Sticky Impulse: Archive Night

Joe Sarahan

Tue, Oct 29, 2019
Programming Series

Sticky Impulse: Archive Nights (A monthly screening series)

Butch & Other Queer Masculinities: Part 1: Joe Sarahan's WEST COAST HOMO LOVE STORY (1994)
With Archivist-In-Residence Sophie Roberge and Archive Manager Karen Knights

VIVO Micro-Cinema
Doors 6:30 PM
Screening 7:00 PM

This event takes place on the Unceded Coast Salish Territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

This September, Joe Sarahan formalized the donation of his archive to the Crista Dahl Media Library & Archive. In this inaugural event of our new series, Sticky Impulse, we present Sarahan's last video production, WEST COAST HOMO LOVE STORY, last shown in Vancouver in 1994. WCHLS is a 40-minute, semi-narrative journey that flips homo-erotic stereotypes on their head while exploring detachment, silence and loss.

From Sarahan's original "Treatment":

"WCHLS supports two story lines. Firstly, the sailor's journey for lust/love which is the main catalyst of the narrative, following the sailor's blind desire to express his curiosity. Secondly, the media blurs/mixups, [ie] media definition/s of what compels one to dislike or disagree with one's chosen sexual preference. The comparison of males. The social roles that are played within and outside of the gay community - the negative representation that is apparent in media. How it places gays on the outside looking in, trying to delineate between them.

The sailor is of the United States of American's Navy. This choice is to play with the recent politics around the Free Trade deal with the U.S. Has the battle been won regarding 'Canadian gay culture' or has it always been americanized? This 'Stonewall Technology'? Queer seems to be ready made for the americas. Where is the identity and what form will it take? These are some of the many questions WCHLA will fraternize with..."


references the materiality of videotape from the electric impulses that transfer content to magnetic tape to its inevitable deterioration of its core elements; the problematic, things difficult to navigate or let go of; creative spontaneity, abandon, recklessness, or the need to take action. 

Sticky Impulse is a Crista Dahl Media Library & Archive event encouraging new engagement with VIVO's collections. Seating is limited. Please RSVP at

Our wheelchair ramp has two runs: the first is 20 feet long, and the second is 26 feet. The ramp is 5 feet wide with a 1:12 slope.
The ramp is concrete and has handrails on both sides, leading to a door that is 8 ft wide.
Our washroom has a 33” wide door, toilet has an 11” clearance on the leftside with handrail. Washrooms are gender inclusive.


Sophie Roberge

Sophie Roberge was born in Toronto, Ontario in 1990. She graduated with a BA in History from Concordia University in 2014 and MAS/MLIS from the University of British Columbia in 2017. During her studies, she has focused primarily on queer community archives and the affective impact of archives. Her paper “‘Those Whose Residence is (not) Assumed’: Empowerment and the Affective Impact of Participatory Description,” was nominated for the Gordon Dodds Prize. She has undertaken an information management project for the Ending Violence Association of BC, created a digitized photograph collection for the BC Gay and Lesbian Archives, and put together a resource guide for the Nisga’a participants in the Breath of Life Language Restoration workshops. Roberge has volunteered in the Crista Dahl Media Library & Archive since Spring 2015 and has served on the organization’s Archives Committee since January 2017. She has been the co-chair of the Progressive Librarians Guild at UBC since September 2015, through which she has planned a professional panel on Accessibility & Assistive Technologies and a student roundtable discussion on Queering the Library. She is currently working as a Digitization Assistant at the UBC Digitization Centre and is undertaking a professional experience at the Audrey and Harry Hawthorn Library & Archives at the Museum of Anthropology. She is deeply committed to using her training in libraries and archives towards the support of social justice and community initiatives. Sophie was VIVO's Archivist for 2018 and 2019 Archivist-in-Residence. Her project, Every Queer Thing, seeks to make visible the LGBTQ2S+ materials in the archive.

Artist Profile

Joe Sarahan

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.