Forget | Pogo

Forget | Pogo

By: Pogo
Via Youtube | May 20, 2015

Video recommended by Fernanda Xanat López Ortega from Mexico, collaborator of Arttextum’s Replicación

 

Music and video by Pogo.

We believe in your work, that's why we share it with original links; if you disagree, please contact us.


Related Arttextum Artists:

Carlos Guzmán, artista Arttextum
Carlos Guzmán
Leonel Vásquez, artista Arttextum
Leonel Vásquez
Pedro Reyes, artista Arttextum
Pedro Reyes

 

The war photographer who reinvented himself off-the-grid

By: Andrea Kurland
Via huck | February 18th, 2017

Processing trauma

Rafal Gerszak had to witness war in order to document history, but it almost cost him his life. Out in the wild of Canada’s north, he found his way back from the brink.

Spera District, Khost Province, Afghanistan. Hot thick air, window grease, an endless brown horizon. Four Humvees filled with armoured men trail through the ridgelines, kicking up a cloak of dust that bounces in sync with the convoy. Minutes become hours in an un-air-conditioned fuzz. Sweat drips. Eyes close. Men begin to doze.

Rafal Gerszak was never more fresh faced than the day he first arrived in Afghanistan. It was 2008, Obama’s debut year, and the Canadian photographer decided to face an urge: a desire he had to better understand the contours of his Polish roots.

In 1989, Rafal was a 10-year-old child living in a refugee camp in West Germany awaiting a visa to Canada with his family. He recalls his father’s friends rushing off to witness “a historical event”, but it would be years before he connected that day with the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Afghanistan, he figured, was somewhere to confront the past: the pink mist trail left in Communism’s wake, and the butterfly effect felt by his family. The war in Afghanistan – triggered in 1979 by Soviet Forces, fuelled by US-backed Islamic insurgents, and escalated by 9/11 – was a story worth documenting, thought Rafal, precisely because no one else seemed to think it was.

“I went to Afghanistan because it is so underreported,” says the 36-year-old, who hoped to embed with Polish forces for 30 days but ended up spending 12 months with a US platoon. “They approved my embed because I was basically the only journalist on the ground.”

arttextum-replicacion-guerra.jpg

Rafal is sat in the apartment he shares with his girlfriend and son on the corner of East Hastings and Clark Drive in Vancouver – or as he calls it, “ground zero of the opioid overdose epidemic”. It’s a gritty part of town, where history feels real.

On good days, it’s a base from which to travel to assignments. On bad ones, it’s filled with ghosts. “It could be a helicopter flying overhead,” he says. “Or when I hear the wind blow and the windows rattle. Little things like that take you back to that space where everything is black and white.”

That monochrome world, of life and death, became Rafal’s reality for the year that he spent with the 104th Air Force Division – “sleeping, eating, shitting” alongside a group of young men, equally fresh faced, and veterans who’d been in Iraq. Weeks would go by where barely anything happened. But when it did, it left more than a mark.

July 02. 2008: Three hours from the combat operating post. The radio crackles to life. A red-hot engine has brought one vehicle to a halt. Sluggish bodies and heavy heads are summoned into action. Chains connect one 4×4, now comatose, with a towing-partner. The snake of Humvees makes a U-turn and accepts its Sisyphean fate. Hot thick air, window grease, an endless brown horizon. The same muted peaks fill the same frame – then a figure breaks the rhythm. A silhouette on the ridgeline that wasn’t there before.

In March 2009, on the plane home, Rafal promised himself he’d never go back. “But two months later, I bought a one-way ticket to Kabul.” Home wasn’t as he left it; friends and family felt different. The smallest thing could trigger him into a frustrated rage. The woman in the coffee shop complaining that two-per-cent milk won’t cut it. Friends talking about the same old things they talked about before. No one seemed to get it.

“For a while I was blaming the people around me like, ‘What the fuck is wrong with everybody?’ But slowly I started realising that I needed to change things – it wasn’t everybody around me that was screwed up.”

Back in Kabul, Rafal found distraction photographing life inside and beyond the military base. Soldiers and fixers blended into one seamless band of brothers. In Afghanistan, the lines were simple. “Life at home is full of grey areas, but in a conflict zone it’s black and white,” says Rafal.

“If I’m going into a village, or covering a political event, it didn’t matter if I had showered or what kind of person I was. If I was trustworthy, they welcomed me into that situation. Back home, if I didn’t shave for a couple of days, all of a sudden I’m looked upon as that. Over there it wasn’t like that. Things seemed a lot clearer for me in a situation like that – I didn’t have to think about these little things in life that didn’t matter. That don’t matter.”

July 02. 2008: One hour from the combat operating post. Ting ting ting ting ting. Tiny rocks razor sharp cascade against the glass. The convoy has been ambushed. Those rocks turn out to be pellets of lead and rocket-propelled grenades. He grasps his camera with a hand that feels as numb as a foreign object. Time slows. Dust clears. A bullet strikes between his eyes.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental condition triggered by a terrifying event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event, feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt. Rafal didn’t know any of that until he started doing a bit of reading.

“I didn’t know if I was experiencing it, because I didn’t know what it was. There were no flashbacks, I didn’t wake up in cold sweats. It wasn’t those kinds of symptoms – just little details of my life that were affected.”

Helicopters and wind were just some of Rafal’s triggers when he returned to Canada for good. But it’s the day of the ambush – the ting of metal against glass – that’s scorched into his memory. “It was one of those days where you didn’t expect anything to happen,” he says. “You’re sort of dozing off and your whole world is flipped upside down.

A bulletproof window saved Rafal’s life, but it couldn’t block the aftershock. Back home in Vancouver, he would drive through the Rocky Mountains to visit family in Edmonton, taking in a vista that typically inspires calm or awe.

“When I first got back I used to look at the ridgelines and say, ‘Oh, that’s a good spot for them to ambush us from.’ That’s what I’d be saying to myself in my mind – and I needed that to be gone.”

Still battling with the grey areas that govern city life, feeling irritable and siloed in a crowd, in summer 2013 Rafal packed a bag, jumped in a van with his girlfriend and son and without thinking headed north.

They drove across the Arctic Circle, taking in 7,000km in two weeks, and ended up in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. Since that trip, the city has become a pitstop, a base from which to organise work and the next trek into the wilderness. Rafal has been to some of the most remote corners of the Yukon and Northwest Territories, from Sixty Mile River and Ogilvie Mountains to the shores of the Arctic Ocean in Tuktoyakyuk. He’s lived with an off- the-grid community for six months, and returns to Inuvik at least once a year; it’s where he adopted his first retired sled-dog and – though he’ll only admit it with a warm laugh – where ultimately he believes he was saved.

“The self-therapy was basically going out into the woods and camping in the middle of nowhere,”says Rafal.“I read that there’s more moose than people in the Yukon – there’s just over 20,000 residents in the Yukon Territory, which to me was perfect. The less people, the more nature, the better.”

Rafal only started making pictures a few trips in after noticing the rapid changes happening in Canada’s North. In the summer of 2016, the Slims River in the Yukon Territory stopped running without warning, due to the receding Kaskawulsh Glacier. Members of the Yukon Geological Survey will study the area for years to come to determine the impact on land and wildlife. In the meantime, all that Rafal can do is preserve what keeps drawing him here.

“This project is ultimately my thanks to that environment, giving me what it gave me,” he says. “In my mind it may not be here for future generations, so being able to photograph it and contribute in some way to keeping that memory alive – that was my thanks to being saved by nature. It sounds corny but it’s the truth.”

March 02. 2015: Inuvik, Northwest Territories. ‘Bird’ lands on cabin door, eyes up scraps of meat. ‘Fox’ enters ‘Den A’ for eight minutes, then emerges and heads for ‘Den B’. ‘Bird’ its towards the floor, hovering to steal a morsel. ‘Dog’ ambushes from behind.

Dawson City is a drive-through town with one good local store. Rafal headed there when he first arrived, carrying a book called The Colourful Five Per Cent. “It’s basically about all the characters that inhabit the Yukon, and I wanted to meet more,” he says. “I asked a lady if there were any old-school Yukoners living a bush life, off-the-grid. That’s how I met Corwin.”

Corwin Guimond, 66, arrived in the Yukon in 1973 to become a trapper and learn to live off the land. He lives in a hand-built cabin in the back of beyond, waking up most mornings at the crack of dawn to go salmon fishing.

The Back of Beyond, Chapter 1

“I’ve never had a relationship like that with anybody – except in Afghanistan,” says Rafal, who visits Corwin at least once a year and was on the phone to his wife just yesterday.

“He doesn’t give a shit if I shave, or if I’m muddy from a hike. If I say I’m going to help him unload his boat in the morning, I’m there. There’s no judgement between us – no strings attached. He brings me back to, I guess, a simpler time.”

For someone who once identified as a ‘city guy’, Rafal’s life has taken a surprise diversion. Despite growing up in rural Alberta, he had to go to Afghanistan to experience his first hike, and used to think “the bigger the city, the more people, the better”.

Afghanistan taught him how to survive in the wild. The memories he shares with soldiers-turned-friends of long arduous hikes through the Hindu Kush mountains are cherished, but not always warm.

“Going out hiking again and experiencing nice things instead helped me reclaim nature as a positive experience.”

Rafal splits his time between his place in Vancouver and off-the-grid cabins, where he can go for weeks without seeing another person. He usually heads up after summer ends (“It’s like a bad Armageddon movie, with all these RVs heading south and I’m the only one heading north”) and starts to unwind as soon as he’s out of range (“I’d be happy if they turned o all social media; sometimes I think I was born in the wrong era”). Assignments still bring him back to the city – and sometimes they bring up old ghosts.

Recently, Rafal covered the Nathan E. Stewart tugboat disaster near Bella Bella, British Columbia. The boat, owned by Texas- based Kirby Corporation, ran aground on 13 October near the Great Bear Rainforest carrying 223,831 litres of diesel fuel. “To give focus to a story like that means the world to me now,” says Rafal. “But still, I was scared shitless on the plane back.”

A newfound fear of flying is another hangover from Afghanistan, but even local stories can summon up demons. A couple of weeks ago, Rafal joined local firefighters on a ridealong. “And it took me back right to those same situations,” he says.

“You’re in the truck and the radio is going. For three or four days after that, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat. But knowing I can get back to being better, it’s easier. I don’t need months or years to get back to a peaceful moment. It just takes a few days of working through it – usually out in nature.”

In the Yukon, with friends like Corwin as his guide, Rafal has found release. But the North hasn’t become a place to escape. If anything, it’s more like a trusted old friend forcing him to face things head on. There is comfort in this new familiar world.

“You know, rules in regular society are very flexible,” says Rafal. “Things change so often, even laws. But in nature, if you put yourself in a certain situation you can die – and these rules have been in place for thousands of years. That started bringing me peace. It wasn’t just in war that things are black and white – in a peaceful life that can also be true.”

We believe in your work, that's why we share it with original links; if you disagree, please contact us.


Related Arttextum Artists:

Pedro Reyes, artista Arttextum
Pedro Reyes
Mauricio Palos, artista Arttextum
Mauricio Palos
Valeria Caballero Aguilar, artista Arttextum
Valeria Caballero Aguilar

4 Non Blondes – What’s Up

Author: Linda Perry
Via YouTube

 

Music video by 4 Non Blondes performing What’s Up. (C) 1992 Interscope Records.

What’s up -lyrics
Twenty-five years and my life is still
Trying to get that great big hill of hope
For a destination
I realized quickly when I knew I should
That the world was made up of this brotherhood of man
For whatever that means
And so I cry sometimes
When I’m lying in bed Just to get it all out
What’s in my head
And I, I am feeling a little peculiar
And so I wake in the morning
And I step outside
And I take a deep breath and I get real high
And I scream from the top of my lungs
What’s going on?
And I say, hey yeah yeah, hey yeah yeah
I said hey, what’s going on?
And I say, hey yeah yeah, hey yeah yeah
I said hey, what’s going on?
oh, oh oh
oh, oh oh
And I try, oh my god do I try
I try all the time, in this institution
And I pray, oh my god do I pray
I pray every single day
For a revolution.
And so I cry sometimes
When I’m lying bed
Just to get it all out
What’s in my head
And I, I am feeling a little peculiar
And so I wake in the morning
And I step outside
And I take a deep breath and I get real high
And I scream from the top of my lungs
What’s going on?
And I say, hey hey hey hey
I said hey, what’s going on?
And I say, hey hey hey hey
I said hey, what’s going on?
And I say, hey hey hey hey
I said hey, what’s going on?
And I say, hey hey hey hey
I said hey, what’s going on?
oh, oh oh oh
Twenty-five years and my life is still
Trying to get that great big hill of hope
For a destination

We believe in your work, that's why we share it with original links; if you disagree, please contact us.


Related Arttextum Artists:

Taniel Morales, artista Arttextum
Taniel Morales
Pedro Reyes, artista Arttextum
Pedro Reyes
Leonel Vásquez, artista Arttextum
Leonel Vásquez

50 Years Ago, This Was a Wasteland. He Changed Everything | Short Film Showcase

Author: National Geographic
Via YouTube | April 24, 2017

 

Almost 50 years ago, fried chicken tycoon David Bamberger used his fortune to purchase 5,500 acres of overgrazed land in the Texas Hill Country. Planting grasses to soak in rains and fill hillside aquifers, Bamberger devoted the rest of his life to restoring the degraded landscape. Today, the land has been restored to its original habitat and boasts enormous biodiversity. Bamberger’s model of land stewardship is now being replicated across the region and he is considered to be a visionary in land management and water conservation.

About Short Film Showcase:
The Short Film Showcase spotlights exceptional short videos created by filmmakers from around the web and selected by National Geographic editors. We look for work that affirms National Geographic’s belief in the power of science, exploration, and storytelling to change the world. The filmmakers created the content presented, and the opinions expressed are their own, not those of National Geographic Partners.

In Selah: Water from Stone by Fin & Fur Films, see how former Church’s Chicken CEO David Bamberger transformed a desert wasteland into a wildlife oasis.

Directed by Ben Masters: http://benmasters.com/

We believe in your work, that's why we share it with original links; if you disagree, please contact us.


Related Arttextum Artists:

Christians Luna, artista Arttextum
Christians Luna
María Paula Falla, artista Arttextum
María Paula Falla
Pedro Reyes, artista Arttextum
Pedro Reyes

Small acts which bring about big change

Small acts which bring about big change

Author: PlayGround+
Via Facebook | April 23, 2017

Video recommended by Mick Lorusso from the USA / Italy, collaborator of Arttextum’s Replicación

 

Small acts which bring about big change.

Enough said! 🙂

 

We believe in your work, that's why we share it with original links; if you disagree, please contact us.


Related Arttextum Artists:

Johanna Villamil, artista Arttextum
Johanna Villamil
Georgina Santos, artista Arttextum
Georgina Santos

Pedro Reyes, artista Arttextum

Musical instrument uses 2,000 marbles to play incredible music

Author: Wintergatan
Via Wintergatan

 

Music, Machines and Homemade Music Instruments!

Wintergatan is a Swedish Instrumental band and are currently building a new Marble Machine to go on a world tour with once functional.

We believe in your work, that's why we share it with original links; if you disagree, please contact us.


Related Arttextum Artists:

Taniel Morales, artista Arttextum

Pedro Reyes, artista Arttextum
Pedro Reyes
Leonel Vásquez, artista Arttextum
Leonel Vásquez

Hablamos con el mexicano que creó la hamburguesa de chapulines

Autor: Andrea Viedma
Vía Munchies | Noviembre 5, 2015

 

Estamos en una revolución alimentaria. Sabemos que nos estamos acabando al planeta, que los océanos contienen cada vez menos comida para nosotros, que la carne produce emisiones de carbono inmensas, que la soya no es un sustituto ecológicamente bueno, que hasta la Nutella que tanto amamos está destruyendo nuestros ecosistemas. Por eso, se ha hablado una y otra vez que la solución para alimentar a las 90 mil millones de personas que seremos en 2050 está en los insectos.

Por eso, el artista mexicano Pedro Reyes creó Entomofagia (2013), un carrito que reparte comida hecha con insectos en la calle, con el fin de introducirlos a la dieta diaria de las personas.

No es la primera vez que Pedro toca tema sociales y ambientales con su obra, pero sí la primera vez que incursiona en la cocina.

Fuimos a su casa en Coyoacán, en la Ciudad de México, para platicar con él y participar en el performance completo. Cocinamos las ‘Grasswhoppers’, que son hamburguesas de chapulines, alistamos el carrito —que también tiene forma de chapulín— y nos dirigimos a la escuela secundaria más cercana para repartirlas.

La parrilla se encendió, empezamos a cocinar y el delicioso aroma atrajo inmediatamente a jóvenes, niños y adultos curiosos. Todos los comieron gustosos, no porque fueran gratis sino porque realmente las disfrutaron. Y sí, estaban exquisitas.

pedro-reyes-grasswhopper-arttextum3

MUNCHIES: ¿Cuál es tu relación con los insectos comestibles?
Pedro Reyes: Me parece muy interesante que los mexicanos somos muy carnívoros, pero es por que no hay otra opción. Si te pones a analizar la cocina prehispánica, las personas se alimentaban con animales como serpientes, iguanas, conejos, ratas e insectos.

Existen varias razones por las cuales comerlos es una buena opción. La primera es que ecológicamente es la opción más sustentable. La carne es la principal causa de emisiones de carbono del planeta, el metano que producen los cerdos y las vacas, además de la cantidad de terrenos que se deforestan para generar pastura, tienen un costo ambiental atroz. Incluso más que los aviones y los automóviles, el calentamiento global se debe a la producción de carne. También el ganado consume más agua potable que cualquier otro ser vivo en el mundo.

Lo que es muy bonito de muchos insectos como fuente de proteína, es que lo que se comen de pasto o hierbas se traduce en su masa corporal.

Creo que los insectos forman parte de un futuro prometedor porque existe la posibilidad de crear nuestras microgranjas en casa y reducir deshechos orgánicos, que se utilizarían para alimentar a nuestros insectos.

Si no estás familiarizado con los insectos, es difícil dar el primer paso para comerlos de manera cotidiana. ¿Por qué crees que esto suceda?
Creo que es algo muy personal. Por ejemplo: yo aún no estoy preparado para comerme una cucaracha, pero sí puedo comer orugas, escorpiones o lombrices. Definitivamente es algo cultural. ¿Por qué aquí en México no comemos perro, pero sí cerdo?

Posiblemente una de las resistencias que existe hacia los insectos en todo el mundo es que estuvieron asociados a la pobreza, aunque creo que, en general, el que haya ciertos insectos considerados como peste puede influir. Por otro lado, los insectos comúnmente son asociados con la suciedad, a pesar de que tienen diferentes costumbres. Las cucarachas, por ejemplo, crecen en lugares donde abunda la basura, a diferencia de los grillos que requieren condiciones ambientales muy limpias para crecer. Encontrar grillos en algún terreno, es un buen síntoma de salud de la tierra.

Lo que es muy chistoso es que si vieras el interior de una hamburguesa o de una salchicha, te resultaría mucho más asqueroso que cualquier insecto. Con un insecto tienes más tranquilidad al saber lo que estás comiendo.

A pesar de que históricamente en México comemos insectos, y que en otras partes del mundo ya empieza a ser una tendencia alimentaria. ¿Qué tiene que pasar para que la entomofagia se desarrolle?
Tiene que haber una modificación a la legislación existente para que esa industria se pueda desarrollar. No puedes exportar insectos a otros países, no puedes cruzar fronteras con ellos porque son considerados pestes. A pesar de que las Naciones Unidas ha hecho varias recomendaciones sobre la importancia de implementar el uso de insectos en la comida, hay barreras legales que impiden que eso suceda.

Por otro lado el proceso de capturación es muy artesanal y hace que sea más complicado industrializarlo.

¿Cómo a partir de tu obra, tratas de romper el tabú de comer insectos?
Desde el territorio del arte que te permite hacer muchos experimentos, quise imaginar un lugar estilo McDonlad’s, donde la especialidad es la ‘Grasswhopper’, donde te recibe un grillo o una hormiga en vez de Ronald McDonald, y donde las personas de cocina y detrás de las cajas registradoras tienen diademas de antenas. Si esto existiera, el enfoque hacia los insectos cambiaría.

El carrito de Entomofagía es un ejercicio de esto, a una escala más pequeña por supuesto. Si esto se convirtiera en el restaurante que imagino, que sé que tiene el potencial de serlo, lograría un buen balance entre lo vegetariano y lo carnívoro.

pedro-reyes-grasswhopper-arttextum

¿Porqué tu carrito es un grillo y no otro insecto?
El grillo es un elemento gráfico muy presente en la Ciudad de México, por ejemplo Chapultepec significa “el cerro de los chapulines”. Por otro lado, la gráfica que diseñó Lance Wyman para el metro de la Ciudad de México se basó en el grillo prehispánico que yo luego modifiqué mezclando una hamburguesa con el grillo.

¿Cómo ha reaccionado la gente ante Entomofagia?
En general he tenido respuestas positivas, porque les da curiosidad; sin embargo al final lo que vale más es el sabor, y a la gente afortunadamente le ha gustado la ‘Grasswhopper’. Ya que la prueban superan la resistencia psicológica al animal. Si no lo ven, ni siquiera piensan lo que es.

¿Trabajaste la receta con algún chef o la desarrollaste tú mismo?
La idea y receta actual es mía. Pero he contado con la valiosa ayuda de amigas como Regina Galvanduke y Niki Nakazawa con las que hecho variaciones con espinaca, con queso. Creo que así es la cocina, todo el tiempo se está transformando. El chiste es experimentar, introducir un elemento nuevo y experimentar.

¿Qué otros insectos has cocinado?
En Brasil cociné hormigas gigantes, les quité las patas y quedó la bolita, luego las puse a freír con sal y saben muy ricas, como a cacahuates. Está padre que para cada lugar hay un nuevo personaje. Eso me permite hacer branding.

¿Qué sigue después de la ‘‘Grasswhopper’ ?
Quiero hacer una bebida de veneno de escorpión, porque tiene poderes vigorizantes.
Estaremos ansiosos por probarla. Gracias por hablar conmigo, Pedro.

Imágenes: Mauricio Castillo.

Creemos en tu trabajo y opinión, por eso lo difundimos con créditos; si no estás de acuerdo, por favor contáctanos.


Más sobre el artista de Arttextum:

Pedro Reyes, artista Arttextum
Pedro Reyes

Diálogos con el paisaje “Embalse del Muña”

Diálogos con el paisaje “Embalse del Muña”

Autor: Grupo Werebere
Vía Vimeo Grupo Werebere | Agosto 31, 2016

 

Se aprovechó la venida del proyecto piano móvil, para resonar con el embalse del muña en Sibaté Cundinamarca (Col), donde llegan las aguas altamente contaminadas del río Bogotá. La desviación del río y la construcción del embalse comenzó en el año 1948 con el fin de utilizar estas aguas para la generación de energía eléctrica a través de la planta del Charquito de la multinacional EMGESA. Desde entonces los daños ambientales y sociales no han cesado. La experiencia del paisaje se presenta contrastada, un gran espejo de aguas negras que reflejan el blanco de las nubes y el azul del cielo, sensación sublime por el encuentro entre el cielo, la tierra y el agua, mientras se respira los malos olores y vapores de las cargas de químicos, detergentes y metales pesados como cadmio, plomo, mercurio.

Creemos en tu trabajo y opinión, por eso lo difundimos con créditos; si no estás de acuerdo, por favor contáctanos.


Artistas de Arttextum relacionados:

Taniel Morales, artista Arttextum
Taniel Morales
Leonel Vasquez, artista Arttextum
Leonel Vásquez
Pedro Reyes, artista Arttextum
Pedro Reyes