RPD 2012 Missive + Blue Dog Pict plays “Robot Pride Day” live – only existing recording

Dear friends:

Happy Robot Pride Day 2012! The Sky Pirates, who celebrate and recognize RPD every year comprise a network of human beings that was created to bring us all closer together, to share our talents and ideas and mutually support one another.

RPD is placeholder to remind ourselves of our humanity and sense of wonder and respect for the incredible universe of which we are a part. To jostle us out of the stupor of industrialization. Never has this been more important than now, as we are progressively and excessively battered about by digital media with too often aims of controlling our feelings, thoughts and perceptions.

Every year we add another small piece to the puzzle and this year we go back in time to the very origins of the annual celebration of this idea.

For Robot Pride Day 2012 – Constant Change has made available, for the first time ever, a recently unearthed video and audio recording of Blue Dog Pict playing the instrumental track that inspired the RPD movement defined in its very titled – “Robot Pride Day”.

Recorded at the Opera House in Toronto, presumably by then budding video director Rob Heydon, this exclusive clip captures a slightly blurry version of one of BDP’s best musical moments.

Details of interest about this video:

What is interesting, and that can only now be remembered in writing are the things also happening off screen:

At one point the camera zooms away to what is in fact a two-storey high Cabaret damsel puppet being controlled by four professional puppeteers, two on the ground level operating the arms and two in the balcony operating the head! (As we recall they were Jason Hopley, Vanessa Malicki-Sanchez, Jamie Shannon, Natalie Bourdeau).

Meanwhile on stage there are various saloon tables and bails of hay, populated by other puppets. The theme of the show, you see, was “The Dead Dog Saloon”.

The barkeep is played by then budding actress Kate Kelton. The band members are all dressed as Sherrifs and outlaws and the video even includes a showdown that took place at the end of the performance.

Above the band, also off-screen, was a jumbo video projection of Survival Research Laboratories’ underground robot wars that used to take place in the Nevada desert.

This is also the song whose lyrics became such a staple of the Constant Change movement:

“My daddy build robots,
We don’t tell anyone,
They have come to life.
Come. To. Life.”

This last line is the title of lead singer/songerwriter Keram’s 2012 album release, some 15 years later.

We hope you enjoy this special treat for RPD 2012.


Blue Dog Pict members included:
Keram Malicki-Sanchez – vocals, guitar
Keith White – bass, vocals
Danny Kovacevic – guitars, vocals
Jeff Hayward – drums
Josh Joudrie – sound mixer / FOH
David Buchanan – lighting / management
Bryan Pickell – management

Video footage courtesy Rob Heydon
Edited by Keram Malicki-Sanchez
Song by Blue Dog Pict (SOCAN/ASCAP)

Jason Hopley
Vanessa Malicki-Sanchez
Natalie Bourdeau

Onstage actors / puppeteers:
Jamie Shannon
Kate Kelton

Thanks to all the real Sky Pirates, then and now, for keeping the flame of hope burning forevermore. Wave your freak flag high.

~ G-Lightflash 08-04-2012

The Adventures of Francis the Robot – Five Part Video Series

The Adventures of Francis the Robot is a short film by Joseph Drushal and Vanessa Prestage about a robot that loses a part of himself and must accept the help of others to get it back! Concept/story/vision created serendipitously in a matter of hours and based entirely upon objects at hand. Pictures shot casually across 3 weeks.

Part 1/5 – Time (ft. Hélas Techne)

Part 1 shows Francis unveiling his invention among close friends Bella and MERVE. It is a celebration … Until tragedy strikes!

Part 2/5 – Forest (ft. Hélas Techne)

In part two, Francis happens upon friends of the forest. They help lead him on his journey to find the head that will take him home. He must face great challenge, however, as finding oneself is no easy task.

Part 3/5 – Desert (ft. Hélas Techne)

Now in Sir Rabbit’s care, Francis continues his quest, which seems to be taking him to strange and stranger lands. Predicament could very well be Francis’ middle name. But Serendipity could be his last!

Part 4/5 – Outerspace (ft. Hélas Techne)

In part 4, Rug is able to bring Francis ever closer to home. This time a fated encounter with the father of time travel, just a hundred and some years ago, inspires a new confidence in the science which created Francis’ future.

Part 5/5 – Go Eau (ft. Hélas Techne)

At last Francis locates the most vital component, the head, otherwise known as the Corporeal Locator for his Chronofilamental Resonance Mapper (time machine), and without delay he returns to Now. Thus concludes his journey into the realms of antiquity.

Thanks for watching!

Francis would like to give special thanks to Tolstoy for breaking his fall, Ruby, Mr. Rabbit, Al the Alchemist, Rug, Byron Igor Stüderman for inspiring future generations of man and machine, Perseus, MERVE even though he’s responsible for this whole ordeal, and Bella the love of his life!

I would like to personally thank V for putting up with my “taskmaster” shenanigans. Couldn’t have done it without you.

See more at http://vimeo.com/helas

Gear Up for Robot Pride Day With A Few of My Favorite Robots

Robot Pride Day is here once again!  Where were YOU the night of August 4th?

As human beings, it’s getting harder to read between the lines of our bar codes. The distinction between human and machine becomes more obscure with each passing day. Take today (heck, take this week) to unplug and remember that we were never meant to be constructs. Seize the day, and take your freedom along for the ride!

But let’s face facts:  robots are AWESOME.  Whether you are talking about far-out characters from sci-fi lore, or the amazing recent developments in robotics labs around the globe, you can’t help but marvel at the little (or not so little guys).

Here is Callabrantus’ Robot Fave Five, starting with:  Mega Man!

Mega Man

Named Rock Man in Japan, this Capcom classic video game character has been a staple on consoles for three generations.  The concept behind the games is akin to a slightly more complex game of Rock, Paper, Scissors.  Defeat an evil robot with your Mega Buster, and you can claim his special power (Plug n’Play, baby).  With that power, you’ll have an easier time beating a robot with a different element-based power.  Eventually, you’ll square off against the diabolical Dr. Wily in a last-ditch effort to save humanity (at least until the next sequel!).  Adorable, and not to be messed with, Mega Man is a hero robot that gives evil robots the gears.

Next up:  Asimo

Asimo - the name says it all

Asimo is the twelfth model resulting from the efforts of Honda’s advanced robotics division which released the first model, known as EO, in 1986.  He is the current model, first unveiled in the year 2000, and ever since, Honda has found ways to improve it, and (dare I say it?) make it behave more like a human being.  The name is an acronym for “Advanced Step in Innovative MObility”.  It is capable of running, walking up and down stairs, recognizing voices (and will look at the person speaking to him), can recognize a face even when it is motion, and can duplicate numerous body gestures.

Here’s Tima:

Tima, from Metropolis

Tima is the unwitting heroine in Metropolis, the anime loosely based on the manga by Osamu Tezuka.  *SPOILERS AHEAD* When Duke Red faces the loss of his only daughter, he has a mad scientist create him a new one.  To ensure his lineage continues, she is designed to be integrated with the Ziggurat; it is Duke Red’s base-of-operations, and secretly a powerful weapon capable of turning robots against humans around the globe.  All of this is unknown to Tima:  she is awakened before she could be completed when Rock, the jealous foster son of the Duke, takes offence to being overlooked as an heir, and destroys the robotics factory in a failed attempt to derail his father’s plans.  All Tima really wants is to be with Kennichi, the boy who finds her in the flaming wreckage and cares for her.  But the realization that she is not human is too much for her to bear, and Tima gives into her father’s dark wishes, becoming a terrifying force that even her own programming cannot contain.

Tima - doomed daughter prototype

Next bot in line: Lieutenant Commander Data

Data - Spock as a tin can

A favorite of many a Star Trek: TNG fan, Lieutenant Commander Data endeared himself with the audience through his constant search for an understanding of what it was to be human.  Every Trek series had at least one not-quite-human character looking to unravel the mysteries of what makes humankind tick.   Data was the socially awkward crew member aboard Enterprise NCC1701-D that filled that role, determined to prove that he could be more than the sum of his nuts, bolts and positronic brain.  *SPOILERS AHEAD* He would eventually gain the emotions he so dearly sought after, but he would ultimately sacrifice himself to save the rest of the Enterprise crew, thus cutting his personal trek short.

And no list of favorite robots would be complete without a party robot! Bring on Bender!

Bender - He drinks, steals and swears. He's more human than most of us.

Bender is Futurama’s answer to question that has plagued sci-fi writers for decades:  How will iron girders be bent 1000 years from now?  Best friend and roommate to Fry, Bender doesn’t have a lot of bending to do, so he spends his time smoking cigars, drinking beer, and sassing up sexy female robots.  Don’t like it?  You can kiss his shiny metal ass!  In one of the series’ “What If” episodes, Bender becomes human.  Unfortunately, his vices prove too much for a frail human physique, and Bender succumbs to grotesque obesity, which quickly leads to a fatal heart attack.  The moral:  leave the partying to the party machines!

Have a favorite robot?  Sure you do!  Toss ’em out there in the comments!

Happy Robot Pride Day!