Great to see and hear of your adventures from another time zone! I’m currently working in San Francisco, after three weeks in Berkeley and two in Vancouver. (This is for a new film project as Kennedy Browne related to Silicon Valley. It will be premiered at the Bern Biennial in Switzerland in early September and then shown at the San Jose Biennial).
Here are some pictures from the exhibition at CAG, Vancouver – Geoff was on-hand via skype to help me remotely with constructing a new version of How to Use Fool’s Gold (Pyrite Radio). This involved making a tuned loop aerial instead of the longwire setup used in Birmingham. It was interesting to see the exhibition change shape and feel in a different venue.
An important part of the project of working with CAG (the director is Nigel Prince, formerly curator at Ikon), was delivering a condensed version of the Scarcity Radio workshop in the city with a group of young and emerging artists there. For this, I worked very closely with Heidi Reitmaier, learning consultant at the gallery, who curated a fantastic group of guest speakers to share and discuss ideas with us, in response to our thematic of scarcity. This was introduced with an artist talk, followed by a screening of Born in Flames, and extended through visits to relevant sites in the city and a lot of discussion.
Am Johal, Community Engagement Coordinator, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver
Ron Sakolsky, independent scholar and pirate radio veteran
Sole Foods, urban community gardening
VIVO, media arts centre
The workshop was an amazing enabling device to meet a lot of people active in media, alternative education and lifestyle practices in Vancouver. It was a real privilege and great way to get a feel for the city beyond its official art institutions – the access you typically have as a visiting artist. Although in a leadership kind of role with the workshop, it’s very much an environment where I learn from the participants, yet again as a nonexpert: we are all working and learning together. I’m very excited to hear the work that they produce, and hope that it feeds some of IYP’s thinking too. Some of the group’s approaches to their projects included working in the space of the city (the social and aesthetic form of busking on the streets for example, or from a car that toured distinct areas); specific, evocative sounds of coins dropping, people eating, working with existing sounds and recordings, contemporary and historical; appropriating the form of the audiobook, the folk tale, the instructional tape.
One of the richest ideas that arose: is scarcity ‘real’, or can we simply refuse to accept it as an idea (or ideology)?