Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Creative Capital

I just attended this amazing artist retreat by Creative Capital. You should definitely attend these workshops if you get a chance.

The schedule for their upcoming retreats are at http://pd.creative-capital.org/calendar.html. Maybe you can write your state's Division of Cultural Affairs to support your state's artist by inviting Creative Capital to your community. Florida paid for me.

Not only did the workshop expand my professional network, but it also gave me strategies to focus on goal to work more effeciently and be more financially stable. I'm excited to use their techniques.

Monday, February 05, 2007

boredom, skip the first 15 min

Ok. I'm giving it a second listen, and I think you could skip the first 15 minutes of that link...

boredom link

Yea! It's up = http://broadcast.uwex.edu:8080/ramgen/wpr/bok/bok070204b.rm

Or you can go to The Best of Our Knowledge website. (http://www.wpr.org/book/)


I'm really enjoying the emails that I automatically get from http://www.illumineerima.com/. This blog contains the type of entries that I orginally wanted my blog to gather in one spot, sort of like what http://newsgrist.typepad.com/ is to art. I just applied to a residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts during May and hope to use that time, in part, to tweak female-expat.org into something closer to my original vision.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

To the Best of Our Knowledge on Boredom

Shortly after arriving in Tallahassee, I learned that the city has one of the best NPR stations in the country and discovered new favorite programs like To the Best of Our Knowledge (http://www.wpr.org/book/). What more? To the Best of Our Knowledge has a fantastic website where folks (say the dear expatriate readers of this blog) can visit and listen to their own time. With this in mind, I was not upset to find myself mid-broadcast of a fantastic hour on the topic of boredom because I thought I could listen to the rest later. Right? Apparently wrong. The show is not yet properly archived, but as soon as it is, you should check it out. Boredom, restlessness and curiosity drive many of us overseas, and therefore, the show provided some much needed insights into the topic. Please take a listen. I'll try to keep an eye on the site to provide a more direct link asap.

Gemstones and a Wedding by Nicola Jane Barratt

I guess we're all collectors. When we go to a new place, its nice to
bring home something to remind us of all the fun we had - something to
put on the mantle and make us think of sunny beaches on a cold winter
day. Well, moving to and living in different places lends itself to a
more extreme form of collecting for Jeff and me. In Bahrain we
collected carpets – 16 I think in all. In Zambia, it was art - giant
abstract oil paintings, sculptures in ebony and mahogany, masks,
doors, tables and beds from tribal kingdoms. So what do you think
I've chosen here? Here's a hint - I'll be able to bring all of them
home to show off every summer, on my fingers, through my ears and
around my throat - yes - it turns out that Madagascar is the latest
treasure trove of precious gems – some say the world's finest
sapphires and rubies are coming out of this island now, and as
exploration is only a few years old, gem hunters are not in abundance
and gem buyers are in even shorter supply. So the laws of supply and
demand are working in our favor and there's some beauties to be had -
that geology undegrad degree is coming in handy for something! Many
of the less precious gems are in even greater abundance. Amethysts
are literally for sale at the supermarket as are topaz and aquamarines
in sizes up to 4 carats! Jeff bought me a beautiful watermelon
tourmaline necklace – something I've always wanted. More to the
mainstream, he also bought me a 2 carat star sapphire and had it set
as a ring.

All this came about because Jimmy Freeman and Chandra decided to come
to Mad and get married! They asked us to have wedding rings made so
Jeff went about figuring it out. He came across a 2 man team of gem
dealers who are now regulars at our home! Yes – they do house calls!
They came to the house with about 50 stones of every size and hue. We
chose a lovely royal blue sapphire for C and a big red garnet for
Jimmy. Then we decided to get some ruby earrings and some sapphire
earrings as well – what the hell!! Since then we got a beauty of a
pink sapphire for Cindy and some huge jade earrings for me and really
I could keep on going for a while! Did I mention the new petrified
wood coffee table

The wedding was under a big banyan tree on the beach. The kids and i
collected coral and made an aisle for Auntie C to walk down. We
picked hibiscus flowers off the bushes nearby and made a bouquet. Jax
walked her down the aisle, Tigi was best man and ring bearer, Gabby
was flower girl. Jeff did a beautiful job with the service and Billy
and i did photos. Hope you're all well! More soon, Nikki

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Conference on Cosmopolitanism

What I attended during Florida State's Film Lit conference on Cosmopolitanism (http://english.fsu.edu/filmlit/) on Friday, February 2, 2007.

1) Gender and Genre
Room: 123A
Dennis Bingham, Indiana University, Indianapolis, "The Biopic Gets the Guillotine: Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette"
(Exceptional presentation #1 because of the presenters sense of humor and incredible insights into a movie that some considered sheer fluff. Dennis reminded us of the autobiographical nature of Sofia's films in that all of her main characters are women in privileged positions, because of their social / cultural context, and we watch how they use their positions of privilege. In this way, it reminds me of my Female Expat Project since I focus on expats that have a choice about where they live and how they spend their time.)

...left above and caught the end of:
2) Global Longing for Form
...to see Weihsin Gui, Brown University, "Kazuo Ishiguro: National Cosmopolitical Impressions" + Wendy Lee, Brown University, "The Unintentional Comedy of Teaching World- Respect in Paul Beatty's The White Boy Shuffle"
(High energy presentations with a humor and joy found in the books presented made for time well spent. Barry Faulk asked an important question about the timeliness of questions about complicated questions of identity and cultural forms as the ideal way to introduce political questions. Adorno and his belief that art cannot embody political questions, only point to them, was discussed. For any artmaker with any ounce of social awareness, these questions come out constantly, and I am reminded that I need to revisit Adorno, the man who questioned how anyone could “write lyrical poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric.”)

...after lunch
3) The Military and Militarism Room
(Left this sesson during the first presentation because I was bored with ideas about women as mere ornamentation and the insistence that we pay more attention to women's POV during the war. Important to say, but no new insights provided)

4) Liquid Modernity
(Good to reminded Jim Jarmusch film's in relationship to liminal spaces and the ambiguity of otherness in Lost in Translation, but again, no new insights gained. Perhaps I am getting tired of sitting, but I continually wonder, do these people not know that points are best driven home by examples and visuals. Admittedly, Power Point can be misused, but when talking about the films, why not project the film stills allowing the images to be the visual focus of our contemplation while you present your paper? It would be so much better than giving us a bad xerox copy of many images and only showing a short clip form the movie.)

5) Keynote address = Tim Brennan
(Tim Brennan was dull, and the response John Marx thankfully shook things up. Why keep asking these same questions, Marx asked? Barry Faulk discussed a synergy at present that prompts us to revisit questions about globalism. I agree. The room felt restless, tired of the day's intellectual masterbation and eager for real action, whether in our classrooms or beyond.)

6) Darwin's Nightmare
(Important, powerful film, but my brain is mush, and I'm desperate to make my own work with a political conscious and a eye on circulation to people without lots of pocket change.)