28 January | 20:00

SyntheticSound Screening #99

Eric Lorenz – Tunnel Canary (2009)
Elizabeth Vander Zaag - Through the Holes (1981)

Doors: 19:30
Start time: 20:00

Video Out Distribution (Vancouver) and Spektrum (Berlin) are pleased to present SyntheticSound, a program of experimental video shorts culled from The Crista Dahl Media Library & Archive, housed and managed by VIVO Media Arts Centre, a prolific artist run centre located in Vancouver, Canada.

This screening attempts to chronicle important video experimentations, technological advancements, subcultural movements, and societal analyses with works dating from the 1970s to the present. All titles are thread by experimental music genres, both in composition and in thematic content. Experimental music is but one of the many genres accessioned by this archive since its inception in 1973. 

Program curated by Alan Kollins (Vancouver) as part of the transmediale/CTM Vorspiel 2016 festival - runtime approximately 90 minutes.

Following the screening, Alan Kollins will lead a panel discussion on video archiving and future preservation with Nine Yamamoto and Jazmina Figueroa. 

The SyntheticSound screening serves to chronicle one of this archive's interdisciplinary nuggets: the line where experimental video production and music intersect; a re/consideration of the relationship shared by music in art-based video culture. The first third of the program features pioneering explorations in video art / documentation / media art / sound experiments. In the archive‘s oldest existing tape, minimalist sound pioneer Terry Riley is captured performing in a television studio aided by late 1960s video processing textures. COUM Transmissions (a spirited performance art/ Fluxus collective whose members Genesis P-Orridge, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Peter Christopherson and Chris Carter would later form the industrial band, Throbbing Gristle) are featured in a work of provocative performative "hang out" in their loft, circa 1973.

Additionally featured is live concert footage of the punk outfit 999 ripping it up on stage at London's notorious punk venue, Nashville Rooms. Tunnel Canary, a crafty, insightful look at a short lived (1978 - 1983) punk outfit on the fringes of Vancouver's noise and punk scenes is a strong and curious work that tips the scale of what music documentary can be when video art meets documentary at experimental levels.

The program shifts towards video processing experimentation of the 1980s with Elizabeth Vander Zaag's visually and musically hypnotic, Through The Holes and Laurie McDonald’s tounge-in-cheek electro pop anthem, Generic Video Art. The digital animation works of both Brendan Baudat and Lief Hall (a Canadian musician, sound and performance artist currently based in Berlin) illustrate modern developments in video technique and the form’s technological possibilities. Viewed in relation to one another, these works trigger a recognition of the ways video and Media Art rapidly developed as a relevant art-based practice, one that challenged the very tenets of filmmaking, including that of the Avant Garde variety. Perhaps one of many reasons curators served to ghettoize Video titles to galleries and underground spaces during video’s most fertile (some might argue, prolific) period.

  • Generic Video Art, excerpt: Androgina (Laurie McDonald, 1982. USA 01:00 min.)
  • Music For Stocking-Top, excerpt (COUM Transmissions, Cosey Fanni Tutti, 1974. UK 11:06 min.)
  • Music With Balls, excerpt (Arlo Action, Terry Riley, 1968. USA 05:22 min.)
  • 999 Live at Nashville Rooms, excerpt (Fantasy Factory, 1976. UK 05:40 min.)
  • The Temple of The Sacred Lady Crayon goes Percussion (Clark Nikolai, 1984. Canada 06:53 min.)
  • Tunnel Canary (Eric Lorenz, 2009. Canada 37:00 min.)
  • supa girl (Michael Venus, 2001. Canada 04:18 min.)
  • Sexnoys (Mathilde Geromine, 2006. Canada 01:29 min.)
  • Through The Holes (Elizabeth Vander Zaag, 1981. Canada 03:00 min.)
  • Cybernetic Love Triangle (Brendan Baudat, 2008. Canada 02:30 min.)
  • Mother and Babe (Lief Hall, 2011. Canada 01:14 min.)
  • It's Hard to Get in My System (Duane Linklater, 2010. Canada 05:42 min.)
  • Generic Video Art Redux, excerpt: Androgina (Laurie McDonald, 1982. USA 01:03 min.) 


Alan Kollins
 is a Vancouver based curator who has worked in artist run centres since 2003. He assisted in creating the fifty fifty arts collective (Victoria, BC) where he worked as a programmer and administrator for 7 years. Alan has worked as an administrator at VIVO Media Arts (Vancouver), Open Space Arts Society (Victoria, BC) and as a Distribution Assistant at Video Out Distribution (Vancouver, BC) where he helped maintain a video archive that dates back to 1973. Alan recently co-curated a retrospective screening of Canadian Queer cinema for the Out On Screen Film Festival (Vancouver, BC) in conjunction with the National Queer Database and the Crista Dahl Media Library and Archive at VIVO Media Arts. Alan earned a BA in Film Studies from the University of Victoria. He continues to explore an independent curatorial practice in the Vancouver region. 

Nine Eglantine Yamamoto-Masson is a French-Japanese artist, curator and PhD candidate at ASCA (Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis). In academic research and artistic practice, her work examines historical memory, ideology, resistance and counter-narratives at the site of their encounter with socially engaged art as a critical forum. In Berlin she works with anti-racist organisations that provide support for refugees and with organisations that work against gender-based-discrimination. She is co-founder of the intersectional feminist art/theory/activist network Messengers United. Her work is invested in the potential of art to offer alternative avenues through which to articulate socio-historical and political concerns, such as the use of fiction as a testing ground for reality and as a strategy towards a differentiated understanding of the contemporary. 

Jazmina Figueroa is currently working as the Arts Coordinator for ascribe. Previously based in London, she studied fine arts with a focus in print and time-based media at Wimbledon College of Arts. She has curated and produced several exhibitions and contemporary art events in Berlin and London. Her areas of interest range from video art, experimental cinema to digital technologies. Jazmina Figueroa has also screened her work at the South London Gallery, London.

Video Out Distribution is a non-profit, nonexclusive distributor of media art on video to galleries, festivals, educational institution collections and broadcasters nationally and internationally. Founded in 1980 by the Satellite Video Exchange Society, the distribution services and the over 4,000 title collection managed are an integral part of the VIVO Media Arts Centre (Established, 1973) in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.