Photo Essay |
Dawson City League of Lady Wrestlers: Grudge Match in Guggieville
Over 200 people attended Dawson City’s third annual League of Lady Wrestlers event on Saturday, August 1st. Billed as a “Grudge Match in Guggieville”, contestants squared off in a riotously fun atmosphere over the course of six scheduled matches.
Throughout the evening, many surprise match ups broke out and this reporter found great difficulty in keeping score of winners and losers. During the half time musical show, the lead singer and the bassist of the band Gliterus ultimately took umbrage with each other and wound up in the wrestling ring.
Later in the night, a wrestling hobbit by the name of Bobo Baggins was unmasked as last year’s villainous “Yuk of the Yukon” in disguise and was forced to reckon with the indignation, and broom, of the event’s custodian Janet Orial. Even the award ceremony at the end of the night degenerated into a battle royale as all the players attempted to claim the much coveted trophies for themselves.
Though smartly dressed, the Referee seemed unable and even unwilling to keep the fights clean and with the correct number of scheduled contestants. Some stability was provided by announcer and 19th century dandy Johnny Fairbanks, who thankfully was able to explain many of the plot twists and turns during the utter pandemonium.
This was another rewarding exercise for my New Media Studio grad program. I’ve never done a sustained series of self-portraits, and being challenged to do so caused me to ponder how to compose these perhaps in a critical and new way (at least for me).
We had been looking at a lot of “selfies” so I decided to take more “anti-selfie” approach: instead of up close, I would far away from the camera. Instead of relying on the gesture of a raised arm with a camera pointed back at me, I decided to use a remote shutter release with a cord. Instead of framing the environment to be about me and my dominance of it, I wanted my presence to instead be awkwardly inserted into environments where people were busy doing other things.
What I call “Intervention Selfies” was born.
I made an 11th meta-selfie with some of the other selfies I did not use. It’s pretty funny – can you find all the me’s? Do you really want to?
I forgot about this video! One of my first “art documentaries” – it gets funnier but not easier. Description below:
Two goofballs from Toronto decide to travel to Montreal and keep a video diary of their exploration of Nuit Blanche 2010, following the “Art Souterrain” route of contemporary art in the subway tunnels and public halls underneath Montreal.
My son and I fooled around with his new Windows phone and the “Symphony” photo app. This capture technology is a trend right now across many mobile platforms of producing a sort of half-photo, half-video looping clips. We ended up making a rather creepy series of carving and eating a mango.
I enjoyed the stresses and pushing, pulling of animating parts of the picture and leaving others static. Unfortunately, like most of Microsoft’s approach to apps, my control of the process is limited and the process plays out like a meek multiple choice that seemed more like a bad focus group result than a robust tool. Also, there was no way to export the result as a stand alone movie which is a troubling trend – these social app platforms are determined to keep the user and their content inside a “walled garden”. They want you to purchase their software to view your friends content.
So I filmed the sequences playing on the Windows Phone screen with my iPhone 4s and put it together with iMovie :) I like the degradated and shaky quality of this process and the audio I accidentally captured transferring the footage in this manner.
Update: my son has the original footage for the project, so it may appear again in a different presentation and in more pristine quality. I’d like to show them all in chronological order and simultaneously, both in a space and on a web page.
Continuum & Subtle Technologies are partnering and both have in common a keen interest in smart people doing smart but unexpected things resulting from cross-discipline collaborations. The resulting project is called “collide” and some of the most interesting people from across Canada are participating in it – and many of these individuals were in attendance at a fundraising party at Gallery 345 in my old haunt of Parkdale Village.
Being manned here in the art outpost of central Hamilton, I promised myself I would make it to more events in Toronto and I was glad to make it to this – especially since Subtle Technologies’ Jim Ruxton has moved into my neighbourhood and I am presenting hounding him for a podcast interview.
Finally, I managed to see inside the space at 345 Sorauren Avenue I was also very happy to run into Jack Butler, and Susana & Claire from Circuit Gallery, among others.
Below are some photos & a video clip of a performance that evening: Percussionist Ryan Scott performing Erik Griswold’s “Spill.
Look forward to seeing the results of this project!