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.
Digitized Video Episodes
Funds raised through EATa II allowed us to digitize several videos from the Metro Media Collection.
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
Access to the Metro Media Fond
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
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)
VIVO is located in the homelands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples in a warehouse space at 2625 Kaslo Street south of East Broadway at the end of E 10th. Transit line 9 stops at Kaslo Street on Broadway. From the bus stop, the path is paved, curbless, and on a slight decline. The closest skytrain station is Renfrew Station, which is three blocks south-east of VIVO and has an elevator. From there, the path is paved, curbless, and on a slight incline. There is parking available at VIVO, including wheelchair access parking. There is a bike rack at the entrance. The front entrance leads indoors to a set of 7 stairs to the lobby.
A wheelchair ramp is located at the west side of the main entrance. The ramp has two runs: the first run is 20 feet long, and the second run is 26 feet. The ramp is 60 inches wide. The slope is 1:12. The ramp itself is concrete and has handrails on both sides. There is an outward swinging door (34 inch width) at the top of the ramp leading to a vestibule. A second outward swinging door (33 inch width) opens into the exhibition space. Buzzers and intercoms are located at both doors to notify staff during regular office hours or events to unlock the doors. Once unlocked, visitors can use automatic operators to open the doors.
There are two all-gender washrooms. One has a stall and is not wheelchair accessible. The other is a single room with a urinal and is wheelchair accessible: the door is 33 inches wide and inward swinging, without automation. The toilet has 11 inch clearance on the left side and a handrail.
To reach the bathrooms from the studio, exit through the double doors and proceed straight through the lobby and down the hall . Turn left, and the two bathrooms will be on your right side. The closest one has a stall and is not wheelchair accessible. The far bathroom is accessible.
Elisa Ferrari is an artist and curator, and holds a BFA (University of Architecture of Venice) and a MAA (ECUAD). She 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. She is currently collaborating with Stacey Ho on a book of graphic scores for deep listening and sound making.
Karen previously worked at VIVO as Librarian, Distributor, and Programming Coordinator (1984-1999) and as an independent curator and critic. She has a special passion for artist-run centre archives and has been commissioned to create historical surveys and touring exhibitions for EM Media (Calgary) and ED Video (Guelph), and writings based on the Western Front and VIVO collections. Her essay “Abundant Harvest: The Recordings of Calgary Video Artists and Independents” was recently included in EM Media’s 30th anniversary publication “Expanded Standard Time”.