The future never looked so rusty


Haven’t had a fantastic camera-day in a few weeks, but I do have a regular practise of ‘checking my film’ the same day I take them, and setting aside the curious ones for later processing. This means I can always have plenty of fun with my all-time favourite video-game (image cropping and correction), even in a fallow time.

These snaps all came from ‘in future’ an unusually dystopian art-show held on the grounds of the then sadly derelict Ontario Place in September of 2016. Some work has been done to the old place since, and I’m delighted to say that the Cinesphere (super-fantastic Bucky-Fuller Imax movie theatre) is now back in action.

This makes old Toronto people happy, because it makes the place a universally affordable destination again (concert prices are insane these days!) More improvements should follow the happy crowds, especially if they start multi-feature late night weekends, like the old days (Tommy and Quadrophenia – next week, all-sci-fi!)

Economy theme-park accommodation

The log-flume and mining-car rollercoaster have been abandoned for some years now. Being a bit of a fogey, I remember a whole previous generations of installed entertainments, and so consider these to be late-comer interlopers anyhow. Sort of fun to see them being slowly reclaimed, if I’m honest.

Also, can’t help thinking that the nifty setting undermines this artist’s attempt at ironic statement. The whole thing is a great deal more appealing than it ought to be. Such fantastic views! Might even be worth the wobble and creak (not that I’d be likely to think-so at four AM, mind you).

Rollercoaster reclamation

Here’s another part of that rustic coater, slowly returning to nature again. Nice harmony to the rhythm of it somehow. The garden moves toward balance.

Mister Brunner has had better days

One of the former robot-miners from the busy diorama, not really feeling entirely himself nowadays. Funny how the gesture of the body makes you feel pretty sure what that of the missing hands, and even the expression on the missing head ought now to be, right? Fill-in the Munch-scream!  (only better, please)  ;o)

At least he can say he was deactivated with his boots on. That’s something.

Infinite Challah

This was not a part of the exhibit – but instead a part of the careful rule-breaking that Nada and I do regularly. Curious how well our spirit of adventure and natural caution mesh. We always want to see, but will both decline an excessive incline at the very same moment, without having to explain.

Likewise, we’re always happy to scale a fence or overlook a sign that suggests we shouldn’t proceed – provided we can establish the sign is meant as idiot-proofing only. Anyhow, you see some curious things where you aren’t supposed to go. When I got down low to get a picture of this very old chain, I suddenly got hungry. Reminded me of an infinite loaf of braided Challah running off in golden-brown waves out to the horizon. Provided I have ready access to a servicable toaster, you can keep my share of the fishes, I’m good!

Scaling the ‘Clyffe

I’ve met a lot of amazing photographers through facebook, but my friends Bill Smyth and Craig Hinchcliffe in particular, have changed my photographic aspirations, by showing me things that I never knew to look-for.

In Bill’s case, quietly magnificent achievements of extraordinary richnesses, depth of colour and composition, in scenes that without such artful balance, might escape the eye altogether. Modest-glorious – powerful, thoughtful and beautiful. He’s right, too – enchantments abound, everywhere around us.

And with Craig, whose work has truly staggering range, I feel I have finally identified a quality present in all, and with it, perhaps a part of the reason his work so inspires. Each of his images is imbued with a distinct personality and empathic warmth – even landscapes pick up qualities of scale and tonality which make them relatable, inhabitable. Strangely-often, this dissolves the photo plane itself, and wraps the spaces and characters (human and animal alike) which he depicts, right around our grateful minds, framelessly.  Not percussion, way out there at the end of your fingertips – but a horn-note, made with your very breath!

You guys don’t half set a high-bar. Nor do I mean to suggest this small set of images to be high-mark (I yet lack a collection worthy of you two) – but only a few tries (out of 304 exposures, that particular day) that I wouldn’t have sought-after the same, without the teasing glimpses of potential magic you both so generously share.

Thank you mates! Opposite side of the world – but right-close with me and art-activating, all the same!

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