Welcome to the very first issue of The Periodical Project! We aim to promote, encourage and excite Halifax based emerging Artists. We aim to present Art produced in Halifax to increase its exposure and profile, here and across the country. Periodical One features 12 Halifax based Artists and their interpretations on the theme of ECONOMY. The pieces collected here question topics of industrialization, commercialization, gentrification, commodity and labour issues. The theme for PERIODICAL TWO is Light / Dark Submissions for our second issue are due December 15, 2011. Questions / Comments / Submissions / Donations! / Art Directory Listings / Suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Aaron McKenzie Fraser is a professional freelance editorial and commercial photographer with a varied portfolio of national and international clients. His specialty is location based environmental portraits for magazines, advertising, and commercial uses. www.amfraser.com Kyle Monchuk works as a book artist and sculptor with much support from the Canadian artistic community. Runner-up in the 2010 HRM contemporary Visual Art Awards and Winner of the Sculptors Society of Canada’s Al & Malka Green Award for Emerging Artists in 2006, Kyle’s work is gaining recognition from collectors and art appreciators across Canada.
Chris Foster & Natalie Slater
Ben Gallagher swims in the ocean every month of the year, dances past the point of exhaustion, and rides a bicycle for fun and profit. He also writes poems and makes art, more often than he hosts dinner parties but less often than he eats dinner. He recently completed a poetry pilgrimage across America, you can read more about it at breadandpoetry.wordpress.com Carey Jernigan grew up in small town Ontario and started making art in Halifax three years ago after abandoning a career in science. On a recent trip home, she discovered fourteen biodegradable dog waste bags by the door to her childhood home. Previously, the family had used an old bucket for this purpose. The bags are documented here as part of Jernigan’s Gentleman Science Series #1.
auditory > visual, context.
Kate Walchuk makes art about the things people keep and the things they throw away. Her manicure instructions were influenced by her growing collection of vintage women’s magazines and her addiction to youtube beauty tutorials. Since graduating from NSCAD this spring, she has focused her practice on shaped paintings and papier mache.
go it alone (together) is Emily Davidson
Nathanael Jones is a Montreal born artist. His work explores our relationship to mediacentered popular culture and the dystopic, friction laden ecologies that spawn in both physical and virtual worlds. These explorations question the role commercialism, economics, and commodity culture play in dictating realities.
www.kylemonchuk.ca Rian Davidson is a composer currently working and living in Halifax. The work he produces is based upon balances and offsets exploring dissonance > harmony, space < duration,
and Kaley Kennedy. This zinester duo creates and publishes printed matter. Their common interests include: advocating for feminism, cutting & pasting activities and working on their shit. www.goitalonetogether.ca
iamastronaut.tumblr.com Sarah Burwash was born in the mountain town of Rossland, British Columbia. Working in a variety of media from collage and watercolour to video and sculpture, Sarah’s artwork often takes the form of mix media drawing and installation.
Daniel Espeset recently quit smoking and dislikes writing in the third person. You can find him online at danielespeset.com letmebebrief.com
Sera Senakovicz is a proud member of the A/N studio and tries to make prints whenever she can. She has lived in Halifax for six years and has truly called it home for at least half of that time. Her work portrays a sense of loss and seperation as a result of the rapid destruction and development in urban spaces.
Bethany Riordan-Butterworth has been living and working in Halifax since 2003. Her interest in getting to know people and sharing experiences often leads to collaborative work, such as the Fuller Lecture Series and the Secret Tumbler Project. fullerlectures.com breadandbutterpottery.com
Home Economics or Blood from a Stone
These days I’ve been selling my body for money, minimum wage to wear out my back digging dirt or carrying rocks which seem to be at home no matter where you drop them, they’re guests that never leave your couch and it’s hateful and admirable. Today I dug up sod for a woman who’s keen to weed but too old for shovels so I got to wrestle with three dead stumps and a cracked flagstone submerged in dirt. When she went to get money a bird flew into the wire mesh by her bean poles, a robin, and she held it with one hand while coaxing its claws out with the other. Do you remember the first time you held a bird? Its heart beating so fast, it doesn’t want your help but you know it needs you, then it’s gone. Most people don’t want to pay for a full day’s work, two or three hours at most, it buys me dinner and a bottle of wine or a pair of pants. Economical, I suppose. “Economy” was Greek for household management, preserving the home, saving it. Now it’s just electric money manipulated by two old guys in a concrete basement, I imagine they talk the way I do when I’m stoned only they get to actually control the country. In four generations we went from no gas to sweet crude to a million steel cranes bobbing their long necks over Texas to no gas, my kids will laugh when I talk about driving myself to work. “They paid you to lift rocks by hand and you moved two thousand pounds of metal with one foot to get there?” Meanwhile the storm-sky like a paparazzi of lightning takes pictures of us dying to death, we’re celebrities on this plant it’s like all the other animals know what we’re up to but they don’t even believe we’re real, they just see us in celestial magazines. I wonder how long I’ll lift heavy things before the economy of my joints collapses. Will I get to see the collapse of countries built on liquid fuel, will we return to horses? They can sense your nervousness, horses. It takes patience to ride them, you need to preserve your silence like it’s the one home you haven’t spoiled.
Bethany Riordan-Butterworth and Daniel Espeset are Halifax-based artists. This interview was recorded on September 20th, 2011, and was inspired by discussions of art practice and economy during several recent trips through Economy, NS. BRB: My first question is to define your art practice. DE: [Laughs] That’s a difficult question. I guess that my art practice is sort of defined by how difficult it is for me to answer that question. I feel like I’ve enjoyed thinking about it…. not enjoyed, just over the years I’ve found it most helpful to think about my art practice as being kind of about …. searching. I remember when I was going to art school in Boston I had a friend, he wasn’t someone that I was very close with but a kind of kindred spirit that I would run into now and again. We used to talk about how much we liked certain things -- anything -- like pieces of culture or things that you find in the world, books, music, but also a sign on a building or other details. Certain things had a particular quality of being like puzzle pieces, and there was a kind of journey towards what the puzzle pieces would eventually make [laughs]. And subsequently, I’ve felt similar to that, like I feel like my art practice is mostly engaged in looking for something that has a quality that I haven’t found yet. BRB: What are you currently working on? DE: Right now, the only public outlet that I have is Let Me Be Brief, which is a website (letmebebrief.com) where I’ve been posting a daily triptych. They’re photos that I shoot with my cellphone and then I put them through a pre-process for printing, so they’re duo-tone separations. That is my major outlet for photographic work now, and it’s about trying to interact with the world through images in a daily way, to keep up a daily practice of looking, of being present and of storytelling. Something that’s really important to me and also really hard, is feeling like I want to tell stories, and that can be tricky, especially when you’re working photographically. I also have a studio above the Army Navy store with several artists, and we have an offset printing press that we got about a year and a half ago for the Eyelevel Printed Matter Residency, which gave us the space necessary to kind of put the equipment somewhere and work on it at first… eventually we got it into the space it’s in now, had it refurbished and it is running really well. My goal with that is to be able to make printed matter -- it’s become really important to me, the idea of making work accessible for the people who are interested in it. One of the big struggles that I’ve had with making work or showing work publicly, especially photographic work, is that the marketplace for photographs in a fineart context has been totally defined by a pre-existing gallery mode which was primarily designed for selling paintings, sculptures and other individual works. When you’re selling paintings, they’re valuable as individual objects because they are so limited and… precious, they take hours -- hundreds of hours -- of work, and they’re also representative of an individual hand. The hand of the artist is so present in traditional media and then, when you move into photographic works, creating the same kind of marketplace is artificial. But the issue with the artificial scarcity that’s necessary to sell works in that context, because photographs are infinitely reproducible, the way that they’re sold in galleries is that they’re often very large and they’re in limited runs, editions of 10 or 20, sometimes in different sizes and so on… but it creates this artificial value that just works for the economic model built around traditional works. I’m really interested in work that’s the opposite. I’d much rather sell a thousand of something for $10 apiece, than ten of something for $1000 apiece. And part of that is also feeling really conflicted about the idea of placing that much value into the work that I make, especially when it is something that’s ephemeral, like a photograph. So my goal with the offset press is really to get to a point where I can make satisfactorily beautiful prints, because I really, I love a good tactile photograph and I’d like to produce work that I can sell in complete sets for cheap, or as cheaply as I possibly can. Additionally, I am constantly drawing and doing a little bit of painting now and again which is actually what I mostly studied. Hopefully I’ll be doing more of that. It’s been a while since I showed anything along those lines but that’s on the horizon. BRB: Your drawing I’ve also heard you refer to as cartooning, can you describe what it involves? DE: Sure, I’ve been thinking about cartooning a lot lately. Well, since I was pretty young I’ve been avidly interested in comic books and cartooning, but just recently I picked up Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice by Ivan Brunetti published by Yale University press. Brunetti is a really fascinating Italian-born cartoonist who does a lot of New Yorker covers and teaches all over the place. I actually feel like cartooning is really instrumental in the photographic work that I’ve been doing recently, so Let Me Be Brief is mostly inspired by the understanding of narrative cartoonists have in a way unlike most visual artists. Their relationship to narrative is really powerful, and really fleshed-out. I think that the best cartoonists today know their medium better than the vast majority of artists working in other mediums. There’s a really powerful sense of investigation into the economy of scale that comes with producing work that communicates so effectively. Brunetti’s book talks so much about this paring-down, the stripping away of extraneous elements, telling the story in as few gestures as you can. There’s a really powerful effect in that. He also talks a lot about themes emerging as stories are told, which has been a particularly helpful thing for me to think about recently because it’s so easy to get lost in planning works. I find that doing quick drawings --he has these exercises in the book that are about drawing something in 1 minute, then in 30 seconds, then 15 and so on. Or drawing a big grid of squares, an inch wide and high, and filling them with drawings thattake less than 5 seconds each. That sort of stream of consciousness, thinking with drawing, being forced to look for the most efficient gesture, is something that I’ve found to be really beneficial in planning out larger projects. BRB: The idea of both economy of time and economy of line seems crucial to cartooning. I remember you talking about the exercises that you were just describing. It sounds like it would be a really great way to stimulate ideas. DE: Yeah, it’s surprising, it’s one of those things where, when I first picked up the book, I wasn’t sure about doing them, and it’s always hard for me to throw myself into those kinds of exercises. Back when I was doing lots of figure drawing, I was always so terrible at the um, what are those called, uh, contour drawings, where you leave your pencil on the page and don’t look down, and you draw as one continuous line. And I always ended up with these hideously deformed monsters on the page and I always understood how beneficial that was, even though I know it’s good for me, I have trouble getting into it. But the introduction to Brunetti’s book is really a call to arms to not skip the simple exercises and I’m really glad that I didn’t because they’ve been really helpful. I feel like in retrospect probably the best drawing class that I ever took was a really similar idea. It was taught by a guy at the Museum School named Skip Milson who had been at the school since the 1950s. He made us draw one-minute drawings from slides that he had prepared. The slides would be a white square, for example, a white square with a black square that started one sixth of the white square down, and three sixths over, and all these various divisions of space with different geometric shapes that had particular proportions to the edges of the slide, and we would spend 3 hours, 2 days a week for a term, drawing these rudimentary objects in space. He would tell us “the beginning of the square is
halfway from the edge of the page” and this and that, and our exercises would all be related to visual perception. That was the name of the course, Visual Perception. We would walk down the street, and he’d say “notice everything that’s red”, “notice where in your field of view, what proportion from the left to the right, the doorways on these buildings begin and end”, and that training of looking at space and simplifying it, parsing it from the complex three dimensional world to a finite two dimensional plane, is so difficult. And it was such an amazing thing. I hated every minute of it, but it was so beneficial. BRB: I’m curious about Let Me Be Brief. You spoke earlier about how certain ideas that you were working on, like narrative, informed the idea, so I’d like to hear about how the concept of Let Me Be Brief began. Did it come from somewhere in particular, or was it an idea that was simmering for a while? DE: In a way, it’s an idea that I’ve been working on for many years, but at the same time it definitely happened all at once. For the last several years my goal had been to print something monthly and make it available to people by subscription, and have it be a sort of experimental playground to make work and put it out into the world. The logistics of it are pretty tough but ultimately that is what influenced my interest in getting a press, because I feel like making work in that way requires you to take on as much of the process yourself to cut down on costs to make things affordable. Ultimately that idea -- along with most of the ideas that I’ve worked on over the last several years with regard to photography -- have really been about wanting to have an outlet that I had control over and that was accessible. And so, while I worked on getting the press set up, and all these other pursuits, I stopped shooting regularly with film cameras. And I found that on those occasions when I would see something that I really wanted to keep, I would just take a picture of it with my cellphone. Just the act of taking the picture satisfied that itch. I had so many mountains of negatives and projects that had been on the back burner or were in progress that I couldn’t handle -- both financially and also psychologically -- shooting a lot more “precious” photographs. Meanwhile, I never bothered to go back and look at the pictures on the phone after shooting them, so it was about a year before I finally hooked it up to my computer and pulled the images off. Then I started to play with them a bit and pretty quickly from there I got the idea of putting them on the web and making them triptychs. Part of the whole reason that Let Me Be Brief has the format that it does is because it’s work that can’t be shown any other way. Because the images are shot on my cellphone, they can’t really be printed satisfactorily for exhibition, and because they’re triptychs they can’t really be presented gracefully in a book, at least not without some expense. At the same time I felt like …it was a good way to experiment with storytelling. A triptych is really a story. You have a kind of a beginning a middle and an end. Or it has room for that conversation. It’s more of a group. So, yeah, Let Me Be Brief is really the outcome of several years of working towards something. BRB: When you’re shooting photos for Let Me Be Brief, do you shoot only three, or do you shoot multiple and then edit them down. DE: I have many thousands of photographs just since June. I can tell you, actually, because my laptop was stolen right after we moved into this apartment a few weeks ago, and I lost August which was 1,200 photos. Yeah, I shoot way more than ends up on the website. BRB: I think that Let Me Be Brief incorporates economy in the idea of the project, although I would also characterize it as restraint. Would you consider that to be true? DE: Yes and no. I feel like there’s an economy to the way that it’s presented. It’s hard because it’s such a volume of work, that on one level I feel like it’s not economical at all - I shoot so much, and I put so many images up, but at the same time, it’s really driving towards simplification, and yeah, that, that goal of like a simple gesture. BRB: I was thinking about it also in terms of how you have confines, like the format of camera that you’re using, you’re using a cellphone camera and to some extent the subject matter, and then also the fact that you take so many photos and then pare it down. DE: Yeah that’s true. Go on. BRB: So that’s why I was asking about restraint being a part of that process. DE: Well it is a project that’s very much defined by its limitations. I find that as access to more and more sophisticated tools becomes cheaper and cheaper and easier and easier, it becomes helpful to create limitations, in order to define a scope for what you want to say. It’s so easy to become hyper-ambitious. And having a camera that I have so little control over and that ultimately makes such sort of crappy images, actually, has been a really liberating part of the process. BRB: Photography as a medium has almost beyond saturation. Do you DE: For a long time the way that shooting on film, where you have “Can I find a satisfactory image take?” And if the answer was yes
changed so much, from beginning as an exclusive medium to where it is now - accessible consider this while making your work? I related to that was that I would say, before I took a picture, especially when I was a limited number of frames, when I would look through the viewfinder I would ask myself on Google image search, one that would do the same thing as the picture I’m about to then I wouldn’t take it.
Emily Davidson www.makeworkdesign.ca Make Work Design email@example.com 902 422-1405 Jonathon Rotsztain www.rotsztain.com firstname.lastname@example.org 902 403 5548
Graphic Design, Communications Specialist Excellent Work, Desired Results
Enrique Ferreol DRAWING CLASSES FOR BEGINNERS 405-5583 Impress yourself by learning how to draw. Time proven, simple techniques in dynamic but relaxed weekly sessions. Kate Walchuk www.katewalchuk.com email@example.com 902 453-4050
Kate makes painted sculptures about the things people keep and the things they throw away.
Lisa Lipton www.frankiefrankie.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Fall into the romanticism of the living collage and/or, once again, the search for the miraculous.
Michael Fuller www.themichaelfullerwebsite.com I Leica You email@example.com
Pictures of people and places
Aaron McKenzie Fraser www.amfraser.com firstname.lastname@example.org 902 223-5666
Pictures of people wherever you are
Chad Jagoe email@example.com 902 488-CHAD
Chuck Clark firstname.lastname@example.org
Motion picture media artist/illustrator, documentarist (& technician)
Bethany Riordan-Butterworth www.breadandbutterpottery.com email@example.com 902 431-2529
Lighthearted, functional pottery handmade in Halifax Nova Scotia.
Caitlyn Rose Purcell www.caitlynrosejewellery.com firstname.lastname@example.org
A lull in the storm, a swell in the heart
Steve Gates www.stevegates.ca 902 293-5950
Madame DJ swayback www.shootscore.wordpress.com
funk / soul / disco / dance All occasions & all ages
Electric Voice www.electricvoicerecords.com email@example.com
SOUND & FORMAT
DIVORCE DISTRO lost & found - 2383 Agricola St. www.divorcerecords.ca
experimental | punk | jazz | international | other ::::: a choice selection of new vinyl :::::
Craft Singles www.craftsingles.com + + + + + + The Singles Cassette Club + + + + + + firstname.lastname@example.org Jayme Melrose email@example.com
Garden Doula; helping birth gardens
The Bus Stop Theatre 2203 Gottingen Street www.thebusstoptheatre.org 888 369-1169
Performing Arts, Black-Box, Rental Venue for Emerging Artists and Engaged Audiences
Lost & Found Store www.lostandfoundstore.blogspot.com 2383 Agricola St firstname.lastname@example.org 902 446-5986
Sherry Lynn Jollymore www.fancy-pantsdesigns.com Independent Fashion, Custom Clothes email@example.com MAKENEW VINTAGE www.makenewvintage.com
An edited approach to vintage shopping
Elsieâ€™s 1530 Queen Street 902 425-2599
Be Yourself and Have Fun
Stitch Media Inc. www.stitchmedia.ca Interactive storytellers firstname.lastname@example.org Night Flea Market next flea Novemeber 26th at the Khyber Club email@example.com
Night + Flea =
Chris Foster www.chisfoster.ca firstname.lastname@example.org
Artist & Problem Solver
ABC de Natalie www.abcdenatalie.blogspot.com email@example.com
An alphabetical list of things I like