Posts Tagged ‘hamilton’

ZIM is “Better than Nothing” ??

April 10, 2015

ZIM js - free JavaScript Library of Interactive Media Modules

Had a fun time presenting ZIM (http://zimjs.com) last night at the Software Hamilton Demo Camp to an audience of 100 developers, designers, entrepreneurs, etc. in the Art Gallery of Hamilton’s Tanenbaum Pavilion.

It was one of the sweetest (in the old-fashioned sense) welcomes I’ve had where a few shouts of Dan Zen led to a growing round of applause as I was taking the stage.  It is nice to have a history of talks, the last being Droner http://droner.mobi where the audience controlled me with the multiuser app from their phones.  I still had people coming up to me thinking that my essence of being is Kitty Tartan – http://kittytartan.com – I would much prefer they take note of Tilty http://tilty.mobi and Touchy http://touchy.mobi both of which I presented at different times with the audience playing with business cards and coins with their neighbors. So from the first Demo Camp where I presented Optartic Tunnel http://opartica.com – the app that I made my spinning pleasure card with to the Keynote on Creativity and New Forms of Mobile Games http://wp.me/p9ja-8Z, Demo Camp has been a very rewarding experience.

So on taking the stage, I explained that I did not wear my turquoise fun-fur cape (or was it a bib) as I wanted the audience to take me seriously.  I was presenting ZIM which lets us build more easily on the Canvas side of HTML where we are free to dynamically draw for artistic purposes, drag, drop and hit test to make puzzles, e-learning apps and games – the traditional realm of Interactive Media.  I presented the live examples and finished with the fact that since ZIM Frame has launched… ZIM is now officially a framework.

Questions and comments were fast a fun as always!  One asked about avoiding the pitfalls of Flash interface – I claimed that I did not believe in one interface fits all of the ultra efficient consistency principle and we need room to explore as variety is the spice of life.  Other answers had me saying if security ever became an issue, we could blame HTML and another answer had me poking fun at the HTML components which are in dire need of some design love and extension.

HTML components could use an updating

My favourite part was the last question where an eccentric character in the back shouted, “How is ZIM better than WHAT?”  I asked what was what?  The audience and I puzzled and then realized we were looking for a comparison with the competition.  I hesitated a little – then said that the reason I made ZIM is that I needed what it provided and there were no other solutions that I knew of – so… I guess… ZIM is better than… nothing.  I did not realize what I was saying… just came to that conclusion from my logic. So – ZIM is better than nothing!

http://zimjs.com/ try it out and then see the HELP section for community help and discussion.

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Dan Zen – Memories of a Performer, Patron, Participator, Practitioner, Planter, Pollinator and Partier

March 8, 2015

WARNING – LOCAL CONTENT! Hamilton is experiencing a cultural growth led by an organic happening called the Art Crawl.  With organics, we have seeds.  I would like to honor the seeds I have seen and sewn in the growth of our culture. Education is often at the root of culture and that in-part was my introduction into the arts – through the scene at McMaster University.  Despite being an Engineer, I hung out in the Art’s cafeteria so partied with artists, hung out with musicians, etc.  I made art, made music, put on shows, etc. during the 80s.  Hey, and did the same during the 90s – oh… and the 2000s and here we are in the 10s and we are still going.  Before me… I am sure there were scenes. I like scenes – I nurture scenes and do my utmost to promote and welcome people.  Perhaps, that is my lot in life.  I have always liked a good game, a good party, a social happening – unabashedly meeting people and introducing people – breaking down inhibitions.  So, let’s check out some of these events.  As much as possible, I will relate these to the James Street area and in each case, we should remember these as seeds and their organizers as planters, their attendees as pollinators, etc. I hosted some dances in the 80s during my Goth phase – then called Bat Caver.  There was a guy called AD who also hosted an event called Nekropolis and that happened on King William, where later in 1994, Thee Gnostics were the house act at Hep Mondays at the X-Club run by Darren (but I have skipped ahead).  After university, in 1986, I went to Europe for 9 months – another way to grow is to travel, and then we spread culture.  I came back and brought back with me a mod / psychedelic outlook and started doing dances called Op Hops.  One of these was at Patsy’s Banquet Hall on James in 1988. ophop2 Somewhen around that time, there was a band called All Together Morris whose lead singer Glen Marshall had a studio space on James along side Denise Lisson’s gallery studio across from Jackson Square – so the first scene I recall on James St.   However, one of my earliest Hamilton cool memories from the seventies was of the record shop on the corner of James and King upstairs – might have to ask Bob Bryden about that.  There was also Susan George over in the warehouses by Beasley and various cool warehouse art parties. The Hamilton Artists Inc was located on James Street the seventies across from where Mixed Media is now and then on James by the Wild Orchid where RoseAnne worked and then on Vine and then over above Gallery on the Bay and then on Colbourne near where the Art Bar is currently just off of James and now in its fantastic new location at James and Cannon. We solute the board members and volunteers of this scene – Paul, Judy, RoseAnne, Ian, Donna, Michael, Philip, Tor, Ivan, Douglas, and many more. We were in at the Vine location before the Artists Inc. with a really cool art beatnik hang-out with Gaven, Stavros, Lorraine, RoseAnne and the Chessmen played there at my Stag.  Earlier, Tomas, Lorraine, Walter and Zena had the Synagog on Cannon with their band, Sublimatus.  Gaven and I put on the Figmentalisticanarianismist show there in 1991. fig_s Around the same time, I had a piece in a large group show at the Liuna Station on James – kind of.  Many artists around. During Thee Gnostics time, the cool kids were hanging around Hess Village and we played the village a number of times.  But the cooler kids were starting to think elsewhere and look for a new music / art scene.  We went to Barton and Thee Gnostics had a great flat above an old post office as head quarters.  Tomas, Gaven and Lorraine lived there and I hung out there almost daily and of course, there was James and Cosmic Ray.  We connected with Elis and Dennis – who hung out with Francis.  They started the Gallery 435 speak easy hang out and it is still going waiting for the artists to finally come to Barton when the rent gets too high on James.  We were looking for a place for a scene and visited the Westinghouse building in hopes for it to become the new Rochdale. As Thee Gnostics we also played on James at Bauka‘s studio – can’t remember quite where that was – it was on a South East corner maybe James and Rebecca possibly York or Cannon.  As well as excellent warehouses – Johny Angel on John for the Egypt Vishnurama.  John and Jesse had a cool little place on Hughson I think and King William. The Double Feature Creatures were hanging around – Christine Leakey, RoseMary, Julia.  Art parties at the greenpeace houses – Chris – the old Jewelry place on York, etc.  And as mentioned, the Hep Mondays at the X-Club on King William right on the pre edge of the happening alternative club scene with Home Grown, Absinth and Baltimore House.  That building will be amazing if it ever opens again.  There was Psonic Unyon too on York and we did dances in that building with the mods – Samantha, Andrea, Valerie, Erin, Andre, Gaven, Sandy and shows at this amazing Chinese Playhouse upstairs on James around Rebecca – amazing place that and totally underutilized in our current environment.  Oh, and how could I forget – the Tivoli – before the front was taken down – the auditorium is still there.  Thee Gnostics played there watched by Chris, Lilly, Lisa – and others. When Barton took too long we actively were establishing a scene on John StreetJohn and Andrea Deal started the GAG Gallery in the space where previously, Mark Byk, Peter and Kristine lived and where we beatnik-partied like crazy!  Later at the GAG we held the first Interactive Interactive show in 2003.  We also held the No Escape Artathon where we locked artists up in the gallery for 48 hours.  I MC’d that event to live web casting.  I met Steve Mazza, Laura Hollick, Len Jessome, all who have gone on to great artistic heights in Hamilton.  Many others too – Martin, Matt, etc.  Bob has some pictures from around that time – would be great to see them.  I planned to stage an Art theft to get people in the Suburbs to pay attention to arts in the city. ii I ran Interactive Interactive shows with Sheridan and McMaster Interactive Media at the Artist Inc for the next four years 2004, 2005, 2006 with the last one in 2007.  It was just too hard to get media and people from the suburbs to come plus we started doing open houses in Toronto and packing everything twice at the end of the year was too hard.  Here is a shot of James Street in 2007 with Mixed Media and the Factory at their old locations and Dane’s Loose Cannon where I usually purchased something each visit.  I was at the first meet to discuss the Factory – it was held in the Artists Inc above Gallery on the Bay.  And I certainly remember Mixed Media in their old place with Dave and Teresa – I donated a cool 50s boomerang chair and Ottoman.  During the mid 2000’s I also MC’d a number of Artists Inc events with Sky Gilbert and Matt Jelly like the Sin Circus at Worker’s Heritage building where Brian Kelly works and prior to that there were the Fetish Fashion Shows with Sue Phipps and Ian James the last of which took place somewhere on James – was it the Chinese Playhouse (not really called a playhouse – would love to find that again!). james Well… that’s enough name and place dropping for now – doubt anyone gets this far but good memories and really would like to honor all the folks that have made Hamilton so much fun.  Keep at it – would like to tell the story of early Art Crawls but will leave that for another post.  I am just glad a self sustaining art scene has finally arrived so we don’t have to work as hard!  Our garden is growing – Gardener Russ would be happy – hi Russ! — 15 — PP – Please forgive me if I left anyone out – or even give me a comment!  This was all from the top of my head so I may have mixed some details.  Again, it is how I remember the past as it relates to James Street N and Art – there was certainly much more going on all over – art on James S,  Kevin McKay‘s early SkyDragon scene, music scene at the Corktown, Dundas art scenes, etc.  but I tried to focus on perhaps some forgotten seeds leading to our current wonderful scene on James.

Half Century Celebration and Dan Zen Museum Launch Red Carpet Extravaganza

March 24, 2014

Dan Zen Dances Psychedelic in the Clouds at the Extravaganza

Here is the link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yl280Rrn2do for the Dan Zen Museum Launch and 50th Birthday party. Here is a Video Table of Contents:

1. surreal-like introduction – well, why not – I am chronicling my past.
2. an upstairs section with the physical inventions
3. happy birthday and opening speech in Theatre
4. split screen with talk from theatre booth mixed with dancing
5. concluding theatre talk
6. Dan Zen museum Website promo

MISSING: interviews and parts of speeches and here and there.

Thanks to the Staircase and amazing staff, Catherine for much of the footage, Christine for the YesUmNo, Ada for the music, RoseAnne, Madeline, Elliot, David, Cheryl and all who helped move and put up with the moving (still ongoing).  Also, thanks all for the wonderful presents – I am just about to get thank-you messages out.  Thanks for all those who sent wishes but could not be there – the 100’th party will be a cape and sash theme.

A few clarifications, I say that I am the world’s number 1 psychedelic dancer according to Google – not the best psychedelic dancer – that credit goes to each and every person who dances psychedelically. And… the unfortunate new name of Interactive Multimedia is Interactive Multimedia Management (not Business) we are fighting it http://danzen.com/petition/imm.  Also… it was great to see the TRANSLATION TUBE being used – but… there was a stone in one end so that it balanced when sitting on the table – if we only took the stone out, the whispers would have been much much better.

translationtube

 

The Dan Zen Museum is up and running but some final tweaks and edits are still to do before it replaces the main Dan Zen interface.  The URL is http://danzen.com/museum and I still have 50-100 more stories to add to the stairs.  Thanks again to all who came out and sent wishes and made it one of the best nights of my life 😉

Supplemental links:

Facebook Event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/207807509414895/

Pictures by Todd:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/danzen/sets/72157642442992504/

Staircase Theatre:
http://staircase.org

YouTube Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yl280Rrn2do

Dan Zen Museum:
http://danzen.com/museum

Dan Zen Creativity Framework:
http://danzen.com/creativityframework

Dan Zen Facebook Page:
http://facebook.com/danzenpage

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The Chessmen – Garage Mod Band Hamilton, Canada 1989

July 15, 2013

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THE CHESSMEN

Op Art light shows, go-go girls, splotchy cravats, Vox amps, Rickenbackers and a mad mod following! The Chessmen were Hamilton’s garage band in the late 80’s playing original songs influenced by the Kinks, Who, Beatles and Stones to name some well known bands but also deeply routed in more obscure way-out sounds.

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The Chessmen – album 1989 13 original songs (ZAP)

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The Chessmen – Warren, Jamie, Dan, Mike, Rick


ALBUM

The Chessmen launched one self titled album on ZAP records in 1989. The sound was more thin than their live acts and shortly thereafter they went psychedelic with longer songs like Follow the Path, Floating Down the River and Garden of Earthly Pleasures. They disbanded still friends and did a few reunion shows like the Baron of Time show at Amigos in Hess Village. Time Machine and several other songs were featured on garage compilations from around the world: Time Machine Mr. Garager’s Neighbourhood

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The Chessmen – Rick, Dan, Mike and Randy


FORMATION

Rod Fuzzfiend (Rick Blythe) and Dan Zen had seen one another out at dance clubs in the 80s and started jamming together before Dan Zen went off to Europe for nine months to hang out with garage bands – the cool side of the indi-pop movement – squatted with My Bloody Valentine and went to Spacemen 3 gigs to see the mop-top opening bands like the Surrounds, Jamie Taylor Quartet and Aardvarks.

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LINEUP

Rick did back-up vocals and played Rickenbacker bass (being a Stranglers follower) with local legend, the late Randy Steele on Guitar, and Musicologist, Mike White on the skins. Dan Zen went CHANG CHANG on a solid body Rickenbacker, sang, and wrote the songs – what primitive lyrics – a little raw or adolescent for his standards now but certainly all about girls coming and going, smiling and dancing. He also did light shows and managed the band. Soon after forming, Warren Cavenagh took over Bass with his little hofneristic boingbinger. Rick moved to Guitar for a double Rickenbacker front line. This was the album line-up along with Jamie sessioning ards. There were also a number of gogo dancers – Glynnis, Erin, RA, Angie, Melanie, Sue, and so forth.

SHOWS

Op Hops were the main gigs – dances put on by Dan with posters and light shows, etc. Mods would scooter from Brantford and Toronto to Hamilton locations like the Terra Nova Theatre on Dundurn (where the Taco Bell was put and then kaput), Patsy’s Banquet Hall on James St. N. and the Corktown. Empty Hours, The Captives, Ten Commandments and the likes would work up the crowd.

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PARTIES

After parties would happen on Grant just up from Grant Avenue Studios. The Gruesomes would hang out and all sorts of garage bands from around Canada – the Frankenstien Five, Sherlocks, the Minstrels, from the States, the Cynics, even some friends from Britain – the Thanes, the Offhooks and Surrounds. There would be jams in the attic where the Chessman practiced above the Op Art and Surreal Rooms. Various feasts like the Medieval, Beatnik, Space and Psychedelic parties transpired along with mystery parties like Baron Digbody’s Castle and the Lady with Brooch beatnik art theft and car rallies around the dozens of waterfalls in Hamilton. We’d walk in woods at night doing silly walks playing pass the documents. Late at night we would tell stories a sentence each and dance in strobe lights waving ties like snakes.  Below are some people – missing Samantha, Andrea, Valerie, Sandy, Suzanne, Keith, Mark, Myra, Jen, Dave, Bam Bam, Michelle, and many other fun folks!

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Christina, Darren, Glynis, Angie, Doug, Erin, Angie


AND THEN

After the album, Rick went back to bass with Andre LaPointe from the Captives coming in on guitar and backing vocals. Gaven Dianda also did a stint or two on bass when Rick was away. When the band disbanded Dan and Gaven went on to form the Swinging Gurus and later Thee Gnostics along with Andre and Thomas Monte from Sublimatus as we were all hanging around at these parties listening to early Pink Floyd, late Miles Davis, Hawkwind, Soft Machine and Orphx.  Mike moved off to Vancouver and then Toronto to work in Musical Media, Warren became Michael and travels the world helping the needy.  Rick and Dan both married their lovely girlfriends at the time RoseAnne and Ada and are still best friends in the Hamilton area working with latest technologies.

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Thee Gnostics – Dan, James, Gaven, Thomas

Thee Gnostics Psychedelic Space Rock Band Discovered in the Tarken Files

August 30, 2008

Thee Gnostics were a psychedelic space rock garage band from Hamilton, Canada in the 90s.  Archives of video, sound, pictures along with descriptions can be found in The Tarken Files.

The Tarken Files shows any Web video, sound, pictures and text.  Thumbnails for the files are presented with rollover scrolling text beneath.  Click on any thumbnail or use the arrows to browse more files.  A viewer will appear with either video, audio, picture or text navigation.

The video navigation has a full screen button at the right.  Hit escape or the reduce screen button to exit.  The sound navigation has a reduce button at right that closes the pannel but keeps the sound playing in the background while you browse pictures or text.  If sound is playing in the background, you will see a sound icon on the right side of the video, picture and text viewers so that you can adjust the volume or go back to the sound.

There are tabs at the right of the viewer that open the ratings, comments and information panels. To rate, roll over the rating at the bottom and submit.  The comments and information panels (and the text viewer) have a scroller if necessary that lets you scroll through the text.  You can also single click through the pages or double click to go to the top or bottom page.  The information panel shows you the views as well.

The Tarken Files have been excavated from a Galaxy Long Long Ago yet seem to also span the future.


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