Tranz Tech at the Latvian House (491 College) and 10 satellite locations, today (Thursday, October 9) through Sunday (October 12). Festival pass $20, stu $15; evening pass $8, stu $6. www.tranztech.ca, email@example.com, 416-351-1317. Rating: NNNNN
It's new, innovative and leading-edge. Tranz Tech, the third biennial media art festival, brings together the work of over 100 Canadian and international video and media artists and 20 arts organizations for four days of screenings, performances, exhibitions, installations, artists' talks and a symposium. Happening at the Latvian House and at over 10 satellite locations across the city, Tranz Tech hosts nine curated programs containing 65 video works, five live-event performances, three on-site installations and 15 off-site exhibitions. Here are some hot tips.
Attack of the Clones at the Latvian House (491 College), Saturday (October 11), 10 pm. www.famefame.com
Daniel Cockburn (see profile below) also participates in this great concept show curated by media rabble-rousers famefame . Some dozen artists responded to an open call to produce a video using only images and sound from the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie The 6th Day. The film is about cloning, and the artworks are all little clones of the film, each fighting to have its own voice in a sea of sameness. Not to be mistaken for gubernatorial candidate advertisements.
Teletaxi at various locations across Toronto, from Friday (October 10) to October 31. Further info at www.year01. com/teletaxi.
The Year Zero One digital art collective have reworked their billboard video art concept for the taxicab. A number of Toronto cabs will be outfitted with interactive screens displaying video and digital works. What makes this concept so cool is that each screen will be linked to a GPS that will track the location of the cab, and certain locations will trigger artworks appropriate to that location. This time Year Zero One is presaging the future of advertising rather than following it.
Rebecca Bournigault at Gallery 44 (401 Richmond West), to October 25.
If you spend a lot of time watching film and video, you may have wondered what you look like when you're sitting there staring at the screen. Bournigault answers that question at Gallery 44 in an intriguing installation. Several rows of theatre seats have been placed in the gallery space, and three projectors cast images of people sitting onto several of the seats. It's fascinating to watch people watching movies - they gawk and stare and fidget and freeze in delight and fear.
Saiz is a serious player on the international video art scene. With The Differend, he revisits an early motion-picture technique of filming movie scenes over and over again, each time in a different language with different actors. The starting point for this intriguing piece is a scene from the movie The Collector in which a kidnapper and his victim argue about a Picasso painting. Saiz decided to reshoot the scene 11 times in 11 different languages, and, well, whatever Saiz says, goes.
Effie Gibson at the Latvian House (491 College), from today (Thursday, October 9) through Sunday (October 12).
In the Fred Astaire movie Royal Wedding, there's a scene where the gentleman dancer in question appears to dance up the wall, along the ceiling and back down the other wall. In fact, the room and camera were rotated while Astaire just danced in place, thus creating the illusion. Gibson destroys that illusion, and exposes our wish to believe in it, by spinning the film frame so that Astaire once again stands still at the bottom of the screen while the room rotates around him. It's the kind of elegant simplicity that makes great video art.
Psychotopes at YYZ (401 Richmond West) to October 18. 416-598-4546. Visit www.nowtoronto.com/issues/2003-09-25/art_reviews.php for a full review.