3 Aug

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The following writeup was originally published on the Knight Arts website on July 25th 2014

By Daniel Dugas and Valerie LeBlanc, AIRIE

We came from the north. As we approached Miami, the pilot said something about the weather while swerving to miss storm cells. A few hours later, after we had landed, the downpour started in earnest. The rain was heavy, the sky black. It was a big storm; actually it was the first tropical storm of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane season. It later strengthened to become Hurricane Arthur and it was tracking northward. Hurricanes often follow the Gulf Stream current and affect the Maritime region of Canada where we live. But this one was going for the jugular; our town was right in the middle of its path. There were a slew of warnings posted on the Environment Canada website, tropical storm, rainfall, wind, special weather statement, and a tropical cyclone information statement. We followed the evolution of Arthur and worried for our house. At the last moment the storm veered left and the town where we live got a good soaking but not the anticipated deluge. It was pretty amazing to arrive in Florida just in time to witness the birth of a storm that slowly moved northward to die almost outside of our doorstep. It was a reminder of the interconnectedness of all things.

1-HURRICANE-ARTHUR
Hurricane Arthur, July 5, 2014, National Hurricane Center

We are here to do a soundwalk project; fictional stories, voices, swamp recordings. It is this concept of interconnectness that is calling for our attention. We are looking at the connections between: the Everglades National Park geography and its inhabitants; those living close to its borders; and those, like ourselves, who come here to commune with the environment. We recognize that ecologically speaking, our understanding and experience of the Everglades is a relatively short moment in time. As we research through the networks and components that is the Everglades, we try to understand something of where it all sits in the grand scheme of things.

Upon arriving, the first thing that we did was to try to visualize the park, to construct a mental chart of what exists where. In the first few days we covered as much ground as we could, recording ambient sound, the weather, and the insects. The mosquitos hit the shotgun mic with anger. We saw sunrises, sunsets, walked in the warm waters of the slough at Pa-Hay-Okee, attempted to hike among the mangroves at Christian Point Trail, immersed ourselves in the song of crickets, frogs, of rustling in the bush, of movement in the trees.

Daniel, ChokoloskeeDaniel, Chokoloskee

The type of collaboration that we do is diverse. We have been collaborating for over twenty years on many projects. Often we work within a framework that allows for individual sensitivities to bubble to the surface, this is the case with our Everglades project. As we go out on hikes and explorations we experience the same location but from two different perspectives. Our individual takes are like stones thrown into a lake; the ripples of both, the points on intersections lie where the waves combine. That is often the place of creation.

Soon after arriving, we realized that we were in a world of layers. That we would have to see through the mosquito layer, the mosquito net layer, the humidity layer, the heat stress layer and the DEET layer. Every task becomes monumental, every clap of thunder, every raindrop intensifies, maximizes the experience.

We quickly learned to operate in the environment, to be there. Because audio recording demands silence and stillness, it is an obvious target for the hordes of skitters. In the spirit of adaptation, Valerie developed a Tai-Chi-like series of movements to repel them away from the microphone pickup area. This slow motioned waving of blue rubber gloved hands became the symbol of a certain level of peace.

Valerie’s Tai-Chi-like series of movements, Pa-Hay-OkeeValerie’s Tai-Chi-like series of movements, Pa-Hay-Okee

Of all the layers present within the Park, it is the human presence that has become the focus of our work. Whether it is the recently abandoned Chekika Day Use Area, the HM69 Nike Missile Base,

Valerie and Daniel, HM69 Nike Missile BaseValerie and Daniel, HM69 Nike Missile Base

the shell mounds of the Calusa Indians on Sandfly Island or the Deer Pen ruins near Paradise Key, all of these traces reveal something about human interventions in this place. Trace elements become covered, overgrown, eaten or corroded as plants, animals and climate reclaim. Sites can be seen as momento mori, reminders of mortality, but they are also reverberations of life.

Deer Pen, Paradise Key, NPS archives July, 1934Deer Pen, Paradise Key, NPS archives July, 1934
Deer Pen, July 2014, left to right: Daniel Dugas; Hillary Cooley Botanist, Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks and Valerie LeBlancDeer Pen, July 2014, left to right: Daniel Dugas; Hillary Cooley, Botanist, Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks and Valerie LeBlanc
4 Jul

Article by Linda Hersey, published in the Time & Transcript, July 4, 2014

10 Jun

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LAUNCH!

MPB-X launched June 9, 2014.

Critical Discourse Surrounding Ideas of Portability in Art and Art Dissemination

The publication features a foreword by editor Diana Sherlock and is followed by essays from Renato Vitic, Michael McCormack, Daniel H. Dugas and Valerie LeBlanc.

The eBook discussions draw from MediaPackBoard (MPB) programming carried out since 2005, in the context of contemporary portable art projects.

Valerie LeBlanc, MediaPackBoard creator, is formulating plans for a 10th year MPB outing. This year’s event, to be announced later this summer, will underline release of the publication.

MPB-X, is available for reading and free downloads:

version 2.0 / June 11 2014

PDF interactive: http://bit.ly/mpb-x-v2-PDF (6 mb)

ePub: http://bit.ly/mpb-x-v2-ePub (5.1 mb)

MOBI: http://bit.ly/mpb-x-v2-MOBI (10.9 mb)

The book can also be read online at: http://mpbx.pressbooks.com

ISBN paper 978-0-9735206-6-8
ISBN PDF 978-0-9735206-7-5
ISBN ePub 978-0-9735206-2-0
ISBN MOBI 978-0-9735206-8-2

mpb-x website

artsnb

This project is supported by the New Brunswick Arts Board
Ce projet est soutenu par le Conseil des arts du Nouveau-Brunswick

12 May

P-R-E-L-L Shampoo – a view of life and the cosmos based upon product advertising

I have this clear childhood memory of a Prell Shampoo ad on television and in magazines. What I remember more than the actual product; thick, clear and a rich emerald green, was the tube. The clear plastic tube was divided into a series of globes, one for each letter of the name, and each globe held enough shampoo for one time use only. The tube became a symbol of reality for me and I always came back to it in times of difficult life passages. I would envision my interior reality as a space inside of one of those globes and they were no longer clear but dark environments. In that reality, I could wander around, floating freely, enjoying my existence for an extended period of time. But each time that I felt my back was against the wall, with no solution, I would envision myself forced up against the passageway into the next globe. In order to continue, I had to find and pass through that small opening separating the globes. As soon as I was able to accomplish this task, I was free and able to get on with my life.

That mental reality began somewhere in the 1960’s and I kept it to myself. A few years ago I started looking at vintage advertisements and found a lot of images for Prell shampoo; the Tallulah Bankhead tube controversy, the unbreakable plastic tube – but never the five globes tube. It seems that this was a reality of my own.

– Valerie LeBlanc February 20, 2014

8 May

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Daniel Dugas and I have some texts and images included in the Mot Dit 7. The work has been extracted from our video installation “What We Take With Us”. Cover image: Red (Daniel Dugas).

Le Mot Dit 7est né ! Daniel Dugas et moi avons des textes et des images tirés de notre projet d’installation vidéo « Ce qu’on emporte avec nous ». Page couverture : Rouge (Daniel Dugas).

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.

L’artiste pluridisciplinaire Valerie LeBlanc est vidéaste, poète, performeuse et essayiste. Son travail oscille entre le remarquable et le quotidien. Elle a exposé ses œuvres en Europe, en Australie et au Brésil. Elle crée des vidéopoèmes depuis le milieu des années 1980 et a inventé le MediaPackBoard (MPB), un appareil de projection mobile pour la performance.

Date : April 2020
Genre : Vidéopoésie/Videopoetry
Français/English

Videopoetry / Vidéopoésie

Small Walker Press

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