Sunday, April 6, 2014

New work, transforming work and travelling work.

This spring has been busy! Here's a quick update to let you know about some of the projects and screenings that'll happen over the next couple of months.

First up, my video Sink or Swim continues to travel as part of the One Minute Volume 7 series curated by Kerry Baldry. It'll be playing next @ the Steve Biko Centre in South Africa as part of the Ginsberg Film Festival, April 17th -21st, then back to the UK for a screening on May 2nd presented by Film Material Soup @ Rogue Artists Studios, Manchester. Then there's a longer run @ the Chester Film Co-op from May 15th - June 11th, including evening window projections onto the street. Here's a few links for more info:
http://www.sbf.org.za/Main_Site/steve-biko-centre www.facebook.com/chesterfilmcoop  http://filmmaterialsoup.wordpress.com http://www.rogueartistsstudios.co.uk

Next up, I'm very pleased to to have been asked to participate in the next Fuse, which happens @ the Vancouver Art Gallery on April 25th. The evening will be curated by the always enigmatic and aesthetically invigorating Veda Hille, so you know there'll be some interesting work infiltrating the gallery. The night's theme is Terrible Beauty, and I'll be creating a site-specific text installation for the event called Malefactor.  Here's my 'official' statement for the piece:

An admonition or an appeal; to witness or acquiesce? Malefactor is a text-based installation, a participatory narrative featuring 32 free standing, ‘human sized’ letters created specifically for Fuse. An avowal, or a plaint; to render or implicate? Over the course of the evening, as each character is revealed, words will take shape, ideas cohere, and assumptions blur. Symbols, a crowd  assembles in the rotunda and a pre-determined phrase will slowly become defined. It’s not what you think. Or say. It’s what you do. Privilege, accountability, proximity; the way we treat each other. Wonder and disbelief; the way we treat the earth. A terrible truth, a beautiful lie. Dissemble, defend or deny? A confession, an oath. A message, just for you, from me. You know who you are - My Name Is Scot

It's a new series of works, that I've been wanting to make for a while, so if you get a chance to come by for a look please let me know what you think! I'm not going to reveal Malefactor's actual cryptic phrase yet, but the above is a mock-up for a similar piece called Infrastructure.

I'm also thrilled to have been asked to create a new artist book for a series being assembled by the incredible Jo Cook of Perro Verlag  www.perroverlag.com/. The series explore notions of the paranormal and my contribution is tentatively titled - Invitation to Disappear. Not sure when the books will be out in the world, but I'll keep you posted.




And lastly, I'm excited to announce that be heading to Bulgaria this summer for a two month stay at the Sofia Art Residency to work on a project called Public Address with the brilliant writer, text based artist and wily collaborator, Leannej.

There will be an official announcement and press release in a few weeks, but here's the basics - The Sofia Art Residency is an wonderful new space masterminded by the brilliant Biliana Velkova (sofiaartresidency.wordpress.com) and while there, Leannej and I will be working with Bulgarian translators, actors and writers to adapt and re-stage elements of our performance Human Identification at a Distance, which we presented last summer as part of Live 2013 Performance Art Biennale. 


The project will lead to an exhibition of projections at the Red House Centre for Culture and Debate, curated by Yana Kostova (http://www.redhouse-sofia.org). We'll also be working with our Bulgarian collaborators to create and publish a series of artist books, which we will be bringing back with us to show in Vancouver this fall @ the Vancouver Art Book Fair through Project Space Gallery. 



Photos Credit: Juergen Fritz, 2103


Lot's to do before I head off in May for Sofia, but it'd be nice to see you before I go and if you get a chance to catch any of the above, as always, I'd love to hear you feedback. x Scot


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Sink or Swim - U.K. Screenings





If you're passing through the U.K. on your winter travels please drop by the Furtherfield Gallery in London on January 25th, Bloc Projects in Sheffield, February 14-16, or the Plymouth Arts Centre in early March for a look at my latest video contribution to the One Minute Volume 7 series curated by Kerry Baldry.

Sink or Swim is from a series of videos called Hunt & Gather, which examines the real and imagined behaviours of human and animal populations as they both struggle to survive in an increasingly challenging and competitive global environment. In the video, the ominous pulse of medical technology monitors the laboured breathing of an obscure biomass, suggesting the symptomatic effects of rapid climate change on an increasingly compromised planet. Sink or Swim wonders what the prognosis is for human survival, if we continue to ignore the conditions that link the fate of our species with the fate of others.

The video came about on one of my walks when I found a dried up ditch filled with stranded fish. It had been an unnaturally wet spring followed closely by an unexpected heat wave and schools of the tiny Stickleback had been left high and dry. I had nothing with me but a hat, so I scooped up as many living fish as I could and ran back and forth to the nearest canal, about a 1/4 mile away, until I'd saved all that I could. This happened a few years ago before 'extreme weather' situations became seemingly commonplace.

Sink or swim: to fail or succeed, to survive or become extinct. 

For more info please visit:  http://www.furtherfield.org/programmes/exhibition/one-minute-volume-7  
or http://www.blocprojects.co.uk

If you have a chance to catch the video sometime, let me know what you think, I'd love to hear from you. xs

 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

DIY video works @ The Liu Institute for Global Issues




Hi all, 

the opening reception for DIY happens this Wednesday, October 16th, from 4-6 pm @ the Liu Institute fro Gl0bal Issues which is located @ 6476 NW Marine Drive @ The University of British Columbia. 

The show will be up until December 13th, 2013. If you get a chance to make it out for a look, I'd love to hear what you think! Hope to see you @ the opening or sometime soon x Scot

Here's a little more info about the show -

DIY- a statement

Part manifesto and part how-to manual, DIY is a series of linked video works that combine old fashioned recipes, the latest cultural theories, guerilla gardening tactics, situationist performance antics, wiki-wisdom and homespun logic to promote global biodiversity and local food sovereignty.

The videos follow a black clad, ski-mask wearing figure called ‘The Activist’, as she sows seeds, picks vegetables, digs holes, performs a series of backyard interventions, and most importantly, preserves food for the coming winter. Titles including Digger, Chopper, Selfish Gene Theory, playfully explore the mystique of food production, the perceived militancy of  guerilla gardening and the inevitable bonds between culture and nature.

In Terminator, the ‘Activist’, in a symbolic act of resistance against the forces of ‘terminator’ seed technology, deposits a land mine of heirloom seeds, helping to turn an ordinary city lot into a potential urban sanctuary. Over –Extension Theory finds her sawing and sorting firewood and considering needs and wants in the real world and the symbolic world. In Time is Ripe  and The Process, she cans peaches and tomatoes and wonders about the relationships between global logistics, food processing and genetic well being. In The Race to the Bottom, ‘Green-washing’, Game theory, and Memetic theory are played out in the middle of a GMO cornfield and In The Great Divide, The Activist ponders social inequality, the politics of poverty and the responsibilities of the individual.

Locally, the last few years has witnessed a proliferation of urban farm markets, community gardens, and an inspiring increase in the number of individual consumers who are rejecting their role in the corporate food chain. Downturns in the global economy and climate change fears have prompted many consumers to become more aware of where their food comes from and what it actually takes to keep the supply lines open. Of course, for many people on the planet, the contingencies and consequences of a tenuous food chain are nothing new.  

But ‘Big Food’ isn’t letting go of its market share willingly; the household cupboard of the West is still contested ground and the kitchen table of ‘Developing Nations’ is a potential battlefield. Chemical companies continue to pump out toxic cleaning agents alongside their new “green” line of products, “factory farms” may be going organic, but they still practice destructive monoculture on a mass scale, and Agri-business giants continue to develop strains of GMO and non- reproducing seeds (all the while, trying to make it illegal for individuals to propagate and maintain heritage seed banks).

Throughout history, populations have been managed or manipulated via the control of the food supply.  In a post 9-11 environment where ‘do it yourself’ activism is often equated with threatening behaviour,  it’s not too hard to imagine that individuals attempting to thwart state authorized food production practices might be labeled as eco-terrorists. In fact, Agri-Business giant Monsanto has been implicated in the burning of crops and the attempt to dictate farming practices in  a number of countries where it considers itself to have propriety rights over the methods of food production.

DIY imagines a multi-national, corporate driven, ‘green’ war which classifies guerilla gardening as an act of terrorism, drives home canning underground, calling it a threat to the stability of the fair market economy, spins backyard composting into a public bio-hazard, or claims that seed saving is bio- terrorism. While open warfare against Food Sovereignty hasn’t been declared yet, a good gardener always plans ahead. As the ‘Preppers’ (modern day hipster survivalists) like to say, “Resistance is Fertile!”

DIY is both a meditation on cultural and corporeal survival and a crash course in sustainable living, giving you everything you need to start disentangling yourself from the corporate food chain and learning how to grow, sow and share in the place where you live.






Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New Work in Vancouver this September.

Hello all,

busy getting ready for three presentations of my work in Vancouver this September: a performance for LIVE 2013 International Performance Art Biennale, a collection of video works at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at U.BC. and a reading @ Word Festival. Looking forward to showing in the city and getting some feedback from you! Here's a little info about what to expect.

First up, the performance, a collaboration with Leannej called Human Identification at a Distance.


Human Identification at a Distance is an exercise in sousveillance or inverse surveillance, an attempt to subvert the self monitoring that conditions our public expectations and cloaks our private emotions. The goal of the performance is obliquely confrontational, covertly confessional;  two figures, co-opt the gestural guises and costumed coding of ‘Authority’ and ‘Activist’, setting out from opposing points, marching through the crowd, broadcasting individual monologues, probing, measuring, interrogating, exploring the  constructions and consequences of separation and connection. Their movements ultimately define a shared space and the figures converge, their individual voices blurred in an antiphonic chorus of recognition and misidentification.

While the namesake program developed by the U.S. Information Awareness Office (IAO), 'Human Identification at a Distance' employs biometric systems in order to: “… identify humans as unique individuals (not necessarily by name)…at any time of the day or night … possibly alone, disguised or in groups…”, with this performance, and the ensuing dialogue, Leannej & I hope to support the unguarded expression of personal traits and private thoughts and promote unprejudiced public encounters that occur beyond, or in spite of, the bounds of CCTV culture. 

Many thanks to Randy Gledhill of LIVE 2013 for inviting us to participate. The Performance happens September 21st @ Victory Square, 150 W Hastings (South West Corner) @ 2:30 PM sharp. For more info: livebiennale.ca

Next up is DIY, a collection of video works @ the Liu Institute. 


Part manifesto and part how-to manual, DIY is a series of linked video works that combine old fashioned recipes, the latest cultural theories, guerilla gardening tactics, situationist performance antics, wiki-wisdom and homespun logic to promote global biodiversity and local food sovereignty. Both a meditation on cultural and corporeal survival and a crash course in sustainable living, DIY gives you everything you need to start disentangling yourself from the corporate food chain and learning how to grow, sow and share in the place where you live.

One or two of these videos have been in online festivals, but most of these pieces have never been screened in the real world. Individual pieces are linked together into a programme of about 50 minutes and with titles like Selfish Gene Theory, Chopper, and The Race To The Bottom, I'm hoping there will be something that speaks to you! 

The Liu Institute for Global Issues is located @ 6476 NW Marine Drive @ The University of British Columbia. The opening reception happens Wednesday, October 16th, 4-7 PM. The show will be up until December 21st and regular hours are Monday - Friday, 8 - 5PM. For more info: liu.institute@ubc.ca

And finally, I've been invited to read from V6A: Writing from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside for the Word Festival ( formerly Word on the Street), which will be happening outside the main VPL branch @ Georgia and Robson.  I'll be reading a piece called Skid Row: Establishing Footage, which is composed entirely of language culled from Film Production notices posted in the DTES. Its from a series I call Shoot Me!, which explores the often uncomfortable narrative overlaps between what's being scripted and what's being played out for real in the neighbourhood. Look for me on Sunday, September 29th in the C.U.P.E. Poetry Tent, sometime around 11 AM.

If you're able to make it out to any of these events, I'd love to hear what you think.  At any rate, hope to see you soon.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Hoarding - an installation by Leannej & My Name Is Scot


Hoarding is a vertical midden, an accumulation of ephemera including posters, handbills, tear-away pages, faux signage and plywood mottos that lays bare a visual stratum of textual scheming for forensic investigation. Like the hoardings that surround a boarded up building, or a new construction site, the walls of Project Space Gallery will be covered with a seemingly random aggregation of information signifying both the consequences and implications of remnant efforts and imagined developments.



Representing over 15 years of collaborative and independent, text based works, the installation collages content, chronicles real and imagined moments in time, and documents the ongoing struggle of artist run culture, to (cheaply and meaningfully) insert itself into the public realm.





Individual pieces include selections from Leannej’s acclaimed flowchart narratives which have appeared in a variety of formats and locations, including windows, walls, banners, books and even mugs, while My Name Is Scot provides an assortment of 2-D and 3-D objects which have formed the basis for performance interventions, site specific installations and photo-based texts.



Hoarding reveals both artist's development and commitment to exploring issues of self, place and the constructions of meaning. While many of the pieces have been previously published or displayed, independently of one another, collected together, and presented as part of a larger work, they can be read as a cross section of strategies, a collation of concerns, or an index of intentions.




In Hoarding, objectives overlap and narratives collide, inviting the viewer/reader to decipher the shared storylines and uncover the individual convictions of each artist and perhaps, as a result, consider the infrastructure of their own personal discourse. 



The Installation opened on July 26th, 2013 and will be up for the month of August. Project Space is @ 222 East Georgia Street and will be open from Thursday to Sunday, 1-5 PM. We hope you'll be able to drop by for a look if you are in town and if you have a chance, please let us know what you think!   


Friday, June 14, 2013

Proclamation - poster project in Toronto

Two days wading through sudden summer rains and steamy heat, moving east to west, along Gerrard, jogging up Parliament onto College and over to Dundas and back again, marching south through Cabbagetown and Leslieville, meandering north, up Spadina and beyond, skirting the fringes of the 'Annex' and wandering further, almost lost, towards the borderlands of the 'Junction'. New developments, old neighbourhoods, different histories, same problems.