You wanna know why?
Cuz it’s the launch of No Fun City!
This April Fool’s Day we’re throwing down with Compassion Gorilla at Camas Books and Infoshop for a night of acoustic shenanigans and readings from contributors to No Fun City! A brand new magazine created and written by, none other than, YOUR FRIENDS!
The ruckus starts at 8pm and goes on until bed time. Oh! And did we mention there’s gonna be a bake sale? It’s $2 bones to get in the door and all moneys raised at the show will help support future issues of No Fun City! As well as Camas Books your local rockin’ info. shop.
Please note: Bring thy dancing shoes. That is all.
No Fun City! is a bi-monthly publication by and for artists, musicians, anarchists, poets, hippies, community organizers, prophets, punks and well, everyone else within the unceeded Coast Salish Territories known as Victoria. No Fun City! is our emerging mythology, a living documentation. It is the paper trail of our debauchery and colourful escapades. It is a zine dedicated to our underground meanderings. A collection of our wild imaginings; the music, art, performances, films, writing, resistance and dance of the underground. Of our community.
Here’s just some of who you’ll find in No Fun City!: Kay Gallivan, Soma, Karrescene, David Granneman, Bubba Hamilton, Robin Drain, CSTL, Nick Montgomery, Catherine Wallace, Compassion Gorilla, Comrade Black, Keith Norton, Dirt Bucket and more!
❤ No Fun! (You loving editors, Katie, Simon, Austin and Serina… and of course our treasured copy editor Martin!)
…i just have had no time…
But I wanted you to know that I am still here. And that I am okay. I mean sometimes things just don’t seem okay, but really life is pretty swell. So, in case you were wondering, the reason I am not getting my school work done is not JUST cuz I’m fuckin’ around. I been doing some things. Here are the 3 most interesting…
The birdog collective (haha, yeah remember those guys?)… now up from one member to 3! Well, they be putting out a magazine called No Fun City! on April 1st. 36 pages of sweet sweet awesome for Free. Launch Party at Camas Books and Info. Shop with Compassion Gorilla on the First of the April. And a fundraiser (so we can do a second issue someday) on April 6th!
Well this little number is the Living Installation. It’s happening for my curatorial residency. I am part of the Green Tongues Collective. We rock it out at the garden making this shit happen every Sunday from 1-4 pm you should come. Opening is May 5th.
Well what can I say… I’m an Anarchist… at some point we do the whole Freeskool thing. Who doesn’t like learning? Our collective of three’s been pulling this off… but the Brain Hurricane was a blast so fingers crossed for some support to be bigger, better, stronger, sexier…
You can also find us on crackbook.
… so yeah…
You can also catch me documenting the shit out of the Enbridge shenanigans with my boy Aubrey this Friday, or at the CSPT conference on the 21st where I am doing a performance. Also hope you caught the MOCL 5 show 2 day fundraiser and maybe you’ll see some more of my posters around town soon (Stop Enbridge!).
…i’m still alive, jus’ behind the scenes…
empty shoes/invisible woman walks
…Chance Presence was a collaborative performance piece inspired by the Black Market International (BMI). It brought together artists from a diversity of experiences and practices to collaborate in creating a spontaneous and fleeting piece of art. Through interactions, gestures, repetitions, sounds, movement the artists explored their surroundings. The art was created as the viewers, co-creators, provided meaning and interpretation through their experience of the work. The viewers were invited to participate, respond and also interact.
look at she look away look.
collect lost dreams in my umbrella
Engaging with objects, making decisions about movements, correlations and meanings. I knew that each time I added an element it created new meaning, both for myself and the viewers, yet there was a freedom, an openness to the meaning that was very liberating.
collect consent on wings paper airplanes yes/yes/yes/no
Chance Presence was part of the 2012 Limelight Art Experience, a local youth arts festival held on March 3rd at the Cedar Hill Community Arts Center.
Here’s a little more info. on BMI:
The performances of BMI are exercises in derision, concentration, sacralisation and effacement. The performer tries to take life seriously while revealing that it is, in fact, worth very little – that it is held in a gesture, that it lasts only a moment. The work of BMI is to create these fundamental moments.
BMI is also the art of encounter. There is never a common theme; the work is made according to a principle of open cooperation. Each performance must create a singular time-space complex, exhuming the structure of encounter so that we may regain possession of space and draw the invisible links that constitute it.
*_*_*_*_*_*_*Thanks Christine for the invite and for all your work making this happen! And thanks to all the other super people who participated.*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*
________Photo Credits go to Mr. D. Zapf_________
If you did not make it to the show and want a copy of Copy Curse Volume 1 then I have ’em for you. $5 bones. It is a collection of all the art included in Copy Curse I and II. 106 pages of local art!
Oh, and here is the intro. I wrote for the beast:
Copy Curses is a brainchild birthed by Bunghole. Fourteen months old now. Fucking monster, really. And it’s a real struggle to recall and convey what the whole thing was about, you know? To give a sense of the ambiance.
The post-apocalyptic house warming hangover which is currently grinding my brain isn’t helping. So I ask my friends what they remember, and in staccato fuckbook messages I receive “drunken wandering in the boonies,” or “a good old fashioned piss up, I watched bands, I played, and I got hammered.”
Some fuckin’ help.
So bear with me while this Princess sucks it up and gets to it…
Copy Curse was the first time I’d been to the Red Door. A place I would two years later fondly refer to as Siberia. A beloved pisshole, way the fuck out there. It may just rival the Legendary Troyler Castle for best venue in Victoria.
You’ll find the Red Door across from a sheep farm on the edges of a church riddled Suburbia. It’s the sort of house trick-or-treaters are warned to stay away from. I lived there myself for about 6 months in the garage, so I know. I wouldn’t eat the candy there either. And no need to lock the door, the security system consists of an axe half my size, a large and lovable wolf dog named Lobo and randomly discarded mechanical objects in varying states of decay.
Ashley and I drove to the show in her gold and orange mini-van, a vehicle which (in our imaginations) is one part DeLorean, one part Tank Girl tank, and in reality neither.
It was a Halloween show, not actually on Halloween but close enough. The air inside was warmed with unwashed bodies, well-worn patched leather jackets and boots sticking to a beer slicked floor. Bands played within mattress lined walls which blocked the ‘gallery’ from the pit/floor/stage/living room.
Xeroxed drawings and collages taped haphazard to walls and windows, behind the couch, on faces. Guerilla Gallery. Anything goes; everyone’s an artist. A bomb that went off in the anarchist bookstore. Time stops moving. Leaves pages of zines suspended. Physics defied. The lights go out, another band sets up. There are too many bodies crowded inside to see the walls anyway.
The band lineup looked like this:
HEAD HITS CONCRETE (Winnipeg)
SIC BREW BANTHA
+ some smelly surprise guests!!!
I have no clue who the smelly guests were, but surely we all fit this description.
I’d like you to imagine this all performed as a ballet. The Bunghole Dance Academy. Now re-read it. More entertaining ,no?
Round II was at the Ramp. The back yard is a half-pipe; a relic of another time. Crumbling architecture. Punk rock archaeology nestled between warehouses on the edge of industrial/low income housing/downtown future yuppie wet dream real-estate.
It was the summer of 2011. Balmy nights, crusty kids, rumbling vans, late dusk, screaming, beer, Palm Bay irony and close quarters.
The gallery worked with the same equilibrium. The walls festooned by whoever was up to slinging the tape. A barren front room disappeared behind photocopied sheets of 8.5 by 11. I recall Xeroxed noses.
Ahna ripped us a new soul. Screaming. Speed. Big drums. Nasstasia strummed on the ramp, broke the hearts we do not like to admit that we have.
This time the line-up:
HEAVY CHAINS ((Vancouver, BC ) AHNA ((Vancouver, BC))
HOOPSNAKE (Squamish, BC)
NASSTASIA YARD (Courtenay, BC)
BESTIAL SANCTUARY GOLDENAXE
So at the end of this stumble down nostalgia’s back alley we realise that I was wrong with the “some fuckin’ help” comment. Because you guys had it right; the moral of the story, that is. We were all just really drunk.
All the art was collected by some headless dude, goes by Andy. Together over a cup of tea we put this book together. A collection of the contributions to Copy Curse I and II, probably by you. There are photographs of the bands. And some contact information if you like people’s shit and want to be a fan(genderneutralpronoun).
Show this to your Grandkids.
i do not like to tell what my work is about, because though it takes on meaning for me, and is a process of working through feelings and ideas it becomes another thing once realized by me as artist and interpreted by an audience. i do not want to limit or overly influence your own interpretation and experiences with b o r d e r l a n d s. i do not want to provide answers, but ask questions. or rather, i want you to ask questions.
this was the first performance that i spent months working on. as an artist this was a new, frustrating and rewarding process. it was powerful to collaborate with other artists on a vision as well and see the dynamics of composing sound.
below you will find a video documentation of the performance. it is just that: documentation, it is not the art itself, but a record of the piece. the video does not do the experience justice, but it serves its purpose.
also i have pasted text from the zine we had available at the show.
a seminar for dissection
b o r d e r l a n d s
began in a tent somewhere between here and san francisco.
fully clothed in a sleeping bag wasting precious phone batteries listening to music, scribbling. wisely left alone by megan, who had let me be to make out with jacob. i came across an almost forgotten recording.
once recorded for a lover. probably sobbed a little. imagined a vengeful performance. knives. and thus b o r d e r la n d s was born in the cliché beginnings of a long since broken heart.
my work comes to me in a short vision, an image. these early ideas are fluid. they change through the process of their realisation. they become an entirely new thing as I work with my materials, and discuss the concept. it becomes a different thing in its actual performance. a different thing for each person who experiences the performance. a different thing in our documentation.
through hours of cycling highway 101 this idea developed.
these are not staged events. i am doing the thing. and it is representation.
a noise composition. a voice, a representation of inner dialogue. a response to the violence enveloping my body. created by the absurdly talented soma, kay and kris spent hours upon hours composing , though much is left to spontaneity.
although the original audio inspiration was by a musician named sunheart, the white ribs are a major inspiration for the audio aesthetics.
i met a man at the ministry of casual living. we sat on the curb. this man had wrapped himself in saran wrap and blown fire in the middle of haultain. we were fast friends. he made the perfect faceless suit to sharpen knives.
the video is suffused with thirty plus hours of editing. five minutes and twelve seconds of video to be looped.
i don’t want to say anything in particular with my work or tell anyone what to think. just disrupt some of the normative things. for me this piece is about bodies and complicity. it is about systems and violence. it is about the question of resistance.
thank you soma, kay, kris for your collaboration and genius, joel for embodying the headless suit, kirk for hours of technical help, medianet for equipment, wendy and visa for location, tegan for support, simon for building stuff, nick for listening, talking and writing, michael for the painting come poster, katie for projector whispering, andy for camera work, gerald for photographs and sunheart for the inspiration.
The proliferation of objectified, sexualized women is often called ‘the male gaze,’ but this is not just something that men do to women. Aren’t we all trained to see female bodies this way? And isn’t this gaze—this way of seeing—something that comes to be embodied by women and men, albeit in different ways? How do the ideals of feminine beauty mark female bodies, and who (or what) does the marking, the disciplining, the cutting?
b o r d e r l a n d s raises these questions not by telling us about contemporary patriarchy and objectification but by performing objectification and division. What makes this female body methodically divide itself? What is she preparing herself for? What are we—the audience—watching? Or rather: what are we doing, and how are we participating in this process of division, objectification, and consumption?
Rather than presenting viewers with an object to interpret, b o r d e r l a n d s presents a puzzle that the audience is immersed in. The audience doesn’t watch a performance ‘about’ the objectification of female bodies: the audience does the objectifying. In this way, it invites us to grapple with patriarchy not by telling us what to do, but by confronting us with perspectives and practices that we are trained to ‘do’ all the time.
…thanks Gerald for the wonderful photographs.
The performance, Hear Us Now, involved two dumpstered tape recorders with a cassette tape in each one. The recorders were placed next to one another on the ground and I kneeled behind them facing the monument and the intersection. I then recorded my screams on to one of the cassettes, rewound it and hit play. Next I recorded the already recorded screaming with the other tape recorder. I ping ponged the screaming back and forth to fill up one side of each cassette. While recording the screaming back and forth the recorders picked up ambient sounds of traffic and passers by. I also included more screams both from myself and participants. The whole time I focused on the process and did not interact directly with those around me. Once the tapes were full I played them both back simultaneously and listened in silence for the duration. The result was powerful and the sound became almost physical. The old tape decks created a lot of feedback noise, the re-recorded screams varied in intesity from extremely loud and visceral to echoey and seemingly far away. Traffic, feedback and other ambiant noise drowned the screaming out as the tapes progressed. At times the screams were barely audible. One participant, recording the piece, reflected afterward that the way my grew more quiet and seemingly distant reflected the way our culture relates to media. That we hear the voices of people experiencing violence or oppression, but then it fades away into the ambience.
The performance lasted about 35 minutes and a small group gathered to bear witness. People had been invited to document the piece in whatever medium they wished. Many people had cameras, digital audio recorders and video cameras.
My process for creating pieces such as Hear Us Now usually begins with a spontaneous idea, context, or site. This one began with the idea of screaming into tape decks and recording it back and forth. Over time, often while cycling, or discussing with friends, my ideas flesh out. From a conversation with fellow community organizers I selected the police station as my location. I did not do this work with any specific message I wanted to convey; I do not want to tell people what to think, but rather want folks to think for themselves. My work is about making visible our normative behaviour either within a specific physical location and/or social relationship. So ultimately with this performance I simply wanted to have people’s movement past the site, the police station, disrupted in a way that maybe allowed them to ask questions about what was going on; why a woman was kneeling outside of the police station, screaming. For me this site was a space I had wanted to respond to with my art as I see it as a place holding significant power/authority in our society. It is the location of a system that is involved in some pretty horrific violence and oppression.
As I began the process of preparation I started to conceptualize more my own relationship to the work. I began to see this piece as a way to bring my voice to the police, who bring their violence, on behalf of the state, to the people. My own screaming became a representation for the voices of the people. The voices of people who had experienced violence at the hands of a police system that protects the wealthy and oppresses the poor. The voices of those who have not been protected by the police, most prominently hundreds of missing women in British Columbia and Canada. My voice expressed the pain and anger from personal experiences of violence and the outrage that my community is systematically abused by a system of repression perpetrated by police. I reflected on the violence against protesters at G20 and the Occupy Movement, the recent coming forward of Catherine Galliford who has suffered years of sexual harassment within the RCMP as well as exposing that Pickford was not stopped because of misogyny within the force, and here in Victoria the release of the VIPIRG report Policing Poverty.
By having the people gathered at the performance documenting everything it was a real and symbolic way to send a message to the police that we are watching them. That we as a community are aware of their behaviour.
I am looking forward to hear other folk’s perspectives on the piece and their relationship to the work. I heard many personal stories of violence at the hands of authorities leading up to doing this work and I want to thank those people for sharing those stories with me. Perhaps this work can be a catalyst for ongoing interventions in our community to continue to draw attention and change the problematic ways we treat one another and rely on oppressive systems. And of course I want to acknowledge all of the people out there already organizing in ways to create change.
For Background see this article by Chandra Melting Tallow about missing women in Vancouver. Also VIPIRG’s recent report: Policing Poverty.
Also the work of Rebecca Belmore has been a huge inspiration.
Story telling is how we learn who we are and how to be in the world. Story telling takes on many forms.
Our stories are our shared memories, our history.
History is a process that we are actively creating. Histories, and their telling, are political acts. History is not objective. The claim to objectivity is a political act that merely reflects and perpetuates the status quo. The myth of One History silences the lived experiences of everyone who does not fit into the values of this history.
Many of us grew up learning a certain history as if it was truth, but History is the story of many truths. History is a collection of narratives. The narratives of women, of people of colour, of indigenous communities, of queer folks, of radical movements and many others have systematically been excluded from the myth of One History. To not acknowledge this reality and continue to validate One History while silencing all others is an act of oppression.
To remember our histories is a radical act of social change. To come together and tell our stories and remember our personal struggles is a radical act of social change. For us to record and celebrate our triumphs and struggles actively changes the way we know history and changes our futures. With the power of our histories in hand we can realise that we are part of something bigger, that other ways of living are possible and that the world around us is constructed by narratives which perpetuate the powers of oppression, patriarchy, alienation and unequal power for the few.
We are not the first generation to struggle for liberation. Together with the power of the stories of our forbearers we are empowered in our struggling knowing how far they have brought us. Together, valuing our own stories, we know that we are powerful and can speak truth to power.
The People’s Living room was a public installation during the People’s Assembly which took place in Centennial Square on Lekwungen Territory where participants in the days gathering were invited to sit down, throw their feet up, read a book and hang out. The free pile love seats, arm chair and rug provided a physical space that was intimate, familiar and comfortable. By creating this physical space, complete with tea, books and art supplies, a social space for conversation was created amidst the chaotic ‘protest’ atmosphere.
The uniqueness of the “Occupy” movement is in the diversity of people taking to the streets and coming together to reclaim spaces. Often criticised as directionless by the unimaginative, the power of this movement is in the process of coming together. The necessity of public space, of meeting fellow community members face to face, of sharing frustrations and joys and visions for the future with each other cannot be underestimated. The People’s Assembly, and indeed the Occupy Wall Street Movement reclaims the square, reclaims this public space for the people. The People’s Living Room was created as a catalyst for dialogue, a breaking down of intimate and public space. It’s aims was to facilitate in the realisation that it is not just the signs we hold that are important, but the relationships we build through listening to different perspectives and hearing each other’s struggles.
As folks have been camping in the square the People’s Living Room has transformed and taken on a life of its own.