Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tonight's the night

Tonight is the last evening that I will be keeping gallery hours between 6-10pm, so if you are interested in seeing my project while I am around, drop by and I will make tea. Otherwise, the project is still viewable from public space, and alternatively, I will make myself available by appointment only. Of course, the gallery is open regular hours during the day, if you are interested in purchasing the book, but the projections start at dusk. To make an appointment, please email your request to weRwatching2010 [at]

Monday, February 22, 2010

Juho J├Ąppinen, book designer & photographer

For about 2 weeks prior to the show, I completely ignored my dear and lovely friend Anna in favour of her husband, Juho (a very Finnish name pronounced "youhoe"). "Hello, is Juho there"? "Can I please talk to Juho"? "I have a few changes for Juho" had replaced my usual girly and arty banter with Anna. I almost felt like I was having an affair, not because I was spending time with my friend's husband, rather, because my usual time and energy allotted for art-speak and collaboration with Anna, was now being spent talking art-speak and collaborating with Juho. I felt a bit dirty. However, the book part of the We Are Watching project is now available (and well received, thank goodness!). There are limited numbers, so please come by the Jeffrey Boone Gallery and take a look. The video contributors for the first half of the project are listed. All the others will be credited in the second book (which incidentally, is covered in the cost of the first book, $20). We will arrange pick-up or drop-off for the second part when you come into the gallery.

Three days in a row without a technical glitch, whew!

So, friend, collaborator, friend's husband, curator, and as previously mentioned, book designer and photographer is hereby credited with the following photographs taken at the opening.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Smooth sailing and enjoying the ride :-)

It seems that Nathan has worked around the bugs on the player version we are working with. Even though I know first-hand, and have heard from others that technology is just plain finicky and can act up at any moment, I am going to say that all is well. The project is loading as it should and there haven't been any crashes as of late. On the down side, we have had to give up on the sound component. If I had this to do all over, I would have updated the OSX right from the get go, alas, hindsight...

It pleases me to spend time in the gallery during the evenings when people are Bright-lighting their evening away. I am an unexpected gallery component, but really, I have met the most interesting people, and it is really worthwhile for me to see how the audience interaction works. One observation that I find predominates, yet is not surprising, is the fact that almost all the walking traffic approaches from the west and impacts on the viewers' experience by making them work harder to tie the installation together. With the Vancouver Sun in hand, they know that there is a projection in the courtyard, but unfamiliar with the area, it takes a search to find, followed by a doubling back to the gallery to put it all together. I am intrigued by this doubling back aspect, although I am not sure why quite yet...

As I mentioned in the previous post, submissions were slower than I expected, yet there will be about 20 new clips added today. Come by to see the new footage, it is not like the rest ;-)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Opening night and ensuing saga...

The opening reception was lovely. Of course my parents were there, and look how happy they look! They don't get what I do, but amazingly, they are the first to buy memberships, donate cash and show up with flowers. They even come to Balcone Art Society General Meetings, go figure. I am lucky. But we can't talk about art, because, as my mum says, "It's just not my thing". Which makes me crazy because how can that be?! When I was learning welding at school and doing math for cantilever tables, my dad couldn't understand why I didn't get my Engineer's ticket, as both he and my brother did.

Anyway, I was a 1/2 hour late for my own opening, for reasons that will be stated under the "saga" part of this entry, but the silver lining was that I had completely avoided waiting on the first guests, and man, do I hate that part. I was shocked that there was a steady stream of people, and that I didn't know at least 1/2 of them, which is always a good sign because you can always count on your posse to show up, but people who come out of genuine interest are special. I had so much fun. Nathan and I let loose and apparently really needed to, on account of the "saga", and a small, yet lovely group accompanied me to the greedy pig for a late sup.

The pics you see here are of the gallery installation, for some reason, a.k.a. the rain, no one took pics of the exterior projection, even though it is clear that people went for a look. Perhaps some will show up.

These two photos absolutely amuse me.

The Saga...Well, the exterior projection has not been without glitches, and it has been, if I didn't take my work so seriously, a comedy of errors, first starting with only 1.7 GB hard drive space and a project that was to begin at 6.7 GB. Of course, this most irritating surprise was not discovered until the hour before opening, and required poor Nathan to re-write the code that was designed to automatically add new material, protecting the hard drive from crashing. Thank goodness Nathan is able to work such magic and we were only 1/2 hour late for our own opening. Not bad considering we were prevented from running the final tests remotely during the previous week. And, because, we were unable to run the final tests remotely in the final week before the opening, has, not surprisingly, led to a number of evenings of mishaps. So far, Friday went well, except the the project was not interactive, Saturday we were down, Sunday, and Monday --spot on. However, on Tuesday, everything came to a halt. Sadly, Tuesday was also a day of personal drama, and isn't that always that way, a major thing goes to shit when you are least able to deal. Thankfully, I have amazing friends and Nola ran me around town during the day in my little red Jetta on account that I was falling over with dizzy spells, and Alan, drove me down in the evening to a failed attempt to preform a fix. At 9:30, defeated, I took a cab home.

Today was fantastic. Nathan and I had a tranquil afternoon at Shawna's, where we were able to preform all sorts of tests to rule things out. There seemed to be one video clip that was initiating a bug in the player. Apparently, and frustratingly, this particular bug was eliminated in the next version of the player, but unfortunately, the old operating system on the mac we were given to use does not support this new software, so work around the bug we did, or rather, Nathan did. Then we discovered that when the projector turned off last night, it went into "stand by" mode. A tricky thing that happens after hours and hours of playing. Next we retested by sending a new video, and as we had no way of attributing exactly what was triggering the bug, Nathan decided to re-visit a remote access channel so that we can reboot from afar. However, Shaw doesn't allow for those ports to be open unless you pay for the "business" level of service. So, as a shot in the dark, we removed the sound clips, and that seemed to do the trick for tonight. After dinner at Hon's and driving Nathan home, I went back to Gastown to send one last file, crossed my fingers, held my breath, and the thing did NOT crash. So it is only a matter of checking it daily to make sure it runs. With that in mind, I will be sitting in the gallery, keeping vigil, should you wish to come by while I am there.

Oh ya, and the books are ready too. I will deliver them sometime in the afternoon.

Rina Liddle signing out.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Isn't Monique lovely?

Monique is my neighbour, and doesn't she have a swanky and intelligent blog! Oh, and look, she's posted a blurb on my project. And they say that no one knows their neighbours these days...what would Brent say, the crazy landlord who told me it was against the tenancy agreement to knock on my neighbours' doors!

Here is her blog.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

This could be a media kit...

If democracy is to be a machine of hope, it must retain one strange characteristic –its wheels and cogs will need to be lubricated not with oil but with sand. ~Krzysztof Wodiczko

Rina Liddle is a visual artist, researcher and educator. At the core of her practice is the belief that art making is a polyvocal practice. Her work often takes the form of installations and interventions that deal with ideas regarding public space, and include digital media, photography, sculptural elements and collaborations. The material forms that she chooses are, for her, a means to renegotiate and make visible the conditions of the social body. Or something like that. Do you know what I mean? Subtle traces of the absurd in sociological methodologies are discernable in her work.

Part of the Bright Light program, We Are Watching is a participatory video exhibition that continues her trajectory of working with ideas focused on public space, surveillance, public art policy and representational power. There are two components: a large-scale projection in public space, and an interior projection within the gallery fed by a live surveillance camera. By using participants’ video clips documenting the Vancouver 2010 Olympic, Paralympic and related events, viewers are asked to consider the ways in which the City of Vancouver is represented officially, and the alternative views that are largely dismissed, or written over, by the spectacle machine, which serves to homogenize the Canadian subjectivity. Issues explored are surveillance versus sousveillance, the ways in which we watch events, the ways in which we watch each other and the ways in which we are being watched.

There is a two-part archival book project that accompanies the work. The first part has been printed and includes texts by Kristina Lee Podesva and Danna Vajda images of the Torch Relay. The second part of the book will be available after the show closes. It will function as an archive of the event as it unfolds over the time of the Olympic and Paralympic games. This book project will not only document the work, it will also function as a vehicle for the dissemination of the representations collected that provide an alternate view of the “official” versions sanctioned and circulated by VANOC and the City of Vancouver. Multiple subjectivities will add complexity to this overarching image of Vancouver. The book will be donated to select public libraries.

Liddle has a BFA from Emily Carr University and a MA from Goldsmiths College University of London. She has shown internationally in London, Los Angeles, Posnan (Poland) and Jyvaskyla (Finland) and currently resides in Vancouver.

Things of Desire

Everybody wants to be desired. Now We Are Watching, an offspring of mine, has been blogged about (assuming "blogging" is a real verb) by Jen Simaitis on the Canadian art blog called Things of Desire. Check out the article here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe...

Pick a map, any map, check the time here
and take your video camera on a date. Only two days left to participate in Torch Relay documentation. Then I will be hounding you on documenting the Events proper.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Celebratory Sushi with Nathan

Yesterday's install and test went better than I expected, not because I am a downer, but I have found technology unpredictable on the first go. So we now have the large projector installed in Shawna's apartment. Is it serendipity that Jeffrey knew Shawna before this project, and that she just happened to live in a loft facing the exact same wall that we would need to project on? Some days make me quiver with excitement...Shawna's apartment is fab,
I am almost hoping for some kind of laptop crash just so I can get in there again...hold on, I did say almost! Okay that is projector one, up and ready after many hours of fidgeting (see Jeffrey fidget-->) and the results are quite amazing. You can see here the cute little projection that lands on the glass window, where Shawna
can view the whole event from the comfort of her own home, glass of wine in hand.
(That is Nathan on the floor and Jeffrey standing standing behind him).
And this is an image of the reflection from the window on her couch. It's amazing how clear everything is, even the crappiest file quality shows well with this super-projector! So don't be afraid to send in your cell phone vids, it's all good.And lastly, the two images below are the sneak preview of what you can expect in the gallery. Notice the infrared technology looking like a bad case of pink eye.
Hope you can make it to see all the components together. The opening is this Friday, February 12th at 7-10 pm at 1 Cordova Street in Vancouver. See for details.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Oh my goodness!

Life has been a crazy lately, mind-blowing crazy. Crazy, like I'm going to throw up, crazy like my head might explode and crazy like I am so excited I can hardly stand it. And busy. oh my goodness, busy. It has also been over one week since I have blogged, and I am afraid I can only offer up an abridged version of progress without musings or funny anecdotes --never mind clever ideas! I just have none at the moment. But probably at about 3 am, my thoughts will start and I will wonder if I should jot them down instead of moving my furniture around, which is what I have been doing at 3 am as of late. Yes folks, I have a bad case of the butterflies.

Having said that, Jeffrey found long range wireless outdoor speakers for me, the book has gone through a most thorough editing (thanks Kristina and Jeffrey!), the postcards and brochures are available and I keep getting more submissions (yay!).

And that is where I am at folks. I will leave you with a series of video stills that I am particularly fond of. Stay tuned for a report on the hopefully final install test that will take place Saturday night.