“The Farmer and the Philosopher” Short Film

The Farmer and the Philosopher, DL!’s first film production, is a short documentary about Detroit featuring Toby Barlow (Author and Ad exec at Team Detroit) and Mark Covington (Chairman, Georgia Street Community Collective). The film takes a positive look at Detroit’s forward rumbles through the prism of two totally different figures that are changing the city for the better in their own way. The good news is that the filmmaking is going to continue, with more short films ala The Farmer and the Philosopher to be produced over the next year.

The Detroit premiere and screening took place Thursday, January 14, 2010 at the Ladybug Gallery (1250 Hubbard, Detroit) as part of “DETROIT LIVES! // the exhibition”– an event showcasing people and projects that are changing the city for the better. The official press release with all event info can be found here.

The film was screened again on February 2, 2010 as part of Mitten Movie Project, a local monthly film festival showcasing the work of independent filmmakers. See the official press release from that screening here as well as additional information on other films that screened as part of the festival. See Connie Mangilin promoting the film in a Fox 2 news interview here.

On February 25, 2010, the film was the opening screener for the Detroit premiere of Jeffrey Dechausse’s feature-length documentary American Auto— the story of an honest used car salesman in Detroit. Below is the promo flyer from the event.

Film. Detroit. Whoo.

Films ‘n films. Kind of like Tapes ‘n Tapes. Detroit’s ripe for the filming these days. A lot of people are telling a story about Detroit right now. It therefore seems logical to throw a few of them out there on this lovely hump day. Check out some of the latest.

This might change your opinion_Detroit from Imagination Station on Vimeo.

Lemonade: Detroit Trailer from Erik Proulx on Vimeo.

DETROIT LIVES! // The Farmer and the Philosopher from DETROIT LIVES! on Vimeo.

Guerrilla Marching Band Takes Detroit by Surprise, by Donna Terek

DETROIT LIVES! // the exhibition (part deux)

So, last year DL! had an exhibition at Whitdel Arts (then the Ladybug Gallery) to underscore the creative culture in Detroit, look at some of the cool projects around town and to screen the brand spankin’ new DL! film “The Farmer and the Philosopher.” It was a good time. We even had a nice panel discussion with Toby and Mark after the film screeening and got some good conversation going.

Well, as you may have guessed, we’re doing it again. Less about the film screening (though there might still be more film…), and this time we put out an open call for submissions. The list of participants is pretty strong, even with a submission coming over from foggy London town (sorry you guys couldn’t make it!). The general theme of the show is understanding Detroit’s blastoff in to the future— which of the city’s strong points will move it forward, how will it get there, who will be a part of it? And this shindig isn’t limited to a fine art picture show– oh no– we’ve got everything from stuff hanging on a wall to lights and sounds to outdoor public art thrown in the middle of fields and buildings. There will be stuff for everyone, all with an eye for Detroit’s forward progress. The show is going to run for just a little over a month between both of CAID’s galleries at Whitdel Arts and then the main gallery on Rosa Parks in Woodbridge. There will be some events leading up to it if all goes to plan, but put it on your calendar and come check out the fun. More updates to come as the date nears.

DETROIT LIVES! presents “The Farmer and the Philosopher”

As some of you probably know, last fall DL! finished up its first film “The Farmer and the Philosopher.” We had a cool screening event at Whitdel Arts (formerly the Ladybug Gallery), screened it with the Mitten Movie Project and even alongside Jeffrey Dechausse’s film ‘American Auto‘ for its USA premiere in Detroit. We’ve been making an honest attempt at getting it aired nationally on Current TV’s cable network (more info here on the network, it’s pretty cool). At this point, no word on an airing schedule. The film, however, has been airing on CMNtv– Comcast channel 52 and WOW channel 18– Mondays @ 6:30pm; Tuesdays @ 1pm and 9:30pm; and Saturday @ 7:30pm in the following cities: Auburn Hills, Berkley, Royal Oak, Ferndale, Huntington Woods, Pleasant Ridge, Troy, Clawson, Rochester, Rochester Hills and Oakland Township. Recently, we got the film uploaded on to YouTube and Vimeo due to some complaints about the ease of viewing on Current. So there you go, check it out if you haven’t already:

DETROIT LIVES! // The Farmer and the Philosopher from DETROIT LIVES! on Vimeo.

Toby the Tank Engine Keeps Writing

Shorpy threw up another photo. Are these still interesting? Christ, I think so.

Toby Barlow, the ace who was featured in The Farmer and the Philosopher, put together a real nice article for Under the Influence’s Detroit Issue. You can read it on Toby and Phil Cooley’s (Owner of Slow’s BBQ) blog site “Remains of the D.” They are doing some cool projects over there in the media-verse– some photography work and an upcoming fundraiser for Dai Hughes’ Astro Coffee project to go in to the Slow’s MegaMall on Michigan Avenue (the building with the star and the army’esque looking gal pointing a rifle).

They linked to a cool article from Model D about a distinguished French gentleman that thinks it is OH-SO-WISE to be investing greenbacks in Detroit. Beautiful.

Tonight! TONIGHT! TONIGHT! Ahhh, geez. Genesis always gets the best of me. But. What I was trying to say is that MOCAD is hosting a fantastic (FREE!) film screening tonight– a look at some rare arhival footage of Detroit from the Prelinger archives. The deets, my friends, are best located here.


Shorpy strikes again wih another cool Detroit photo, this one from around 1902 of the old post office.

The film got a basic writeup in local publication MLive, see it here.

And finally, a group of business leaders and community-minded people have been meeting for a while now to produce the DETROIT DECLARATION. It’s a pledge that we can make to adhere to 12 different principles that will keep our city on the right track. See the site and go ahead and declare Detroit for yourself. Tell your friends.


Whoo! Been a bit here, there and everywhere. Lots of good stuff happening.

For starters, Shorpy threw up another cool photo of Detroit near old Campus Martius and City Hall. There have been previous photos posted in the last year– here and here most notably.

Been working heavily on the film screening that will be happening on January 14. Some other artists (Vanessa Miller, Alan Scheurman) will be participating in the event to produce a larger exhibit under the theme of Detroit’s colossal force and ability. So yes, the film will screen, but there are going to be a lot of other great people involved displaying their work, showing you some new stuff on their project and generally unearthing a lot of the great stuff going on in the city. It’s art + awesome + action that equates to something of a dynamite explosion for Detroit. So! This is good. The event will take place at the Ladbybug Gallery in the Southwest on January 14, and at this point there is even a chance that some derivation of the show will run for a longer period of time. WHOO!

Other than that, the posts should be back to normal now with the holidays cooling down. Stay tuned for all kinds of new stuff happening.

Barlow and Big Business in Detroit

Toby Barlow, the same guy we interviewed a while back and who appears in the DL! film “The Farmer and the Philosopher” (screening Jan 14 at Lady Bug Gallery in Detroit!), just contributed a piece to the Huffington Post about bringing big business to Detroit. Detroit is an oasis of opportunity according to Barlow, capable of housing industry, providing a skilled workforce along with the space and infraastructure to support growth. Seems simple enough. So come on world, bring the bacon to Detroit!


As a little Post-Halloween celebration and segway in to November, check out this little film project. Titled “Lost in Detroit,” it shines a light on the thriving components of the city through discussions with small business owners and other people active in the community– like Phil Cooley, co-owner of Slow’s.

Speaking of film, the DL! production titled “The Farmer and the Philosopher” is finalized and the search is on for a venue to have a party. Well, a screening. Or a party. Some sort of celebration. It’ll be fun. Talks are currently underway to organize something. You should probably come. Stay tuned for more details. They will (obviously) be posted here.