JOB CALL – Project Manager, IMAA

Application deadline:  March 25, 2022 

Anticipated start date: April, 2022

$43,000 for approximately 39 weeks, at 28 hours/week

The Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA) is a member-driven non-profit national organization working to advance and strengthen the media arts community in Canada.  Representing over 100 independent film, video, audio, and new media production, distribution, and exhibition organizations in all parts of the country, the IMAA serves over 16,000 independent media artists and cultural workers. 

Our organization is strong and dynamic, anchored in its diverse membership from all regions of the country, and supported by a small but dedicated staff. We are innovative, forward-thinking and inclusive in our commitment to serve independent media arts communities in all their diversity from coast to coast to coast.

For more information about IMAA, its members and activities, visit www.imaa.ca

IMAA is excited to be hiring a Project Manager to lead its interConnect project. This individual will see the project through all its phases from initiation, to research, and completion.  

interConnect comes out of feedback among arts organizations that suggests that the Digital Strategy Fund’s fundamental goals have yet to be fully met. While much important knowledge is being generated thanks to the Fund, the dissemination & concrete application of its results remain incomplete and unevenly distributed. Within the fields of visual arts, media arts, digital arts & contemporary craft, the majority of organizations and artists have yet to benefit substantially from this work. A relatively limited number of organizations are making great strides towards digital transformation and enhancing their effectiveness & sustainability in their respective communities. If these successes could be more widely shared, these transformative impacts would be amplified across the Canadian arts sector.

Based on this analysis, IMAA proposes an initiative comprised of 3 related activities:

(1) take stock of the enduring pain points experienced by organizations, collectives & artists in fulfilling their mandates or creating work;

(2) perform an extensive review, analysis & distillation of the most promising Digital Strategy initiatives already completed or underway;

(3) Match the newly developed expertise in the arts sector with the unmet needs and challenges experienced by the bulk of the arts community, using a methodology based on cooperative inquiry and documenting the results through a collective intelligence platform.

MAJOR RESPONSIBILITIES:

QUALIFICATIONS & SKILLS

IMAA is strongly committed to correcting historical employment inequities in the sector it serves and is working proactively to centre diversity within the organization. We welcome all applications from women, racialized persons/persons of colour, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, persons of all sexual orientations and genders, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. Accommodations will be made available to applicants with disabilities in the recruitment process. If you require accommodation, please provide details in your application.

We strongly encourage applicants from equity-seeking groups to apply. If you are comfortable self-identifying as such, we ask that you do.

To apply, please submit a cover letter and CV (in English or French) by email to the IMAA Hiring Committee: hiring@imaa.ca

Thank you for your interest. Due to volume only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

*IMAA’s National Office is located in Montréal, but we will consider applicants based elsewhere in Canada. We are currently observing work from home protocols. The successful candidate may be required to travel as part of their functions.

This position is funded through  the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Strategies Fund

Newsletter January | Infolettre janvier 2022

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The 48 Film Festival

Press Release – New National Director at IMAA

Thursday, January 13, 2022

 

The Independent Media Arts Alliance is pleased to announce the appointment of Barbora Racevičiūtė as the new National Director.



Barbora will guide IMAA in its mission to push for structural change with regards to labour and governance and to advocate for equity, anti-oppression and access. Barbora has held roles with various not-for-profit arts organizations and in the academy.

Her previous experiences as Interim Communications and Development Manager at Workman Arts and as Director of Operations with Images Festival have given her a focus on media arts, with a multidisciplinary mandate. She is committed to interdisciplinary partnerships and considers them essential to understanding the emerging priorities of the media arts sector and its overall development. 

Barbora has been involved from the sector on the ad-hoc Basic Income Committee to provide resources and support for artists. She cares deeply about the next generation of arts workers and concentrates on building solidarity in the sector and combating labour precarity.  
 



About IMAA

The Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA) is a member-driven non-profit national organization working to advance and strengthen the media arts community in Canada.  Representing over 100 independent film, video, audio, and new media production, distribution, and exhibition organizations in all parts of the country, the IMAA serves over 16,000 independent media artists and cultural workers.
 

Newsletter November | Infolettre novembre 2021

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WORKSHOP / ISSUES OF EXCLUSION AND INCLUSION IN THE CULTURAL SECTOR / By James Oscar, Senior Cultural Consultant at Montreal in Action

This workshop will be held on Thursday, November 25 and Friday, November 26 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (EST). Please note that this workshop will be conducted in French and follows up on the anti-racism policy clinic held for IMAA’s English-speaking members with MANO.



Workshop Objectives 

This workshop aims to equip participants with tools to help them understand current and historical issues of inclusion and exclusion. It will allow participants to better understand the specific Canadian and Quebecois historical contexts and grasp the particular manifestations of these contexts in our local and national cultural sphere, as well as the particular realities that participants experience within their cultural organizations. 

 

Following the workshop, participants will be able to : 

Methods of learning 

Reading excerpts from books and articles, viewing short videos, large and small group discussions, lectures and formal  presentations.

 

Programming 

Day 1: Introduction to implicit/explicit bias, exclusions, historical contexts of racial exclusions, modes of analysis.  

Day 2: Discussions about existing modes of inclusion in participants’ organizations (failures and successes) and ideal and critical modes of inclusion. 

 

Participant Engagement

Participants should set aside  the time to read approximately 40 pages prior to the sessions. These readings will provide a common ground for the course and will be the focus of the discussions.

 

James Oscar’s Biography

James Oscar is a writer, art critic and curator. He has studied critical thinking closely with poet/writer Édouard Glissant. His work explores how the complexity of identities is disseminated in the visual, literary and performative arts. James has 27 years of experience writing about contemporary art, cultural criticism, and sociocultural urban histories. James has 28 years of experience in the field of diversity as it relates to cultural inequality and human rights as it relates to urban racialized communities. He is currently advising the City of Montreal on issues of cultural inequity in the city’s current cultural institutions. With his group Montreal in Action, he was one of the main contributors regarding cultural inequity in the first public consultation on systemic discrimination and racism in North America – the OCPM on systemic discrimination and racism.  Read the full biography (French)

 

Montreal in Action

In 2018, Montreal in Action made history by collecting 22,000 signatures from Montrealers to force a public consultation on racism and systemic discrimination involving over 7,000 Montrealers in 2019. The following summary of the full report has been published.
https://ocpm.qc.ca/…/files/pdf/P99/resume-reds_english.pdf

 

To register, click here!

 

The event is free!

Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis, as we are limited to 25 participants.

This workshop was initiated by IMAA and CQAM. Please note that CQAM is now the Regroupement de pairs des arts indépendants de recherche et d’expérimentation – Repaire, an organization born from the merger of CQAM and RAIQ.

IMAA Fee Schedule for Calendar Year 2022

The Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA) announces new Media Arts Fee Schedule for 2022
 
Wednesday, October 20, 2021 – At its Annual General Meeting on September 28th, IMAA’s membership voted unanimously to adopt a new transitional fee schedule, as a step towards greater harmonization artist fee recommendations and standards in the Canadian and Québec arts communities. 

Consult the IMAA Fee Schedule for 2022

The 2022 IMAA Fee Schedule introduces significant changes that will impact media arts presenters differently. We recognize that most organizations have fixed budgets and that many plan their programming well in advance. In some cases, transitioning to the new Fee Schedule may require time and adjustment. 

We encourage presenters to gradually adopt the new fee structure throughout 2022 and 2023, with the goal of fully adhering to the IMAA Fee Schedule standards by 2024. The 2023 and 2024 fee schedules will be soon available on IMAASource’s website. Presenters should always follow the spirit of the Guiding Principles in implementing a transition that is appropriate to their own organization’s situation. 

The objective of the 2022 IMAA Fee Schedule is to raise the standards to which the entire independent media arts community should strive, in keeping with its values of fair remuneration for artists. We encourage organizations to use the new Fee Schedule when budgeting for future programming and to refer to it in grant applications. 

JOB CALL – National Director, IMAA

Application deadline: Fri, November 5, 2021

Anticipated start date: end of November, 2021

$52,000-$58,000 per annum plus benefits, 32 hours per week, 6 weeks paid vacation.

Years of experience: 5 to 10 years

Location: Canada* 

Benefits include: 4 weeks paid holidays + 2 weeks during the winter season, health-care spending account, work-from home allowance and annual cost-of-living adjustment to wages. 

The Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA) is a member-driven non-profit national organization working to advance and strengthen the media arts community in Canada.  Representing over 100 independent film, video, audio, and new media production, distribution, and exhibition organizations in all parts of the country, the IMAA serves over 16,000 independent media artists and cultural workers. 

Our organization is strong and dynamic, anchored in its diverse membership from all regions of the country, and supported by a small but dedicated staff. We are innovative, forward-thinking and inclusive in our commitment to serve independent media arts communities in all their diversity from coast to coast to coast.

For more information about IMAA, its members and activities, visit www.imaa.ca

IMAA’s National Director is responsible for initiating and coordinating IMAA’s projects and activities. Candidates must have experience with grant writing and working in a non-profit arts environment, have comprehensive knowledge of the independent media arts in Canada, and demonstrate a strong understanding of arts funding and the political landscape in Canada.

MAJOR RESPONSIBILITIES:

QUALIFICATIONS & SKILLS

IMAA is strongly committed to correcting historical employment inequities in the sector it serves and is working proactively to centre diversity within the organization. We welcome all applications from women, racialized persons/persons of colour, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, persons of all sexual orientations and genders, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. Accommodations will be made available to applicants with disabilities in the recruitment process. If you require accommodation, please provide details in your application.

We strongly encourage applicants from equity-seeking groups to apply. If you are comfortable self-identifying as such, we ask that you do.

To apply, please submit a cover letter and CV (in English or French) by email to the IMAA Hiring Committee: hiring@imaa.ca

Thank you for your interest. Due to volume only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

*IMAA’s National Office is located in Montréal, but we will consider applicants based elsewhere in Canada. We are currently observing work from home protocols. The successful candidate may be required to travel as part of their functions.

REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL — WEB DESIGNER & DEVELOPER

Online Media Arts Presentation Standards

Context

IMAA engaged in a national conversation to address online presentation models. As a result of this research, we will update our Fee Schedule to include online presentation and produce a series of additional resources on intellectual property, remuneration, accessibility and technical considerations.

Find a full description of the project here.

Project Outcomes

The updated Fee Schedule and accompanying documents will be hosted on IMAASource, a searchable collection of resources and tools. The objectives are therefore as follows:

Main Objectives

Secondary Objectives

IMAASource is a work in progress. We are looking for a partner who has an interest in continuing to improve this project in other contracts and who can accompany us in determining the priorities for the development of the resource.

Additional information

Budget

The budget for the design and web development is limited to $ 4000 with an additional $ 400 for accessibility user testing (all before taxes). If necessary, secondary objectives could be deferred to other projects with additional budgets.

Project’s Schedule

July to August 2021: Production of the resources

September: Translation of the ressources

September 28, 2021: Fee Schedule is voted at the Annual General Meeting (AGM)

September to November 2021: Web design, development and integration

We conduct interviews and/or hire the successful candidate at the end of August/beginning of September. The designer will be able to start working before the vote on the Fee Schedule at the AGM as we do not expect major change in the layout.

How to Apply

Please include in your proposal the following elements: 

All proposals should be sent to Benjamin J. Allard at proj@imaa.ca before August 19th. Applications should have “OPS Web – [YOUR NAME]” as a subject line.For any questions, please contact Benjamin J. Allard, proj@imaa.ca, (514) 686-1005.

PUBLIC CONSULTATION — Fee Schedule (Online Presentation) / CONSULTATION PUBLIQUE — Barème de tarifs (présentation en ligne)

https://bit.ly/34ZPFfr

Give your opinion! 
Call out to the Independent Media Arts Sector: Have your say on the ONLINE MEDIA ARTS PRESENTATION FEE SCHEDULE. 

IMAA is currently accepting registrations to participate in the June 23, 2021, Public Consultation.
//
Prononcez-vous! 
Appel au secteur des arts médiatiques indépendants, c’est le moment de donner votre opinion sur le nouveau BARÈME DE TARIFS POUR LA PRÉSENTATION DES ARTS MÉDIATIQUES EN LIGNE.

L’AAMI accepte actuellement les inscriptions pour participer à la consultation publique du 23 juin 2021.

 

 

Help & Support

Following the discovery of the remains of 215 children who attended the former Kamloops Residential School in British Columbia, IMAA extends its deepest condolences to all members of the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation, as well as to all indigenous peoples.

In light of the horrific situation, we would like to share various support initiatives:

The Indian Residential School Survivor Society (IRSSS) whose mandate is to assist First Nation Peoples in British Columbia to recognize and be holistically empowered from the primary and generational effect of the Residential Schools by supporting research, education, awareness, partnerships, and advocating for justice and healing. The Indian Residential School Survivors Society also provides a crisis line. By phone: 1-866-925-4419 Donate | More about
The Hope for Wellness Help Line offers immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention to all Indigenous peoples across Canada. Phone and chat counselling is available in English and French. On request, phone counselling is also available in: Cree, Ojibway, Inuktitut. Call the toll-free Help Line at 1-855-242-3310, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or use the chat box below to connect with a counsellor on-line. More about
The KUU-US Crisis Line Society is a non-profit registered charity that provides 24 hour crisis services through education, prevention and intervention programs. By phone: 1-800-588-8717, or on the website: kuu-uscrisisline.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Newsletter April | Infolettre avril 2021

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Survey on Online Media Arts Presentation Standards 

Thank you for completing this survey as part of IMAA’s project on Online Media Arts Presentation Standards. 

Please circulate this survey trough your media artists network!

Take the survey

Introduction
The sudden surge of new presentation models exposes an urgent need to formalize standards for streaming and other types of online presentation of media arts. Current recommended fee schedules in Canada only partially reflect these new models and lack consensus on recommended minimum fees or presentation standards.
 
To address these issues, IMAA is engaging in a national conversation with media artists, arts service organizations, media arts festivals and independent distributors, galleries and other presenters. We want to establish a minimum fee schedule and create a best practice guide on intellectual property, remuneration, accessibility and technical issues for the presentation of media arts online.

The present survey is intended for Canadian representatives of media arts organizations and media artists or independent producers. Responses are collected anonymously. Only aggregated data will be shared with the IMAA network or otherwise made public.

Terms used in the survey are defined in this glossary.
If you require assistance to fill-out the survey or would like to provide responses over the phone, please contact Marilyne Parent at engagement@imaa.ca.

Please respond to this survey by May 9, 2021.

Youth internship opportunity – Young Canada Works

Position: Media Arts Projects Coordinator 

Location: anywhere in Canada

Wage: $18.25 per hour, 30 hours per week

Contract Dates: June 1 2021 to March 31 2022

About the position:

This internship will immerse you in the activities of the Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA) and its close partner the National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition (NIMAC). Both organizations are exciting and dynamic workplaces that are currently engaged in a number of ambitious projects, which advance and strengthen the independent media arts community in Canada.

Your time will be split evenly between the two organizations. 

During your time with IMAA, you will be responsible for: 

While at NIMAC, your responsibilities will include:

Your general responsibilities at both organizations will also include:

Over the course of this ten-month internship, you will first receive intensive on-the-job orientation and training and then have the opportunity to participate hands-on in our organizations’ active projects. You will benefit from exposure to a very experienced and highly professional team of arts administrators, organizers, and other specialists, participating fully in our day-to-day work over the course of the internship. 

By the end of the internship period, you will have dramatically increased your understanding of the Canadian media arts sector, made concrete decisions regarding your future specialization within the field, equipped yourself with tools for seeking further employment or self-employment options, and be better positioned to pursue those options.

About you:

English language skills (written and spoken) are essential for this position. Written and spoken French would be considered an asset, but not a requirement of the position.  

IMAA is strongly committed to correcting historical employment inequities in the sector it serves and is working proactively to centre diversity within the organization. We welcome all applications from women, racialized persons/persons of colour, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, persons of all sexual orientations and genders, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. Accommodations will be made available to applicants with disabilities in the recruitment process. If you require accommodation, please provide details in your application – you may append your requirements to your cover letter. 

To apply: 

Please use the https://young-canada-works.canada.ca/Account/Login portal to submit your application. Please include the following documents with your application:

  1. your resumé
  2. a cover letter summarizing your interest and relevant skills and experience

Please be sure to submit BOTH a resumé AND a cover letter. Incomplete applications will not be considered. 

The application deadline is Monday May 3rd 2021 at 23:59 EDT.

For more information:

About the Independent Media Arts Alliance: https://www.imaa.ca/about-us/

About the National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition: http://www.nationalimac.org/ABOUT-NIMAC-1 

Image by Katie White from Pixabay 

Newsletter March | Infolettre mars 2021

 

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Cultural Inclusion Issues in the Cultural Sector

CQAM and AAMI are collaborating with Diversité artistique Montréal (DAM) to offer our members a discussion and training on inclusion issues in the cultural sector on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 27 and 28, 2021.  

The first day will serve as a preparatory step for the workshop the next day, by providing a common vocabulary. Several concepts will be discussed using historical background, artistic references and statistics. It will also address the concrete impacts that issues of under-representation can have in the workplace as well as some avenues to initiate a process of inclusion.

The second part will be a dialogue. A workshop will be held to discuss what is an anti-racist approach. Participants will be invited to submit their concerns and questions without judgment before and during the workshop so that it can be adapted to your realities. The goal of the exercise is to accompany your personal and professional reflections and to open up the field of possibilities for changes that you can implement with your team, your organization and your community. Any process of inclusion must be thought out and planned within your teams and organizations, but we hope to give you some foundations on which to develop it.

The main objective of the iDAM cell is to raise awareness in the cultural and artistic milieu of the systemic obstacles that limit the equitable development of artists and diversity and First Nations organizations and to accompany them towards sustainable change.

April 27 (from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm):

  • Diversity and indigenous peoples
  • Racism and systemic racism (through history)
  • Implicit biases
  • White privilege and white fragility
  • Allies
  • Intersectionality
  • Equity vs. equality
  • Inclusion vs. integration

April 28 (9:30am to 12pm):

  • Anti-racist approaches.
  • Analysis of the symbolic, organizational, communication and administrative components of organizations.
  • Recommendations for concrete actions for a structuring inclusive approach.
  • Suggestions for tools adapted to your needs.
  • Inclusion measures and policies.
  • Discussions on concrete concerns raised by participants.

To register, click here! 

The event is free !

Registration will be done on a first come, first served basis, as we are limited to 25 participants.

*Please note that this event will be conducted in French and follows up on the anti-racism policy clinic held for our English-speaking members with MANO and IMAA.*
 

Online Media Arts Presentation Standards

IMAA needs your support!

The sudden surge of new presentation models exposes an urgent need to formalize standards for streaming and other types of online presentation of media art. Current recommended fee schedules in Canada only partially reflect these new models, and lack consensus on recommended minimum fees or presentation standards. 

To address these issues, IMAA is launching a national conversation with media artists, arts service organizations, film festivals, independent distributors, galleries and other presenters. This work will establish a minimum fee schedule and create a best practices guide on intellectual property, remuneration, accessibility and technical issues for the presentation of media arts online.

This project will benefit the media arts community by: 

– Encouraging the fair remuneration of media artists when their work is shown online;

– Clarifying fees and best practices for the online presentation of audiovisual work; 

– Building the capacity of Canadian presenters to present audiovisual work online; 

– Enhancing the accessibility of Canadian independent media arts disseminated online; 

– Expanding the technical knowledge of Canadian presenters of media art online.

There are many ways to support this work:

1- Become a project supporter: Please consider making a financial contribution to this important work! By doing so, you will help ensure that all research participants are fairly compensated for their time, that project contributors reflect a broad diversity of voices and regional representation, and that our project’s outcomes are widely circulated and broadly accessible to our community free of cost. We suggest a contribution amount of $500. Your organization’s financial support will be acknowledged and displayed at all related events, press releases, media and promotional materials. IMAA is a charitable organization and can issue receipts for your donation if required.

2- Take part in the discussions: Join us for a round table discussion of these issues on March 24th. Follow this link to register. A second round table will be organized in June.

3- Spread the word: Sign up to our mailing list and subscribe to our social media channels below to follow our process and receive regular updates. Relay news from our project through your own communications channels and invite your community to join the upcoming round table.

4- Declare your support for these standards: Once the updated fee schedule and best practices have been approved by IMAA’s membership, we’d like you to demonstrate your commitment to upholding these standards. Stay tuned for details on how to display your support for our new fee schedule and best practices guide!

Get in touch with us:

If your organization is able to make a financial contribution please contact our Project Manager, Benjamin J. Allard

For more information about the upcoming roundtable or to get involved in the process, please write to our Engagement Manager, Marilyne Parent.

_____________

About IMAA

The Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA) is a member-driven non-profit national organization working to advance and strengthen the media arts community in Canada.  Representing over 100 independent film, video, audio, and new media production, distribution, and exhibition organizations in all parts of the country, the IMAA serves over 16,000 independent media artists and cultural workers.

IMAA is a charitable organization and can issue receipts for your donation, if required.

Online Media Arts Presentation Standards

IMAA is currently accepting registrations to participate in its March 24, 2021 Roundtable on Online Media Arts Presentation Standards. 

🌎 Background and Invitation

— The sudden surge of new presentation models exposes an urgent need to formalize standards for the streaming and online presentation of media art. This is why IMAA is engaging in a national conversation to establish a minimum fee schedule and create a best practices guide.

How are media artworks currently presented online? What principles and best practices should guide us? What tools should be developed?

We want to hear from you! Attend the roundtable and contribute to the discussion.

📆 Registration
— The roundtable is open to all, but you must register by following this link.

📚 Participation Guide
— Prior to the meeting, please consult the Participation Guide.

🕰 Start time 
— The roundtable should last 2 h 30 min


Vancouver – (PDT)… 10 AM
Edmonton/Calgary – (MDT)… 11 AM 
Winnipeg/Regina – (CDT)… 12 PM
Toronto/Montréal – (EDT)… 1 PM
Halifax – (ADT)… 2 PM
St. John’s – (NDT)… 2:30 PM

 Share the event
— You can share the event with your network of artists and media arts organizations!
https://www.facebook.com/events/478585843523448/

Newsletter February | Infolettre février 2021

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The8fest

Video Portraits of the 2021 winners of the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts





The Canada Council for the Arts has announced the eight recipients of the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts. Up to eight awards are distributed every year: six awards recognize artistic achievements, one award recognizes excellence in the fine crafts (Saidye Bronfman Award) and one award recognizes an outstanding contribution to contemporary visual arts, media arts or fine crafts. The winners receive a medallion and a cash prize of $25,000 each.

Since 2013, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Independent Media Arts Alliance have put out a call to professional Canadian filmmakers to create video portraits of the award winners. The following are the directors and the GG Award winners they have profiled.

Maya Bastian profiles Visual Artist and Curator Bryce Kanbara
Katrina Beatty profiles Interdisciplinary Artist Cheryl L’Hirondelle
Amy Bohigian profiles Visual Artist Lou Lynn
Storm Carroll profiles Artist, Sculptor Dempsey Bob
Patrick Péris profiles Media Artist Luc Courchesne
Alexander Seltzer profiles Visual Artist Bonnie Devine
Amos Scott profiles Visual Artist Germaine Arnaktauyok
Rhayne Vermette profiles Visual Artist Lori Blondeau

IMAA salutes the outstanding work of each of these GG Award winners, and especially acknowledge the artistic achievement award given to Luc Courchesne (Media Artist)and Cheryl L’Hirondelle (Interdisciplinary Artist).

Luc Courchesne is a pioneer in media art and design. From interactive portraiture to immersive experience apparatuses, he has developed innovative approaches that have earned him prestigious awards […]”. Read more

“Of Cree/Halfbreed and German/Polish ancestry, Cheryl L’Hirondelle is an interdisciplinary, community-engaged artist, a singer/songwriter and a critical thinker whose family roots are from Papaschase First Nation, amiskwaciy wâskahikan (Edmonton, Alberta) and Kikino Metis Settlement, Alberta. Her work critically investigates and articulates a dynamism of nêhiyawin (Cree worldview) in contemporary time-place with a practice that incorporates Indigenous language(s), audio, video, virtual reality, the olfactory, sewn objects, music and audience/user participation to create immersive environments towards ‘radical inclusion.[…]’”. Read more

>> Video portraits of the winners will be available on Air Canada’s domestic and international flights from May 1 to October 31, 2021.

Invitation to join the Sharing and Solving Session | Cybersecurity for the Arts

As part of its Cyber Safe and Sound resource, the Independent Media Arts Alliance invites you to a Cybersecurity Workshop! Come share your inspiring initiatives, discuss your situations with colleagues and meet our experts. 

This sharing and solving session of two-hour is designed to support arts organization employees in their cybersecurity efforts. If you consulted our cybersecurity resource, and if you wish to start to implement cybersecurity measures in your organization, this event is made for you.

This session will be divided in two parts:
1. A sharing information session on cybersecurity issues. This part will be confidential.

2. A collaborative brainstorming session to meet our cybersecurity expertsThis part will be recorded and available on Cyber Safe and Sound website to inspire other organizations in their management of digital risks.

The event is open to all, but spots are limited.
Please read this Participation Guide before registering.

English Session: Tuesday, March 16, 2021
Start time according to your time zone :
PST (Vancouver) at 10am, MST (Edmonton/Calgary) at 11am, CST (Winnipeg/Regina) at 12pm, EST (Toronto/Montreal) at 1pm, AST (Halifax) at 2pm, NST (St. John’s) at 2:30pm.

Register here

Share this event with your colleagues and community: Facebook Event

Newsletter January | Infolettre janvier 2021

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Newsletter December | Infolettre décembre 2020

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Online Media Arts Presentation Standards

CALL FOR
PARTICIPANTS

Context

The sudden surge of new presentation models exposes an urgent need to formalize standards for streaming and other types of online presentation of media art. To address these issues, IMAA is engaging in a national conversation with media artists, arts service organizations, media arts festivals and independent distributors, galleries and other presenters. 

With this project, we want to establish a minimum fee schedule and create a best practices guide.

Find a full description of the project here

Join a working group!

Interested in taking part in the conversation?
You can join one of the three working groups: 

Intellectual Property and Remuneration

The online presentation and distribution of media artworks challenge existing models for the remuneration of artists. The use of digital technology to disseminate works also raises specific issues related to intellectual property, including copyright, attribution standards, moral rights, fair dealing, etc. This working group will be directly involved in the development of a national media arts fee schedule for online presentation and support the development of best practices regarding intellectual property and digital practices. 

Online Accessibility

Putting into practice accessibility-driven values – offline and online – is an ongoing process in which the media arts community is engaged. There is much to accomplish in this area, least of which is the development of a common understanding of what is meant by accessibility and how this translates into online presentation practices. This working group will lay the groundwork for the development of best practices for making online presentation accessible to audiences with diverse realities. We specifically value the contributions of those who have experienced lack of access to this working group.

Technical Considerations

Digital technology changes the playing field for media arts presenters and distributors, providing multiple new ways of disseminating work and reaching audiences. However, from a technical point of view, online presentation comes with its own set of issues. Setting security parameters, using a third party or custom-built platform, configuring geo-blocking, ensuring that works cannot be downloaded, these are only a few of the additional considerations that come with online presentation. With the goal of increasing the media art community’s capacity when it comes to online presentation, this working group will support the development of best practices related to technological issues and digital presentation contexts. 

Engagement

These three groups will meet regularly to support the research, discuss best practices and provide feedback on working documents. The meetings, organized according to participants’ availability, will last between 1 and 2 hours (with some requiring up to 1 hour of preparation before the meeting). A compensation of $75 per meeting is offered. 

We encourage individuals with lived experience of oppression and self-identified members of marginalized communities to apply. If you require accommodations to participate, please address it in your application.

To participate

Send a brief letter of interest describing your relevant experience and skills and specifying the group(s) you would like to join (500 words max.) to engagement@imaa.ca.

Deadline for applications is January 20, 2021. 

If you have any questions, please contact Marilyne Parent.

Anti-Racism Policy Clinic

Date: Tuesday, December 8th, 2020
Time: 1PM EST
Free for IMAA and MANO members
Session offered in English


IMAA and MANO have partnered to bring a series of policy clinics to our members over the coming months.

The Anti-Racism Policy Clinic looks to expand the sector’s anti-racism work, not only by examining existing organizational policies, but by going beyond and exploring how these policies are enacted, or not; how they contribute to systemic change or how they might hinder real transformation. 

Facilitators will review a sample of existing policies from the sector, provide feedback and an action plan to see these activated by indicating milestones and wins in a process that is complex, takes time, organizational and sectoral buy-in and requires both human and financial resources.

Particular attention will be paid to the challenges faced by organizations as well as strategies to move beyond diversity and into inclusion, belonging, equity and retention.
The session will be facilitated by Malissa Bryan and Jess Notwell from the Rainbow Diversity Institute.

To sign up, please email Adriana at membership@mano-ramo.ca with the name of the person attending from your organization, their job or volunteer title/role, name of organization or group and email address. 

Registrations will be managed on a first come-first served basis as we are limited to 24 participants nation-wide.

If you would like to submit your anti-racism policies for review, please indicate whether these can be shared with the group at the clinic in an anonymized format, or not.


If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch with us!


Sincerely,


The Independent Media Arts Alliance 

Newsletter November | Infolettre novembre 2020

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Written Submission to the Canada Council for the Arts

As part of CCA’s Strategic Planning consultation process for 2021-2026, IMAA has submitted on November 16, 2020 a written submission to the CCA.

To read the entire written submission click here

 

Written Submission for the Canadian Heritage Recovery Consultations

Context for submission

Provided by Canadian Heritage

 

The cultural, heritage and sport sectors were among the first to experience the immediate financial impacts of COVID-19 and will be among the last to return. These sectors are not only an important driver of the Canadian economy, but also play a critical role in nation building, fostering Canadian identity, and social cohesion. These guidelines are intended to assist with the development and consideration of written proposals that aim to support arts and culture, heritage, and sport organizations in the recovery period, where COVID-19 health and safety risks are expected to remain significant and normal economic linkages may still be damaged. If applicable, information is also requested on partnerships, costing, and return on investment.

Read the IMAA policy proposal to PCH Covid recovery

Video proposals for the GGArts 2021 video portraits

Request for video proposals to honour great Canadian artists from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the Northwest Territories

 

Note: Due to COVID-19 and unpredictable travel restrictions, which may be tightened in the coming months, it may not be possible to film the GGArts 2021 video portraits on location. Should this be the case, the video portraits will have to be produced remotely without the possibility to meet and film the winners in person.

The Canada Council for the Arts and the Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA) are once again coming together to honour the recipients of the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts (GGArts).

We are looking to pair Canadian filmmakers with the 2021 GGArts winners to create artistic video portraits (3 minutes max., including credits/bumpers) and a 30-second teaser. We also encourage production centres and filmmakers to enter an agreement that would help cover the costs of services and equipment they might need.

The commissioned filmmakers will be acknowledged in every way possible as creators of these videos. The video portraits will be shown on Council’s web site and YouTube channel. They will be promoted via social media, on partners’ web sites and at public events. The commissioned filmmakers and IMAA members are also encouraged to show the works on their websites and social media channels.

The videos will be a key element of a national campaign to raise the profile of the winners and the visual arts, media arts and fine craft in Canada.

Each video will be an artistic and original portrait of the GGArts winner of which the commissioned filmmaker has complete creative control. It will celebrate the winner’s achievement and the impact his or her life’s work has made on the lives of Canadians. The Council reserves the right to use the video portraits for promotional purposes. The commissioned filmmakers retain copyright and ownership of their works and may use them as they wish to promote their own work.

Budget (max.): $7,000
Deadline for submissions: Sunday, November 1, 2020
Deadline for questions regarding the RFP: Friday, October 23, 2020


TO APPLY: 

Visit: 
https://canadacouncil.ca/about/requests-for-proposals
If you have any questions, please contact:
Sylvain Laporte at 1-800-263-5588, ext. 5270 | 613-566-4414, ext. 5270

Please provide all information in one PDF document. Proposals are to be submitted via email to: Sylvain Laporte at sylvain.laporte@canadacouncil.ca.

Newsletter October | Infolettre octobre 2020

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Newsletter September | Infolettre septembre 2020

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WNDX Inc.

Sur Place Media

Introducing: Digital Shift

Connect with speakers and artists from across the country at the Digital Shift Virtual Gathering!

All events are FREE to attend, registration is only required for the Opening Ceremony and Roundtable Discussions which will be held on Zoom. 

Register for the Roundtables

The Digital Shift Opening Ceremony will be held on September 16 at 10am PST. 

Register for the Opening Ceremony

Digital Shift will be comprised of six weekly sessions, held online from 10am -12pm (Pacific time) each Thursday from September 17 to October 22, 2020. Each session will be made up of a one hour round-table conversation, followed by a virtual break-out, where participants will gather in working groups to discuss the issues raised during the conversation. These discussions will have French/English translation and ASL interpretation. 

The first session on September 17 will feature speakers France Trépanier & Chris Creighton-Kelly, co-directors of Primary Colours/Couleurs primaires. They will present “A Shifting Landscape” by approaching the immediate challenges in the Canadian arts system. Using a historical perspective, they situate the development of this Eurocentric system in the context of colonialism; the post World War 2 ‘cultural nation building’ period; the 80’s and 90’s push by IBPoC artists to gain access to this system; the 25 year response of Canadian arts institutions/organizations and the current resetting of this system in the wake of Indigenous struggles and the BLM uprisings.

Register for the first session here: bit.ly/RegisterWeek1
—–
Digital Shift will also showcase the work of artists from the Pacific Region (BC and the Yukon) through a rotating weekly program of screenings, online artists’ works, and virtual walks by artists through different territories within the region. These pieces will be shown on our website from September 17 to October 28. 

Events for the first week of September 17 to 23:

Featured Screening – “At the Confluence” programmed by Yukon Film Society (YFS) and The Klondike Institute for Art and Culture (KIAC). Works will be available to stream on our website in the Cinema.

Featured Artist Works by Farheen HaQ and Anchi Lin will be shown on our website in the Gallery.

Informal Meetup Sessions focusing on Artistic Staff and Technical and Production Staff will be held simultaneously on our website in the Main Hall on Sept. 22, 10am–12pm PST.

—–
Register for the overall conference here

Go to our website for a detailed schedule: Digital Shift Website

Share the event on social media! Use #DigitalShift2020 

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or on Facebook

Digital Shift is hosted by the FLUX Media Gallery, which is situated on the ancestral and un-ceded territories of the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations, including the WSANEC peoples of the Pauquachin, Tsartlip, Tseycum and Tsawout First Nations (Victoria BC). The Gathering is presented in partnership with the Media Arts Alliance of the Pacific (MAAP), the National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition (NIMAC) and IMAA.

Canadian Film Institute

Winnipeg Underground Film Festival

The Lethbridge Independent Film Society

The Documentary Media Society

Newsletter August | Infolettre août 2020

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Press Release

For immediate release – August 27, 2020

IMAA to deliver Digital Skills for Youth program from 2020-2022 

IMAA is pleased to announce that from September 2020 until March 2022, we will offer funding opportunities for youth internships as part of the federal government’s Digital Skills for Youth (DS4Y) program.

The DS4Y program is a national initiative coordinated through the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy overseen by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED). The program helps youth advance their digital skills, improve their employability and use their talent to their full potential in the digital economy.

Thanks to the DS4Y program, IMAA will help at least 35 underemployed post-secondary graduates develop their digital skills, gain valuable work experience and enhance their future employability through work and training internships hosted by nonprofits and small businesses in the arts and culture sector.

“Digital skills and work-integrated learning are key to future success, innovation and jobs in Canada,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “The DS4Y program helps graduates get the best possible head start so they can thrive in the digital economy, while delivering the highly skilled workforce that Canadian businesses are looking for.”

To learn more about the Digital Skills for Youth program or to submit your application to host internships, please visit IMAA’s DS4Y page.

For general information about the Government of Canada’s DS4Y program, please visit https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/122.nsf/eng/home

St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival (SJIWFF)

Newsletter July | Infolettre juillet 2020

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PIX FILM Collective

Newsletter June | Infolettre juin 2020

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Resource list in support of Black and Indigenous communities

Black Lives Matter
– News (Sign up for updates!)
– Take Action
– Dontate
– Resources (Healing Action Toolkit, Chapter Conflict Resolution Toolkit, Healing Justice Toolkit and more)
– Chapters (Toronto, Vancouver, Waterloo)
How to Support Black Lives Matter Online

Resource List
– Some places to give working locally in the US
– Some places to give working nationally in the US
– Some places to give working nationally in Canada
– Some places to give working locally in Canada
– Take Action (Call Scripts + Petitions)
– Resources and educational tools (Some incredibly helpful and comprehensive resource guides, Podcasts, Movies and TV and Books)

Anti-racism resources
– Where you can donate
– Online reading
– On protest
– Practicing Allyship
– Prison Abolition
– Videos
– Podcasts
– Books
– Follow + Support

Support Black initiatives or Organizers Helping Black Communities in Montreal
– Lawyer/Legal Aid/Mobilization
– Culture
– Education/Youth
– Assistance to migrants
– Assistance to ethnic and racialized communities
– Fight against poverty and exclusion / Entrepreneurship

Anti-racism resources for white people by Women do Stuff (France)
– Books
– Articles, blogs
– Films, series, documentaries
– Podcasts
– Youtube
– Organizations, associations, collectives, activists
– Youth
– Collections

Workman Arts’ Anti-Racism Resources
– Donate
– Petition
– Directories
– Action
– Tools

IMAASource – (Re)conciliation
– Think Before You Appropriate: A guide for creators and designers
– Interactive Territory, Treaty and Language Map (Native Land)
– Understanding Aboriginal Arts in Canada Today: A Review of Knowledge and Literature (Canada Council for the Arts)
– Impacts and Benefits Agreement – Indigenous Corporate Training (ICT)
– Indigenous self-government – Indigenous Corporate Training (ICT)
– Indigenous Peoples: A Guide to Terminology – Indigenous Corporate Training (ICT)
– 27 valuable “must do” tips for Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples – Indigenous Corporate Training (ICT)
– 23 Tips on What Not to Say or Do when Working with Indigenous Peoples – Indigenous Corporate Training Inc. (ICT)
– United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN)
– Guidelines for working with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Elders (CACE)
– Cultural Representation in the Media Arts, Ethics and Freedom of Expression (FOFA Gallery)
– Learning From Indigenous Non-Governmental Organizations: A Case Study of Three INGOs in Canada with Transformative Impact on their Communities (Tides Canada)
– Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC)
– Cultural Diversity in the Media Arts (NIMAC – IMAA)


Afrique au Féminin (Montréal-based)

Afrobiz.ca: Black owned businesses in Canada

BIPOC TV & Film

Black Lives Matter: Ways You Can Help (unofficial)

Black Lives Matter Vancouver Demands & Calls to Action 

Black Legal Action Centre

Black Youth Helpline

Black Health Alliance

Black Women Film! Canada

Call to Action by Hogan’s Alley Society

Call to Action to Address Anti-Black Racism in Schools by BC Community Alliance

Call to Action template by Defund VPD 

Canadian Anti-Hate Network

Canadian Civil Liberties Association (Donate)

Canadian Race Relations Foundation
The Spirit of Reconciliation, guidebook
Racism: Problems and Solutions, videos

Center for Research-Action on Race Relations 

Dames Making Games Resource List

Defund the Police – Canada

Edmonton anti-black racism tool kit

Federation of Black Canadians

Film in Colour

Fingerprint for Success – Women of color in the workplace 

How to protest safely

Indigenous Screen Office

ImagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and imagineNATIVE Film Festival Playlists

Jane Finch Action contre la pauvreté 

Jane Finch Housing Coalition

June is Indigenous History Month – BC Alliance

Mental Health virtual resources for Black people

Montreal-based racial justice organizations

National Film Board
Indigenous Cinema
Black Communities in Canada
Wapikoni Mobile 2017

National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition

Native Women’s Association of Canada

Reel World Film Festival

Support Network for Indigenous Women & Women of Colour

Toronto Black Film Festival

Vancouver Black Therapy & Advocacy Fund

Virtual protesting 101 by Manassaline

Wapikoni

What Canadian kids should know about #BlackLivesMatter – CBC (Video)

What is Systemic Racism? Video Series

10 steps to non-optical allyship by Mireille Charper

10 Films to Watch in Support of Black LiberationINDIE WIRE

14 Canadian Organizations to Donate to in the Fight Against Anti-Black Racism

This list is non exhaustive, you can contact us at coord@imaa.ca if you feel something else should be there.

Media Arts Projects Coordinator

Location: Montréal

Wage: $18 per hour, 35 hours per week

Dates: July 20 2020 to December 23 2020

Job description:

This internship will immerse you in the activities of the Independent Media Arts Alliance, an exciting and dynamic workplace that is currently engaged in a number of ambitious projects, which advance and strengthen the media arts community in Canada. This internship will cover two areas of activity: assisting in the coordination and planning of an online media arts gathering, and coordinating the operations of IMAA’s online resource hub IMAASource (imaa.ca/Source).

Over the course of this six-month internship at IMAA, you will first receive intensive on-the-job orientation and training and then have the opportunity to participate hands-on in the two projects described above: online media gathering and resource hub. You will develop new skills in the use of digital tools for sharing knowledge and facilitating conversation. You will benefit from exposure to a very experienced and highly professional team of arts administrators, organizers, and other specialists, participating fully in an exciting and ambitious project over the course of the six-month internship.

By the end of the internship period, you will have dramatically increased your understanding of the Canadian media arts sector, made concrete decisions regarding your future specialization within the field, equipped yourself with tools for seeking further employment or self-employment options, and be better positioned to pursue those options.

About you:

You hold an undergraduate degree in an arts or communications related field. You have a passionate interest for, and preferably also hands-on experience within the media arts (independent film, video, audio art, or new media/digital art). You have an interest in gaining experience in the use of tools to facilitate knowledge exchange and professional gatherings using online means. You have strong organizational skills, including proficiency with all standard digital office tools, and well-developed work practices. Familiarity with media streaming platforms and software would be an asset. You are responsible, accountable, and able to work largely in a self-directed manner. You have excellent communications skills and a demonstrated ability to work well in teams.

You meet all the eligibility criteria for the “Young Canada Works at Building Careers in Heritage” program (please refer to https://young-canada-works.canada.ca/Opportunity/ProjectDetails?projectId=9449). You should also register for the YCW program by creating an account here: https://young-canada-works.canada.ca/Account/Register

English and French language skills (written and spoken) are required, with preference given to fluently bilingual candidates with excellent writing skills. IMAA is committed to equal employment opportunities and encourages candidates who identify as women, Indigenous, members of visible minorities, LGBTQ2SIA+, and persons with disabilities to apply.

To apply:

Please use the young-canada-works.canada.ca portal to submit your application. Please include the following three documents with your application:

              your CV

              a cover letter summarizing your interest and relevant skills and experience

        a writing sample in either French or English (something you’ve written in the past either for work or for studies – we ask for this in order to get a sense of your writing skills)

Incomplete applications will not be considered. The application deadline is Friday June 26 2020 at 11:59 pm EDT.

Statement of Solidarity with Black and Indigenous Communities

The Independent Media Arts Alliance stands in solidarity with Black and Indigenous communities. 

We are committed to confronting and fighting systemic racism, police brutality and oppression in all of its forms. We encourage members of the media arts community and beyond to amplify Black and Indigenous voices, to financially support initiatives in their local areas dedicated to racial justice, to engage with family, friends and colleagues in difficult and welcomed conversations of privilege and institutional racism

We invite member organizations to share this statement or to create their own, to ask themselves what more they can do and to commit themselves to the constant learning that racial justice demands. 

In Solidarity,

IMAA

 

Resource list in support of Black and Indigenous communities

Newsletter May | Infolettre mai 2020

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Newsletter April | Infolettre avril 2020

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Newsletter March | Infolettre mars 2020

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Newsletter February | Infolettre février 2020

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Newsletter January | Infolettre janvier 2020

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Newsletter December | Infolettre décembre 2019

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IMAA Launches 2019-2023 Action Plan

IMAA is proud to present its ambitious new action plan for 2019-2023. In this document, you will find details about IMAA’s six key goals and the various projects we will be undertaking to accomplish them. For more regular updates on our activities and projects, you can subscribe to our newsletter.

 

 

 

 

IMAA Newsletter Archive

 

Newsletter November | Infolettre novembre 2019

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Newsletter October | Infolettre octobre 2019

 

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Elections 2019: Resources for Members

There are more than 700 000 artists and cultural workers in Canada. That’s over 700 000 votes!
Below are some resources created by the Canadian Arts Coalition and others that can help you make yourself heard through your vote.

We encourage you to share this information widely with your membership, especially first-time voters!

Introductory article, geared mostly to first-time voters

Practical information about voting can be found here 

Where do the parties stand? Non-partisan information on parties’ platforms. Note that this page will be updated regularly as the Coalition receives answers to their questionnaire.

Federal election messaging prepared by the Canadian Arts Coalition

Leaders debate:
English debate – Monday Oct. 7, 2019, 7-9 p.m. ET
French debate – Thursday Oct. 10, 2019, 8-10 p.m.

Information on how to submit a question to the debate

Position Paper developed by Culture Montreal (FR)

If you have other resources you would like to suggest for this list, email us at coord@imaa.ca

Newsletter September | Infolettre septembre 2019

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REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS – Video production for GGArts awards

The Canada Council for the Arts | Conseil des arts du Canada and the Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA) are once again coming together to honour the recipients of the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts (GGArts).

We are looking to pair Canadian filmmakers with the 2020 GGArts winners to create artistic video portraits (3 minutes max., including credits/bumpers) and a 30-second teaser.

Type of Service Required : Video production
Closing Date : 24 September, 2019
Contact Person : Sylvain Laporte
Phone : 1-800-263-5588 | 613-566-4414, ext. 5270
Email : sylvain.laporte@canadacouncil.ca

Full details here: https://bit.ly/2lULluz

Newsletter August | Infolettre août 2019

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Newsletter June | Infolettre juin 2019

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Newsletter May | Infolettre mai 2019

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Newsletter April | Infolettre avril 2019

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Newsletter March | Infolettre mars 2019

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Newsletter February | Infolettre février 2019

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Newsletter January | Infolettre janvier 2019

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Gimli Film Festival

Newsletter December | Infolettre décembre 2018

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Newsletter November | Infolettre novembre 2018

Truck Contemporary Art

IMAA launches video interviews of Arts Day on the Hill 2018

News Release
Monday, November 5, 2018

We are pleased to share the videos we produced this year for Arts Day on the Hill with theCanadian Arts Coalition in partnership with Saw Video and Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal. IMAA took part in Arts Day this year by interviewing several arts participants on the role of advocacy and promotion of the arts. Various messages were communicated by arts participants, among others, the essential need to fund the arts, Indigenous cultures, diverse cultural values, and official and minority languages.

Eight videos are now available for all to view on IMAA’s Youtube channel, including the speech made by the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez.

The Coalition’s messaging was focused on addressing weak links in the creative value chain. Arts Day delegates sought support in three areas: Arts presentation in Canadian communities; Training and internships; and Charitable donation incentives.

IMAA would like to thank the participants: Steven Smits, Producer and Independent Arts Manager,Niki Little, Director of the National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition (NIMAC), Cynthia Lickers-Sage, Visual artist from Six Nations and Executive Director, Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance (IPAA),Ellen Hamilton, Executive Director of Qaggiavuut, Janita Grift, Independent Arts Administrator, Jean-François Packwood, Executive Director of CCAFCB, Howard R. Jang, Vice President, Arts and Leadership, Banff Center for Arts and Creativity, Carmen Gibbs, Executive Director of the AAAPNB,Monique Renaud and Ainslee Beer of the Canadian Arts Coalition.

Newsletter October | Infolettre octobre 2018

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Listen, Witness, Transmit: National Indigenous Media Arts Gathering

By Missy LeBlanc

Read the PDF Version

This article is part of Perspectives: a series of online reflections from the Canadian media arts community, created with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

In 2016-2017, IMAA presented a series of two-day gatherings within the Canadian media arts sector, focusing respectively on Sound Art, Analogue Film, and Digital Strategy. Each gathering took place in a different Canadian city, exchanging views and strengthening ties within these far-reaching communities, while also offering an important space for focused conversations on pressing issues faced by each sector. With the idea to continue the discussions in a public format, IMAA has commissioned written reflections from several authors on a subject of their choosing with relevance to the discussions.

This reflection by Missy LeBlanc is in response to the National Indigenous Media Arts Gathering that took place in June 2018 at Wanuskewin Heritage Park in Saskatoon.

***

June 12-15, 2018 – Saskatoon, SK

In June 2018 the National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition (NIMAC) in partnership with the Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA) held a national gathering at Wanuskewin Heritage Park in Saskatoon. The gathering—Listen, Witness, Transmit— brought Indigenous scholars, artists and cultural workers, along with non-Indigenous allies and media arts organizations together for three days of panel discussions, workshops, exhibitions, performances and screenings. The gathering was centered around Indigenous resurgence with each day dedicated to a specific resurgence practice— listening, transmitting, and witnessing.

The night before the official gathering start, there was a community feast to welcome panellists and participants. Alongside the feast was a viewing of Cree Métis artist Jason Baerg’s and Fransaskois artist Jean-Sébastien Gauthier We Are Star People, an interactive installation based on Cree cosmology that takes the viewer on a journey to Pakone-Kisik (Pleiades star cluster). The feast and installation was a way for all those involved to get to know one another and to start building relationships for the often heavy conversations that were to come during the remainder of the week.

For each day of the gathering, a film screening corresponding to the day’s theme was showcased over the lunch hour. All of the screenings were curated by Indigenous curators and featured films and video art created by Indigenous filmmakers and artists. On the first day, I had the opportunity to curate the first film screening, Reverberate, which reflected the theme of listening. Filmmaker, artist and curator Eli Hirtle (Cree, British, and German) used the theme of witness on day-two for his film screening micimwaci: kayâs, mekwâ, nîkânote // ᒥᒋᒪᐧᒋᑲᔮᐢ ᒣᑳᐧ ᓃᑳᓄᑌ // timeless: past, present, future. For the last day of the gathering, Jennifer Smith (Métis) reflected on transmission in her film screening The Future.

The gathering kicked off with an opening from keynote speaker and powerhouse media matriarch, Métis filmmaker Marjorie Beaucage. Beaucage opened up the gathering with a poem and a discussion on storytelling. For Beaucage, stories are medicine and artists are storytellers. Stories connect us all and it is the responsibility of artists, as storytellers, to share and transmit these gifts and medicine. Beaucage ended her keynote with a screening of Giving Back, a video commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Aboriginal Film and Video Art Alliance gathering in Banff. The gathering was a way to create space where Indigenous artists could explore their stories in their way—something that is still being fought for today.

The first panel discussion “(Dis)Organizational Structures” was moderated by Jennifer Smith and featured panellists Lori Blondeau of TRIBE Inc. (Cree/Saulteaux/Métis), Dr. Erin Sutherland of Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective (Métis and settler), and Tania Willard of Bush Gallery (Secwépemc and settler). The panel explored Indigenous arts organizations from across Canada that operate in a collective framework and utilize Indigenous methodologies and ways of knowing within their organizational structures. Through the use of personal narratives, the panellists shared their thoughts on why such collective models—rather than the Western white-cube model of organization—was the best fit for their organizations. They also spoke on the use of Indigenous labour within non-Indigenous spaces and what that means when it comes to the presentation of artistic work; dedicated spaces, or lack thereof, for Indigenous artists and collectives; and what sovereign Indigenous spaces could look like.

Day two of the gathering started with a lively panel discussion. “The Canada 150 Hangover” was moderated by Ariel Smith (nêhiyaw and Jewish) and featured Jason Baerg, Jamie Isaac (Anishinaabe), and Janet Rogers (Mohawk/Tuscarora). The panel delved into the topic of post-reconciliation and post-Canada 150 funding, and how Indigenous artists and arts organization can continue with the important conversations that were started during the ramp up to Canada’s sesquicentennial in 2017. Rogers, a prolific poet and sound artist, suggested that artists need to occupy and take back space and use it authentically rather than taking up space that is given. For Rogers, Indigenous lands are not stolen, but occupied lands, and the only way we are to get them back is to take the land back. Artists, as carriers of culture, can facilitate the occupation by taking back physical (gallery) space, land, and even the airwaves. Indigenous occupation will lead to Indigenous survival. Isaac, who is the Curator of Indigenous and Contemporary Art at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, works within and outside of colonial institutions. She noted that we are not at the beginning and that there has already been much work done by Indigenous cultural workers in the past, citing the 1992 Task Force Report on Museums and First Peoples, and that it is now time for institutions to address these calls to action. Baerg, an Assistant Professor in Indigenous Practices in Contemporary Painting and Media Art at OCAD University, spoke on his experience of decolonizing institutions by providing source material for his students and encouraging them through art. There has been much labour performed by many Indigenous artists and cultural workers to get us to where we are today, but it is time for colonial institutions to do some of the labour that is required for real structural change.

On the final day of the gathering, participants were encouraged to think about the theme of the day, transmit, and how they can continue the conversations that were started at the gathering once they return home. The panel “Publishing and the Self” moderated by Lindsay Nixon (Cree/Métis/Saulteaux), featured Joi T. Arcand (Cree) speaking on the zine Kimiwan, the blogger and arts writer Amy Fung, Victoria Inglis from Red Rising Magazine (Dënesułįne and Nîhithaw), and Dr. Julie Nagam, Chair of the History of Indigenous Art in North America, a joint appointment between the University of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Art Gallery (Métis – Anishinaabe/French/German/Syrian). The panellists discussed ways of thinking and how, as Indigenous people, we can write our own histories and share our own stories. The panellists discussed the importance of archival documentation and dissemination for future generations by creating source material written from Indigenous perspectives and voices; the importance of giving space to voices that are not usually heard; and how and when to prioritize Indigenous languages over English within publishing.

Listen, Witness, Transmit focused on issues facing Indigenous media artists and organizations. However, these issues and topics are important to share with the larger media arts community. Indigenous artists and cultural workers have worked, and will continue to work, for the space and recognition they have received, but they cannot continue to do so alone. It is with the ethical allyship of non-Indigenous media artists and organizations that the space can be provided for these conversations to continue to grow.

BIO

Missy LeBlanc is an arts administrator and emerging curator of Métis, Cree and Polish decent. She recently completed an internship at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC and is currently the Program Coordinator for Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective. LeBlanc holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta, majoring in the History of Art, Design, and Visual Culture and Sociology, as well as a Diploma in Arts & Cultural Management from MacEwan University. LeBlanc was born, raised, and is currently based in Edmonton, AB.

Newsletter September | Infolettre septembre 2018

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Newsletter July | Infolettre juillet 2018

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Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre (CFMDC)

32 Lisgar Street
Toronto, Ontario Canada M6J 0C9

Collectif Bus 123

Newsletter June | Infolettre juin 2018

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Vox Popular Media Arts Festival

Internship Opportunity at IMAA

Job Title: Media Arts Projects Coordinator

Location: Montréal

Wage: $16 per hour

Dates: October 1 2018 to March 29 2019 with a two-week paid break in December-January

English: Advanced

French: Intermediate

Job description:

This internship will immerse you in the activities of the Independent Media Arts Alliance, an exciting and dynamic workplace that is currently engaged in a number of ambitious projects which advance and strengthen the media arts community in Canada. The specific focus of this internship is the coordination and promotion of IMAASource (imaa.ca/Source), an online resource hub for media arts organisations. IMAASource offers access to a comprehensive, interlocking, and mutually reinforcing breadth of pre-existing content that has been developed by IMAA’s close partners, members, or counterparts in other fields.

Over the course of this six-month internship at IMAA, you will first receive intensive on-the-job orientation and training and then have the opportunity to participate hands-on in the management and promotion of IMAASource. You will become familiar with the latest standards, recommendations, and tools; sharing them within the media arts community and soliciting their feedback and recommendations. You will benefit from exposure to a very experienced and highly professional team of arts administrators, organizers, and other specialists, participating fully in an exciting and ambitious project over the course of the six-month internship.

By the end of the internship period, you will have dramatically increased your understanding of the Canadian media arts sector, made concrete decisions regarding your future specialization within the field, equipped yourself with tools for seeking further employment or self-employment options, and be better positioned to pursue those options.

About you:

You hold a degree in arts administration or equivalent. You have a passionate interest for, and preferably also hands-on experience within the media arts (independent film, video, audio art, or new media/digital art). You have an interest in gaining experience in arts administration and learning more about the available resources, guides, and standards that support this work. You have strong organizational skills, including proficiency with all standard digital office tools, and well-developed work practices. You are responsible, accountable, and able to work largely in a self-directed manner. You have excellent communications skills and a demonstrated ability to work well in teams.

You meet all the eligibility criteria for the “Young Canada Works at Building Careers in Heritage” program (please refer to http://canada.pch.gc.ca/eng/1459869949087). You should also register for the YCW program by creating an account here: https://young-canada-works.canada.ca/Account/Register

English and French language skills (written and spoken) are required, with preference given to fluently bilingual candidates with excellent writing skills. IMAA is committed to equal employment opportunities and encourages candidates who identify as women, Indigenous, members of visible minorities, LGBTQ2SIA+, and persons with disabilities to apply.

To apply:

Please send an email to info@imaa.ca with “Hiring committee” in the subject line. Please include the following three documents as email attachments:

The application deadline is Monday August 20, 2018 at midnight ET. 

Mission & Mandate of IMAA:

The Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA) is a member-driven non-profit national organization federally recognized as the National Arts Service Organization for Canada’s media arts sector. Founded in 1981, IMAA is a key player in the domain of media arts on the national scene. IMAA works tirelessly to advance and strengthen the media arts community in Canada. Representing over 90 independent film, video, audio, and new media production, distribution, and exhibition organizations in all parts of the country, the IMAA serves over 16,000 independent media artists and cultural workers.

IMAA’s aims are:
>  COMMUNICATIONS | to provide a forum of communication and discussion among independent media arts groups
>  COMMUNITY | to provide opportunities for developing links between all members of the IMAA
>  ADVOCACY |  to represent the interests of independent media arts organizations before relevant agencies in the public and private sector.

 

Newsletter May | Infolettre mai 2018

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Book your Ad in the program guide: Listen, Witness, Transmit

Book your Ad in the program!

This is the time to book your advertisement in the program guide Listen, Witness, Transmit, the NIMAC-IMAA National Indigenous Media Arts Gathering – (June 12 to 15, 2018) in Saskatoon, SK.

Listen, Witness, Transmit will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, workshops, performances, exhibitions and screenings. Each day will employ a resurgence practice: the first day – Listening, the second day – Witnessing, and the third day – Transmitting to build momentum that informs Indigenous pathways of continuities, resilience and relationships through art, the community and the collective.

Your organization and logo will be displayed in the program, a great opportunity to connect with the community, show your support and provide a venue to showcase independent Aboriginal film, video, media arts and interactive media works.

ADVERTISING:
The deadline for ad bookings is April 30th.
Download the form

Announcing the 2018 National Indigenous Media Arts Gathering Website

Press Release

For immediate release 

The 2018 National Indigenous Media Arts Gathering Website is Now Live!

NIMAC and IMAA are pleased to announce the launch of the website for Listen, Witness, Transmit: the upcoming National Indigenous Media Arts Gathering taking place June 12 to 15, 2018 in Saskatoon, SK. Visit the 2018 National Indigenous Media Arts Gathering website regularly to stay up-to-date on the latest conference information on the schedule, discounts for travel and accommodations, sponsor and advertising opportunities, and learn more about guests that you will meet.Listen, Witness, Transmit will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, workshops, performances, exhibitions and screenings. Each day will employ a resurgence practice: the first day – Listening, the second day – Witnessing, and the third day – Transmitting to build momentum that informs Indigenous pathways of continuities, resilience and relationships through art, the community and the collective.

To register on eventbrite: click here
Early Bird Registrations will be available until May 2, 2018.

Pleasure Dome

The Third Annual Symposium on the Future Imaginary

By Adrienne Huard

Read the PDF Version

This article is part of Perspectives: a series of online reflections from the Canadian media arts community, created with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

In 2016-2017, IMAA presented a series of two-day gatherings within the Canadian media arts sector, focusing respectively on Sound Art, Analogue Film, and Digital Strategy. Each gathering took place in a different Canadian city, exchanging views and strengthening ties within these far-reaching communities, while also offering an important space for focused conversations on pressing issues faced by each sector. With the idea to continue the discussions in a public format, IMAA has commissioned written reflections from several authors on a subject of their choosing with relevance to the discussions.

This reflection by Adrienne Huard is in response to the 3rd Annual Symposium on the Future Imaginary that took place in November 2017 in Winnipeg.

***

This past November, the Winnipeg Art Gallery hosted the 3rd Annual Symposium on the Future Imaginary, which successfully amassed Indigenous scholars, artists, technologists, activists and members of the community in order to examine and discuss the outlook of Indigenous futurity. This was accomplished through incorporating new media, technology, innovation in conjunction with traditional knowledges, language revitalization and consultation from the community.

            The symposium was kicked off with a screening of Skawennati’s Time TravellerTM series, followed by a panel discussion with collaborator Jason Edward Lewis, Chair in History of Indigenous Arts in North America Dr. Julie Nagam, new media artist Scott Benesiinaabandan and of course, Skawennati. The discussion was the ideal entry point to the symposium as it indicated what the remainder of the week would entail. They spoke of Indigenous knowledge and how to incorporate that into digital medias. With guidance from the Indigenous community and elders, they reveal new self-reflection of Indigeneity: one that surpasses Western narratives to create international platforms for healing and knowledge sharing.

            Meanwhile, the first official day of the Future Imaginary symposium came two days later. The event welcomed the guests with a song sung by Métis artist Cheryl L’Hirondelle and Plains/Woodland Cree storyteller and actor Joseph Naytowhow. Dr. Julie Nagam opened with a discussion on colonialism within the art institution and how new media challenges these notions. She proceeded to explain that digital technologies surpass Western concepts of linear time and that it refuses the colonial binary of savage versus civilized. The idea that Indigenous people are “frozen in time” perpetuates inaccurate representation of Indigenous cultures and therefore is detrimental to the process of reconciliation. When Dr. Duke Redbird provided a Skype-in lecture, he explained the necessity of switching from colonial vision to an Indigenous worldview with innovation because that can offer sustainability in our Western world.

            New media, such as games and graphics, can be considered methods of creating awareness for non-Western ways of life and representations of diversity. It allows for interactivity as a means of generating conversations among participants. By including storytelling, land-based epistemologies, guidance from the community, and by prioritizing Indigenous languages, we can utilize technology as a decolonial tool that allows us to delve deeper into our cultures. During the discussion titled Technology as Decolonial Tools, Scott Benesiinaabandan explained that digital media surpasses white-walled art institutions, that it is a portable method of art display that can facilitate accessible education platforms to our communities. Additionally, technology can strengthen bridges between communities by encouraging communication to distant relations across the globe. Meanwhile, graduate student of University of Hawai’i of Manoa Daniel Kauwila Mahi recognized that video games cultivate decolonial and sovereign potentialities, and through re-constructing coding through Indigenous languages (specially Hawai’ian), we can begin to dismantle colonization from the very foundation of the language of technology. Lastly, art historian Dr. Jolene Rickard stunned participators with her knowledge of past, present and future Indigeneity while inflecting Indigenous perception of non-linear concepts of time. She demonstrated this through the Haudenosaunee creation story of the Skywoman, providing evidence that Indigenous peoples are perpetually considering notions of the future. From the two colours of the Wampum belt, to the DNA of a birch tree, to binary coding, Rickard confirmed that the past, present and future are constantly working in conjunction to manifest fluid representations of time alongside land-based knowledges and histories.

            The last day of the symposium consisted of a showcase of Indigenous-developed technologies, such as virtual reality and videogames. A selection of interactive works by digital media artist Elizabeth LaPensée lined the entrance of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, while a side room led you to participate and engage with virtual reality artworks, Kent Monkman’s The Honour Dance and Scott Benesiinaabandan’s Blueberry Pie Under the Martian Sky. Meanwhile, the main area offered a variety of innovative works such as Ogoki Language Inc.’s Ojibway Language App, an app that facilitates proper pronunciation while educating participants on Anishinaabe culture and important phrases. Additionally, the Ojibway Language App was designed to operate without an Internet connection due to the limited internet access of remote communities, advocating for a prioritization of the language across the nation.

            The symposium invited Indigenous perspectives from all over the globe, from New Zealand, to Hawai’i, to the Arctic. However, the collective consensus is that Indigenous sovereignty is the most integral aspect to our culture preservation, revitalisation and maintenance. Digital artists are demonstrating that through the fusion of technology and innovation with storytelling, language revitalisation, ancestral knowledge and consultation from the community, new media can be used a decolonial tool in order to facilitate the ongoing process of reconciliation for the Indigenous population.

BIO

Adrienne Huard is an Anishinaabekwe currently based out of Tiohtià:ke (Montreal), Quebec. She is completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Concordia University, focusing on Indigenous art history while incorporating methods of decolonization within the art realm in order to ensure reconciliation for the community. She has been published in Canadian Art magazine and Red Rising magazine and will be pursuing her master’s degree this fall.

Announcing the NIMAC-IMAA National Indigenous Media Arts Gathering 2018

Press Release

For immediate release 

Thursday, 22 March, 2018

Announcing the NIMAC-IMAA National Indigenous Media Arts Gathering 2018

The Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA) in partnership with the National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition (NIMAC) are pleased to announce that the National Indigenous Media Arts Gathering 2018 will take place June 12-15, 2018 in Saskatoon, SK. This joint NIMAC-AAMI Gathering will address concerns of the Indigenous media arts community in Canada. Speakers’ lectures, round tables, workshops, presentations, exhibitions and film screenings will be on the agenda.

Entitled Listen, Witness, Transmit, each day will employ a resurgence practice: the first day – Listening, the second day – Witnessing, and the third day – Transmitting, to build momentum that informs Indigenous pathways of continuities, resilience and relationships through art, the community and the collective.

The gathering will be an opportunity for cultural workers in the field to build their national network with the view of strengthening independent media arts organizations and collectives.

Events will take place at Wanuskewin Heritage Park, about 15 minutes outside of the city, along with satellite programming in various venues in Saskatoon including Aka Artist Run Centre and PAVED Arts.

SCHEDULE
June 12, 10 am – 7 pm (NIMAC + IMAA Meetings, Registration begins)
June 13, 9:30 am – June 15, 10 pm (Gathering)

REGISTRATION

ABOUT NIMAC and IMAA

The National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition’s (NIMAC) priority is to support, promote, and advocate for Indigenous media artists and arts organizations within the context of Canadian media arts practices. We connect Indigenous artists to not-for-profit arts organizations on a national scale.

NIMAC is a permanent region within the structure of the Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA), acting as the Indigenous arm.

The Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA) is a member-driven non-profit national organization working to advance and strengthen the media arts community in Canada.  Representing over 100 independent film, video, audio, and new media production, distribution, and exhibition organizations in all parts of the country, the IMAA serves over 16,000 independent media artists and cultural workers.

IMAA Analogue Film Gathering – The Ecologies of Film

By Aimée Mitchell
March 2018

Read the PDF Version

This article is part of Perspectives: a series of online reflections from the Canadian media arts community, created with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

In 2016-2017, IMAA presented a series of two-day gatherings within the Canadian media arts sector, focusing respectively on Sound Art, Analogue Film, and Digital Strategy. Each gathering took place in a different Canadian city, exchanging views and strengthening ties within these far-reaching communities, while also offering an important space for focused conversations on pressing issues faced by each sector. With the idea to continue the discussions in a public format, IMAA has commissioned written reflections from several authors on a subject of their choosing with relevance to the discussions.

This reflection by Aimée Mitchell is in response to the Analogue Film Gathering that took place 23-24 March 2016 in Calgary, AB.

Participants at the Analogue Film Gathering

IMAA Analogue Film Gathering – The Ecologies of Film

This past March, I joined representatives from across the Canadian media arts sector who gathered in Calgary to discuss the ways in which the media arts sector can continue to support the production, exhibition, and preservation of analogue film. It was a chance for those engaged within this network to voice concerns and strategize a focused way forward together with the Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA). Staff and board members from production and distribution centres, alongside folks from film collectives and our last standing film labs in Canada were present. For two days we addressed the specific needs of analogue film from on-the-ground perspectives, and brainstormed ways forward in regards to sharing and accessing resources, approaching funding bodies for preservation support, and addressing the need for equity and outreach within the sector both for staff and the communities they serve.

The gathering coincided with the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers (CSIF) $100 Film Festival, which happened to be celebrating its 25th anniversary. The festival is one of the few in Canada that solely showcases the work of small-gauge film on film – a poignant and complimentary event that put into practice some of the concerns raised during our daytime sessions.

So after a day of thoughtful discussion, we found ourselves immersed in film and critically engaging with the very medium we spent the day unpacking. Those in the media arts sector understand better than anyone the immense labour that lives within a finished film print running through a projector. But there was something about the proximity of our discussions and engaging with film each night that amplified the network of labour for me. Mostly, it allowed me to consider the ways in which the sector operates as an ecosystem with internal and external forces impeding on its ability to thrive.

What follows here is a recap of the questions, concerns, and suggestions that emerged from the two-day gathering – through the lens of safeguarding analogue film practices and preservation within the media arts sector. This look back at our discussions reveals the gaps and lacks – where we need to learn from failures in order to move away from systems perpetuating inequity and consider whose voices are being safeguarded.

Production

Questions:

Concerns:

Suggestions:

Labs

Concerns

Suggestions

Distribution & Programming

Questions:

Concerns:

Suggestions:

Projection & Exhibition

Questions:

Concerns

Suggestions

Since the Analogue Film Gathering, movement has been made on a few fronts in terms of advocacy and organizing. A group of attendees at the gathering have continued the conversation on how the sector can move forward on the issues raised this past March. Discussions have been focussing on how a larger national or international gathering could take place within the next few years. While ideas are still in the brainstorming stages, the momentum created by the Analogue Film Gathering is still resonating with participants and calling them to action.

In addition, many of the distribution centres and media arts organisations have also been invited to participate in a SSHRC Partnership Grant spearheaded by Professor Janine Marchessault at York University. I had the opportunity to work on this grant application as an administrator, and once again was inspired by the immense amount of enthusiasm within the media arts sector to come together and share expertise in safeguarding the ecology of the network. Archive-Counter Archive: Activating Canada’s Moving Image Heritage (A/CA) is a 6-year research-creation partnership that seeks to address the crisis facing Canadian audiovisual heritage through a systematic, multi-institutional plan for facilitating public access and public policy. A/CA seeks to activate Canada’s most precarious audiovisual heritage by studying and engaging with a selection of case studies at Canada’s artist-run centres including the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre, Groupe Intervention Vidéo, Urban Shaman, VIVO, Vtape, and the Winnipeg Film Group. These case studies will encompass media arts made by women, Indigenous peoples, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, two-spirited and queer (LGBT2Q) communities, and archives from Canada’s immigrant communities. The project hopes to foster an audiovisual archive network in Canada, linking community archives to citizens, researchers and policymakers to identify the needs of audiovisual preservation across different community contexts, and illuminate the challenges and epistemologies that surround 21st century archives. The success of this grant would strengthen the audiovisual preservation advocacy that IMAA and the sector continues to move forward on. The much anticipated outcome of this project proposal is expected in late March 2018.

Returning to the metaphor of the ecosystem to discuss safeguarding analogue film in all its capacities: the 21st century is deeply invested in models of sustainability that involve everyone doing their part to save, reserve, or protect resources. If we think about analogue film as an ecosystem that needs to be revived as a cultural resource, then there needs to be strategies and resources implemented and shared to sustain the system in a way that serves all parties involved. The Analogue Film Gathering enabled the sector to gather an overview in order to move into action. Activating the media arts network requires both professional and unrecognized skill sets to work together – those within our formal media art spheres, but also those who continue to be left out. These conversations are integral moving forward. Agency must be felt within the network of the ecosystem in order to keep the environment active, vibrant, and growing.

Lastly, my perspective and position within this ecosystem at the time of the Analogue Film Gathering was from the standpoint of a film distributor and collections manager at the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre (CFMDC). I have since left my post at CFMDC, but continue to find myself connected to the community in my other capacities as a projectionist, programmer, academic, and media arts advocate. I have cared about the living and active legacy of unique film prints from these views: as someone who works with artists to safeguard their work while also keeping it in circulation, as the person trusted to inspect, thread, and project artisanal prints, as a programmer who respects the artistic choices of a filmmaker wanting to screen their film on film, and also as a scholar interested in the history, politics, and day-to-day practices of audiovisual preservation in Canada. From these various perspectives I have reflected on the March gathering, and the network that supports the artists who continue to experiment with analogue film. I look forward to witnessing and participating in future gatherings to build on the momentum that this event ignited.

******

Bio:

Aimée Mitchell is the former Distribution and Collections Manager at the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre. She is currently the Project Manager for the XL-Outer Worlds Project, which is commissioning five Canadian artists to create short large-scale films inspired by the invention and technology of IMAX. She is a MITACS Post-Doctoral Fellow at York University, where she is researching the early history of IMAX, and the reconstruction of this history through traces from personal fonds and counter archives. She holds a PhD from the York and Ryerson University Joint Communication and Culture Program. Her dissertation explored the politics and practices of audiovisual archives in Canada, and more specifically, the importance of DIY archiving practices in its various forms. She was an archival researcher and contributor to the book Reimagining Cinema: Film at Expo 67 (MQUP 2014). She is a collective member of the Toronto Queer Film Festival, which showcases contemporary, innovative, queer and trans film and video art, and also a board member of the8fest small gauge film festival. She is an advocate for media artists of all gauges and mediums.

Newsletter February | Infolettre février 2018

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Letter to Director and CEO of Canada Council for the Arts

In January 31, 2018, IMAA sent a letter to Simon Brault, Director and CEO of Canada Council for the Arts questioning the role of program officers and peer committees.

This letter refers to two documents that were published online by the Canada Council for the Arts:

“The peer committee must be in a position to make funding recommendations to the program officer and the Board of the Canada Council. If the programming officer is to maintain complete control of grant budgets and their allocation, without input from peer committees and the arts community, the arts community is denied a clear and transparent funding process and the program officer put in a position of potential conflict of interest.”

Read the letter (PDF)

Read the response from Canada Council (PDF)

SPA DAY FOR FILMMAKERS: Battling Exhaustion in The Analogue Film Community

By Lindsay Sorell
February 2018

Read the PDF Version

This article is part of Perspectives: a series of online reflections from the Canadian media arts community, created with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

In 2016-2017, IMAA presented a series of two-day gatherings within the Canadian media arts sector, focusing respectively on Sound Art, Analogue Film, and Digital Strategy. Each gathering took place in a different Canadian city, exchanging views and strengthening ties within these far-reaching communities, while also offering an important space for focused conversations on pressing issues faced by each sector. With the idea to continue the discussions in a public format, IMAA has commissioned written reflections from several authors on a subject of their choosing with relevance to the discussions.

This reflection by Lindsay Sorell is in response to the Analogue Film Gathering that took place 23-24 March 2016 in Calgary, AB.

Participants at the Analogue Film Gathering

SPA DAY FOR FILMMAKERS: Battling Exhaustion in The Analogue Film Community

Name-tagged and toting bottomless cups of coffee, lab technicians, artist-run coordinators, and filmmakers filled the Engineered Air Theatre. This was the battle-planning commission, a two-day strategizing session on analogue film’s next offensive: the 2017 Analogue Film Gathering in Calgary, March 23-24th. Amid passionate and inspiring liturgies on the vitality of film, I was struck by the exhaustion that is pervasive among us in the filmmaking community. Tired of defending the survival of the medium, the survival of a livelihood, we ask: film exists—isn’t that enough?

With the goal of cross-referencing answers from across the national film community, I asked four filmmakers and coordinators across Canada—Amanda Thomson (Iris Film Collective, Vancouver), Jesse Andrewartha (filmmaker, volunteer technical coordinator, Cineworks, Vancouver), Nicola Waugh (former Programming Director of CSIF, Calgary), and Patrice James (Executive Director, IFCO, Ottawa)—about this exhaustion.

What is your dream for celluloid? 

JESSE ANDREWARTHA (JA): Simply that it remains accessible as an artistic choice. But for that, it requires not just the work of film artists—the medium itself has to maintain a momentum and continuing visibility in the public sphere to remain viable. Technology and the Internet is vital to this effort. It’s not without a certain sense of irony that the technology and connectedness that has lead to the rise of digital is also key to film’s survival.

Furthermore, films like Dunkirk from director Christopher Nolan help keep film modern, and culturally relevant. There is a huge viewer response to seeing a film in 70mm; the industry switch to digital projection amongst theatres in 2006 was swift and yet despite the claims that film is dead, ten years later that emotional response to film shown by the public may ensure continued limited releases on celluloid. The efforts and influence of film advocates like Mr. Nolan and other directors such as Quentin Tarantino inspire filmmakers to experiment with film over digital. As long as this can continue, film can remain viable.

AMANDA THOMSON (AT): To have artist-run film labs in Canada that follow the French model: somewhere that one could bring their film and learn how to make it themselves under the guidance of other more experienced filmmakers. From mixing chemistry to printing soundtracks, it would work on a sort of mentorship model with many people over a long period of time so the knowledge base multiplies.

Film bought in bulk and chemistry mixed from its component parts and replenished regularly doesn’t have to be as expensive as it is to do it on one’s own. The system as I’ve experienced in Vancouver relies heavily on an individual being able to work with very little guidance, and this is prohibitive in many ways.

I hear stories about the old NFB and I feel like we were so close. I wish that was something I could have experienced.

PATRICE JAMES (PJ): My dream for celluloid/emulsion is that artists and film devotees alike continue to have access to this original medium/technology that STILL demands great discipline, respect for process, a commitment to detail, and a reverence for craftsmanship and artistry. In my opinion, if we cease to learn, appreciate, and respect existing knowledge, I’m afraid we run the risk of ‘reinventing the wheel!’ And one of the most obvious problems facing us in this ‘free-for-all’ reality is that there is a true lack of understanding about the ethos of film. I want for film to continue to proliferate and thrive through the dedication and commitment towards propagating the medium, by artists, arts organizations, facilities, festivals, distributors and the entire ecosystem designed to support film’s future.

In your opinion, what stands in the way of the sustainability and proliferation of analogue filmmaking?

AT: The word “film” has come to mean so many things to so many people, that when we are talking about film we have to preface it with words like “analogue” and “celluloid.” I think this is also reflected in the way that we approach film in Canada. We have these co-ops and societies that are expected to be too many things for too many people. I don’t know much about many of them, but my sense is that analogue film is suffering for this.

Currently, skills and techniques are passed on in workshops which tend to want to make film accessible, to draw in a large group. There are ways to cut corners, to make things cheaper and/or easier, but as one takes on more of the process it gets complicated very quickly. There’s a point at which someone decides they’d rather send it to a lab than do it themselves. And I think labs are a great service that we should support, but I think it’s important to keep these skills in the community as well.

JA: Simply put: profit. The margins involved in a dwindling consumer base versus the industrial scale required by film must be substantial enough to motivate companies to continue. The problem is that the investment capital and consistent quality required over the millions of feet of film prevents small scale companies from entering the market. We’re at an interesting crossroads: Kodak is still struggling to find the happy medium where their film divisions can remain profitable enough, but are there any companies able to carry the torch if ‘Big Yellow’ decide they can’t maintain the product? ORWO and possibly new film startup Ferrania are the only two that could possibly fill that gap.

NICOLA WAUGH (NW): The largest barrier is technical. The lack of new camera and projector technologies means that artists must use old, and often imperfect gear. Replacing parts is sometimes impossible, and I’ve seen filmmakers go to great lengths to rebuild a part, or make a Frankenstein camera from several others just to get one working. But again, this is the amazing, obsessive passion that is just so wonderful to be around. Even the type of film that people use has become harder and harder to get. There are also only a few labs that process motion picture film in all of Canada.

But that’s not to say it’ll never come back. A few years ago, Kodak released a great new Super 8 camera that merges with digital technologies. I think this is an incredible development – learning to incorporate digital, rather than fight it. Bring in the best of both worlds. Although purists might hate this, I think it’s a nice middle ground. We’ve also seen the highly anticipated launch of Film Ferrania in the past few years, an Italian producer of high quality moving and still film.

PJ: There are a few actual and contrived threats facing the sustainability and proliferation of analogue filmmaking. Access to fewer emulsion service providers, especially labs, various types of expert technicians, machinists etc., is a pervasive and real threat. The idea that the language of film has become appropriated however, ‘dumbed-down’ and re-interpreted to satisfy a hyper-digital, purely consumerist driven creation machine, which dictates the obsoletion of film in order for this machine to thrive and excel, is a contrived threat.

What most exhausts you and your personal efforts in promoting the medium and community of analogue filmmaking?

AT: That I can’t pay the bills or buy groceries in volunteer hours. Work is work and there are only so many hours in a week. I know that it is more complicated than this, but when an organization or sector is dependent on volunteer work, at its best it privileges candidates who already have resources and at its worst punishes those who don’t by bringing down the value of work across the board. The volunteer work and unpaid internships I have taken did give me experience that have helped me to get other jobs, but it wasn’t without a cost physically, emotionally and mentally, not to mention financially.

PJ: I am continuously exhausted by the constant debate about film’s relevance; the ‘tug of war’ between film and digital; the dismissal or relegation of film as a medium for the elite or the privileged; the questioning or constant defending by film artists as to why they choose to use film? And, I am mostly disappointed by the actions and observations of media art practitioners, supporters etc. who dismiss the viability and autonomy of film within a hyper digital reality.

JA: The fact that there is no easily accessible support network; that processing facilities and full service labs are in another province or even another country. This means we are required to often process our own film to keep any reasonable schedule. Also, the reduced cultural awareness of film means that travel with celluloid is complex: the potential for film damage from X-Rays or mishandling is real and is a practical issue in shooting film internationally or anywhere air travel is required and has become a major hurdle in using and promoting film.

We are also up against another pressure of the modern age. We have the world at our fingertips; we can access the worldwide web on our phones and consume any media at any time we choose, to purchase whatever we want whenever we want it. This has lead to an impatience. When I am teaching others about film, they are excited until they learn that there is a process involved. That the medium does not represent instant gratification, but delayed gratification. One recent student bemoaned the 45-minute reversal process on his 100 feet of Kodak Tri-X and asked if he could take out his phone in the darkroom.

Do you have a specific idea that could eliminate or lessen this exhaustion in the national analogue filmmaking community?

NW: I think technology and skill-sharing are the two main issues that need to be addressed. Kodak has finally seen that there is a real demand for new analogue technologies and seems to be innovating to suit. Mailing lists (Frameworks, Forum) are important hubs for analogue filmmakers, but, to my knowledge, there is nothing of this nature in Canada, and nothing that offers that offers the possibility of technology-sharing between people in the same city/region.

AT: It has been liberating and empowering to form and be a part of the Iris Film Collective. A group of us with an interest in working in Super 8 and 16mm were able to pool our knowledge and resources in a more formal way. This has allowed us to apply for grants and we are currently in residence at the Falaise Park Field House. It’s a multi-year program that provides us with a field house to use as a studio through the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation. Now we can go to each other when we need someone or something. Because the equipment is our own, we know it works and if it breaks down, we know how to fix it.

JA: There is little that can be done to mitigate the impact of lab closures, so we have to look at how we as filmmakers can provide that support network. Film cooperatives in Canada already have communication and connection, but I think we need to formalize these efforts. I’m thinking a centralized resource for film groups to lessen the firewall of film accessibility. A hub! A web page could feature news, resources, a network of film advocates and facilities that’s indexed, maintained and easily accessible. It could include a national buy-in program on minimum requirement film stocks, whereby interested parties could buy units of film and once the minimum is reached, the order could be made. This would permit a wider democratization of film accessibility and also permit some purchasing power with Kodak. Furthermore, it could display a united front that demonstrates the interest and passion for film that exists in the filmmaking community.

PJ: What we can all do is commit to enabling our film support organizations to develop and sustain a community of film artists; push towards creating support systems for training new generation service providers, lab technicians, projectionists etc. And, be enthusiastic and mobilized towards keeping film going, not pessimistic and defeatist.

***

Amanda Thomson is a filmmaker from the unceded Coast Salish territory known as Vancouver, BC.  Her work focuses on perspective, the subconscious and other things she can’t quite put her finger on.  Yet she is drawn to film by the tactile quality of the medium, and by its shifting nature in grain and cultural significance. She studied Film Video and Integrated Media at Emily Carr University receiving a Bachelor of Media Arts in 2009.  In 2014 she helped form the Iris Film Collective. More recently Amanda has been back and forth between Paris, Vancouver and Rotterdam where she’s been developing her next 16mm film at L’Abominable, Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society and Filmwerkplaats.

Jesse Andrewartha was introduced to the magic of light and film as a post-graduate in Scientific Photography. A twenty-year veteran of the motion picture visual effects industry, he is an active filmmaker and his films combine both the digital and analogue domains to explore themes surrounding human interaction with the natural world. Jesse is also Vice President of the Board of Directors at Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society and Technical Coordinator at Cineworks Annex.

Nicola Waugh is an independent film programmer and communications professional based in Calgary. She holds a Master’s degree from York University and Ryerson University’s joint Communication and Culture program, and was the Programming Director of the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers (CSIF) and Director of the $100 Film Festival from 2012-2016. She has sat on juries for the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Calgary International Film Festival, Prism Prize, GIRAF Animation Festival, Yukon Film Fund and the Gallery of Alberta Media Art (AMAAS), and was a member of the M:ST Performative Arts Festival Board of Directors from 2013-2016.

Patrice James grad­u­ated from Car­leton Uni­ver­sity with a Bach­e­lor of Arts degree in Film Stud­ies. She has been the Exec­u­tive Direc­tor at the Inde­pen­dent Film­mak­ers Co-operative of Ottawa Inc. (IFCO) for going on 12 years. She is her­self a prac­tic­ing filmmaker/media artist. Ms. James has con­tributed to the cul­tural life of Ottawa for nearly 20 years, as a strong advo­cate for the media arts both locally and at the national level. She was one of three final­ists in 2012 vying to receive Ottawa’s top annual arts prize; the Vic­tor Tolgesy Award, which is given annu­ally to an indi­vid­ual who has “con­tributed sub­stan­tially” to cul­ture in Ottawa. Patrice con­tin­ues to live and work in Ottawa.

***

BIO

Lindsay Sorell is an artist and writer in Calgary, Alberta. With a special interest in relationships, art ethics, and the implications of digital media, she has participated in numerous residencies, exhibitions, and lecture series across Canada. She recently collaborated with the Advanced Toastmasters of Calgary for the IKG Live 1 performance festival and completed two solo exhibitions of new work: Exercises in Healing at Contemporary Calgary and Buddha, Why Am I Alone? at AVALANCHE! Institute of Contemporary Art. She is currently working on a large-scale watercolour painting of food, she is the Editor of Luma Quarterly, and the Calgary correspondent for Akimbo.

IMAA Survey – Funding from the Canada Council for the Arts

IMAA is currently conducting a survey to analyse the impact of funding results from the CCA to members. If your independent media arts organizations or collective submitted a funding request to the Canada Council for the Arts in 2017, please take a moment to complete this form. You may complete the survey as many times as necessary.

Click here to respond to the survey.

Newsletter January | Infolettre janvier 2018

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Newsletter November | Infolettre novembre 2017

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Iris Film Collective

Spoken Sound

By Janet Rogers
January 2018

Territ-Aur(i)al Imprints Collaborative Exchange
Palomino/Arawak territory in La Guajira, Colombia.

Read the PDF Version

This article is part of Perspectives: a series of online reflections from the Canadian media arts community, created with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

In 2016-2017, IMAA presented a series of two-day gatherings within the Canadian media arts sector, focusing respectively on Sound Art, Analogue Film, and Digital Strategy. Each gathering took place in a different Canadian city, exchanging views and strengthening ties within these far-reaching communities, while also offering an important space for focused conversations on pressing issues faced by each sector. With the idea to continue the discussions in a public format, IMAA has commissioned written reflections from several authors on a subject of their choosing with relevance to the discussions.

This reflection by Janet Rogers is in response to the Sound Art Gathering that took place 10-11 November 2016 in Toronto, ON and an artist exchange residency Rogers attended at Alejandro Valbuena’s experimental art centre in Palomino, Colombia.

Photo Credit: Alejandro Valbuena, Tyrona National Park

Spoken Sound

We have champions of sound art practices. Those who go beyond reiteration in conversation and validation of the practice to applying and providing opportunities for artists to conceive, develop and share. One such opportunity was provided by the teams at the imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival and Alejandro Valbuena’s experimental art centre in Palomino, Colombia during an artists’ exchange in May and June of 2017. Two artists from occupied Canada, one artist from Mexico, one artist from Chile and our host Alejandro came together in the concentrated heat and exotic beauty of South America for a three-week collaboration of sound skills and practices.

When making the ten-minute walk from our artists compound to the small town of Palomino, the calm stroll immediately turns chaotic the second you enter the main drag. Local watering holes compete for business with blaring music from shitty speakers. Dogs constantly bark, heavy transport trucks fly by dangerously fast-kicking up dust and raising sound levels. This is not noise pollution, this is culture. Sound is part of what defines culture. We produce sound art with what is available to us, both in our surroundings and available technologies. And both facets reflect us, our values, our identities, through our interpretative language with sound. So it goes to say that when in foreign territories you hear foreign sounds too. Sounds that stop you in your tracks forcing you to call upon every memory file to place it. Passing a small field beside the dirt road I heard a chorus of popping sounds, like hundreds of champagne bottles being de-corked in succession. I am told these are frogs, burrowed in the cool floor of the brush-covered field, out of sight yet oh so vocal.

And although we are encouraged to discuss and debate our art making with sound(s), I respect art and artefact that keeps its secrets. For example, petroglyphs and pictographs from various regions of the world have had their meanings, purposes and messages anthropologized to death. It’s a shame when art has the art dissected out of it, leaving the carcasses lying lifeless in front of us. So to be clear, our collaboration and this article does not intend to kill the wordless medium with words but to inspire exploration and curiosity.

The residency location is where I am writing this article from during the last of our three-week residency. The territory is full of sound and colour. Secluded studios do not exist here. There are no walls to contain the sound–it is boundless and everywhere–from the tiny green-yellow birds that chip and chirp around the clock, to the bullfrogs singing volatile and proud songs, to the constant motor bikes–scooter-like vehicles that pass outside our compound from sun up to past sundown. And those are just the surrounding soundtracks. We have been guided into many community areas, national parks, Colombian reserves and hiking trails. With zoom recorder in hands, we venture forth to respectfully harvest the full and varied landscape voices of these territories. And what a treat it is.

Of Arawak descent, Alejandro describes sound in emotional terms. He describes his relationship to sound as visceral, and having the ability to evoke childhood memories where he is transported immediately through certain sounds. When he hears the crashing of ocean waves, which is constant in his territory, memories of his childhood-self walking along the beach with his grandfather flood his mind. Sounds crowd his mind, he says. And the emotion of sound is carried, never stronger than through voice. “The sound of voice,” Alejandro says, “is powerful and conveys the human condition effectively and efficiently as no other sound can. It is a gunshot to the heart, you can’t move. Voice is the Snake Charmer. It is high art. The human voice is so powerful.”

Casey Koyczan, a Yellowknife-based Cree/Dene musician and Territ-Aur(i)al Imprints sound media participant, works in audio assemblage with 2-D work and audio installations. He engages with sound as a way to enhance and help disseminate his visual work. Casey thinks about sound as early communication. Through sound, before language, people were able to communicate, crying or yelling or sighing. These sounds trigger emotion. To use sound in exhibition work, Casey considers sound as a way to communicate emotion. For his graduate exhibition, titled Mode of Ascension, Casey suspended a hollowed out log with speakers built inside in the middle of the gallery. Without telling me too much of what specific sounds emanated from the log, he reports that audience reactions ranged from euphoria to tears. Casey knows the effects of sound wave forms on our DNA and believes in sound therapy as a way to reassemble the molecules within us.

Personally, my relationship to sound is similar to that of my relationship to radio. We are both transmitter and receiver. We tune in to sounds that inform us, entertain us and that reflect us. I found new ways to work with the new sounds I found in Colombia. I learned that human voices are parallel to nature voices and the blending of those voices creates interesting conversations, producing new languages, without words as we know them. Spoken word? No. Spoken sound.

BIO

Janet Marie Rogers is a Mohawk/Tuscarora writer from Six Nations. She was born in Vancouver British Columbia, lived in Stoney Creek, Hamilton and Toronto Ontario and is living as a guest on the traditional lands of the Coast Salish people (Victoria, British Columbia) since 1994. Janet works in the genres of poetry, spoken word performance poetry, video poetry and recorded poetry with music. Janet is also a radio broadcaster, documentary producer, media and sound artist.

Questionable – Questioned – Questionnaire

By Christof Migone
27 November, 2017 

Read the PDF Version

This article is part of Perspectives: a series of online reflections from the Canadian media arts community, created with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

In 2016-2017, IMAA presented a series of two-day gatherings within the Canadian media arts sector, focusing respectively on Sound Art, Analogue Film, and Digital Strategy. Each gathering took place in a different Canadian city, exchanging views and strengthening ties within these far-reaching communities, while also offering an important space for focused conversations on pressing issues faced by each sector. With the idea to continue the discussions in a public format, IMAA has commissioned written reflections from several authors on a subject of their choosing with relevance to the discussions.

This reflection by Christof Migone is in response to the Sound Art Gathering that took place 10-11 November in Toronto, ON.

 

Can You Hear Me? Can We Hear Them? Can They Hear Us? Can You Hear Yourself? Can You Hear Us? Can They Hear Me? Can You Hear Them? Can They Hear You? Can I Hear You? Can They Hear Themselves? Can I Hear Myself? Can I Hear Them? Can We Hear Ourselves? 

Questionable – Questioned – Questionnaire

How to reconcile the absolute necessity for these gatherings with the fact that most of the time they lead to nothing concrete, no lasting effect, no collective endeavour, no propulsive project?

Or should we just acknowledge that the true benefit of these meets is not the stated purpose but the tangential in-between conversations over a meal, a drink, a coffee?

Is the sociality of the event as described above akin to an affect world as articulated by Lauren Berlant: “worlds to which people are bound, when they are, by affective projections of a constantly negotiated common interestedness”?[1]

Do the conditions of possibility for a negotiation have to be a sharing of core principles or can they just be basic parameters like a time and place?

What happens when what we thought we had in common dissipates the longer we spend time together?

Can a plethora of differences be harnessed as an attribute rather than a hindrance to future alliances?

Can differences be amalgamated but not subsumed?

To what degree is a consideration of the sonic dimension of the social different than the implicit purpose of music—if defined in the expanded sense?

Does the expansion of any field lead to amorphous generality at the expense of incisive specificity?

If the term ‘sound art’ is as absurd as ‘steel art’ as Max Neuhaus has asserted, then why does it persist, how has it become the default? Should we accept it or dismantle it?[2]

Is a medium-centric approach appropriate for these times or is it retrograde and revealing of a reductive and remedial tendency in our thinking process?

Might a medium-centric focus be productive only in instances where advocacy is called for? If so, who has time to spend on the considerable (and largely thankless) work that advocacy requires?

If complaints lead to—after extensive consultation—a list of demands, which are then submitted to the powers that be, does the whole process not confirm our subjugation? Or is that routing part and parcel of the work entailed by the pursuit of a more equitable share of resources?

Is the advocacy required vis-à-vis funding agencies the sole common point, and even then are the discrepancies amongst those present too disparate?

How to take the spirit of the second part of Emmanuel Madan’s land acknowledgment, the part that essentially stated that there is still a lot of work to be done, and actually apply it, make it tangible, incorporate it within the aims of this gathering?

To what degree should a sound art gathering require listening more than talking?

To what degree does a predisposition towards listening and a concomitant reluctance to talking accomplish more in the long-term than any more immediate initiative or resolution?

Do we subscribe to Ultra-red’s notion of intentional listening as one that can “support longterm political organizing.”[3]

Are we able to recognize the moments when speaking is a necessity, when it is imbued by urgency, when it is induced and informed by previous endemic exclusion from the conversation?

Can we accept that speaking is sometimes the result of a bona fide enthusiasm that might be well-intentioned but lacks self-awareness?

Can we each take up space in a shared place?
Can we give each other some time?

Are idealism and utopianism strategies with any redeeming force on the ground when pitted up against rationalizations imposed by institutions that output expedient answers and demand quantifiable results?

Can we account for the fact that a significant proportion of the people present have lived in more than one city, more than one province, more than this country and use that local/regional/national/international blur to our advantage?

Can we coalesce around the fact that we lack cohesion?

Can we celebrate each other’s accomplishments without displaying any tinge of the type of envy that precarity and austerity exacerbates?

How can we factor in those who were absent, and their manifold constituencies: those who were invited but couldn’t make it, those who were but did not want to come; plus, those who weren’t invited because they are not on the radar, and those who weren’t because they were perceived as not being relevant?

Could sound art be postulated as a post-discipline discipline? If so, can it from the onset incorporate its own discontinuation within its very definition?

Or, is interdisciplinarity the most accurate descriptor of the variegated communities we stem from and thereby our only possible rallying point?

Or, should we dispense with the word ‘discipline’ altogether and assemble instead around the notion of interconnectedness that Timothy Morton uses to characterize ecological thought?[4]

While we are there and at it, should we also consider his call for radical openness?[5]

Do the four entries immediately above seem to render sound (art) superfluous? Or could it be that it is so integral that it need not be singled out? Also, could it be that it fares fine on its own and does not need our constant claiming?

If sound art is understood to fall within the so-(formerly)-called rubric of new media, then what is its position with regards to the several appearances of the word new in Chantal Mouffe’s following incitation: “The objective of artistic practices should be to foster the development of those new social relations that are made possible by the transformation of the work process. Their main task is the production of new subjectivities and the elabora­tion of new worlds. What is needed in the current situation is a widening of the field of artistic intervention, with artists working in a multiplicity of social spaces outside traditional institutions in order to oppose the program of the total social mobilization of capitalism.”[6]

While new media may arguably be the antiquated moniker (in lieu of the now commonly understood but descriptively void term media arts), should we not nevertheless assess our capacity to participate in these shifts towards the new (without disregarding our complicity in enabling recuperation)?

Can the predilection towards the new be sustained rather than fleeting?

How do we celebrate incremental steps while still conceding that we are miles behind?

Can one of these steps simply be a move towards in the way that Félix Guattari in “Free Form Radio” theorizes it: “Languages of desire… invent new means and have an unstoppable tendency to lead straight to action; they begin by ‘touching’, by causing laughter, by provoking, and then they make one want to ‘go towards,’ towards those who speak and towards those stakes that concern them.”[7]

Or is move towards already too overdetermined and therefore runs the risk of funnelling our hopes and desires into a sterile programmatic agenda?

Can we supplant the perception of inadequacy and inferiority that we may harbour with respect to our activities and their supposed lack of recognition, and replace it with an genuine eagerness to just carry on doing what we currently do?

Should we just accept that distribution and dissemination, even amongst ourselves, are woefully deficient and therefore splintered, sporadic and consequently amnesiac?

Are we content to conclude with this series of purposely thorny polemical questions, rather than a plan of action as outcome?
Should our plan be merely the refinement of existing questions and articulation of more?
Or should we dispense with questions and plunge into however many contingent attempts and provisional experiments we can devise?

 

[1] Lauren Berlant, Cruel Optimism (Duke University Press, 2011) 226.

[2] Max Neuhaus, “Sound Art?” was first published as an introduction to the exhibition Volume: Bed of Sound, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, July 2000. Cited in numerous sources. Text online: max-neuhaus.info/bibliography.

[3] Robert Sember (Ultra-red), “Strong People Don’t Need Strong Leaders: Intentionality, Accountability, and Pedagogy” in What Now? The Politics of Listening, ed. Anne Barlow (London, UK: Black Dog Publishing, 2016) 71.

[4] Timothy Morton, The Ecological Thought (Harvard University Press, 2010) 7.

[5] Morton, 15. Tracing the genealogy of calls for ‘radical openness’ is beyond the scope of this text, but bell hooks would be an obvious place to start, e.g. the chapter “Choosing the Margin as a Space of Radical Openness” in her book Yearnings: Race, Gender and Cultural Politics (Boston, MA: South End Press, 1990).

[6] Chantal Mouffe, Agonistics: Thinking The World Globally (London, UK: Verso, 2013) 87. Emphases added.

[7] Félix Guattari, “Popular Free Radio” in Radiotext(e), ed. Neil Strauss (New York, NY: Semiotext(e), 1993) 87. Emphasis added.

 

Christof Migone is an artist, curator and writer. He has performed and exhibited internationally. He co-edited Writing Aloud: The Sonics of Language (2001) and Volumes (2015); his writings have been published in Aural Cultures, S:ON, Experimental Sound & Radio, Radio Rethink, Semiotext(e), Performance Research, etc. A book compiling his writings on sound art, Sonic Somatic: Performances of the Unsound Body was published in 2012. He lives in Toronto and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Visual Arts at Western University in London, Ontario.

Newsletter October | Infolettre octobre 2017

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Perspectives

Press Release

For immediate release 

Thursday, 2 November, 2017

IMAA is pleased to present Perspectives: a series of online written reflections from the Canadian media arts community.

In November 2016, March and April 2017, IMAA presented a series of gatherings within the Canadian media arts sector, focusing respectively on Sound Art, Analogue Film, and Digital Strategy. Each gathering took place in a different Canadian city, exchanging views and strengthening ties within these far-reaching communities, while also offering an important space for focused conversations on pressing issues faced by each sector.

With the idea to continue the discussions from the Sound Art Gathering and Analogue Film Gathering in a public format, IMAA has commissioned written reflections from several authors on a subject of their choosing with relevance to the discussions. The day of discussion on digital strategy resulted in a letter addressed to the Canada Council of the Arts, prepared by the Conseil québécois des arts médiatiques (CQAM) and IMAA. You can read the letter here.

These texts will be made available as blog posts on IMAA’s website in a new section calledPerspectives. Written reflections will be shared by a range of artists, scholars, filmmakers and arts administrators.

Mikhel Proulx is the editor of the Perspectives series. He is a researcher of digital culture and contemporary art and a PhD student and faculty member in the department of Art History at Concordia University, Montreal. He is a Canada Graduate Scholar and a Jarislowsky Foundation Doctoral Fellow in Canadian Art History. His writing has been published widely, and he has curated exhibitions across Canada, Europe and the Middle East.

Sound Art Gathering, November 10-11, 2016, Toronto.
Analogue Film Gathering, March 23-24, 2016, Calgary.
A day of discussion on digital strategy, April 27, 2017, Montreal.

This project is supported by Canada Council for the Arts.