AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Couples who want children of their own got a brief taste of parenthood by creating their own “digital babies” during a virtual reality art exhibit in the Netherlands.
Visitors selected the baby’s character traits, physical appearance and other features by answering questions on a computer tablet.
They sat in sofas in a futuristic room with soft lighting and flowing drapes, which was all part of an installation called “Posthuman Reproduction Experience,” created by Dutch visual artist Victorine van Alphen.
“I had lots of deep, personal conversations that inspired me,” Van Alphen said, including with people who wanted to have children, but couldn’t, someone who had lost a child and neighbours considering artificial insemination.
“There were lots of beautiful, inspiring conversations, anecdotes and background discussions that formed this strange, futuristic project,” she said. “I kind of gave myself the ‘mission impossible’ to create a presence in virtual reality.”
Among the question was whether you would allow your artificial creation to reproduce.
“It’s definitely smart,” said Jennifer van Exel, discussing the options with her partner Frouke Engel.
Their choices were then used to form a computer generated infant – a pulsating pink creature in an incubator, which squealed and had a red glowing heartbeat.
“I don’t know if you can say it has a head. I am not sure other people will be able to relate to it,” said Van Exel, peering at the new life form through 3D goggles while singing a lullaby.
“We’re the parents, so obviously we created it and you want to be compassionate and loving, but it’s nothing human so it’s really hard to actually relate to it.”
(Reporting by Esther Verkaik; Writing by Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)
SC Rewind: The 1971 Art Derby – Standardbred Canada
Published: September 26, 2020 11:35 am ET
In the current edition of Rewind Robert Smith recalls a rather novel promotion from 50 years ago that was spearheaded by Bill Galvin, longtime Publicity official of the Ontario Jockey Club. It was a pretty ingenious endeavor that attracted the attention of a huge number of participants.
Fifty years ago The Ontario Jockey Club was a very well organized and successful entity. Their tracks were state of the art (two of the three fairly recently completed) and the on-track product rivalled any jurisdiction then in existence. The O.J.C. Publicity department was a very active segment of the operation and did a first-class job of promoting current and future events and happenings. They also were always eager to seek out new fans, even the youngsters, many of whom attended the races with their parents.
In 1971 under the guidance of Bill Galvin, future Hall of Fame writer and communicator, the Publicity folks repeated an exciting promotion called Art Derby For Kids. Previous competitions had been based on poetry, this one on art. The subject of the latest Art Derby was a Standardbred mare named Superior Princess and her young daughter Hieland Barbara. Both of these fine-looking animals were owned by Mrs. Edith Hie of Cobourg, Ont. It was through the generosity of Mrs. Hie and her husband Cliff that these two were “loaned” to Bill Galvin for this interesting event.
In order to be eligible for the 1971 Art Derby the child had to be 12 years or younger by October 15, which was the closing date for the competition. The task at hand was for the child to submit a creative drawing of Superior Princess and her daughter. It was to be drawn on any size piece of paper up to 20 x 24 inches using any type of pen or pencil. Included in the permissible tools were watercolours, magic markers, poster colors and acrylics. Oils were not acceptable. An entrant who met the age qualifications could submit as many drawings as they wished.
Children who wished to get a close-up view of Superior Princess and her cute little foal were advised to tune in to the Uncle Bobby Show, a long-running children’s program of that time. This popular educational show was then in its eighth year and aired daily except Sunday on Toronto’s CFTO which was Channel 9. For those not in the Toronto viewing area there were six other locations with varying dates throughout August and early September to choose from. So wide was the viewing area that it included the cities of Windsor, Edmonton, Calgary, Halifax, Regina and even St. John’s, Nfld.
Owner Cliff Hie holds broodmare Superior Princess while her foal is attended to by a visitor on the Uncle Bobby Show. A TV cameraman catches all of the action. That’s “Uncle Bobby” with the striped trousers. (Courtesy of Bill Galvin)
Two judges were selected to oversee the Canada-wide competition. Mrs. Kay Boa, Head of the Art Dept. at Ridley College in St. Catherines, and Barry MacKay, a bird artist and naturalist were chosen. Mr. MacKay was a regular guest on the Uncle Bobby Show.
The grand prize for winning the 1971 Art Derby was a fully paid trip to the fabulous new Disney World in Orlando, Florida via Eastern Air Lines. The first prize also included the teacher of the winner who would accompany the child. This was a major prize as Disney World had just opened at this time and very few people had visited there.
AND THE WINNER IS…
In October of 1971 the winner of the contest was announced. That lucky person was 11-year-old Kim Thoms, daughter of Wm. and Ann Thoms, and a student at Beverly Acres School in Richmond Hill, Ont. A horse lover, Kim created her prize-winning art during her spare time at school. The judges commented that Kim’s art was an excellent piece which went beyond the horse and it was obvious that she put a great deal of effort into her work.
Taking second prize of $50 was Teri Lynn Maxwell of Scarborough, Ont. with third going to Melanie LeMarchant of Cobourg, Ont. who received $25. Jackie Cameron of Amherst, N.S. and Heather Fisher of Morinville, Alta. both received honourable mention.
Three Derbies were held in the years 1969, 1970 and 1971 all with similar formats. They reached huge audiences through newspapers, magazines including extensive front-page coverage in the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest newspaper. The total media coverage for the three Derbies was 9,236,400. It was estimated that this year’s event attracted 300,000 viewers on the TV programs when the mare and foal were guests.
Bill put on a lot of “neat” promotions and special events back in the day. He staged donkey races, arranged for Santa Claus to land in the centrefield, put on sleigh rides for kids, held Christmas dinners for the horsemen and that’s just a small sampling of his many endeavors.
Quote For The Week: “A smile can start a conversation without saying a word.”
Who Is It?
Around the same time as the contest described in today’s Rewind (within a year or two) another version of the Art Derby was held. Can you name the three people in the above photo as they appear in the TV studio with that year’s “celebrities”. Second from left is the TV show host Uncle Bobby. (Courtesy of Bill Galvin)
Where Was It?
Can you identify where this famous photo was taken? Now how about naming the winning horse and driver and what event was taking place. That’s a lot but I’ll bet our experts will come up with it. (Hoof Beats Photo)
Black Lives Matter street art installations coming to Dartmouth, Halifax – CBC.ca
The Halifax Regional Municipality will be painting the words “Black Lives Matter” in Halifax and Dartmouth this weekend.
The municipality said it was doing it to show support for the movement.
“This public solidarity augments several measures being taken by the municipality corporately to help address anti-Black racism and continue to build [a] better relationship with the municipality’s communities of African descent,” the municipality said in a news release on Friday.
Work on the first installation at Alderney Drive in Dartmouth will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Work on the second installation at Brunswick Street in Halifax will begin at 7 p.m. on Sunday.
The municipality said sidewalks will be open and access to businesses will be maintained and that at least one lane of vehicle traffic in each direction will be maintained while work is underway.
The bicycle lane on Brunswick Street will be closed while work is happening and cyclists and vehicles will share one single file lane around the work area.
Oxygen Art Centre launches new adult classes – Nelson Star
After much planning Oxygen is excited to launch their fall lineup of adult education opportunities, combining a fine array of online and small in-person classes.
Oxygen conducted a student survey earlier in June to find out how people were feeling (with COVID in mind) in regards to participating in arts education this fall. The response was very positive and clear — students want to be creative! Oxygen then got to work with their talented team of instructors and volunteers to re-vision how the educational offerings could be delivered in an innovative and safe way.
“Oxygen will be offering seven online courses and three small in-person courses this fall,” says education co-ordinator Natasha Smith.
“Many of our instructors have specifically created classes that can be taught online, utilizing the many tools that we now have available to make this learning experience rewarding, interactive and convenient for our students. Another benefit of online programming is that we are removing the barrier of travel for students that live outside of Nelson.”
The three in-person classes include Resurrecting the Lost Art of Letter Writing with Rayya Liebich, Eco-Printing on Textiles with Seathra Bell, and Painting on Another Level with Natasha Smith. The class sizes will be limited to a maximum of five students and all COVID-19 safety protocols at the centre will be in place.
Oxygen is also offering two online professional development courses for creatives this fall. Starting with Art Shack with artist Ian Johnston.
“It’s a visual arts professional development free-for-all!” says Johnston. “Over four evenings of group conversation we will harness the hive mind and the experience of the participants to explore a self-identified group of professional development issues such as proposals, statements, audience, networks and researching opportunities.”
This is an opportunity to share, develop your skills, and meet other artists in a supportive, collaborative space. The second professional development course is How to Submit to Commercial Galleries with artist Kristy Gordon, who will unveil the practical steps you can take to develop a connection with a commercial gallery. The one-session course includes a lecture, discussions and individual feedback.
Deborah Thompson has designed an online drawing course: Drawing with the World in Mind. This course will run twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the month of October.
“The COVID-19 Global Pandemic has highlighted a long list of global problems; climate change, homelessness, opioid crisis, racism, classism and more. Leaning into a creative practice during these times is helpful in developing meaningful insights and in cultivating imaginative ways to give constructive shape to the future,” says Thompson.
Many students will be excited that Bessie Wapp is offering Singing the Blues Goes Virtual this Fall. In this seven-week course you will explore the rich swamp of the human voice in a relaxed and supportive environment through online group and one-on-one sessions. In November, Rayya Liebich will be offering an online Poetry Immersion course. From the comfort of your home immerse yourself in the language of poetry. Weekly online classes will focus on studying the craft of poetry (image, form, feeling) and allow time for a series of guided writing prompts to help hone your writing skills.
Also running in November and over five classes Natasha Smith will be offering Moving into Abstraction as an online course. Through a series of hands-on projects, students will explore various techniques and alternative ways to develop ideas and images that will encourage a more abstract way of working.
Interdisciplinary artist, prOphecy sun will be offering an innovative course this Fall: Sonic Imaginaries: An Introduction to Creating Electronic Compositions. This online beginner level studio course explores a wide range of methods and conceptual approaches to creating electronic sound. prOphecy explains: “Each week will explore how sound emerges and will survey conceptual and methodological techniques used in music, video, sound art, and other artistic production.”
Register today for online and in-person art classes taking place throughout October and November with Oxygen’s incredible artist instructors. Don’t wait — spaces are limited. Learn more about the upcoming classes below and on our website at https://oxygenartcentre.org/classes/adult/.
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