informal learning

Without form, I have no space for the informal. I’m looking for a fluid space where slipping from craftsperson to hacker to philosopher to entertainer and back again is possible. Very formal structures help me avoid the anomic paralysis produced by the gap between the “infinite becoming” of what is possible and my clearly finite human nature.

Slow down with those numbers.

For the record: I believe that going out can have a positive effect on a persons life. I believe that going out to meaningful and delightful things should be part of peoples lives. I believe a function of art might be ease alienation without denying complexity or difference. I belive the simplifying tendancy of lobbying […]

Artist as Producer pt3

The problem with DIY is the singularity of “yourself.” Theatre has never been an individual pursuit for me – it’s been an excuse, a need and a generator of working with other people to get something done. This means artistic collaborators, advocates and advisors, producers, teachers, and (very important) audience. All of these people invoke […]