The highlight on Wednesday was the talk given by Bill Viola
, pioneer in the field of video art. He had a lot of great things to say and I hastily wrote out some notes which I thought I would reproduce here but ..hey I'd be typing all day, so hit me up over a beer. I was glad to hear how he felt about noise, artifacts, shakiness and unfocused video signals in the process of creating work, as my current video project has lots!
Later, I attended the party put on by the Canadian Consulate to celebrate the Canadian artists participating at the festival and of course promote Canadian culture. The place was packed and the free drinks and food went down good well with everyone. Did I say Canadian 3 times? Lots of 'foreigners' crashed the party too. There was lot of meet-n-greet, smiles and 'biz' going down between the beers and super yummy spicy wings and roasted artichokes. One conversation of many revolved around the role of artists as sort of unofficial cultural diplomats. I thought that if we artists could have a crack at running the world the world would be doing a lot better.
As the moon rose up into the sky I headed off into the night to catch my LRT back to the hotel feeling proud, honored, humbled and glad to be part of it all.
Took most of Thursday off from the symposium and festival to shop, look around San Jose, chill out and do some laundry. I had a great lunch at a Mexican restaurant, Don Pedro's. Not enough can be said about the quality of the food here, other than bring it on!... Burrito fest..yeesss!!
San Jose is the epicenter of the infamous Silicon Valley, home of many of the biggest computer hardware and software technologies that we/I have been using. As I walked by the massive and beautiful Adobe
building at its palm tree street lined location, I thought about how much money, billions I suppose, that have passed through them in juxtaposition with my income as an artist occasionally using their products. I won't be jumping off a bridge anytime soon, but obviously there's a lot of work to be done to strike a balance.
Later, I missed hooking up with some friends for dinner so hit the street to look around so more. I had ditched my bag of laptop, camera, phone, notes, brochures, schedules and handbills back at the hotel and felt more myself without the load to carry around. I wandered around watching all the San Jose street night life as it bubbled, zoomed and rocked around me. I found a parking lot party near the festival venues. Although I didn't know anybody I didn't feel out of place as I wandered around checking out the vendors, watching people and eating a Conquesta Verde, a long hot dog smothered in melted cheese and guacamole. yumm... The event appeared to be some kind of free event organized as a party with a band as summer concert in the park program. Everyone from old folks to little kids, rappers, gangster wannabees, bikers, teens, geeks, assorted odd balls and police milled about enjoying the sounds of Kung Fu Vampire
The band was tight and did a great show. Everyone was in good spirits.
This morning my own realities swung around and gave me an up shot to the head. It's all well and good to be globe trotting around being an international artist on the move but a combination of the fast shrinking bank balance, high roaming service charges on my cell phone account and the question of what to do about my living/studio situation at the end of the summer floored me. Anxiety is ruling my morning as I do a quick summary of what I have left to do, pay my bills and pull up my attitude socks. Time to head over to the Crisis to Bliss lounge. And turn off the phone.
Nam Jun Paik's 21st Century Man at the San Jose Art Museum