Events from the Archive

Upcoming event:  Sticky Impulse: Archive Nights

Sticky Impulse is a monthly series featuring works from the Crista Dahl Media Library & Archive. Its’ title references the materiality of video – from the originating electrical impulses that transfer content to magnetic tape, to a videotape’s inevitable demise from deterioration of its core elements – and evokes the problematic,things difficult to navigate or to let go of, creative spontaneity, compulsion, euphoric abandon, or the urge to act.  Expect video (often), but also textual records, audio, photographs, legacy technology, and ephemera from our collection.

Sticky Impulse: In with the Old


VIVO Micro-Cinema
Doors 6:30 PM. Screening 7-9PM.
Free event

A selection of video produced between 1988 and 1992 about propaganda and the news media’s reaction to, and complicity in, the rise of a new generation of anti-Queer legislation in England and the US, and the Gulf War. A contemporary epilogue welcomes us to 2020.



News World Order
Deep Dish TV, 1990, 30:00, USA
This episode of The Gulf Crisis TV Project looks at the media’s reaction to, and implication in, the Gulf War, and national media activism opposing the U.S. involvement in the Middle East.

The Gay Agenda
The Report, 1992, 20:00, USA
Produced by the Springs of Life Ministries in California, and distributed by many Christian Right organizations, this is the first of four anti-LGBTQ videos that fueled evangelical homophobia. On the up side, it contains some of the most transgressive Pride parade action making it a must see for those who’ve only experienced 21st century parades.

Neil Bartlett: Pedagogue
Stuart Marshall, 1988, 11:00, England
Performance artist Neil Bartlett plays a school lecturer who betrays his sexual orientation when the videomaker asks him to describe the contents of his briefcase. This video was produced in response to homophobic legislation in Thatcher’s England.


A Message
Clark Nikolai, 2013, 5:55, Canada
Members of royalty inform the citizens of an impending arrival.


Butch & Other Queer Masculinities, Part II
Guest Researcher: Sophie Roberge

November 26, 2019
This edition of Sticky Impulse further explores understandings of queer masculinities—queer masculinities in place and through time; internalized and embodied; rejected and embraced.

Lest I Burn, Shani Mootoo, 1991, 4:00
Mootoo stakes a claim through visual and aural signs surrounding Vancouver’s Commercial Drive neighbourhood … This is Amazon Land.

Not Like That: Diary of a Butch-a-Phobe, Maureen Bradley, 1994, 13:00
Looking at the artist’s internalized fears of appearing butch, this video attempts to overcome this particular type of homophobia that is evident in queer culture.

Butch Tits, Jen Crothers, 2010, 3:00
Butch women discuss the sometimes complicated relationship they have with their breasts.

Boi Oh Boi!, Thirza Cuthand, 2012, 9:00
After a long period in life identifying as a Butch Lesbian, Cuthand considers transitioning to male.

Roberge was Archivist at the Crista Dahl Media Library &  Archives in 2018. This year she is our Archivist-in-Residence. Roberge will be creating a digital guide to the queer materials found in the archives, providing insight into the history of queer art and activism at VIVO.  Every Queer Thing: A Subject Guide to the Queer Materials at the CDMLA will be launched on the archive’s website in late 2019. Roberge is also guest curator of first two iterations of Sticky Impulse.

Sticky Impulse: Archive Night
Butch & Other Queer Masculinities, Part I

Oct 29, 2019
Inaugural event of a new monthly series. This September, artist Joe Sarahan formalized the donation of his archive to the Crista Dahl Media Library & Archive. Sophie Roberge, VIVO’s Archivist-In-Residence, presents Sarahan’s West Coast Homo Love Story (1994),  a 40-minute, semi-narrative journey that flips homo-erotic stereotypes on their head while exploring detachment, silence and loss.

Joe Sarahan is Winnipeg-born, Surrey-raised, and a Vancouver-based artist producing video between 1983 and 1994. Sarahan was a member of the Satellite Video Exchange Society for over a decade, working at Video Inn and Video In Studios as an arts administrator, curator, technical instructor and graphic designer. His video works included “Curse” of the “Homo” (1993), Dave(1991), I I I (1989), Master Plan (1988), Holy Joe (1987), Rise and Fall of An Empire (1986), and 007, Flight Into Danger (1983). His works have been widely exhibited and collected by the Art Bank of Canada, The National Gallery of Canada, Art Metropole, the Ludwig Museum in Germany and Canal+ in Paris.

Trans Archival Futures

June 1, 2019
Vancouver Independent Archives Week: Recollective [2019]
Artists Chase Joynt and Chris E. Vargas presentations of their recent archival and film projects MOTHA: Museum of Transgender Hirstory & Art  and  Framing Agnes. Respondent: Cait McKinney


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Pisces Midheaven

November 8, 2018
Respondents Elisa Ferrari and Casey Wei talk with the CDMLA’s Karen Knights about the Lenore Herb Archive and their project, Pisces Midheaven.

Elisa Ferrari is an artist and curator, who works with text, image, and sound. To consider acts and implications of retrieval, she produces projects that manifest as installations, sound walks, artist books, and performance; often addressing or incorporating archival fragments. She is part of – – / dashes, a sound performance collaboration with John Brennan.
Casey Wei is an artist, filmmaker, and musician In 2016, she began Agony Klub, a music and printed matter label that releases material under the framework of the “popular esoteric”. In October 2018, she completed a music documentary on the Vancouver music community, art rock? The Popular Esoteric. She plays in the musical projects Kamikaze Nurse and hazy and is the co-founder of Stills: A Moving Image Tract, with Steffanie Ling.


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Reenacting Histories: A Talk by Dr. Sara Diamond

October 12, 2018
Dr. Diamond examines docufiction, the work of the Women’s Labour History Project, and her video art works. In the 1980s and 1990s performance, re-enactment, the melange of fiction and documentary, and “bad acting” were tactics used by video artists to unsettle notions of documentary realism, provide alternate readings of histories, elicit or manifest subjective interpretations of events, or provide a feminist sense of time. The work of Sara Diamond and the early work of the Women’s Labour History Project used these tactics, which were drawn from film theory, feminist criticism and documentary practice. Sara Diamond discussed these roots and drew from her works of personal documentary/autobiographical narratives and early docu-fiction.

Sara Diamond was an educator and curator for a decade at VIVO Media Arts Centre before founding the Banff New Media Institute (1995). She is currently President of OCAD University.


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