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November 6 to December 5, 2020

Pleistocene Park

Tara Nicholson


Located in Eastern Siberia (Yakutia) on the edge of the Arctic Circle, Pleistocene Park is an engineered, multi-generational rewilding study to relocate herds of animals to cultivate shrub forest back to grassland. Directed by Sergey Zimov and his son Nikita, it may conjure up Jurassic Park-like narratives with their successful insulation of permafrost to slow the release of carbon from below the surface.

A remote territory supported by all-terrain vehicles, staff and outpost facilities, the park has become the world’s largest rewilding experiment. Simply described, imported animals including oxen, horse, moose and bison maintain the grassland via grazing which in turn insulates the permafrost and creates a natural support system similar to the Mammoth Steppe (14,500 years ago) to slow the release of carbon dioxide from the soil. In 2021, I will return to the park, the Mammoth Institute and the Melnikov Permafrost Institute (Yakutsk), all at the forefront of permafrost and cloning research to resurrect the woolly mammoth and its habitat. Together they continue to spark sci-fi storylines and worldwide media interest while their research occupies a grey area between intervention and invention and illustrates an intricate climate action landscape amongst the bizarre and uncanny.

The experience of seeing exposed Arctic permafrost has also fueled my recent production of fake ceramic bones and teeth. Currently, the problematic trade of prehistoric mammoth tusks is supporting the illegal sale of elephant ivory. While some may see this as a better alternative, the dangerous extraction processes of these bones and the connected destruction of Arctic habitat remain unresolved as permafrost becomes uncovered at a faster rate.

Tara Nicholson incorporates photography and installation within her research. She has travelled throughout the Arctic to document climatology, sometimes with a blurred line between sci-fi and actual science. Nicholson has exhibited across Canada, teaches at the University of Victoria and holds an MFA from Concordia University. Recently she attended Earthed, a climate-centered residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts and has received funding from the Canada Council for the Arts and the BC Arts Council. In 2020, Nicholson embarked on her PhD at UBC Okanagan to produce a body of exploratory landscape studies linking escalating changes within the Anthropocene. By documenting rewilding and extinction studies while witnessing waves of Indigenous and setter-allied land activism, she is exploring the role of art within activism and how the interpretation of climate action can affect its outcome. 
Wetlands Test Site, Northeast Science Station, Russia;
Pleistocene Park, Support Buildings, Sakha Republic, Russia;
pigment prints, 2020
October 15 to 25, 2020

Antimatter [media art]

Screenings | Installations | Online Programs

Dedicated to the exhibition and nurturing of diverse forms of media art, Antimatter is one of the premier showcases of experimentation in film, video, audio and emerging timebased forms. Encompassing screenings, installations, performances and media hybrids, Antimatter provides a noncompetitive setting in Victoria, British Columbia, free from commercial and industry agendas.

Antimatter website
in the Deluge transom window | dusk–10pm

Transmitting and Receiving

Dee Hood

single channel video installation | 4 min | USA | 2019

There must be something beyond this physical world, Sometimes I can feel energy around me, or I hear a familiar frequency. I want to connect to the vibrations that lead to other worlds.

Dee Hood‘s experimental videos have shown in over 30 countries around the world. She has received numerous awards for media art and her political videos have been featured in The Nation magazine’s Opp-Art section. She is Professor Emerita at Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota Florida where she taught time based media and other art courses. Hood received her M.F.A. in Visual Art from the University of South Florida. She is also known for her work in painting and sculpture.
in the Deluge entrance foyer | festival hours

House Pieces

Christine Lucy Latimer

single channel video installation | 3 min | Canada | 2019

Years ago, my mother sold her house in Woodstock, Ontario. Hundreds of high dynamic range digital photos were taken to provide to the real estate agent for the online sale listing. The images were left on an SD card that was strangely stored and subject to firmware incompatibility (or some other manner of environmental degradation). Disassembling each damaged, barely-there high dynamic range photo into its light and dark component parts, I built a VHS cascade of house pieces (never quite reconstituting what was).

Christine Lucy Latimer is an experimental filmmaker and photographer. Her work in the past decade has been featured across five continents in over 250 film festivals and gallery exhibitions. She currently lives and works in Toronto, Canada.
at Legacy Art Gallery | 630 Yates St | dusk–10pm

NIB8ÏWI (Durant la Nuit)

Marie-Josée Tremblay

single channel video installation | 2 min | Canada | 2019

At night, when our fears return, we never know what to expect!

Originally from Montreal,
Marie-Josée Tremblay is an accomplished Algonquin filmmaker, visual artist, singer-songwriter and actress. Coming from a family of photographers, Tremblay began making photographs at the age of 9. Passionate about cinema, Tremblay studied communications and film at Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf and at Concordia University. She has made numerous shorts films and has worked with Wapikoni Mobile and Université du Québec à Montréal.
at Empty Gallery | 833 Fisgard St | 24hrs

Forwards, backward

Mitchell Stafiej

single channel video installation | 5 min | Canada/USA | 2020

Compiled from unused images of a half-shot and perpetually delayed documentary, this film is an illusory visual and sonic reflection on a stagnant film career. Simultaneously moving forwards and backwards and not at all. Driving 100mph and standing still. One step forwards, two steps back.

Mitchell Stafiej is a filmmaker and sound designer who lives and works in Montreal, Quebec. His work in documentary, fiction and experimental has been screened at the CPH:DOX, Festival Du Nouveau Cinéma, Escales Documentaires, Vancouver, RIDM, and CUFF film festivals. He obtained his M.F.A. in Studio Arts in 2018 from Concordia University and currently teaches film production and film studies at a college in Montreal. Stafiej’s work in fiction and documentary uses harsh image, sound and complex non-linear narratives to create experiential portraits of the world we live in. Stafiej is also disabled and has been living with Type 1 Diabetes since he was 16 years old. Through his artistic practice, he advocates for equal representation and access to funding for other disabled artists in Canada.
at Ministry of Casual Living Window Gallery | 764 Yates St | 24hrs

Ektadome

Laura Trager

single channel video installation | 3 min | Germany | 2020

100' of 16mm Kodak Ektachrome shot at a fun fair at night—an experiment in “affective vision.” Dark forces present themselves in plain sight in this longed-for place of our childhood. As we let ourselves be mesmerized by its lights and colors, we reconnect with memories and fears hidden deep in our unconscious. 

Laura Trager holds a Bachelor of Arts in Media-Culture from Bauhaus-University in Weimar, Germany and a Master of Arts in Media Studies from The New School, NY. With a background in media and cultural theory, Laura’s artistic and academic interest is film philosophy. After moving to New York in 2011, she started working in 16mm and Super 8mm film, as well as in digital video, still photography and sound. Since 2015, Laura has been based in Hamburg, Germany. Her works have been shown in cinemas, art galleries, museums and at festivals in North America, Europe and Asia.
September 11 to October 10, 2020

UTOPOS

Callum Monteith and Alex Tedlie-Stursberg

Curated by Andrea Valentine-Lewis


If this is paradise I wish I had a lawnmower – Talking Heads, 1988

The title for this exhibition is taken from the Greek term, Ou-topos; Ou (not) and Topos (a place). The term Utopos holds two other meanings: the first being “the good place” and the second “the place that cannot be.” In the Talking Heads song “Nothing but Flowers,” David Byrne’s lyrics follow a similar path by embodying this shared meaning of Utopos, where yes, the grass really is greener on the other side of the fence, but, upon reflection, neither greens—nor grass for that matter—are all they were cracked up to be. Be careful what you wish for. You might get it and regret it.

The notion of a Utopia, a perfect community or civilization designed for perfection and autonomy can only, in essence, exist in the imagination or conceptually. It is by humankind’s very existence that renders the reality of this endeavour impossible. Yet, it is a concept that is constantly strived for, as is evident within the current socio-political climate, and with trends of populism, nationalism and retrenchment. The paradox is that while striving for this idealistic model of a Utopia, humans actually move closer to that of the antonym of this condition in Dystopia—a community or society that is undesirable or frightening.

There was a factory
Now there are mountains and rivers
You got it, you got it.

There was a shopping mall
Now it’s all covered with flowers
You’ve got it, you’ve got it.

If this is paradise I wish I had a lawnmower

For this exhibition, Callum Monteith and Alex Tedlie-Stursberg will present a new body of work that considers the contradictory nature of the term Utopos. Through the development of their shared research interests including the relationship between humans and nature, explorations into artificiality, manicuring of environments and abstracted or absurd artistic gestures, Monteith and Stursberg challenge the conditions of Utopia. Their research has advanced through an open and wide-ranging dialogue between the artists that looks to many topics for inspiration, including pop-culture, sociological/philosophical studies, art history and fictional narratives.


Callum Monteith (b. 1988) lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland, where he works in painting, photography and printmaking. Monteith’s practice interweaves notions of nature, philosophy and aesthetics with a particular interest in how we construct our ideas of self through fictions of alternative places or imagined landscapes. Recent exhibitions include solo exhibitions Shelf Show #3 at Cockburn Street, Edinburgh, PARADISAL at The Briggait, Glasgow and PLANT ROOM, a group exhibition at Hanson Street Project Space, also in Glasgow (2019).

Alex Tedlie-Stursberg (b.1980) lives and works in Vancouver, BC, where he is a multidisciplinary artist with a key focus on sculpture and installation. His work has been exhibited in numerous galleries across North America and Europe; recent exhibitions include MASS RESIDUE with Field Contemporary and SUPER, NATURAL, a group exhibition at Unit 17, Vancouver (2019), Holy Wave as part of Glasgow International, Scotland and Everything Flows with Burrard Art Foundation, Vancouver (2018). Stursberg is currently employed as a Sessional Instructor at Langara College Visual Arts Program. He is currently developing public artworks for Ballard Fine Art in Vancouver.

Andrea Valentine-Lewis (b.1991) lives and works Vancouver, BC, where she is an independent curator, a freelance writer and a teaching assistant for SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts. She is a recent graduate with an MA from the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University where her research was funded with a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.


UTOPOS Essay by Andrea Valentine-Lewis
Wheel, Alex Tedlie-Stursberg, 2020, concrete, epoxy, expelled lighters, 122x122x152cm
Eidos IV, Callum Montieth, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 90x60cm
June 6 to July 11, 2020

IT ONCE HAD A FACE,
NOW IT WANTS ONE AGAIN

Jennet Thomas

A video installation in which cloth and string, song and dance, costumes and goo collaborate to find new ways of moving in bleak time. 

Two billion years from now, the oceans are beyond understanding, yet undersea karaoke may still be possible. The ghost of an oyster holds memories of what happened. Is there any chance of recovery? It sings to a scrap of cloth that fell to the bottom of the sea, trying to get a face. 

Everything will be fine. All planes crash, all at once. Oxygen falls from the ceiling. But that’s not the right kind of mask, that’s a carnival mask… 

Mud and cloth getting it together 
Mud, and cloth, and string 
There must be new unions 
Rubbing against itself until it gets a face…


Jennet Thomas’s work emerged from the anarchistic, experimental culture of London’s film and live art scene in the 1990s. It now manifests in a variety of different forms: sculptural video installations, live performance and screenings at film festivals and museums such as Tate Britain and MOMA New York. She also makes objects and writing. Recent solo shows include: IT ONCE HAD A FACE, NOW IT WANTS ONE AGAIN, at Xero, Kline and Coma, London 2020; ANIMAL CONDENSED>> ANIMAL EXPANDED at Tintype, London, 2018; UNSPEAKABLE FREEDOM>> TASTES LIKE CHICKEN, Block 336, London 2016; THE UNSPEAKABLE FREEDOM DEVICE at Grundy Art Gallery, 2015; SCHOOL OF CHANGE and All Suffering SOON TO END! both at Matt’s Gallery 2012 and 2010. Jennet Thomas is currently Reader in Time Based Media and Performance at University of the Arts, London. Many of her single screen films are distributed by Video Data Bank.

“Thomas’s critical skill lies in how her fables—fashioned, stream-of-consciousness-style, out of the detritus of pop-cultural neologism—tie everyday experience, through their use of the bizarre, to far bigger political and philosophical questions.” – JJ Charlesworth, Art Review Magazine, 2018.
May 7 to June 6, 2020

phasing

Nicole Baker, Malena Szlam, Eric Gaucher


In recent months the slippage of time has drawn us to alternative and nocturnal forms of reckoning. As our normal frames of reference have crumbled we may not know the day of the week, but the increasingly clear night sky continues to provide us an unfailing and luminous indicator of passing time. A response to the current primacy of virtual life, phasing presents the work of three artists under the sway of our mysterious yet omnipresent satellite. The short film program runs for a lunar month in the Deluge transom window—to be encountered in the fresh air and public realm after dusk.


:\Eclipsed
Nicole Baker | 3:33 | USA | 2016
:\Eclipsed was discovered on a degraded data-storage device by archaeologists in a distant future. It is the creation myth of an ancient civilization recounting the origins of humanity, the creation of the Sun and the Moon, and the curse that keeps them separated until there is an eclipse.

Nicole Elaine Baker is an experimental filmmaker, transmedia artist and founder of Media Monsters, a weekly live-streaming experimental film series (twitch.tv/media_monsters). Her award winning work has been exhibited globally, from the CICA Museum in South Korea to the streets of Mexico City. She is a newly-minted MFA and is currently riding out the global disaster(s) in Astana, Kazakhstan.


Lunar Almanac
Malena Szlam | 4:00 | Canada | 2013
Lunar Almanac initiates a journey through magnetic spheres with its staccato layering of single-frame, long exposures of a multiplied moon. Shot in 16mm Ektachrome and hand processed, the film’s artisanal touches are imbued with nocturnal mystery. – Andréa Picard, TIFF

Born in Chile, Malena Szlam is an artist and filmmaker based in Montreal since 2006. Working at the intersection of cinema, installation, and performance, her practice explores the relationship between the natural world, perception and intuitive process. The poetics developed through her time-based works and in-camera films engage the material and affective dimensions of analogue film practice. Szlam’s work has been featured in numerous international showcases, including the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Toronto International Film Festival’s Wavelengths, the New Directors/New Films (MoMA, Lincoln Center), the Edinburgh International Festival, the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, the Melbourne International Film Festival, the Jeonju International Film Festival, the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (Norway) and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Denmark). Solo screenings have been presented at Los Angeles Filmforum, San Francisco Cinematheque and FICValdivia (Chile). Her latest film ALTIPLANO (2018) received numerous awards and was chosen as one of TIFF’s Top Ten Canadian Short Films of 2018.


The Moons of Palaver
Eric Gaucher | 3:14 | Canada | 2018
The Moons of Palaver celebrates the rhythms, patterns, resonance and lyrical elusiveness that can be found or sought out on any particular evening. The original material (an intervalometer test of soft focus automotive headlights shot in the early 2000s) was rediscovered and reworked into a composite of abstract arrangements. The audio is a collage of various found material which was originally recorded in the late 1960s.

Canadian artist Eric Gaucher creates abstract short films comprising imagery, music and poetry. Since the mid 1990s Gaucher has been involved with film and music, both as a musician and filmmaker. His non-narrative films are juxtapositions of rhythms and emotions. As a result, a central tenet of his work has been to evoke a sense of fluidity and wonder, based on the intrinsic structures of music. Gaucher’s work combines a variety of techniques including direct animation, found footage, software exploitation and 3D animation. The accompanying audio work consists of music, both composed and performed, as well as the manipulation of found material.

March 7 to April 30, 2020

Centro Espacial Satelital de Colombia

La Decanatura


On March 25th, 1970, less than a year after the arrival of the first man on the moon, The Space Communications Centre of Colombia was inaugurated in the tiny municipality of Chocontá. The monumental satellite antenna, built in the middle of an untamed landscape, would be responsible for microwave transmissions of radio and telephone signals. In 1981 the second antenna or Ground Station for International Communications would complete the Space Communications Centre complex. Chocontá, whose colonial name is the Loyal and Noble Villa de Santiago de Chocontá, began to be known as the "Satellite City of Colombia.” For more than two decades the Satellite City was a destination for the curious. 45 years later it is in decline; people no longer visit, while the surrounding landscape seems to slowly absorb these massive and neglected structures.

Centro Espacial Satelital de Colombia was planned as a tribute, a lullaby and a farewell. The Chocontá Symphonic Youth Band, whose members range from seven to fifteen—too young to have first-hand knowledge of the antennas in their prime—were responsible for creating and performing a requiem. The structures’ imposing nature and location within the inhospitable climate of the dense Colombian savannah evoke a glorious past, an agonizing present and an uncertain future.

La Decanatura is a collective made up of Bogotá artists Elkin Calderón Guevara and Diego Piñeros García. Their artistic projects generate new approaches to art from hybrid perspectives and disciplines, questioning hegemonic forms of knowledge and power. La Decanatura is interested in displacement as a metaphor to explore other realities, as well as to create links between memory and ruins of the past. Through the audiovisual medium La Decanatura establishes poetics of time and space, playing with mise-en-scène to document events, places and objects, creating narratives of dislocations and alteration towards new readings of reality.


January 17 to February 15, 2020

Forever & For Never

Omid Afarinzad
Lauren Brinson
Rande Cook
Mona Hedayati
Jordan Hill
Clare Lannan
Leanne Olson
Liam O’Sullivan
Dani Proteau
Graham Wiebe


Forever & For Never arose out of the possibilities created by the forced proximity and specific focus of graduate research. Ten strangers from near and far convene and overlap for a brief period of time on an island located off the westernmost part of Canada. What do they see from this temporal and conceptual window? And in what language, visual or otherwise, do they choose to make their reportage? The artists who make up this enquiry have committed to a sort of fantastic experiment where addition is naturally seen to create expansion even as outcomes remain uncertain. The work in this exhibition—emanating from so many distinct sources—nonetheless shares concerns, as bodies situated inside material problems and the mutability of human existence. There is disquietude over resources and their extraction and hope for regeneration in the stories of our separate and recombined histories. Forever & For Never is a transitory record of things coming together, breaking apart and recombining somewhere between past and future.


Omid Afarinzad is an Iranian visual artist focused on sculpture and installation. His work embodies abstract concepts to challenge consciousness. His previous works have investigated the non-linear perception of time through the revival of objects. Omid’s current work is a public art project that introduces an old ritual into an environment where there are not any preconceptions of the ritual and aims to collect the responding human behaviour.

Lauren Brinson is an interdisciplinary artist from Newfoundland and Labrador working in Victoria BC. Her work explores value structures in cultural textile practices and the relationship between utility and aesthetics, while considering traditional and contemporary notions of the domestic and everyday through rug hooking, knitting and making fishing nets.

Rande Cook is a multidisciplinary artist of Indigenous descent. Rande is focusing on environmental studies in his art practice, specifically how mythology and the historical narrative of Indigenous art making can preserve land from the old growth forests to the sea. Rande uses various media within narratives to explore contemporary methods in storytelling.

Mona Hedayati is an Iranian-Canadian artist and researcher with a particular interest in investigating the use of language as a visual and verbal hybrid. Mona has exhibited and presented her work internationally as well as across Canada. Her current project deals with digital textualities as a generative system, drawing parallels between linguistic cognition and abstraction to highlight the conceptual and formal properties of language.

Jordan Hill is a multimedia artist interested in the innate qualities we possess to understand the world as we navigate what is presented to us. His work aims to intervene in the normalized spatial and social assumptions we make upon getting introduced to environments and structures that put our body and mind at odds with one another.

Clare Lannan is a Victoria-based artist concerned with arenas of the forced spectacle. A self-proclaimed flesh tourist, Lannan works to reclaim space from oppressive systems for bodies that have been left behind. Working with a variety of mediums, she seeks to fill a void and to create new paths in the collective landscape shared by marginalized people.

Leanne Olson’s art practice persists as a way to understand the deceptive depths of the human mind. Olson has been exhibiting for a decade, cycling through themes of entropy, uncertainty and impending decay. She focuses on land and water bodies that are tasked with jobs and entangled in massive change, such as landfills, sulphurous springs and recreational lakes. Her practice is repeat visitation and documentation of these sites for glimpses into ecological perseverance.

Liam O’Sullivan is a Canadian painter working with illusion as a psychological phenomenon to promote self-recognition and neurological humility. Personification, mythologizing, parody, image swapping, cognitive biases and the grotesque are adapted in his work to represent the cultural and psychic momentum that we all create and are swept through unceasingly together.

Dani Proteau is an artist currently residing in Victoria BC. Through sculpture and other mediums, her practice aims to distill and bring forth ephemeral elements—light, sound, wind and natural phenomena—to prompt contemplation, wonder and to interrupt otherwise ossified ways of knowing. At times mesmerizing, whimsical and delicate, her work endeavours to unfasten passive modes of perception by expanding upon our sensorial awareness of everyday surroundings.

Graham Wiebe is a visual artist working in Victoria BC. Employing the snapshot as material toward a visual memoir, Wiebe's photographs are a record of impulse and engagement. These fragmentary and still documents weave together to highlight the intersection of the urban and suburban landscapes, creating an intimate portrait rooted in time, place and personal experience.