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The Province
Friday, May 17, 1968

INTERMEDIA - N I G H T S - experiment which words can't describe

One of the major problems of Intermedia Activities is the new vocabulary which has arisen among the participants, a vocabulary limited in words but completely unlimited in inferences.

It is a semi-sophisticated almost technical collection of 20th century polysyllables, supplemented by the pre-speech vocabulary of grunts, nods, eyebrows and facial expressions of emotion.

It is a subjective vocabulary, each person knowing full well what he means by a certain word, and continually asking the other party to his conversation what he means by the same word.

Which makes for confusion, particularly before Intermedia events. If space and time were, indeed, unlimited and Intermedia newspapers consisted of a wrist - radio - television - telephone with thought-controlled dialing we could all listen at once to everything and find out everything we need to know.

But at this moment in time it is the curious job the newspaper writer to put into words things for which there were no defined words, so that the readers of those words will become sufficiently interested to go down and see what the artists are saying which has nothing at all to do with the words in the first place.

This coming week at Vancouver Art Gallery the series of Intermedia Nights will experiment with in new approaches to space, to sound and color and movement motivated by the artists' consciousness of the totality of our environment. Some of it will work, and some of it won't, and although this remark will doubtless upset a number of Intermedia people it must accepted.

Despite the enormous involvement of many Intermedia forms with technology, the perfection of the individual components is no guarantee of the perfect success of the end results.

Artists playing with machinery and electricity are really no further ahead than early men experimenting with coracle building, trying to bend peeled branches into shapes both functional and esthetically pleasing and hoping, when they finally had a completed boat, to expand their environment.

On Tuesday the first night, the program will consist of five environment. Helen Goodwin, the THEco, as she calls her dance group, will create A Space With Performers in the main gallery.

They will perform (which may be the wrong word) an enlargement of personal spaces using the movements of dancers in, around, and outside an environment of vertical light developed by John Mascuich, Dennis Vance , and Ted Young.
This will be a continuously repeated program lasting 12 minutes, and repeated 50 minutes after it's end. During this time the audience will (if it wishes - and its your thing man . . .) circulate among the other environments.

The second environment is Quasar, created by John Mascuich in the small Emily Carr room. It will be a space expanded by his interesting approach to fluorescent tubes as a sculptural medium. Michael Morris and Gary Lee Nova's Prisma, is the third, an environment discussed in detail on this page by Joan Lowndes.

The fourth is Doray's Wheel of Fortune, a collection of her audience- activated structures, and the fifth, Light on LIght, is a combination of efforts of Joan Balzar and Herb Gilbert - a space with facilities for people to play with light, mixing in illumination of a Balzar acrylic and neon construction, and to discover the interesting effects of after-imagery.

On Wednesday Al Neil's Alneilco will program "Music Music, Molecular" - and called (I think) Patametamusic Is Not. This is music of electronic devices, including a specially wired piano.

On Thursday, Stan Fox And Gene Laurence will use the evening for The Enterprise, a film evening based on the well-known Wednesday night CBC TV program, and on Friday, there will be another three part ("but they're not parts, man, they're all in the same space - don't be so limiting . . .") expansion.

On Friday Heather Mc Calum, Claude Breeze and Michael Gardiner will again do Tri-media, a movement light and sound amalgam, followed by Bill Bissett"s Mandan Massacre, which I can only conveniently describe as an orgy in sound, with Bill Bissett's interring blending of sound, myths from innumerable sources. including of course, the 20th Century.

The final piece of the evening will be Matrix, in which I will attempt to develop the space in which certain poetry' some mine and some from others, was originally conceived by the use of smells and other common sensory experiences.

On Saturday the five environments will be happening again plus an evening of Meditations.

All nightly at 9 p.m. And this is the only exact statement that can be made.


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