Artifact dossier: Collage art boards from “Forgotten Vancouver Stories (aka Poets, Punks and Revolutions)” spiel presented in various formats at Pecha Kucha Night Vancouver, All-start edition, and Northern Voice 2013 closing keynote. Video and roundup of both prezos exists elsewhere in this archive.
Each collage “slide” was handmade (obviously) with ephemera from my personal collection (exceptions credited on final “slide”) then, arranged on hemp cloth “storyboards”, photographed by Rachel Ashe, then disassembled. An analog to digital remix of sorts. Presented here in rather large size for your printing/screensaver/ amusement and posterity.
June 2012, i boarded a VIA with 11 bands, a doc film crew, CBC radio 3, a bushel of photographers, a handful of fans and me as onboard community Svengali – complete a Bob Marley/Hunter Thompson inspired medical kit.
Across the lands we bounded, each band performing acoustically in the glass act-deco caboose in car, they played a showcase in the “activity” car, then a rousing full rocking set at the Gladstone in Toronto for CBC Radio 3 NXNE showcase.
Along the way, we made 4 whistlestop performances which all featured lateness, weirdness and rampaging small towns before escaping back to the diplomatic immunity of the train.
You probably know i made a 6or7 part podcast series – tracking the trek and Green Couch are crafting a Tracks on Tracks documentary… which i think should be 10 hours long.
I gathered all my paper-y bits and pieces and made another of my commemorative story boards AKA “static montage” with CDs, stickers, snaps, stubs, postcards and even a pic from my keynote address at NXNE Interactive about social media in crisis and revolutions.
With John Biehler’s help, here is the static montage, hopefully in a size you can zoom in and catch each detail.
Tag it up, wallpaper it, share it. Enjoy and let’s go again!
In 2002, High Times Magazine owed Jay Stewart and I a huge buzz and a favour due to the our exceptional hosting and journalistic assistance for what became a rather controversial article with a significant impact on The Evergreen State College community and Olympia in general.
By passport mishaps and generosity, Jay and I met up over in Amsterdam and Ian (aka The Fonz RIP) and a few other renegades were installed as judges for the Cannabis Cup.
We also did the inaugural tours of “Vansterdam Tours” which was really doing “tweet ups” before you know, all the social stuff. Being cultured gentlemen, we also travelled to other towns for markets, ganja festivities and witnessing Sinter Klaus and Black Pete(s) come to town.
As is my custom, i collected paper ephemeral bits, then season and ferment for a decade or longer before spontaneously attaching to the largest board i can find. Jay started calling these “static montages” which is more accurate to “storyboard collages” or others.
In Palau (an archipelago of islands in Micronesia), the artisans make remarkable relief-carved wooden boards – appropriately called “storyboards”.
This idea of creating a loose/non-linear narrative to visually accompany an oral story was the spark that ignites did my whole public speaking/story making style.
When I wander far, I rarely take a camera beyond a disposable unit but instead, chronicle my journey through assembling ephemeral artifacts which then become scrapbooks and/or storyboards of a kind.
In this example from Palau, you’ll see a mix of disposable camera snapshots printed on distressed hemp paper along with various tickets, shells, lighters, maps, newsclippings, stickers, stamps etc. plus… I wrote a brief narrative structure on Japanese rice paper envelopes, and then assembled the whole collection on green hemp canvas attached to a wooden cradle — then added paint, straw, bits of dead coral and so on.
I went there with little knowledge, no plans, and few expectations but managed to hop between islands on various intermittent ferries hauling drums of diesel, small plane, random boats and goodwill of others.
Caught in a tent in a rainstorm on Anguar, made a driftwood fire for fish, tromped to the top of bloody nose Ridge on Pelilu, saw tanks resting in the jungle and sealed up a escape tunnels, drinks at Jeff’s pirate cove in Koror… Met a friend and helped deliver mail to a live aboard dive boat then surfed a dangerous coral break, scuba dove solo at blue corner (saw sharks turtles and the very middle of the earth), free dove for a giant clams and cooked the giant clam meat on a little fire on a perfect tiny island.
Saw the Southern Cross, bought a handmade wooden spear gun, plus a hand fishing reel with thick line for trolling off a boat or casting from shore and traded dive masks for kayak rides and packets of zigzags for local herbs (which were exceptional) and used comically large shells as ashtrays.
The old folks on the islands spoke Japanese so I was able to hear stories of the occupation, traditions and life during wartime without filter of go-betweens. I am Magent the tens of thousands of lives lost in meeting last battles as I rumble down potholed airstrips made pre-World War II while the plane literally drops off the edge of a cliff before catching itself while waves crash below.
This was just before the bridge collapsed between the island with the small airport which connects to the capital “city.”
I went deep down their historical rabbit hole and learned of their tussles with foreign fishing fleets, nuclear submarines, handoffs between colonial powers > United Nations > and finally (re)independence, plus their pushback against encroaching tourist hotels and the deep respect for their natural environment.
The hundreds of islands look like heads of broccoli and the people have a remarkable combination of a sense of the outside world while maintaining their traditions and culture without giving into the shiny temptations of material trappings.
This is all. I planned to return for too many years now and, hesitated to tell anyone about this because I want to vanish here perhaps.