Gelardin will present a selection of projects from StoreFrontLab’s (San Francisco) current season of installations, happenings, discussions and workshops that address America’s sociopolitical climate using the agency of art and public engagement. The series, entitled NOW!, invites an evaluation of progress and demands an end to regressive values through direct action and counteraction.
Prentice asks do therapeutic practices and theories help or hinder social change? Considering the longstanding frictional relationship between Marxism and Freudian theory to the endpoint of today’s tendency to look for an analysis of political events in psychological terms, it would seem that therapy and politics make uneasy bedfellows.
Vanessa Richards will lead a conversation-in-action on the reclamation of the body as instrument of change and song in common life.
Marcus Youssef will share his insights on how good activism needs good theatre. He’ll address how the process of collaborating across difference affects, challenges, and strengthens creative practice.
Buster Simpson will speak about how aesthetics can provoke curiosity, discovery and connections that reveal the multiple, sometimes conflicting layers of meaning intrinsic to place. In this way artists working in the public realm can provide a counter balance and edge to the proliferation of the notion of spectacle, such as “way finding”, “branding” and “identity packaging”.
Reflecting on texture: riparian to foreshore. Cecily Nicholson will talk on poetics entrenched in movement, studies that contribute to all sorts of connection, such as solidarity, and undoing, such as decolonization. “there can, of course, be no apolitical…” (Mohanty, 1984).
Koh will open a conversation with other producers about working between typical disciplines. The idea of interdisciplinarity or boundary-crossing may be quite fashionable academically, but actually attempting to make headway outside one’s field of specialization can be fraught with frustration — and filled with potential. Koh will speak to the feeling of being always “in-between” and her impulse to move her work outside of the gallery system, in the belief that it can make a bigger difference there.
Taking Habitat Forum 1976 as a model for the confluence of design, politics, art and community, Brown will look at the current situation in Vancouver regarding public space, land use policy and political maneuvering by our civic government and real estate developers. She will contrast approaches to land use and speculation in UN Habitat’s “New Urban Agenda” of 2016 and its more radical predecessor, the Vancouver Declaration of 1976, to provide context for Vancouver’s increasing abdication of meaningful, politically potent public spaces and public art practice.
Chris Williams is an environmental scholar and activist based in New York and focused on the topic of the eco-socialism. His talk assesses the interrelationships between our economic system and the environmental crisis, between the convergence of planetary and social degradation, and offers suggestions and insights into possible alternatives. This talk was originally aired on Alternative Radio and recorded in San Luis Obispo, CA on May 15, 2016.
Justin Langlois and Holly Schmidt will share their research into the creation of The Floating School, a multi-year artist-led research, production, and programming initiative that will explore retreat as both a theoretical and methodological proposition. From its physical infrastructure to its curricular framework, The Floating School will examine retreat as necessary indulgence, retreat as long-term strategy, and retreat as active movement in an opposite direction.
Stephen Collis, Genevieve Robertson and Jay White will talk about their ongoing shared investigation into the actual physical places the existing and proposed gas, oil and fuel transmission sites along the local shoreline (from Woodfibre Liquid Fracked Gas at Squamish to the Westshore Coal export terminal in Tswassen). It is a project that integrates their practices as poet, artists and activists.
Kimberly Phillips will talk about Access Gallery’s current traveling artist residency, Twenty-Three Days at Sea, particularly questions it provokes about definitions of emergence, risk, and the role of the artist as “witness.”
The Games are Open documents the transformation of Folke Köbberling and Martin Kaltwasser’s bulldozer sculpture that occupied interim lands on the edge of Vancouver’s Olympic Village, while Deadhead explores the process and ideas behind Cedric, Nathan and Jim Bomford’s ambitious floating artwork.