Friday, May 2, 2008

You're pretty good at parkour... for a girl.

I'm sitting here eating plantain chips and watching parkour clips on YouTube. All of today's featured videos on the front page of YouTube are parkour videos that have been selected by user SlamCamSpam - a collabo between independent filmmaker Juile Angel and the Parkour Generations school.

Parkour, or FreeRunning, started in the 80s in France but has been inserting itself into the mainstream more and more over the past couple of years. In commercials (Rogers, Coke, Nike, etc.) music videos (David Guetta, Madonna), and so on. But in all its pop-culture iterations thus far, there has been a lack of female presence in parkour media. Which is why I am particularly interested in this short doc by Angel that follows Karen Palmer, a "dedicated female parkour student", who sees the challenge of mastering parkour as being more about the mental than the physical. Easy for her to say; she can leap like a frog! Nevertheless the video is a nice portrait and a welcome change from the typical jump-and-trick montages that litter the internet right now.

Take a look-see at The Outside In: Female Parkour

I think what I find most attractive about parkour is the philosophy behind it. These young people are effectively reclaiming and redefining the urban spaces (I could make a comparison to graffiti culture here) they're jumping in/around/over; navigating thier bodies with such ease and agility as if there are no boundaries to where they can go. The world is their playground.

I'm not sure what the parkour scene is like in Canada. Does anyone know of groups practicing in their area?

Friday, April 18, 2008


Alright. Time to start digging in.

Let's kick things off on a whimsy, warm-fuzzy note and on a more local scale. This chick is making "soft-sculpture" everyday objects out of hand-dyed and hand-sewn felt. Everything from blenders to NES to SLR cameras! She also makes monster dolls and robots... sew cute! Pun totally intended there, har har.

I love that her work is inspired by Claes Oldenburg (type his name into Google images and you'll understand why he's one of the pop-art masters).

Word on the street is that Blythe has a new exhibit of her work showing at Argyle Fine Art called The Pitch of the Stitch. I'm going to have to pay a l'il visit myself but for those who can't make it, you'll get a good sense of the show by crusing through the pics on her blog:

What do you think... is this the type of show you'd get up out of your pod to go see?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Introducing... CRIT-POP!

Pop Culture turns me on. Specifically I enjoy analysing, questioning, criticising and deconstructing pop culture (and its influences/origins) while actively engaging with it.

This is meant to be a space for sharing our newest and most exciting pop-discoveries and generating an on-going discussion about them. If something makes an impact on you in any way, speak up about it!

It's all up for discussion... and pop culture is so much more fun when you dig in and get your hands dirty.

I'll be posting all sorts of fun and thought-provoking items and links as conversation-starters. Feel free to add your own and sound off!