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About John Goldsmith
“Sometimes a Piece of Sun” -Pablo Neruda
Drop Out of Art School (2012) -
In this age of an Instagram billion dollar buyout, pushing a button digitally transforms an original picture into one of manufactured nostalgia. An artificial time passage is applied by simulating a physical-chemical process relating to a film emulsion that is increasingly in short supply. While the moment captured is not generic, the uniformly applied veneer of a declining technology, and the mood it intends to evoke, is. While the moment is real, the sentiment imposed by the aesthetic may be as bankrupt as Kodak. Within this automation, users themselves can be elevated to the status of artists, or at a minimum, appear artful.
We have yet to comprehend how future generations will view our vernacular snapshots and their attempts to understand will undoubtedly be challenged by a disjointed reality portrayed through the human construct of aged pictures. We may learn that Instagram photos are as true as those imposed sentiments written in a Hallmark card – real feelings though not produced with our own words. But as with any modern day convenience, they are available for a price. The card at Wal-Mart is only 99 cents. The App, however, is free so long as you share your personal information.
‘Drop Out of Art School’ is an impermanent look at the changing Fairview neighbourhood in Vancouver, Canada. Within the time of a month, I photographed the area while on routine errands with a used and gifted iPhone. Fairview, which is where my family calls home, is also the city’s political seat and is home to City Hall and a flux of new big box stores. As the residents of Fairview, and also Vancouver, face intensifying transformative pressures, the project takes a snapshot of the community as our mayor strives to make this former Olympic host and “Most Livable City” also the Greenest City in the World by 2020.
Just as the neighbourhood has and continues to evolve, though arguably over longer timeframes, this project will continue to do so. It will age and some pictures might disappear altogether, like those delaminating from the insides of your parents’ family photo albums. When time permits, please visit Strange.rs before June 1 when the project undergoes a lasting transformation.
East coast. West coast. North and South. Money helps elevate one’s view above the treeline but smog rises, toxins seep and public disdain stains all fabrics – shiny and dull, alike. The Occupy Wall Street movement opened its Vancouver branch on October 15th, 2011 and established itself in the area surrounding the Vancouver Art Gallery and in a march beyond. The 99% are not bound to one people, one place, one country, or even one list of demands. They gather only in solidarity to make a more equitable place for all.
Fuck What They Think.
Bowling for Dolla-Dollars by John Goldsmith
A fresh ball off the tray. 16 pounds. The Mack truck of rollers. Needing some action. Just one shot to the pocket. Shit. No breaks here. Wrong entry. Bed post
One down still 9 and 1/2 to go. 300 it ain’t but that’s OK. A swig of draft. A blow to dry off my hand. It’s a pick up game. Time to tap the lonelies.
That’s it. Right there! Damn. Gutterball.
CANIS MAJOR by John Goldsmith
On News Years’ Day my family arrived in Australia: a 6-month stay down under and far from my adopted country of Canada. This was only one segment, albeit a big one, of what was a full circumnavigation around the globe including stops in Fiji, Oz, Germany, France, and finally, Ontario, Canada before returning home. Fast forward: 8 months and we’re already into the routine of what was. But, before we resettled into Vancouver and the comfort of the beds we left, we pulled into the penultimate port of call: Grandma’s home for Canada’s Birthday.
This was cottage country, a settlement of sorts, three hours north of Toronto and just few steps from the 45th parallel. It was familiar ground and with plenty to be thankful for after lugging around an unwieldy stack of mismatch luggage, a double-wide stroller and a pair of three year old identical twin girls that are anything but the same. There, on The Bruce, we have a big dog and an even bigger family. And even though this lake, nearly the size of West Virginia, is too cold for this native Detroit-boy a few days shy of his 40th, it’s good be home in the north and just in time for our second summer within the same calendar year. How thankful we are for the little things in life and, now, right back where we belong:
Happy Canada Day.