ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 17 * * All Arts News On the Web * * March 28, 2013


      ArtBits always features a calendar of the goings on of Franklin County artists. Check out these events around Franklin County. Each issue includes the entire text of our weekly newspaper column.

      Stop in for live music and more at the Fairfax Music Sessions at the Foothills Bakery in Fairfax most Saturday afternoons at 1 p.m., at various restaurants around Franklin County throughout the week, at the Bayside in St Albans Town most Sunday afternoons, and the Cambridge CoffeeHouses at 7 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of every month.
     These gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, "show-and-tell" and occasional workshops. The booked performances and acoustic Open Mike Nights feature music, readings, and more from the best new artists in Vermont.

      Find links to these events and more in our Spotlight!

E-Mail Delivery
Sign up to receive the free weekly ArtBits
newsletter by e-mail
or by RSS feed.


      The Bent-Northrop Memorial Library of Fairfield will debut a three-person statewide art tour on Monday, April 1, at 6 p.m. after the library has closed. The Brain-to-Brain Art Download Tour has additional stops planned at other libraries around the state.
      Three Franklin County artists will participate: musician Jeff Blouin of Neon Spoon, painter and iPhone photographer Paule Gingras of St. Albans, and writer and former CTV Anchor Bill Haugland of Highgate Springs. Each will have a new work available for brain-to-brain download.
 ArtBits News Photo     The art is in the work. The science -- and the show -- come from the download.
      Brain-to-brain interfaces have arrived for reading, music, or art. Thanks to researchers at UVM, it will soon be commercially possible to download a virtual story from the author's brain, a painting from an artist, or a song from a musician. Don't forget to leave an actual cash payment.
      Here's how it works. Multiple electrodes placed on the artist's scalp record activity from the artist's cerebral cortex and convert it into an electrical signal that is delivered via neural link to another set of electrodes on an exhibit visitor. The attendee's brain processes the signal from the artist and -- despite being unfamiliar with the work the artist has performed -- gains total recall of the piece. And, thanks to a new smartphone app, the artist and viewer will soon be in different locations.
      "This is mind-blowing," UVM neuroscientist Bernard Schwartz said.
      Dr. Schwartz and his colleagues built on an experiment led by Duke neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis, a pioneer in the field of brain-machine interfaces. In that 2008 work, Dr. Nicolelis implanted a monkey with a new brain-computer interface. The monkey controlled a robot walking on a treadmill in Kyoto, Japan. The monkey watched the robot walking in sync with him by way of a display screen. A new experiment reported this year showed brain to brain communication between rats, one in Natal, Brazil, and one at Duke in North Carolina using similar brain-computer interfaces. In that experiment, the "encoder" rat in Brazil learned to press a lever in its cage. The brain implant recorded activity from the rat's motor cortex and converted it into an electrical signal delivered via neural link to the brain implant of a second "decoder" rat.
      It was a simple step to human artists.
      "Artists are in this respect easier to work with," Dr. Schwartz said. "Because they can visualize an entire work at one time."
      Each artist will download just three times to "mind-melders" in the library gallery.
      "Why not have 'em put together a medley of earworm songs!" Bent-Northrop's Wendy Maquera asked. "I wonder which one would stick?" We went to my Interweb friends to work up a set list that included All the Single Ladies, Call Me Maybe, Jenny (867-5309), Old Time Rock and Roll, Pinball Wizard, Take a Letter, Maria, Tubthumping, and Never Gonna Give You Up (with an over-saturated Spoony doing the video dance moves) plus George Thorogood's Bad to the Bone and I Drink Alone, and a famed horror writer's suggestion of Bach's Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor or Tuvan throat-singing.
      Mr. Blouin has worked out a new the Gregorian Chant that he "guarantees will plant an earworm." His rendition of Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On includes the score and lyrics.
      Ms. Gingras "shares the beauty people walk by and never notice" with her iPhone photos. Her piece for this show blends technology with her Franklin County landscape.
      After It Rains, Mr. Haugland's new book of short stories, is coming out in June. He will spin The Photograph for this show. "I'm intrigued that even a dinosaur with technology can simply think about a picture and put the entire story in someone's head," he said, "so I'm game."
      The rat study was published in Scientific Reports in January; Dr. Schwartz plans to publish later this year. Apple and Google have already expressed interest in the technology.
      Tickets, schedules, and downloadable background materials are available at Admission is FREE but you must have an advance reservation to participate. Proceeds will benefit local art projects in Franklin County.


ST. ALBANS--With your help, a 2014 calendar raise funds to help the St. Albans Historical Museum is coming. It will be more than just a calendar; it will spotlight the local art scene and give the community a snapshot of what life was like here in 1864. Rick Cummings and Barbara Hamm are getting artists together to publish the calendar; the St. Albans Historical Museum will host the launch on Wednesday, April 3, at 1:30 p.m.
      The organizers have pictures, information, and ideas to help artists develop a "mind's eye" view of the times.
      Call Mr. Cummings (802.524.7441), email him, or email Mrs. Hamm for more info.


ST. ALBANS--Chow Bella presents Jack Grimmer of Abby Road at Twiggs this evening at 6 p.m.
      They may have also live piano, violin, or light guitar any day of the week. The Chow! Cabaret offers live performances by musicians, visual artists, poets, and more. The regular Chow Open Mic Night repeats next Wednesday and on the first Wednesday of every month. Their Open Comedy Night for comics 18 and older is held on the third Tuesday of every month. Vern Colburn is Live on the Piano on Friday Nights, Dayve Huckett on the guitar on the first and third Saturday, and the Best Little Border Band plays some of the best jazz in Vermont on the second and fourth Saturdays, starting at 5:30 p.m.
      Call 802.524.1405, email, or click here for more info or booking requests.

ST. ALBANS--After 30 years the 66 City Band will reunite for a night of 60s Rock and Roll at the Bayside Pavilion on Saturday at 8 pm. Look for covers from Beatles to the Zombies.

ST. ALBANS--Club Karib presents Justice with Scott Belisle on bass and backup vocals; Todd Dunn, lead and rhythm guitar; Gary Greeno, lead vocals; Mike Stella, drums; and Scott Guptill, rhythm guitar and backup vocals on Saturday evening at 9:30 p.m.

BURLINGTON--Young Tradition Vermont will co-present several events during the 18th annual Burlington Irish Heritage Festival including the Tony Demarco workshop at Vermont Violins and Burlington Violin Shop on Saturday at 10 a.m. This is the final event in a series of three Master Classes with the New York-based, Irish style fiddler. email for more info.
      The Festival features Irish music, dance, and cultural events across the entire St. Patrick's season that continues through March 30. Click here for complete details and a schedule of events.

ST. ALBANS--The BFA-St. Albans Music Department presents the Spring Concert in the Performing Arts Center on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
      The Jazz band will perform Bruback and Count Basie compositions. "The bands will also play the music of Sousa, von Suppe, and many other popular favorites and new compositions," music director Eric Bushey said.
      The concert is free and open to the public.


      ArtBits features a quick weekly peek at the bookshelf or night stand of the folks you know in and around Franklin County. That popular feature has a page of its own at the Franklin County Bookshelf here on the AAC site.


AAC dancing logo

All Arts Council of Franklin County

Support Free Speech on the Internet
Dick Harper, Chair
P.O. Box 1
Highgate Springs, VT 05460
email us

Go to [ Dick Harper | All Arts Index | ArtBits Archive ]

      This article was originally published in the St Albans Messenger and other traditional print media. It is Copyright © 2012 by Richard B. Harper. All rights reserved. Archival material is provided as-is. Links are not necessarily maintained (if a link in this article fails, try or your favorite search engine).
      Thanks to recent misuse of copyright material on the Internet by individuals and archival firms alike, we emphasize that your rights to this article are limited to viewing it and printing it for personal use only. You must receive explicit permission from the All Arts Council and the author before reprinting or redistributing this article in any medium.