from Ottawa, where I came tonight for dinner with a friend. To anyone who’s lived here before – Ottawa is barely recognizeable, and that’s not entirely pleasant. It seems very glossy and insincere, and maybe even a bit mean, in that suburban way. At that, though, when I walked into the restaurant where we ate, I did bump into an old friend who I worked at summer camp with about 15 years ago. Which is such an “Ottawa” thing, at least for folks who grew up here. Later I went to the bar that the aforementioned friend owns (she’s a partner, I think, in the Manx) and one of the servers had gone to my high school.
had a pretty good night: Blair’s son ‘drunk and incapable’. I remember going to Hull (right across the river from Ottawa) in high school and having to put a friend in a cab and giving the driver a probably insufficient wad of cash, “take this guy as close to 101 Jones Drive as you can get him!” [Street and number changed to protect the embarrassed].
an interesting site called artengine, which is an online gallery based in Ottawa. My friend Julien’s sister is showing her work, the reliquarium. She does text/object associations, one a day all year. The primary medium is email, but the pair is placed on the website as well on the day it is sent. In a way, it reminds me of Placing, but it’s less linear and less overtly making a particular statement.
Beyond the work itself, I was really happy to see a project (and a gallery) like that originating in Ottawa. The city isn’t known as a hub of the arts, but it has a long tradition of very grassroots, almost activist, arts work centered around facilities like the SAW Gallery and others. The web and the internet more broadly seems like a perfect extension of that.
was fun. Mr Cynical was pretty blasé about the whole thing going in, but I was chatting with people I never chat with any more and drinking far too many free beers and generally enjoying the whole debauched scene. DJ Mouse was great and the whole thing was entirely anti-corpo. But not self-consciously so. My poor roommate, who’s a lawyer getting set to do her articles at the Federal Court of Appeals in Ottawa but working for us part time for the summer – she’s tainted now forever. She doesn’t want to work oustide the web/multimedia world any more.