Archive for April, 2011
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The Ranch Project was an art installation in the foothills of the Rockies, which Steve DeNure and I filmed over the course of year, through the 4 seasons, with his ingenious time-lapse 16 mm Bolex photography. In the film-on-art genre, ‘Ranch’ is a clever mix of old Westerns, TV news, and gorgeous experimental film making with a very cool soundtrack. Jay Scott in the Globe called it “a stunning documentary about a work of art… that actually has become a work of art.” The artist is Alan Wood.
In 1984-85, I also produced a Punk rock doc for TV called Not Dead Yet. Peter Wintonick (Manufacturing Consent), writing in Cinema Canada, called it “a model for all documentarians.” During this period I also started a publishing company, Razorback Press, to produce a satire of men’s magazines and advertising called The Best of Playboar which sold over 500,000 copies worldwide.
Ranch: The Alan Wood Ranch Project, a film by Steve DeNure and Chris Lowry (1985, 25 min.) is available on DVD from Ecotone.
In January 2014 I led a workshop at the Sustainability Education conference at University of Toronto called Games for Change: Using Games with Senior Grades to advance Curriculum Objectives
This workshop was geared toward teachers who work with senior grades. At least half of the teachers who came to the session are gamers themselves, and they gave me great feedback on the early demo video for our multiplayer strategy mobile/tablet game, DeepCity 2030.
Workshop description: In this workshop Chris Lowry will present the early development of DeepCity 2030, a multiplayer online game to engage youth and young adults in an exploration of the future of cities. A brief demo video will be presented and explained. Variables of gameplay mechanics and design in relation to pedagogical agendas will be discussed. For the interactive part of the workshop, participants are encouraged to bring laptops and to share any games that they consider to be effective vehicles of experiential learning, such as games that are currently used in schools or popular games that effectively convey behavioral lessons about cooperation, or content in fields such as history or science. We will discuss and critique ‘games for change’ from the player/student’s perspective.
When I gave a talk about Jack Chambers at a wonderful historic building in Hamilton, the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre, the event curator, Tyler Tekatch, had this to say: “Much like the documentary itself, your talk was informative and enlightening, but also intimate, personal and full of enthusiasm for the subject. You are a wonderful storyteller, it was fascinating to hear you speak about your encounters and relationships with Canadian greats such as Kim Ondaatje and Greg Curnoe. A great film, and a great speaker.”
I do an annual lecture in the fall to the new students in Jennifer Sumner’s Adult Eduction for Sustainability Class at OISE/U of T. It is always a pleasure to speak at OISE where I did a Masters in Education (M.Ed.) in 2004.
“Thank you so much again for speaking with the students in the Adult Education for Sustainability class. They were inspired by your words and by your commitment to sustainable practice. I always learn something new when I hear you speak – you have a special gift of communication. Once again, heartfelt thanks for your contribution to learning.” —Jennifer Sumner
“Wow! Wonderful unfolding of your downstream and upstream experiences… beams of wisdom shining out in all directions. The students were high on ideas after you left and our discussion of their research projects incorporated many of your themes. Thanks so much!”
Wally Seccombe, author, food and farming policy advocate, Professor of Sociology, University of Toronto
Chris Lowry is available as a public speaker.
I had a darkroom in Kathmandu in 1978, provided by German friends who had brought the equipment in their Magic Bus from Munich. This is some of the photo printing work that I did during several weeks that I lived there during my slow road trip around the world. The Kathmandu valley was saturated and radiant with spring rains, and I was seeing everything for the first time.
Back in Toronto, the images caught the attention of the guys at Dreadnaught Press, which was affiliated with Coach House, and they made plans to send me back to Nepal with a fellow writer to shoot more and write it. We tried to find the money for it, but there were one too many coffee table books on the market by then. These photos (scans of the original prints) have not been published until now.
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