Now Intermedia Nights-69 style
By NORMAN WILSON
It's going to be a multi-media Easter this year. Starting Easter Monday and throughout the week presentations, exhibitions and happenings will be going on around town, but chiefly centered in the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Behind the festival-oriented activity is director Werner Aellen and his forward looking organization Intermedia, which last year turned the Art Gallery into a total environment of live audio-visual and tactile experiences with its Intermedia Nights.
This year the theme and title of the show is Electrical Connection and the experimental aspect of the show will be uppermost.
It will expose people to new artistic conceptions and experiences that are the results of the latest experiments by artists and technologists connected with Intermedia.
First visual indications that it is underway will be the concrete poetry sculpture of Ron Wattier consisting of 39 fluorescent, helium-filled balloons flying from lampposts on the Granville and Burrard bridges.
A series of three will also rise from the Art Gallery roof "for the benefit of air travelers and cloistered office personnel in surrounding skyscrapers."
During Easter Monday brightly costumed riders will be travailing around the city on gaily decorated bicycles, meeting people in the parks and city streets.
They will be members of the Vancouver Living Theater group passing out invitations for the opening of the show the same evening.
The whole of the Art Gallery will be filled with exhibitions. In among these exhibits, performances will be held throughout the week at lunch-time and in the evenings.
The 11 exhibits, now in final stages of planing, include a semi-disposable tunnel by Robert Arnold through which visitors will ride in a wheelchair experience traveling through a light and sound environment.
Photographic robots will be featured in an environment by Mike de Courcy and Dennis Vance and these robots will talk, sing and laugh, glow and even dance, depending on the viewer's position and perception.
Ed Varney is transporting his wife's kitchen to the Gallery and setting it as a "living art piece" in which he will read poetry and talk to visitors.
A forest of plexiglas pyramids arranged in "reflective conjunction with neon paintings" will be the presentation of Paul Wong and Joan Balzar.
In conjunction with this a monumental illuminated pyramid will be stationed in front of the Gallery as a special attraction.
Ribbon Run which Glen Lewis has devised. will consist of 300 feet of ribbon running through the gallery and leading visitors to the magic room.
A growth sculpture by Nelson Holland will provide 300 triangular modules with which visitors will be able to build a space sculpture that will grow and change as the week progresses.
The Graffiti box by Madeleine Bennett is another participatory exhibit. It will be an enclosed, walk-in space containing a blackboard and chalk - for visitors to write on. The graffiti will be filmed at regular intervals and exhibited.
There will also be a computer programed presentation by Tim Mackenzie, a phosphorescent mesh environment by Ron Stonier, and an experiment in plexiglas and paper by Gathie Falk entitled Excelsior.
Focussing on all this will be an arrangement of some 60 TV sets on what tom Shandel, Bill Fix and Dave Rimmer are calling a Mass media Wall.
On this several closed circuit will constantly record occurrences, performances, reactions and spontaneous happenings in the Gallery. Additional sets will present special footage gathered for the occasion.
All of these exhibits will be going full nonstop all day and evening for the duration of the show, Interspersed among them at fixed times will be these performances:
Monday evening- spontaneous events and happenings by Intermedia artists. Each presentation will gather its own audience out of the opening night crowd as and when the time seems appropriated. A portion of the evening will be presented live on CBC-TV Hourglass.
Tuesday noon - a Richard Anstey mixed media presentation using guitar, dry ice, electronic tapes and black-lit phosphorescent objects.
Wednesday noon - Dave Rimmer and Dennis Vance in a chamber concert of electronic and collage tape music and voices.
Wednesday evening - Poets Varney, Gilbert, Bissett, Razutis, Coppithorne and Speers reading their own works.
Thursday noon - Ted Hicks and Intermedia Mime Troupe in a performance featuring a sensitive reflection.
Friday evening- Live jazz, poetry, primitive instruments and electrical extensions by the Al Niel Trio with an electrical display by Gary Lee-Nova and Al Hewitt, plus films.
On Saturday the show will round off with an elaborate Dance and Living Environment by Helen Goodwin and TheCo.
This will be an audience participation performance encompassing electronic media such as a computer, close circuit TV and telephones enclosed in plastic shells.
Through these telephones the audience will be encouraged to give instantaneous anonymous response to the performance.
Tickets admitting holders to all performances are now on sale at the main art galleries in the metropolitan areas and at Intermedia, the Vancouver school of Art and City College and other locations.
In announcing this major new presentation by Intermedia, director Werner Aellen disclosed that the organizations now ready to display its work to the public on a regular and increasing basis.
It is currently committed to taking part in the Victoria summer festival being initiated by the University of Victoria. It will be seen soon on a CBC television special already broadcast in the East.
It is involved in a special education project, involving participatory film an television work, with the Vancouver School Board and Eric Hamber High School.
Burnaby Art Gallery has asked Intermedia to take part in a midsummer Night's Feast details for which are now being worked out - and it sounds like an exciting project.
There are other plans for participation in some kind of summer festival in Vancouver and Negotiations going on for enterprising new ideas to be integrated in the PNE annual show.
Finally, plans are in hand for a traveling Intermedia show going to other parts of western Canada and South of the boarder down the West Coast - showing that Vancouver is in the vanguard with bright new ideas.
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