August 20th 2015
Our final tour of the season was last Thursday, thanks to all of the hardworking artists and volunteers involved, as well as our partner organizations, sponsors and audience members who continue to surprise us with their curiosity, trust and energy. If you were one of the 450 people lucky enough to join us last Thursday, read-on to remind yourself of what you saw. If you weren’t able to be there and are wondering what you missed this time around then read-on for a full recap and credits for the tour.
This tour started in Dufferin Grove Park, thanks to the wonderful park staff who allowed us use of the green space. We were joined as per usual by our charismatic emcee Shamez Amlani, and musician Richard Underhill who helped corral the group with his stellar saxophone playing. Jon’s Pops were on-hand serving icy treats as well as the volunteer team from Bike Pirates who were providing free bike tune-ups before the ride. Sitting in on our Rickshaw Residency (pedal-powered by Daniel Goggin) was our August resident Kaile H. Glick from the Spontaneous Prose Store. She spent the duration of the tour in the rickshaw balancing a typewriter on her lap as she composed beautiful works of prose poetry for participants on the fly.
We headed west for our first stop, which was an immersive performance piece titled, We burrowers of the amplitude of time, a work in two parts created by Linda Duvall and Art Spin’s own Rui Pimenta. During part I the audience was slowly led into a 9 foot deep, 2000 sqft hole specifically excavated for this project. This still and contemplative space sits in the shadow of the Tower Automotive Building, a location deliberately selected due to Art Spin’s history with this building. Once the entire audience was in the hole and the entry ramp removed, members of Christine Duncan’s Element Choir, conducted on this occasion by Juliet Palmer, began to sing amongst the audience members in low, earth-inspired tones.
Part II of this work led the audience out of the hole in a procession to witness a call an answer between opera singer Bó Bárdos and the choir members, as well as many audience members who were inspired to join in. Bó slowly ascended an austere looking pile of land fill with the sun slowly setting in the background. The work was moving and dramatic and proved to be a fascinating social experiment in ritualized group behaviour.
Our second stop led us into a different kind of hole, this one a sunken courtyard amongst some industrial buildings on Morrow Ave. We all descended a staircase into the space to find harpist Emily Belvedere beautifully lit and waiting for us on a makeshift stage of shipping palettes. She performed a contemporary piece by French-Canadian composer Caroline Lizotte titled Suite Galactique that took us on a journey through three movements from the upper atmospheres in space, back down to earth exploring notions of war, storytelling, and human celebration. It was a moving piece that was received with rapt attention and a thunderous ovation by the audience.
We then rode north along Dundas W. to a dark, vast school yard where we projected a short selection of films programmed by Rob Santaguida. The first film was Untitled by Julia von Leliwa, an experimental German work made in 2012 by a fashion designer. The second, J. by Solomon Nagler and Alexandre Larose (2008) was created using found footage rescued from a trash can. The third work Kingdom Come: Rituals (2014) by Vika Kirchenbauer and Martin Sulzer is another German work, created by attaching a small camera to a carrier pigeon and setting it loose above a political demonstration in the streets of a city. The nervous flapping of wings jostles the camera, creating chaotic and shaky footage and takes the audience on a frantic flight.
For our final stop of the night we arrived at Robert Kananaj Gallery where their RKG Fourth Anniversary group show was on display. The alleyway space outside the gallery played host to a series of video projections programmed by Pleasure Dome. Their programme By the Light of the Moon was curated by Jesse Cumming and Samuel la France. Inspired by Art Spin’s commitment to exploration, adventure and to activating sites in new ways, this series of films explored the ways in which our immediate environment can prove as unfamiliar and mystical as the reaches of outer space. See below for a full list of the films included in this special programme.
Our after-party turned into a full-blown dance party thanks to DJ General Eclectic who spent the night spinning tunes for us. We didn’t have to dance on empty stomachs though, thanks to Bunz Urban Cuisine who joined us with their delicious fare. More thanks to the generous folks at Kronenbourg in particular Steve Reble for their support all season long. Big cheer for our bartenders Will, Billy and Imad, and to all of our other volunteers for lending a hand in the clean-up.
This tour, like all of our events would not be possible without our stellar team of volunteers. Many of our dedicated bike marshalls come to us from Bike Pirates and the Community Bicycle Network, we really appreciate the constant support from these two organizations. More thanks to our ticketing team on this tour Jordyn Stewart and Owen Ardal, our friend Ben Hermann for all that he does, John Santos for his work with our AV equipment, and to Carey Jernigan for going above and beyond with her woodworking skills. Our documentary team included Priam Thomas on the ground taking beautiful still photos (all that you see here), with Adam Seward in the sky taking swooping aerial video. Many thanks to Robert and Roberta Kananaj for being such gracious hosts and sharing their space.
By the Light of the Moon - Pleasure Dome programme
Curated by Jesse Cumming and Samuel La France
Inspired by Art Spin’s adventurous spirit and commitment to exploration, touring and activating sites in a way that encourages us to see anew that which might seem familiar, this program invites the audience to consider our complex relationship to the earth via a cinematic journey to the moon and back. Adapted from a Pleasure Dome program on deception to be presented in Paris this fall, these selected works explore the ways in which our immediate environment can prove as unfamiliar and mystical as the reaches of outer space.
Beginning first with Christina Battle's Tracking Sasquatch (Field Report #1), a terrestrial search for the unknown, we move to Aaron Zeagher’s Conspiracy, which troubles the already-shaky collective memory of the Apollo lunar missions by way of of Bart Sibrel, alliteratively described by the artist as “one of the world’s leading lunar landing conspiracy theory lunatics.” Malena Szlam and Ben Balcom then guide us upward through trees and cityscapes towards the night sky, crafting abstract images that upset our familiar and seemingly reliable relationship to the Earth’s only natural satellite.
The artists’ command of their medium renders malleable the moon’s tremendous form, a mastery echoed in Josh Romphf’s Process Control 2: High Magenta, as our gaze turns back toward the Earth. Here, a code intended for film restoration is used to manipulate and deconstruct iconic imagery of Mt. Fuji and its surrounding area, splintering notions of accurate representation along with the images themselves. Carried to its conclusion, we land not-so-safely with Jon Rafman's You, The World, and I, wherein representation serves to displace the original, Google Maps serves as its own discrete planet, and a memory serves for nothing without an image to uphold it.
Tracking Sasquatch (Field Report #1) (Dir. Christina Battle, 2010, Canada, 4:50) (preview at cfmdc.org)
Conspiracy (Dir. Aaron Zeghers, 2014, Canada, 6:01)
Lunar Almanac (Dir. Malena Szlam, 2013, Canada, 4:00)
Celestial Object (Dir. Ben Balcom, 2015, USA, 9:24)
Process Control 2: High Magenta (Dir. Josh Romphf, 2015, Canada, 4:10)
You, The World and I (Dir. Jon Rafman, 2010, Canada, 6:24)
Total runtime: 35 min.