art's bd_vids & pics

January 17th is Art's Birthday according to Robert Filliou of Fluxus and we had a little celebration here in MTL. Fluxus and Art's BD have a particular resonance here as the Vienna-Vancouver connection was made long ago back in the '60s (Clive Robertson talked a bit about this, the Western Front centre, etc). By contrast I have been involved in this only since '97, usually through radio-art events connected with CiTR and Kunstradio. In any case, telematic, telepresence or the tele-whatever arts (including mail-art) have long connected Canada to other freaks.

UpgradeMTL (well, me.. other members being internationally displaced at the moment) organised a kind of "soundswarm" walk to celebrate the 1,000,044th (Filiou declared the millionth in 1963). I sampled the idea from Phil Kline's Unsilent Night performances -- I attended one a few years ago in Vancouver. Basically a swarm of cultural miscreants walk through the urban jungle playing synchronized copies of (ambient) music. Tim Hecker, Fishead & saibotuk were generous enough to donate wintery works for the occasion, and although we only had 2 boomboxes, we had about 50 people. The soundswarm was somewhat lacking compared to NYC's hundreds of players but hey, this is the first time I know of someone doing this in Montreal and Kline's been at it since 1993. Actually I discovered two things while doing this: 1. CDs skip while walking with a boombox (tape cassettes would work better, despite the laborious process to copy them) 2. many people today don't own CD boomboxes anymore, nevermind now basically obsolete tape decks. We also had one hell of a time trying to translate "boombox" into French ("CD portatif," etc.). Some people brought portable CD players à la headphones -- they still got the disc (limited edition of 20, see below) but this translates the work from a public intervention and group participation strategy to a personal, closed experience. Sign o' the ipod times.

Thanks to Myriam @ StudioXX & Oboro whom joined the festivities, provided cake, hot chocolate, punch & performances -- chk studioXX's archive. There's lots more archived on the Upgrade site. Also -- YouTube video & Flickr pics. And the previous blog post with the schedule & flyer.


posted. Thu - January 25, 2007 @ 12:18 PM           |