Video Pool Media Arts Centre proudly celebrated 25 years of
support to Manitoban artists through the commission of six projects by
seven artists who have made dynamic contributions to Video Pool's
history and to media arts in Canada.
Daniel Barrow. Still from "Trying to Love the Normal Amount", 2008
Temporarily Out of Order: Downtime, curated by Sigrid Dahle, and Seen/Unseen: Light Play, curated by Grant Guy,
embraced themes emphasizing key notions and material qualities
particular to media arts practices. The themes befit the occasion of
Video Pool’s anniversary by simultaneously harkening back to media
art’s primal scene of light first being captured as image, and
anticipating the future of new media art as a form being assimilated
rapidly into larger cultural discourses while outmoded technologies
decay. At times, media art is approached as a problem: what is the
importance of new technologies to new media works, and what happens
when the technologies don’t work?
The curators noticed a
The commissioned works purposefully introduced a ghost into the machine of media art. Daniel Barrow
curious shift in media arts practices – as technology-based arts have
matured, artists appeared to be using electronic media to replicate the
past rather than to speculate on the future. They described an aesthetic
attitude particularly suited to Winnipeg as a city equally haunted and
inspired by the past. It was a view of technology as something mythical
and broken, as opposed to clean and slick.
worked with outdated technologies, such as an ‘80s era Amiga editing
station and an overhead projector to re-imagine early animation
techniques. Peter Courtemanche and Lori Weidenhammer evoked Dr. Frankenstein through the haunting of clothing with circuitry to electronically revive mythological creatures. Richard Dyck encouraged us to scrutinize the surface of a mysteriously ominous vintage photograph. Steven Loft
explored societal rather than technological disintegration by drawing
attention to the racism exhibited by the broken down and the down and
out. Injecting manipulated images of the natural world into constructed
environments, Sharon Alward and Victoria Prince
escaped the hustle of our technology-obsessed society to achieve time
and space for meditative contemplation. Most significantly, each of the
featured projects focused on creating an active media arts experience.
The works were showcased over six weeks as follows:
With an illustrious honour from the Toronto Images Festival (April 3-13, 2008) Daniel Barrow's work
was presented at the Plug In ICA's satellite space, which is at 290
McDemot Ave. The exhibition opened on Saturday, April 12 and ran until
Saturday April 19.On that note, at the
Images Festival Award Daniel was presented with the Prize for Best Canadian Media Artwork for his performance project, Every Time I See Your Picture I Cry.
Winnipeg based multi- disciplinary artist Victoria Prince's sculptural video installation was presented at the Adhere and Deny Pocket Theatre on 70 Albert Street on April 18 and ran until April 25th, 2008
Richard Dyck's new media installation, The day we cut Nettie's curls, she was 7 years old, was presented on April 2nd at Aceartinc on 290 McDermot Ave and continued on until May 2nd, 2008.
Peter Courtemanche and Lori Weidenhammer's "The Laughing Dress" performed on April 24th and 25th at the PLATFORM Centre for Photographic + Digital Arts, on100 Arthur St.
Steve Lofts's " A History of Two Parts" opened May 6 at The Duke of Kent Legion, on 227 McDermot Ave.
The exhibition was presented in-part through the generosity of On Screen Manitoba
Sharon Alward's latest collaboration with Alex Poruchnyk, a
performance-driven video installation titled Bushi,
opened Friday May 16th and continued on until May 24, 2008. The work
was showcased from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the Rachel Browne Theater, which
is on 211 Bannatyne Ave. (formerly the Winnipeg Contemprary Dancers
For more information about Sharon Alward and Bushi, please visit: http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~alward/Bushi and http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~alward/Bushi2.htm
Pool's 25th Anniversary Commissions were made possible by the generous
support of the Winnipeg Arts Council through the New Creations Fund.
Further financial contributions have been kindly provided by:
Pool is also pleased to acknowledge contributions from numerous local
organizations; we are deeply grateful for their partnership and
ADHERE + DENY
The Duke of Kent Legion
Reviews and Previews:
Video Pool marks 25 years with new works
Stacey Abrahamson, Winnipeg Free Press, April 25, 2008
Video Pool Media Arts Centre has much to celebrate on its 25th birthday.
organization has promoted, pushed and loved video art since the early
days of the medium. Rooted in community art ideals, Video Pool has been
one of the most welcoming homes of creativity in Canada — it began as
a way for artists interested in working in video to "pool" together
celebrate its anniversary, Video Pool commissioned six new media art
works by Prairie artists through local curators Grant Guy and Sigrid
Dahle. Each of these works gets a one-week run at various locations in
the Exchange District. Dahle commissioned Richard Dyck, Steven Loft and
the collaborative artistic duo of Peter Courtemanche and Lori
Weidenhammer through the curatorial concept of Temporarily out of order: downtime. Seen/Unseen is the curatorial vision of Guy through the work of Sharon Alward, Daniel Barrow and Victoria Prince.
curatorial intent has more to do with performance-based artists and
their works, while Dahle's intent has more to do with the
vulnerabilities that occur within both the technology surrounding video
and the artists who make the works. Both concepts are true to the
beginnings of Video Pool, where both performance and conceptual art
came together to create a base for artists looking to explore the new
medium of video art.
The works by Dyck and Prince are currently showing. Barrow's Trying to Love the Normal Amount
was the first of the works to debut in the city on April 12. Barrow
normally performs his animations by overlapping colourful
transparencies onto one another to create movement and life on screen.
In this case, he puts the role of performer onto the audience. Audience
members are invited to perform the work through the directions on a
screen that's set up like a karaoke prompter. They are asked to play
out the sad tale of a woman looking for love and comfort.
Dyck's work always has a feeling of home and history. His video The day we cut Nettie's curls, she was 7 years old
is no different. Taking the story behind a 1947 photograph, Dyck
creates a 3-D environment that explores the twists and turns of its
tale. The environment is a series of black and white hills and gorges
that the viewer travels through with the assistance of a glowing tonal
orb. The sadness and strength of the story that is told through text on
the screen is heightened by the silence in the room and the 3-D space.
Dyck invites the viewers to ponder the scene and story that is given to
them through the serenity of the created artificial hush of its
the stairs to Prince's installation, the viewer is pummelled with the
powerful fragrance of incense. When the viewer reaches the top of the
stairs and the entrance to the installation room, the scent becomes
almost unbearable. The candle-lit room holds Light and Alter,
Prince's glistening watery installation. Two Plexiglas waterfalls stand
on either side of a stone- and salt-laden path leading into a video
projection and light. Viewers are invited to walk through the path to
what Prince calls a "tabernacle."
creates a new media metaphor of spirituality that is not only witnessed
but experienced, and is unlike any work she has done before.
to come are works by Alward, Loft and the duo of Courtemanche and
Weidenhammer, details of which can be found on the Video Pool website.
six commissions and artists represent a sampling of the best artists
working in new media in Canada. It is a fabulous way to celebrate the
organization's achievements and is indicative of the creative and
conceptual past it has had and the potential of its future.
Into the Light
Check out this fantastic 25th Anniversary coverage by Whitney Light that appeared in an edition of Uptown.
Click on the image to read the full article…
We were very happy to discover Walter Forsberg's preview of our 25th Anniversary programming in Uptown Magazine. We're sure this will mean an even bigger party tonight!
Click on the image for a larger version…
25 Years of Video Pool
Mike Landry, walrusmagazine.com/blogs, April 16th, 2008
To celebrate its twenty-fifth anniversary, Winnipeg’s
media art centre made a poster detailing its history. But the
twenty-five year history of an artist-run centre is as harried as they
come. Rather than a straight timeline, Video Pool’s history looks more
like a brainstorming session gone wrong. In the aptly titled
The Incomplete, Contested, Anecdotal, Unedited, Messy, Nostalgic, Faulty, Controversial History of Video Pool So Far…
,bubbles of people, places, moments in time, and minor scandals are connected with AV cables.
Video Pool isn’t just celebrating their milestone with a poster. For
the next month Video Pool takes Winnipeg by storm with six commissioned
works from the centre at spaces around town.
The works are from two big names in Winnipeg: Sigrid Dahle, and Grant Guy.
Dahle has been living and working as a risk-taking independent curator
in Winnipeg about as long as Video Pool has been around. Guy, who comes
from a background in theatre, has been involved with the centre from
the very beginning.
Pool’s initial idea was to have the curators explore media art’s past,
present, and future. But both Dahle and Guy took that theme in their
own direction, and commissioned artists at different stages in their
career who all have ties to Video Pool. Having a diverse representation
is always important to Video Pool, says programming coordinator Milena
“It’s really about
keeping the dialogue going between different generations and making
sure everyone has access to what they need at all points in their
Dahle commissioned Steven Loft, Richard Dyck,
and Lori Weidenhammer and Peter Courtemanche to explore “the
implications of an artwork in which vulnerability, failure,
requirements for regular maintenance and a reliance on (unstable)
shared networks are foregrounded?” Loft tackles the question with a
video installation tackling the racism, violence, and filth of an
average Manitoba video lottery terminal-cursed bar. Weidenhammer and
Courtemanche combine performance and sound art with a dress laden with
speakers. But it’s Dyck who takes the cake for the most mind-altering
reaction to Dahle’s question, “How might [a] piece’s ‘malfunctioning’
serve to create a time and space for quiet contemplation and memory.”
He does this with a computer program simulating a camera moving through
a 3D rendering of a photograph from 1947 according to mathematical
algorithms that result in a new video each time. Yowzah.
Guy combined his theatrical background with the performance aspects of media art. He did this by asking Daniel Barrow, Victoria Prince, and Sharon Alward
to address the concept of light as material or metaphor. Barrow does
this a do-it-yourself version of his famed overhead projection
performance. Alward brings a healthy dose of insanity with her
not-quite-in-performance piece featuring martial arts and one-on-one
tea ceremonies. And Prince used her commission as an opportunity to
branch out from her single-channel work, presenting a video-based
sculptural installation that includes water and salt, among other
For those familiar
with Video Pool from the beginning, it should be no surprise they used
this celebration to commission new work. That’s exactly why Video Pool
was founded in the first place. Well, that and to pool video resources.
it is something designed with a celebration in mind and also designed
specifically for our programming as opposed to just supporting
production in principle makes it quite original for what we normally
undertake,” says Placentile.
Video Pool doesn’t have its own programming space, it has partnered
with several Winnipeg galleries and theatres to exhibit the new works.
With such a tight-knit community though it wasn’t a problem getting
collaborators for Video Pool’s celebration. For Placentile, who moved
to Winnipeg from Toronto recently, it’s exactly this atmosphere that
something as simple as loaning equipment and then even sharing space,
it can just happen in a flash. Everyone realizes how important it is to
do that to be here and be successful”
a little film collective that blossomed into a non-profit artist-run
centre, Video Pool certainly has grown up. Rightly, this celebration
marks its most ambitious year yet. Increased planning has led to more
generous grants, which in turn has led to more programming. There’s
even talk of trying to tour the six new works. With their artists
becoming more and more recognized, Video Pool is starting to receive
replies to their emails from around the world.
Winnipeg though, people just appreciate that Video Pool exists. With
new and expensive technologies like high-definition media, the centre
is the only place where many artists can dream of accessing these
for people to enter, and they have ideas of what they want to make and
do, and being part of a larger community makes it all possible,” says
Placentile. “This is what drew me to Winnipeg, and Video Pool really