Friday, February 26, 2010

"Our Time to Shine"

Performance Art Criticizes VANOC Trademarking of Common Words

Saturday, February 27, 12 noon, Granville Island Public Market

This Saturday Alexandra Phillips will enact "Our Time to Shine" a
live performance critical of VANOC's trademarking of common words.
Standing beneath a transparent umbrella emblazoned with
the words "FREE SPEECH ZONE," the artist will utter the long
list of ordinary words such as "winter" and "games" that
the Vancouver Organizing Committee has trademarked for its own use.

The performance challenges VANOC's
special exemption from the trademark laws that overrides Canadian's
constitutional rights to freedom of speech.

Multi-disciplinary artist Alexandra Phillips is an Associate
Professor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Acknowledging the land.

This performance happened on Granville Island on February the 12th. While the Olympic torch relay was passing through Emily Carr, Emilio Rojas and Patrick Blaeser, placed black vynils on the street where the torch relay was about to pass, and on Emily Carr facilities, particularly on the entrance spaces. The words were taken from the negative vinyl spaces of Cathy Busby's piece of the Safe Facade, located on the windows of VIVO Media Arts Centre. They were rearrange to form phrases like: Indigenous rights, residential school survivor, Olympic Sea, men of Eaglerigdge Bluffs, Expand for the Olympics, Indigenous island, etc. Some of the vynils were removed by Emily Carr security a few moments after they were up. This is an excerpt after the torch just passed and the people walking behind it continue stepping on the words, Indigenous Rights. The piece acknowledged unseated Coast Salish territory juxtaposing it with a celebratory Olympic action.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Salute to the Game

Performance by Chun Hua Catherine Dong
photo credits: Phoebe Jin

Friday, February 19, 2010

Thank you for coming. Please spend money.

Performed by Ikbal Singh and Francisco Fernando Granados.
Random Streets of Vancouver.
The signs are both on the front and back of the performers, who walked around the city, departing from the Vancouver Central Public Library. The performers received lots of giggles and "you're welcome"s from the public. In a moment where the city is a spectacle crowded with tourists this piece politely taps into the consumerist economy of the Olympics.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

This week's events.

14 – 21 Emilio RojasOf Hunger, Homelessness and Spectacle
Vivarium Gallery 2130 Yew street.

17, 8pm – 11pm Heidi Nagtegaal, "Hello, my name is Heidi Nagtegaal and I want you to think about the Olympics."
Candahar Bar

19, Chun Hua Catherine Dongsalute to the event
Mainstreet Science World, W. Georgia Street, Vancouver art gallery, Waterfront, Gastown,etc

19. Thank you for coming. Please spend money. Random streets of Vancouver.

20, Chun Hua Catherine Dong Go Canada Go
Mainstreet Science World, W. Georgia Street, Vancouver art gallery, Waterfront, Gastown etc.

21, 1pm – 4pm Heidi Nagtegaal, Redirecting Traffic
WhereHastings and Hawks

7pm-8pm - Emilio Rojas- Presentation "Of Hunger, Homelessness and Spectacle"
VIVO2010;Safe Assembly-Evening News. 1965 Main Street.

23. Thank you for coming. Please spend money. Random streets of Vancouver.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Art's cuts call for participants

This is a call to anyone who wants to participate in a short video skit to be taped (most likely) next Sunday. The skit critiques the cuts to provincial arts funding to pay for the Olympics. Briefly the script involves a group of artists, writers, and musicians lining up to get a small slice of Olympic inukshuk being grilled on a barbeque by a guy named "Art." The grilled inukshuk runs out before everyone gets a slice.

If you're interested in performing (speaking lines are very short!) we're aiming to tape it next Sunday, February 21st, at the covered barbeque pit in Strathcona Park, at 1pm. We need 2 videographers, and people willing to dress up in various costumes such as folk musicians, poets, painters, Shakespearean actors, ballet and/or flamenco dancers, etc. We also need an Olympic "torch runner," and 2 "Grecian priestesses." The props will be provided, but we're asking participants to create their own costumes.

If you're interested in participating you can contact me, Alex (or Kelly), at 604-730-9289, by email:, or through White Pillows (

Thursday, February 11, 2010


“Of Hunger, Homelessness, and Spectacle.”
Performance/ Installation
February 14th to the 21th
Vivarium Gallery (Yew Street)
By Emilio Rojas

Homelessness, has become Vancouver’s number one political, social and public embarrassment during the Olympics. Two years ago homelessness count identified 2,660 people who were homeless in the Metro Vancouver region, and the numbers keep growing. Canadian homeless population is estimated between 200,000 and 300,000. The piece uses traditional forms of exhibition; a window display used in stores, and galleries to portray a façade that can be then further explored inside. The “inside” will not be a physical space (inside the gallery) but the viewer’s mind and their own inquiries. How do they relate to this issue within their own behavioral, emotional and physical parameters? How do they treat the homeless? and what do they do as part of this society to improve the quality of life of those who are not as fortunate? Being away from my home country and forced to couch surf on a number of occasions, which is also considered a type of homelessness; I feel the necessity to actively address these questions and further explore my connection with artistic activism and durational performances .

"A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." Attributed to Mahatma Gandhi

An hour long looped projection of night shots; possible locations where homeless people sleep particularly on the downtown east side. Empty pedestrian canvases that become places of refuge during the night. I would sleep during the night and interact during the day. Reading poetry behind the glass, and offering to sell “not for sale” books, dealing with homelessness issues, ironical titles, and sarcastic traveler's guides. If the viewer wants to engage I would open the book and press it into the glass, turning the pages as the reader indicates. Artist Lois Klassen,and Heidi Nagtegaal who have both produce blankets as part of their praxis will be creating a blanket for this performance made from a variety of found textiles.

During the entire duration of the piece, I would be joining the “2010 Homelessness Hunger Strike Relay”. This Relay began December 29th, 2009 in Vancouver and it has been gaining momentum ever since. Over 70 volunteers have participated in a week long fast to raise awareness about homelessness. Calling for the re-establishment of a National Housing Program based on the One Percent Solution in Canada. Each week new volunteers take on the Wooden Spoon, which stands as a symbol of resistance.

Activists, artists and community organizers are making sure that this problem is exposed by: launching housing campaigns, working with social media, agit-prop, and creating spaces for dialogue. Of Hunger, Homelessness, and Spectacle is an attempt to create a dialogue, and surface questions about a social problem that has been placed last on the agenda of the government.

This project could not be possible without the support and collaboration of:

* VIVO 2010: Safe Assembly
* Vivarium Gallery,
* Homelessness Hunger Strike Relay.
* Am Johal,Lois Klassen,Jammie Griffiths,Heidi Nagtegaal and Christopher Rodrigues

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

VIVO 2010: Safe Assembly


Since 1973, VIVO Media Arts Centre (aka Satellite Video Exchange Society, aka Video In), has provided a space for diverse dialogues, artistic experimentation and the freedom to respond. In keeping with our history, VIVO chose not to seek support through the 2010 Cultural Olympiad. As a hub for analysis, skill sharing, production, and collaboration, VIVO invites artists to consider their production in relation to the events and systems around them.

Afternoon School consists of both planned and spontaneous seminars, with examples of skill sharing, media activism, screenings from the Video Out archive with its rich history of protest in Vancouver, and discussions using critical theory and contemporary art to produce a counter-public.

The Evening News is a series of discussions and presentations that will include a forum for participants and audience members to show highlights and ephemera from what they have gathered throughout the day. These presentations will contribute to a larger conversation and archive around the cultural meaning and social impact of the Olympics.

We will be operating a radio transmitter during the last two weeks of February. Our signal will also be streaming online. Our range will be humble, and thus situated.

Social Propaganda Mixing Machine is an open call for participants to create sound or image propaganda.

We will be hosting the Vancouver (de)Tour Guide 2010 project in our front space.

Covering Up will be a street action photo/video-documentation project.

Safe Facade also beams from our front.

VIVO 2010: Safe Assembly intends to facilitate cultural expressions that arise from the community in a lineage of solidarity. If you are interested in participating please come visit us this month.

Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471-1528), Sechs Kissen (Six Pillows), 1493