Saturday, November 19, 2011


A Banff residency is a good reason to start blogging, I think.

Every day there is so much information to process, from within and without that I start feeling quite overwhelmed. But good. Overwhelmed is good. I've been feeling overwhelmed a lot lately, with the move to Montreal and all, so this new stuff is a drop in a bucket compared to it.

But back to the residency.

It started about a week ago, at the Banff Centre for the Arts (duh). The residency is called

There are about 20 artists in the residency. All very different in mediums and work style and approaches. Yet there is a common thread. A curiosity about the world. Everybody looks at the world as a complex system and sort of makes an attempt to make sense of it, connecting far reaching dots into something cooler. There is a good mix of established/mid-career/emerging artists, it's nice to be able to mingle and exchange on many levels at once — chat, joke, brainstorm, ask and share advice and random bits of research.

We are supposed to do one common project together. We even had one brainstorming session. All of us together trying to come up with some sort of beginning to begin to begin. And it's difficult — so many fantastic ideas floating by, yet nothing to start crystallizing them yet. So instead we took a walk up the mountain. There used to be an old cosmic ray station there, abandoned in the late 70s.

That was a couple of days ago. Now the email box is overflowing with back-and-forth emails about cosmic rays and water (the residency has "Backwater" in the name). There are all kinds of ideas, music, texts, photos, videos, research — a fascinating collection. I just watch it grow, fascinated. I think I might use some pieces of the particles video somewhere, it's way too pretty.

I myself came here to do an improvisational video piece. I even brought a video camera, which I am yet to use. So far I've been avoiding using it. I shoot with my little photo camera instead — it lifts the pressure of shooting anything good, video doodling if you will, capturing random thoughts and pictures and seeing what comes out.

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