Evening at the Archive
EATa II: THE METRO MEDIA FOND | December 3, 2014
In the second event of this series, we look at the Metro Media Society. From its inception in 1971 to its dissolution in 1983, Metro Media impacted Vancouver’s media arts scene in a myriad of ways – from its commitment to access for alternative media producers, early partnerships with feminist collectives like Reel Feelings and ISIS, its fight to revolutionize the media landscape through community cable, to its leap into experimental film, xerox art, mail art, and sound art in its last years. Remembered as advocate, workhorse, innovator, and fighter, Metro Media’s contributions to Vancouver’s media scene have been undervalued; its significance overshadowed by the system’s survivors.
The Metro Media Fond at the Crista Dahl Media Library & Archive includes the ephemera that passed through, and was collected by, the Video Inn including Metro Media videotapes purchased 1983; and original textual records, video and art work donated by Saphira Coutts and Taliesin Herb from the Lenore Herb Archive. The event featured an exhibit of posters, mail art, Xerox art, audio art (Nowhere To Play LP, Limited Edition, 1982), organizational files, and video by Community Producers and documentation of Metro Media live events.
Saphira Coutts (daughter of artist/activist Lenore Herb [1947-2010].Lenore was Director of, and Community Producer for, Metro Media from 1979 – 1983)
Dermot Foley (artist, member of Si Monkey, programmer of Metro Media’s 80’s sound program)
Ross Gentleman (Board member and Community Producer at Metro Media)
Gloria Keiler (Co-founder and Community Producer at Metro Media, Board member and spokesperson for the Vancouver Community Television Association)
Jim Lipkovits (video journalist, Metro Media Director and Producer, Board member and spokesperson for the Vancouver Community Television Association)
Moira Simpson (documentary filmmaker, co-founder of the feminist media collective Isis, and a Metro Media Community Producer )
Matthew Speier (Metro Media Community Producer)
Shawn Preus (Metro Media Community Producer, video artist, co-founder of the feminist media collective Reel Feeling)
Elizabeth Walker (Documentary filmmaker, co-founder of the feminist media collective, Isis, and a Metro Media Community Producer)
METRO MEDIA alumni contributor:
Audio contribution by GX Jupitter-Larsen (Curator of Metro Media’s monthly Mail Art shows, c1982-1983)
EATa II took place in the raw studio space at VIVO’s new Kaslo Street location. The Archive’s disassembled fragments framed the exhibit: boxed archive materials and moving pallets were used for display surfaces and temporary walls. Geriatric gear leaked from the rear storage area into the make-shift gallery – an early portapak surveilling the audience. The rough-around-the-edges tableau aptly suited the style of Metro Media’s later years on Commercial Drive. The messy underbelly of the artist-run centre exposed; a reminder that contemporary media art production is often bolstered by the mundane tools and expended labour of generations of artists within institutions such as these.
A selection of Metro Media posters (1980s). Xerox, photocopy, and collage.
The table of primary organizational documents included the Metro Media Society Constitution (1971), research reports prepared for the C.R.T.C. (c190s), extensive reports to Canada Council that documented a full year’s activity (c1980s), marketing materials and a report documents Metro Media’s loss of funding (1983).
Metro Media Producer and Satellite Video Exchange Society co-founder, Shawn Preus. (far right)
Dermot Foley (right)
Dermot was the organizer of Metro Media’s sound program (c1980), sound artist, and member of the punk band Si Monkey.
Several video excerpts were screened. Metro Media alumni generously provided context and insight, answering questions from moderator, Karen Knights, and attendees.
Start of the complimentary Saki Reception.
The first guests watch documentation of a performance by “Savage God”, John Juliani’s alternative theatre company, 1966-1972.
Food by Kishimoto Japanese Kitchen
Metro Media Explanation Tape
The Action Committee for Unemployed Youth Demonstration 1970
Vancouver Community Television Assocition at CRTC Hearing May 1980
To view full episodes, link to the Metro Media Society page in Special Collections.
More titles to be uploaded soon.
EATa was conceived by Crista Dahl and is organized by the Crista Dahl Media Library & Archive Committee.
Curators | Elisa Ferrari and Karen Knights
Archivist | Crista Dahl
Archive Assistants | Alexandra Bischoff and Elysia Bourne
Event Manager | Brit Bachmann
Technicians | Alex Muir and Sebnem Ozpeta (digitization), Nicolai and Emma Hendrix (event setup)
Photo Documentation | Kevin Doherty | Elisa Ferrari | Sebnem Ozpeta
Mail Art Collection Video | Video and editing by Elisa Ferrari | Audio Content by GX Jupitter-Larsen
Event promotion image | Elisa Ferrari | fusion of B&W photo Community Producer in Metro Media editing bay, c1972, and Metro Media Xerox poster, c1982
Event support | 2014 CDMLA Committee |Gabriela Aceves Sepúlveda | Elysia Bourne | Crista Dahl | Kevin Doherty | Elisa Ferrari | Emma Hendrix | Karen Knights | Jeremy Todd
Thank you to VIVO’s dedicated event volunteers!
Kishimoto Japanese Kitchen
2054 Commercial Drive
All Metro Media materials from EATa II, and more, are available to researchers at the Crista Dahl Media Library & Archive by appointment.
Contact | library (at) vivomediaarts.com