Yesterday, I was introduced to a Canadian figure. His name is Norman Bethune. There is a very good biopic made by Donald Brittain, which is hosted for free on the NFB’s website. The movie which runs just short of 1 hour, covers Bethune’s awesome life up to his very unfortunate demise. It was enough to make him a personnal hero of mine.

When the movie was over. There was a quiet silence in the small room where the Bethune Cell, a new communist group, was presenting the work. Some people were trying to cry while making as little noise as possible, including I. There was something so poignant and true about Bethune’s life and actions, that the movie managed to cleverly put that forward in a blend of humor and drama. The movie, simply called ‘Bethune’ displayed with simplicity and profoundness, a mind aspiring for something fundamentally good, and striving for it with one definitive motion. I have to say, this movie was very inspiring for me.

The movie is a good example of how single individual can place themselves in a position to exercise a great influence on their environment. It is a very good demonstration of a ‘philosophy of action’ which I believe to be quite important for me, and that I want to apply to my own life even if the current society makes it very difficult.

There was something genuinely groundbreaking in Bethune’s philosophy and actions, which I believe everyone aspiring to do good can take inspiration from. It shows that a single person with a lot of inner strength, willpower and tremendous energy, can change the world for the better. It is the kind of figures which are missing from our history books and classes, and the lack of these figures creates apathy in us and makes us unproductive.
We have to go out of our way to find stories like this one, which is unfortune.

That Bethune was an unlikely person, makes no doubt.

The movie shows Bethune under many lights, including those of a painter, a teacher, a guardian angel, but also doesn’t shy from displaying his darker angles: his overindulgence, his harsh manners, and some of his hurdles in matters of love. This is what makes the movie very special.
Since the ‘truer Truth’, is that there is a Norman Bethune within all of us. At once an angel and a devil, which inspires in us a capability to do more, to transform reality, to manage between chaos and order.

A speaker, whose name escapes me, followed the movie with a presentation, remarking that Bethune was indeed a ‘hero of our time.’ As a type 1 diabetic, I am deeply concerned about access to healthcare, especially in light of recent Canadian news reports that highlight the growing difficulty many individuals face in securing timely medical attention.

For example, lengthy wait times have become an all-too-common issue in Canada’s healthcare system. Patients can wait for hours in emergency rooms or spend months, if not years, waiting for elective procedures. A study from the Fraser Institute found that Canadians experienced an average wait time of 20.9 weeks for specialist treatment in 2020, a significant increase from previous years.

Additionally, rural communities face unique challenges in accessing healthcare, with fewer doctors and medical facilities available. In some areas, residents may need to travel long distances to receive essential medical care. This problem is exacerbated by the ongoing physician shortage in Canada, which has left many without a family doctor or access to primary care.

Social work is under threat

The story of Bethune has made me reflect on the role of social workers and activists in general. One parallel that comes to mind is the history of Quakerism and the life of John Woolman, a man known for his influential journal. Woolman lived in incredible simplicity during the mid-1700s as part of the Society of Friends, or Quakers, a Christian sect that established itself in some American states after being chased out of England due to their beliefs.

Woolman is special in his own right, as he ascribed to a very unusual philosophy for his time and was one of the first to advocate publically for the end of slavery. He described slavery as a ‘dark gloominess hanging above the land,’ among other peculiar views at the time. Like many of his contemporaries, Woolman also offered many services including health care and ‘last rites’, and traveled the United States preaching a gospel of love. It’s quite an interesting read, if you happen by a copy of his journal. I have two, one from the Harvard Classics series and a second, older edition I’ve acquired recently.

In the last 40 years, there has been a total engineered destruction of personalities like Woolman and Bethune by global rulers. This massive destruction of social systems, combined with new pervasive and isolating technology, has resulted in a human civilization that is both catastrophic for the common man and utterly unsustainable.

This systematic and engineered destruction can be partially attributed to the vilification of ideologies which are ‘socially oriented’ such as religion and social-communism. Society has destroyed religious belief and practice without replacing the significant contributions religious institutions made to social order, such as in hospitals and education.

We often blame religious people for the harshness of colonial education and health care but forget the difficult battle they wrought with little resources (for one, Tuberculosis, which is no concern today).

Similarly, social-communism has been demolished as a belief system, with governments dismantling social-communist efforts in numerous ways. The speaker of yesterday’s movie highlighted the defunding of local health centers (known as CHSLD in our Canadian province) in favor of funding massive centralized hospitals and their boards of doctor-administrators.

These ideologies, which once promoted a ‘culture of giving’ and ‘philosophy of action’, have been more and more discouraged in modern times. Furthermore, revolutionary movements have been replaced by a ‘fake’ internet-based cancel culture that prevents people from directing their anger towards their real adversaries, creating scapegoats instead. By systematically destroying faith-based and social-communist outlooks on life, capitalist society isolates itself under the pretense of being the only solution. This new tolerable ‘anger’ in the form of cancel culture allows capitalist elites to maintain and reinforce their grip on society’s throat, leaving society gasping for air.

What to do now

The movie ‘Bethune’ sparked a lot of new ideas in my mind. I always feel like I don’t involve myself enough. This might be the push I need to start something new.

Although I don’t have any medical skills, the answer to what I can do personally lies in following my own inner passion and using it for good.

I’ve spent the last few years studying creative programming, which might not be the most useful skill in our collapsing world compared to food farming or medicine. However, code is very empowering and it can be a tool for imagination. It can lead to countless avenue, that go well past the initial domain in which you might learn the tool.

Recently, I’ve picked up more and more teaching, and seeing the kind of positive impact it can have on student has been empowering. However, school is very expensive for most students, and I’ve been considering other ways to give knowledge to adamant learners: like putting together a few written tutorials and/or creating some videos and possibly creating some sort of club where I can teach for free.

I also want to try to help people in the street more. It seems like there is more and more of that, and we could all respond more gently to this rising concern.

There’s also the matter of my illness, T1D. So I was thinking about how it might be beneficial for other people in the same boat as me to see how I pulled through with this annoying illness. Maybe I will share some information about that in the future.

Anyway, that’s all for today. Thank you for reading.
It’s been a while since I used this blog, but I’ll try to post more regularly from now on.



I’ve been busy in these last few weeks of December. So much, in fact, that I pushed back final edits of this article… and it’s now mid-January ! Woah ! Time flies when we have fun. There’s so much to do, but not enough time these days ! So I decided as a resolution to focus on what truly matters. As I explicitly stated when I began writing this blog diary.

One reason I have not posted anything recently is that I’ve been preparing a series of scanned images. One of my artwork was beginning to fall apart and I want to preserve it in its current state. This scan project almost wrapped up, so I feel comfortable now putting up some explanation / presentation about it here.

The story goes like this: during the last year of my bacchelor I was lucky to be supported by the University to create a short film. For this film I planned to travel to my hometown with two cinematic partners. Together I wanted for us to go to a ‘famous area’ in the countryside. It was nearby an old abandoned colonial manor who has been recently demolished in Mascouche.

During the shoot, I was going to dress up and be made to walk about in this countryside dressed as a giant Amanita Muscaria mushroom.

The plan was for my friends to record me. Since this took place in October, we were hopeful to find and record images who would contain some live specimen of mushrooms. It was a risky move but it paid off. We did get a few cool images.

If you’re curious about the full picture it is available in the “moving images” part of the website, the title is Where to Forage? (For Little Children).

Today’s post is not so much about the movie itself, as much as about one of the props used in it.

This prop is a strange book I created around the year 2018, during the pre-production of the film.

The name of the book is “Pandemonium”. Since it is currently in very bad shape I had to unbind the book. Through by doing so, I also took the care to do these scans the various pages. Starting now (edit: 1/10/21) the full book can also be accessed in the ‘Mixed media’ subsection of the ‘Plastic art’ section of my website.

I will share commentary about some of the ideas that inspired selected pages and some insights about their representation, for me, in the rest of this article.

Pages are identified numerically by this number does not necessarely corresponds with the real number in the order of the pages of the full book.

Page 1 Page 1

Images 1. and 2. correspond to the two sides of the cover. In both, we can see the title carved into the pastel. I used a knife, a fork, and other tools that I can’t recall anymore to carve a lot of motifs and patterns in this project.

When I conceived the book I was moved and motivated by the idea of creating a ‘living artwork’. A sort of bum’s art. An artwork that would be carried about. Homeless. Getting dirty and rotting away with time. It’s a philosophy which came back to haunt me at various times during my life. I invest a character of my upcomming book Follelangue with similar belief (and a wandering way of life well suited for these beliefs; albeit unaccessible to me).

I was to say the least propelled by some magick, to find it so amazing to play around with a bunch of pastels so roughly on a canvas that it should get heavy like a sheet soaked with oil. My teacher Richard Kerr would approve of this kind of practice.

The pages below were all transformed by the process of time in accordance with this “law of bum” which was outlined before.

Page 8 Page 9 Page 10

In image 3., for example, the page adjacent (image 4.) has partially glued and ripped. This incident happened as the book was hard-pressed over a long period of time and then apart open (albeit carefully enough to preserve its essence). The image 4. also reminds me of a long-time friend (Gabe S).

Image 5. is another ripped image. I see this once as an “anti”-portrait. Whatever that it is left for you to decide.

This other image (6.) is linked to a recurring scene in my imaginary.

I also made two other artworks (pastel canevas) of the same scene. The scene, I name “The Killing of Zadok”.

Basically, it is semi-historical and based on an apocryphal story I read when I was younger. In that story, there was a scene which I remember vaguely. Near and under one pinnacle of the temple of Jerusalem there was a tomb known as “The Tomb of Zadok”. You could believe what you want about this “Zadok”, who he really was doesn’t really matter to who I have made him to be in my fantastical world.

In this world, “Zadok” was a leader of men and a philosopher of sort. So… Pinnacle of the temple… Why? He was chased to the temple’s roof. Then, priests gathered as a mob around him and they stoned him to death. The men from the priestdom of the city.

In image 6. we thus see one of the priest that comes out the door to the roof of the temple to threaten Zadok. Zadok is represented as the arm of the figure to the right edge, looking like he’s about to fall off.

Click here to go to this other artwork I did represents Zadok being stoned. The following scene.

Page 12

In the book and in theme with the movie it was a prop for, there is a recurring image of the mushroom Amanita Muscaria in this artwork.

Page 20 Page 39

Why a fascination for the Amanita Muscaria/Fly Agaric mushroom? Well, it is a wonderful plant. From a natural philosophy point of view, the spherical shape of youthful mushrooms of this species obeys the complexity of Pi. Only by description of this law can it take this particular shape of his during youth and adolescence.

My manyfold interest in the Mushroom initially springs from reading the book called The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross. If you can manage a copy and read through this book it is a fascinating interpretation of Christianism and folklore. The Concordia University Library used to hold some copies, don’t know if they still do now. Otherwise, PDFs are surely available.

Page 29 Page 35

But other books by John M. Allegro are also very insightful and always full of meaning, I recommend him heavily. I had the chance to read The End of a Road and Lost Gods and these books are also fascinating. They really brought me to appreciate the complex history of humans and the interaction it is bound to have had and have in the future with strange plants.

Overall I feel careful enough to argue that this mushroom is mislabelled has toxic. It can be parboiled, heated a reasonable length of a campfire, or sundried, and turns into a harmless inebriant.

Ok! Let’s review a few more of these images…

Page 15

This one looks like a tormented being looking straight at your and waving, doesn’t it ? It’s also a good example of ‘carving’ to create motif over oily pastel. I like how it converges towards the center of the face, but not in a perfectly cyclical pattern, with smoothish corners along the covergent paths.

Page 15

This page really makes me feel something about a cabin by a lake. It is like the stylized reflection of the sun over the seaweedy surface. I really like this one but I lack the words to decribe precisely why.

I remember, at the time of making Pandemonium, listing A LOT to the music of DJ Screw. I printed some of his album covers and colored them over. But in image 11., it created an interesting transparency effect over the red:

Page 29 Page 35

You might have recognized image 12. I am currently (1/18/21) using this image as my ‘Enter’ page (the first page you see when you go to The central piece of the image is a golden mirror-like (or at least, reflecting) piece of a beauty kit. I glued it over the image. ‘All Screwed Up’ is a reference to the track and motif used in DJ Screw’s music (and applied in his life).

Finally, let us look at the image bellow. It is simple image for which I applied almost equally a muddy greenish pastel over the page, but for two narrow slices looking like two red eyes. Making this page, I really wanted to give a face-like apperance to the page.

This is all for my post today ! I hope you will take the time to check out the full compilation of Pandemonium if you enjoyed reading more about these images and seeing them here.

Page 15



Recently, I wrapped up one of my long-in-the-making project: I Homunculi. I had been working on-and-off on this idea for the two last years. I Homunculi is a random, interactive scroll film, where the viewer controls the directionality AND speed of the image flow with the mouse or by gestures if its device uses a touch screen. The work will soon be available for free directly on the website, in the “Others” section.

Today let’s delve back to into the genesis of the content of the film.

I think this will help clarify what and whatnot I “actually did” in this project.

To create the images, I consulted an online video archive around 2017. I downloaded images around certain themes. Of course, there was always a degree of chance in the picking process. In short, I found myself with a series of videos which was pretty “dark” in tone (agricultural, educational health, medicine, old horror movies, mental-illness videos, strange experiments — including the revival of disembodied animals, and so on…)

In a Construct3 program, I also generated a sort of technical animation. It consisted of coloured dots filling infinitely a screen-like canvas. A random colour was picked for each dot and it was made to appear at a random position on the screen canvas.

In parallel to this, discovered the realm of “deep dreaming.” I had become interested in the idea of applying the deep dreaming process on moving images. I already experimented with this in my movie Where to Forage? (Edit – 07-01-22: More recently, I am exploring deep dreeping once more in the creation of “imaginary characters” — I will post a new article soon about this matter.)

Deep dream image generation is an AI process: a trained neural network “takes a look” at a picture, and attempts, according to a limited set of “iterations” and more transformative “dreams-within-dreams”, to recognize certain images into the picture. To see one thing in another. Essentially, it is a creative re-application of image recognition AI technology.

What is interesting is that “recognizing,” for this network, meant producing an image.

As the network relied on a pool of specific JPEG images, I thought it might be interesting to feed the random colour noise animation created on Construct3 into a network of this “deep dreaming” kind. At the time, I had an old PowerPC Mac tower on which I bought a copy of a program called DeepDreamer, and I could run it somehow (albeit at an incredibly slow pace) on this PowerPC. Feeding the random colour noise animation in the neural network brought me to the unusual creation of what I called the “strange wall”.

This strange wall was only one of all the result of the deep dreaming process over random colour noise animation. The result was an unusual mesh of which looked to me like the bottom of some prehistoric pool, layered with seashells — even more after I would decompose it into three monochromatic sequences (red, green, blue). The strange wall was the static video of this techno-biological texture.

Now, back to the archive footage. They are also important in this process. What I did at this point was a simple superimposition of the strange wall over an edit of the archive footage. While I did not keep the archive footage, it still transpires through the superimposition edit and all of the remaining creative process (illustrated bellow).

At this point, the next step of the process took me to reapply the same idea of feeding the superimposition edit into a neural network. However, a new problem arose. The cut’s length was much more consequent than the one of the superimposition edit that was fed into the network before, in order to create the strange wall animation. At this point, I discovered that DeepDreamer was helpless against such a long video.

One thing I tried was running DeepDreamer on a more recent Mac, the one of my Dad. I would send him these weird video bits to convert. However, it was long, tedious and the images were not that interesting.

I tried to use a variety of software to break down the video into a sequence of thousands of JPEG. I told myself it was more realistic to transform the frames individually, but I found only failure.

At this point, I stopped working on this experiment. I decided to try something different. In the darkness, I rephotographed the superimposition edit with my good ol’ Olympus OM-D EM-5, relying on the slow shutter feature of the camera. I also remember flooding a tabletop where my computer screen lied with coffee! This wet desk partially reflected the image of the screen during the recording. For a while, I thought the resulting footage was the final ending of this project.

I made a movie called Intermittence using the images, and I sent it around, but in truth it fell short of the original intentions. While it was in its own an interesting piece, my future would lead me once again to work with the strange material from which it was formed…

A year or so passed when I returned to the superimposition cut. I think I might have made more deep dream attempts with the material in-between that time and the initial attempt, but I have barely any recollection of them. I assume it was another total failure.

But in recent time, I had finally learned to work in linux an architecture much like MacOS and Windows, at the small difference that it affords increased flexibility to its user. Additionally, with linux I had begun using the terminal although with minimal efficiency. This was an “old school” way of working, where to move through your computer files, you typed the required command and path. Same to copy or delete a file or folder. And like that almost everything could be accomplished by typing in the command line. Yes, I could accomplish most task, but sometimes it required some research.

A bit later, I also acquired a new computer with a new graphic card, on which I also installed a new fresh Ubuntu OS. I was able to install nVidia CUDA, which allowed me to run image-transformation algorithm on my computer.

Luckily, I found an interesting Python library called Keras which was able to provide me with the needed elements to do this. Equipped with this specific computer and OS, I could run the deep dreaming transformation quickly over a single frame of the superimposition cut. The superimposition cut had almost 19 000 frames. Even to treat each image manually in 30 seconds would take me a long, long time to do the the whole movie.

But at the very least, I was encouraged by the fact that it was technically doable this time, unlike before where DeepDreamer would simply be lackluster when working a just a few images.

And finally, the solution came in a flash, even quicker than I had thought it would. It was after thinking about this problem for a few moments that I realized I could simply loop the Keras command line instruction from the terminal! In a few internet keywords, I found an example of a command line loop and used it in combination with Keras. Since I had automated the process, I ran it every night. It took about 13 nights or so to convert all the frames! Incredible to think back about it!

When I recompiled the frame. The moving images I got were given another transformation: they were made into black and white, heavy contrasted images. These images, in turn, were made blue. These are the ones used in the final artwork I Homunculi.

I hope you appreciated the summary of this unusual creative journey. I will be writing another post on I Homunculi in the near future. For now, I think this one is fairly long already.



“All manifestations before my eyes are also delusions devoid of substance. They are merely shadows within the mind.”

“Devils come? Just cut them off like a snarl of tangled silk threads.”

“Whenever any thought arises, you should try and find its source; never let it go easily or be cheated by it.”

“When I was seven years old, my mother sent me to school. At that time, I had an uncle who loved me very much. One day, just before I arrived homme from school, he died. When I saw him lying so still on the bed, my mother tried to deceive me about his death, saying ‘Your uncle is asleep. You might wake him up.’ Whereupon I called to my uncle a few times, but he did not answer me. At this my aunt, greatly grief-stricken, cried out to him, ‘Oh my Heaven! Where have you gone?’ Very puzzled, I said to my mother, ‘My uncle’s body lies right here. Why does my aunt say he has gone away?” Then my mother said, ‘Your uncle is dead’. ‘If one dies, where does one then go?’ I asked her, and from that moment this question was deeply impressed on my mind.”

“The gleaming to renounce this world arose continuously within me.”

“Not long after his death the room in which he had lived for thirty years was destroyed by fire, as if to give an omen to his followers.”

“Oh look! The Man of Old Days still exist!”

“Rivers flow all day, but nothing flows.”

“’Your manners seem rather like that of a lunatic. What is the reason for this?’ Master Fa Kuang replied, ‘This is my zen-sickness. When the ‘Wu’ experience came for the first time, automatically and instantaneously poems and stanzas poured from my mouth, like a gushing river flowing day and night without ceasing. I could not stop and since then I have had this zen-sickness.’”

“No trace of men or gods remains.”

“I felt both my mind and body sink quietly down like a house whose four walls had fallen.”

“Time does not wait for people.”

“Nothing in the world can be used as a smile to describe it.”

“My bowels moved a hundred times a day and brought me to the brink of death.”

“All things are reducible to one, but what is the one reducible to?”

“Oh it is you, the fellow I have known all the time, Who goes and returns, In the thirty thousand days of one… Hundred years!”

“Where in dreamless sleep is the Master?”

“Who is the very Master of this awakening and where does he rest his body and lead his life?”

“To understand the wonderfully cold, sweet and palatable, but not bitter, taste of ice cream is not to have actually experienced that taste.”

“It seems unthinkable to us that the mind can function without having an object to think about.”

“’Wu’ is the direct experience of beholding, unfolding, or realizing the Mind-essence in its fullness.”

“If you return your bones to your father and your flesh to your mother, where would ‘you’ then be?”

“Cultivation of self awareness or pure consciousness will this eventually annihilate all dualistic thoughts and bring one to Buddhahood.”

“Two monks were arguing whether it was the wind or the flag that was moving. For a long time, they could not settle the problem. Then Hui Neg arose […] and said: ‘It is neither the wind, nor the flag, but the mind that moves’.”

“When the bright sun arises. Embroideries cover the whole earth. The hanging hairs of the infant are as white as snow. The order of the king is sanctioned in the whole nation, while the general is isolated from the smoke and dust. Far away, beyond the borderland.”

“While no message is forthcoming from Ping and Fang, one stays alone in the whole area. While the Emperor ascends his royal nest, the songs the old folks sing are heard from the field.”

“The weeds have not yet been cleared.”

“In the lump of red flesh there is a True Man of No Position. He constantly goes in and comes out by the gate of your face. Those who have not seen him should try and do so.”

“The All-Merciful One has a thousand arms and a thousand eyes. Which is the main eye?”

“A mountain is a mountain, water is water, when hungry I eat, when drowsy I sleep; I do not search for the Buddha or look for Dharma, yet I always make my obedience to the Buddha.”

“Focusing the attention on any part within the body will produce extraordinary and sometimes astonishing results.”

[Excerpts from “The Way of Zen”]



Slowly, I’ve returned from the slumber.
I’m moving stuff around on this website, after a long period of stillness.
Moving imaginary boxes and the likes, in this imaginary space.
What is this impetus?! This sudden change from stillness to motion?
I remain unsure exactly. It is yet but a quiet motion…
I have a terrible headache today, the devils are using all sorts of tricks to try and stop me.

I’m thinking, writing my thoughts down, out there, will help me keep the road in this continuous journey forward.
I need a change ; a partial change, at the very least in outlook and activity, is what I need right now.
This, in place of any physical change.
Like Gil Scott Heron says so well in his famous clip (which I’ve added under the blog post).
A new mental outlook, that will make me feel like I’m reviving a great fire.

Truth is, the global pandemic forced me into dark trenches.
I feel like it has made my fortitude thinner, I am often exasperated at nothing, or angry at myself.
I’m sure I’m not the only one in this situation. The semi-halt of human affairs only threatened an already weak house.
Already, I often feel like I’m suffocating, but this time, I fell out the real world.
With a total sense to be out of connexion with people.
But… If… Just if I can hold on to this tiny nugget of an idea… The idea of this website as a mean of expression of the purest intention.

I strongly think that things can’t go on like they have.
So I’ve decided to try and reorient my focus.
Focus on things that truly matter for me, rather than having the wrong sense of priorities.
Part of this personal renewal is to start working again on some projects again.
Wear again my old mantles.

So, yes, I started working on the website again.

I finally added the blog feature, on which you are reading these words right now.
I also added and redefined the sections. I will be filling them with work in the upcoming weeks, and I will add more as time goes on.

There is some stuff I need to write, some of which I don’t have the right words to describe, and there isn’t that much time in a life,
so I decided it’s time to start now. In time, with practice, I’m sure I will find a way to formulate the whole picture.

For now, these 3 things are very important to understand, if you decide to continue reading:

I. This site is meant to be a living book, not some sort of artistic promotion
II. I will try, here, to make it the most perfect crystal of my art and thinking
III. I will also speak my own language and natural philosophy, and I will attempt to make some of my thinking as concrete and rooted in the common senses, as I can.

With that being said, I hope you will enjoy following the evolution of this place.
There is really nothing more Real than the meshes of our lives. Reality has always been shaped by actions.
So whatever happens, friend, keep true to an action-accomplishing wisdom. Only like this can we prevail.

> [Image: My signature «Emile»]