Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Daydream Doodling Inside The Box

I spent a fascinating morning in The Pfister Hotel's Pop-Up Gallery today. 

Artist Jeanne Nikolai Olivieri’s INSIDE THE BOX exhibit invites you to literally step inside the boxes entitled The Lounge, The Drawing Room, and my personal favorite, The Retreat. The immersive environments invite you to leave a mark on the world, to share part of your self.
"This project is a metaphor for that inner place we go to when we take creative risks.  It also represents the playful creative spaces we built as children, like a tent made of blankets, or a shelter made of branches, places where we felt secure and free to express ourselves."
"It was a knee-jerk reaction to the phrase ‘think outside the box.’ To me, it’s trite and empty.  I mean, every brushstroke, every creation, is a risk.  When we take our biggest risks, we go inside.  That’s why this is called ‘Inside the Box,’ because it’s like getting inside the self."
Jeanne Nikolai Olivieri

Inner playful places to go when we take creative risks? That also offer an emotional oasis? That could only mean one thing...and with a mental hop, skip and a jump it was down the rabbit hole for me, and a happy couple of minutes spent daydream doodling about Moonalice - my favorite band, and about to start their 2017 tour.

What good is a doodle without the requisite Instagram to record it? Which of course involved a further few happy minutes as I fussed to get the shadows just right for my handiwork.
"I don’t like the word ‘should.’  It’s a difficult word.  I’d prefer ‘I could do ___.’  This is all about letting go of ‘should’ so that people have the freedom to create what they want.  These are safe spaces, then, with no requirements.  I ask people to try to refrain from using the word ‘should’ while they create in the boxes."
Jeanne Nikolai Olivieri
I like to think that Jeanne Nikolai Olivieri would have smiled if she could have seen me daydream doodling and having so much fun inside her art today.

Jeanne Nikolai Olivieri’s INSIDE THE BOX exhibit runs through March 4th 2017 in The Pfister’s Pop-Up Gallery.  

The Moonalice 2017 Tour begins 30 March. Fans of San Fran psychedelic rock can find details of their tour here

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Don't Let Your Love Story Be Another Creature's Unhappy Ending

This balloon was untangled & recovered from the tree.
If you love them, don't let them go. Hang onto those balloons. What goes up will come down, and when it does, it will be litter and may also kill countless creatures through ingestion, entanglement or strangulation. And let’s not forget the possibility of getting stuck in power lines and the resultant outages. 

This post, which came up in my Facebook feed last night describes an all-to-often seen scenario:
“At Moss Landing today: two women walked up to the edge of the Jetty with 8 heart shaped Mylar balloons. I was hoping they were just going to take a photo but watched in horror and disbelief as they released them to be taken by the wind to the waters of our Marine Sanctuary. Some kind of memorial or celebration? What they thought was positive was actually seriously negative! I let them know kindly that those balloons could end up killing marine life (thousands of turtles, birds and mammals die from balloons every year). Please, please do not release balloons...and share with everyone the tragic consequences balloons visit on beautiful and precious marine life.”
Photo: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
In another a post this morning a friend shared photos showing how he had filled his car with balloons for his son’s birthday. There were photos of some of them floating off into the sky. So pretty to look at, and I could imagine the delight of his son looking at them float away. So potentially deadly to other creatures.

Birds, turtles and other animals commonly mistake balloons for food, which can harm or even kill them. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, “Sea turtles are especially hit hard as they surface to breathe and eat and commonly eat balloons.”

There are so many ways we can show our love. Our love story shouldn't mean another creature's unhappy ending. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Augmented Reality At Milwaukee Icon - The Pfister Hotel

Cold doesn't keep me from walking, but cold combined with freezing rain? That's a horse of a different color, which is how I found myself walking indoor laps and playing Pok√©mon GO during a recent stay at Milwaukee icon, The Pfister Hotel. As I meandered along the second floor corridor overlooking the lobby, to my delight, I found that The Pfister has an augmented reality art tour – called appropriately enough, The Pfister Augmented Reality Tour (PAR). 

Melding 21st century technology with the history and tradition, PAR allows guests and public alike to tour the hotel’s historic features and expansive Victorian art collection in an immersive experience. It is a modern twist on the traditional art tour offered by the hotel, providing users with additional historical features, games and video content to view on their smartphones.

As we were about to check out I didn’t have a lot of time to play with PAR, but what I did experience was enough to have me looking forward to my next visit so that I can explore more.

Set up is easy:

1. Use your phone and simply download the Wikitude app. For iPhone/iPad: Visit the Apple App store to download The Pfister Hotel - AR Art Tour. For Android: Visit the Google Play store to download The Pfister Hotel - Art Tour

2. Now you’re ready to begin interacting with the artwork. Throughout the hotel you will find several pieces of scan-able artwork marked with score cards located next to each “active” piece. To help finding these there are maps showing where the scan-able pieces are located.

3. Once you have interacted with the pieces, you can check them off on the list in the app. For completing the tour you will be rewarded with a special pricing on the award-winning book, The History, Art and Imagery of The Pfister Hotel, available for purchase at the Front Desk.

Current pieces with augmented content include: Dick & Harry (Lion Sculptures), Breakfast, Ben Marcus Bust, Ceiling, Fireplace, Time Capsule, Royal Love Feast, Thermostat, Fortune Teller, Kittens, Flirtation, Card Game and Mahomet.

High tech. meets fine art in an environment that is steeped in history, and with spectacular architecture as the cheery on top. It doesn’t get much better than that! 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Mark. Your. Calendars. Moonalice 420 Gathering Of The Tribe Returns To Slim's In SF On 20 April!

In a year that marks the 50th anniversary of the Summer Of Love, the psychedelic scene lives on in the band Moonalice. Formed in 2007, Moonalice reverberates the essence of rock music and is composed of Barry Sless on lead guitar and pedal steel (Phil Lesh & Friends, David Nelson Band); Pete Sears on keys, guitar and bass (Rod Stewart, Jefferson Starship, Hot Tuna); John Molo on drums (Bruce Hornsby, Other Ones, Phil Lesh & Friends) and Roger McNamee on rhythm guitar and bass (Doobie Decibel System, Flying Other Brothers, Guff, The Engineers). 

“We are a psychedelic roots-rock band of seasoned musicians mixing a variety of genres with unexpected musical improvisations," said Roger McNamee describing how Moonalice began when T Bone Burnett approached him and others to form a new band not a heritage act. “What initially was simply a project to make an album of songs, then turned into a force of music all its own,” said McNamee.

What intrigued McNamee and the other band members was the emphasis on making new music, not simply repeating the same material over and over. "Psychedelic lends itself to what is happening today, in terms of technology and social media. Even back in the 1960s and 70s, psychedelic was truly 'a multimedia event' even before that term was being used,” said McNamee. “The light shows, the art work and as far as social networking…back in those days when psychedelic was new and emerging, it was mostly all word of mouth. That was the original social media/networking thing," he explained.

Moonalice streams all its shows live in HD via satellite on its website and also on its Facebook page to its more than 420,000 fans. "With the new technology said McNamee, people can take a peak at the music - our previous performances and decide whether or not they want to come see a show. That way they will know what they are paying for." He emphasized that what they will get is a complete experience. “The live music, the lights, the art work, and the stepping into new horizons of music-expression. It’s kind of like a stew,” he said, “It is experimental, it is meant to be fun, and with the audience being there, it all ties together."

The 2017 annual Moonalice Gathering Of The Tribe will take place at Slim’s in San Francisco on Thursday 20th April. Doors are at 7:00pm with the show starting at 7:20pm. Tickets are $10 advance, $15 at the door, and $34.95 for dinner.

In addition to the fine music, psychedelic light show and sundry surprises, attendees can expect an amazing display of poster art and to take home a pack of posters which in the past have included more than 20 posters by legends of poster art. Many of the artists will be present and be happy to sign their work!