Man of the Month

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Man of the Month

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

My Man of the Month blog has given me the opportunity to share with everyone a group of men who are making a difference and using their creative edge to do what they do best. They were chosen because I’m impressed by their contagious spirit, creative thinking, and the opportunities they bring to the world, plus how they reflect infinite possibilities back to the rest of us. Below are the 36 marvelous men chosen for their powerfully persuasive spirit and their tenacity to make things happen. Click on their names to check out their posts. Also be sure to check out the Woman of the Month blog for the creative women featured.

It has been such an enriching experience sharing these men on my website and although there are still so many more creative and amazing men I’d love to feature, I’ll be starting something new this year, Greener Goals, coming February.

Al Simmons
Bill Pechet
Brad Foster
David Anderson
David Gaines
Derek Lee
Elia Kirby
Francois Trudel
Fred Penner
Gabor Maté M.D.
Glen Anderson
Irwin Oostindie
Janos Maté
Jean Francois Joyal
Jeff Scharf
Jeffrey Boone
John Adams
John Conway
John Korsrud
Jonathan MacLeod
Lindsey Shepek
Luke Detheridge
Michael Sider
Neezar Joseph
Norman Foote
Pat (Lp) Camozzi
Paul Lambert
Paul Leblanc
Peter Graham
Philip Clement
Robert Wilson
Stefano Giulianetti
Ted Lau
Thomas Kevin Dolan
Tim Furness
Yuki Ueda

To hear about future posts, follow DollyFaye on Twitter!

Man of the Month Before – Bill Pechet

Friday, November 1st, 2013

November’s Man of the Month is:

Bill Pechet

Here’s a little bit about him:
Bill received degrees in geography and visual arts from the University of Victoria, in 1979 and 1981 respectively. In 1982, after spending a year in Japan, he entered the School of Architecture at the University of British Columbia. In his second year, Bill attended a studies abroad program for architecture in Hong Kong and then spent a year living in Manila and Tokyo, working for Rengo Keikakusha on urban design projects for those cities.

Bill graduated from Architecture school in 1987 with a thesis project called “The Museum of Sand”, a theoretical zone of touristic and therapeutic spaces set in the dense heart of Tokyo. This project spawned a series of small play gardens and domestic objects called “Souvenirs from the Museum of Sand” which he continues to produce today. Some of these objects have become manifest into larger scales in his designs for urban spaces, dance sets, cemeteries and public art.

Bill has developed an oeuvre of interests, which synthesizes his love of geography, art and, architecture, and human occupation of space. His collective portfolio of projects vary in scale from small domestic objects and furniture, to set design, public art, urban spaces, gardens, retail environments, residences, plazas, cemeteries. Bill’s sets for dance have been viewed in both North America, Europe and Asia.
As well as designing, Bill teaches architecture at the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture and the University of British Columbia (SALA). His classes reflect the scope of his interests, working with students on such varied subjects as concrete construction, the architecture of cemeteries, and the creative application of sustainable building practices into contemporary architecture and urbanism.

In 2006, under the banner of Pechet and Robb art and architecture, Bill’s studio represented Canada at the prestigious Venice Biennale of Architecture with a project entitled SweaterLodge.

He is currently working on a mammoth public art piece for a rapid transit station in Richmond, BC, a colour-changing glass environment for a new office tower in downtown Vancouver, cemetery projects in Reno, Nevada North Vancouver, BC and Vancouver, BC and a water-play environment for a park in the Danish city of Hjorring.

This last summer, Bill’s students mounted a project called Upcycled Urbanism in conjunction with the Museum of Vancouver to invite the public to build and choreograph movement spaces along one block of downtown Vancouver. The wildly successful project engaged an estimated 1500 people in an ever-changing space of environment and play.

And here’s how he answered my 6 questions about creativity:

What does it mean to you to be creative?
seeing marshmallows as media

What triggers your creativity?
a paycheque…no, seriously, not sure

What hinders your creativity?
people who don’t get the marshmallow thing

What’s the wildest journey your venturesome spirit has taken you on?
helping my father die

What does being bold and provocative mean to you?
its not really the agenda in my work…I take pleasure in offering the public a refreshed vision of their environments

What’s next for you?
a vacation would be lovely

And here’s something that inspires his creativity:

Watch 32 discordant metronomes achieve synchrony in a matter of minutes.

Check out Bill’s website at: www.pechetstudio.com

To hear about the next Man of the Month, follow DollyFaye on Twitter!

Man of the Month Before – Michael Sider

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

September’s Man of the Month is:

Michael Sider

Here’s a little bit about him:
I work with video and photography in an ever-changing variety of contexts. Lately this has included producing video content for the theatre stage (most recently Arts Club’s Avenue Q), documenting public art process and urban food production, and collaborations with several chefs. I’ve had photos published in Canadian House & Home, two German and one French archeological journals, and Scout Magazine. I had a seven year love affair with glassblowing, and the break-up broke my heart. I do however have a lovely pile of hot-sculpted bird skulls to show for it. I also had a run as Assistant Production Manager for Public Dreams Society years and years ago, which left an indelible (fantastical, wonder-filled) impression on my spirit.

I spent my first twelve years in Northern Ontario, and have been on the west coast ever since. Vancouver, the Gulf Islands, and the Sunshine Coast have shaped my being, and I thrive in the magic of these landscapes. Sometimes my heart aches for love of the land.

And here’s how he answered my 6 questions about creativity:

What does it mean to you to be creative?
My experience of creativity is essentially channeling; this feeling of resonance comes over me, and it all happens. For me, this creativity flows out of listening, and being present in myself. I’m fortunate to have a mother who told me at a young age that I was creative, and I think this may be why I’ve never experienced creative block; I live in a river of ideas. I think of being creative as our most basic state. So, for me, being creative comes out of being who I am.

Ice sculpted by Carl Schlichting, part of Kendra Fanconi's snow and ice theatre production. Photo by Michael Sider

Pre-literate thought is inherent to my creative process; by that I mean awareness and thought that isn’t in words, or only partly in words. Most of academic psychology is certain that there is no thought without language, but I scoff at their foolish reductionism. For me, most of the important parts float just outside of the words, on the tip of the tongue as it were.
I love the idea of the gestalt, or emergent properties, I often have the experience of suddenly grasping a whole that is so much more than its parts, a rationality that transcends and shows greater perspective. I’ll sit with a pile of footage, or words, or thoughts, and play with them and let them tumble through me until the presence emerges. It’s always there, waiting to emerge. The work knows what it wants.

Bjork said it well: “with a palmful of stars / I throw them like dice / repeatedly / on the table / repeatedly / repeatedly / until the desired constellation appears”

What triggers your creativity?
I’m not entirely sure, it’s a pool that I dip my hand into all day every day. It’s just there, bigger than me, all around me. It is easier when I have time and space to be present and listen.

I am often inspired by the creations of other people, music, film, writing.

What hinders your creativity?
Financial anxiety.

Bird Skull, handblown and sculpted glass, Michael Sider. Photo by Mark Roberts

What’s the wildest journey your venturesome spirit has taken you on?
Exploring glassblowing was probably the wildest. The molten glass is unlike anything I’ve ever been close to, transformative on a tactile and energetic level, Watching a thick piece of glass shifting in itself changed some things for me. I’ll never forget the first time I really saw that, saw it with my whole being. Also, the combination of unearthly beauty and near-death adrenalin really does something to a person. And then there’s the experience of calling a presence out of the material, what amounts to invoking, a particularly charged event in the molten glass because of the pace and intensity of the material. Ah, good times.

What does being bold and provocative mean to you?
I think that the most bold and provocative thing that a person can do is to be authentic and present with other people, because that’s not usually the norm. It takes a lot of courage, and provokes people, sometimes toward authenticity themselves. I’m not always the most present with other people, but I do work at making a practice of being intentional and present with people when I feel led to. It seems like one of the most important things that can happen.

What’s next for you?
In the immediate sense, more public art process documentation and chef collaborations, which makes me ecstatic! A bit further on, I can’t see them clearly yet, but I can feel large fish lurking in the deep dark water of my psyche, rumors of future process, and I suspect they have something to do with outdoor projection installations.

And here’s a few things that inspires Michael’s creativity:

-I love this description of what it means to be intentionally creative in our current world, I find it quite moving… it’s an excerpt from a lecture by Charlie Kaufman, who co-wrote Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: What I have to Offer, Charlie Kaufman

-Filmmaker Shane Carruth inspires me with his impossibly focused and fierce vision, and his refusal to compromise, here’s a trailer for his latest film, Upstream Color:Upstream Color – Theatrical Trailer and an interview with Shane Carruth, which I found fascinating:Sci-Fi Meets Love In Carruth’s ‘Upstream Color’

-I have so much love for this short film, full of heart and beauty and transcendent sadness, a collaboration between Flying Lotus and Kahlil Joseph, I must have watched it a hundred times:Flying Lotus – “Until The Quiet Comes”

Check out Michael’s website:www.michaelsider.com

To hear about the next Man of the Month, follow DollyFaye on Twitter!