Latitude 53 presents VISUALEYEZ 2014, the fifteenth edition of Canada's annual festival of performance art, from
September 16–21. Featuring performances from six artists exploring the concept of MOVEMENT.

Day 6 MORNING Research-based Practice

Posted by Irene Loughlin on September 22nd, 2014

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Day 6 Morning discussion on research-based practice  Photo: Irene Loughlin

This morning I posed a question as to what was the participants’ association to and understanding of research-based practice in relation to performance art.  Together we generally located the definition of research-based practice within academe, with which the artists present had some kind of relationship.  Some of us are completing our Masters degrees, some are teaching, and some of us went through an undergraduate or an art college program.  We talked about artists buying time in academia where resources and funding may now be found. Nayeon started off the conversation since I had talked with her briefly on this subject the day before.  She contributed that learning and knowing have traditionally been separated, and that it is often assumed that research comes first and is then followed by text.  We were all familiar with such pressures to conform through the structural process of grant or proposal writing.  Such applications largely demand that the artist has worked through the ‘why’ before the ‘what’ of the artistic project being proposed as a kind of intellectual and psychic projection of the studio work that they will produce.  However if we consider artistic studio practice as “the text” (the ‘what’ of creative work, where materiality is made manifest), then we must also acknowledge that creative practices often precede or conjoin with the research-based and theoretical underpinnings of the work.

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Soufia Bensaid  remnant object from performance  – measuring…  Photo: Irene Loughlin

We talked about the supremacy of quantifiable research which can overshadow the text/artwork, altering it and perhaps rendering it less meaningful or impactful.  I thought about the work of art ‘falling into place’ contextually within a socio-political framework, and how this process can happen many years after the work’s creation.  Is it not the same locating a work within an artist’s individual practice?  Some of us felt a resistance therefore, to the concept of research-based practice.  I suggested that research-based practice was perhaps a continuation of conceptualism which had maintained a hold on contemporary art since the 1970’s, and that research-based practice could be viewed as perpetuating a kind of status quo and a resistance of emerging/prior modes of knowledge and future hybrid forms, particularly those emerging theories that produced less concretized, diverse perceptions and understandings, as forms of under-represented ways of knowing.

Pam Patterson has worked with the subject of research-based practice extensively.  She asked us to consider the interstitial spaces (the in-between of theory/research and practice) as primary spaces of investigation.  I thought about a discussion of the work of Janice Gurney in graduate school, where the physically uneven spaces between two-dimensional images offered a pathway through meaning, pointing to a kind of topology of knowing.  We returned to the interstitial in considering Pam’s work, where the arrangements of bricks (in an earlier run through of today’s piece) called to mind a kind of aesthetic topography, an aerial view of what pockets of exclusion might be made visible through the methodologies of movement and the installaction work produced during performance in the gallery.

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Pam Patterson – Brick – formation through installaction  Photo: Irene Loughlin

For Marie-Claude Gendron who joined us last night, research work is synthesized through action, and we must learn to talk about the work.  What could motivate us primarily to learn to apply language to performance art in relation to experiences which are often ‘unspeakable’ (or those experiences that feel diminished through speech)? Marie-Claude suggests an answer: The motivation ‘to speak to/about the performance art work’ exists in the opportunity that opens for others who can then offer their responses through language.  We will therefore be able to engage in meaningful and previously unimagined exchanges.

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During her performance, Marie-Claude Gendron asks police officers, “What is public space then and what belongs to the city?  Can I climb a tree, pick up a rock?”  Photo: Irene Loughlin

Pam put forward that we could question our assumptions about research as manifested primarily by ‘talking’ and ‘writing about’.  She suggested that artists can play a new and integral role in academe by pushing what we understand research to actually be, and agreed with Marie-Claude that action is a valid mode of research.  In her presentation yesterday at the University of Alberta, Pam talked about the parallel practices of art and research working in tandem.  She added that as artists, if we are trying to change the way research is understood we must first articulate this change and that this in itself is a difficult task, as we are pushing against the weight of history.  Beau suggested that artists are also a relatively new presence in the academy, where we are often challenged to quantify the abstract, and to measure the worth of art in an era of an increasingly pressurized and conforming neo-liberal society. We agreed that to resist requires integrity.

Dwight Conquergood, Buzz Kershaw and Delueze and Guattari were cited by Gavin as theorists who have resisted such pressures and have narrowed the divide between research and artistic practice in a way that values the qualities of creative work.  He demonstrated snippets of these theorists sculpted language from whom we might take heart and inspiration, by quoting  ‘the rhizoidal approach’, ‘the plane of immanence’, and ‘the body without organs’.  A very full discussion, in which ‘talking about’ research-based artistic practice prepared me for the bodily experience of such concepts in Pam Patterson’s afternoon performance Brick.

 

Day 6 Afternoon GROUP WORK – performance in real time by Pam Patterson

Posted by Irene Loughlin on September 20th, 2014

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(l to r): Soufia Bensaid, Pam Patterson, Angela Skaley  Photo: Irene Loughlin

Well, as we speak I’m both in and blogging about Pam Patterson’s performance work which includes the artists from the festival:  Nayeon Yang, Gavin Krastin, Soufia Bensaid, and as well as some visiting artists/participants: Ester Scott MacKay, Beau Coleman and Angela Skaley.

At first I felt kind of sad that I wasn’t performing with them although I am kind of performing with them (I’m sitting at the table typing this, but they’ve all left me about 10 minutes ago for the video area of the room) but it all seems good right now.  I took a photo of them throwing a stack of images that represented themselves in the centre of the table. That was the beginning of the performance.  (inserted 6 am Day 7)

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Performance by Pam Patterson   Photo: Irene Loughlin

I’m struck by how the performance is somewhat slowly paced but I’m having a hard time keeping up.  The viewers are sitting against the wall on benches, at the north wall of the gallery.  I wonder why they don’t come over here.

Now the artists are taking from a huge pile of bricks, and they are stacking the bricks by each artist’s pre-stationed, open umbrella.  Audio has started of rain and there’s old film footage of a man running by a brick wall.  Beau, Gavin and Ester cast shadows of various lengths into the video projection.  Some of the stacked bricks are also shadowed in the projection.  They’ve picked up their umbrellas and are now walking around the space.  Another brick in the wall by Pink Floyd is playing and each of them have a different action with the brick.  Nayeon seems to be scrubbing the floor with her brick.  Beau is rubbing two bricks together.  Pam is slowly lifting a brick to the ceiling then down to the ground.  I haven’t caught the rest (although they all had their individual actions) because now they have started throwing the bricks.

hey teacher leave them kids alone

Perhaps a reoccuring theme as earlier this morning we spoke of research-based practice.  But I still have to organize the notes from this morning, so today’s posts are not created in a linear fashion.  I hope you don’t mind.

Well, this turns out to be quite a clever piece.  Nayeon is dragging her umbrella full of bricks.  Several of the umbrellas have been deconstructed into their basic form.

Well I wish I had time to post the photos right now but I don’t I’ll do it later.  It does seem like general chaos now.  Should Pam really be holding Gavin up to the ceiling?  I don’t think that’s so good for her body.  Oh now Beau is helping her.  They are doing it!  He’s hanging the umbrellas off the grid, which is pretty high up since Latitude has high ceilings.

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(l to r: Beau Coleman, Nayeon Yang, Gavin Krastin, Pam Patterson, Angela Skaley) Photo: Irene Loughlin

There’s various aesthetic arrangements of bricks on the floor. Check out this one. That’s Ester’s.

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Arrangement of bricks by Ester Scott MacKay, work by Pam Patterson  Photo: Irene Loughlin

There seems to be a lull where not much is going on. That’s great maybe I can post a photo.  Oh wait, Gavin is throwing a brick into the corner.  Now Beau is going to. Soufia just jumped for an umbrella.  This seems to be the destruction phase of the performance.

Oh they are all sitting down now. Thats my cue.  I’m supposed to turn the light off or something. I think I’ll make them wait.  They all construct a personal symbol as they stand behind their chairs (generally with their hands), something that represents them but I can’t catch it.  now they sat down and are ripping up their paper. gavin just threw some afrgAT ME. its interfering with my typingg. damn itsannoying.  noow i can’t ssew the screen.  see the screen.  i should take a picture. oh well.  seems like the piece is over i think perhaps?

yes seems like it is.  the end.

 

 

 

Day 5 Entrances and Exits

Posted by Irene Loughlin on September 20th, 2014

Entrances and exits were the topic of conversation this morning as we gathered around the table. We were happy to have Edmonton artist Beau Coleman with us today.

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(l to r) Beau Coleman and Pam Patterson  Photo: Irene Loughlin

We all know the drill when it comes to entrances and exits on a theatrical stage.  An actor or dancer emerges from stage left or stage right, usually from behind some heavy black velvet curtains, and disappears into the wings similarly upon exiting.   Somehow performance art is different.  Entrances and exits often embody an ambiguity for the viewer.  ‘Is it over?’ is a question that generally hangs over the uncertain endings of a performance art work.  Perhaps someone takes the plunge and claps, and are followed hesitantly by other viewers. The clapping increases in volume when we realize that its all ok, that no one is reappearing in the space.  Its assumed that the person that claps first is most likely “in the know”, (otherwise, why would they take the risk?) and has some secret knowledge of the ending of the work. Its safe to follow along.  Perhaps they are a friend of the performer?

Although there’s often uncertainty on the part of the viewer,  Soufia contributed that coming into a space as a performer brings with it a definite consciousness and intentionality.  Pam questioned the expectations of a beginning and an end in performance, citing the concept of the suspension or arrest as an important aspect of movement in dance.  Todd talked about the permeable borders of the audience and Gavin and Pam talked about locating the beginning of the performance in a conceptual rather than a physical moment. Such conceptual beginnings might be found in an evocative thought or object, a discussion with the Festival Director (sometimes years in advance), or in the first meetings with collaborators.

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Soufia Bensaid, Nightwalk  Photo: Irene Loughlin

Endings were also located in the recollections of the viewers such as the stories they told of the performance sometimes years after the fact, when memory could not be counted on for complete accuracy.  The ephemera of the piece (such as the postcards in Nayeon’s work) might also be places where endings are found.   Soufia spoke of the profound after effect of the performance on the body, which is in fact, unspeakable in terms of psychic transformations.  Endings might also be found in the impact and markings of physical injuries that could have occurred during the performance. Beau mentioned that the performance takes on a kind of sculptural form in reflection, to think on a piece necessarily transforms the performance into an art object.  I asked Nayeon why she did not look for an exit at the end of her performance in public space as there were many opportunities to duck behind a food truck for example.  She explained that by not exiting the performance becomes more about the viewer, their need to discuss the work or not, and that not exiting diffuses the separation between life and art.

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Pam Patterson on Practice-Based Research, University of Alberta Photo: Irene Loughlin

In the afternoon, we went to a lecture by Pam Patterson in Natalie Loveless’ class at the University of Alberta where Pam presented on practice-based research in performance.  I’m stil somewhat confused by the concept of practice-based research, although we kicked this idea around at the University of Toronto (particularly with artist Yam Lau)  during my graduate studies.  I’m proposing we talk more about this idea Day 6 in our morning sessions.

Cindy Baker

Lipstick and Bullets by Cindy Baker at The Feminist Exhibition Space at the University of Alberta Photo: Irene Loughlin

Luckily, we also ran into Cindy Baker in the parking lot of U of A.  You can currently see her exhibition Lipsticks and Bullets, at the Feminist Exhibition Space at the University of Alberta (until Dec 23rd).  I waited for her artist talk in the sunshine, experiencing the sublime on campus while the fall leaves rained down on me. Cindy’s artist talk and the exhibition covered many fascinating observations on the subject of lipstick and bullets.  Did you know that ammunition factories during the war became lipstick production factories after the war, where bullet encasings were transformed into the casings for lipstick through just a slight alteration?  You can also see a cast of Cindy’s clitoris displayed with the other lipsticks, as a response to a discussion on always defaulting to Freudian interpretations of the phallic when contemplating objects such as lipstick casings.  Which, when you think about it, the Freudian association doesn’t really make sense. Great woman, great exhibition.

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Gavin Krastin, assisted by Karen Gill   Photo: Irene Loughlin

In the evening Gavin presented the second instalment of his performance. Although I had previously seen this work, it was as hypnotic as the first viewing.  Later, Soufia Bensaid took a group on a silent night walk in the area.  I followed for a while but due to an old knee injury I left the group somewhat early as I’d been standing most of the day.  I missed the finale of the walk where Adam apparently sang beautifully to the traffic. I’ll try to upload that audio with Soufia today.  Day 5 was a thought-provoking day, and I’m looking forward to unpacking the ideas put forward in Day 5 at breakfast this morning, which is Day 6. Unfortunately, its our last day! Well, at least we will always have the Visualeyez Gala, scheduled for later tonight!

 

 

Thanks, Edmonton!

Posted by Cindy on October 4th, 2010

So last weekend I was sitting – hiding – in Sydney’s office at Latitude 53 while a wedding took place out on the balcony. It kind of felt like the performance festival was still going on, not because of some sort of cynical attitude on my part towards the spectacle of marriage, but because there was a nice big audience for the relatively intimate event, and half the people had cameras, and because they all clapped when it was over. I mean, and because it happened at Latitude 53 (duh). It got me thinking about performance art, as I had been for 2 straight weeks without a break. I mean, I’m a believer in the idea that it’s art because the artist says it’s so. But what makes it performance?

Visualeyez is great for presenting a breadth of performance practices and for testing the limits of what is considered performance. More even than the varieties of food-related performance this year were the varieties of ways in which the works were performed by someone – or something – other than the artists themselves.

Adina Bier performed – but passively – and asked the audience to be the active performers in her work On Boulevard de Clichy.

Culinary Cultures in the Kinder/Garden enlisted bacteria and other life forms that were as much the performers as Alison Reiko Loader and Kelly Andres.

Hourglass begged to be performed even in the absence of the artist Chun Hua Catherine Dong.

In Show Me Your Edmonton, Robin Lambert and Brette Gabel invited the intimate audience to be equal collaborators in creating the art.

caribou X crossing‘s Beau Coleman, Melissa Thingelstad and Matthew Skopyk had the audience of Miles of Aisles perform the work, though it was the grocery store itself that was on display. During the group tour, the audience had the great fortune of experiencing both the story playing on their iPods and the spectacle of the throng of other participants misbehaving in the grocery store.

Just about all the work was participatory, inviting viewers to share and contribute to the work.

Food Wars in particular invited viewers to share not just in the experience but in a meal prepared by the artists Naufús Ramirez Figueroa and Manolo Lugo.

In Ask Me About Salt, the very title encourages spectators to engage with the artist Randy Lee Cutler.

Comfort Room, the one performance where the audience was clearly the spectator and the artists Jennifer Mesch and Scott Smallwood the performers on stage, was a foil for the other projects, reminding us of the value and beauty of performance made to be watched and experienced.

Not only did I get to see all the performances and get to know all the artists, but I was also privileged to be at the gallery every day watching all the behind-the-scenes action, and I saw all the hard work that went into making Visualeyez a reality.

Before I leave the blog and go back to my life in Saskatoon, I just want to extend a wholehearted thanks to Todd Janes and the whole Visualeyez team, including all the staff and volunteers at Latitude 53. There’s no way I’ll be able to remember everyone’s names, but I’ll do my best. Thanks to Robert Harpin, Alaine Mackenzie, Vicky Wong, Sydney Lancaster, Russell whose last name I never caught but who did all the heavy lifting no one else dared to, Jamie Hamaguchi, Heather Challoner and Jacqueline Ohm all the other volunteers and all the board members who attended and volunteered at the events and everyone else behind the scenes that I never got to meet but who helped make the festival so amazing! (I’m talking to you, Sally Poulsen!)

And special thanks to all the artists! I’m really grateful to have had the chance to meet you and get to know you, and I feel like I made some really close friends. Those artists who I already knew I had the chance to get to know better, and I’m coming away from the festival enriched as an artist and a writer and a person.

Thanks everyone!

- - My last night in town, out with Todd Janes and super volunteer Heather Challoner at Ramen Noodle Maker. (Todd mugs for the camera, indulging in a post-festival moment of mania.) - -

Miles of Blog posts!

Posted by Cindy on October 3rd, 2010

During Visualeyez, it was very important to me in my role as festival animator to experience all of the art as fully and wholly as I could; to not hold back or be shy in participating. Though I think I am often inclined, like all of us from time to time, to hang back and watch the bravest souls take the first big leaps, I was determined to be that brave soul every day during the festival.

So when it came to Miles of Aisles, a performative tour through a local grocery store produced by caribou X crossing (Beau Coleman, Matthew Skopyk and Melissa Thingelstad), I was in there like a dirty shirt. I downloaded the tours onto my iPod, which I had never used for audio or video playback before. I was really keen to take in what the project’s website describes as “an artist-led performance walk through Sobeys Urban Fresh (Jasper Ave & 104th St.) that explores the idea of ‘food as portal’.” This was going to be very untraditional theatre (even for Edmonton audiences who are fortunate to be blessed with some pretty amazing experimental theatre), but part of a tradition that’s growing in experimental theatre and performance art scenes around the world.

- - Jennifer Mesch participating in Miles of Aisles. - -

The project sounded interesting enough in its own right, but I was excited about Miles of Aisles partly because it reminded me of a performance work I never got to see when I was in Finland last year for ANTI Festival, a project called Wondermart presented by Rotozaza. Rotozaza’s thing is that they’ve invented a “new genre” of performance that they call Autoteatro – live art that is performed by the audience for themselves (and each other). In Autoteatro, there is not meant to be an audience outside of the performer; as the troupe describes: “the different tracks are synchronised and pre-recorded, meaning the participants are alone with each other during the experience, with no human input beyond someone handing them the headphones or sometimes pressing ‘play’. An Autoteatro work is a ‘trigger’ for a subsequently self-generating performance.”

Though Rotozaza claim to have invented this kind of performative activity, there are now other troupes and collectives working in similar types of audience-generated performance as well as not-so-similar choreographed public events. Improv Everywhere has made a whole career out of massive participatory happenings, for example. There are also genres of performance based in the theatre tradition but which take place onsite or over a walking tour, such as promenade theatre and site-specific theatre.

Of course, quasi-narrative work like Miles of Aisles also brings to mind the work of Janet Cardiff (and partner George Bures-Miller who sometimes collaborates with Cardiff on the audio tours). Rather than positioning themselves as “organizers” or “producers” of the work and the audience as the “performer,” Cardiff (and Bures-Miller) retain the role of the artist(s) in their works, and the audio tour is the unique venue for the artistic experience had by the audience. (The notion of ‘performance’ is of lesser concern to these artists.)

Cardiff has claimed to have invented the genre of the walking audio tour as art, which “use(s) the narrative and technical language of film noir to create lush, suspenseful sound… works.” Her particular tour style relies on the uncanny sensation created when overlapping the real experience of a space with a prerecorded reality of that same space.

Miles of Aisles captures some of that uncanny sensation, especially when it presents a “video path” for participants to follow; more than one of my fellow audience members noted how strange it felt to try to move out of the way of a person in the aisle only to realize that the person was on the screen of their iPod and was not actually standing in the aisle they were trying to negotiate. The ‘uncanny’ audio elements are less amazing in this work than in Cardiff’s; to be sure, Cardiff and Bures-Miller have spent their careers developing and capitalizing on complex audio-capturing and playback techniques designed specifically to generate the sensation of real life. (The audio elements of Miles of Aisles are great, by the way – the recording is clear and easy to listen to, and the sound effects are perfectly adept.)

Miles of Aisles also seems more aligned with Cardiff’s work than Rotozaza’s in its adherence to a narrative structure; caribou X crossing’s project for Visualeyez seems more concerned with the creation of a story that is being told to you inside a grocery store, and less concerned with the store itself, or what the audience is doing inside it. I’m not sure that the site or the audiences’ actions should be of greater interest to the artists than the story or the experience of it, I’m just interested to see what elements of the encounter have been privileged in this work and how that affects the audiences’ experience of it. But it does raise an interesting question about the structure of Miles of Aisles, as intended by the artists – is the audience the performer, or are the recorded artists the performers?

The project description does say that the artists are exploring the idea of ‘food as portal’ and that they want us to “to discover where (we) might be transported by food.” So if I approach this performance with the assumption that the grocery store and everything inside it is the portal – the mode of delivery, ie the movie screen – and NOT so much the venue of the performance – ie the stage – then I’m not the actor, but the audience, and the store/the food is transporting me to a place inside my head where the action is taking place. (Hmm. This line of thought merits further reflection…)

SPOILER ALERT

I want to describe my experience for those of you who have not and will not be able to do the Miles of Aisles tour, but since the files are still downloadable, and since the store is still there, and that’s really all you need to be able to participate (plus a portable media-enabled device and, well, the ability to get to the Sobeys on Jasper Avenue in Edmonton), its not too late! For those of you who still want to participate in Miles of Aisles, go HERE instead of reading on.

But wait!

Before you go, I just want to tell you that I highly recommend taking a friend with you, one who has their own media device, who can play the other role (there are 2 sides to the story). If you can’t bring a friend, at least go prepared to do it twice, so you can play both parts. Or go with a friend AND do it twice! Then come back here, finish reading this post, and let us know how it went!  (It’s bound to be a little glitchier for you than it was during the festival; no grocery store layout or selection of produce stays static for long, and things are going to get moved around the more time elapses between the festival and when you do the tour. I did the tour one last time myself on the day I left town, several days after the festival ended – more on that later in this post – suffice it to say things were already a little harder to navigate.

For everyone that wants to read about my experience with the work, read on!

(more…)

Visualeyez FOOD: more meals

Posted by Cindy on September 22nd, 2010

Last night, the remaining artists at the festival went out one last time with staff and volunteers, to Dadeo cajun/creole restaurant on Whyte Avenue.

In attendance were Beau Coleman, Alison Reiko-Loader, Vicki Wong, Robin Lambert, Brette Gamel, Chun Hua Catherine Dong, Heather Challoner, Catherine Kuzik, Todd Janes, Jamie Hamaguchi and me! (You can see that though everyone is still having a lot of fun, some people are getting awfully exhausted by this point in the festival!)

Alison had been talking about trying to find a good Alberta beef steak while she was in town, but this was her last night. Someone suggested she go for steak and eggs this morning and a great conversation ensued about the best place to find steak and eggs in the not-too-late morning on a weekday in Edmonton. I enlisted the help of festival breakfasters Robin and Brette, who recommended Alison try Tasty Tom’s. After weighing her options (including the sleeping-in or getting up super early to do breakfast before her flight home), Alison decided to have just a light snack at Dadeo and go out for a steak dinner later in the evening. I offered to go with her.

Alison, Jamie and I walked around on Whyte Avenue for a few hours after Dadeo, shopping and browsing. Alison found a couple of antique cookbooks for souvenir gifts (oops; I hope her husband isn’t reading this before she gets home!) and we all found some really nice clothes and shoes which we couldn’t afford.

Then we went downtown to Lux, which had been recommended as a great local steakhouse. Walking in, we knew it was perfect! We made a beeline for the big old steakhouse-style booths!

We both had steak, and shared potatoes and mushrooms (and shared the amazing pecan fritters for dessert!)

We talked well into the night about art, food and our lives, and had to be kicked out when they were trying to lock up. Back at the hotel, Alison and I entertained each other with our favorite Youtube videos and funny picture websites.

Her best pick: Pinup Robert Downey Junior

My best pick: Selleck Waterfall Sandwich

It was hard to say goodbye, but now that there are no more pesky artist to distract me, I can get back to some real serious art blogging!

My own breakfast adventure!

Posted by Cindy on September 20th, 2010

This morning a handful of artists and I are  going on a breakfast adventure to Cafe Mosaics on Whyte Avenue. Yum!

Then I’m going to be at the gallery the rest of the day, blogging and napping. I’m excited to post the menus and closeup food pictures from last night, and have great notes for a double-header blog post about Miles of Aisles and Culinary Cultures of the Kinder/Garden!

Don’t forget to weigh in on the debate about who should have won last night’s food war!

Jujubilee!

Posted by Cindy on September 19th, 2010

It’s been a really long day; the 10:30 am Saturday feedback session (what were they thinking?!) with Kelly Andres and Alison Reiko Loader was kind of a bust, but I had a really nice conversation with them anyway. I went to my Mom’s house and baked my bread baby, which to be perfectly honest had gone through a lot in the previous night. It had risen out of control, stuck completely to the baby sling and got “kneaded” back down in the process of scraping it out of its cloth carrier, rose again, stuck again PLUS dried out and formed a hard crust which I kneaded back into it, and never quite rose again to its former glory. You should have smelled it, though – the most powerful fermenting smell ever, that did not smell anything like bread, but like some kind of  a boozy brewery. It smells like bread now, though! I didn’t want to stifle my baby’s creativity, so I decided to let he go back out into the world, where she decided she feels most comfortable on display in the gallery with the rest of Alison and Kelly’s creations. I may be brave enough to try a slice tomorrow.

Then it was time for the walking tour of caribou X crossing‘s Miles of Aisles. I had assumed that this would be a live version of the audio tour, but in fact it was simply a mass participation in the audio tour; the artists were present only to guide the participants into the store and to observe. If I had known that this is what today’s scheduled performance would be, I would not have bothered going. But then I would have missed a couple of really interesting experiences that I would not otherwise have had; that of being in the store while a couple dozen others were wandering around absurdly like me, and more importantly of experiencing the tour as one of a pair. Jennifer Mesch and I went into the tour together, she playing the tour for Anne and I the tour for Julia. Compared to going on the tour by myself yesterday, this was far more satisfying, even though, bizarrely, the two tours did not ever have Jenn and I cross paths or interact.

But more about Miles of Aisles later! In the meanwhile, if you’re planning to take in Miles of Aisles during Visualeyez (or later; I assume there’s nothing preventing you from downloading the files and taking the tour anytime in the future), my advice is to find a friend who wants to go with you; it’ll only redouble your fun, plus you’ll have someone to talk to about it afterwards!

I just got back from Alberta Arts Days at the Jubilee Auditorium, where a whole Visualeyez contingent went to check out the art action, and more specifically because Chun Hua Catherine Dong, Jennifer Mesch and Scott Smallwood were performing. The event had a look like it had been going on all day and was winding down (which I think was actually the case); there wasn’t any food on the food table that I could eat, but I was completely wiped out and starving. Thankfully there were big bags of Jubilee-branded jujubes in piles throughout the venue. I ate one, took one for later, one for Megan, and one for a souvenir. Todd got one for me too.

I had little stamina left for to take in very diverse event and spent much of my time chatting in a quiet corner with Adina Bier, Jennifer Mesch, Todd Janes and others until Jenn and Scott’s performance.

By the end of the evening, Chun Hua Catherine appeared to have successfully proposed to every white man at the event, and was looking pretty love-drunk!

Foodback Session

Posted by Cindy on September 18th, 2010

I’m up bright and early today; even though I was blogging into the night, there’s no way I was gonna miss today’s 10:30 am feedback session on Alison Reiko Loader and Kelly Andres‘ work Culinary Cultures of the Kinder/Garden: it’s got a lot going on, and I’m gonna need all the help I can get in writing about it!

I have spent quite a bit of time in their installation, and have engaged with the work in every way they’ve presented options – eating the food cultures, getting hands-on with the work, watching the video projections, and even adopting a “doughbie,” wearing it all night. (more about that later…) I’ve engaged every way I know how, EXCEPT for talking with them much about the work. Yet.

So I’m counting on today’s feedback session to give me some “meat” for a longer post on their work.

Luckily there’s also a great blog about the project as well, which I’ve had up on my desktop for days but haven’t explored much yet. It’s not a matter of not being interested enough to explore the work, it’s a matter of finding time in the day!

But between that feedback session and the caribou X crossing live performance walk of their project Miles of Aisles at Sobey’s later this afternoon, I should have time to finish the post that’s been simmering in my brain for several days now about Randy Lee Cutler‘s Ask Me About Salt, and to get a good start on one for Alison and Kelly.

More soon!

From one performance to another

Posted by Cindy on September 17th, 2010

I just got back from the gallery, where I went to eat the lunch I picked up at Sobey’s after taking in caribou X crossing‘s Miles of Aisles – walk 1 (Anne).

And now I’m rushing off to see Randy Lee Cutler‘s Ask Me About Salt at 4 pm on Whyte Avenue (in front of Chapters).

I already have a backlog of great things to post about so I know it’s gonna be another long night for me, and that’s not including another evening of performances tonight at Latitude 53!

Quick note: Lunch included assorted Sobey’s sushi, Voss sparkling water, fresh raspberries and carrots in purple, yellow and orange! Tried some wheatgrass agar agar from Kelly and Alison‘s performance, which just gets more and more interesting! I plan to carry around a bread dough baby as soon as they’re ready to go; I give off almost enough body heat to bake a loaf of bread, let alone just let the dough rise!

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