café for contemporary art


Posted in celebrations by tyler057 on November 18, 2009

Yesterday was a lovely day.  So much to celebrate.

First, I woke up to learn that David Zieroth, poet, teacher, coffee savourer, organiser of the Sunday Afternoon with the Dead Poets (an event David organised and we hosted here in October) and all round fabulous person won the 2009 Governor General’s Award for his recent book of poetry, The Fly in Autumn.  As far as I know, a GG is the highest literary honour in Canada, so a million and three congrats David!  I have ordered 10 books from the publisher and they will be available at the cafe in celebration of David’s honour.  I believe they arrive tomorrow, November 19th.

Then, I got images of Navin Rawanchaikul x Navin Production Studio Gang x Teams of Painters’ epically huge installation at the FAT Music Festival in Bangkok.  Not only is it just a massive painting.  But it is important for Navin’s practice too.  Navin has always been driven by questions about art’s role/place/form in human communities and it’s relationship to the worlds outside of the narrow confines of the so-called art world.  So it makes me really happy to see him have a chance for what must have been a really nice (though a tad costly) collaboration with an unprecedented number of people who have nothing to do with the art world, and who are likely brilliantly satisfied with the chance to be a part of bring of this work to a huge audience (supposedly over 100,000 people attended the festival).  Of course Navin runs the risk of being perceived as a producer of low-art to the detriment of his high-art cred, but Navin’s practice wouldn’t be Navin’s practice without constantly testing these very boundaries.  So congrats to you Navin on a coup of a project!

Then, it was great, yesterday to learn that the opening of Christina Froschauer’s first CAFCA curation, LIVE COMMON GROUND, went on fabulously last Thursday.  I missed it, sadly.  The show as both an installed thing and a curatorial practice is really nice.  As an installation it is low-key yet informative.  Inside the gallery, effectively introducing the medium of electronic art, there are an array of electronic art works from Ben Bogart’s interactive video and Morgan Rauscher’s crazy glasses to Michael Filimowicz’s net art and Helgi Kristinsson’s poetically blocked screen.  In the cafe area in the meantime, Christina has arranged some of the artists’ technical drawings (or programming outlines), writings and a video about the process of making such work.  There was also an appearance of Cafca regular, Sung Yoon’s interactive stop-action animation production system set up in the children’s area.  As a curatorial process what made this project so nice for me was how it served as a mechanism of research and engagement.  Having recently completed her Master’s in Art History at Concordia Christina was super-well aware of the arts scene in Montreal.  But here in Vancouver, not so much.  One of the things she observed however, was that electronic arts certainly appeared less prevalent than in Montreal.  And that awareness of this sort of art was likely not so broad.  So, hoping to introduce herself and our community to what might be going on in the local scene she simply asked question, I wonder what’s out there, and began planning the exhibition.  She called for submissions via craig’s list and other sites sending a call out to seemingly relevant professors and so forth.  Basically saying ‘hi, how are you?’ to Vancouver’s little world of electronic art.  LIVE COMMON GROUND is the beginning.  Congrats Christina!

Finally, it wasn’t exactly yesterday, but I know that recently an exhibition proposal was submitted by someone who hasn’t done that sort of thing in a long time.  And to him too, many congrats.