A Collection of Canadian Video Art Coast to Coast

Wednesday, July 15, July 29, August 5, August 19, 2015
Broken City Patio – 613 11 Ave SW

EMMEDIA is proud to present a summer series of free outdoor screenings at the relaxing Broken City Patio, showcasing works from different media art centres coast to coast. Starting with the east coast of Halifax and ending in the west coast of Vancouver, experience a unique collection of Canadian video art from across Canada. Join us on a warm summer night as we survey contemporary and historical media artworks that experiment with the medium of video, while enjoying a refreshing pint!

Venue is generously provided by:

July 15 @ 8:30 – 10PM
Centre for Art Tapes showcase (Halifax)

Located in Halifax’s north-end where culture, diversity and creativity thrive, Centre for Art Tapes (CFAT) is an artist-run media centre that enables emerging and established artists to achieve creative and social goals. Mentorship, collaboration and innovation are its focus. CFAT contributes to the advancement of media arts, providing multiple entry points into its discourse and practice for diverse communities. The Centre fosters innovation, experimentation and collaboration. CFAT supports artists working with media technology by ensuring public access to professional equipment, facilities, educational resources and mentorship. For more information, go to:

Still from “‘Tropical’ by the band Plumtree” music video directed by Walter Forsythe

CFAT 35th Anniversary Retrospective
Curated by James MacSwain

What is an archive? An archive is a safe depository of ephemera that memorializes and immortalizes the individual and collective culture of a (particular) people. At least that’s one definition. Memory, time and gossip should also be considered. Sexual innuendo and political disaster, cascades of humour and a frantic winter wonderland – these are the treasures of our particular Centre For Art Tapes’ (CFAT) archive now held in the University of Dalhousie’s archives. With hundreds of tapes in the CFAT archive, both video and audio, and the many variants of tape stock, the archive is always in a state of expectancy. Over time I’ve seen many works for various projects and I viewed over forty items for this particular project; obviously I could have curated another two or three excellent programs. I can only hope there will be times that future curators will delve into this remarkable archive collection and will have the profound and fun experience that I had in hinging together this evening’s 35th Anniversary Screening.

- James MacSwain


Dub Poets by Clifton Joseph (1984, 6 min.)
Girls Just Want to Have Funds by Cathy Busby & Melodie Calvert (1988, 11 min.)
Cheyenne; A Romance by Liz MacDougall & Andy Dowden (1986, 4 min.)
Uganda 1972 by Farhad Dastur (1999, 12 min.)
Maigre Dog by Donna James (1990,10 min.)
6 Works for Radio, Rollins/Migone by Christof Migone (2012, 2 min.)
Lily and Christian “Dish” by Renee Penney & Michael Weir (1992, 17 min.)
‘Tropical’ by the band Plumtree music video directed by Walter Forsythe (1997, 3:14 min.)
The Water’s Tale Revisioned by Ann Verrall (1996/2014, 5 min.)
Charlie’s Prospect by Ariella Pahlke (1997, 10 min.)

About the Curator:

James MacSwain, born in Nova Scotia, received a B.A. in English from Mount Allison University and studied theatre arts at the University of Alberta, Edmonton. In 1973 he settled in Halifax where he began a career in theatre and arts administration. Since 1980 he has been working in film and video, receiving Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council and Arts Nova Scotia grants as a media artist. He has been a former board member of the Nova Scotia Arts Council, the Independent Film and Video Alliance and the Canadian Conference of the Arts. Four years ago he retired from his employment as the Director of Programming for the Centre For Art Tapes. MacSwain was the recipient of the 2011 Portia White Prize.


July 29 @ 9 – 10PM
Video Pool showcase (Winnipeg)

Video Pool Media Arts Centre is a nonprofit, artist-run centre dedicated to the creation, exhibition and promotion of independent media art. We foster an innovative community of artists working in sound, video, computing, and emerging technology art, while offering public exhibitions, artist talks and conferences to encourage awareness of and dialogue concerning new media art forms. For more information, go to:

Still from “Jill Skinner – Diary of a Star” by Wendy Geller

I Watch Videos all Day. The Rest of the Time I Make Dubs.
Curated by Daniel Barrow

My curatorial perspective is one of a born and bred Winnipeg artist, but even more predominantly, as that of an employee of Video Pool’s Distribution department from 1998-2002. When I started working at VP in 1998, my primary duty was making VHS dubs and compilations for festivals and galleries – affording me the opportunity to familiarize myself with a huge number of tapes in the collection. I’m sure I have clocked more repeated viewings of certain tapes than even the artists who created them.
My experience working in the Distribution department is also what guided the compilation of my screening commemorating Video Pool’s thirtieth anniversary. While I have tried to create a kind of thematic rhythm, there is no umbrella theme to the program. The eight tapes in my program are disparate works that I became personally familiar with while working at Video Pool.

It was a real pleasure to have another second opportunity to preview these tapes – each of which has retained its significance to my personal artistic development, as well as Video Pool’s evolution as a creative community.

- Excerpt from curatorial statement by Daniel Barrow


Armour for Living by Hope Peterson (1987,1:55 min.)
Isolated by Nida Home Doherty (1984, 3:25 min.)
Live Wire by Alex Poruchnyk (1982, 5:42 min.)
Spanghew Decorum by Clark Nikolai (1983, 7:35 min.)
Jill Skinner – Diary of a Star by Wendy Geller (1986, 9:21 min.)
Object/Subject of Desire by Shawna Dempsey and Lori Millan (1993, 5:15 min.)
Interior Design by Sheridan Shindruk (2001, 4:00 min.)
Freeze Frame by Susan Britton (1983, 2:30 min.)

About the Curator:

Winnipeg-born, Montreal-based artist Daniel Barrow is best known for his use of antiquated technologies, his “registered projection” installations, and his narrative overhead projection performances. Barrow has exhibited widely in Canada and abroad.


August 5 @ 9 – 10PM
The Banff Centre showcase (Banff)

The Walter Phillips Gallery, located at The Banff Centre, is exclusively committed to the production, presentation, collection and analysis of contemporary art and curatorial practice. The Gallery maintains an art collection of more than 1400 artworks that can be viewed throughout The Banff Centre. Comprised primarily of works by artists who have participated in its various programs, the Collection documents the history of The Banff Centre and acknowledges its significance in the development of visual art culture. For more information, go to:

Antoni Muntadas and Hank Bull, “Cross-Cultural Television” (1987).
Image of postcard ephemera related to videotape of the same title.

Cross-Cultural Television (1987)
by Antoni Muntadas and Hank Bull

Cross-Cultural Television (1987) is a video work by Antoni Muntadas and Hank Bull. The video premiered at The Banff Centre in 1987 as part of a screening of Infermental VI, “the first international magazine on videocassette.” The title Cross-Cultural Television is descriptive, as the thirty-five minute video is comprised almost exclusively of clips from news broadcasts from around the world. The selection of clips would seemingly emphasize the differences in approaches to the medium of television, however instead the work reveals a striking resemblance in visual cues, reportage and format of TV news globally. The work was produced by Western Front, Vancouver in conjunction with Infermental VI, organized by Hank Bull and Veruschka Bódy.


August 19 @ 9 – 10PM
VIVO Media Arts Centre showcase (Vancouver)

Video Out was founded in 1980 as a component of the Satellite Video Exchange Society (SVES). The distribution services and the over 4,000 title collection we manage are an integral part of the VIVO Media Arts Centre (formerly SVES) in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Video Out is a non-profit, non-exclusive distributor of media art on video to galleries, festivals, educational institution collections and broadcasters nationally and internationally. The primary activity of Video Out is to provide artist driven distribution services that promote the practices of independent media art and earn revenue for independent media artists.  In addition, we provide curatorial, exhibition and research support through communication about the videotape collection.  The foundation of both these activities is ongoing collection management and preservation activity. For more information, go to:

Still from “Ocean Falls” by Ryan Ermacora, Jessica Johnson, Aidan Whitley

Urban Decay
Curated by Shauna Jean Doherty

The works that comprise this program were drawn from a call for submissions based on the theme “Urban Decay” initiated by Video Out in April 2015. The works selected together articulate the outlook of the artists featured, who have looked upon their environment and determined that despite the decay of the landscapes presented they are capable of renewal. The video works when viewed together offer a distinct yet conflicted portrait of urban life. The video producers express a recurring sense of unsettlement through their use of a variety of video formats (16mm film, digital video, and computer generated imagery). The degraded landscapes that are consistently invoked are depicted using film stock or video cameras that are themselves damaged producing physically decayed, distorted, fragmented, or glitched images. The abundance of images presented herein deploy the motif of breakdown anticipated by the call, but also elaborate, contemplating decay in relation to transition and regrowth.
Scenes from Berlin, to Milan, from Vancouver, to Montreal each illustrate the effects of living on the physical landscape. Each work included in the program operates as a provocation – a portrait of humanity’s surroundings cast with a lens of unnerving pessimism. Despite an overarching quality of doubt the artists seem to retain a faith that a place is defined by those who animate it and it is up to those occupy space to resurrect sites that are considered by most, too far gone.

- Excerpt from curatorial statement by Shauna Jean Doherty, Distribution and Outreach Manager, Video Out


The Everden by Clint Enns (2013, 16:33 min.)
The Ninth Floor by Jessica Thalmann (2015, 8 min.)
All That is Solid by Eva Kolcze (2014, 15:58 min.)
Simulacra by Theo Tagholm (2015, 3:56 min.)
Molar Formations Urban Cuts by Matteo Pasin (2015, 5:14 min.)
Ocean Falls by Ryan Ermacora, Jessica Johnson, Aidan Whitley (2015, 13:14 min.)

About the Curator:

Shauna Jean Doherty holds an MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice from OCAD U, and a BA (Hons) from the University of Toronto, where she double majored in Book and Media Studies and Semiotic Theory and Communications. Shauna Jean has curated exhibitions and events for Vtape (Toronto), Xpace Cultural Centre (Toronto), Centre for Art Tapes (Halifax), The Images Festival (Toronto), and The Art Gallery of Ontario, and has held various curatorial and programming positions at VIVO Media Arts Centre (Vancouver), Hashtag Gallery (Toronto), the Art Gallery of Ontario, and Hamilton Artists Inc. Her writing has appeared in C Magazine, the Journal of Curatorial Studies, and Carbon Paper. Shauna Jean currently lives and works in Vancouver.


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