Habitat: for Kelowna 2017

Combining the compressed structure of a graphic novel with the physical immersion of installation, this Habitat loosely mirrors the city of Kelowna. The lake divides the city in half - sunset in the west and sunrise in the east - the left side darker and right side lighter both actually and metaphorically.

It is intended as a choice between two ways of living in the world. It is inspired by Spinoza who said that we are either increasing the joy or the sadness in the world, a shocking and empowering thought, as if we each come to a crossroads and must decide which way to turn.

Habitat is an enormous apartment complex, filled with the messy lives of its occupants, overheard conversations, smells, sounds, thoughts, misunderstandings; "real" people and figments of their imagination; the through-story of the prodigal daughter. The weight of the precarious structure rests on the four small characters on the base line.

thanks to my fellow artists,
Gisele Amantea, Yael Brotman and Laura Vickerson, the curator of this group show, Liz Wylie for her careful planning and my patient and pleasant assistant Clea Haugo.

It shouldn't have been as much fun as it was.


List of sources for the numbered quotations. (Text without numbers was written by the artist)

1. Brian Green (on string theory), "It promised an unshakable pillar of coherence forever   assuring us that the universe is a comprehensible place." 2. sign somewhere , “We have more intestines. Please ask for details." 3. Emily Dickinson, "The brain is wider than the sky." 4. Fort McMurray resident on CBC radio, "I grabbed my cat, toothpaste, toothbrush and pillow" 5. Cynthia Ozick, A puppet drawing, darkened cities, tombstones, colourless garlands..." 6. Donald Trump, "I'd like to punch him in the face." 7. Thomas Fuller, NYT. 10. 2. 2016 Timber company spokesman, "Find your own water."  8. Chris Marker (film script for La Jetée), "A peacetime morning. a peacetime bedroom, a real bedroom. real children. real birds. real cats. real graves." 9. James Agee, Knoxville Summer of 1915, "The stars are wide and alive, they seem each like a smile of great sweetness and they are very near." 10. Jeff Cheecham, (Fort McMurray resident quoted in the G & M 5.1.2016), "I'm just looking forward to being home, driving down that dirt road we live on ..." 11. Don DeLillo, "The biblical wind that carries sagebrush, sand, hats, cat and poisonous snakes all blowing by in the desert dawn." 12. James Agee, Knoxville Summer of 1915, "By some chance here we are, all on this earth" 13. Henry James, "The more or less bleeding participants" 14. urban dictionary, "The lights went out and the whole jail started to chant fish, fish, fish" 15. scientist quoted re. Large Hadron Collider experiments in Higgs Boson (God particle), "We're not looking for anything in particular. We're just looking." 16. Don DeLillo, "I'm not looking to wear the white man out with my ability to suffer." 17. Woody Allen, "I hate reality but it's still the best place to get a good steak" 18. Isaiah Berlin quoting Joseph Butler  "Everything is what it is ,,,"19. Philip Roth, "That's realism for you. More meaning than was necessary." 20. John Berger on H Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights: "there are no pauses, no paths, no patterns, no past, and no future. There is only the clamour of the disparate, fragmentary present." 21. Don DeLillo, "God made big people and god made small people but colt made the .45 to even things out." 22. urban dictionary, "you gotta let that shit go" 23. Northrop Frye (on Isaac Newton), "Great ocean of truth" 24. Diana Birkenheier, "butta la pasta" 25. Scanner (lyrics based on overheard cell phone conversations)" Gloria! Gloria! Please don' t hang up Gloria!" 27. Mozart, "The prima donna was a lunatic" 28. Julia Child, "Furnish yourself with 2 stout-bladed , very sharp knives, 1 small and 1 larger. Now you have 2 choices ..." 29. Geoffrey York (G & M 05.19.2016 re Boku Haram) "Some of them pray. some of them don'’t pray. All of them kill." 30. Catherine Carmichael, 1 Army boot/ 1 bare foot (description of her invitation for YYZ) 31. Lenny Bruce, "We’re all gonna die!" 32. Don DeLillo, "The power and momentum of mass feelings" 33. Don DeLillo, "ordinary in every way, simple moments adding up with rain falling on the lawn" 34. Don DeLillo, "raw hate, Larry" 35. Christina ( jcc aquafit teacher) "ladies if you think your butt doesn't need work you are sadly mistaken" 36. Djivan Gasparyan ( traditional Armenian song he recorded), "I will not be sad in this world" 37. Accel Simeone, (schizophrenia patient in Venezuela, NYT, 10.2.2016 ) "I felt I needed to take a screwdriver and put it in my chest, just where my heart is."  38. William Duarte, (NYT, 22.5.2016 quoting a Venezualian teenage gang boss on you tube), "Yo no creo en nadie" 40. urban dictionary, "Drini sees Dina in the nearby shop wiv some of her frenz."   urban dictionary, "Drini thinks OMG wot a pagan. she lied to me that bitch."    41. Christopher Logue, "God lay asleep beneath the glamorous night." 42. Schubert, "whenever I tried to sing of love it turned to pain, and again, whenever I tried to sing of pain, it turned to love." 43. Gore Vidal, "Perpetual war for perpetual peace."  44. 9/11 billboard of missing persons  "Ramesh, we hope you are alright ..."

text as a KAG PDF

Habitat (Kelowna) city and sunrise

Habitat (Kelowna) sunset and city

Habitat (Kelowna) sunset detail

Habitat heaven (detail)

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