3 Feb

*Please note that in this document, she / her are used to represent everyone.

To create or not to create, there are times when it seems the wiser decision would be to resist creative inclinations.

For many years I struggled with leaving painting and sculpture as a preoccupation. I wanted to get out of the studio, away from the smell of paint and the sawdust. I wanted to meet and interact with people and the culture outside of my door. And I wanted to work with other artists. Throughout that time, I continued to write: accounts of dreams, particular short passages and occasionally, I wrote essays. Sometimes, I wrote passages into painting and sculpture and buried them under additional layers. Eventually I decided that working with moving pictures was a way to create works that spoke to people and invited dialogue. At that time, I also saw that this form of creation required interactive teamwork. Eventually I made the transition to moving pictures and found that this form of activity helped me to accomplish my goals as an artist. Later, I decided that I preferred video and sound creation over the encumberment of film creation apparatus. My work evolved similarly to my earlier plastic arts in the form of writing texts and layering them within elements of visuals and audio. At first I called the works mood videos. Later, I decided that they were better described as videopoems.

Throughout all of those transitional times, I continued to gather and to clarify my philosophies through writing. In the late 1990’s, my practice expanded to include website creation. That permitted publishing images and writing. Essentially, at that time, the theatre and the walls of the gallery and even the public space expanded outward through the screens of home computer when audiences became able to log onto the Internet. From there, work presented through websites was then able to potentially reach an expanded audience. I enjoyed the freedom of exposure that those early web events permitted and I have a history of publishing works and leaving them out their for sharing.[1]

Since the flourishing of social media, I continue to enjoy exchanging my work through virtual networks. Sending video works to festivals has become far easier and exchanging this work in many internationally curated venues continues to be a satisfying way of idea exchange shared by artists and thinkers around the world. I do not always get paid for sharing my work, but sometimes I do.

Festivals based on the multi-modal creative technique of videopoetry are popping up all over. While the list on Dave Bonta’s Moving Poems site is not exhaustive, it does offer links to many well-known festivals.[2] This form of presenting offers a wide range of solutions for idea presentation through word, music and / or sound with visuals / moving pictures or still photographs to satisfy communication between creators and audiences. Essentially, creators are able to combine techniques of the seven arts with techniques of the seven liberal arts. The results are time-based artworks that travel from the viewer / receiver into the thoughtscape of audiences of one or more persons over the Internet, through personal computers, or in gallery and theatre settings. Although the work satisfies the goals of an increasing number of creators, videopoetry is not in the list of works qualifying under Literature by the Canada Council for the Arts Guidelines.[3] Neither is writing that is published on websites.

A look at the guidelines for two calls for poetry reveals that works published on the Internet are indeed classified as published by both organizations. Under the Eligibility Rules for the Montreal International Poetry Prize competition, it is clearly stated: (under Publication Defined) that any work that has appeared on the Internet or in print, or has been broadcast in any format is considered published and is therefore ineligible for the Montreal prize.[4] Granta -The Magazine of New Writing states in their current call for submissions: We only publish original material, i.e. first-ever publication. We cannot run a piece that has already appeared on the web or elsewhere in print. … [5] The calls for work by both the Montreal International Poetry Prize competition and Granta Magazine appear to put forward a case for including the Internet as a valid publishing venue in the 21st century. Although formats are developed and evolve over time, the principle of exchanging ideas within communities persists. As documented as the history of the world, our human development includes sharing spoken and written language. One problem that seems to persist and occasionally holds up the free flow of ideas and invention is the recognition by funding bodies that we might expect to support the process.

The structure through which the Canada Council for the Arts currently executes its mandate [6], through pre-screening, requires applicants to prove profiles for pre-approved access to funding competitions, brings questions to mind. For example, if a visual artist aspired to create through the written word, why would it not be possible for that person to qualify by presenting examples of proposed texts along with visual examples proving dedication and peer-judged success? (i.e. exhibition history) Why make it necessary for individuals to navigate through a bureaucratic maze of permissions? The Canada Council: Arts in a Digital World Conference, scheduled for the Ides of March in Montréal, is proposing to bring a discussion about the transition and transformation of the Canadian arts sector to thrive in the digital era. I sincerely hope that under the umbrella topic – aspirations of artists, legitimizing Internet publishing for liberating, empowering and sharing will be given status worthy of its market share and weight in the worldwide cultural mosaic.

The sheer number of books published each year is daunting to a writer in search of an editor. The temptation to self-publish promises the chance to move forward without being blocked. The website of the Association of Canadian Publishers states:

Approximately 10,000 books are published each year in Canada, almost all of which are initiated by publishers. Publishing firms take calculated financial risks every time they publish a book, laying out money for the editing, marketing and production of a book before the book earns any sales. Most publishing houses are inundated with unsolicited manuscripts on a regular basis, so becoming a successfully published writer takes a lot of determination, research, and a little luck.[7]

Claiming visibility through words is a personal freedom and arguably an extension of the human condition but having those words sanctioned is another gauntlet to run. In the end, when you get past the questions of whether a piece of writing is technically well written and whether it has been edited by other than the writer and her colleagues, the questions remain of whether it proves its point(s) and ultimately, is it any good at all?


Going ahead with discernment to publish online or store your words in a file, does self-publishing leave you nowhere in the world?

When a person decides that she could say something, which authorities decide that she cannot?

As artists, risk taking goes with the territory. So if an author puts her original work out on the Internet, what are the consequences?

At best: someone who the reads texts, sees the visuals, listens to a soundwork or views a video might show further interest by inviting the creator to take part in a festival, or – to publish in book form.

At worst: The right to witness, and the right to author is something in the world, but if you are not carried by an editor outside of your friends or colleagues, it might seem that you are in Limbo. Topping that, if the Canada Council for the Arts does not recognize publishing on the web and / or the texts in videopoetry, you might have to face the fact that the rug is being pulled out from under you just when you start to think that your creative work and your philosophies are giving you legs to stand on.

– Valerie LeBlanc-Feb-2-2017

[1] http://www.timetravelinthismoment.com/


[2] List of poetry video festival sites posted on Dave Bonta’s Moving Poems:


[3] http://canadacouncil.ca/glossary/fields-of-practice

[4] http://montrealprize.com/competition/rules/

[5] https://granta.submittable.com/submit

[6] www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/canada-council-for-the-arts/

The Canada Council for the Arts, located in Ottawa, is the federal government’s principal instrument for supporting the arts. The Council’s mandate from the Parliament of Canada is “to foster and promote the study and enjoyment of, and the production of works in, the arts.”

[7] http://publishers.ca/index.php/get-published

28 Jan

The Moncton Times and Transcript
Entertainment, Saturday, January 28, 2017, p. E4

New Brunswick Art Bank acquisitions exhibition on until Feb. 6
Margaret Patricia Eaton

Every two years, the New Brunswick Art Bank presents a touring exhibition of its recent purchases. It opened at the Dieppe Arts & Culture Centre on Jan. 12 and will remain until Feb. 6, after which it moves on to Fredericton, Florenceville, Edmundston, St. Andrew’s, Saint John and Campbellton, wrapping up in October in Miramichi.

When the tour ends the 18 acquired works will become part of the permanent collection of the Province of New Brunswick, which was established in 1968 to celebrate and promote outstanding contemporary art. As such, they’ll be displayed in government offices, boardrooms and public spaces in provincial government buildings. Some of the works may also be included in the VanGo Program, a series of exhibitions which tours public schools throughout the province.

This biannual exhibition is one I enjoying as it provides an opportunity to see the work of artists from across the province. More than half of the artists represented ­ 11 of 18 ­ are from southeast New Brunswick, suggesting there is something special going on in the art scene in our region. Out of the five selection collection members only one is from Moncton, Jean­ Dénis Boudreau.

The evening presented an opportunity for me to get caught up with some of the artists I’ve profiled in the past, including Dominik Robichaud, who’s completing her degree in art therapy and will be mounting a major exhibition at the Dieppe Arts & Culture Centre on Feb. 11. It was also an opportunity to meet other local artists that I knew of, but hadn’t met. As a result I was able to speak briefly with internationally acclaimed fibre artist Anna Torma and the multidisciplinary team of Valerie LeBlanc and Daniel Dugas, who told me about a recent journey to Kenya where they were invited to read poetry. I’m hoping that within the next few months I’ll have an opportunity to get to know them better and feature them here.

The Artists
Marjolaine Bourgeois, Moncton, fibre arts, printmaking;
Marsha Clark, Fredericton, paint and mixed media on Mylar;
Daniel H. Dugas, Moncton, literary arts, media arts, digital technology;
Alexandrya Eaton, Sackville, painting;
Paul Griffin, Sackville, sculpture/photography;
Denis Lanteigne, Caraquet, installations, photography;
André LaPointe, Moncton, sculpture/ land art, photography;
Valerie LeBlanc, Moncton, visual, film and digital arts;
Mario LeBlanc, Moncton, sculpture; Mathieu Léger, Moncton, photography, video and installation work; Ann Manuel, Fredericton/St. Andrew’s, multidisciplinary;
Paul Mathieson, Saint John, painting;
Shane Perley­Dutcher, Nekootkook (Tobique) First Nation, weaving, wood carving, silver work; Dominik Robichaud, Moncton, painting;
Neil Rough, New Brunswick born, Toronto­based, photography;
Karen Stentaford, Sackville, photography;
Anna Torma, Baie Verte, fibre arts;
Jennifer Lee Weibe, Fredericton, painter.

The Selection Committee

Ned Bear, Fredericton. During his 35­year career as an Aboriginal artist, Bear has focused on contemporary interpretations of traditional spiritual beliefs as expressed through masks and sculptures. He is a graduate of the New Brunswick College of Craft & Design, NSCADU and UNB. He is also the recipient of a 2006 fellowship from the Smithsonian Institute.

Jean­Denis Boudreau, Moncton. After studying animation before graduating with a visual arts degree from l’Université de Moncton, Boudreau was the Atlantic region finalist for the 2007 Sobey Art Award and has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions.

Élisabeth Marier, Caraquet. Marier holds a degree in graphic arts, worked for over 20 years in glassmaking in Montreal at Éspace Verre and is a founding member of Caraquet’s Constellation bleu, an artist­run centre.

Michael McEwing, Carlton County. McEwing holds fine arts, multimedia and education degrees and is co­founder of the River Valley Arts Alliance and Woodstock’s annual DoorYard Arts Festival.

Jean Rooney, Fredericton. Rooney achieved a Master of Arts in Ireland, has exhibited internationally and in addition to her studio practice is an instructor at the New Brunswick College of Craft & Design.

Margaret Patricia Eaton Margareteaton16@gmail.com A freelance writer, photographer and poet, Margaret’s weekly column focuses on artists, galleries and art issues in southeast New Brunswick.


21 Dec

New video poem based on participation in the Kistrech Poetry Festival.

8 Dec

A Rose is a Rose is a Rose: an archive by any other name is an archive.

Under Archive definitions – Part of the difficulty is to do with language and terminology. Curators and archivists would agree that they are both involved with ‘collections’ and with ‘preservation’ and ‘access’ but disagree about their understanding of the terms. – Archives in Museums

…In the 3rd paragraph of EMMEDIA’s Mission Statement … Where Media Arts Live, it is stated: … A growing library of over 1100 electronic recordings by artists is housed on-site, along with a research library. …

The Mission Statement implies an encouragement to leave work with EM, and in fact, I believe as artist/producers, we were required to leave a copy of each work produced there. And we all know why: grant applications require proof that the facility is fulfilling its funded mandate.

Reading through the extended statement from December 1, I say bravo to EM in its plans for the new space and long-time-coming plans for … a full-time media arts gallery space to operate in conjunction with the screening space, as well as production, and editing facilities. … Bravo – yes, but when those contemporary and future works also become last year’s models, will their legacy become next year’s dumpster pickings?

As Artists, we work to exhibit and share our works. As the career progresses over time, there are many challenges to face, especially in the area of keeping that art career unfolding, evolving and floating. I have often thought of recognition and achievements as drops in a bucket. (Not to be confused with popular culture bucket list) And when a drop lands there; an exhibition, an article written about the work, or simply the achievement of bringing a work to completion, I move ahead thinking that – if there is no evaporation, there will be a few drops amounting toward the evidence of passage, of professional progress. So getting the news that EMMEDIA is dissolving the tape library and works will end up in the alley out back of the 11Ave and 4th Street SW location cuts deep. Whether working or studying in Calgary, in Chicago, freelancing in Montréal or Halifax, and places in-between, EMMEDIA has stood out for me like a beacon of progress on the prairie since the early 1980’s.

When I read the November 30 notification on Facebook, I immediately thought of the people who worked to set it up, the other moving pains that the organization survived, and the producers who are now there in the cultural memory only. I also thought of other artist/producers like myself who stay in touch and can be easily contacted through email. Here is a question: If the decision to dissolve the collection was not made in haste, and only decided after many years of consultation with various organizations, institutions and members, why were artist/producers only notified last week? Or am I the only one out here who just happened to find this on Facebook? Would it have been useful to open up the discussion for input?

While it would take too long and might not be in everyone’s interest to go through all of the points stated in the extended message from EMMEDIA (Dec 01), I will address the section on screening rights:

3. EMMEDIA does not retain any rights to member works
In 1979, several artists banded together to purchase a broadcast camera, and from that, EMMEDIA was born. The co-op mentality of these individuals carried over to many policies regarding member works that are still in place today. One of these is that EMMEDIA does not retain any rights to member works. Following our initial post regarding the status of the resource library, folks were quick to point out that the collection should be donated to an archival body. Indeed, this has been something that EMMEDIA staff, both past and present over many years have worked towards, however since our organization does not retain any rights to member works, we require explicit permission from every artist in the library in order to donate the collection en masse.

This would be possible to arrange. Some kind of webform with multiple-choice options – permitting viewing by Curators, without expected compensation – or not permitting viewing could be set up.

The fact is that an archive exists at EMMEDIA and that archive is part of its fabric and culture. If, in the new location, there is no accessible space to research the records, then maybe EM could invest in a pallet to shrink wrap the media and to store it in a cool dry space. Leave it together as a time capsule to be opened at a later date. Although there have been studies and statements about the viability of media stored under less than ideal conditions, it has been my experience to open up older media, even analogue tapes after several years, and to find them in excellent condition. There is always a question of the playback unit being available but they do exist if sought out. Stranger than fiction is the fascination with film media in contrast to the trash-and-burn policy shown to video culture.

Perpetual questions surrounding archives: What work will be saved, who will do the archiving, and who decides which works make it into that archive?

Archives in Museums

ON ARCHIVES – Code of Ethics


Facts and Artifacts in the Collective Matrix, 2004 (Valerie LeBlanc et al.)


1 Dec

5th International Video Poetry Festival

H. Bozini + P. Papadopoulos | Th. Panou | Y. Deliveis
F. Averbach (Void Network) T. Kapouranis | A. Chatziioannidi
Ch. Sakellaridis | V. Velli | Y. Lianos (Lokatola Collective)
S. Oikonomidis |Demi Sam (Group Avgo) | K. Shabanova

R. Nurfarida

S. Singh

P. R. Aranda | C. Bustamante

V. Sebert

A. M. Giner

L. Sellars

F. Harvor

E. Boghosian

M. Fathollahi

S. Otter | M. Depatie | V. LeBlanc | D. H. Dugas

S. Wiegner

P. Chiesa-S. Cinematografica
F. Gironi+G. Daverio | F. Bonfatti

D. Douglas | C. Cameron | B. Dickinson | E. Cay
M. Piatek | A. Cook | O. Smith | J. L. Ugarte| D. Taylor | M. Lland

S. Chang | H. Dewbery | S. Negus | H. Gray | M. Mullins
H. P. Moon | C. St. Onge | R. Anderson | T. Becker

T. Moshkova | C. Preobrazhenskaya

L. Focarazzo

P. Bogaert & J. Peeters

M. Goldberg | I. Gibbins

Is. Martin | C. Moreno

A. Prundaru

O καιρός της Τέχνης πέρασε πια. Το θέμα τώρα είναι να πραγματώσουμε
την Τέχνη, να κατασκευάσουμε αποτελεσματικά και σε όλα τα επίπεδα της ζωής ό,τι παλιότερα υποχρεωτικά
παρέμενε μια καλλιτεχνική αυταπάτη ή μια ανάμνηση που ο άνθρωπος ονειρευόταν ή συντηρούσε μονόπλευρα.
Δεν μπορούμε να πραγματώσουμε την Τέχνη παρά καταργώντας την. Ωστόσο, θα πρέπει να αντιταχτούμε
στην σημερινή κατάσταση της κοινωνίας, που καταργεί την Τέχνη αντικαθιστώντας την με την αυτόματη κίνηση
ενός θεάματος ακόμα πιο ιεραρχικού και παθητικού.Μπορούμε να καταργήσουμε την Τέχνη μόνο αν την πραγματώσουμε

organised by +the Institue [for Experimental Arts]
supported by Void Network


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.

À partir de leur exploration du parc national des Everglades, Daniel H. Dugas et Valerie LeBlanc cartographient dans cet essai poétique les effets de la présence humaine sur le milieu naturel, les traces qu’elle y dépose. Everglades est une ode à la beauté, à la fragilité et à la résilience d’une nature aux prises avec une espèce envahissante, la nôtre.

Through their exploration of the Everglades National Park, Daniel H. Dugas and Valerie LeBlanc document, in this poetic collection, the effects of human presence in the natural world and the traces left behind. Everglades is an ode to the beauty, the fragility and the resilience of nature faced with the invasiveness of a particular species, ours.

Date : Mars 2018
Genre : Poésie
Collection : Poésie
ISBN : 9782897441029

Prise de parole