Connexion ARC Announces First Isolation Project

Category: arts 119

Queer Environmental Futures, a digital residency with Sabine LeBel and Alison Taylor, May 6-15. 

Matt Carter 

In mid-April, Connexion Artist Run Centre issued a call for proposals for Isolation Projects. The program is aimed at supporting and encouraging artists to work from home on projects that will be disseminated online or through alternative physically-distant means. Proposals can include digital residencies and social media takeovers, live streams of media or performance works, digital workshops or artist talks and creation and documentation of sculpture/installation works on the property of participating artists.

The project officially launches this week with the first programming series, Queer Environmental Futures, a digital residency with Sabine LeBel & Alison Taylor. 

Project Description:

Many connections have been made between the climate crisis and COVID-19, and the apocalyptic feeling both leave us with. Queer Environmental Futures is a response to the dire “we have no future” ideas that circulate about climate change in mainstream culture. LeBel and Taylor draw on queer traditions of art and activism that evolved out of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, and confronted the queer youth suicide crisis of recent decades. These traditions offer unique perspectives on the current climate crisis: these communities know how to face “unimaginable” futures. The perspectives and the skill sets that come with it are, and will continue to be, equally important through the coming months of the COVID 19 pandemic, the isolation and grief we’re all experiencing, and the years of cultural recovery that must follow.

The artists will be taking over Connexion’s Facebook and Instagram from May 6 to 15 to share daily collaborative art projects on the theme of Queer Environmental Futures: Isolation. Every evening of the residency, they will post a theme and their own interpretation of that theme. They then invite others – anyone – to post their own project over the next few days in the comments. These projects will be low-stakes, easy and accessible, made from readily available materials around the home.

About the Artists:

Sabine is an educator, researcher, and artist. She works as an assistant professor at the University of New Brunswick Fredericton in the Department of Culture and Media Studies. She has been making short videos on queer themes since 1999, when she participated in the Inside Out Queer Youth Video Project in Toronto. The stories Sabine tells often deal with difficult emotions like revenge, loss, anxiety, and remorse. In 2016, with Casey Burkholder, she started the Fredericton Feminist Film Collective (FFFC). They are a collective of artists & creators & activists & humans who make, screen and talk about works by and for queers, trans folks & women from an intersectional feminist position. Among other projects, FFFC hosts workshops for queer youth and curates cellphilm screenings.

Alison is a film and video editor, writer, artist and dabbler in stand-up comedy. They have edited reality TV, feature films, music videos, shorts, and documentaries. As an editor, Alison enjoys working with the limits of technology to find new ways to tell stories. Exile Literary Quarterly published their short story “Spud Gun” (2013), and Broken Pencil Magazine will publish their story “Kenny” in the Summer 2020 issue. Alison’s first novel, “aftershock,” will be out in August, 2020.


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