The artist-run production centres in Canada, established by the Canada Council for the Arts, are celebrating their survival with books, exhibitions and tours of archival and contemporary production by their members. Within the structure of the Canada Council, programming grants are allotted only for exhibitions within Canada and the Centre For Art Tapes (CFAT) has been very successful with these dissemination programs. However, CFAT, having just celebrated its 25th anniversary, has reached a certain level of maturity concerning its production by our senior members as well as our emerging artists. Of necessity, having fulfilled our obligations to a national Canadian audience, CFAT has challenged itself to reach out to the cultural global community with our experimental and documentary creations within our mandate of video, audio and new media. This in turn creates an environment of creative exploration that stimulates further production from our membership.
EXPERIMENTAL VIDEO: SCREENING (In the order of screening)
1. Découpage, Cutting Up/Cutting Out by Claire Hodge, is a three minute video reconstruction and repetition of one scene taken from a Francoise Truffaut movie, Shoot the Piano Player.
2. For three and a half minutes, Anthony Cristiano’s piece, entitled a matter of style, discusses cinematic theory as the dialogue between two different styles of chair.
3. One Minute Warning is a two-minute on-location video by Suzanne Cameron of the passing of President George W. Bush, his entourage and security on their way through Halifax, Nova Scotia on December 1, 2004.
4. I Don’t Even Try by Suzanne Caines is a three-minute piece based on the topic of home. In an atmosphere of melancholia the homebody plays music and makes supper so that a sense of normalcy is created.
5. Tanya Busse and William Robinson have created a four-minute piece entitled White Night. This video describes an investigation into the alluring phenomena of ritual and tradition which takes us into an ambiguous experience.
6. At seven minutes, Jennifer Tilley’s condemned is a lyrical video about a visual art exhibition in a condemned building that explores our fragile security.
7. Liz MacDougall and Andy Dowden’s Cheyenne is a ten-minute piece that takes a humourous look at the absurdity of machismo.
8. Nova Scotia Tourist Industries by James MacSwain, 12 minutes long, is a black humour satiric narration of how to lure tourists to our fair province.
EXPERIMENTAL VIDEO: FLAT SCREEN (In the order of screening)
1. A Disturbance of Shadows by Doug Porter is an illustrated lecture that presents fourteen cinematic reflections on the nature of time. This video is 30 minutes in length.
2. Foundations for Infinity by Paul Robert is a 10-minute split screen impressionistic narrative concerning decisions around a religious lifestyle.
3. I hold it towards you is an eight-minute piece by Glynis Humphrey which explores embodiment and the body’s ability to remember and express its own past experience.
4. The Nature of the Personal, by Lyz Sutcliffe, at six minutes, is centered around an audio recording of Anais Nin reading from her diary and comparing the approach to art making that exists between men and women.
5. Tim Tracy’s video, Killa TV, which is six minutes long, is a fast paced edited narration about a man who discovers a video tape outside his door.
6. Matt Pollard in his three-minute video, the lost, the longing and the found, utilizes found television footage to cast an ironic eye on mainstream society.
DOCUMENTARY VIDEO: FLAT SCREEN (In the order of screening)
1. Connie Littlefield’s Drug Warriors is a six-minute documentary trailer that explores an ex-officer’s beliefs that ending drug prohibition will eliminate the criminal activities associated with drug use.
2. MDM by Eric Bednarski is a 37-minute documentary that deals with the relationship between architecture and ideology by focusing on one Warsaw neighborhood.
3. At 22 minutes, My Mother’s House by Marie Koehler deals with a mother/daughter relationship and through a weaving of past and present narratives relates a peaceful closure on her mother’s life.
4. Architecture in Motion by Ariella Pahlke is a 20-minute documentary that illuminates the work of architects Sarah Bonnemaison and Christine Macy as they begin a three-year collaborative project investigating the influences of movement on architecture design.
5. Miss Canadiana Comes to Halifax by Sobaz Benjamin is a 10-minute video created with the cooperation of the artist Camille Turner who uses the persona of Miss Canadiana to challenge ideas of race and identity in Canada and internationally. Dressing as a beauty pageant queen, Turner is also exploring the line between fiction and reality and the idea of beauty. The video opens up the persona with voice-over interviews and her performance at the Mount St. Vincent Art Gallery as Miss Canadiana.
NEW MEDIA COMPUTER INSTALLATION:
Stephan Schulz’s “explicit traces” consists of two printers, sitting across from each other, and which share one long roll of paper that runs through both of them. With the normal printer head removed and replaced by a ball point pen, they are finally able to write about real human needs and secrets. The printers are both connected to a micro-controller and a Macintosh computer. Via Max-MSP, the computer reads emails that are sent to it everyday so that the computers are instructed to write the email text, letter by letter, on the paper.
NEW MEDIA COMPUTER:
1. Tania Sures’ sucker uses the device of the pop-up window to explore our culture’s consumerist notions of love, sex, relationships and fairy tales.
2. Playing in the Blanks by Lucas Dambergs is a satiric look at television downloads from the internet. Sometimes the download screws up and keyframes are lost, so that the data, which usually seems steadfast and objective, becomes painterly and subjective.
3. The several works of David Clark, A is for Apple, Riddled with the Stinx and Bones of Napier are interactive computer pieces that dissolve the relationship between things and events so that history becomes a simultaneous present.
4. Pathetic Piano by Kenneth Doren was developed through CFAT’s Artist-In-Residence program. Pathetic Piano is a multimedia project generated by an interactive process programmed through Max-MSP and Jitter. It is a piece for people without any experience in playing the piano to control multiple videos of a piano keyboard via a midi-keyboard. Ten keys on the midi-controlled keyboard are dedicated to ten videos, one key per video. The participant holds down a key to activate the video playback and corresponding audio from the virtual piano. When the key is released the video goes into pause mode waiting to be pressed again to continue the video.
1. Dunce Caps by Mireille Bourgeois is an installation of three dunce caps, representing her two brothers and herself. Inside the dunce caps are three speakers singing a childhood round.
2. Stephen Kelly and Eleanor King have created an audio work entitled Soundroam (Halifax) which acts as an abstracted tour guide, dislocating the listener from their local experience and transporting them to the tourist destination of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Gallery viewers are invited to borrow a portable player and to step outside the gallery for a moment. This encourages the listener to create a mental picture of Halifax combined with the sights and sounds of the viewers’ current location.
3. String Quartets op. 18 Immortal Misbegotten by Kenneth Doren is an installation composed of four florescent lights with ballasts, fastened together by a square mental bracket, and suspended vertically from the ceiling. Four pre-recorded sound sources, based on a composition by Doren which in turn are a re-working of Ludwig van Beethoven’s famous six Op. 18 String Quartets, evoke the presence of Beethoven’s suffering from deafness.
4. Silenzio, by Robert Bean, is an audio installation, using ceiling mounted speakers to convey the enforced silence created by a recorded message in seven languages telling everyone to be quiet in the Sistine Chapel. The work will present the aurality of the Sistine Chapel as a disciplinary history of the voice and our desire for speech. The ambient voices of the tourists and the choral work Miserere by Allegri provide the contrapuntal elements to the demand for silence imposed by the guards and loudspeakers.