AUGUST 8th Bike tour 2021
SUNDAY AUGUST 8th, 6:30pm
This was our first bike tour since since 2018, as we took 2019 off to curate our Nuit Blanche exhibition, and then in 2020 the pandemic forced us to postpone our programming. We were thrilled to bring these projects, long in the works, to our audience and to see all of their glowing faces again. As part of the usual thrill and mystery of the Art Spin tour experience, specific details about the programming and locations were kept secret until the day of the tour, but we did reveal that we had four newly commissioned projects to share. We premiered an exciting film by adelheid, a dance piece choreographed by Amanda Acorn with live sound by Matt Smith, a duet with a giant light cube by Pulga Muchochoma, and a humorous and potentially heartbreaking performance by Jon Sasaki. The tour was led by trumpeter and Art Spin veteran emcee Michael Louis Johnson, along the course of the tour we had musical accompaniment from DJ General Eclectic and his Boom Bike.
Thank you to all of our volunteers, partners, collaborators and supporters who make Art Spin possible. This bike tour was presented with funding from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council. Thanks to CycleTo for a call out to their volunteer bike marshalls to help us keep our group safe.
ARTISTS & Creative Collaborators
Amanda Acorn, Khadija Aziz, DJ General Eclectic, Justine Durand, Michael Louis Johnson, Syreeta Hector, Jane-Alison McKinney, Jeremy Mimnagh, Pulga Muchochoma, Bee Pallomina, Amanda Pye, Peter Rahul, Calder Ross, Jon Sasaki, Karl Skene, Matt Smith, Heidi Strauss, Ann Trépanier, Shaheer Zazai.
Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, ShowLoveTO, City of Toronto, artsvest, adelheid, Vector Festival, Inter/Access, The Boom Bike, Geary Factory Lofts, Hoop Driver, Solotech
Presented in a grassy hydro corridor, this performance was choreographed and directed by Amanda Acorn and performed and created with Matt Smith, Ann Trépanier and Bee Pallomina. This iteration of No Place, adapted for the bike tour, is an excerpt of a full length work in development for 5 dancers. The work explores the body in dialogue with the more than human world. No place considers the notion of utopia as an emergent, embodied practice and an evolving relationship to space and place.
Be sure to follow this project to see how it develops and for a chance to see the final and fullest version in a future presentation.
The audience found Jon waiting for us at a dead end road. His challenge was to create a rudimentary and functioning bicycle out of a single sheet of 4x4 plywood and other hardware store bits and bobs. A countdown clock was set to 30 minutes, were he to succeed he would get to ride away with the Art Spin audience, but should he fail we were to leave him behind when the clock hit zero.
With lots of cheering and audience encouragement, Jon worked swiftly and accomplished a functioning bicycle within 23 minutes, just in time to ride away – at least for half a block – with the group into the sunset.
We were thrilled to premiere Present Absence, a work of dance for film that we produced last summer while we had access to a large warehouse space at the corner of Dupont and Dovercourt. With covid restrictions in place we filmed each dancer separately, and have enjoyed seeing how they have come together in the film through the final edit. With only 3 days in the space to both rehearse and film, we have been so impressed with the ability of the artists to be so responsive and nimble in the creation of the work.
The film is presented with adelheid, with Heidi Strauss directing/choreographing, camera and editing by Jeremy Mimnagh, music by Joshua Van Tassel and performances by Jane Alison McKinney, Amanda Pye and Syreeta Hector. Thanks to producer Rachel Penny, production assistant Dedra McDermott, lighting designer Rebecca Picherack and key grip Charissa Wilcox.
We paired dancer and choreographer Pulga Muchochoma with this cube-shaped light installation by Calder Ross and Karl Skene to create a performance that collaborates with the sculptural form. We were blown away by the results of this creative pairing, Pulga choreographed and performed an energetic dance inspired by and in synchronicity with an amazing lighting design and programming by Calder and Karl. The work was created in response to the boundaries of the cube, the dancer searching for a way from the inside to the outside of this space as if he was being born and set off on a life journey, tracing a path through movement that is both familiar and unfamiliar.
OTher PROJECTS & PERFORMANCES
At our final stop in an old button factory at 300 Geary Ave. we presented an exhibition of four GIF artworks that use abstraction and repetition to simulate the hypnotic effects of social media scrolling. GIFs by Khadija Aziz, Justine Durand, Peter Rahul, and Shaheer Zazai were presented in partnership with InterAccess and Vector Festival. Thanks to Geary Factory Lofts for providing access to this inspiring raw warehouse space.
Photos by Priam Thomas.