CAG Volunteer Dan Potter writes about his experience participating in Scarcity Radio Vancouver a project developed with artist Sarah Browne. CAG volunteers and teens from the IGNITE! Mentorship Program at the Cultch, Vancouver, worked alongside a group from VIVO Media Arts Centre, Vancouver as well as with individuals from Slow Boat at Ikon Gallery, UK producing a series of sound-works for broadcast on the Scarcity Radio internet channel www.scarcityradio.org/radio.
This unique project included sound artists, economists, geographers and others exploring the notion of scarity and produced a series of experiences that ask questions about the world around us. Dan Potter writes:
When I was first invited to be a part of the Scarcity Radio project I asked myself what are elements in my day to day life that are scarce? Although I came up with a few answers to this question I found it difficult to pin point any necessities I wouldn’t be able to track down and implement. Over the course of a few condensed meetings we as a group explored these concerns with various artistic and social economic practitioners.
For me, our first meeting with artist Sarah Browne provided the most guidance as we talked from many angles on what scarcity is and how this concept could be applied to a radio art project. One of the points made that I found interesting was this idea of scarcity can only exist within a value system that governs quantity. So what is scarce really depends on our perceived notion of what is desired or at least what we consider a necessity of a comfortable life. This concept fits in with the exhibit How to Use Fool’s Gold where Sarah Browne gets us as viewers to examine our economic value system in order to see it isn’t an absolute power but is built and evolves according to what we put emphasis on in regards to our shared values of wealth and prosperity.
Pretty soon we all started making audio recordings of various events with the purpose of editing them into sound pieces that would be eventually broadcast on a pirate radio station operating out of the UK. This idea of using the AM/FM band as part of public display influenced my decision on what to record. In a world full of iPods and Wi-Fi connected audio streams the word RADIO immediately brings to mind certain social phenomenon in our society that are slowly going extinct and being replaced by a new normality.
Consequently, I decided to make recordings of myself and my family sitting at the dinner table having a conversion whilst eating our evening meal. I took the mundane discussions on where the food was bought and the hysterical slightly drunk laughter and manipulated snippets of them to create a sound piece that would move in and out of reality. Some chewing sounds were looped together to create a rhythmic pattern of excessive gobbling noises and cavernous reverb effects were applied to the end points of dialogue in order to initiate a sense of disappearance.
I wanted to hit upon the scarcity of family relations especially that of a nuclear family and the luxury of easy availability of food in western society. When all was said and done it turned out to be a quick project with not a lot of time to over think which happily kept things spontaneous and unexpected. I also enjoyed hearing what other artist participates had recorded as there was a great diversity of sounds and approaches that when played together will definitely spook any unsuspecting radio listeners over in the UK.
Latest tracks by Scarcity Radio Vancouver
This program was made in collaboration with Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, VIVO Media Arts Centre and Slow Boat, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK.
Thank you to everyone who came to Sarah Browne’s talk on Saturday July 14th. We were delighted to welcome an excellent attendance to the gallery.
The event was timed to correspond with Sarah Browne’s exhibition, How To Use Fool’s Gold, which opened on Thursday July 12. During her talk, Browne spoke on the economic structures and social relations that are intrinsic to her work. The exhibition is titled after the work, How to Use Fool’s Gold (Pyrite Radio) (2012), a crystal radio which collects the broadcasts that fill the air around us, a metaphor for those things of value that go unseen, revealed by a mineral mistaken as a precious commodity. The piece is the first work encountered, visitors are able to listen in on headphones.
This survey exhibition is Dublin-based artist Sarah Browne’s first exhibition in North America, the exhibition continues until September 2, 2012.
A full colour publication How To Use Fool’s Gold, accompanies the exhibition for the special exhibition price of $30. It includes essays by Tessa Giblin, Curator of Visual Arts, Project Arts Centre Dublin and artist Jeremy Millar. Also available are three more publications on Sarah Browne, A Model Society: Patterns & Thoughts, Sarah Browne/IrelandVenice and Lebensreform in Leitrim all available for sale at the gallery. For more information on all the publications visit: http://www.contemporaryartgallery.ca/#news
Hello dear CAG Blog readers,
My name is Amelie Puget, and I have the great pleasure to join the Contemporary Art Gallery as a new curatorial intern.
Currently, I am a visual arts and French kindergarten teacher, and I am glad to be able to combine my job and my interest in contemporary art in doing this internship.
To introduce myself a bit more:
I studied Art History and Visual Arts in France before teaching arts as an interpreter/educator. In 2011, I worked for 7 months at WIELS, the Contemporary Art Centre of Brussels, Belgium. There, I was both education and curatorial assistant. It was an amazing experience, and now I am enthusiastic to be a part of the CAG team and to be in Vancouver.
My internship starts today, in the midst of install of the new exhibitions… exciting!
See you this Thursday for the opening,
Amelie Puget – Curatorial Intern
Thanks to all who attended Catherine Soussloff’s engaging discussion last Tuesday. She brought together the theoretical concepts of Walter Benjamin’s writings and thoughts in relation to Matthew Monahan’s work. It was a successful start to the many conversations the CAG will be hosting with cultural and critical producers in the coming weeks for our “Feedback Series.”
Please join us again next Tuesday May 15 at 7pm, for Anthropologist, curator and UBC professor Nicky Levell’s discussion entitled, “Art Through Anthropology.” She will be responding to Monahan’s work through the interdisciplinary folds of anthropology, theoretical museology, material culture and critical curatorial studies. Looking forward to seeing you then!
Tonight at 7pm art historian and writer Catherine Soussloff gives a talk that launches a new round of events at the CAG, titled the “Feedback Series.”
This new series invites cultural and critical producers to present thoughts and ideas rooted in their own interests and practices, and invites audiences to join in the conversations that will explore relevant contemporary issues, theories, ideas and culture.
Catherine Soussloff will respond to Matthew Monahan’s work presenting a talk entitled, “Death, Benjamin and Melancholy.” She will address disciplines of historiography, theory and philosophy in a conversation with the audience.
Thank you to those who attended the CAG’s opening last Thursday, April 26th for Matthew Monahan’s first exhibition in Canada. The exhibition will be on view until July 1, 2012.
As of today, Tuesday, May 1st, the CAG has extended its hours and is now open from Tuesday – Sunday, 12pm until 6pm. There are now more opportunities to visit and explore Matthew Monahan’s work at the CAG.
Image: Matthew Monahan, installation view at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver. Courtesy Anton Kern Gallery and Stuart Shave/Modern Art. Photo: Karina Irvine.
Matthew Monahan is interviewed for Life on Mars the Carnegie International in 2008. Matthew Monahan’s first Canadian solo exhibition opens at the Contemporary Art Gallery on Thursday April 26 and continues until July 1, 2012.
On Sunday April 1st at the CAG, Tate Modern curator Mark Godfrey gave an engaging talk on Frances Stark’s practice in relation to her work My Best Thing to over 100 visitors. Frances Stark’s My Best Thing is a feature length animation film currently on view until Sunday April 15. Here are some images of the event taken by CAG volunteer Jamie Dolinko.