"Berthe Morisot: An Impressionist and Her Circle"
Jan. 15, 2005 – May 8, 2005

Impressionism is arguably the world's most popular art movement. "Berthe Morisot: An Impressionist and Her Circle" establishes the artist as a central figure of the movement, showing her paintings, prints, watercolors, and drawings alongside those of her more recognized male colleagues: Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Claude Monet.

More than 75 works will be on display in the U.S. for the first time; they were bequeathed to the Musée Marmottan-Monet in Paris in 1997.

Berthe Morisot succeeded as a professional artist, despite society’s expectations for women from respectable upper-middle-class families, to acquire artistic training merely as a genteel hobby.

Born June 14, 1841, in Bourges, France, Berthe Morisot was the third daughter of a prominent and wealthy government official. Raised accordingly, Morisot and her sisters were provided with tutors for languages and literature and, in 1857, art lessons.

Morisot and her older sister Edma quickly developed both a passion and a high level of skill in drawing and painting.

Alongside her sister, Morisot copied masterpieces at the Louvre and painted out of doors under the direction of well-known landscape painter Camille Corot.

She first exhibited her paintings at the prestigious annual Salon in 1864, and her work was shown there regularly through 1873.

In the winter of 1868–1869, Morisot was introduced to Edouard Manet.

Manet’s reputation and aesthetic innovations were well known to Morisot, and they began a lifelong friendship. Over the course of the next five years, Manet would paint Morisot 11 times.

While Morisot learned much from Manet, she never formally studied with him. She often disagreed with his suggestions, most notably in her decision to join the Impressionist circle.

Shown above: "The Artist's Sister at a Window," (1889)
Oil on canvas
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
Berthe Morisot

In 1874, Edgar Degas asked Morisot to join a group of independent artists that included Degas, as well as Monet, Renoir and Camille Pissarro. They later became known as the Impressionists.

Degas and his colleagues declared that Morisot’s pictorial technique, with her loose brushstrokes, unfinished backgrounds, and light-infused color exemplified the Impressionists’ aesthetic aims.

Morisot remained faithful to the Impressionists after others abandoned the movement, participating in seven of the eight exhibitions and single-handedly organizing the final show in 1886.

Perhaps Manet’s greatest influence on her was the introduction of his brother Eugène to her family; Morisot wed Eugène Manet in December 1874 at the age of 33, well after she was established as a professional artist, and several months after her participation in the first Impressionist exhibition.

Eugène readily supported his wife’s career, never asking her to abandon her painting; despite his acceptance of her art, however, Eugène in particular and men in general appear extremely infrequently in Morisot’s paintings.

Her wide range of subjects often included portraits of her mother, sisters, and nieces, as well as of her own daughter Julie, to whom she gave birth in 1878, and who would become her favorite model and painting companion.

Morisot continued to paint and exhibit in her later years, receiving her first solo exhibition only a few weeks after her husband’s death in 1892.

Morisot died of pneumonia in 1895, leaving the majority of her works and collection to her daughter Julie, who served as Morisot’s champion by lending her works to international exhibitions until her own death in 1966.

Shown/header image:
Self Portrait, (1885)
Oil on canvas
Musée Marmottan-Monet
Berthe Morisot

Find it: NMWA/National Museum of Women in the Arts
1250 New York Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20005-3970
Get info: 1-202-783-5000, 1-800-222-7270

Find out about art exhibits in other cities, in the DEC/JAN issue of "Arte Six."

Related booklist: "Berthe Morisot" (Anne Higonnet), "Berthe Morisot: The First Lady of Impressionism", "Impressionist Quartet", "Edouard Manet: Rebel in a Frock Coat", "Berthe Morisot, the Correspondence With Her Family and Friends", "Berthe Morisot : Le Secret de la femme en noir/Berthe Morisot: The Secret of the Woman in Black" (FR), "Berthe Morisot: Impressionist", "The Women Impressionists: A Sourcebook"


ART/Groningen (NL)
Diaghilev Festival
Jan. 26-30, 2005

The Diaghilev Festival brings together the work of visual artists, composers and choreographers who worked with ballet impresario Sergei Diaghilev (1872-1929).

On concurrent display, 230 paintings, décor and costume designs, drawings, and costumes for works commissioned by Diaghilev for the Ballets Russes.

The Diaghilev exhibition presents work by Picasso, Matisse, de Chirico, Bakst, Benois, Golovin, Serov, Vrubel, Gontcharova, and Larionov, among others.

Born to privilege, Diaghilev started working with visual artists in 1898, with the founding of arts journal “Mir Iskusstva.”

He worked with a large group of visual artists to supply material for his journal, and started presenting their work in exhibitions he organized in St. Petersburg.

Work by many of these artists will be on show, including paintings by Mikhail Vrubel, Valentin Serov, and Diaghilev’s friends Alexandre Benois, Konstantin Somov and Leon Bakst.

Diaghilev started producing ballet performances in Paris from 1909 onward; he oversaw the commissioning of new music, and the selection of talented dancers and costume designers.

Shown above: Costume design, Bacchante for "Narcisse," (1911)
Leon Bakst

He founded the Ballets Russes in 1909, featuring young dancers Anna Pavlova and Vaslav Nijinsky, both of whom later became legends in the world of ballet. Artist Leon Bakst designed the costumes and backgrounds.

The exotic and lavish costumes by Bakst, Alexander Golovin, and Valentin Serov thrilled the pampered Parisian public and the experiment was a success. The Ballets Russes later became one of the most influential ballet companies of the 20th century.

While Diaghilev gathered Western artists around him, he encouraged them to collaborate intensively with artists from other disciplines.

Composers Debussy, Ravel and de Falla collaborated with artists such as Picasso, Matisse and de Chirico, and with authors such as Jean Cocteau and Andre Gide.

The Diaghilev Festival also features film screenings, and ballet performances.
Additional highlights:

Film screening: “The Diaries of Vaslav Nijinsky”
January 29, 1pm

Neither a biography of the great dancer nor a dramatic rerun of the events in his life, “Diaries” is pure cinema in an experimental form. Director Paul Cox uses fragments from Nijinsky's diary as material to sketch a picture of Nijinsky’s final years, just after his last performance and before his admission into a mental institution.

Theatre performance/world premiere: “Nijinsky, A Painting”
January 25, 8:15pm

Dance, music, theatre, video, percussion, light, and paint all contribute to this theatre work, a ‘living painting’ of Vaslav Nijinsky.

Opera performance/double bill: "Mavra," "Kashchei the Immortal"
January 29, 8pm

"Mavra": One-act opera with music by Igor Stravinsky, based on a poem by Alexander Pushkin, "A Cottage in Kolomna."
"Kashchei the Immortal": After the play "Ivan Korolevich" by E.M. Petrovsky, with music by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

Dance: Introdans, “L'Après-midi d'un Faune”
January 27,28, 8pm

Introdans choreographer Nicolas Musin presents a performance of the ballet “L'Après-midi d'un Faune.”

Shown/header image: "The Diaries of Vaslav Nijinsky"

Find it/venues: Too many to list; festival organizers can answer all questions about venues and programming (number below).
Get info: +31 (0)50 5270057

Find art exhibits/events in other cities, in the DEC/JAN issue of "Arte Six."


Experimental research
Pass the chips

University of Alberta researchers have designed a computer chip that uses
about 100 times less energy than current state-of-the-art digital chips. The new microchip is 10 times smaller and 100 times more energy-efficient than currently
used chips

The greatly reduced energy consumption of the new technology would improve the performance of small devices with relatively low power needs.

For instance, the technology could one day eliminate the need to recharge cell phones, help introduce smaller, ultra-high-speed communications systems, and advance the use of implantable health care devices, such as drug delivery chips. Research and development is ongoing before this technology can be implemented in products.

The invention employs a new method of processing digital data, known as analog decoding, which uses extremely low levels of power to execute its detection algorithm. Research shows that no other reported chip uses a lower amount of energy consumed per decoded information bit.

Get more info: (780) 492-0442

Read more science stories in the DEC. 2004/JAN. 2005issue of "Arte Six."


Dispatches from Sweden

At 5 a.m. this morning, an apartment a mere block or so away from here just, well, blew up. We never heard a thing.

Strangely, the man who lived in the apartment had just been released from jail - he'd been there for allegedly stealing from his employer: He took rare books from the Royal Library, Sweden's answer to the Library of Congress.

Our current guest living in the spare bedroom, the crazy music producer who is a firm believer in all kinds of conspiracies, thinks the guy was done in by the people he sold the books to.

"That's what happens when you start dealing with those kind of people," the crazy music producer said.

The Swedish word for the day is sprängämne. It means explosives.
Who ever thought that cherries in liqueur and covered in chocolate was a good thing? Why do confectioners bother to put them in boxes of chocolate, bearing a disturbing resemblance to my idea of what eyeballs in cough syrup must be like, sitting uneaten in their gold wrappers until one day, sick of seeing them languish in a little bowl on top of the sugar canister, I am forced to eat them, one by one?

The Swedish word for the day is besserwisser. It is stolen directly from German, I have no doubt, and means know it all.
Someone has decided that the little statue of an adolescent girl on Karlavägen must have been cold. They've given her a coat. I have no picture, but you'll just have to take my word for it that she looks all warm and snug now. Giving statues clothes is apparently a Stockholm thing.

The Swedish words for the day are halsduk and vantar. They mean scarf and mittens.

From: “How to Learn Swedish in 1000 Difficult Lessons,” © Francis Strand

Read more offbeat real-life content, in the Dec. 2004/Jan. 2005 issue of "Arte Six."


Screening, "When It Was Blue"
Jan. 21, 2005

Screening this Friday, new work by experimental filmmaker Jennifer Reeves. Reeves won the Critics' Prize at the 2004 Berlinale for her first feature, "The Time We Killed."

Her latest work, "When It Was Blue," is a world premiere film-and-music performance; a complex and dazzling fusion of multiple-projected, animated images projected onto filmed landscapes of Iceland, New Zealand, Vancouver, NYC and Pyramid Lake, Nevada. The screening will be accompanied by live music via composer Skúli Sverrisson.

Reeves comments on her new film: "It’s called 'When It Was Blue,' and though it is not referencing the recent discussions of 'blue' and 'red' states, it does talk about the longing for another time, paradise, when water was really blue. And when art wasn’t so hip and ironic. Life before my dad got cancer. The film will be lush, painful beauty that you cannot hold onto, but [which] you’ll not forget."

Find it: The Museum of Modern Art
Titus 1
11 West 53rd St.
Get info:(212) 708-9400

NB: Admission is free during Target Free Friday Nights, every Friday evening, 4-8pm. Tickets for Target Free Friday Nights are not available in advance.

Read an in-depth interview with this filmmaker, in the DEC/JAN issue of "Arte Six."


“The Evil Garden”
5th Annual Edwardian Ball
January 22, 9pm

“The Gashlycrumb Tinies,” “The Curious Sofa,” “The Epileptic Bicycle” -– in Technicolor. Well, sort of.

Calling all Gorey fanatics, you’re invited to...well, let them tell it:

One hot and dusty afternoon in a remote desert at the turn of the century, two gentlemen and a lady sat sipping black martinis in a strange and little-known oasis known as The Pagan Lounge.

"I say," ventured the first gent, "wouldn't it be smashing to throw a ball in honor of the ghastly tales of Sir Edward Gorey?"

"Oh yes indeed!" agreed the lady emphatically. "We could all dress...Edwardian!"

"I love it!" cried the third. "Perhaps we could find an elegant yet irreverent house band to tell the stories and set them to music. Perhaps that band is...right here amongst us!"

It was true -- they looked up from their dust-stained cups to find none other than Rosin Coven carousing around the bar nearby. They were perhaps the only Pagan Lounge Ensemble skilled enough yet foolish enough to tackle such a task.

On a handshake it was agreed, then and there, that the ball would commence at Cat Club that very December.

The finest artists were assembled from throughout the land and The Edwardian Ball was born. It has now become a splendid San Francisco tradition and the rest, as they say, is history.

Appearing this year: fiendish femme fatale Jill Tracy, fresh from her run at “Welcome to the Hypnodrome,” with additional music by Rosin Coven.

Also featuring rather odd puppets and assorted curiosities from Puppets and Pie and fire-breathing antics and rude acrobatics from Vau De Vire Society.

Find it: Cat Club
1190 Folsom Street at 8th St.
San Francisco, CA
Get info: (415) 431-3332

Find more offbeat real-life events in the DEC/JAN issue of "Arte Six."


MUSIC/Disc Series
"Everything Nothing"

"Love and fear. Everything is about love and fear."

We originally fell in love with each other’s creativity, then with each other. After a year or so, we started writing songs together.

Our first album, “Everyone’s Gone,” is the result of that. Later we started working with other artists on our live shows. These are different artists from show to show. We’ve worked with authors (on the Crossing Borders festival), string players, video artists and moviemakers. Anyone that can contribute something that fits the music is welcome to join the Iuno Laboratory.

Iuno (Juno) is the Roman queen of the gods, wife and sister of Jupiter. We liked her name, and decided that if we ever had children, this would be the name if it were a girl. Since we've been way too busy to have any children, we decided to give the name to our band.

We both do a little bit of everything. Stella’s main part is the lyrics and the melodies, Steven’s main thing is the music.

We’re each others' critic and in that way we both shape what the other has come up with. For us this is a very fruitful way of working that can get very passionate. Passionate in this context means: fighting and making up. Aah...making up.


What most inspires us to write: Anything...everything...nothing.

We mostly write at night. The atmosphere of night is more inspiring than that of daytime.

In the daytime there's too much distraction; everything’s realtime and serious, people calling, neighbors stopping by, while at night everyone sleeps, everyone’s gone and time is less of an issue.

A little intoxication, be it a smoke or a drink, can also help while writing a song. It helps to see things in a more forgiving light. It sedates the superego and gives creativity a chance. Being critical is a good thing when producing and perfecting a song, but it can be a bad thing when creating it.

"I hope the lyrics speak for themselves. 'Nothing' is about death. 'Everything' is about life. 'Precious' is about the fear to love. I guess that’s got all the major themes covered."
[Shown above: Stella Bergsma/Photo: Maartje van Caspel]

The song itself, the basic idea, is done within an evening. The finishing up usually takes a little less than a year. The actual writing of the song is the most fun part, because it’s very direct, you're still working at the source.

The completing is the most difficult part. We are both quite perfectionist, so we often listen to a song over and over again and alter it until we’re satisfied with it. When you’ve heard a song a thousand times, it can be quite hard to still maintain an objective view of it. Luckily we are each others' most severe critics.



Steven, on whether singers/composers are born or created: Born and created, I would guess. There was only one Mozart, but if his father hadn’t pushed him to be a composer since he was old enough to hold a violin, we might never have heard of him at all.

I think some occurrence in your life has to be pushing you to be an artist. Beyond that, I think the way creativity really works, or where it comes from, is way too complex for us to understand.

Stella: Nature or nurture. Chicken or egg. You can’t really tell. And frankly, I don’t really care, as long as good music is being made.


Steven: Most of our songs are based on feelings, convictions and philosophies, rather than actual incidents. The less specific lyrics are, the more you can put into them.

Stella: That’s true, but sometimes an incident is the inspiration for a song. “The Park” is based upon a panic attack I had in a park, and “Sculpture” is based on a very simple moment of happiness: We were sitting on our couch, looking out of our window. Outside there was a thunderstorm, on our stereo Mahler’s third symphony. The moment was pure beauty.

On what comes first, words or music: It depends. Sometimes Steven has already made music that almost naturally seems to fit to lyrics I wrote. Or the way the music sounds inspires me to write new lyrics. It’s almost organic sometimes. It’s hard to point out who does what and where what begins.


Steven, on which comes first, the title or the work: Usually the song suggests a title. We don’t know up front what we will be writing. When we write a song, it’s a very intuitive process. Having a title in advance would only limit what the song could become.

Stella: Coming up with the title is one of the best parts. It’s like naming a child. I especially like it, and this happens a lot, when Steven makes up the title to a song I wrote the lyrics for. I feel like he really understands me, then.


Stella: Since I wrote all the lyrics to the second album, I would say all the songs are equally personal.

On the first album it would be the song “star,” a really short song at the end of the album. It’s about my father, who died seven years ago.

Steven: Ah, the agony...! I cannot choose. I feel I would betray other songs if I chose one. That’s how personal they are.

"Art, if it’s good art, is fighting battles for mankind on the outer edges of our reality. Strangely enough, art is not considered to be that important in our society."
[Shown above: Steven de Munnik, Stella Bergsma/Photo: Maartje van Caspel]


Steven, on what is more important, philosophical clarity or emotional resonance: Both [are important]. I feel very strongly about philosophical clarity. My philosophy, on the other hand, is quite emotional.

Stella: Or it could just be emotional clarity and philosophical resonance.

Fiction/Real life

Steven: For me there is no difference. Fiction is the version of reality we create ourselves. But so is real life. The difference is a matter of belief, which is a matter of blind choice. I hate blind choices.

Stella: Real life is always stranger.


Stella, on the most insightful thing anyone ever said to her: When I cried out: “Life makes no sense,” a wise man replied: “Indeed, it doesn’t. Don’t you find that extremely comforting?”

After my initial shock I realized that he was right, and since then I always find comfort in the fact that life makes no sense. Because it gave me the answer I was always looking for. Now nothing has to have a meaning anymore. It can just be. I can just be.

Steven, on the most scary thing anyone ever said to him: “Stop smoking. It will kill you. It took me a heart attack to quit. Quit now.” That is what a man at the cigarette counter in the supermarket said to me, when I was buying cigarettes, one day.

I got paranoid, thinking this was my future-me, coming back to warn me. I almost quit.


Stella: Love and fear. Everything is about love and fear.


How we chose the title: The image appealed to us. An empty room, after a party, all the people are gone, smoke is hanging in the air, the person that threw the party is sitting there, staring. Film Noir. It’s how it feels when we’re making music. It’s when we’re in a vacuum, where there are no other people.

It’s also a line from a song on the album. It’s the feeling you have when you are awake at night and everything is quiet. It’s like you are the only one there. The only one awake in the whole wide world.


We are both amazed by the fact that we are here, that we are Something instead of Nothing. That fact means everything. Hence “Everything Nothing.”

Or as Blaise Pascal said it: "What is man in nature? Nothing in relation to the infinite, all in relation to nothing, a mean between nothing and everything." ("Pensées").


Stella: It would be nice if people took the time to really listen, because our music is not the easiest kind. We try to create atmosphere.

We said to each other when we first started out, that we wanted to make music as if it was the soundtrack to a thriller. And that is what we are still trying to do.

Maybe people will understand us better if they know that. I remember one time someone said to me: “I don’t really like your music. When I listen to it I get that uneasy feeling that someone else is also listening, behind my back.” I thought it was the best compliment anyone ever gave us!

Steven: I think the music should be self-sufficient and self-explanatory. Since music is more direct than language, people should either get the message, or the music just isn’t good enough.

I concede the fact that some music you have to learn to appreciate, but for me, the music we make has to appeal to your most primitive senses: Fear, sorrow, love, anger and bliss.


The ideal situation would be that people experience the same as what we experienced while making the music. But that only happens once in a while.

During the recording of “Everything Nothing,” there was someone we only know through the Internet, that we sent newly written songs to, for an objective view on them.

The reason we valued his opinion, was the fact that he really seemed to understand our music, and still like it. He sometimes, when reviewing our music, actually came up with the exact same images we had in mind while writing it. We were amazed by that.

As for the people that appreciate our music for other reasons: bless them.


Stella: Dark songs make me cheerful, and cheerful songs make me suicidal.

Steven: Cheerful music hurts me in a way that I can’t begin to explain. That’s why I never like to go to supermarkets. The music they play in supermarkets is brain pollution. I think cheerfulness has only one dimension: cheerfulness.

Darkness has many, much more interesting shades, from melancholy to raging anger, to all-consuming fear. Lovely. The only times I like cheerfulness in music, is when it has an edge, when it is used to reveal something darker that lies underneath it.


Stella: Yes, [I do think music is necessary in daily life.] It’s been a part of humanity ever since we could lift a stick and beat a drum.

"Under every definition of language, music is a language...it not only tells you how the composer felt at the time of writing it, it actually lets you feel it for yourself."
[Shown: Stella Bergsma/Photo: Jelle Kalkman]

Music elevates the mind and takes you to a different place. Without this kind of diversion, we would be lost, I’m afraid.

Besides being a diversion, art in general also points us to the most important thing in life, which is not survival or mere perseverance, but creativity, and becoming something we aren’t yet.

Art, if it’s good art, is fighting battles for mankind on the outer edges of our reality.

Strangely enough, art is not considered to be that important in our society.


Stella: That I cannot drink and eat whatever the hell I want without gaining weight. And death. Death really pisses me off.

Steven: What really frustrates me is stupidity, the kind of stupidity that hurts other people, or kills other people, especially when combined with misplaced arrogance. Oh, and supermarket music, did I mention supermarket music?


Everything and Nothing puzzles us. Since Everything is everything how can there be Nothing?

And can Nothing actually be? Nothing is the negation of all things, which implies it should be something. And if it’s something, how can it be nothing?

Or is it just a language problem? Does the fact that nothing exists as a predicate necessitate that it actually should be something? And how can it be that we don’t know anything about this? How can it be we don’t really know anything about anything? This really eats our brain.




PJ Harvey, Portishead, Barry Adamson, David Cronenberg, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Nietschze, Toon Tellegen (maybe they knew everything), Simeon ten Holt (Canto Ostinato), Arvo Pärt, Górecki, Bukowski, Pink Floyd, Björk, Chet Baker, Nick Drake, Radiohead, Ministry, Frank Zappa, Sergio Mendez and Brasil 66, Ella Fitzgerald, to name a few.

Stella, on songs they wish they’d written: “Catherine,” by PJ Harvey. It’s a song about jealousy. It takes guts to write about such a dark feeling. And she does it beautifully. Also “Everything In Its Right Place,” by Radiohead. It’s got everything in its right place.

We're both really into movies. We like scary movies. Psychological thrillers. Lately we’ve been watching a lot of Japanese movies. The image language they use is new and original to us, since we’re used to American and European movies.

Movies are probably one of the best ways to depict the subconscious. The subconscious is probably our biggest source of inspiration. It’s so full of imagery and mystery.


Stella: Music goes straight to your heart and is a universal language. This is a cliché of course. It is true nevertheless. But personally, I love words, I adore words.

I think poetry is the highest art form there is. I cannot really explain it, but a small word like awe totally puts me in awe.

Under every definition of language, music is a language. Since music gets its meaning from our corresponding states of mind, it not only tells you how the composer felt at the time of writing it, it actually lets you feel it for yourself. In that way, it's a hyper-language.

Steven: Equally important. The words become music when you sing them. The music speaks to you in a way that words cannot.


Stella: Singing is much more difficult for me [than writing]. I love writing a song, but singing it always frustrates me because I can always do better.

Steven: For me, performing it is always a bit tricky. People like to see a direct link between what a musician does on stage, and what they hear. And that’s not always easy when you’re working with computers. This is something I had to learn and at which I’m gradually getting better. This is also why we like to work with live musicians on stage; it adds to the live feel.




You seem to know everything
but you don’t know faith

To me, this has a lot of meaning, in that it unveils the arrogance of rationality. I think rationality is driven by emotions, something which the greatest philosophers often seemed to forget.

Nothing,” for me, quite accurately describes nothing.

You and me

It’s in the things you say
between your words
They’re true but they’re not
It’s you but it’s not
I know it’s hard to believe
And that’s what makes it true
I’ve stopped listening to you

It’s all about the way you stare at me
I know that you see
Just don’t know who you see
I know it’s hard to believe
That’s just what makes it true
I’ve stopped looking at you

And all that I remember
is your touch
It’s strange isn’t it
It doesn’t seem that much
I know it’s hard to believe
That’s just what makes it true
I’ve forgotten all about you
© 2004 iuno

You and me” is the coldest love song we [ever] wrote.

Stella :


It’s a dark place
Only a shadow maybe
It’s a lost time
No time

I am falling
I am coming baby
It’s only nothing
It’s fine


Sun in water
Is liquid diamond
Wind in leaves
Is whispering peace

I can see
Everything is beautiful
but me


Your body that glows and your voice in my ear.
The sweet of your laughter the salt of your tear.
Our window, our music, the sounds that I hear, all that
Makes happiness scarier than fear.

I hope the lyrics speak for themselves. “Nothing” is about death. “Everything” is about life. “Precious” is about the fear to love. I guess that’s got all the major themes covered.


The most interesting stranger we’ve ever met: An old, Jewish man, with an Auschwitz tattoo on his arm. We never met anyone more understanding and forgiving than him.


Stella: I’m reading a book about a woman with a kind of dark side. The back flap said the main character was a cross between Patrick Bateman and Lolita. I thought, wow, a female psycho, that could be interesting! But in fact she talks about cannibalism so much, it's starting to bore me. And of course I always read all the magazines I can get my hands on.

Steven: I’m re-reading “The Elementary Particles” by Michel Houellebecq. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in years.

Other favorite writers of mine are Harmen Lustig and Yorgos Dalman. At the moment they are the most talented Dutch writers, in my opinion.


Stella: I have an MP3 player and it really brightens up my days. I like to listen to new stuff. Outkast, Amy Winehouse, Jay Z, and The Streets are on there right now. Don’t know if they will stick though.

If I like a song, I tend to play it and sing it over and over again. Steven can get really annoyed by this. One night, when he wasn’t home, I played “Blinded by the Lights” (The Streets), which I think is an absolutely brilliant song, about a hundred times.

Steven: Stella repeating the same song over and over again. And “The Teaches of Peaches,” by Peaches. I really love that album. It’s totally under-produced, which gives it a really raw and direct sound. On top of that, Peaches is cool.


Stella: People really interest me. What they do, what they don’t do. And of course why they do or don’t.

Steven: Philosophy. Why everything is, and more to the point: what everything is. There is no answer to be found there, so it’s a great way to let your imagination run wild.

I studied philosophy, but never made it my job, because then I’d have to believe in something, I’d have to be making a point. In my philosophy there are no points to be made. In music I can make a point without being certain of anything. That’s why music will always be more satisfying to me.


Interesting fact that nobody knows about us yet:
That we’re that good.

If I wasn’t a singer/composer, I’d definitely be:
Stella: Some other creative thing. I’m not fit for anything else. As a child I always wanted to be an actress. In my fantasy I already have my Oscar acceptance speech written.

Steven: An astronaut, had I pursued my childhood ambitions. I once had a dream, in which I was standing on the surface of the moon, looking at the earth.

It was a wonderful feeling to be that far away from everything. At the same time it was also kind of scary; I didn't know how to get back. Food for psychiatrists, probably.

Life is:
Stella: Yes, it sure is.
Steven: Everything between two nothings.

Favorite quotes:
Steven: "Razors pain you; rivers are damp; acids stain you; and drugs cause cramp. Guns aren't lawful; nooses give; gas smells awful; you might as well live." (Dorothy Parker)

Stella: I love quotes. Probably cause I like words so much. I collect quotes from writers and philosophers and such, and I am totally into movie quotes.

It’s hard to pick one favorite. Different quotes are good for different occasions. I like the really bright and witty ones like the ones from Oscar Wilde and Dorothy Parker. I also like the more serious ones, like Dylan Thomas’ “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

But the one I can most subscribe to is a simple one. It’s from St. Augustine.
It says: Ama et fac quod vis; Love and do what you please.

Author/artist bio: Iuno are Stella Bergsma and Steven de Munnik, sometimes assisted on stage by the Iuno Laboratory, an ever-changing collective of musicians, VJs, and multimedia artists.

Iuno was formed in 1999. Their first album is “Everyone’s Gone,” released in 2001. Their latest album, “Everything Nothing” was released this year, on AKH Records.

Visit official site: Iuno
View lyrics: Iuno

[Shown/header image: Stella Bergsma/Photo: Maartje van Caspel]
All photo materials, music and text referenced (c) 2004, Iuno.
All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Read in-depth interviews with other creative artists, in the DEC/JAN issue of "Arte Six."

Hear Dylan Thomas read his poem, “Do not go gentle into that good night”. Courtesy of Caedmon, via The Academy of American Poets.

RELATED EXTRAS: Dorothy Parker
Hear Dorothy Parker read her poem, “Résumé


Future Film Festival
Jan. 19-23, 2005

Virtual actors, F/X, anime: the Future Film Festival screens films that tell stories about future worlds, developed by producers using the most cutting-edge technology around.

Screenings include mainstream, indie and experimental movies; the common denominator is the creative use of new digital technologies.

The most innovative film directors, and creative producers who deal with special effects and digital animation, are invited in Bologna from all over the world to screen their films, and to discuss the making of the most interesting digital productions.

The opening ceremony includes a screening of Japanese silent animated shorts with soundscapes by contemporary composer Ikue Mori.

Mori started her career as a percussionist collaborating with Arto Linsday. She started experimenting with digitized percussion rhythms in 1985, developing her own inventive and unusual style; she won a Distinctive Award for Prix Arts Electronics in 1999.

Shown above: "Immortel Ad Vitam"

This year’s special events also include an homage to comix artist Enki Bilal.

Three of his works are set to screen: "Bunker Palace Hotel" (1989), "Tykho Moon" (1997) and "Immortel Ad Vitam" (2004). Bilal’s works feature bi-dimensional worlds, where mythological figures and futuristic landscapes intersect.

Lastly, manga fans -- get ready for the cosplay masquerade on closing night.


"Back to Gaya"
And, it’s the...attack of the Keebler elves. Gaya is an imaginary world populated by very small creatures; they risk their own extinction, because Dalamite, the magic stone that enable them to survive, has been stolen.

Boo and Zino set off on a hard journey to get it back. Along the way, they find out the ghastly truth about their origins: they’re really just characters on a TV program.

"Natural City"
By the year 2080, humanity has nearly blasted itself off the planet, after a nuclear war. Cyborgs are employed as workers. Some of them, built using human DNA, start to rebel.

Future cop R is a member of the squad designed to take down rebel cyborgs. Unruly and obstinate, R clashes with top cop Noma.

Shown above: "Natural City"

R also has another problem: while tracking a female android named Rai, he falls in love with her. Unfortunately, she’s slowly dying.

R starts illegally extracting AI chips from destroyed cyborgs, selling them on the black market to earn enough money to pay off Dr. Giro, a mad scientist who’s found a way to extend Rai’s life.

Does this sound familiar? It is. "Natural City" is a Korean F/X extravaganza directly inspired by Ridley Scott’s "Blade Runner."

Fantasy tale told with puppets. Beautiful, unfriendly puppets. A bit like "Hamlet," as the main character, Prince Hal Tara, goes off on a quest to avenge the murder of his father, the Emperor of Hebalon, by their enemies, the Zeriths.

But does the danger lie without –- or within the barred gates of the city? An interesting, gloomy revenge tale for adults. The strings are the character’s link to life – once cut, they die.

Shown above: "Strings"

The idea for "Strings" hit writer/director Anders Rønnow Klarlund during a trans-Atlantic flight:

"I was 30,000 feet above ground...the aircraft was moving along high above the clouds and on the small screen in front of me, a commercial taking place in Prague was playing. It had marionette puppets as actors and I was amazed...how much expression they could display.

"I began to wonder how the world would appear, if I was a marionette, and I drew up a sketch of a marionette fleeing his enemy...I immediately felt the idea was very strong. An idea of a universe inhabited by marionettes with strings reaching all the way up to the sky, to a place where we are all connected -- and controlled.

"I promised myself that if I won the European Fantasy Film Award for ‘Possessed,’ my next project would be ‘Strings.’ The plane touched down and a few days later I was accepting the award."

"Strings" is a mesmerizing tale of adventure, loyalty and betrayal, bondage and liberation; love and war, destiny, courage and common humanity.

Nothing is what it seems in this land on the edge of time, where the threads of destiny are woven together by unseen hands.

Shown/header image: "Strings"

Find it: Future Film Festival
Via del Pratello 21/2
Bologna, Italy
Get info: +39 051 2960664

Find film festivals worldwide, in the DEC/JAN issue of "Arte Six."


Margo Lanagan, novelist

I've written both short stories and full-length novels, but my last two books have been collections of short stories because I've been working full-time while putting them together, and haven't had the kind of time I need to be able to keep a novel in my head.


If there are [restrictions involved in writing in a condensed form], I don't feel them as restrictions -- I quite like plunging into a story right up close to the climax, and creating worlds that hold together juussst long enough to get the most out of that moment of character transformation.

Also, only having time to suggest setting, rather than being obliged to construct and present a created world right down to the plumbing, means that I get all the fun of a novel but without the responsibility!

However, after a while of writing short stories, I do hunger to be working on something bigger (and I actually am, at the moment), so that I can slowly build a story with lots of different intertwining pieces that come together in a more
multi-layered way at the end.

Also, making more complex characters with proper histories, and tracking their development and changes, is rewarding.


Themes that come up again and again: Grief, aloneness/loneliness, being surprised by the world's strangeness, finding a place for yourself in the world, finding ways to be hopeful, how families work (particularly mothers), how other kinds of groups work, how different people deal with emotional crises.

I think I only know what themes I'm exploring in retrospect -- the thematic stuff tends to happen subconsciously.

When I'm writing, I'm focusing on the strangeness of the world I'm creating, or getting to know the characters and moving them through the plot.

When I get to the end, or sometimes quite a while afterwards, I'll realize that I've written a disguised memoir, or actually been writing about motherhood when I thought the child was the main character.

This doesn't quite answer your question, though. I guess these themes are related to my daily-life preoccupations, as well as to past experiences that have left their stamp on me.

I certainly don't consciously go in thinking “It's time people paid more attention to the amount of emotional work mothers do!” -- it's not a proselytizing thing.

But most of my stories, however much I think I'm exploring new territory when I'm writing them, will end up addressing one of these themes.

The more I think about this question, the more I think it requires a certain amount of therapy to answer...


The story "Wooden Bride" in "Black Juice" was difficult to finish, because the story was based on a dream I'd had, and I wanted to put in the happy girl-meets-boy ending that I'd had in the dream.

I created the boy several different ways, but I just couldn't get him to behave with the same calm, romantic charisma he'd had in my dream.

In the end the girl just had to get her reward from having made it to the church on time (the ceremony was more a confirmation, a sort of rite of passage, than an actual wedding) instead of finding love as well.

Of course, there have been a fair few stories that were so difficult they didn't get finished at all -- generally this is because I've imagined a character but not thought sufficiently about how that character is going to be challenged by circumstances, or I've created characters that I don't particularly want to spend much time with!

My personal favorite: This is a hard question! I think "Singing My Sister Down" is one of my favorites in "Black Juice"; and in "White Time," "The Night Lily" -- and I think I like them best because I hardly know where they come from in myself, and they can mean several different things.

They're still puzzles to me, whereas other stories in both collections are laid out flat like a map and I can see exactly what they're saying and how they work.

These two are the ones that surprised me, which probably means that I was in a very relaxed state when I wrote them, not feeling self-conscious or anxious about them.

Both stories' prose have also been pared back to the bone -- I really feel there are no wasted words with either of them, which I like. I like a nice, lean story.


"White Time" is the title of the most YA story in the book, about a girl who does a stint of work experience in a government white-time laboratory.

White time is like white noise, all times at once, and occurs in reservoirs all through the universe.

As species evolve and pass through the various phases of learning about time travel, they always pass through the stage where they get their coordinates wrong and end up floating in white time.

Humans (who have of course learned to time travel perfectly!) take on the task of moving them out of the reservoirs either on to where they wanted to go, or back to where they came from.


Black Juice was my older son's name for Coca-Cola when he was little.

I was looking for something black, to make a companion title to “White Time.” But also, the stories in “Black Juice” were written during a fairly dire period in my life, so the title also makes sense as an indicator that the book is squeezed out of dark times.

The next collection will be called “Red Jam,” which has the same kind of innocent-appearance-disguising-ew-factor as “Black Juice.”


I think the stories say what I'd like them to understand better than any comment I can give about them. These stories are being marketed as young adult fiction, but I'd like parents to understand that they're not children's stories -- heck, I'd like parents to read them themselves!

As to what readers get out of them, I'd like readers to be knocked sideways. These stories are pretty intense, and lots of readers have said they can only read one in a sitting -- then they have to go away and recover for a while.

I like the idea that they make people think, that they blow people out of their normal way of reading, that you can't rush them.


I've nearly finished first-drafting the stories in the next collection, “Red Jam,” which is very much the same type of science fiction/fantasy/horror mix as “White Time” and “Black Juice.”

I'm also rewriting the first novel of a YA fantasy quartet, which I hope to complete the remaining three volumes of in 2005. Right now I'm taking some time off from full-time employment as a technical writer, and being a full-time fiction writer, which is just paradise -- only trying to cram three lives into one, instead of four!

Bio: Margo Lanagan has published poetry, YA novels and short stories for science fiction, fantasy and horror fans.

Her books have been Aurealis Award winners, and been shortlisted for the Ditmar Awards and the New South Wales and Queensland Premier's Literary Awards.

Her short-story collection "Black Juice" won a Victorian Premier's Literary Award, and stories from previous collection, "White Time," were selected for inclusion in several Year's Best (and in one case, half-century's best) anthologies. Lanagan lives in Sydney, Australia.

Interested in learning more about this author? Lanagan was recently a guest author at Torley’s/Parrish’s Patch. Find out more, here.

Find more books/writers content in the DEC/JAN issue of "Arte Six."

Excerpt from “Black Juice”

In "Black Juice," Lanagan delivers ten unusual stories that intrigue, shock, delight and move the reader to tears with their imaginative reach, their complexity, unpredictability, subtlety and humanity.

From: “Sweet Pippit”

We set out in the depth of night, having held ourselves still all evening. Hloorobnool was poor at stillness, being only in her fifties, but our minder was a new man; he likely thought she rocked and puffed and raised her trunk like that every sunset.

We could all have reared up and trumpeted, no doubt, without alarming that one. But our suffering was close to the surface; better to keep it packed into a tight circle than to risk rampage and shooting by letting it show.

With the man gone to his rest, Booroondoonhooroboom set to work. She used her broken tusk on the gateposts, on the weak places where the hinges had been reset after Gorrlubnu’s madness. Pieces pattered to the ground softly as impala dung.

She worked and she sang, drawing the lullaby up around us. Before long we were all swaying in our night-stances, watching Booroondoon with our ears and our foreheads as well as our eyes.

And then she had done loosening. "Gooroloomboon," she said, and Gooroloom came forward. The two of them lifted aside the chained-together gates, and there between the gateposts was a marvellous wide space.

We had not expected it, somehow -- though had we not all said, and planned, and agreed?

Ah, it is a difficult thing, the new, and none of us like it much. We swayed and regarded the open gate.

We were used at the most to circling, with an owda on our back full of tickling peeple, and our mahout on our head.

It took Booroondoon, our queen and mother, still singing very low, to move into the space, to show us that bodies such as ours could move from home into the dark beyond. And as soon as the darkness threatened to take her, to curtain her from our sight, it became not possible for any of us to stay.

And so we moved, unweighted, from the gardens; Hmoorolubnu took my tail, as if that small thing would hold her steady in this storm of freedom. Zebu choked at us behind their rails, and a goat on the stone hill lifted its head and gave brittle cry.

But our bearing is the sort that soothes others; we move with inevitability, as the stars do, as the moon swells and shrinks upon the sky.

We brushed aside the wooden entry gate as if it were a plaything to be tossed aside, and the other animals remained calm.

Gooroloom tumbled the little office-box to sticks, and our feet crushed it to dust.

Above the dark and swelling river of our rage, my delight in our badness hung briefly bright.

His name was something like Pippit. It was too short for our ears to catch, as all peeple’s names are; twig-snaps and bird-cheeps, they finish before they properly start. But his smell was a lasting thing, and his hand.

Pippit of all peeple could tell badness from goodness, as we could. He would know that this was our only choice, he who could still our feet with a word, whose slender murmuring soothed us when all other voices were pitched too high and madding, who slept among our feet and rode us without spear or switch -- whom we missed in a rage of missing, ever since he had been taken from us to somewhere in this dark out-world.

Gooroloomboon spoke through her forehead, wonderingly: "How our minds have become circle-shaped, from all our circling, squared from pacing that square! Once we were wild! But I fear I have no wildness any more, Booroondoon; maybe wildness has died in my blood and my feet can move only in circle and square. What are we to do for water and for food, mother? And how are we to know where to find our sweet Pippit? And if he be in a place that requires some badness to reach him, can we do such a thing, even in his name?"

Booroondoon, her graciousness, heard Gooroloom out. "Put away your fears," she said, even as she lullabied. "Fears are for little-hearts, or the lion-hunted. I have never been wild in my life, yet our Pippit’s track through this world is as clear as a stripe of water thrown across a dry riverbank. What you love this much, you can always find again."

And our spirits, which had been poised to sink with Gooroloom’s worry, lifted as if Booroondoon’s words were buoyant water, as if her song were breeze and we were wafted feathers.

We walked out among peeple’s houses, that were like friends standing beside the path.

With every sleeping house we passed I was more wakeful; with every step I took that was not circle-path, or earth we had trodden as many times as there are stars, something else broke open in me.

My mind seemed a great wonderland, largely unexplored, my body a vast possibility of movements, in any direction, all new.

There would be food and water, good and bad, all new -- Gooroloom would smell them, too, when she finished fretting. I wanted to lift my head and trumpet, but there was joy also in knowing I must not, in moving with my fellows through the sleeping town, making no sound but planting feet and rubbing skin and the breath of walking free.

We came to the town’s edge. Without pausing, Booroondoon continued on under the moon towards nothing, only parasol trees that cannot be eaten, only a line that had stars above it, dry shadows below.

We followed, and the town smells fell behind. Hloorobn, ahead of me, lifted her trunk. I head-bunted her rump, to keep her quiet, and she grunted low in surprise.

Then we settled to a strong pace after Booroondoon, rolling our yearning rage out onto the plain.

Excerpted from "Black Juice" (Dec. 2004, Allen and Unwin Australia)
© 2004, Margo Lanagan. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Read more books/writers content in the DEC/JAN issue of "Arte Six."