When you become the Scarce!

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.

Dan Potter

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.

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Open your eyes and watch your step at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station

On Wednesday July 11 between 1:30  and 4:30 am Nicolas Sassoon with four extension ladders and some expert help installed the first layer of WAVES  at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Canada Line Station.

It was a difficult task  getting to the North windows above the stairs. We tried the morning before with a boom, but couldn’t get the massive machine through the door.

Thanks to Contrada Enterprises LTD for helping us solve the problem. In less than 24 hours they pulled together a great  crew  who fearlessly climbed the 40 foot extension ladders and clamped on the frame in less than three hours.

The mural was finished the next afternoon by Proper Design who perfectly applied the second layer to the outside windows.

Many thanks to both.  The piece looks great.  It is on view at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Canada Line until January 20, 2013. We hope you get to see it numerous times.

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How do you use fool’s gold? an artist talk by Sarah Browne

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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

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Newcomer to the CAG

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

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A recent trip to Belgium and Germany, starting in Genk at Manifesta 9 and ending in Kassel for Documenta 13.

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I’ve posted a few research images from my recent trip to Belgium and Germany, starting in Genk at Manifesta 9 and ending in Kassel for Documenta 13. The slide show represents a fraction of what I saw, but here are some highlights.
Jenifer Papararo
CAG Curator

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Vancouver Draw Down: the Map Room.

Last Saturday was Vancouver Draw Down. The event took place in multiple locations all over town and it was great day. I hope you had a chance to get out and participate in some of the stations set up around the city. I managed to take in 6 of the 18 locations and one of my stops was naturally the Contemporary Art Gallery.

Nigel Prince, CAG Director, introduces the event & Landon Mackenzie.

Artist and Educator, Landon Mackenzie, transformed the gallery’s street front, foyer & hallways into a “Map Room.” Based on her work, Landon invited everyone to explore the “many potentials of drawing and mapping as an act and state of being.”

The place was packed when I arrived. Every table was covered with works in progress as visitors created collages from pieces of topographical print-outs.


When visitors were done they were invited to sketch the Monahan pieces in the BC Binning Gallery, examing form and mark making.


This was the 3rd year for Vancouver Draw Down and I can’t wait for the next. The event celebrated drawing and invited everyone to participate by simply making a mark. As the Vancouver Draw Down site says “If you can write your name, you can draw!”

I saw another great quote posted by Opus Art Supplies encouraging people to dispell their preconceptions: “If you hear a voice within you say – you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” van Gogh

The same goes with drawing!

Kay Slater (@kdot) is a volunteer at the Contemporary Art Gallery. Come visit her on shift every Sunday from Noon-3PM.

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Artist editions for sale!

“Hello & welcome to the Contemporary Art Gallery!”

Have you been by in the last few months? There are 3 great exhibits showing right now, and you should make time to come visit! When you’re by & chatting with the friendly front desk volunteer, you might spy a few Artist Edition prints behind them. Don’t forget to look behind you as well, because there is another print hanging to the left of the BC Binning Gallery entrance. Let me tell you about these pieces that we have displayed in the entrance foyer. For even more information, visit the publication page at www.contemporaryartgallery.ca

Thomas Bewick, Limited Edition Print, Apr 2009
Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK, Edition of 75.
$150, unframed

A limited edition printed on a hand press by Iain Bain from the original wood-blocks. Of the 3 subjects, the Bulldog was engraved for the 1790 edition of the Quadrupeds; the Lesser Redpole, and the tail-piece of the man relieving himself beside a fragment of ruined wall were made for the first 1797 volume of the British Birds. What is amazing about Thomas Bewick’s work is both the delicate and intricate marks he was able to make with the tools of the time, and the witty narrative that Bewick injected into his work. To quote the exhibition notes:

Intended as illustrations of ‘some truth or point of some moral’ they provide an invaluable insight into social history while also demonstrating the artist’s imagination and wit. As such these narrative works will provide an interesting counterpoint to the work of many internationally established artists in Vancouver, engaging in image making which critically examines and reflects on the city and conditions which surround them.

Robert Orchardson, Study for Endless Façade ,Limited Edition Giclée print, Nov 17, 2011
Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver / Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK, Edition of 50.
$150, unframed

This limited edition print, 13″ x 18.5″, was produced to coincide with the exhibition Robert Orchardson Endless façade which ran from November 2011 until January 2012. The show transformed half of the gallery into another world as visitors walked through a giant triangular entrance way into a science-fiction-like set featuring Robert’s work. I quite liked the following quote from the exhibit notes:

He also sees this sense of possibility inherent in stage sets, where a narrative exists between the material character of the set itself, and the ‘other’ identity it adopts within the context of a play.

His installation partially revisited stage sets designed by Isamu Noguchi in 1955 for a Royal Shakespeare Company production of King Lear.

Rodney Graham Jacob Grimm’s Study in Berlin/Wilhelm Grimm’s Study in Berlin (1960), Etchings, 1992
Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, 2 prints unframed.
$2,000 (pair), unframed

Perhaps you’re stopping by the gallery after having spent some time checking out Rodney Graham’s new exhibition over at the Vancouver Art Gallery? Remember, the CAG is only 5 blocks away from the VAG so you can continue your gallery-viewing excursion all afternoon!

We are showcasing a set of etchings by Graham that was published by the Contemporary Art Gallery in 1992, and was conceived in relation to Five Interior Proposals for the Grimm Brother’s Studies in Berlin (1992), the project Graham exhibited at Documenta in Kassel, Germany. The images are variations on the studies occupied by the Brothers Grimm in the 1860s in Berlin, based on period watercolours.

Scott Massey, Via Lactea (above Glacier Lake) – Limited Edition Print, Feb 2012
Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, Archival inkjet print, edition of 15, unframed.
$150, unframed

There is still time to see Via Lactea (above Glacier Lake) at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station (Canada-Line), co-presented Contemporary Art Gallery and Translink for the Canada Line Public Art Program.To coincide with the exhibition, Massey has produced a limited edition, Via Lactea (above Glacier Lake) (2012), an archival inkjet print, edition of 15, 20 x 20 inches.

In Via Lactea (above Glacier Lake), Massey combined 170+ photographs of the night sky on the same strip of film. I like that I can walk down to Davie street and not only see the night sky in the middle of the city, but I also get to see it during the day time. For more information about this exhibition, please see: http://www.thecanadaline.com/

Interested in buying one of these editions? Come down to the Contemporary Art Gallery Tuesday – Sunday, Noon-6PM and speak to someone at the front desk, or email info@contemporaryartgallery.ca.

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