Centre international d’art contemporain de Montréal

Centre international d’art contemporain de Montréal, Retrospective of net.art features North-South-East-West, 2008.

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The Centre international d’art contemporain de Montréal’s Electronic Magazine,  issue No 32 a Retrospective of net.art, features North-South-East-West Web Site in December 2008.

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The North-South-East-West web site was reviewed as follows:

COSMOGONY ALGONKINE CACHÉE/MONTRÉE?

About the well-known work of Graham Thomson, North-South-East-West, we will recall his operating mode first of all, like its organization.     With the opening of the URL an interface of reception informs us of the format of the work, carried out under Flash.

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If the hyperlector chooses not to have any action, it will discover a sequence of four distinct sequences:

  • a very fast succession of images lets to us guess a plan of country, or city. It is necessary to make use of several captures of screens, then to increase them, to realize that the plan in question is that of the Contracting State of Minnesota (or of the state), the USA. Area bordering, should it be pointed out, of the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Ontario, ancestral grounds of Algonkins;
  • an anthropomorphic figure, that one will be able to associate a totemic representation, becomes animated on a bottom of horizontal screens. A cube drawn in three D also rolls on the space representation which this screen constitutes;
  • in tone bluish, dark, a heavenly object occupies the bottom of a scene which seems left an space-opera. A hinged jib (Canadian technology?) approaches a unit which could be a space base;
  • finally, of the parabolas, fixed on pylons, roofs, seem to receive waves coming from the sky.   Once the hyperlector will have shelled dissolve-connected these four sequences, it will have to click on one or the other of the bonds hypertexts to discover a new interface – which will give him access to the contents of work itself.

In a very simple way, and as many works born on the Web could show it to us, the interface of work is appeared as a space metaphor. In top north, bellow the south, on the left the west and is on the right.

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Under each of the four cardinal points, a list from five to eight names proposes to us, thanks to the hypertext link, to discover an animated sequence. Before returning on their contents, we stop a few moments on another element of the interface, which will be always present at the screen, méta-bars it navigation. The choices suggested by this méta-bar are as follows, rather similar to those which one can find on considerable sites: exit, home, contact, information.

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The subparagraph “information” will teach us that work is inspired by the symbolic system of the cardinal points traditional of the people algonkin. One will not be thus surprised to have discovered only the plan which ravelled at any speed in introduction was that of a state in the past (and also in a contemporary way) populated algonkins.

All work then, can be included/understood starting from this aspect of the introduction. The history of the American settlement being supposed known of all, one could only be sensitive to the fact that the people algonkin, like all the indigenous people of two Americas, have a report/ratio with the eminently problematic territory, conflict, even painful.

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This territory, that the Amerindian people had by force to divide with Europeans, it is represented here in extreme cases of the visible one. So much so that one is forced to fix the image by capture of screen, to discover that it was about a plan of Minnesota.

The territory, literally, is hidden, virtual. It is in addition the territory of the other, since the place names are for the majority resulting from the Anglo-Saxon space representation: Cambridge, Turkey Not, Normandale, etc… It is a case emblematic of the use of information technologies and communication – where the appearance and disappearance as well as the tape speed of the images make direction.

This territory hidden, evoked perhaps by this totemic dance of the introduction, then moved in the space, and finally reinvested on ground through the waves received by parabolas, the body of work then proposes to us to discover it.

It while clicking on different the items is contained under the headings North South – East – West that we will be able to open the sequences having for name:    winter, snow, elder, courage, ice, endurance (North), summer, spirit, quest, secrecies, bloom, vision, adolesence, youth (South), birth, dawn, spring, flower, sun (East), automn, adult, thunder, sunset, renewal, (West).

With the choice, one will stop on the sequence “Vision”, in the North heading, to hear the message whereby “Vision C not reveal”; or one will hear, in “Dawn” this thought animist “All that belongs to the earth belongs to me”. But there is not the essence of our reading: the quality of animations, of the spoken or sung sequences, all that is left with the appreciation of each visitor, according to his sensitivity. It will be noticed only that none the many rewards received by this work is usurped.

What must hold our attention, it is connect it simplicity of the device, behind which semiotics questions differently more complex hide.

The list of the items reproduced above informs us indeed that certain sequences are called in reference to the season (winter…) and in connection with such or such cardinal point; other sequences indicate natural phenomena (snow, ice, flower, sun, thunder); others milked in the human condition (elder, adolesence, youth, birth, adult); others still refer to human or animal qualities (courage, endurance…); and others finally with phenomena of calendarity (dawn, sunset, renewal).

What it is necessary to point of the finger, it is the extreme diversity of the items and the extremely different registers which they indicate: natural seasons (long calendarity), phenomena, age group, human and/or animal quality, short calendarity.

Consequently, the action to click on one or the other of these items, and the surprise to each time discover a different sequence by its setting in image, the absence or the presence of a said text, etc… puts the hyperlector in a situation of imbalance with the project openly announced by the work – which is, let us recall it, inspired of the symbolic system of the cardinal points of the nation algonkine. How indeed to build a knowledge of this cosmogony if no methodology is proposed by the author – and whereas we are in a new mode of expression?

Moreover, one will notice the readily enigmatic character of certain sequences – which seem to function according to a logic well more oneiric rational.

In short, none known in the past cognitive maps seems respected here: we find the linearity of the written text and its paratextuelle organization, neither the syntax of the cinematographic writing (fictional or documentary), nor the methodology of the museographic modes of exposure, etc…

It however remains that the work of Graham Thomson transmits a message well to us, and more still that a message the feeling to have shared a significant experiment.

The logic which seems to prevail is well more that of the dream – a dream directly connected to psyché of Amerindian people – a logic which one will be able to say transverse, for want of anything better for the moment.

It is perhaps the greatest quality of this work, which all at the same time enchants us in the most naive way, and reserves questions differently more difficult to us, having milked with semiotics, and the development of a specific critical language.

Xavier Malbreil

The Centre international d’art contemporain de Montréal Overview

The Centre international d’art contemporain de Montréal (CIAC) is a non-profit organisation administered by a board of directors and managed by personnel with an expertise in artistic production, communications and arts administration. The mandate of the CIAC is to disseminate contemporary art from Québec, Canada and abroad. Initially identified with the visual arts, the CIAC also showcases the creative practices of artists working in design, graphic art, art film and video, architecture and urbanism, and landscape architecture.

The CIAC’s aim is to make its activities accessible to the greatest possible number of visitors. It employs various strategies to achieve this, including exhibitions, conferences, discussions between artists and the public and educational activities for a variety of target groups. The CIAC has no permanent space for its activities. It temporarily occupies various locations suited to each event, whether a museum, an unused warehouse, a park or other public space, a gallery or exhibition venue, etc. First identified with the visual arts, the CIAC also disseminates the work of professionals in object design and graphic design, video and art film, architecture and town planning, architecture landscape.

From 1985 to 1996, the CWC was mainly noted for organizing the hundred days of Contemporary Art of Montreal.  In 1998, he set up the Montreal Biennale (BNL MTL), an international biennial included in the biennial network of major cities in the world. In addition to the organization of artistic events, the CIAC also carries out cultural work, aimed at an in-depth understanding of the stakes of contemporary art, which took the form of various programs of activities, in particular the annual competition Of Young Critics in Visual Arts (1997 to 2007).

Finally, the CIAC online edits the CIAC’s Electronic Magazine. This bilingual magazine (English and French) offers critical works and general information on active artists in the middle of the web art (or line art ) and the institutions that disseminate it.

National Gallery of Canada, Global Voices 2012

Global Voices 2012 at National Gallery of Canada, 37 paintings, 23 videos and 18 artists of Central Asia, Africa, the Americas, Cree and Mohawk Nations.

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The Global Voices 2012 event at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa Canada featured 37 paintings, 23 videos and 18 artists of Central Asia, Africa, the Americas, Cree and Mohawk Nations, including musicians Eman the Warrior & the Abezamutima Burundian Traditional Dancers and paintings and videos by Sherry Tompalski and Graham Thompson respectively in December 2012.

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The Global Voices 2012 program featured:

  • Afghan Portraits and the Voices from Afghanistan video.
  • Native American Flute and World Beat composer David Finkle with Simon Handley (percussion, electronics) and  Andy W. Mason (percussion, guitar, vocals).
  • Iranian Portraits and a video of Iranian dancer Dr. Maria Modhaddam
  • The Abezamutima Burundian Traditional Dance Group
  • Residential School Portraits and the Irene Lindsay  video, Thomas Louttit video and Dr. Morgan Baillargeon (actor, costume designer and concept creator) in the Campfire, Tea and Bannock video
  • Eman the Warrior (Emmanuel Oletho) the Singer and Song Writer from Ethiopia
  • Central American Portraits and the Victor Fuentes and Tito Medina videos
  • Dr Lee’s West African Rhythms
  • Central American Portraits and the Delores of Guatemala video
  • African Portraits and Videos featuring the Hawa Kaba video and Hamid Ayoub vide

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Who Organized the Project?

The Global Voices 2012 Event was created and organized by Sherry Tompalski (painter) and Graham Thompson (videographer). The concept was based on the realization that many refugee artists and activists arrive in Canada with highly developed artistic skills and compelling personal stories of survival. As a result, the refugee’s work is uniquely suited to a multimedia presentation where audiences have the opportunity to see, to hear and to understand their personal accounts of, for example, walking across Chad, without food or money to escape the horrors of Darfur (Hamid Video).

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A Transcript of the Global Voices 2012 Event at the National Gallery of Canada

My name is Graham Thompson. I am a videographer. I am one of many artists you will see this evening. for 10 years we have created events involving art, dance, media and music, the projects have included over 100 separate artists. artists from Australia, Peru, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, the Philippines, Taiwan, Venezuela, Bolivia, Canada and the United States. This work has been shown in Taipei, Manila, Belgrade, Chicago, Melbourne, London, Vancouver and Toronto. we wanted to acknowledge the extreme challenges many people face in our complicated world and we wanted to have a focus on survival and renewal. IN ORDER TO CREATE THIS WORK we have been helped by a great many Embassies, NGOs, Universities, Museums, Government Departments and Arts Funding Agencies.

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Special thanks goes to: The Catholic Immigration Centre, The Canadian Red Cross, USC Canada, Ottawa Carleton Immigrant Services Organization, Odawa Friendship Centre, The Minwashin Lodge, Metis Nation of Ontario, The World University Service Canada, the University of Oxford in England, Carleton university, the University of Ottawa, York University, The United Nations, Library and Archives Canada, Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canadian Trade office in Taipei, Canadian Embassy in Manila, The Canadian Embassy in Belgrade Serbia, Canadian Heritage, the Parliament of Canada, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, The Canadian Museum of Civilization, The International TV Festival Bar Montenegro, the Coalition of New Canadians for Arts and Culture, Canadian Centre for International Justice, The City of Ottawa, the Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, SAW Video, the SAW Gallery and Donna Cona Inc

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A Transcipt of the Event

TONIGHT WE OFFER DANCE, ART, MEDIA AND MUSIC. Representing Afghanistan, Sudan, Burundi, Ethiopia, Iran, El Salvador, Guatemala, and the Cree & Mohawk Nations of Canada.

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WE  SHALL BEGIN  IN AFGHANISTAN. with the portraits, as shown on the screen,  of a family of refugees from KABUL. the paintings were created in Sherry Tompalski’s studio there were cameras covering the evolution of the artwork, and any comments the models wished to make we didn’t ask any questions, we simply let the people speak, if they wanted to for example, we will play 5 short videos from the sittings some people from the project, have requested that we use ONLY there first names. BAHARA from KABUL describes: a party which took place in her home which was invaded by patrolling soldiers as there  was a BAN on MUSIC. HER  BROTHER Remembers the escape from his village during an attack  in the Afghan war. HER other BROTHER Recounts his experience at the National football stadium where the Taliban used to publicly execute women accused of adultery. FATIMA who insisted that she not be photographed is shown through the creation of her portrait. Her story of 30 years of War in Afghanistan  is translated by Bahara.

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WE Move to Iran, on the screen you can see portraits of the Iranian Scientist and Folk Dancer Dr. Maria Modhaddam our work with MARIA includes portraits, videos and dance performances. The work was first shown in the PARLIAMENT OF CANADA in 2009, The event included speeches by the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism and Abraham ABRAHAM the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees  in Canada. later we worked together at the University of Ottawa, As part of the 2nd Annual Conference of the Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. in the following video, which features dance footage from her own archive, Maria talks about the life of a REFUGEE.

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IN PART 4, we feature the ABEZAMUTIMA  Burundian Traditional Dance Group the dance troop is made of highly experienced Burundian folk and traditional dancers. Through its artistic endeavors, the group hopes to share its heritage with communities and promote cultural diversity in the National Capital Region. ABEZA = beautiful inside, MUTIMA = heart or soul. Has anyone been to BURUNDI? Has anyone visited AFRICA? Burundi is located on the equator in eastern Africa.

IN PART 5, We move to CREE NATIONS  in SASKATCHEWAN and ONTARIO on the screen we see portraits of 5 participants in a project involving people who attended residential schools. I am grateful for the help of the Odawa Friendship centre and the Minwashin Lodge in helping with this section of the project. The Indian residential schools of Canada were a network of “residential” or boarding schools for First Nations, Metis, and Inuit funded by the Canadian government’s Department of Indian Affairs, and adminstered by Christian churches, according to wikipedia – The system had origins in pre-Confederation times. The last residential school was not closed until 1996. We have selected 2 video clips that will play after the portraits where IRENE LINDSAY and THOMAS LOUTTIT describe their experiences BOTH activists attended residential school  for 8 years after Irene and Thomas, we have a short instructional video showing a metis fur trader creating a campfire and tea and bannock on a winter’s day.

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IN PART 6  We MOVE to ETHIOPIA. Specifically, to a singer song writer called EMAN his music promotes peace, love and inspiration. Emmanuel Oletho was a refugee for three years in Kenya Yet, he was granted a scholarship to study at Carleton University through the World University Service of Canada. He is graduating in 2013 with Bachelor of political science. EMAN WILL SING – SHINE A LIGHT

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IN PART 7, We move to CENTRAL AMERICA, these portraits are refugee artists from Guatemala and El Salvador, we have selected 2 video clips for tonight that will play after the portraits. VICTOR, whose music you hear in the second video was almost killed in El Salvador in a torture chamber. TITO, whose music you hear in a video,  was just a kid when his songs got him into trouble in his home country Guatemala. some of the portraits were created with mixed media using a collage of sheet music from an Ottawa orchestra, symbolizing the person reassembling themselves in a new setting, in Ottawa. Some of the portraits have exported video frames from their videos clips, which symbolize the person having to reinvent themselves in their new country.

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In PART 8, we return to AFRICA, to listen to DR LEE’S WEST AFRICAN RHYTHMS Dr Lee  studied in Guinea, West Africa with renowned drum master Aboubacar Camara. Dr Lee has collaborated with the Cirque du Soleil and The Soul Jazz Orchestra. 2 YEARS AGO, Dr Lee performed with us at the National Library and Archives of Canada. the installation featured 65 works of art, 25 artists, 23 videos, 19 speakers, 13 NGOs & 2 plays.

PART 9, we return to CENTRAL Amerca, these portraits are created with graphite on paper and  ink and graphite on paper. AND we have selected 2 video clips, that will play after the portraits of the participants. The following video is NOT SUITABLE for YOUNG AUDIENCES, as there are graphic descriptions of violence Ms D, whose name is withheld by request, provides a detailed account of the destruction of her family during a labour dispute. Her story includes graphic details of her kidnap and imprisonment.

IN PART 10,  We again feature singer song writer EMAN, He is a voice for the voiceless. EMAN is an advocate for the poor, the victims of genocide, HIV orphans, and humanitarian related issues. EMAN WILL SING –  I AM A WARRIOR

IN PART 11  We look at portraits and videos of artists  from Guinea and Sudan we have selected 2 video clips that will play after the portraits of the participants that are shown on the screen. HAMID describes his escape from Sudan through the deserts of CHAD he Escaped, on foot, and without food, water or money. He trekked across the desert day and night, through small villages avoiding the main highways, and the possibility of detection. He survived a violent car jacking episode on his way to Niger. HAWA, who is A Refugee Artist from Guinea, West Africa, also tells her story…. she was sent to jail, because she filled out an application for a passport. In order to leave the jail, she was forced to sign a confession, that said she was a counter-revolutionary. HAWA exhibited paintings at the 2010 library and archives event.

IN PART 12 WE FEATURE COMPOSER DAVID FINKLE AGAIN, along with Simon Handley on percussion and electronics, and  Andy W. Mason on percussion, guitar, and vocals we have worked together since 2008 when David performed with NORTHERN VOICES in a large installation of 20 video screens and 8 computers. The installation featured 100 short videos of 30 aboriginal artists.

IN PART 13 we return to the ABEZAMUTIMA  Dance Group, the ABEZAMUTIMA Burundian Traditional Dance Group have created a 2nd dance for us this evening. Then  ALL MUSICIANS ON STAGE, DANCERS join musicians on stage, ALL speakers and behind the scenes people on stage playing available percussion instruments play a final song and dance.

I want to thank everyone for all their help and support in the creation of this GLOBAL VOICES 2012 event, including Sherry Tompalski, Petra Hawkes, Richard and Darren the Technicians, the national Gallery of Canada, The Abezamutima Dancers, David Finkle, Simon Handley, Andy W. Mason, Dr Lee, EMAN, the camera work of CE SOIR FILMS. This marks the end of our 10th international event in 10 years, involving over 100 artists from Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas, tonight we have selected an overview of a project that contains over 50 portraits, and 5 hours of video. Thank you for coming tonight.

Canadian Museum of Civilization, Metis Day

Canadian Museum of Civilization features videos Pauline’s Neighbourhood, The Jingle Dress Dance and Water is Associated with the North 2009.

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Metis Day was held in the Grand Hall

Metis Day at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, now known as the Canadian Museum of History, featured the following videos “Pauline’s Neighbourhood,” “The Jingle Dress Dance” and “Water is Associated with the North” by Graham Thompson on February 08, 2009.

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The Grand Hall is the architectural focal point of the Museum and houses the world’s largest indoor collection of totem poles.

Canadian Museum of History Mandate:

“To enhance Canadians’ knowledge, understanding and appreciation of events, experiences, people and objects that reflect and have shaped Canada’s history and identity, and also to enhance their awareness of world history and cultures.” (Canadian Museum of History Act)

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The Canadian Museum of History welcomes over 1.2 million visitors each year to its celebrated complex in the heart of the National Capital Region, making it the country’s most-visited museum. With roots stretching back to 1856, it is one of Canada’s oldest public institutions and a respected centre of museological excellence, sharing its expertise in history, archaeology, ethnology and cultural studies both within Canada and abroad.

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In addition to its ongoing exhibitions, including the spectacular Grand Hall and First Peoples Hall, each year the Museum presents a number of outstanding exhibitions focusing on Canadian and world history and civilizations. These exhibitions include those developed by the Museum as well as many produced by other Canadian or international institutions. The Museum is also home to the Canadian Children’s Museum, a 500-seat theatre and the CINÉ+, a 295-seat movie theatre equipped with a giant 3D screen and a giant dome. Online, the Canadian Museum of History presents a number of excellent virtual exhibitions, including the Virtual Museum of Canada and the Virtual Museum of New France.

Research activities are concentrated in the fields of history, archaeology, ethnology and cultural studies. The National Collection consists of more than four million artifacts, specimens, works of art, written documents, and sound and visual recordings. More than 218,000 artifacts in the collection are accessible in an online database.

SAW Video Ottawa, Metis Media Fest 2007

Metis Media Fest 2007,  24 Aboriginal Artists, 50 videos, 25 digital images and 10 audio tracks presented at SAW Video Media Arts Ottawa.

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Metis Media Fest 2007 was exhibited at the SAW Video Media Arts Centre in Ottawa Canada on August 30, 2007. The multimedia Installation featured 50 videos, 25 digital images and 10 audio tracks in collaboration with 24 Aboriginal Artists from Australia, The Philippines, Peru, Canada and the USA.

Metis Media Fest 2007 ran from 4-8 PM Thursday on August 30, 2007 in CLUB SAW in the Arts Court Building at 2 Daly Street (corner of Daly and Nicholas in Ottawa’s Market District). The videos, digital images and audio tracks were featured within an immersive installation of computers and video projectors. Excerpts of the works were shown on the main screens with the unedited versions available on the computers within the installation.

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Exhibited videos included: “Singing Home the Bones: A Poet Becomes Himself” by Hilary Pryor, “Buried Traces” by Michelle Smith, “Hybred” by Christine Kirouac, “Anwolek- Regatta City” by Dana Claxton, “Sierra’s Song” by John Barnard. VIdeos were digitized and “mashed-up” or “remixed” on 8 large screens. Full length Video, audio and digital images were presented through an interface on 5 available computers.

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Marcel Fayant – The 2nd Dumbest Question of the 20th Century

Videos Exhibited – Artist, Title

  • James Diamond Mars – Womb Man
  • James Diamond – Private Property
  • Terry Haines – Skin for Life
  • Terry Haines – Raven Heart
  • Terry Haines – Dragonfly
  • RoseAnne Archibald – Class Clown
  • RoseAnne Archibald – Payuk Sashkeehitowin (One Love) Peuk Nepi,
  • James Nicholas – Meeting Waterwoman
  • Dana Claxton Anwolek – Regatta City
  • Hilary Pryor – Singing Home The Bones: A Poet Becomes Himself.
  • Marcel Fayant – The 2nd Dumbest Question of the 20th Century
  • Marcel Fayant – The 3rd Dumbest Question of the 20th Century
  • Marcel Fayant – The Response to the Dumbest Question of the 20th Century
  • Marcel Fayant – Native Dance Movement

The Metis Media Fest asks “What does it mean to be Metis?”

The films, YouTube videos, audio tracks, digital images, and photographs featured the work of Aboriginal artists from Canada, USA, Australia, Peru and the Philippines that examine issues around Aboriginal/European heritage, including why people of mixed heritage may or may not identify themselves as Métis.

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Digital Images by Wayne Phillips

This family-friendly event featured 50 videos, 25 digital images and 10 audio tracks, all presented within an immersive installation of computers and video projectors. Excerpts of the works will be shown on the main screen with the unedited versions available on the computers within the installation.

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Anwolek – Regatta City by Dana Claxton

The event will be of interest to audiences of Aboriginal culture as well as those seeking a technological experience. The work ranges from traditional  to experimental. In 2007, The Installation included electronic works of Aboriginal artists from Vancouver, Montreal, Saskatoon, Regina, Fargo, Lima, Baguio and Melbourne.

Finger Lakes Enviro Film Festival

North-South-East-West exhibited at 2007 Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival  Ithaca New York.

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The North-South-East-West DVD, an interactive Video presentation, was exhibited at the 2007 Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF) in Ithaca New York.

Codirectors Thomas Shevory and Patricia Zimmermann Describe the FLEFF

One question erupts repeatedly around the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival: How is FLEFF an environmental film festival? Our answer is simple: join us in reimagining the environment.

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The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival moves from the idea of a fixed, stable, and unified environment to an endlessly fluid, open, and plural notion of environments. FLEFF is programmed to open up ideas about the environment rather than to close them down. We do not presume to define the meaning of the term environment. In this period of global crisis, it is not productive to be too inert, closed, or blinded.

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Selected Works – Maps and Memes

North-South-East-West by Graham Thompson

North-South-East-West 1.0 utilizes Macromedia Flash animations, new media installations, streaming media, digital videos, webcasts and video conferences to guide audiences through the four directions or four seasons of our lives. Inspired by the meaning of the four sacred directions as taught by the Anishinaabe peoples of North America, the work tells a story about our lives in terms of four challenges-the challenge to survive, to find a vision, to find a path, and to learn the wisdom of the path of the vision. Graham Thompson (Metis Nation/Canada) has exhibited his work with computer graphics and digital video globally.

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North-South-East-West 1.0 utilizes Macromedia Flash animations, new media installations, streaming media, cell-phone downloads, digital videos, webcasts and videoconferences to guide audiences through the four directions or four seasons of our lives. Inspired by the meaning of the four sacred directions as taught by the Anishinaabe peoples of North America, the work tells a story about our lives in terms of four challenges-the challenge to survive, to find a vision, to find a path, and to learn the wisdom of the path of the vision. Graham Thompson (Metis Nation/Canada) has exhibited his work with computer graphics and digital video globally

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Other Work Shown at FLEFF

Entre Deux creates a space for experimentation between two artists where, far from “civilization,” human bodies confront nature with endurance, contemplation, defeat, and cooperation. Clad in white tennis clothes and armed with no more than a piece of rope, the artists perform these meditations on the body’s relationship with another body, as well as with the terrain in which they find themselves, to hilarious or poignant ends. For example, the characters are defeated by their surroundings when they fight each other (Entre Deux – Untitled (Jumeaux)) and are at one with the spaces they inhabit when they cooperate with each other (Entre Deux – Untitled [Epaule contre Epaule]). Donald Abad and Cyriac Allard both of France are artists who live and work in Paris.

Flag Metamorphoses interrogates international relations between nation-states as they clash with ideas of permanent transits, hybridity, and border crossings. Using Macromedia Flash animation, the official flag of one nation-state transforms and reforms itself into the flag of another nation-state, mapping a history of interrelations between the two states. Some of these interstate relations developed via colonialism, others via more recent moments of globalization. This ongoing collaborative project is compiled by Myriam Thyes (Germany).

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Recycled Image Studio (Sweden) is by Robert Willim and Anders Weberg.

Surreal Scania is a web-based art project that combined digital video with global positioning system (GPS) technology to explore overlooked similarities between ostensibly disparate landscapes, such as industrial harbors and nature reserves, as well as ostensibly disparate objects within these landscapes, such as artificial dinosaur heads and wrecked automobiles. GPS tracks the global positioning in as many as three dimensions (longitude, latitude, and altitude) to determine information such as speed, distance, movement, and times of sunrise and sunset. These visual contemplations of Scania, a region in southern Sweden, enter into dialogues with different representations of these precise locations on Google Earth and GPS units.

Metropoli

Anima takes a journey in extreme close-up over the surface of Grafsgaard’s painting Geo Grande. The digital video takes a panoramic view of the systems and energies of planetary ecology, particularly an imaginary biological community of microbial and fractal forms. The piece offers space for a meditation on experiences of time and space, relationships of scale, and energies of color, motion, and breath to consider ways that “organic metropoli” regenerate and mutate in response to their destruction by humans. Jim Grafsgaard (United States) collaborated with P.J. Tracy (United States), who composed the original score for this work.

Ectropy is a witty and topical hypertext work about surveillance, profiling, identity theft, biometrics, and violations of civil liberties within the paranoiac irrational space of ongoing global war. The work’s title, Ectropy, designates an increase in information or its organization, typically contrasted with the term entropy, which suggests a decrease in information or its organization. Ectropy also refers to a disease that manifests itself in eyelids that deteriorate, so that eyes cannot close and often cannot see.

The Kabul Project is an ongoing collaborative, community-based, interactive, and accumulative enterprise that is designed as a series of open-ended databases and systems that grow through the input of the artist, collaborators, community members, and audiences. As part of the Kabul Project, Permanent Transit is a database road movie about the anxieties of continual migration, the shifting identities of the hybrid generation, and the state of statelessness. Filmed through the windows of planes, buildings, and vehicles in various countries, the 12 screens of Permanent Transit alongside the fragmented soundtracks result in an experimental documentary reconstituted as a documented experiment. All this is designed to relocate viewers from their ordinary lives to the crossroads experienced by the hybrid generation, that difficult, absurd, productive zone where borders blur and cultures intersect, overlap, and exchange. Mariam Ghani (United States) works in video, installation, new media, photography, text, and public dialogue performance to investigate ways that history and memory are constructed and reconstructed as narrative in the present, particularly in the border zones and political spaces of transition where past, present, and future emerge as stories told in translation, contest, and counterpoint.

The Network of No_des adopts the nodal structure of a rhizome that splits into fractal systems and is composed of memes. Exploring the media practices of young South Asians in urban Delhi, whose ecological and economical utilization of knowledge resources might be called “piracy” by some people, the work reutilizes “driftwood from web searches, messages in data bottles, re-mixed fragments of Hindi and Bengali film scenes, and research notes from Sarai’s ongoing exploration of new media street culture in Delhi to present an array of associational possibilities.” Sarai Media Lab (India) is Jeebesh Bagchi, Mrityunjay Chatterjee, Iram Ghufran, Monica Narula, and Shuddhabrata Sengupta.

The Trustfiles questions the ambiguities of perception and the impartiality of the written word to dismantle through artistic intervention the symbols and codes that facilitate power. Drawing upon mystical traditions of combining the letters and numbers of sacred texts to move beyond their literal meanings, the project combines visual and auditory images, often of urban spaces, to prompt the user to investigate ways that transmitted information, which is invariably incomplete information, conceals as much as it reveals. Nadine Hilbert and Gast Bouschet (Belgium) are Brussels-based artists whose works explore the potential of transmitted information to reflect, comment, and posit interventions on the functions of political and social-economic sign systems.

Soundscapes

aux2mondes is an Internet audio work that links commentaries by Arab woman living in France and the United States to create a non-narrative story based upon the user’s interest and intuition. The project concerns representation and “human linkage,” drawing from audio recordings of interviews linked by keywords with the interface tracing their progress. This approach-like sound itself-resists the voyeurism inherent in representation and returns the user to her or his own self-interest. The project is a collaborative work between Nicolas Malevé, Pascal Mélédandri, Chantal Dumas, and Isabelle Massu (United States/France) and was supported by grants from Le Centre National de la Cinématographie (Paris) and La Compagnie (Marseille).

thefLuteintheworLdthefLuteistheworLd is part of Henry Gwiazda’s repertoire of sonic works that remixes field recordings and sound effects to produce the intrinsic musical qualities of everyday noises. A virtual-audio piece meant to be listened on headphones (as opposed to some of his other works that are designed as installations to be experienced from speakers with particular specifications), thefLuteintheworLdthefLuteistheworLd surrounds its listener and creates an experience of the composer’s combinations of sampled sounds as poetry. Henry Gwiazda (United States) is a pioneering artist of sampled sounds and has been described as a poet of sonic art.

SameSameButDifferent generates new sound combinations at each hearing and transmits a proliferation of Icelandic aural imaginaries over the Internet. Thor and Runar Magnusson (Iceland) are sound artists.

SameSameButDifferent v.02 is a project that generates a new musical work every five to eight minutes from field recordings of Icelandic nature. Such sonic productions via algorithm, composed in real time by computer interface, challenge the format of traditional radio and sound production. Miming the natural archives of Icelandic nature sounds, SameSameButDifferent generates new sound combinations at each hearing and transmits a proliferation of Icelandic aural imaginaries over the Internet. Thor and Runar Magnusson (Iceland) are sound artists.

Untitled (FLEFF) is part of an ongoing investigation into aural patterning. Working with “incidental” sounds that typically fade into the recesses of consciousness and are “misheard,” this work heightens the listener’s aural sense by isolating found sounds (or field recordings) that evoke a sense of place through their frequency and repetition. The work consciously evokes what Paul Carter has termed “the sonorous identification with foreign surroundings” by isolating sounds that are supposedly part of the everyday and elevating them to the status of cultural place markers. Born in London, Catherine Clover, (United Kingdom/Australia) is a sound and digital artist currently living and working in Melbourne.

Panic Attacks

Goobalisation is an ongoing series of short animations that remix images retrieved through the Google search engine and downloaded from the web. The images are found through the project’s four search terms-surveillance, difference, resistance, and globalization-chosen to expose the complexities of power struggles and notions of progress at play in the online world. Images begin in an assigned frame space (upper left corner for surveillance, for example), then fade in and out at different intervals so that the user experiences an often uncomfortable proximity between the concepts and familiar media objects. Eduardo Navas (United States) is a critical theorist and artist currently based in Los Angeles/San Diego.

La Conchita Mon Amour studies the struggles of life in the beach community of La Conchita in California that was inundated by debris flow after a devastating mudslide. Caused by increased winter rains, an effect of global warming, this digital video project documents vernacular shrines to the dead built by surviving residents, when governmental assistance for victims of cyclical recursion of disaster is not forthcoming. Christina McPhee (United States) is a multimedia artist who interprets landscapes by integrating data mediation with empirical observation at sites where the psychic terrain of trauma meets environmental instability and generative chaos.

Pandemic Rooms explores the social paranoia over killer flues, plagues, diseases, and other disasters, particularly in light of current obsessions with viral transmissions and the increased interdependencies of globalizations. A cough in one part of the world travels across the world; sickness echoes on empty rooms; pandemics emerge so that irrational fears and necessary precautions become confused in this interactive net/web work. Jason Nelson (United States/Australia) is an artist/writer/coder who works in the medium of digital poetics.

The Samaras Project is an antiadvertising collaborative project that gives reason for everyday panic in a moment of ongoing global war. The blog includes extremely useful information about alternative and sustainable economies as alternatives to capitalist enterprise. For instance, the blog entry dated February 20, 2006, discusses the setting up of worker-owned cooperatives. Apart from worker owned cooperatives, the project actively promotes gleaning, gift economies, open culture, and community economies both online and locally in the San Francisco area. Dara Greenwald (United States) and Josh MacPhee (United States) are activists/artists who have worked in a variety of media, including print, video, and digital.

{transcription} and [FALLUJAH. IRAQ. 31/03/2004] examine questionable media coverage of events that works to confuse real and imagined situations. In {transcription}, constant scratching sounds and the imposition of a “digital skin” over the images emphasize the mediation of the news, the constant deluge of round-the-clock news coverage, and the perpetual sense of panic and paranoia that the news engenders. [FALLUJAH. IRAQ. 31/03/2004] ponders on the relationship between ethical filtering and manipulative remixing of the news, the significance of which increases with technological advances that enable the generation of history in “real time.” Michael Takeo Magruder (United States/United Kingdom) uses new media technologies within fine art contexts to explore the simultaneous utilization and dissection of new technology as a means to explore the formal structures and conceptual paradigms of the digital realm.

National Gallery Ottawa, Human Rights Seminar

Aboriginal Human Rights Art Seminar 2006, in collaboration with Amnesty International, was conducted at the National Gallery of Canada.

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During March 2006,  Graham Thompson in collaboration with Amnesty International, conducted an Aboriginal Human Rights Art Seminar at the National Gallery of Canada.

By illustrating the spiritual connection Aboriginal People have to the Earth, Thompson in conjunction with a speaker from Amnesty International, worked with students to create Aboriginal Human Rights themed paintings and drawings based on Medicine Wheel principles and archival images of Native American life prior to colonization.

Medicine Wheel Beliefs and Principles were discussed using an interactive video based presentation North-South-East-West. The presentation North-South-East-West (NSEW), with accompanying talk, has an introduction that illustrates Ontario’s past, its present day mass media culture, and its technological future.

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The main section of NSEW begins in the east where the earth gives birth to a new day, to a new life and to the feeling of deep peace and belongingness. As well the east represents the first challenge in life – the test of survival. The animation celebrates the tiny frail flowers that live another day and open to greet the sun.

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Birth, Sunrise, Spring and the Challenge of Survival

The eastern section is followed by illustrations of the earth’s southern personality. The south brings the heat of the summer, the bloom of adolescence and the quest for a vision. The south represents the time we are given to discover our meaning and the ability to hold the power of this vision as our secret.

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The southern section is followed by meditations on the west. The west represents adulthood, autumn and the path of the vision discovered in our youth. In autumn the cool winds of the west signal the end of summer and a time of preparation – an adult time. In this direction or season of life, we learn that the path of our vision is not easy. The difficulties come like thunder clouds, yet they bring rains that “wash away yesterday” and allow us to renew ourselves and continue our work as in adulthood we realize that the sun will set before our path is complete.

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The piece completes the cycle of directions, seasons and stages of life in the north. The north represents winter, old age and the wisdom of the path of the vision. It is at this stage that our view of life is simple and uncomplicated, like a landscape where blankets of snow hide the complexities of the terrain. This is the time to have courage to live and embrace the changes of the final stage of life.

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The North South East West new media series can be summarized by mapping the geographic and climatic themes onto a matrix as shown below

Childhood

Youth

Adulthood

Old Age

Survival

Vision

Path

Wisdom

East

South

West

North

Spring

Summer

Autumn

Winter

Sunrise

Noon

Sunset

Evening

Hope, Optimism and Belonging

Bloom and Identity

Westerly Winds Bring Clouds

Life Review Like a Snow Covered Forest

Noirlac Abbey France, Medicine Wheel

North-South-East-West exhibited at 2006 Les Futurs de l’écrit Art Biennial at Abbey of Noirlac in Orléans France.

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The North-South-East-West DVD was exhibited at the 2006 Les Futurs de l’écrit Art Biennial at the Abbey of Noirlac in Orléans France.  The Future of Writing ( Les Futurs de l’écrit) is a biennial event that exhibits literature, theater, music, sound, image, visual arts and dance within a beautifully restored Cistercian abbey.

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Abbey of Noirlac in Orléans France

The construction of the Abbey of Noirlac was started in 1150 by a small group of monks who came from Clairvaux. The abbey expressed the monastic asceticism of the Cistercian order founded by Saint Robert and Saint Bernard.

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From the XVth century to the French Revolution, the few monks in residence dedicated their time to the management of the community estate as well as to the spiritual life. Visit the Abbey de Norlac with 360 degree views.

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North-South-East-West Overview

The North-South-East-West was inspired by the  ancient Medicine Wheel belief system of the Annishinabe Peoples of North America. The presentation has an introduction that illustrates Ontario’s past, its present day mass media culture, and its technological future.

nsew-intrface-01-w600

The main section of NSEW begins in the east where the earth gives birth to a new day, to a new life and to the feeling of deep peace and belongingness. As well the east represents the first challenge in life – the test of survival. The animation celebrates the tiny frail flowers that live another day and open to greet the sun.

x_east_04a-png-2
Birth, Sunrise, Spring and the Challenge of Survival

The eastern section is followed by illustrations of the earth’s southern personality. The south brings the heat of the summer, the bloom of adolescence and the quest for a vision. The south represents the time we are given to discover our meaning and the ability to hold the power of this vision as our secret.

ontario13

The southern section is followed by meditations on the west. The west represents adulthood, autumn and the path of the vision discovered in our youth. In autumn the cool winds of the west signal the end of summer and a time of preparation – an adult time. In this direction or season of life, we learn that the path of our vision is not easy. The difficulties come like thunder clouds, yet they bring rains that “wash away yesterday” and allow us to renew ourselves and continue our work as in adulthood we realize that the sun will set before our path is complete.

__graham-talk-matrix4

The piece completes the cycle of directions, seasons and stages of life in the north. The north represents winter, old age and the wisdom of the path of the vision. It is at this stage that our view of life is simple and uncomplicated, like a landscape where blankets of snow hide the complexities of the terrain. This is the time to have courage to live and embrace the changes of the final stage of life.

___nsew-summer-02

The North South East West new media series can be summarized by mapping the geographic and climatic themes onto a matrix as shown below

Childhood

Youth

Adulthood

Old Age

Survival

Vision

Path

Wisdom

East

South

West

North

Spring

Summer

Autumn

Winter

Sunrise

Noon

Sunset

Evening

Hope, Optimism and Belonging

Bloom and Identity

Westerly Winds Bring Clouds

Life Review Like a Snow Covered Forest

Darayonan Centre of Coron Philippines

Medicine Wheel Video Installation exhibited in Coron Philippines, February 2005.

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North South East West, the New Media Installation, inspired by the traditional knowledge of the Anishinaabe Peoples was shown February 17th 2005 in Coron Philippines at the Darayonan Centre.

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The show was part of a 10 city tour of the Philippines and Taiwan, February 12 to March 7 of 2005, that included presentations at the Tamawan Village Art Gallery Baguio, Ateneo Art Gallery Manila, Darayonan Centre in Coron, and the Kamarikutan Gallery in Puerto Princessa. Check out North-South-East-West Online.

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As well as the show was also exhibited at the University of the Philippines Mindanao Cultural Centre Davao, Regional Education Learning Centre of Cotobato City, Lumad groups of Cotabato City, Western Mindanao State University in Zamboanga, Pingdong Aboriginal Cultural Park, Taipei National University of the Art, Taiwan Public Television System, National Donghua University, Aboriginal Art Institute, and the ShunYi Taiwan Aboriginal Museum.

Tamawan Village Gallery, Baguio Philippines

Medicine Wheel Video Installation exhibited in the Tamawan Village Gallery, Baguio Philippines, February 2005.

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The North-South-East-West Video Installation with Metis storyteller Graham Thompson was exhibited at the Tamawan Village Art Gallery, Baguio Philippines, February 2005.

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TAM-AWAN Village is a reconstructed Cordillera village showcasing the traditional Ifugao Huts, and Baguio’s art and culture scene. It was established by National Artist BenCab in 1998 together with Chanum Foundation to promote the local Baguio Artists. Tam-awan is a local word which means “vantage point” an apt name for a colony of Cordillera Huts that sit on a hillside that affords visitors a magnificent view of the South China Sea on a clear day. The Chanum Foundation, Inc., started reconstructing Ifugao houses in Baguio with the intention of recreating a native village accessible to those who have not had the opportunity to explore the different parts of the vast Cordillera region in the Philippines, laying the houses out just like a traditional Cordillera village. Tam-awan Village is also a venue for art exhibits, workshops and other activities that showcase the rich cultural heritage of the Cordillera people.

 

 

 

 

 

Western Mindanao State University, Philippines

North-South-East-West at Western Mindanao State University Zamboanga, February 2005.

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The North-South-East-West Video Installation with Metis storyteller Graham Thompson was presented at the Western Mindanao State University, Zamboanga Philippines, February 2005.

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Multi-Media Canadian Ethnic Rites Show in WMSU on February 24; Sutherland To Grace Affair, 10 Feb  2005

A CANADIAN aboriginal artist will recreate North American ethnic rites in their native settings through his self-crafted two- hour multi-media show to be held at the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) on Thursday, February 24.

Dubbed as “North, South, East, West version 2.0,” artist Graham Thompson’s show in traveling in eight cities in the Philippines, a Canadian embassy correspondence to WMSU president Dr. Eldigario Gonzales said.

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The media installation is “concerned with enchancing our emotional connection to the earth by creating an immersive audio-visual environment of video monitors, projectors, DVD players, computer workstations, interactive CDROM,” the embassy said.

Canadian ambassador to the Philippines Peter Sutherland will speak during the show.

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Thompson specializes in the use of new media, such as digital computer technology, to artfully discuss native and aboriginal cultures, the embassy added. His trip to Zamboanga is intended to share his North American ethnic culture with Philippine lumads.

“‘In North South East West 2.0’, Thompson tries to recreate the hypnotic environment of (Canadian aboriginal) sweat lodge, by emulating the atmosphere of chanting and repetitive rhythms of the rattles within the darkness of the lodge through the use of multiple monitors and sound tracks with a darkened gallery setting. The repetition of audio-visual themes on overlapping displays engages the audience in a complex environment of sounds and images to provoke a feeling of belongingness and inclusion and a feeling of shared         experience,” the embassy said in elaboration.

The show, it added, “was designed to create a ceremonial experience that permitted self-reflection and examination of one’s life stages and to explore our spiritual and psychological relations to the earth.”

WMSU Public Affairs Director Prof. Ali T. Yacub said the show will be held at the university’s Social Hall at 10 to 12 o’clock, February 24. It is open to the public. (Rey-Luis Banagudos, Public Affairs Office, WMSU)