DARK THOUGHTS ABOUT DARKER WATER BOOK!

We are super excited to announce that our new book Dark Thoughts About Darker Water is NOW AVAILABLE for only $25!

This 64 page, full colour, off-set publication documents a two-month residency we did at Grand Union in Birmingham UK last February and March. We generated well over a hundred ideas - many of which couldn't be realized in a short residency. Eight of our projects, processes, and experiments have been brought together in Dark Thoughts About Darker Water and includes an interview with gallery Director, Cheryl Jones. 

While in residence we researched The Grand Union Canal - learning about it's history, contemporary uses, and certain future. We developed a performative research practice that allowed us to consider the canal through a critical and creative lens. The water located in the canal played an important role in our explorations and became a strong metaphor for the social and spatial shifts occurring in Digbeth. Along side our work with the water, we considered the historical exploitation of the canal horse, and how, like time traveler, the animals' labour warned of the current market forces affecting the community. 

BUY IT HERE

OUR GRANDMAS ARE AWESOME!

We recently closed our exhibition New Maps of Paradise curated by Diana Sherlock at the Nickle Galleries. The exhibition surveyed our individual and collaborative practices over the past 15 years. As part of the exhibition we created a 40 minute video portrait of our grandmothers. We have just uploaded a short 6:30 excerpt of the video.

the resemblance is undeniable/footnote is a two-channel video portrait that responds to a very specific component of our archive—a 2013 lecture that we wrote and performed regarding creating community through performance. In the lecture we introduce our grandmas and tell the audience that,

"our work is not about these two, but is almost always dedicated to them [...]. What we do is dedicated to the futures they imagined in their youths and it is dedicated to changing the futures they worry we are moving towards."

The video portrait captures our grandmas (Laura Tuomi and Anna Moschopedis) telling stories, sitting in stillness, laughing, and of course expressing their beliefs. By creating a work with our grandmothers we have established a direct link between their individual politics and the politics that are expressed throughout our body of work. The stories that our grandmothers tell on camera are stories that we grew up hearing. They are case studies in building community, examples of social justice, strategies for creating social relationships, and critiques of class, age, and gender.

You can check the video out below (best to watch it full screen).

WE MADE AN ONLINE ARCHIVE

In early February we opened up an exhibition at the Nickle Galleries curated by Diana Sherlock. The exhibition - New Maps of Paradise - looks back over our individual and collaborative work since the early 2000s. As part of the process for developing the exhibition we needed to dig through our archive. It is weirdly extensive for artists who tend to make ephemeral works! Most of our archive can be seen at the Nickle for the next couple of weeks, but to coincide with New Maps of Paradise we started an online archive

We are happy to announce that the years 1997-2007 is now online. It is a slow moving beast with hundreds of images and hundreds of tags of the rad people we have worked with over the years. There isn't any video work yet, but that will come someday.

Go and see for yourselves! 

xo eric and mia

 

2 works, 3 talks, 6 questions

Eric is excited to announce that he has a show at The New Gallery in Calgary. He is showing two new works that he created with his buds Keyede Osuntokun and Bryce Krynski. 

Here is some info about the exhibition:

2 works, 3 talks, 6 questions is a series of events, art works, and conversations. This series seeks to reflect how artists, cultural workers, and audiences are implicated in creating social and spatial inequalities in today’s creative economy. where our secrets meet and other derivatives of losing, one of two gallery works in the exhibition is made up of 522 photographs. The images are a document of Moschopedis and Osuntokun’s collaboration. Together they highlighted individual copies of Richard Florida's Rise of the Creative Class using a critical and affective colour coded criteria. The second series of photographs--10 portraits of people in goldface...--created by Krynski and Moschopedis, cynically calls into question the notions of "creativity" as being a social and economic equalizer. To accompany the visual works, Moschopedis has curated a series of public discussions by Dover Kids Club, Katie Varney, and Hye-Seung Jung that open up a conversation around the exhibit.

 

Placement and Displacement: Public Art and the Creative City in East Calgary
A talk and walk by Katie Varney
Sunday September 13, 2:00 pm
Meet at the Simmons Building (618 Confluence Way S.E.)
(approximately 1 hour)
free

Katie Varney is a cultural worker, designer and recent Masters graduate from the U of C’s Communication and Culture program. Her academic research looks at public art and its connection to urban development and gentrification processes. Join her on a guided walk and discussion about how the creative city script is playing out in East Calgary.

Dover Kids Club: Creating Grassroots Culture
A talk by Pam Beebe and Tito Gomez
Tuesday September 29, 7:00 pm
The New Gallery (208 Centre Street S, Calgary, Alberta)
free

Started by Pam Beebe and Tito Gomez, Dover Kids Club is a grassroots youth initiative that seeks to create safe social spaces for the children that live in and around the community of Dover. Since its founding in September of 2014, Dover Kids Club has hosted different social events, spoken word and poetry workshops, and is working with the Greater Forest Lawn Senior Centre and Native Network’s youth program to create cultural opportunities within their community. Come here their story.

 

There is No Future, Yet: A Conversation between Hye-Seung Jung and Eric Moschopedis
Tuesday October 6th, 7:00 pm
The New Gallery (208 Centre Street S, Calgary, Alberta)
free

Hye-Seung Jung is a visual artist based in Calgary, Canada. Her art practice involves an observation of built-environments. She asks how societal values are embedded in these spaces and how, for instance, spaces relate to human interaction, a sense of belonging, and the creation of culture. In consideration with geographic and cultural contexts, Jung explores the themes of place, a sense of community, and spirituality. In July, Hye-Seung Jung and Eric Moschopedis sat down to have a conversation about artists, the city, spaces, economics, and cultural policy. They have been meeting regularly ever since to share information, wrestle with contemporary culture, and at times imagine possible futures. Come sit in on one of these conversations and add a voice.

WHERE WE TALK ABOUT PUBLIC ART AS AN INVASIVE SPECIES

We spent most of June in Toronto collecting edible plants to make community specific popsicle! What fun! We were invited by Why Not Theatre, The Theatre Centre, and Luminato to prepare a version of Hunter, Gatherer, Purveyor that looked at three different neighbourhoods in the city. We spent two weeks walking around Mount Dennis, Rosedale, and Malvern looking for plants that represented each community and then fed them back to folks in ice form! We always make a zine to accompany the popsciles that reflects on our experience in the city, has drawings, provides recipes, and talks about the neighbourhoods. You can download a copy below. But here is an excerpt where we wondering about a work of public art in Mount Denis.

The morning starts like most: ginger tea, Notorious B.I.G., and learning about invasive species by learning about ourselves. Dressed in hand made aprons there is confusion and doubt (or is that disappointment and anger?) as we stand on the corner of Weston Road and Dennis Avenue. (Why did the city and a developer collectively spend $250,000 on this public art project?) The city is made strange by our presence and we are made accountable by the city and its people and the ways in which our movements transport seeds, bacteria, or spores (of ideology) from one place to another. What have we carried on our aprons, bike tires, or art practice from West Queen West to Mount Dennis? Disorientation? Heart-ache? Death? Biologists have a name for the strategic placement of a non-native species into an area for the purposes of reproduction and colonization: introduction effort. Not all invasive species thrive in a new location of course; and many must survive at lower population densities before overtaking an area. The greater the introduction effort (the repeated introduction attempts, the number of sites at which introduction attempts are made, the size of the population introduced) the greater the chances of success of establishing a new species into a foreign environment. The City of Toronto has publications that identify common invasive species in the city—we know because we printed them off the internet and carried them with us into the neighbourhoods. Dog-strangling vine, for instance, forms dense colonies that smother shorter plants—causing deformations and death. Norway maple displaces competing species and ground vegetation by producing an abundance of seedlings, blocking light to other plants, and by releasing a phytotoxic chemical that discourages other plants to grow. These are fascinating forms of violence. Many invasive species in Toronto were introduced for aesthetic and practical purposes—the beautification of an area, to produce culturally specific foods, or to make a place more habitable and a reminder of home. It should be no surprise then, that invasive species can positively and negatively impact an area economically, ecologically, and environmentally. Spaces can be changed, peoples lives can be turn upside down, and the biodiversity of an area threatened by an invasive species. In 2011 the City of Toronto declared Mount Dennis a Priority Area (now called a Neighbourhood Improvement Area). The same year Artscape devised a plan for developing arts infrastructure within the area; and soon after Metrolinx began work on the Eglington Cross Town LRT. These three things have created the conditions for an invasive species. But plants are not the issue here—even though Metrolinx did destroy some amazing trees along the rail line with the promise of replacing them 3:1 elsewhere in the community. What concerns us is the hucksterism of Richard Florida and his devout creative cities followers (artists, politicians, urban developers, festival administrators etc.) that will edge out some of the population in Mount Dennis for another type of “species”—artist and then debt-willing young people and the affluent. We have a request: for the love of what happens in the shadows (now there is an economic model we understand), pull the public art piece at the corner of Weston Road and Dennis Avenue from the ground. Get at the roots and make sure it does not spread elsewhere in the community.