About the exhibition
Public Access: 1999 & Beyond
Since 2009, Weekend Leisure has been producing a public access television programme, The Weekend Leisure Network, which airs locally in Vancouver on Novus Network Channel 4. Each episode consists of segments that vary in style and content, from studio karaoke performances to improvised non-sequiturs, and are often the result of various collaborations with individuals in Vancouver’s arts, comedy and karaoke communities. For Public Access: 1999 & Beyond at the Helen Pitt Gallery, Weekend Leisure has curated local artists and comedians to create work that will be shown in an art exhibition taking the form of a public access television programme.
Employing an overarching theme of “science fiction”, the five participants were asked to produce works that considered the do-it-yourself aesthetic and lack of resources of public access television, responding to its limitations as a medium of democratic creative expression. The resulting video pieces–whose concepts arise from interests in found footage, community theatre, fan fiction, local news broadcasting, primitive computer animation and space travel–bring together individuals from backgrounds both in and out of the contemporary art world, extending their creative potential beyond their respective fields.
The full episode of Public Access: 1999 & Beyond (42:05)
Angus Ferguson, from L'Homme Sauvage
Kaitlin Fontana & Nicole Passmore, from Shitty Spock
Nicole Passmore, from Kappa Psi Phi / Hot Topic
Emmett Hall, from Community Pageant
Hank Bull & Patrick Ready, from HP Radio Show
Opening & closing title sequences by Nicolas Sassoon
HP Radio Show Podcast
Hank Bull & Patrick Ready
Born in Vancouver, Angus Ferguson received his BFA from Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design in 2002. His work has appeared in group exhibitions at the Charles H. Scott Gallery, Belkin Satellite Gallery and The Bodgers and Kludgers Co-operative Art Parlour, in additoin to solo shows at Blanket Gallery and Gallery Atsui. In 2007 he was shortlisted for the RBC Painting Competition.
Kaitlin Fontana & Nicole Passmore
Kaitlin Fontana is an improviser and sketch comedian, as well as a National Magazine award-winning writer living in Vancouver, BC. Her work has appeared in SPIN, Rolling Stone, Sound, Exclaim!, The Walrus and Maisonneuve, among many other publications. Kaitlin holds a BFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, a subject for which she also received the Douglas Bankson Scholarship. In 2010, Kaitlin was awarded the Emerging Artist prize in the category of Literary Arts at the Mayor's Arts Awards, chosen by Evelyn Lau. She currently sits on the Editorial Board for PRISM International.
An improviser since the age of 14, Nicole Passmore began her improv practice in the Canadian Improv Games, and later found a home with UBC Improv. Since then she has expanded her horizons to not only include improv with Vancouver Theatre Sports League's Masterclass and coaching high school level improvisation, but also collaborating with local Vancouver sketch groups such as Pump Trolley Comedy and the sketch duo Pony Hunters (with Kaitlin Fontana). In 2009, Passmore played a role on the Leo Award nominated web series Mental Beast and most recently joined forces with Vancouver improviser Briana Rayner to form the comedy duo Virginia Jack.
Emmett Hall is a Vancouver-based comedian, animator and musician, having studied animation at Capilano College and in Vibog, Denmark. Working in the animation industry by day, Hall regularly performs sketch and improv by night at comedy events such as Bronx Cheer’s Hero Show and The Sunday Service, the latter for which he also provides musical backup and produces a monthly podcast. Additionaly, Hall is one third of the medieval, heavy-metal comedy trio Knights of the Night and the author behind the online comic Starbun.
Nicolas Sassoon is a Vancouver-based new media artist and member of the online art collective Computers Club. Nicolas publishes his work online through the format of animated gifs and collaborates with architects, artists, electronic music producers and fashion designers. His work has been exhibited in various international venues and events such as the Miami Art Fair, the Tokyo Art Fair, Every Letter in the Alphabet, Vancouver; TINBOX Contemporary Art Gallery, Bordeaux; the Berlin Fashion Week, and MU Eindhoven.
HP Radio Show (Hank Bull & Patrick Ready)
HP is a collaboration between Hank Bull and Patrick Ready. Beginning in 1975 HP produced a weekly radio show, which ran on Vancouver Co-operative Radio for 8 years. Devoted to the idea that radio could be activated as an art medium, the two hosts developed an idiosyncratic style and a quick following. A forum for new inventions, telephone music and various types of listener participation, the show made heavy use of sound effects, experiments with tape recorders and scripted serials. Many of the artists who came to the Western Front in Vancouver would be incorporated into the show.
Hank Bull has lived in Vancouver and worked at the Western Front since 1973. He became involved in radio and television in 1975 and has been active as an organizer of international artists' projects using electronic networks and continues various pursuits as a 'TOTALmedia' artist.
Patrick Ready is a Vancouver-based writer, inventor and radio artist. His collaborative radio plays were first produced in 1973 and have since been performed in galleries in Toronto and Vancouver. In 1989, he invented the 'water radio' as artist-in-residence at The Banff Centre.
Since graduating from Emily Carr’s Integrated Media program, the four members of Weekend Leisure (Erich Gerl, Curtis Grahauer, Christy Nyiri and Pietro Sammarco) continue to collaborate and utilize their respective backgrounds in video and installation, performance, design, music and comedy. In addition to regularly producing the half-hour WLN cable-access television show and curating Public Access: 1999 & Beyond, the collective also creates online video shorts, hosts regular karaoke events and is co-producing a feature-length film scheduled to shoot this summer.
Right click to download high-res images.
Image Credits: 1st & 4th images by Nicolas Sassoon; 2nd photo a production still from Angus Ferguson's work by Kate Henderson; 3rd image a still from Emmett Hall's work; 5th image a still from Kaitlin Fontana & Nicole Passmore's work.
Keith Higgins, Executive Director, Helen Pitt Gallery firstname.lastname@example.org | Helen Pitt Gallery.org
Further Reading / Looking
Angus Ferguson Studio Visit | Vancouver is Awesome: The Opening
Kaitlin Fontana kaitlinfontana.com | Vancouver is Awesome: search results
Nicole Passmore Vancouver is Awesome: Tragedy Plus Time Vol. 26
Emmett Hall Vancouver is Awesome: Tragedy Plus Time Vol. 33 | The Sunday Service Podcast | Starbun
Nicolas Sassoon You Make Me So Happy | nicolassassoon.computersclub.org
Hank Bull & Patrick Ready CCCA Database
Weekend Leisure weekendleisure.ca
A UNIT/PITT Project presented at Centre A, 2 West Hastings Street, Vancouver