Out of Bounds (2011)

Out of Bounds Festival of Site-Pecific Interventions – Audain Gallery, Vancouver, 2011

Part of Mapping the Everyday: Neighbourhood Claims for the Future, Curated by Elke Krasny

Artists / Artistes: Christopher S.W. Anderson, Calla Churchward, Mairin Cooley, Andrea Creamer, Jen Dunford, Gabriel Mindel Saloman, Corrie Neyrinck, Nancy Tam, Daisy Thompson, Alexis Vanderveen, Risa Yamaguchi

Out of Bounds 2011

In September 2010, the new location of the SFU School for the Contemporary Arts (SCA) opened in the Woodward’s Development: a historically important site for the city of Vancouver, embedded in a network of socio-economic and political forces that have shaped the Downtown Eastside area in which it is located. Through the simple act of frequenting this site on a daily basis as members of the SCA community, students become entangled in a web of issues that underlie the constitution of this site (and the larger site that it is a part of) whether or not they are aware of, acknowledge or choose to politically engage with them.

A key premise of the Out of Bounds Festival is that, in actuality, SCA students are already participants in the neighbourhood around their school, albeit passively. Typically, students fleetingly inhabit the area and travel back and forth between the 611 Alexander studios and the Woodward’s campus without creatively engaging with this site (or with the various sites that compose it), or critically addressing the manner in which it has been politically and socio-economically constituted. Accordingly, the goal of this project is to encourage students to evaluate the transitory nature of their relationship with the area located between the 611 Alexander studios and the Woodward’s campus, and to rethink their presence in and impact on this site.

Artists participating in the project take as a starting point their position in relation to the site in order to consider the potential for relational agency that underlies their specific subjective positions as SFU SCA students. The in-situ character of the festival denotes a double site-specificity: the specificity of the relationships individual students have with the site as a space of activity, and the specificity of the overall site as the actual location that has instigated these relationships. The works presented as part of the festival are engaged in this dual site-specificity: they directly engage specific sites by means of artistic interventions that activate and explore the relational character of the larger site. Accordingly, it is the specificity of the relationships that the artists entertain with the overall site that drives the in-situ production of their interventions in specific locations.

In an effort to reflect upon the transitory nature of SCA students, the works in Out of Bounds constitute ephemeral gestures that infiltrate the everyday of the sites in which they are presented. Some of the works are furtive and sometimes even clandestine in character, creating micro-disruptions in the constitution of their sites. Other pieces, being participatory or relational in nature, open onto new vectors for affective relations between the various agents found in the sites. Other projects, by creatively responding to concrete aspects of the sites, create the potential for new perceptual experiences.