16 . 06 . 09
the intermedia catalogue a five-year project to document Intermedia's art and artists.
17 . 11 . 08
Jazz in the Cellar is a recently completed print work which I am dedicating to the The Cellar Musicians and Artists Society.
This society and its subterranean jazz venue "The Cellar" was first in a succession of artist-initiated projects which now characterize our notion of the Vancouver underground in the 1960s.
These artists' initiatives were not-for-profit organizations working in various collective models dedicated to experimental approachs to media. The most influential of these projects were The Cellar Musicians and Artists Society (1956-1963), the blew ointment press (1963-1969), the Sound Gallery / Motion Studio (1965-1966), the original Georgia Straight Newspaper (1967) and The Intermedia Society (1967-1972).
Jazz in the Cellar tells the story of a veritable who's who of local and international players who preformed at The Cellar Club in the 50s and 60s. It also emphasizes the club's experiments in presenting live theater productions and jazz / poetry events. But perhaps even more importantly it reminds us that Al Neil's legendary music and performance work throughout the 60s and 70s in Vancouver is the thread which most readily connects The Cellar through the Sound Gallery / Motion Studio to Intermedia.
MdeC, New Westminster,
"a story of the increasing tension between Vancouver's general public and it's growing hippy population, hippie vancouver 1967 provides a vivid snapshot of the polarized social and political climate in which the Intermedia Society first opened it's artists' workshop in the summer of 1967."
MdeC, New Westminster,
15. 10. 07
i n t e r m e d i a 1 9 6 7
The spring and summer of 2007 marked the 40th anniversary of both Vancouver's "hippie" summer-of-love happenings and the opening of the Vancouver Intermedia Society's artists workshop. Along with this apparent coincidence of timing, there is a deeper and more fundimental linkage which exists between these two seminal Vancouver events.
The Vancouver hippie community and the city's multi-media artists scene evolved simultaneously, but although they were each preoccupied with separate and distinct agendas, they did on various occasions intersect and merge in highly productive ways. bill bissitt's groundbreaking poetry and visual arts magazine blew ointment press and later the Sound Gallery / Motion Studio's pioneering performance initiative, both stand out in the annals of Vancouver art history as examples of this effective artist / hippie alliance. And so, with regards to our generalized notion of 1960's "youth culture" or "the youth movement" of that day, hippie culture and multi-media art were in fact mutual and complimentary expressions of their time.
Artists, poets, musicians and hippies in the 1960s often exhibited a shared taste in clothing, music and psychedelic drugs. These nonconformist youths, in the eyes of the general public, were outwardly all but indistinguishable from each other. The artist members of the Intermedia Society identified with the hippie community and its struggle. It is ironic, and an indicator of the level of anti-hippie rhetoric at the time, that as the Society prepared to open its doors to the public, it felt it necessary to disassociate from the hippie movement, with which psychedelic drug use was closely linked. According to artist Jack Shadbolt, a founding member and one of the society's main early spokespersons, Intermedia was to be considered "educational" and "serious..."
"Shadbolt said Intermedia, which will deal amongst other things, with electronic exploration in sound and light, is a pioneer in it's field in Canada — and it is for this reason that the Canada Council is so interested."
THE PROVINCE : Sunday, April 15, 1967
On April 21, 1967 in an interview with CBC radio Intermedia was asked weather their proposed workshops might resemble a sort of 21st century community center and / or a hide out for hippies, founding member Joe Kyle responded by describing the kind of environment which he hoped Intermedia might provide ...
"creative exploration could take place on an interactive basis between artists, between technologists and between seriously interested people."
" i don't think it's very desirable to try and define Intermedia in too great detail at the moment because its exploritory we are in a sense discovering this thing into existence... "
for the complete interview click here
7 . 23 . 06
I continue to pursue, collect and examine public and personal documentary material pertaining to the early beginnings and subsequent development of Intermedia art practice in Vancouver.
In conjunction with and as a direct result of this investigation I am currently producing a large installation work composed of original screenprints which are based directly on this Intermedia archival material.
I am calling this new work; Souvenir / an illustrative guide to Vancouver art history (1956—1967).
Souvenir, traces an unfolding trail through Vancouver art and culture of the 1950,s and 1960's leading directly to the creation of the Intermedia Society and the opening of it's public workshop for the exploration of art and technology on Beatty Street in 1967.
An assemblage of collected ephemera including; programs, posters, newspaper clippings, reviews and ticket stubs etc., Souvenir is a spectator's view of important cultural objects and events: art history by the people for the people.
Click on the individual screenprints above to enlarge