Monday, June 30, 2008

Iceland Diaries # 17 - Art Museum Day

The weather is turning more turbulent. The skies are graying and the north wind has kicked up a bit. It cuts through clothing like nothing.


Listasafn Íslands

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Iceland Diaries # 16 - Bjork!

Today, there will be the free outdoor concert, organized by Björk to promote environment protection. Sigur Rós and Ghostigital will also be playing. Today, from 5 pm and 10 pm in Laugardalur park in central Reykjavík, the National Geographic channel will be having live coverage of the event. 

Árni and Unnur took me to the Nature Concert at the Reykjavik botanical gardens. There we saw Sigor Ros, Bjork, and some other Icelandic musicians like Ghostigital and Olif Arnans. Bjork was by far the best. Her performance was electric. Here are some videos and pictures I took at the concert:


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Iceland Diaries # 15 - City Harbor

I'm going to compile the pictures I've taken in Iceland into a picture book. I've taken quite a few while I've been here. The weather has been wonderful -almost constant sun. With all that great light, I've managed to take nice pictures.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Iceland Diaries # 14 - Nancy Eats Food In Iceland

I'm drawing up some ideas about living in Reykjavik. Perhaps using the Nancy Eats Food comic style for inspiration. The two in mind will poke a bit of fun at the summer culture in Reykjavik. Maybe touch on the ridiculous street style later on. The final goal would be to get a bit of income off of these babies. Maybe have them printed in an English language newspaper. I would love some money right now. 

These are my messy sketches:

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Iceland Diaries # 13 - City Sketches

I've been using life drawing as a way of brainstorming for my animation installations. I've found it to be a tool for mapping surfaces. The city's, in this case. A great jumping off point, I've already planned several ideas for animation. I have three installation projects planned, out of four. I'll start animating for next week.

Everything should be in order by the time I move in. I would like to start projecting the first weekend of my residency. Shooting for a completed projection every weekend, for the remaining weeks I'll be staying there.

These are my visual notes:

Friday, June 20, 2008

Iceland Diaries #12 - Íslenskur Matur

Lax er bara 220kr!

Brauðið hennar Sigrúnar

My normal dietary elements such as fruits and vegetables, are the most expensive foods to buy in Iceland. Dammit. To conserve change, my diet has shifted towards smoked fish, bread, cheese, and milk. The cheapest, simplest foods to buy. I'm feeling rocks and knives in my  gastrointestinal system. Oh. 
The results are either quarts of sauce, or bright red bricks. I'm charming to live with when I leave the restroom smelling of death.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Iceland Diaries # 11 - I was the only naked foreigner!

This entry was translated into an article for Iceland Review's Daily Life column.

In the summer of 2006, I moved to Iceland from the United States. This trip was my first time away from home; I was 19.
I lived with an Icelandic family on the border of Kópavogur and Reykjavík where I helped around the house, babysitting the two youngest children, and my Icelandic family, in turn, introduced me to Icelandic culture. The first of our many trips together was to the local swimming pool.
Walking through the turn stales, I found myself alone in a large, white room, filled with lockers and pale white butt cheeks. It felt like a nudist colony had harpooned me in the face. People were getting naked—very naked. Right next to me, even. I could see their butt pimples. One, two, three, four…
I would like to explain that it is mandatory procedure in all Icelandic swimming pools to wash one's private bits before entering the water. As explained in the naked androgynous diagram posted on the walls, fully equipped with color coded private areas and written directions translated in four different languages. This process is done without a bathing suit. A rule sternly enforced by the locker room attendant, when she caught me trying sneak by her.
I came to Iceland believing in my heart that I was an open-minded objective thinker. It was hard to feel objective or open minded wearing nothing but my birthday suit. I was terribly uncomfortable.
I acted nervously. I found my arms migrating to the front my body in an attempt to skew my full frontal. I lost my power to walk. Instead, I had to run. Back from the showers, I dove for my towel. It was my life preserver. I was safe, firmly afloat in a sea full of flabby asses and their butt pimples.

An obese woman approached me. She was also naked. She pointed at the slippery trail I had left behind when I sprinted from the showers. Then she pointed to the group of girls standing, drying themselves in the hallway that connected the locker room to the showers.
In a harsh voice, “You dry yourself over there,” she told me in English. Again, reaffirming that I didn’t belong. I could feel the letters F-A-I-L burning on my forehead. Feeling thoroughly stressed, I made it a point that next time, I would complete this process more gracefully.
It is now 2008. Almost two years later, I got my chance to reset my Kópavogur screw up. I’m staying in Reykjavík this summer for an art residency program with SÍM, the association of visual artists in Iceland.
Before arriving in Reykjavík, I made a stop at the Blue Lagoon. I was giving myself an internal prep talk during the bus ride there. Running the shower routine through my head, over and over. It had to be perfect. Seamless.
When our bus arrived, I stowed my luggage, picked out a nice locker and I marched right up to that shower, baring all. I just ignored any impulse to run for the hills. Yes, yes. I was very proud of my unabashed, naked self. Proof that I had graduated out my cultural bubble.
I looked to my fellow naked comrades for a “well done,” or a “bravo!” Alas, there were no naked Europeans looking back at me with congratulatory smiles. I was, in fact, the only naked person in a room.
Instead, the shower room was full of bathing-suited tourists, who were trying very hard to ignore my naked presence. I could hear my inner gymnaphobe having an epileptic fit. Where the hell were those stern shower attendants?
The truth is, Icelanders hardly ever go to the Blue Lagoon. It’s expensive and too far out of the way from Reykjavík. I walked to my locker – a naked, well hidden, gymnophobic, American tourist.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Iceland Diaries #10 - Midnight Sun

Reykjavik sunset.
These are pictures I took Monday evening. It was past midnight, when I took a trip to the harbor. One of the symptoms of jet lag is having excess enegery at night. It's terrible. I had to walk myself around town before I felt like sleeping. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Iceland Diaries # 9 - Independence Day

I bought this great keychain at a novelty store on Laugavegur. It's pretty cool. It says so. Thank you Solvi for picking out quality Gull.

Another polar bear shot in Iceland. 
The first polar bear, which came over on the 4th, was shot by a group of police officers saying: "There was a lot of fog in the area and the bear was moving into the fog. We couldn't risk losing him and there was no time to wait for anaesthetics, so we had to shoot him. It was for the safety of the public," Police Superintendent Stefan Vagn Stefansson told Icelandic national radio on Wednesday.

You can see the thick fog in this video when they shoot it. You can see they're quite a bit of it