15 May

Statement
In 1844 when Samuel Morse sent the first telegram in the United States, he breathed life into communication technology. That first message between Washington and Baltimore read, “What hath God wrought.”

A few years later, Henry David Thoreau wrote in Walden: …We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Main to Texas; but Main and Texas it may be, have nothing important to communicate. …

In the sound track of Acadia Woods, we have extracted portions of actual telephone conversations between family and friends. Through these everyday conversation, distances become lessened; the separations created through time and space shrink. Under these circumstances, the mundane crosses over into the profound.

The re-creation of telephone lines with tin cans (the sound track plays inside headphones installed in the cans) is an attempt to relocate the technology in its context of a tool, second in nature to communication.

Valerie LeBlanc and Daniel Dugas
Calgary, AB

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Excerpt form Broad Casting for reels (1996)
The tape Acadia Woods 1995 was also designed as an audio work complete in itself. It is a patchwork of stories and sounds with the Acadian anthem ‘Ave Marie Stella’ running throughout. Portions of long distance telephone conversations between family and friends change speed with the different energy levels of the people talking and according to their concerns. Seasons and the passage of time are indicated in the conversations and sound effects. Everyday philosophies take on added significance through the link of the telephone, which is sometimes the only way to really feel out what is happening at a distance.

This audio portion of the project was realized at the Banff Centre through a grant from Chameleon Arts Society, Calgary, AB (Spring 1994)

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Two versions of the project were realized:
Acadia Woods (east), CMARTS – exposition – retrospective, August 12 – August 21, 1994 (using the telephone pole installation format)

Acadia Wood (west), Muttart Public Art Gallery, during the exhibition ‘Impact of Technology’, January 2 – February 4, 1995 (using a shuffleboard-style high end table)

The project was also broadcast, presented at the following venues:
1994 Acadia Wood, CKUA – Radio Network, Edmonton, AB
1996 Broad Casting for reels 007, CKDU FM, Centre for Art Tapes Halifax, NS
1998 AUDIO / VIDEO, GAUM, Moncton, NB

Wood, tin cans, sound track48 in. h. X 20 in. w. X 96 in. d.

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About Valerie LeBlanc

Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, pluri-­disciplinary artist and writer Valerie LeBlanc has worked in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Australia. Her creations travel between poetry, performance, visual and written theory. Valerie LeBlanc has been creating video poetry since the mid 1980’s, and is the creator of the MediaPackBoard (MPB), portable screening / performance device. In the fall of 2012, she published her play The Raft, through Basic Bruegel Editions.

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