July 25, 2011

Moved to final destination!

This blog has been officially moved off WordPress.com!  Check out the new/continued blog using the WordPress.org platform at JenniferAkkermans.com!  Don’t forget to update your bookmarks!  If you’ve bookmarked JenniferAkkermans.com, things should be perfect already!

This should be it’s final destination.  Thanks for bearing with me through the change.

April 22, 2012

Studio day…. Heaven.

Let me tell you about my favorite thing in the world.  The best way to spend a day.

Get up in the morning, not too late, not too early, around 8:30 is a good balance for me, make myself a nice pot full of tea (Earl Grey, of course!), go downstairs and put the CD player on repeat (yes, I still use my CD player, the computer sometimes gets in the way), and spend the day in the studio.  Now that I’m working regularly again, studio time is the most precious thing in the world.  It’s a complete luxury, and an absolute necessity, all at the same time.

This looks like a mess, and it very much is.  But, it’s so much better than a clean studio- a clean studio means I haven’t been working in it.  I’m sure you can tell, that while I do have a great space, it is important that everything has a place, because it can quickly and very easily turn into an unusable space.

So, I’ve been working!  Today, I did some experiments with the electronics I’ve been researching, and managed a little bit of success!  Below is a video of what I’ve managed to do- do you see the potential in it for the Morphoids?

The motor works in response to the light.  I also appreciate how it sounds almost like it’s purring.

I also worked on some more skeleton pieces, and have been developing my dissection, a performance, which will happen this summer, as part of the exhibition at the Esker Foundation.  And some plans for some interactive display panels. And some other ideas, which will take much more time than some of this- maybe I’ll share when it’s a little more concrete.

I’ve really gotta stop showing photos of my messy studio.


April 16, 2012

“Anatomy” drawings

"Anatomy" Drawing- Morphoid leg

I’ve been trying to use my time more wisely lately, using the odd bits of downtown I get, and my time on the C-train. This is helping to rejuvenate my practice, which has been on the back-burner for a little bit, with this new job.  The job is fairly flexible, although it is sometimes hard for me to predict when I will be busy and when I may have some slower time.  Every week is different, depending on what is going on. For example, this last week was a little slower, but I know that the next couple could very well be a little crazy.

Anyway, I’ve been using my time, and using my sketchbook.  Now that I’m working, I have a little money to order some basic supplies, which was the other reason why my practice was put on hold a little. I’m working on a performance this summer, a dissection, for which I need tools, and Morphoid body parts.  So, I’ve been making a few things, thinking about a lot of things, and drawing.  Here’s a few of the sketches, Mophoid parts.  I am purposely leaving them a little cryptic.

"Anatomy" Drawing - Morphoid Liver

"Anatomy" Drawing - Morphoid Fat Layer

"Anatomy" Drawing - Morphoid Stomache (and Contents)

April 8, 2012

Possibilities of Meccano, etc.


I’m not entirely sure why someone would build a machine like this, but it does show you some of the possibilities.  I’d really like to get a Meccano set to do some building of things.

I’d also like to learn more about electronics, as there are many possibilities for my work there as well.  It’s quite the learning curve, so it’s on my wishlist.  I will start with practicing putting together some simpler circuits from books, etc, to learn what I can, and hopefully that will help.

My mother was up the other day (Hi Mom!) and we looked at some of the stuff I’ve got in my stash, and talked about a few things…. I’ve got some more possibilities now, but how to get from point A to point 357 remains a mystery to me.

Time, effort and research.

April 5, 2012

Ben Folds Aftermath

So the concert was absolutely amazing, totally worth the 15 year wait!  The place was just buzzing, I talked to a few people, and most people were like me, having waited for a long time for that particular concert.  Ben was perfect, almost too perfect, as I only noticed two mistakes he made during the whole performance. The symphony (Edmonton Symphony Orchestra) was tight, and the conductor was great, and seemed like a very endearing character, riding a bike out onto the stage.

Believe it or not, my front row seat, while it would have been an amazing seat for any other concert, SUCKED.  Yes, in capitals.  (See photo above- Ben was on the other side of that piano.) I couldn’t see Ben through the baby grande piano front and centre on the stage, and it’s not like he could really move the piano or move around.  So, in the intermission (glad there was one!), I talked to about 8 different people (ok, slight exaggeration, it was more like 6), in an attempt to get my seat changed, and eventually, I did, to the same seat in row H, instead of row A.  A bit father back, but MUCH better.

Needless to say, my hands and voice hurt the next day. SO worth it.  (And by the way, Red Arrow is the way to go.  That should be their slogan.)

I really hope Ben enjoyed Alberta as much as the crowd enjoyed having him.  It would be really great to be able to see him again.  Between this concert, and Jann Arden earlier this year, I’ve hit two of my must see musicians in concert, the last being Barenaked Ladies.  I’ll have to keep watch.

(Apologies for the delay- for some reason, I was having trouble transferring the photos from my phone to the computer.)

March 29, 2012

Blogging from the Bus/ Ben Folds!

Hi there!  So, this is a first- I’m blogging from the bus!  I’m taking Red Arrow up to Edmonton today, to go to the Ben Folds concert tonight!  I’m very excited about it; I’ve only been wanting to see him in concert for 15 years or so!  Ben Folds is my absolute FAVOURITE musician, who I discovered when I was in my early teens and have been listening to and following ever since. The ticket was a birthday gift from my brother, probably the best birthday present I’ve ever gotten!

So the plan for the day is to take the day off work- the trouble with deciding your own schedule is that all the sudden I realize that I’ve worked every day for like, the last two weeks, and so it’s important to actually take a day off.  I will be returning to Calgary tomorrow, and I have an ASA event the day after that, so I’ll be back to work again on Saturday.

Anyway, so as I said, I’m on the bus.  Red Arrow to Edmonton.  It’s nice and quiet, mostly business people, and so people are either typing away on their computers or sleeping. (There’s wireless internet, and even outlets to plug your computer in!)  When I get to the city, I will find some lunch, check into the hotel (I got a good deal), and the plan for the afternoon is to check out the Art Gallery of Alberta. Then dinner, most likely with my brother and my cousin, and then…. ba da da dah!! The Concert!  Did I mention my ticket is in the front row?

I wonder what the crowd will be like.  Because this is the first time (to my knowledge) that Ben Folds has ever done a concert in Alberta, my guess would be that the crowd may not be huge, but I am expecting them to be very enthusiastic.  My guess is that the crowd will be made up of people like me, who have been waiting for this particular concert for a long time.

Anyway, I am super excited, and I will report back soon!  What a great treat!

March 22, 2012

FFWD article: Morphoids and Other Mysteries!

I know this is a little late, but here’s an article from the March 1st issue of Fast Forward about the Meet the  Morphoids! Read it here!

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March 16, 2012

I’m still here!

I apologize that I haven’t been as active on this blog lately, but I have a good excuse!  I have a new job!  I’m working for a local arts group, and it has been quite the learning curve!  It is a really good job for me, and seems like a great fit, but because it’s new, it’s taking me some time and energy to settle into the role. So that’s where most of my energy has been going lately.

I’m working on finding a better sense of balance.  Because the new job is working between home, the office and other places for meetings, etc, I am finding it a bit of a challenge to separate work from studio time from down time.  As a result, my studio practice has been temporarily (*I swear!*) on the back burner (which is a little strange for me).  I will pick it up again soon, but it did happen to happen at a natural time to take a bit of a break, so I don’t feel guilty about it.

And, as timing would have it, I have a show up right now. I’ve probably mentioned it before- it’s called Meet The Morphoids, in the Untitled Art Society’s +15 window in the EPCOR Centre.  The opening was last night.  It wasn’t my usual crowd that went, but I did run into some people I haven’t seen in quite a while, and it was great to talk with them, and to go have a beer.  It was a nice treat.

Anyway, let me see if I have some images of the show on this computer. This is in no way an excuse for you not to go see it. What do you think?

March 4, 2012

Interactive Lightflowers

This is actually quite beautiful.  Found on the Arduino forums.

February 17, 2012

Bicycle wheel animations

Animation in real time… bicycle wheels!

February 8, 2012

Just a reminder that if you work hard enough….

Recently I found this rejection letter…. from the first time I applied to ACAD in 2004. (Excuse the photo quality; the letter is a little beat up.)  Anyway, I’m sure I was really upset to receive it, but looking back, I know I just wasn’t ready at that point in time.  It’s quite funny to me now, as I worked incredibly hard during my time at ACAD, volunteering a lot, and putting a ton of effort into my work and my classes, eventually earning the Board of Governor’s Award for my department.

I take this letter as a reminder that just because someone else says no, it doesn’t mean that you can’t do something, just maybe not in that time or way.  Maybe you’re not ready for it.  Maybe someone else is more qualified.  Maybe you’re just not right for the situation.  It’s a reminder to me that I am capable of doing whatever I want to do, but will sometimes need to fill in what I don’t have or modify my approach. It really does depend how bad you want it, and what you’re willing to do or give up to get it.

And persistence is worth more than anything.