ARTISTS PROJECTS BY MARK DAHL, DICK AVERNS & RIMINI PROTOKOL
CONTEMPORARY ART AND IDEAS
SINGLE ISSUE PRICE CAN $3.95
THE CRAIGSLIST CANTATA: AN EXCERPT BY VEDA HILLE AND BILL RICHARDSON, PROGRAMMING BY BRADY MARKS, A SCORE BY BEN WILSON, plus MEMELAB
CONTEMPORARY ART AND IDEAS
FRONT magazine is a journal of contemporary art and ideas, with a focus on interdisciplinary artists projects by emerging and established Canadian artists. Views expressed in FRONT are those of individual editors, writers or artists. Images and text remain the property of their respective copyright holders, and all data is protected according to the terms of Canadian privacy legislation. FRONT would like to work with you. We invite proposals from artists, writers, journalists, photographers, and designers, and we welcome interns. For more information, please contact us by email and include a resume and portfolio. For themes, guidelines, and deadlines, please go to www.front.bc.ca/frontmagazine. E D I TO R / A R T D I R E CT I O N & D E S I G N : A N D R E A S K A H R E P U B L I S H E R / M A N A G I N G E D I TO R : R E A N N A A L D E R P R O D U CT I O N I N T E R N : R E B E C C A L A M A R R E C O P Y E D I TO R S : C H R I S T I N E L E C L E R C , ANDY HUDSON, MANDY GINSON. S U B S C R I P T I O N S & M A I L I N G : L I N D S AY D E W DISTRIBUTION: LEAH HOKANSON, MAGAZINES CANADA F RO N T M A G A Z I N E 3 0 3 E A S T 8 T H AV E N U E , VA N C O U V E R , B C , C A N A D A , V 5 T 1 S 1 P H O N E : ( 6 0 4 ) 8 7 6 - 9 3 4 3 , FA X : ( 6 0 4 ) 8 7 6 - 4 0 9 9 VOICEMAIL: (604) 878-7498 E M A I L : F R O N T M A G A Z I N E @ F R O N T. B C . C A W E B : W W W. F R O N T. B C . C A / F R O N T M A G A Z I N E P R I N T E D O N PA C E S E T T E R 7 0 L B F S C C E R T I F I E D S TO C K B Y R H I N O P R I N T S O LU T I O N S
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Disciplines PAGE 2, FRONT, MARCH | APRIL 2009
Western Front Board of Directors
Board Members at Large
President - Erin Boniferro Vice President - Geraldine Parent Secretary - Charo Neville Treasurer - Keith Wallace
Kate Armstrong Alma Luz William Enwright Paul de Guzman Carie Helm Rachael Kiyo Iwaasa Scot Keefer
Margot Leigh Butler Alexander Ferguson Christine Leclerc Donato Mancini Rob Stone Keith Wallace
Fo r t h e d i s c i p l i n e d , i t u s e d t o b e a s i m p le m a t t e r o f t e a c h i n g t h e s e l f h ow n o t to d o w h a t i t w a n te d , o r h ow n o t to w a n t w h a t i t d i d , S p o r t s m e n a n d p h y s i c i a n s s u b d i v i d e d i n t o m i c ro c u l t u re s , t o g re a t a p p l a u s e . T h e a r t s , m e a n w h i le , c o n v o lv e d : P a i n t i n g b e g a t p e r f o r m a n c e , m u s i c b e g a t m e d i a , t h e l i v e a r t s m e rg e d a n d b y n o w t h e a m a l g a m s h a v e o b s c u re d a l l b u t t h e m o s t s t r i d e n t s e g re g a t e s . Wa s i t w o r t h i t ?
PRINTERS MARKS by LEE HUTZULAK (COVER AND TABLE OF CONTENTS) Lee Hutzlak is a Vancouver artist and musician. His work can be found at www.leehutzulak.com
1 8 FO R C E S VA R I AT I O N S B Y D I C K AV E R N S 2 0 B E S T B E FO R E , A M A N I F E S TO B Y R I M I N I P R OTO K O L 2 6 P R O F E S S I O N A L U S E O N LY BY MARK DAHL
9 S TO R Y P H O N E L E S S , B R I E F LY BY REANNA ALDER 1 3 M U S I C T H E AT R E D O YO U WA N T W H AT I H AV E G OT : A C R A I G S L I S T CA N TATA BY VEDA HILLE AND BILL RICHARDSON 1 6 F I CT I O N S W E E T S P E CTA C L E O F C R O O K E D SY N A P S E S BY ANNIKA HAGEN 2 5 P E R FO R M A N C E A R T C O N F E S S I O N B O OT H BY JACQUI DRINKALL 27 MUSIC M U S I C I S TOTA L F U C K I N S H I T SY S T E M BY BEN WILSON 2 8 D I G I TA L A R T S G E N E R AT I V E C O M P O S I T I O N SY S T E M BY BRADY MARKS 4 2 I N S TA L L AT I O N WHOSE MUSEUM B Y L A U R A H AT F I E L D 44 BOOK EXCERPT 58 FREE COFFEES B Y D O N ATO M A N C I N I
4 STUDIO PROFILE MEMELAB, BY REBECCA LAMARRE 6
EVENTS T H E C R E AT I V E C I T Y C O N V E R S AT I O N , B Y S A R A H B U C H A N A N
40 UQ EVENTS CALENDAR
Western Front Sustaining Members Jack & Maryon Adelaar, Robin Blaser, Cath Bray, Coat Cooke, Chris & Sophie Dikeakos, Karen Gelmon & Peter Busby, Martin Gotfrit & Patricia Gruben, Mark King, DD Kugler, Friedel & Martin Maché, Sheila MacPherson & Bill Smith, Gary McFarlane & Paul DeGuzman, Peggy & John McLernon, Bernice & Frank Miller, John & Helen O'Brian, Judy Radul, Abraham Rogatnick, Jayce Salloum, Anna Stauffer
The Western Front is grateful for the support of these funders and organizations
by Rebecca Lamarre
This is a story about a warehouse. It is a story about space as a personality, a host, a glass jar with an inch-thick stack of masking tape labels. One label for the space in question was Memelab; a collaborative project spearheaded by dance artist Mirae Rosner and media artist Jesse Scott, made up of a series of encounters with other Vancouver artist collectives. The loosely formed group is performance– and collaboration–based. As of last July, Memelab vacated its home after 3.5 years. Scott Nelson has taken over the task of running the space, and while the modus operandi remains the same, the name “Memelab” left with Mirae and Jesse (the new label is DharmaLab, Heuristic Design Lab, or The HD Lab, depending on whom you ask). I met with Jesse, Mirae, Tasha Brotherton and Prophecy Sun in an industrial East side warehouse, on a rainy Thursday afternoon. What was intended to be a quick interview, turned into a 3-hour discussion about space and its vital role in the production of art and community. Disciplines FRONT, MARCH | APRIL 2009, PAGE 4
space = glue
space = longevity - fear of commitment
The space formerly known as Memelab has been home to many
Whereas regular dance studios rentals start at 30$/hour, Memelab
different artists and collectives, including Olo J. Milkman, Alex Bell,
was available for only 15$/hour. Dance Troupe Practice has had the
Her Jazz Noise Collective, Scott Nelson, Shannon Munro, The Orb
same members—give or take a few—for a year and a half, which
Gallery, James Whitman, Tasha Brotherton, Dance Troupe Practice,
Prophecy attributes to having had a regular, secure space that can
and DIY Dharma, a meditation group. These disparate bodies are
be arranged and transformed as they please. This is a rare scenario
united by a desire for cheap rent and the need for a place to generate
in Vancouver, and has created a strong sense of pride and investment
and realize ideas. They share an interest in collaboration, community,
in the space.
and making impossible things happen. An example of their collaborative impulse was Tipping Point, a regular
space > automobiles
potluck event hosted by the Underground Network of Artist-Run
Having a regular space to practice also means that you don’t have
Culture (UNARC). The group consisted of SeamRippers, The Butcher
to lug around expensive gear and pay for transportation, an expense
Shop, Memelab and others, and the potlucks created a forum to
in its own right. Memelab accidentally made a mash-up of gallery
discuss the state of the arts in Vancouver. As participating groups
space and automobile when the group transported The Orb Gallery
had their spaces taken away, one by one, by city re-zoning laws, the
from its original home at The Butcher Shop, to their studio. The
seven foot hollow wood and plaster globe was strapped to the back
Above: Memelab in Action. Photography by Elisha Clement.
Disciplines FRONT, MARCH | APRIL 2009, PAGE 5
by Rebecca Lamarre
of a pickup truck, and at a stoplight an old man on
a separate space for sleeping, resting and socializing
the street yelled: “What the hell is that thing?”
is vital—yet often a luxury.
The response: “A Gallery!”
work space = living space. except when it does.
space + creative people = laboratory
It is possible, though not desirable, to live out of a
As the myriad names and uses of the space indicate,
shared studio. There is a room that used to be
the group feels strongly about the importance of an
occupied by Jesse and Mirae; since then a number
affordable, consistent space in which to make messes,
of people have stayed there. Jesse described one
mistakes, and to conduct tests and experiments.
of the drawbacks: an ‘echo-chamber bathroom’ right beside the practice space (especially awkward while
Mirae pointed out that the common solution for
the meditation group was in session).
avoiding artistic burnout seems to be an increasing ‘professionalization’ of artistic practices, driven by
Disciplines PAGE 6, FRONT, MARCH | APRIL 2009
Mirae was grateful to live there for a while but found
the Canada Council and other funding bodies. Yet
all her time consumed by activities at the studio.
with this professionalization, the framework for
Never needing to leave and feeling protective of the
experimentation afforded by a cheap studio is lost
space contributed to what she described as a mild
and the opportunities for play and discovery become
case of agoraphobia. The group agreed that having
few and far between.
Above: Sean Arden,Brady Marks,Olo J. Milkman,Arliss Renwick, Mirae Rosner, Zac Rothman, Jesse Scott and Prophecy Sun. Photo: Jessica Gnyp
space + chicken feet = condos The whole neighbourhood––chicken factory, artist studios and wakeboard retailers included––is on the verge of disappearing. Many warehouses have already been sold to condo developers who are waiting for the funds to “re–develop.” Many artist spaces in the neighbourhood have already disappeared, and the exodus is being compared to the precedent set by the removal of The Butcher Shop. While the studio has inherited a new director (and several new names), Memelab remains active and continues to support artistic communities outside of the space. Mirae emphasized how grateful she is for her time in the studio. The experience was, she said, “a tactile and aesthetic choice, with politics wrapped up into an artistic practice, all made possible because of the space.”
Above: Some of Memelab’s Artists. Photography by Elisha Clement.
The Creative City Conversation is not just a
It’s a sign of the general sense of
token city hall initiative to connect with
marginalization among artists in this city
Vancouver artists, it’s also a noise band.
that despite the fact there was no alcohol, no loud music, and there were really only
The City’s Conversation, part of a plan to
about fifty friendly people hanging out
review grants, boost cultural tourism, build
in a large room for a few hours, I am
arts spaces, and review public art, was a
hesitant to reveal the location. From the
public forum held last May. It featured a New
outside of the—unnamed—venue,
York Times design columnist and promised
visitors could see Jesse and Mirae stuffed
“opportunities for discovering new synergies
into the tiny front window display,
speaking into a video camera.
The noise band, on the other hand, was
Inside the gallery, their faces were
started by Memelab’s Jesse Scott and Mirae
projected onto all four walls, suggesting
Rosner after years of attempting to engage
the idea of centre and periphery. While
with both the city and the community on the
Jesse and Mirae spoke about their
topic of cultural space in Vancouver. The
experiences with Memelab, the audience
band gave its debut performance at a
milled about, trying to figure out which
happening of the same name.
wall they were supposed to be looking at, while knowing that the real couple
Jesse and Mirae set out to start a “true
stood just behind a tiny door.
conversation, where the City of Vancouver
by Sarah Buchanan
The Creative City Conversation January 14, 2009
and its Office of Cultural Affairs failed.” The
The space operated as a model in
event featured video, dance, art, the tiniest
miniature of the Vancouver art scene,
house in the world, actual city involvement*,
complete with a cardboard sign reading
and an audience that slowly realized it was
“CULTURE CRAWL” and walkie talkie-
participating in the performance.
toting officers who “busted” various artists doing arty things around the room. continued on p.7)
Disciplines *In typical form, the City’s only involvement was to revoke the organizer’s liquor license the day before the event, which meant that we all drank juice. FRONT, MARCH | APRIL 2009, PAGE 7
by Sarah Buchanan
The Creative City Conversation January 14, 2009 continued
CONTEMPORARY ART AND IDEAS Officers taped off corners of the space, dubbing them “Entertainment Districts” and ridding them of stray, confused audience members. Where spontaneous dance and spoken word performances popped up, officers interrupted and shut them down. The artists moved quickly, mimicking the way entire subcultures are driven underground by gentrification and rezoning, while the audience milled about in confusion as they tried to watch, but kept getting in the way of the performance. The effect was a spoof of the often confusing and migratory art scene in Vancouver, where something as simple as audience members dancing spontaneously can put a venue in violation of its liquor license and alternative cultural spaces come and go quicker
Above: The Chief Executive Curator, Exhibitions and Performance Program, Assistant to the Chief Executive Curator, Media Arts, and Vice President, Curatorial Services and Critical Analysis, of a leading artist-run centre, enjoying a brief pause at a Board Retreat and Strategic Development Meeting, ca. 1979
than bursts of sunshine in a rainy winter. This was a lot of political ground to cover in such a tiny space, but Jesse, Mirae, and the other artists engaged the audience from every direction, calling upon the familiar sense of irritation
MAY/JUNE 2009 REFLECTIONS SUBMISSIONS Deadline: April 1 ADVERTISING Deadline: April 15
many Vancouverites have felt at learning that yet another art or performance space has been busted. As a conversation between artists and the community, the
From among the facts available to us (Debt is bad. Visual art rules. Yodeling makes the heads of aliens explode) the truth emerges, as a rule, only in hindsight. One minute out of every ten that we speed down life’s highway is spent looking in the rear view mirror, and symmetry, being the most beguiling of distortions, leaves us rapt, as Kubrick knew. Lacan believed the self to be forming only when mirrored back to itself, while the proprioceptively minded begged to differ, and we, at the end of the day, remain as we were: in a brown study.
Creative City Conversations (both noise band and event) were a success. But since the City’s presence was felt only to the extent that everyone was sober, it’s difficult to imagine this dialogue will have any effect on actual policy. If the City ever decides to join the conversation that is already taking place inside the cultural spaces they are treating with a mixture of ignorance and contempt, then a civic conversation can begin. Incidentally, the Creative City Conversation also served as a
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2009 PLAY SUBMISSIONS Deadline: July 1 ADVERTISING Deadline: August 15
goodbye party for Jesse and Mirae, who will be moving to— ahem—Europe, where they plan to continue their work. S.B.
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2009 TOOLS SUBMISSIONS Deadline: October 1 ADVERTISING Deadline: October 15 For submissions details, visit www.front.bc.ca Disciplines PAGE 8, FRONT, MARCH | APRIL 2009
Sarah Buchanan is a Vancouver writer, barista, radio producer, and sound nerd. She has never gone to art school and has no real footing in art criticism, but she did own a cat at one time, which is apparently quite arty. She has also owned a gerbil, who died on Christmas morning when she was ten years old.
by Reanna Alder
When we were kids, my brother Rob tried to convince our parents to get rid of the TV, even though we
As a photo journalism student, he had a
only got two channels. He didn't like that we had more than one computer either. It wasn’t that he didn't
laptop and a cell phone—it seemed like
use these things, he just felt they were addictive, that they had too much power.
he needed them for editing and handling assignments—but they were never part of how he imagined his life.
When he moved back to Vancouver and enrolled in a new program, he started getting rid of things. First he didn't get an internet connection at the new place. That was May.
In July, he axed Facebook.
Reanna Alder is a Vancouver writer, editor and dilettante. She admires self-discsipline in others.
Disciplines FRONT, MARCH | APRIL 2009, PAGE 9
He wiped the hard drive on his
Now when he wanted to hang out with people,
laptop and gave it away.
he'd to go to a payphone and call them. He liked the clarity of this arrangement.
In September, he cancelled his cell phone contract.
He said he couldn't get insecure about his friends when theyâ€™d stopped by his house on the off chance No more phantom vibrating; no
he'd be home. Not like if they'd texted him and 20
more pavlovian scrambling
through pockets. When it went Pretty soon he couldn't remember what the internet was for anymore. He used to have half a dozen sites to cycle through. Now he'd just check his email and get off.
dead he took the battery out, dropped it into a drawer and strapped a watch on his wrist.
He'd go out just to bump into people on the street. He liked the spontaneity.
Of course, sometimes it sucked. Like when it rained. Or when all three payphones in Some of his friends were pretty annoyed. Disciplines PAGE 10, FRONT, MARCH | APRIL 2009
walking distance were taken.
For a while, one of the phones had a broken mouthpiece. He could hear the other person pick up, but they couldn't hear him.
Or sometimes the change boxes would be missing.
It was probably the rain that put an end to his carefree phoneless days. By December, it was depressing to go out to use the phone. He was less likely to run into people on
Disciplines FRONT, MARCH | APRIL 2009, PAGE 11
Not having a computer at home was definitely easier than not having a phone.
In January, he caved and got a landline that he shares with his roommate.
Heâ€™s still not sure itâ€™s a good idea.
Phones, he admits, are actually a pretty useful technology.
The other day he complained that without a TV or computer, the radio was becoming too much of a distraction. Disciplines PAGE 12, FRONT, MARCH | APRIL 2009
Discipline, noun 1. the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior; the controlled behavior resulting from such training. 2. a branch of knowledge, typically one studied in higher education.
Do You Want What I Have Got: A Craigslist Cantata by Bill Richardson Music by Veda Hille Do You Want What I Have Got: A Craigslist Cantata was written for this year's PuSh Festival as one of four "twenty minute musicals." Veda Hille was the curator of the project and the composer for Do You Want What I Have Got. We settled on the idea of calling it a "cantata" because, frankly, it absolved us of the need of having a plot; although, as it turned out, it hung together very nicely as a series of vignettes.
I had the easy job, which was coming up with the book. I spent some time scouring Craigslist, looking for the odd and the tender postings that seemed likely candidates for musical treatment. Some were folded in wholesale, verbatim, and some were pirated for parts, as it were, and I wrote lyrics of the kind of lyrics I write, which aren't sophisticated AT ALL.
By way of example, here are three pieces of text, the first a word for word use, which was certainly one of the funniest numbers in the pieceâ€”Veda peformed it at the piano with sharp chords that punctuated every word, it was brilliant; and the second a setting of a "Missed Encounters" ad that was headlined "You Dropped Your Bible And I Saw Your Thong." It was one of those projects that turned out better than anyone could have supposed, largely because of Veda's canniness with tunes and with casting. The Craigslist Canatata was performed by Patsy Klein, Ford Pier, Barry Mirochnick, Sam Newton, and Veda Hille. Above; Patsy Klein. Page 15: Patsy Klein, Barry Mirochnick and Sam Newton. Photos by Kris Rothstein, courtesy of Krisâ€™ blog at ww.geist.com/blog/kris/labels/Veda-Hille
Disciplines FRONT, MARCH | APRIL 2009, PAGE 13
Sponges (as promised)
Sponges (as promised) Will be out on front porch at 1:00pm today. Do not come any earlier, they will not be there. Please limit one per person. Do not knock or try to ring the doorbell in hopes of getting an edge on anyone else. NO ONE WILL ANSWER. I am very busy today so I will only be able to repost how many are left every 45 minutes. Please be respectful and do not make a mess. Remember, only one per person please. I will take them off the porch at 7:00 pm SHARP. Do not try to come later then that. They will NOT be there any more. So don't even try!
You Dropped Your Bible and I Saw Your Thong
I can't be held accountable I am in no way liable I walked behind you just today And saw you drop your Bible. I saw you drop your Bible. As we both walked along. When you bent to pick it up I looked and saw your thong. It was pink it was pink All fluorescent, bright and pink I glimpsed your florid butt floss and I couldn't help but think A thought that scorched my sinner's soul And left the blackest stain: I will be your Jesus if you'll be my Magdalene.
P.S. The Stick laying next to the sponges on the porch is not for the taking. It is our families marshmallow roasting stick.
Chorus: It was pink, it was pink All fluorescent, bright and pink He glimpsed her florid butt floss and he couldn't help but think A thought that scorched his sinner's soul And left the blackest stain He will be her Jesus if she'll be his Magdalene. Is that the thong of Tholomon With which your gird your loins? That flash of Baptist lingerie Has stirred my pagan groin. Perhaps you might invite me To your Bible study class Then shop with me for vestments That will bifurcate my ass. It was pink, it was pink All fluorescent, bright, and pink Salvation is within my grasp, I'm standing on the brink I hear the sound of angel harps Their dulcet carols swell To waft us up to Heaven where we'll raise a little hell, raise a little hell , raise a little hell It was pink, it was pink All fluorescent, bright, and pink Salvation is within his grasp, he's standing on the brink He hears the sound of angel harps Their dulcet carols swell To waft them up to Heaven where they'll raise a little hell.
Disciplines PAGE 14, FRONT, MARCH | APRIL 2009
Missed Connections Are you the one? Am I the one? Are you the one? Am I the one? This is crude. This is seamy. But I saw you and I wonder did you see me? Are you free? Unencumbered? Send a message and I'll send you my number. I was the one who borrowed War and Peace You were the one who wore the sordid fleece I was the one who had the pink beret You were the one I saw at IGA I was the one who bought the instant noodles Your were the one who had the mohawked poodle I was the one who had the box of Rogane You were the one who threw up on the Skytrain
I was the one tried to sell you blow Your were the pilot of the UFO I was the one who mocked your brand new tat You were the one who found my missing cat I was the one who bought the several tabloids You were the one with the infected adenoids I was the one you drank under the table You were the one who gave birth in the stable. I was the one who borrowed War and Peace You were the one who wore the sordid fleece I was the one who had the pink beret You were the one I saw at IGA I was the one who bought the instant noodles Your were the one who had the mohawked poodle I was the one who had the box of Rogane You were the one who threw up on the Skytrain The one you are The one I am The one you are
Are you the one? Am I the one? Are the one? Am I the one? What's the chance That you'll read this? If you do you'll only shrug and say who needs this. Did you glimpse Me behind you? It's insanity to think that I will find you It's a castAway's notion: Just a note inside a bottle in the ocean. I was the one who had the psycho friend You were the one who robbed the ATM I was the one who asked to sign your cast You were the one who fixed my broken mast. I was the one who said your hat was hokey You were the one who sucked at Karaoke I was the one who ordered lemon jello You were the one who had the pimped out cello.
Veda Hille is a Vancouver singer/songwriter and artist. Bill Richardson is frequently heard on CBC radio.
To hear an excerpt from the Craigslist Cantata, performed by Veda, please visit: http://vedahille.com/2009/01/27/do-you-want-what-i-have-got/ FRONT, MARCH | APRIL 2009, PAGE 15
Sweet Spectacle of Crooked by Annika Hagen Synapses
Disciplines PAGE 16, FRONT, MARCH | APRIL 2009
Annika Hagen writes and takes photos. She pursues screenwriting to find the balance between.
I am saddened by lack. Lack of yelling, fruitful noise streets; ages upon ages of meats cooking in fryers in festivals on beaches, or near beaches, in the summer steam. The heavy mingling around the ding ding dinging of throwing games and children yelling “Daddy, I want the doggy!” And me with tears, or sweat, falling to my feet; hot and bare to dirty sand that I could have cared less about, then; dirt that I suddenly care more about than life itself. And every grain is a distinctive memory. The beer was limey and the music Latin, the boys in wife beaters and girls in blue satin. And as the sunset got briny and the children started whining from sunburns and running, the pondering of evening began. —Oh 21st Century! Believe me when I see the purity in Coney’s decaying Island. Baring itself against the sea like a primordial seed waiting to spur the genesis of every fetal show of artistry. The rusting old Wonder gearing up to raise you higher than the holiest 'merican dove. The creaking old Cyclone hovering over the thunder of summer in that haven of carnival love. And believe me, Future, when I exclaim to you that nothing gets more fulfilling in that Heaven Above. So why on this day of inward speculation, alone under a grey polluted sky—placed like muscle hands on scraped shoulders in this summer mummified—are your grounds so bare and noiseless? Where are all the pupils of your parade? I wait, parched by seclusion and scorn. Baring my teeth to a world in aversion to poetry and brim with its obsession for porn. Perched now on this dusty railing, the dinging ceases, the vacant rides shut down defeated. The clouds are heavy, crackling with heat like a brandy snifter left by a fireside. And all over the world, lovers of the mind fall with their trousers to the floor of humankind; rolling around in mounds of afflictions of every kind. Deserted by pathos, they flip open trash mags and turn on their tubes to fill their boots with fruitless noise. Lonely hordes grind perversely against the flimsy protrusions of pop-up Faces and lit-up Names; On-screen cavorting around flashy night clubs, pretending to pump and ooze with substitutions for profound understanding. And we glue ourselves to the spectacle, like some hooked molecule in our synapses forces this decayed mechanical attraction. Paper and film now our bread and circus. But past all the glossy pages, all the tawdry tv channels; past the one-in-a-million chances and the zillion stacks of fan mail; past the heavily inflated egos weighing down our nation's delicate subconscious undertow; past at least one stall door in every gaudy night club, there kneels, hunched over his spine, a lonely poet puking n’ dripping at the mouth with intoxicating lies. And I sigh. And pray for the of passivity. To let oneself go, knowing that force of nature will guide you. Like rain. Bringing cleansing. Crying visions into being like dirty bodies thickening from the ground up, to be lifted and dried, printed and hung up on walls to stimulate our minds. I look up. The sun sets slowly, like a sno-cone melting in my palm. It's toxic perspirations earth bound; hot now with its grainy red and blue humidity. A movement of a million or the waltz of just one; an orchestrated song or a single hum. And then it comes, to soothe, to heal, to ravage; to flood, to moisten, to run in one long–winded, wavering line, it falls with you—downward, or upward, or inward. And then I find my way. Hold my blurry vision together for an instant, long enough for the shutter to seize it, the voice to speak it, the head to gesture it's process in a graceful tumble to the page. I throw my little body of water against whatever I may. I am now your very own extravagant charade. Outside every night club drenching pointless any discarded magazine with my vibrant plaster. And the process is so familiar, it gets absorbed by you in slow motion. And as you near this destination with me, I contain myself. Until the moment of contact. When I attack my solid rasp against the rooftop of an empty fair ground gondola. The surge sends me splintered and bouncing back up. High. In three thousand pieces of splatters and dismantling. And in all my pieces I fall apart. And cry. And fall again. Down from that great height again. Crashing again to this, the cold hard steel where I display myself, stopping there, still. The clouds move and are silent. Queuing me to find all my pieces and grab hold before the torrent recommences; Creating this overwhelming moving tableaux of fractions we have become. We slide down the solid rim of our rusting strength, with all our fragmented shiny splinters, ripped-up rags and cerebral gashes, until we reach the centre of this ride–and–drop to the pavement, where we all arrive as one. Everyman stripped to his core. In a sentence; I find myself grounded again. Wet with determination and the pulp of recycled vigor. Every movement grows slower as we dance through the streets, illuminating sidewalks with the cleansing of our downpour. The hoards come barreling out their doors again and fill the streets with their puddle splashing chorus. We linger there. And here. And everywhere. For the sun to do her rounds. Again.To turn this heavy mingling back into the godforsaken vapor of distinction. To dry us to this page in history so that we too may be blown away in the dusty wake of the next cycle of this grand intoxicating spectacle. "Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation, can that which is indestructible be found in us.*”
*When Things Fall Apart, by Pema Chodron
Disciplines FRONT, MARCH | APRIL 2009, PAGE 17
Disciplines PAGE 18, FRONT, MARCH | APRIL 2009
Dick Averns is an artist and writer whose practice engages the commodification of space. The Department of National Defence has selected him for the 2008-2009 Canadian Forces Artists Program: a little known cultural gem and likely the most democratic, yet disciplined, official war art project in the world. (http://www.forces.gc.ca/dhh/heritage_traditions/cfap/engraph/home_e.asp?cat=2)
Forces Variations ARTISTS PROJECT by Dick Averns
Disciplines FRONT, MARCH | APRIL 2009, PAGE 19
ARTISTS PROJECT | THEATRE
them in an altered state. On stage, nothing will happen, but the longer the spectators looks on, the more certain they will feel that something is happening. The one encounter, which will have been a performance, will grow wild, it will cover everything that was and that is to come. There will be public acts of the destruction of buildings which no
By Helgard Haug + Stefan Kaegi (Rimini Protokoll)
Best Before Key-note Manifesto for PuSh Festival, February 2009
longer serve any function. Each audience member with a hammer in their hand. In car crash tests, dummies will be replaced by audience members: Theatre of risk—who would want to miss the impact? The term parasitic theatre will become a household word: A kind of theatre—it will be said—which consists in viewing performances of the everyday—which are taking place anyway—from a different point of view. Universities will be offering lectures and seminars,
There will be performances which will consist of only one encounter.
and parasitic performances will spread across the city.
The audience will meet in small groups and follow rules, which will
Annual Shareholder Meetings will be announced in theatre programs,
have been thought up beforehand by someone else, and which are
so that non-shareholders may attend them. Members of the theatre
transmitted to them from stage to stage.
audiences who are in the know will be provided a printed program which reveals background information about the main protagonists
A tour will be offered to be taken to all of the city’s social clubs,
on the board of directors.
during which one lingers in none, but always stays just as long as it takes for someone to win or lose.
Parliamentary debates will be used as material for a play and will
There will be clubs for hand-shaking.
—as in Karaoke—be repeated verbatim by voters. Each voter will
There will be clubs for patting one another on the back.
represent an elected representative. Each citizen will be representing
There will be clubs for booeing.
There will be clubs in which frowning, and clicking one’s tongue, but also the lifting of eyebrows and moistening the eyes will be practiced. There will be performances under the tables of gourmet restaurants. In front of washrooms. By garbage containers. Theatre festivals will be taking place not in, but between cities: at transit routes, highway intersections and gas stations. There will be perfectly staged bank robberies which end with applause in front of the jail house. There will be very subtle performances, in which a single detail in your apartment will be altered during the course of a night, in order to test whether you notice it.
PAGE 20, FRONT, MARCH | APRIL 2009
Sales transactions will be publically announced and applauded in department stores. Opera performances will be available for viewing not only from the audience, but – at a different ticket price, and offered by a different producer – from the wings. Spectators will be able to book an entire day in the life of someone. They will then be spending a day with a window cleaner or a day
Chemicals will be sprayed in the audience’s rooms which place Disciplines
The public seating in law courts will be filled with people who are interested not in justice but in the style of performance.
with a hydro meter reader or a day with a business executive.
Best Before is the working title of a new piece by Rimini Protokol, commissioned for the 2010 PuSh Festival, and scheduled to be premiered in the newly renovated historic Cultch Performance Space in February 2010. Currently, the development of the work involves two distinct streams that will be combined in the performance: Vancouver’s culture of gaming, and so-called “Slow Women”: traffic control personnel who are ubiquituous
Theatre authors will be busy inventing titles for performances of parasitic theatre, so that people may recognize it, and applaud at the right moment and talk about it—and later move on. Spectators will go to theatres primarily after performances in order to observe the striking of the set, or before performances to see the cue to cue and blocking rehearsals. As a bonus the audience will be using directional microphones to listen in on the swearing of the stagehands. But there will also be vegetarian theatre, in which there will be only plants on stage. One will be observing the greenery as it grows. There will be a theatre in which the stage is just an enormous fireplace. 100 spectators will be simply watching the fire. Some will bring along sausages for grilling on long sticks. In a microbiological theatre laboratory very small actors will be bred in order to create portable theatre performances that one can take anywhere to have the miniature actors perform their rehearsed play. This will be especially popular on long-haul flights. There will be theatre performances for domestic animals: Theatre for dogs, which bark at high frequencies Theatre for cows, which will be feeding during the play Theatre for sea lions, which clap ceaselessly. In a white theatre full of flies, a dancer in a costume made of white flycatching fabric will be dancing until he has attracted enough flies to turn him completely black. The audiences will be constantly clapping in order to catch the flies. Playgrounds will be attended by small groups of children, which will let their parents perform scenes on the playground toys. There will be rehearsals for one’s own memorial service, which will be repeated year after year in order to keep them fresh in one’s mind. And there will be old people who will not want to die alone and will be inviting audiences to witness their final hours. The audience will be arriving with flowers and remain past the moment of death. There will be no applause at the end. Every bridge will be populated by people whose task it will be to whisper short sentences into your ear as you pass by, from a play you will be able to understand only once you have made your way to the other end of the bridge. There will be tactile theatres. Small curtained boxes will be built onto all of the body’s parts and places, allowing one to stick one’s hands in and probe them. The elbow and clavicle performance will turn into a runaway hit, whereas there will
(and unique) at Vancouver’s pre-lolympic construction sites. The manifesto was delivered as the keynote event at this February’s PuSh Assembly Industry event at the Performance Works, Granville Island. Translation: Andreas Kahre Above: Recommended gestures to control traffic flow in non-emergancy situations
Disciplines FRONT, MARCH | APRIL 2009, PAGE 21
By Helgard Haug + Stefan Kaegi (Rimini Protokoll)
Best Beforecontinued be complaints about genital theatreâ€”not on moral grounds but for copyright reasons. There will be clothing companies, which will be sewing clothes from pieces of backdrop; the performance will be taking place once all the owners of such an item of clothing have found their place in the correct order at a location of their choice. Acting schools will be specializing in stage fright and hone their studentâ€™s skill in hoarseness, perspiration and weak knees. The most popular course will be offered by the faculty of blackouts. Mine fields will be surrounded by mobile proscenium arches, which will be framing one area after another, for as long as it takes to defuse every last mine. There will be kidnapping performances, for which one will be locked in an audience hall for several days. Countries will be buying performance compounds all around the world, like they conquered colonies in the past. Spectators will then be shipped to those for performances lasting a week at a time. In every city there will be places where migrants and tourists will alternate in telling stories of their homes. There will be entire families of migrant peoples in the theatre. Spectators will be paying them to interrupt their Odysseys and to get settled. Theatres will become consulates, refugee camps, embassies. There will be refugee theatre audiences, which will cheer the refugees as they arrive and shower them with flowers. Border guards will be asked to give autographs. A competitive black market for such autographs will develop. Audience risers will be erected at national borders, and equipped with binoculars
The Olympic games will be conducted as a Visa-competition between applicants for immigration. The best in each discipline will be handed a passport at the awards ceremony In other Olympic games it will be spectators rather than athletes competing. Everyone will be running: At home or in the audience. And a gigantic measuring system will tabulate the results. After the home stretch the winner will receive
Disciplines PAGE 22, FRONT, MARCH | APRIL 2009
Rimini Protokoll is the label for projects by theatre artists Helgard Haug, Stefan Kaegi and Daniel Wetzel. They studied at the Institut fĂźr Angewandte Theaterwissenschaft in Giessen, Germany, and work together (in various combinations) under the name Rimini Protokoll. They are recognized as leaders and creators in the theatre movement known as "Reality Trend" (Theater der Zeit), which has exerted a powerful influence on the alternative theatre scene. Each project begins with a concrete situation in a specific place and is then developed through an intense exploratory process. They
a Telephone call with applause
Since every person will regard him or herself as an actor, everyone
Restaurants will be distributing guests at the tables in such a way
the unemployed will be paid for being unemployed. Even alcoholics
that the guests will be thanking the hosts for the excellent staging.
will be paid for being alcoholics. Homeless persons will be holding
will be paid for what they are: Elderly will be paid for being elderly,
meetings with set designers and make minor corrections on their In other restaurants the guests will be distributed among the tables
improvised tent cities. Set decorators will be offering them advice on
in such a way that the hosts will be thanking the guests for the
their shopping carts.
excellent staging. When boarding public transport, each passenger’s personal data will
Where the forests will have disappeared, the trees will be performed
be recorded. The driver will be announcing the statistics as well as
the most dramatic moments of the lives of individual passengers to entertain the others:
Others will be performing as extinct animals.
Someone on this bus has grown up orphaned. Another is spending every second weekend in jail.
Vegetables will be grown on the heads of people in suitable Southern
Another has previously won at an Olympic event.
Another has lost his job yesterday. And today it’s someone’s birthday.
At night, people’s bodies will be luminescent, saving cities the expense of street lighting.
Wheeled search engines will be taking searchers by the hand and lead them to the other end of the earth in order to allow them to
Program pauses will be negotiated with TV and radio stations.There
attend a rehearsal for a play of a piece life that may never be performed.
will be no broadcast for five minutes a day, during which all windows and even the studio windows will be opened to let some fresh air in.
There will be wordless identity parades—line ups—in which you will only be looking at people and imagine their stories.
TV and radio newscasters will be permitted to cry if they feel like it during sad news items, and if they want to but can’t, they will resort
The one encounter that will have been a performance, will invent its own rules and constantly break them.
to using artificial tears. Once in a while during a show every action on stage will freeze and the stage-manager will turn away from the stage, towards the audience and grimace.
Museums will be creating special exhibitions with theatre tickets, and well-trained museum guides will be offering lengthy explanations as
The recordings of every municipal surveillance camera will be accessible
to why previously only those who could afford it were admitted to
for viewing the next day. Anyone who is not content with the way
a theatre performance.
they are represented can play the scene once more and improve on their performance.
Cues will be forming at construction cranes. One by one, the theatre audience will be permitted to follow the crane operator up to his
During the night, the names of all the inhabitants and visitors of each
station and look at the city for a while from his perspective.
city will be projected against the largest building — as rolling credits for the preceding day.
Neighbours will be performing family dramas for each other, and laugh afterwards about the stereotypical casting choices.
The world will be divided into those who provide and those who take work. Both sides will be recognizeable by their different clothing —
Hotel guests will find a chain-letter—left behind by previous guests,
and be observing one another. The unemployed will be acting as
requiring them to add a paragraph to the plot.
Sex changes will be observed excitedly by long term audiences.
Every country will have a constantly changing repertoire of national anthems.
have attracted international attention with their dramatic works, which take place in that grey zone between reality and fiction. Since 2000,
Rimini Protokoll has brought its "theatre of experts" to the stage and into city spaces, interpreted by non-professional actors who are called "experts" for that very reason. FRONT, MARCH | APRIL 2009, PAGE 23
By Helgard Haug + Stefan Kaegi (Rimini Protokoll)
There will be call for submissions and media-contests for newcomers who write lyrics and compose. There will be scripts for sale for every kind of social exchange, written by experienced authors. There will be dialogue-scripts for married couples at breakfast. Scripts for a dinner date. Scripts for the dentist’s waiting room. Scripts for the break during a conference or a theater intermission. And monologues for those who prefer to be alone at home. Some people will be listening to these scripts running on small MP3 players with headphones and simultaniously speaking, so that no one will be quite sure who actually means what you say. The memorizing of texts will become superfluous, since computers will no longer be external devices but bodily organs. Screens will be part of the retina. People who are in the process of looking for a file or typing something will be recognizeable by their fingers tapping the air. People who are in the process of watching a movie will be recognizeable by the fact that with their eyes shut, they suddenly begin to laugh or cry. There will be a soundtrack for every street, which you will automatically inwardly hear as soon as you turn the corner. Soldiers will no longer have rousing music played to them during missions, but will be hearing their own regrets as they were originally intended in the script for the end of their lives. People who look like other people will be taking their place. They will be going work instead of them, to the in-laws instead of them, to parenTs night, to the funeral, to the theatre. There will be performances, which one won’t attend at all, but only know about. All spectators will be thinking of them in the very same moment and applaude, wherever they happen to be. There will be performances where all that is said is what kind of performances will be given in the near future. But there will also be discussion groups in which people will be talking about what theatre was like in the past. Some will even mount a stage and put on costumes in order to demonstrate how actors used to move and speak. They will be speaking texts, pretend to be someone else, show how actors used to simulate emotions— and then laugh. The one encounter that will have been a performance, will be finished when one of the two will say: the play is over. Disciplines FRONT, MARCH | APRIL 2009, PAGE 24
Above: Slow Man and Slow Woman. For more information about Rimini Protokol, please visit: www.rimini-protokoll.de/website/en/index.php
by Jacqui Drinkall
Jacqui Drinkall built “Confession Booth” for a PhD thesis about ideas of telepathy as they relate to militant Marxist underground movements, UFOs, and visual and performance art. “Confession Booth” was part of a performance which involved her being enclosed in the booth, making a variety of confessions.
At one point she screamed very loudly. Jacqui Drinkall has shown numerous times in group and solo exhibitions in Australia and internationally, including in Paris, as part of a collaborative project with Marina Abramovich.
Disciplines FRONT, MARCH | APRIL 2009, PAGE 25
by Mark Dahl Professional Use Only Disciplines PAGE 26, FRONT, MARCH | APRIL 2009
Mark Dahl is a former Vancouver artist who now lives and works in Sydney, Australia.
Music is Total Fuckin Shit System for eYe
by Ben Wilson
Ben Wilson is a composer and performer of acoustic and electronic music living in Vancouver. http://www.members.shaw.ca/benjaminfranklinwilson
Disciplines FRONT, MARCH | APRIL 2009, PAGE 27
Generative Multidisciplinary Controller System by Brady Marks Generative Audio/Light Composition - Brady Marks & Geoffrey Farmer appears in "Theatre of Cruelty" - National Gallery, Ottawa, Acquired 2008 Top Level Max/MSP Patch
Generative Composition is mode of working in which the artists' tangible details of process are precisely encoded, into this graphical form. The discipline involves a continual and demanding alteration between operating with logical clarity and hold ing attention to the affective qualities and gestural results (happy accidents) that arise to resonate with the works gestalt.
Disciplines Brady Marks collaborates, creates cultural hypotheses, makes things which do things, holds an M.Sc in Interactive PAGE 28, FRONT, MARCH | APRIL 2009
Art from Simon Fraser University, where she teaches Sonic and Visual Arts.
Brady Marks: http://blog.furiousgreencloud.com/
Disciplines FRONT, MARCH | APRIL 2009, PAGE 29
En Masse (All Together Now) Western Front New Music March / April 2009
Western Front New Music continues the concert series examining the ways that musicians perform together, and the ways audiences contribute to the experience. The series offers traditional and nontraditional ensembles that perform their own music, or perhaps, do not perform music at all?
En Masse VI
The MahaDeviBot Sessions March 13, 2009 at 8PM $15 door / $12 advance / $10 WF members/students 21st Century Renaissance bringing Indian Classical music together with robotics, artificial intelligence and sonic mosaics The MahaDeviBot is a mechanical musical instrument. Based on robotic drumming techniques, the striking of 12 different percussion instruments including frame drums, bells, finger cymbals, wood blocks, and gongs, the machine can even portray tempo to the human performer via a bouncing head.
Below: MahaDeviBot Sessions, KarmetiK Collective.
The KarmetiK Collective is a group of musicians, composers, scientists, engineers and artists from around the world who come together to combine traditional Indian Classical music with modern technology. Ajay Kapur (Los Angeles), Curtis Bahn (New York) and Arne Eigenfeldt (Vancouver), and special guests Karmetik Underground (Vancouver/Victoria).
En Masse VII
Below: Bob Wiseman
Fake Jazz Fridays Friday, April 6, 2009, 8PM, $5
An evening of fearless, underground experimentation by some of the doughtiest musicians in the Lower Mainland. Guest curated by Jeremy Van Wyck, Bill Batt and Anju Singh creators of the dynamic and epic weekly series Fake Jazz Wednesdays.
Stand Alone (Lost Solos and Musical Monologues))
is a continued series of solo presentations exploring music as a two-way communication between performer and listener, and music as an activity experienced in solitude, with or without an audience.
Stand Alone V
Bob Wiseman (Toronto) Collapsing Opposites (Vancouver) Friday, March 27, 8PM Western Front $15 door / $12 advance / $10 members/Students The Toronto based pianist/singer/songwriter presents an evening of music, video, comedy, improvisation and antics. Formerly of Blue Rodeo and The Hidden Cameras, Bob has navigated a long career of performing, producing, filmmaking and acting with some of North America’s most interesting artists: Feist, Ron Sexsmith, Wilco, The Wallflowers, Edie Brickell, Eugene Chadbourne, Bruce McColluch & Scott Thompson (Kids in the Hall). “a legendary 'difficult artist,' an instinctive genius so broadly talented he could apparently only be acknowledged in alleyway whispers.” Camden Joy, Puncture 32 Collapsing Opposites is the name used to describe much of the creative output of Vancouver-based artist Ryan McCormick. The musical group is a modular collective that resizes and shifts to present quirky, enigmatic music covering notions of space and time, the awkwardness of growing up, analyses of meaning and value, the place of artists within society and the state of the music scene as it currently exists. They’ve toured extensively throughout Canada, the United States, Mexico and Japan, have a growing fanbase and discography. “Brilliant songwriting, cleverly penned lyrics, quick-witted delivery, and lullaby-like pop melodies” The SFU Peak “Collapsing Opposites help bring credibility to the world of DIY masterpieces.” Shzine
How Does Your Voice Sound Workshop
Tuesdays 6 to 7:30 pm Part ll - Playing With Sound - March 10 - April 14 $50/$45 WF members, single class $10 Registration Required: Plant your feet, loosen your lips and let it out! Explore relaxation, breathing, alignment, resonance, toning, sound making, listening, laughing and singing. DB Boyko's experiences as an improviser, composer and dancer have contributed to her unique approach to the voice.
colour texture decadence magic 604-874-1030 221 East 16th Avenue, Vancouver BC
Disciplines PAGE 44, FRONT, MARCH | APRIL 2009
1. Given to valorizing one’s field of expertise, or notoriety, at the expense of anothers’. 2. colloq., conventional (cf. “In-box thinking”)
To find more Vancouver events,or to post your own events for free visit
Whose Museum by Laura Hatfield
constituency, simultaneously staging events, gathering stories and interacting with donors on a personal level. Radiating from the museum's facilities on Cordova Street in Vancouver, the project transcends the traditional limits of the studio as site of production by holding traveling exhibitions in a variety of locations including bars, backyards, art galleries,
The initial collection of Whose Museum came together during a
cafes, lofts, and basements; Whose Museum does away with the
cross-Canada tour, with the help of a group of traveling musicians
limitations of juried or curated taste.
and a clown named Dr. Storey. The museum is in the process of undertaking a major storage initiative, While the bandsâ€”Collapsing Opposites and Bible Beltsâ€”played
which will see the collection housed using archivally sound, museum-
23 times in 19 different cities, the artists' goal was to present a
quality methods. Additionally, a website has been set up and an online
transdisciplinary array of projects that would provoke thought and
database is underway which will allow all items in the collection to be
encourage involvement. Dr Storey solicited donations from
viewed by anyone with access to the internet.
audiences at the shows, transforming audience-members into participants in a vast nexus of interactions, sights and sounds.
Whose Museum invites you to contribute your art and ephemera to be included in its collection. All submissions are welcome, including but
As a non-exclusionary archive open to anyone interested in
not limited to images, objects, performances and other works. Each
participating, Whose Museum caters to an otherwise neglected
piece accessioned is cared for professionally, related records are
Disciplines PAGE 42, FRONT, MARCH | APRIL 2009
Laura Hatfield is a drummer and visual artist. She started Whose Museum after having worked with the permanent collection at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Her critical,curatorial and musical endeavors are based in Vancouver, British Columbia.
catalogued, and works are exhibited and disseminated to the public. Over the course of the cross-Canada tour, the Whose Collection received over 200 submissions. If you are interested in contributing please visit, or come see the collection and bring your submission to the Helen Pitt Gallery in March 2009.
Collapsing Opposites is a name used to describe a band, sound experiment, speech, and visual art show. The group consists of Ryan McCormick's vocals (They Shoot Horses, Don't They?), Laura Hatfield's drums (Better Friends than Lovers) and Jarrett Samson's bass (Role Mach). Live performances come complete with a gallery space found on the drum kit. â€ Collapsing Opposites play the Western Front on March 27, 2009 with Bob Wiseman Bible Belts consists of Chris-a-riffic on rhodes (They Shoot Horses, Don't They?) playing distinctive piano studies alongside Alison Therriault's cubist drums (Chet, Dr. Storey). Together, she and Chris-a-riffic have been known to play anything from old gospel to punk.
SUBSCRIBE TO FRONT
Drawing by Lee Hutzulak
One year (Five issues) $15.90 Two years (Ten issues) $26.50 $40 with Western Front Membership
Go to www.front.bc.ca or call 604.876.9343
Facing Pace: From the collection of Whose Meuseum. Top: The Artel, in Kingston, Ontario, Bottom: Dr. Storey. Photography by Laura Hatfield
Disciplines FRONT, MARCH | APRIL 2009, PAGE 43
58 Free Coffees by Donato Mancini
Above: postcard version of 58 Free coffees, a recent book project by Donato Mancini. Top: recto, bottom: verso
PAGE 44, FRONT, JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2009
Published on Feb 24, 2009
For the disciplined, it used to be a simple matter of teaching the self how not to do what it wanted, or how not to want what it did, Sports...