A School for Design Fiction
As our contribution to Vancouver Design Week, the CAG is
working with James Langdon, recipient of the 2012 Inform
Award for Conceptual Design, presented by the Museum
of Contemporary Art Leipzig, Germany. Langdon will
offer a short course in reading objects, environments and
messages. Stimulated by the curious genre of design fiction, the programme asserts storytelling as the primary function of design. Langdon will conduct a three day workshop on September 16–18 exploring narrative approaches to design, a series of connected exercises subjecting a collection of found materials to various manual and conceptual processes.
The workshop is not concerned with speculative design or futurism, but with documenting and manipulating the narrative potential of ordinary artefacts through conside ration of their essence; their relations with each other; and the meanings they might be made to express.
Space is limited to 12 participants. further information at
email@example.com or 604 681 2700.
Life Drawing Workshop: The Dancer’s Foot
Hosted by Field House Artist in Residence: Brendan Fernandes
Contemporary Art Gallery
(555 Nelson st.)
Tuesday July 15, 7-8:30pm
Free: Limited space, please RSVP to Learning@contemporaryartgallery.ca
Join our summer artist in residence Brendan Fernandes for a unique life drawing class focused on the dancer’s foot. Fernandes has invited dancers from BC Ballet to model their well-trained feet for drawing. Basic drawing materials will be supplied (paper, pencils, conte and charcoal) but participants are welcome to bring their own.MORE
September 10, 2014
The Russian Hall
600 Campbell Avenue, Vancovuer
Anne Riley, Charlotte Newman, Hannah Axen, Kelly McInnes, Kristina Jaggard, Lexi Vajda, Maia Nichols, Matilda Cobanli, Natalie Tin Yin Gan, Ryan Genoe, Sophia Wolfe
Over the course of ten weeks, the Contemporary Art Gallery brought together eleven emerging artists to explore the intersection between dance, choreography and visual art in its inaugural Summer Intensive. This has culminated in the production of a new choreographic work, 600 Campbell.
Considering the absence and presence of objects and bodies, this durational performance examines ways in which each happening intersects with another, connecting the work, the audience and the space. The artists collaborate to present the viewer with an invitation for interaction, allowing them to influence the work and the space both as observers and active contributors.
We acknowledge the generous support of the British Columbia Arts Council Council Youth Engagement Program.MORE
Saturday June 14, 12–4pm
Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Mainland and Davie Street
Free, no registration required
Closing reception at the CAG, 6–9pm
Vancouverites of all ages are invited to take part in free hands-on drawing workshops, across the city in community centres, museums, art galleries, and on the street! Workshops, developed and led by professional artists, offer the opportunity
to rediscover drawing in everyday life. This day-long, city-wide celebration focuses on the process, pleasure and diversity of drawing, rather than on skill and technical ability.
For Vancouver Draw Down 2014 CAG hosts a workshop that works directly with Penner Bancroft’s installation at Yaletown-Roundhouse Station. Participants will develop their own collective drawing collage by taking tracings of Bancroft’s branches and adding them to an ever growing communal drawing.MORE
The City in Motion
CAG/TELUS Garden Public Art Commission
November, 2014 – February, 2015
This fall the CAG embarked on a unique public art commission and intensive program for emerging artists ages 17 to 25 years old. Selected to develop a community-based permanent multimedia installation for the TELUS office located in the new TELUS Garden building on West Georgia Street in downtown Vancouver, the CAG has organized The City in Motion, an intensive four month program for emerging artists interested in investigating the city through the frame of moving images. Supported by Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society and led by artist/mentors Josh Hite and Brian Lye, participants will consider how the city is documented and can be pictured through film, video and new media. The young artists will engage with the histories of documentary film and the city archive, interrogating contemporary forms of documentation from smart phones and social media to surveillance recordings. Youth will respond to the ideologies, perceptions and histories of the city, culminating in the production of a new commission for the TELUS Garden building.
This innovative program is an opportunity for youth to experiment with various media, offering training and mentorship on the concepts, documentation tactics and technical logistics for developing video/film/new media work. Through studio and gallery visits, workshops and screenings the group will be connected to Vancouver’s cultural community. Cineworks will host a screening of completed works in February 2015.MORE
The City in Motion
CAG/Telus Garden Public Art Commission
Call for participants aged 17 to 25yrs old
November 2014 – February 2015
This fall, the Contemporary Art Gallery (CAG) is embarking on a unique public art commission and intensive program for emerging artists (ages 17 to 25 yrs old). The CAG has been selected by Telus to develop a community-based permanent multimedia installation for the Telus office located in the new Telus Garden building on West Georgia Street in downtown Vancouver. Through this invitation, the CAG has organized, The City in Motion, an intensive four month program for emerging artists interested in investigating the city through the frame of moving images. Supported by Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society and led by artist/mentors Josh Hite, Brian Lye and Jem Noble, participants will consider how the city has and is documented and envisioned through film, video and new media, engaging with the histories of documentary film and the city archive, and interrogating contemporary forms of documentation from smart phones videos and social media to surveillance recordings. Youth will respond to the ideologies, perceptions and histories of the city, culminating in the production of a permanent work at the Telus Garden building
This innovative program is an opportunity for youth to experiment with various media, offering training and mentorship on the concepts, documentation tactics and technical logistics for developing video/film/new media work. Through studio and gallery visits, workshops and screenings will also be connected to Vancouver’s cultural community. Designed to immerse participants in a rigorous schedule that supports the process of developing an idea into a final permanent installation, the CAG is targeting self-motivated individuals interested in collaborating in the process of creating a collaborative public art commission.
This innovative program is an opportunity for youth to experiment with various media, offering training and mentorship on the concepts, documentation tactics and technical logistics for developing video/film/new media work. Through studio and gallery visits, workshops and screenings the group will be connected to Vancouver’s cultural community. Cineworks will host a screening of completed works in February 2015.
To enroll: Send a letter of interest (500 words max) introducing yourself and outlining your interest in the program to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday November 14, 5pm.
For more information on the project, contact: Shaun Dacey, Curator, Learning and Public Programs : email@example.com or 604-681-2700MORE
Hello all! My name is Jas Lally and for the next 10 months I will be working as the Programs Assistant. I am excited to work with Shaun Dacey, Curator of Learning and Public Programs, the staff and volunteers at the CAG. I have been working and volunteering in the arts for the past few years and some of you may have seen me at the Vancouver Art Gallery and Access. I worked a the Vancouver Art Gallery for 5 years in Visitor Services and Administration where I was able to meet local and international artists. At Access, where I first met and worked with Shaun, I was able to work one-on-one with the Director/Curator and artists. I really enjoyed this more intimate level of work.
My experiences at both galleries solidified my choice in pursing my Masters in the History of Art which I recently completed at the University of Birmingham, UK. I studied at the Barber Institute of Fine Art where I co-curated an exhibition on portraiture with the Barber and the National Portrait Gallery. I also completed my dissertation on exhibition practices where I examined why textiles change meaning when exhibited. I was able to use Lady Barber’s lace collection as my case study. My time at the Barber gave me perspective and hands on experiences into the multidisciplinary world of curatorial.
My first introduction to the CAG came only three days after starting when I helped set up and greet guests at the CAG’s annual Art Auction. The auction went really well and it was such an exciting way to start a new job! My new role will allow me to help coordinate some interesting learning programs. For example, we recently launched the Telus Garden project, The City in Motion, where 11 young emerging artists are creating an original film to be permanently installed at the new Telus building. Look out for my blog on this project where you can follow along on the progress. I have also started to work with the artist in residence at the Burrard Marina Field House. The CAG recently hosted Fluid Frames: Filmmakers Series with Ben Russell. We hosted a film social at the Field House.
Look back to the CAG’s Blog for exciting updates about what I’m getting up to!
PS: if you haven’t already seen When Sky was Sea by Shimabuku drop by and say hello and sign up to attend one of the talks on the exhibition!
PSS: Did you hear about our exciting new project in partnership with Ballet BC? and in association with the Art|Basel Crowdfunding Initiative and commissioning artists John Wood and Paul Harrison? to find out more click here: http://bit.ly/cagXbbc
See you at the CAG soon! – Jas LallyMORE
We are very excited to launch and follow the progress of our Kickstarter campaign for a new partnership commission with Ballet BC and artists Wood & Harrison. Since launching last week we have 12 initial backers and lots of press on the project.
Click below to read what they are saying about us!
More on the project….
The CAG and Ballet BC in association with the Art|Basel Crowdfunding Initiative are excited to announce a new project.
For our project, selected by independent jury for Art|Basel’s curated page on Kickstarter, we are commissioning visual artists John Wood and Paul Harrison to team with the renowned dancers of Ballet BC, to produce a collaborative cross-disciplinary performance combining the very best in both contemporary dance and visual art.
The funds will be used to bring the visual artists to Vancouver for an intensive development period during spring and fall 2015 with the premiere in 2016.
The collaboration between CAG and Ballet BC recognizes the distinctive contribution each of us brings to the project, making the whole much bigger than the sum of its constituent parts. Our supporters are a major part of this, extending that partnership into a broader sense of sharing and building a real community involvement in this dynamic venture.
The cost of developing and producing such a commission can often be prohibitive despite the strength of idea and partners involved. While accessing of funds for the actual production and performances in 2016 provides many openings, the research phase is where we need help now. We need assistance in supporting the artists’ commissioning fees and expenses in order to get the project started.
We need to bring the artists to Vancouver for the research/development phase, an initial one week orientation and introduction in April-May 2015 where ideas can be discussed and meetings made, to be followed by a second two week intensive period developing the project through a series of rehearsals and workshops.
The completed work will receive its premiere in Vancouver in 2016 and then have potential to be presented on tour.
Since Wood and Harrison’s first collaboration in 1993, their work has evolved from single shot ‘studies’ filmed against neutral backgrounds to longer pieces in which a sequence of actions unfold within constructed locations that have more implicit meaning and contribute to greater narrative complexity. Pieces maintain a strict internal logic, with the action directly related to the duration of the work. Inside this ‘logical world’ action is allowed to happen for no apparent reason, tensions build between the environment and its inhabitant, play is encouraged and the influences on the work are intentionally mixed.
Why should you support it?
This cross-disciplinary approach to contemporary culture signals an ambitious attempt to join together in the production of what will be a major new work, combining great opportunities for artists and audiences alike. This project will be a first for all involved, marking a significant and transformative partnership between each institution as well as an exciting and key opportunity for all artists. For Wood and Harrison, despite their work often being written about in relation to contemporary dance, it will be the first time they have ever worked toward a live performance.
- Jill HendersonMORE
Over the course of ten weeks, the Contemporary Art Gallery brought together eleven emerging artists: Anne Riley, Charlotte Newman, Hannah Axen, Kelly McInnes, Kristina Jaggard, Lexi Vajda, Maia Nichols, Matilda Cobanli, Natalie Tin Yin Gan, Ryan Genoe, Sophia Wolfe to explore the intersection between dance, choreography and visual art in our inaugural Summer Intensive. Working with mentors: Justine Chambers, Delia Brett, Daelik and Burrard Marina Field House Studio resident Brendan Fernandes the group participated in studio visits, gallery tours, performance workshops and seminars throughout the summer. This culminated in the production of a one evening installation/durational performance work titled 600 Campbell, at the Russian Hall on September 10.
Considering the absence and presence of objects and bodies, the group developed a series of performances and installations examining ways in which each piece intersects with another, connecting the work, the audience and the space. The artists collaborate to presented the viewer with an invitation for interaction, allowing them to influence the work and the space both as observers and active contributors. The evening was a huge success with well over a hundred people stopping by throughout the night participating in the various performances ranging from audio works and overhead projector performance to a durational chair performance in the main auditorium. Check out the pics!
We are working on a video of the evening we will be posting soon!
We acknowledge the generous support of the British Columbia Arts Council Council Youth Engagement Program.
As our contribution to Vancouver Design Week, the CAG worked with James Langdon, recipient of the 2012 Inform Award for Conceptual Design, presented by the Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig, Germany. Langdon presented a short course and workshop in reading objects, environments and messages. Stimulated by the curious genre of design fiction, the programme asserts storytelling as the primary function of design. Langdon conducted a three day workshop on September 16–18 exploring narrative approaches to design, a series of connected exercises subjecting a collection of found materials to various manual and conceptual processes.
CAG volunteer Sara Khan writes about her experiences taking part in the three day workshop:
As an artist who enjoys telling stories through two dimensional media, the School for Design fiction workshop caught my attention; I was curious about what fiction through design could entail. On our first day we were asked to bring in three objects, organic or designed. People brought along things ranging from eggshells and apples to metal birds, buttons, bottles, and moth traps.
Before we started working on the activity set for the day James Langdon had us watch a short film. It replayed the same event but with slight variations with each iteration. A human figure used different objects in unconventional ways, from dumping food on a laptop to sitting on a book instead of reading it. At a glance the human figure came across a sort of a machine that had malfunctioned. Mulling over the film afterward made me wonder about why objects around us are operated the way they are and have a specific function or name, how come we almost use them like robots not really questioning their history, form or task.
Once we started talking about the objects we’d brought along and the workshop progressed; I realised more and more that in the everyday structure and organization of things and lives, we had forgotten to ponder the existence of what surrounds us. It reminded me of Sartre’s Antoine in “Nausea” and how he wonders about the bark of a tree and why it is considered to be black.
As we arranged and rearranged the items with each other, we saw how meaning was added to or subtracted from them. One of the last exercises led some of us to completely deconstruct the objects we were working with; which resulted in a lot of them either being completely stripped off their meaning or not changing at all, which was interesting to see.
By the end of the workshop though, I think, perhaps we were reading too much into everything, as humans often do; put anything before us and we’ll make up a story. At this point we watched a documentary about the Piltdown man. The film reminded me of the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes.
It is amazing how if you put forth a thought with enough conviction and confidence most people will believe it as the truth. It makes me wonder what falsehoods lurk in our histories.
So, as we wonder in awe at the totality of this existence, it is important to question the things we experience.
- Sara Khan
Check out a selection of books by James Langdon in the CAG book shop, on a specially dedicated shelf.
A School for Design Fiction – workshop
16-18 September 2014, 6pm-9pm
This past Saturday, the CAG held its monthly Family Day. Participants crafted landscape collages in response to Kelly Richardson’s Legion. A few of the volunteers and I decided to have a little fun and create our own! From the beginning of my piece’s construction, I had a vague idea of what I wanted my collage to look like. Halfway through, however, I realized it had completely changed as I sorted through the materials we had and gained new inspiration.
Experiencing this process myself got me thinking about the art-making process in general. Artists may start with a certain idea about how they want a piece to look, but the finished product is often very different from the initial plan.
On looking through the CAG exhibition archives, an exhibition in 2010 by artist Elizabeth McIntosh, Violet’s Hair, explicitly seems to address the artistic process. Vancouver based, McIntosh is known for her abstract paintings. When one looks closely at many of her canvasses, faint clues to how the paintings have evolved can be seen. As well as a selection of paintings McIntosh also transformed a gallery room into a collage itself. Colours From a Story (2010) overlaid large, colourful pieces of paper in various sizes creating a sculptural representation of her art-making process. This piece addressed how McIntosh approaches painting; various colours overlapping creating new shapes and the painting itself revealing process and change.
This idea can also be applied to how we view art ourselves. Approaching art that we have never before seen, we often do so with uncertainty. One can never know how the experience will be until we are in front of it and letting our imagination run wild. Sometimes it is useful to wait to read about an exhibition until after you go through it for the first time, allowing yourself to creatively contemplate what it means to you at first glance.
We hope that you will visit us at the CAG for the next family day on Saturday, August, 30 (12-3pm) to enjoy the making and the experience of art.
- Kelli Sturkenboom, Communications internMORE
Brendan Fernandes, the CAG’s summer artist in residence has begun the creation process for his new work! I had the pleasure to visit Brendan during one of his rehearsals earlier this week. Fernandes talked about how he will incorporate themes of labour, the duration of time, notions of self-hood and identity into the creation of this piece.
He is challenging the notion of muscle memory and exploring ideas around the foot as a fetishized object. I’m excited to see how Fernandes will integrate notions of stillness and repetition into his piece. We will be following Fernandes’ creation and rehearsal process over the next few weeks, and stay tuned to find out details regarding his open in-progress performance.
- Lindsay Lachance
A Vancouver Draw Down report…
On Saturday June 14 I spent the afternoon at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station with CAG Development Assistant, Olivia and CAG volunteer, Alex as a part of Vancouver Draw Down: the annual city-wide event that invites Vancouverites of all ages to take part in various drawing activities.
The CAG’s contribution to the day-long event was Boulevard Station a drawing workshop that saw participants trace over the top of Marian Penner Bancroft’s installation Boulevard at the Canada Line’s Yaletown-Roundhouse Station.
Boulevard, a work of mirrored and kaleidoscoped Golden Elms and Sequoias trees, was a perfect venue for our tracing activity. All afternoon we traced different areas of Bancroft’s mural with charcoal, conte, pencils, markers or whatever else people wanted to work with! We got some amazing, creative and beautiful images! Even if the same spot was retraced, they still turned out looking unique and captivating. After each trace was finished we added them to a piece of plywood and created our own hybrid kaleidoscope community tree. It was amazing to see all the different styles, colours and lines that make up one abstract tree, see above for pics from the day and of the drawings made.
We had a great time and I can’t wait to be a part of more public program events at the CAG!