Spirit in Silver has been selected as best in show for the SNAP! 2015 silent auction. The gala, silent and live auction will be held at the Toronto Reference Library on March 26th. Find out more about the event and reserve tickets here. This event is a fundraiser for ACT - the Aids Committee of Toronto. With your support, ACT can continue to deliver innovative programs and services to those living with, at risk, and affected by HIV/AIDS.
View Spirit in Silver on the SNAP! 2015 silent auction page!
Shot on 4x5 Kodachrome slide film.
This trio was shot digitally, using a plexiglass light table. Photographing glass can be very straightforward or as complex as you'd like to make it. Food colouring is an easy way to jazz up clear glassware.
Please take a moment to remember the people that have fought for our country and continue fight in our name, lest we forget.
A meeting of old and new, this photograph was taken at the 2013 Remembrance Day Ceremony in Toronto then printed using traditional darkroom techniques from a digital negative.
Two members of my family died in the Second World War. My step grandfather was a veteran of the Second World War, my father is a veteran of the Gulf War and right up to the 158 people that have died in the war in Afghanistan, today is for them. I encourage you to watch the Remembrance Day Ceremony live in Ottawa here.
One of the first Polaroid lifts I created, this photo was taken under a skylight using a Polaroid film back on a 4x5 film camera. So, what's a lift? The process involves taking a Polaroid picture, separating the image from it's back and manipulating it onto a new surface, like paper or glass. This gives the artist freedom to stretch, crumple, fold or tear the image to achieve a unique effect. To create a lift the border of the Polaroid is cut away, the paper negative (the back) and plastic cover (the front) are pulled apart, first by peeling off the back then by soaking it in hot water until the image floats away.
Lifts can also be created using Impossible film as Polaroid film can be hard to come by. For the Behind the Scene series I manipulated Impossible lifts using a similar process, each lift took about twenty minutes. When using Impossible film it is necessary to use a paint brush to gently wipe off the left over emulsion/photo chemicals for a clean image. Otherwise the lift dries covered in white residue. This video shows how it works! I'd like to dispel the myth that lifts need to be created within a few days of taking the photo. Whether I wait a few minutes or a few months it doesn't seem to affect the results.
Unlike a lift, transfers must be done immediately after capturing the image. Using a roller the image is transferred before the emulsion dries. I'd like to try creating a transfer using Impossible Film soon. Check out the process in action here (from 0:50 onwards).
Save the date, you're invited and everyone is welcome!
Plus it's the day after my birthday so let's celebrate!
For more info visit the Margin of Eras 2014 event page. Sixteen framed prints from my series Behind the Scene will be on display and for sale! Please inquire with me directly about purchasing prints.
It is important that harm reduction be implemented at both mainstream and under ground raves/EDM events. Just like putting on a seatbelt before driving your car, harm reduction is something people practice every day without even realizing it. Trip! Project has been serving the community since 1995 and relies largely on the efforts of it's dedicated volunteers. They bring information regarding safer sex and safer drug use, harm reduction supplies, provide basic peer counselling and are trained in first aid. Despite this, they still receive little funding/corporate sponsorship despite offering their service at no charge. I fully support Trip! Project, if you would like to know more or to make a donation visit: tripproject.ca because everyone matters. Know your body. Know your mind. Know your source.
The first rave I attended was Hey Rebel All Ages Devil's Night Rager on October 30th, 2010 at the former Washington & Johnston Funeral Home. I had only been living in Toronto for two months but I found myself at my first rave, sober, met one of my best friends and heard Zed's Dead play for $15. Four years of raving doesn't hold a candle to people who have experienced the rave scene since it's inception decades ago but I am proudly a part of this community.
Zed's Dead - Journey of a Lifetime - 2010
Zed's Dead - Lost You (feat.Twin Shadow & D'Angelo Lacy) - 2014
I wouldn't call Harvest Festival a rave but ravers do make up a portion of the attendees. It takes place outside of the GTA and DJ sets are part of a much bigger experience that involves camping, circus/fire/acrobatic performances, art installations and a uniquely community minded atmosphere. I still have a bunch of lifts to make from Harvest but I chose not to include them in the final series.
Tragically, two people died at Veld music festival held in August at Downsview Park. Deaths and hospitalizations such as these are often sensationalized by the media, politicians and the public. This stems from a lack of understanding and unwillingness to implement harm reduction techniques.
What's Behind Music Fest Deaths?How to Create A Safer Nightlife Through Harm Reduction
EDM events became a hot topic in municipal politics once again in April 2014 when large-scale EDM events were banned in city owned buildings at Exhibition Place. In May, city council voted 31 to 4 to reverse the ban.
Veld Festival Deaths Threaten to Bring Back Rave Bogeyman
This is not the first time rave culture and municipal politics have clashed and rallied together in their defence. In 2000 Toronto mayor Mel Lastman passed a law that effectively meant that, "No parties with the performance of electronic music past 3 am shall be allowed within the city limits." The rave community responded by holding a free rave at Nathan Phillips Square while abstaining from drugs. The next day City Council voted 50 to 3 in favour of reversing the ban.
iDance Rally and Olivia Chow
I'm not convinced Behind the Scene should be the title of this series, but Part of Several Scenes from My Perspective is to wordy. The implications of words like rave, Peace Love Unity And Respect (PLUR) and Electronic Dance Music (EDM) are fraught with peril these days. Present day rave culture has transformed largely into what is now called the EDM Scene. Underground rave culture has changed but still exists in Toronto, the city has also hosted some major mainstream events in recent years
.The Rise and Fall of the Toronto Rave Scene
Should We Let PLUR Die
In July 2014 I became one of 28 artists to receive funding from CUE this summer, thank you CUE!
What is CUE?
CUE is a radical arts initiative dedicated to supporting new generation artists living and working on the margins in Toronto. We recognize that, throughout history, some of the most important artwork was, and still is, created by artists who produce outside of conventional frameworks- underrepresented artists who, by choice or circumstance do not participate in commercial culture, or share mainstream world views. There are bright lights shining from the cracks and corners. Since 2008, CUE has disseminated over $180,000 in grant funds to support the creation of 190 art projects. For more info, please visit: cueartprojects.ca or follow us on Twitter @CUETorontoHave an idea? Need funding? Working outside the box and in the margins? You're in luck! CUE is accepting proposals until October 30th, 2014. Check out the guidelines here.
As you can see, my very first attempt at lifting an Impossible Film photo was not spectacular. I had worked with Polaroid Film using a Polaroid back on a 4x5 camera under a sunlight. That gave me total control over the exposure and allowed time for me to thoughtfully compose my images. Using an automatic Polaroid 600 camera at an outdoor rave with Impossible Project film is an entirely different beast. It's been a blast so far!