nine meditations on the new space)doxa season

photo by David Levasseur

By Philia

In this artycle, Philia leads us through nine ponderings on space)doxa, a concert series that has seen many seasons in the Graffiti Gallery, and is about to begin anew. If you’d like more information on the out-there series as we collectively hurtle through time, simply search for the space)doxa Facebook group. Tomorrow night is Midori Recordsshowcase as a part of the series, featuring Stylus & Weird Canada favourite Fletcher Pratt.

Meditation One
Season nine of space)doxa started on Sunday, August 14, 2011 with a tour stop by Twin and their Assiniboine River Music Armada, followed on September 24, 2011 with a Midori Records showcase featuring Philia, Fletcher Pratt, Dusth and more! August 2003 was the debut performance of the series. Steve Wilson, Graffiti Art Programming Inc. executive director, was looking for a performance art series, and recruited me (Greg Hanec – Philia), Dave Dalgliesh, Nicole Shimonek, and Victoria Prince to each do one event per year. Dalgliesh utilized techno and dazzling video feedback, filling the walls with moving images. Hanec filled in with film loops galore. Shinonek’s event saw her trying to smash a coconut on the floor, but as my friend Michael said… “Her girl’s throw almost took off the head of the guy in the front row!”

Meditation Two
Rob Menard of the Absent Sound puts on three amazing events called 20 Guitar Circular Wall Of Angelic Sound. Twenty plus guitarists on the floor and catwalks surrounding the audience in the middle. Graffiti Art Programming’s Steve Wilson would never be the same.

Meditation Three
Fantastic heavenly reverb in in the main space necessitates an event called eclectACOUSTIC.
This of course is a totally unplugged evening and has seen the likes of Timber Timbre, Doug and Jess (bluegrass), Ghost Bees, Dan Frechette, Twin, Nikki  Komaksiutiksak (throat singer), Philia, Jeff Presslaff, Natalia Zielinski (solo classical violin), Suture (experimental freeform), the Flaming Trolley Marching Band (all 15 of them!), and more perform. Six annuals so far.

Meditation Four
NOISE. Lea Cummings (UK). NOISE. Ahna (BC). NOISE. RDC and Bomber (Calgary). NOISE. White Dog (Wpg). NOISE. Sigmund (Wpg). NOISE. This Camera is Red (Wpg). NOISE. NOISE. NOISE. NOISE. NOISE.

Meditation Five
This Camera is Red does a fifty minute noise set that I thought would shred the PA due to incredible volume levels. I had earlier asked him “Why Noise bands need so much volume?”
He said he’d… “probably just play ten minutes…”

Meditation Six
The audience sits mostly on the many couches strewn around the space. It feels like the world’s largest rec room. By far, the most attentive audiences in the city. Beautiful.

Meditation Seven
“A Pit: Epiphenomena”… “Paper”… “Amphiboly”… “Intervals”… Andrew Milne, Freya Olafson, DJ Brace, Sarah Otsuji, Philia, 6, Doreen Girard, Scott Ellenberger. Large scale performance art pieces, featuring the blending of many arts all at once, or in sequence.

Meditation Eight
Wide-eyed. Jaw-dropped. Dazed. Exulted.Silently sitting and slowly shaking their heads. This is the reaction of 90% of the musicians that play their first shows at the space.Touring bands will tell me it was the best show of the tour. This is neat. We only have ten people in the audience who paid admission, and the members of the other acts. Sixty people in the audience seems immense. Everyone sets up all at once, so no change-overs. Just play.

Meditation Nine
Originally called the Ideas and Methods Series… Next called the artIfactSERIES… Now called space)doxa… To  discuss opinions on audio/visual/bodily art, using audio/visual/bodily art AND conversation = doxa. The lone parenthesis leaning toward the “space” means this is the “place” to do it in. This is neat.

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