Posted on Jul 10, 2018 in Events, Talk

[su_spacer size=”5″] A speaker series created and hosted by grunt gallery, a partner in the Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency project.

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Thursday, July 19, 7 pm, grunt gallery


In 2014, grunt gallery began working in partnership with Other Sights for Artists’ Projects and Creative Cultural Collaborations Society to develop the concept for a permanent engagement site for the Blue Cabin. Given the need for residency space in Vancouver, and the cabin’s history on the foreshore, repurposing it as an off-the-grid floating artist residency on the Lower Mainland waterfront emerged as the chosen course of action. 

Join us for a conversation with the Blue Cabin project founding partners, Glenn Alteen, Esther Rausenberg, and Barbara Cole, as they talk about their four-year process of saving, remediating, and repurposing the cabin. They will also speak about the project as it moves into its next phases of development, drawing us closer to its launch as a floating artist residency and heritage engagement site. 

Glenn Alteen is a Vancouver based curator and writer and the director of grunt. He has worked extensively with performance art and is co-founder of LIVE Performance Biennial (1999, 2001, 2003, 2005). His writings on performance have been published in Making Always War (Stride Gallery, Calgary, 2009), Access All Areas (grunt, 2008), Rebecca Belmore (Sydney Biennial Catalogue, Australia 2006), Caught in the Act (YYZ Books Toronto, 2005), La Dragu (FADO Toronto, 2002,), LIVE at the End of the Century (grunt, 2000) and Locus Solus (Black Dog London, 1999). He is the producer of brunt magazine. Alteen has also been an organizer in a number of conferences, including: Indian Acts Aboriginal Performance Art, co-produced with TRIBE and grunt gallery in November 2002; InFest 2004, produced by the Pacific Association of Artist Centres; An Ecology for a New Performance, the Performance Creation Canada’s conference during the 2005 PuSh Festival; and Live In Public – The Art of Engagement, at ECIAD in 2007. Alteen has also produced a series of websites focusing on current cultural production including First Vision (2006), First Nations Creators Project (2007), Medicine (2008), Beat Nation (produced through grunt in 2009) Ruins in Process – Vancouver Art in the 60’s (produced through grunt and the Belkin Gallery in 2009) and the recently completed Activating the Archive project. Alteen is the 2018 recipient of the Governor General’s Award for Visual and Media Arts Outstanding Contribution Award. 

Barbara Cole is the founder and a producing member of Other Sights for Artists’ Projects. She is an artist, curator, educator and curatorial consultant in public art. Cole has led workshops, lectured widely and published articles on the subject of art in public space. Currently, she is the curator of the outdoor art collection at UBC. Cole taught at Emily Carr University from 1984 to 1999 and worked as a consultant to the City of Vancouver’s Public Art Program from 1999 to 2004. Throughout her career, she has been actively involved in the Vancouver art community, serving on gallery and art society boards and has participated as a jury member for numerous art initiatives. In 2011 Barbara received the Mayor’s Award for her contributions to the advancement of public art in Vancouver and in 2013, was a curatorial resident at ZK/U Center for Art + Urbanistics in Berlin, Germany.

Esther Rausenberg is a photo-based artist who has exhibited locally, nationally, and internationally in Mexico, Cuba, Argentina, and Croatia and is a recipient of Canada Council and BC Arts Council grants. Esther is Co-artistic Director of Creative Cultural Collaborations Society and Founding Member & Executive Director of the Eastside Culture Crawl Society. She holds an MA (UBC) and a BA CMNS (SFU). Esther has volunteered on many boards and committees including the CULTCH Capital Campaign and Downtown Eastside Small Arts Grants. Esther has twice been appointed to the City of Vancouver’s Arts and Culture Policy Council and was the Co-vice Chair. She currently is a Trustee on the Vancouver Art Gallery Board.

Image: Blue Cabin restoration photograph courtesy of Jeremy Borsos & Sus Borsos



The Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency brings forward a desire and need for alternate modes of living and working and expands our understanding of what constitutes public space.

Representing the last vestiges of a cultural tradition of artists and others living in squatters’ shacks along the foreshores of this region’s waterways, Al Neil and Carole Itter’s Blue Cabin was one of many structures that dotted the shores of the Burrard Inlet. When the adjacent land occupied by MacKenzie Barge and Shipbuilding for 100 years was sold to Polygon Homes for redevelopment, the cabin’s demolition seemed imminent. Working collaboratively and with the support of many, Other Sights, grunt gallery and C3 moved the cabin to a nearby storage site and then on to Maplewood Farms where, in the sheep pasture, it underwent extensive repair by artist team Sus and Jeremy Borsos.

The organizations’ vision for the cabin is to outfit it as an artist studio and to mount it to a floating platform alongside a tiny house, to serve as a vital, off the grid, multi-disciplinary floating artist residency. The idea to set the cabin adrift from ownership or permanent location speaks to its history and occupation of the foreshore as a generative space. The Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency is unique to this region while global in its reach.