The Grass Is Greener…

Lyndal Osborne: telling nature’s story

Lyndal Osborne is coming Regina, and it is such an amazing coincidence, I had no choice but to blog about it.

Art 100 is one of those large first-year classes where existing to the prof would be an accomplishment. Everyone was split into groups that were to present on an artist for 20 minutes. Most of the groups have already gone, but we are presenting this upcoming Tuesday. Lyndal Osborne was our assigned artist.

Lyndal Osborne, in her youth, collected articles from nature from where she lived in Australia, by the sea. Now she lives on an acreage outside Calgary, and has a 4 acre domain to roam. She collects materials and interesting objects that she can use for her art. She is now exclusively an installation artist, assembling the organic items into beautiful works of art. Using nature itself as a medium really speaks the importance of her cause. She is an environmentalist, and will not use any products that harm the environment, especially in her art.

She really has a great sense of how she personally connects with nature, and how universally we need to recognise our responsibility to the natural world we are all tied to. Her own memories of the sea, combined with her more current experiences with the plains, inspire her and are directly evident in her work. She takes note of the small gifts nature has for us, and tries to understand what meaning these small bit’s of life can have for us on a grander scale. With such unique beauty that evokes a spiritual connection, how can their not be some universal order? Through her art, she wishes people to get a sense of the wonder and awe he has experienced, and desires viewers to celebrate life with her. In her more recent works, she focuses on raising awareness for the things we are doing that are destroying this relationship. The destroying of seed banks; polluting the environment; and the altering and experimentation of plants, leading the government to pattern life itself, and leaving third world countries unable to harvest their own vegetation.

In her most recent exhibition, “Darwin and the Ark of Time” (image above), she brings together past and present to show both the beauty that can be discovered and explored, while humanity is destroying the environment at the same time. She created a cabinet that seems to resemble an 18th century botanist’s collection of plants, like that of Darwin’s when he was exploring and categorising the . But this cabinet also resembles a modern laboratory with its metal grating and tubes connecting to plans, possibly chemically altering and manipulating them. It is a beautiful work, but also shows a darker side of what this generation is doing to nature.

Our presentation is on Tuesday, and Lyndal Osborne herself is coming to town and talking at the University of Regina THIS FRIDAY! We emailed her and requested an interview with her after, and she was more than happy to comply. She seems like such a lovely lady, and I feel honoured to meet her and interview her. It’s hard to believe that the woman I have been researching, and have come to respect, will be face to face with me in a day. There must be some order in this world full of particulars.

Well, wich me luck. Hopefully I won’t be dumbstruck, and can really convey my respect and appreciation for her work. And maybe this can give our project the edge we need to get noticed, and give us a great mark.

Till next time,



i b laina on Twitter
Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Alright I finally gave in, I joined the website I have resisted for so long. Twitter. I don’t know if anyone could have made it through today’s ecmp class without a change of heart on the matter. A principle Skyped in today and said that he would hire someone with an online profile over someone who didn’t, and someone with twitter was even more likely. My future seems to depend on this life-posting website. Alright it’s more of a resource gathering, connection making tool. And it is good. Twitter is a good thing, there I said it.

Why did I resist? I was just sick of having SO MANY accounts and passwords and things I needed to check up and keep up on, when I can’t even keep up with all the connections in my real life. Excuse my words, I mean physical life. The web is real life too, it’s just through the technology. BUT if this is so important to many great educators, then it will be great for me too.

So my name is iblaina, check me out in a few days because there isn’t really anything to look at right now. Send me a message if you want! Wait, can you do that? With the @ sign or something? I’ll figure it out :).

Tech Task 7 – RIP a remixers manifesto
November 9, 2010, 1:10 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Do you ever wonder when we will run out of songs? When we have used up every combination of notes in every possible key? I used to wonder if one day we would find the end, or new genres would come out that really didn`t make any musical sense. But culture and creativity can`t always be predicted…

Remixing is a genius new way to create music in the 21st century. I haven`t heard much of “girl talk“, but I have heard my share of remixes. I find it hard to believe that these artists might become music `martyrs` if they continue this innovative method of composing.

Companies all over the world seem to be losing the heart that first started their dynasties, and are now only looking to control and make the big bucks. And Disney, although they will always be a part of my childhood, they went too far. 70 years is too long for anything to be `protected`, by then, `Babie`will only be remembered by the children it traumatized (maybe that is a strong word).. the children it vegetarianised.  It`s too long. Remixers and editors are reliving elements of all old media into beautiful callauges to bring us new art. I use pop-culture all the time to create beauty and statements in art, why not musicians? We aren`t harming, we are contributing to the progression of culture. What is it going to take to make this acceptable? How can we show them when they`re getting paid to stifle. The money is just too good for them to see the light. They would rather make martyrs out of them.

We are glorifying the past, honoring the artists, not calling them our own but building on recognizable musical masterworks. Mash-ups should not be wrong if the original artists are made reference to. Companies who are getting hundreds of thousands of dollars from moms, teens, and students pockets are out for nothing more than the money itself. Any good intention that was behind criminalizing the remixing of music, was lost within the witch-hunt it became.

Whether I like it or not, I`m in the generation of culture-changers, company defying criminals. But I am glad. I`m not going to starting using limewire, I`ll stick to my itunes, but I hope to be one of the people who help make this a LEGAL remixing world in Canada.


watch it.

Mission Impossible (almost accomplished)
November 7, 2010, 3:40 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

This Canadian weather has been so abruptly, painfully cold lately, that I’ve been fanaticizing about the idea of living in California. Come on, haven’t you let your imagination run?  But there is one person who dreamed of coming HERE, and he didn’t let it stop with his imagination. In his homeland in China, he left for the airport dressed as a Caucasian elderly man, in hopes to fly to our snowy wonderland. He made it.

I wonder how he came up with this elaborate plan. I can imagine his friends thinking he we watching too many Mission Impossible movies with this kind of idea, but it worked. Almost. This 20-some year old Asian man (let’s call him Ethan) boarded an airplane in Hong Kong wearing a very elaborate mask and costume, and if it wasn’t for his youthful-looking hands, they might never have caught him (they never tell you about disguising your hands in the movies). Neither his boarding pass nor his areoplan card had his birth date on it, and it wasn’t required, which is what he presented. When I look at that picture of him in his costume, I find it pretty amazing that the security in Hong Kong didn’t have a clue. I guess he picked the right disguise, who wants to give a senior a hard time?

What’s even more curious than how he came up with the plan, is why he did. When Ethan was detained he claimed the status of “Refugee”. What was he escaping from, what did he leave behind, that made his so desperately want to come to Canada? I have a feeling it was more than just to show his buddies he could do it. What could his story be? Is he running from the ruthless Chinese mob after a bad business deal? Does he want a huge house with a large family? Is he trying to find the woman he fell so deeply in love with on the illegal website of Facebook? Is he a spy? Maybe I’ve been watching too many movies. But I really want to know why Ethan went to such extreme measures to get here.

Maybe Ethan would think I’m the crazy person, dreaming about leaving this country. This is, after all the land of opportunities, freedom, and acceptance, isn’t it? Shouldn’t that be enough?

Maybe it’s Canada’s reputation for being forgiving and accepting that seemed to fit his escape plan, but I hope Ethan can stay in Canada, and I hope he finds what he was looking for.


Original Article:

Little Panda – tech task 5
November 2, 2010, 11:07 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This digital storytelling assignment was based around 10 random-ish slides, with which we were asked to find/create a cohesive story. For us, this meant adding our own little animated character to the pictures. Basically we just edited the panda in paint, making a number of different positions and expressions (around 25), and then just added many different clips of him onto the background photo’s in very short frames. Pinnacle studio’s is the program I used; it is a great starting out program starting at 30$ flat rate, but I have a feeling this process could have been easier and crisper with more features.

We have to give credit to “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On”, a great short animation that gave us the idea of putting a cartoon on the backgrounds.

This was a very fun movie to make, especially doing the voice. But don’t worry, it is my real voice, but I don’t sound helium-ated normally :). Thanks for watching!

   —> our video “Little Panda”

  —> Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Online Profile
October 28, 2010, 3:27 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

In grade 7 I could write HTML, and I had a domain to go with it. It’s about time I got back into my web-designing side. Online Profile, here I come!

I don’t want to dive in head first, so I’m starting out with a free website building (and hosting) site. caught my eye first off, and immediately I was designing. Adding boxes, widgets, creating pages, making it “flashy” (in more ways than one) was simple to navigate! I’m really enjoying all I can do with it right now. It’s a real time-saver.

Another good feature is the ability to use your own domain name. No, it isn’t free (that would be sweet), but for 4.50 a month you could have that and so much more! Honestly, I don’t think I’ll do that, because if I really like my page I’ll just re-make it on HTML and find a cheaper web-hosting service with my own domain. But! It is still a fabulous option.

To check out my progress, or to start a website yourself, follow the link:

let me know if you have suggestions or comments or anything! (I don’t know what to put under my name, by the picture slideshow, if you have a thought share it 🙂 )

The Right To Post

I’ve been hearing a lot about the importance of maintaining a presentable online persona, and perhaps you have too. We’ve all heard stories of how online gossip can get you on bad terms with your boss, or worse, out of a job. But have you heard about the backlash?

At the University of Calgary one student posted an online complaint. He was upset about a 65% he received from a teacher, so he accused her of laziness and inquired about how he could get a re-mark. His Facebook page stated, “I no longer fear Hell; I took a course with Aruna Mitra”. This landed him probation, along with the others who commented. Three years later, at a judicial ruling, the judge declared the disciplinary measures “excessive”, and no further action should be taken. In fact, it was the institution that was infringing upon the student’s charter rights when they punished them for their online critic. Woah, does this mean no one should be discriminated against for what they post online?

Like anything you say in real life, what you post will effect how people think of you. No matter how free you are to say what you want, there are always consequences to some degree. Perhaps authorities won’t be able to punish you directly, or take you to court, but there are other long-lasing repercussions. What this student has posted will be something he has to deal with forever. It might seem like the he was just trying to get a fair grade, but it sure came across as malicious. His Facebook page, along with his statements to the press, suggest that he wasn’t looking out for the good of himself, but the overthrow of the professor. Which he claims is for the betterment of students everywhere, but how well did he really know her? Was she just going through a hard time, having a bad day? The article mentions that she stopped instructing classes at UofC soon after.

Perhaps he succeeded in his ploy, but at what cost? He now has a certain reputation. He’s now one to be feared, and possibly avoided. But it was his right to say what he wanted. His right, maybe even his duty to bring about justice. To some his story might even be heroic. But perhaps the biggest consequence will be something he has yet to realize.

We all have the right to free speech, and the ability to tear others down. The right to post, and to ruin our own reputations. What should we do?

The article can be found here: