About a Rumble

A quick post before Max and I head out.  The light fades so quickly these days.  Last night I attended my first rumble at the Rumble House.  Some of you remember when I announced on my blog, the closure of Gorilla House and my last live art battle.  Well, the next project to bust wide open after much love and effort on the part of a lot of people, is the Rumble House.  Located at 1136 8th Ave, SW, the soft opening (whatever that is) occurred last week, Wednesday, to be followed, I guess, by the ‘hard opening’ last night.

This photo…taken by someone else.

Rumble House 2I decided to GOOGLE the word Rumble and paint whatever came up. Rumble, League of Legend’s mechanical menace came slightly ahead of WWE’s Royal Rumble .  It’s as simple as that.  I do not develop caricatures or work in any form of animation.  The only two times I have ever tackled such subjects have been at the Gorilla House and now, the Rumble House.  These have been places of exploration, so why not?  Master Chief was the last subject I took on of this nature.

Master ChiefThe TRUE excitement of the evening was re-connecting with friends who paint.  The hugs were contagious.  I treasure the connection, the stories and the creative energy that abounds during these experiences.  Nice to connect again with painting buddies, Belinda Fireman and Jennifer Stinson!

Last night’s painting, Rumble, was picked up at auction by a fan’s father.  Wisdom, thanks for visiting me throughout the evening and giving me the encouragement to keep going.  You don’t know how wonderful it is to receive the insights of our guests throughout the two hour painting frenzy.  Thanks, Aaron! (and forward me a fantastic photo of your son that I can include here, please)

Of Rumble’s Lore, I learned…

“Even amongst yordles, Rumble was always the runt of the litter. As such, he was used to being bullied. In order to survive, he had to be scrappier and more resourceful than his peers. He developed a quick temper and a reputation for getting even, no matter who crossed him. This made him something of a loner, but he didn’t mind. He liked to tinker, preferring the company of gadgets, and he could usually be found rummaging through the junkyard. He showed great potential as a mechanic. His teachers recommended him for enrollment at the Yordle Academy of Science and Progress in Piltover, where he may very well have become one of Heimerdinger’s esteemed proteges, but Rumble refused to go. He believed that Heimerdinger and his associates were ”sellouts,” trading superior yordle technology to humans for nothing more than a pat on the head while yordles remained the butt of their jokes. When a group of human graduates from the Yordle Academy sailed to Bandle City to visit the place where their mentor was born and raised, Rumble couldn’t resist the temptation to see them face-to-face (so to speak). He only intended to get a good look at the humans, but four hours and several choice words later, he returned home bruised and bloodied with an earful about how he was an embarrassment to ”enlightened” yordles like Heimerdinger. The next morning he left Bandle City without a word, and wasn’t seen again for months. When he returned, he was at the helm of a clanking, mechanized monstrosity. He marched it to the center of town amidst dumbfounded onlookers and there announced that he would join the League of Legends to show the world what yordle-tech was really capable of, without hiding behind a foreign banner.”

Here is the painting…

?????????? DSC_1774Here are the people…

?????????? ?????????? ???????????????????? DSC_1753 It was good to be back.

 

Art-Based Games

Recently, I had opportunity to be a guest teacher in a junior high Social Studies class where the teacher is using an Art Arena Game to teach concepts around the colonization of land.  There are three art games going on, one for each of his grade seven classes.  I won’t speak directly to his process, just write as an observer and to share some of my past experiences with this type of learning.

Art-Based Games by Don Pavey

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The use of the term, handicapped, on the back cover of the book is merely a reflection of the time…published in 1979.

I read Don Pavey’s Art-Based Games a zillion years ago and in my practice, incorporated role playing and key concepts that are outlined in the book, but sometimes with a spin.  That’s the point to Art-Based games.  I have no archive of the completed murals created by my students, but will post an image of a completed mural from Art Arena Games UK. info@artarenagames.co.uk

Energy Art Arena Games

From the UK site, this…

Art Arena is a team game format designed to develop social interaction and group skills.  The game process creates large works of art such as paintings, drawings, wall murals and  composite prints.

While there are all sorts of art games, beginning with simple group games like the Exquisite Corpse, tessellation games and fractal games, for the purpose of this post, I’m writing solely about those leading to the creation of large gridded murals, no matter the media produced through role play.  (these may also be produced as three dimensional or relief sculptures).  I have taken some digital photos of images in my Art-Based Games book…likely a huge infringement of copyright.  They just help me to explain this process…and yes, eventually, I will post images of the Social Studies project.

??????????The process of creating an art game and then producing the resulting art involves productive communication and requires a variety of skills.  Some might call the process a group drama as participants go into role as master planner, production line managers, communicators, colour mixers and artists.  The art game might take place in a single afternoon, but my students typically worked on their arena over a period of a month, sometimes longer.

????????????????????The largest mural project created during one of my Art Arena Games was the creation of a huge bridge down the entire length of a hallway at St. John Fine Art’s School here in Calgary.  This was a great game because it expanded from one space to another and involved journeying between those spaces.  The master planner did not have visual access to the large project (in fact he was seated, like the REAL Wizard of Oz, behind a tri fold that contained a window where instructions were passed in and out to the department managers).  In fact, the managers of the project and the master planner did not see the physical art until after each day’s class had ended and they were using the hallway to move to the next scheduled class. I think that the young man who was in role as the master planner was the son of an architect here in town who was, in part, responsible for the design of the 10th St and Memorial Drive pedestrian and LRT bridge, very cutting edge for the time.

?????????? ??????????Wh ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ??????????When these experiences happen, it is amazing.  It is empowering to students and also teaches a huge responsibility to ones own vision and contribution to a community.  It requires risk from educators to leave a traditional approach and to allow for a more grand learning experience.  These can be fashioned to each particular classroom culture, space, size and can be used in order to teach any number of concepts, whether that be in math, social studies, science, pure art, drama or any traditional ‘subject’.  The greatest fear that most teachers have is a loss of control or management.  These scenarios, once designed, place that management on the learners.

The following is a series of photographs I took of the social studies game that is happening in grade seven.  It involves trading up and colonizing a physical space, much as Europeans would have experienced.  Included here…farming and grain, flora and fauna, trapping and hides.  It was easy for me, as a guest teacher, to step in and watch the game happen.  Each class was broken into three clans…the Anishinabe, Haudenosaunee and Mi’kmaq.  Each of the clans had three clan leaders.  There were three Trustworthy People in each class.  Each participant in the game had their own personal icon and avatar and contributed to the game through their trading.  A conference was shared in each clan as clan members made decisions amongst themselves regarding their moves on the game and the trades that they would make.  Absolutely amazing to watch!  I hope to visit to see the final outcome.  The blue spaces on each board represent the water bodies…lakes…rivers.  These were determined on the boards before the games commenced.

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Gorilla House LIVE ART: November 13, 2013

I spent my daytime hours painting a soldier…a young lad from Newfoundland; he was deployed to Cyprus and separated from his family.  He suffered huge loss and died very young…before his time.  As I painted, I felt as though I was immersed in his life.  My efforts were more to honour his life in each stroke of paint, than to ‘do a painting’….a prayer, I guess.

Words adhered to the panel came from Walt Whitman’s preface to The Leaves of Grass…

This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul; and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body… . The poet shall not spend his time in unneeded work. He shall know that the ground is always ready ploughed and manured … others may not know it but he shall. He shall go directly to the creation. His trust shall master the trust of everything he touches … and shall master all attachment.

I think those words are powerful and certainly apply…I experienced them at my core.

So, having spent a day in this manner, I was ready to cut loose at the Gorilla House.  Artists had already been notified that our concepts of the evening would conclude with “…but Heavy Metal made me do it.”  I went in search of references for a pop culture figure that people would easily recognize, thinking I’d like to represent also, some form of robot.  Clearly, I didn’t want to focus on the Heavy Metal sound…but rather, on a metaphor for the sound.

I chose Master Chief, after a number of suggestions.  Tyler, thanks for the idea.   Anyone who has encountered Halo will be familiar with the character, especially gamers and those with gamers in their lives.

I began by creating a series of block letters…I don’t know where this idea came from.  The experience of Gorilla House-painting is always surprising.  Without measuring, this process went easily.  Friend and artist, Jen and I were discussing how the world of graphic art has changed over time and the fact that fonts are designed through computer imaging where as ‘in the day’ letters and signage was done manually.  Quite a shift over years.

I laid my guide down quickly in pencil and then the words, R.E.S.P.E.C.T, REACH and in cursive, Forward Unto Dawn…and the selected theme of the evening, coming from Dylan in 1966.  “I never wanted to be a prophet or a savior...but Heavy Metal made me do it.”

Block LettersThe words all have some sort of connection with the Halo game, but also speak to me in a completely different context.  So, this painting is really a clash between two different worlds or realities. Master Chief, the other-worldly soldier, was a pleasure to quickly block in and paint before the end of the two hour session.  I am grateful to Cherise who purchased this piece at auction.

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For the non-Halo player, this from Wikipedia.

Halo 4 is a 2012 first-person shooter video game developed by 343 Industries and published by Microsoft Studios for the Xbox 360 video game console. The game was released in most territories worldwide on November 6, 2012. Halo 4s story begins four years after the ending of Halo 3; the player assumes the role of the Master Chief, a cybernetically-enhanced supersoldier. The story is mainly set on a Forerunner planet, where Master Chief encounters the collection of alien races known as the Covenant and ancient warriors of the Forerunner empire known as the Prometheans. Master Chief is accompanied by the artificial intelligence construct Cortana.

Setting and characters

Halo 4 takes place in a futuristic science fiction setting in the year 2557, four years after the events of Halo 3.[21] Backstory details that hundreds of thousands of years before the modern era, humans were one of several interstellar civilizations. Following a war with the parasitic Flood, the humans came into conflict with the Forerunners, a powerful race that upheld the Mantle of Responsibility, a policy of benevolent shepherding of other races. After years of conflict the Forerunners defeated the humans and stripped them of their technology and empire. The Forerunners soon fought the Flood themselves; after exhausting every other strategic option available to them, the Forerunners activated weapons of mass destruction known as the Halo Array. The Array’s firing killed all sentient life in the galaxy to deprive the Flood of their food. Life that the Forerunners catalogued was then reseeded throughout the galaxy.[22][23]

In the 26th century, space-faring humanity (organized under the United Nations Space Command, or UNSC) comes under attack from the Covenant, an alien collective of species that worships the Forerunners as gods. The Covenant believe that activating the Halos will bring about salvation, not destruction.[24] The human supersoldier Master Chief John-117, along with his artificial intelligence companion Cortana, are instrumental in stopping the Halos from being activated, and the Flood from once again menacing the galaxy. At the end of Halo 3, Chief and Cortana are left stranded in unknown space aboard the remains of the vessel Forward Unto Dawn.[25] Much of Halo 4s campaign and Spartan Ops’ missions take place on or near the Forerunner planet Requiem. Part of the game also takes place on Ivanoff Research Station—a human base in orbit around the Halo ringworld Installation 03—and in Earth’s orbit.

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