Archive Special Projects

A Listing by Year of CDMLA Project-Related Activities and Outcomes

2022

2021

The images, such as they are, do have an effect on us*

Archive/Counter Archive
Research and Mail Art Project
Hazel Meyer & Cait McKinney
A mail art project that draws on VIVO Media Arts Centre archives to enliven Vancouver’s histories of porn, feminism, and censorship.

Research and Design Assistance by Erin F. Chan
Conceived in dialog with Karen Knights and the Archive/Counter-Archive Gendered Violence: Responses and Remediations case study.

In the 1980s, many Vancouver feminists opposed to porn drew on the language of gender violence to make their case, arguing that all sexually explicit images of women were harmful. Working against this position and the creep of censorship into smaller moving image formats in the province, queer and feminist artists defended sexual expression and created alternative visual languages for sex.

Participants in this project received one of two dossiers in the mail. Playing with questions of polarization and memory, one dossier represents the working files of an anti-porn feminist; the other of an artist/organizer involved in anti-censorship work. Some of the records are real, others we imagined based on scraps, remnants, and gossip.

DOCUMENTATION

SVES Event Documentation

Digitization Project

This project will digitize SVES’s video, audio and photographic documentation of its events from 1973 to 2013, creating a valuable resource for researchers of video art, experimental documentary, and communications theory.

Image: Postive Panel (AIDS & Video) 1997

Made possible with the support of Library & Archives Canada’s Documentary Heritage Communities Program.

Paul Wong delivers videos to VIVO 2021

Art, Culture & Politics
Through the Portable Video Lens

Digitization & Online Exhibit

This exhibit features Paul Wong’s experiments – as artist, videographer, director, and collaborator – with the first portable video technology that emerged in the 1960s (1/2″ open reel Portapak) and 1980s developments (Video 8/Hi-8 cassette). Most of the work here was shot in Vancouver, on the unceded Coast Salish Territories, and are unedited recordings. Many document the cultural and artistic trends of this place, featuring the early works of now well-recognized artists. They also record the influence of American and international artists on the emerging contemporary art scene here. These are intermixed with Wong’s personal recordings, including playful interactions with friends, and what have become his signature explorations of his culture through insightful and intimate portraits of his family.

VIEW

Made possible with the support of the BC History Digitization Program.

Recollective: Vancouver Independent Archive Week
Green Papaya Archive Rescue
2020-2021

Green Papaya Art Projects (Manila, Philippines) is an artist-run centre that has been operating in the community for 20+ years and holds a large part of their independent art scene. Green Papaya suffered a major fire last year exposing their archive to extreme heat, fire/smoke, and water damage. Recollective, through VIVO’s digitization facilities, are recovering the tapes. 

Recollective: Vancouver Independent Archives Week is a series of free public events that highlight artist-run centre archives, artists working with archives, and the intersections between contemporary art practices and social movements in Vancouver. In 2021, Recollective looks beyond Vancouver to host national and international presenters and respondents to examine these issues in a range of global contexts.

Image: Box 26 – Donna Miranda. Fire damage. Green Papaya 1920.

A Finding Aid for Indigenous Materials at the CDMLA
January-December 2021

The CDMLA is thrilled to announce that Archivist Syr Reifsteck will continue their work at the Archive through 2021, thanks to an Early Career Development grant from the BC Arts Council. Syr’s focus this year will be the creation of a comprehensive finding aid to Indigenous materials at the CDMLA. In 2020, Syr catalogued and created a finding aid for the First Nations Video Collective fonds donated by Sandee Doxtdator. In 2020, Syr spearheaded a review of our metadata and with the Archive Manager developed and revised CDMLA policies aligning our practices and protocols with VIVO’s vIsion, mission and values.

Image: Still from Michelle McGeough video. FNVC fonds.

Start your search

Archive/Counter-Archive
Gendered Violence: Responses and Remediations
Active Years: 2021-2023

Research, Residency, and Publication Project

An Archive/Counter-Archive Case Study. Researchers are investigating our archival collections to develop understanding of the social ecology of collectives and collaborations, solidarities and complex affiliations across generations and through settler and Indigenous community-based movements/initiatives responding to gendered  violence. Researchers include Zoe Druick,  Susan Lord,  Cait McKinney, and Gabriela Aceves.

Video still: Untitled [The Squamish Five] 1983 protest footage. Anonymous.

Learn more.

2020

Metadata Revision: First Steps
2020

In 2020, Archivist Syr Reifsteck joined the CDMLA thanks to a BC Early Career Development Internship grant. They are initiating a long-overdue review of Indigenous and First Nations materials in our collection and instituting new policies and protocols for description, acquisition and accessibility.

The First Nations Video Collective fonds has now been catalogued.

Every Queer Thing

Every Queer Thing: A Subject Guide to Archival Materials on Queer Identity & Experience is a valuable tool for researchers seeking queer perspectives. This searchable online database will direct you to 954 publications/articles, 236 videos and 5 Special Collections at the Crista Dahl Media Library and Archive providing insight into the history of queer art and activism.

Created by VIVO’s 2019 Archivist-In-Residence Sophie Roberge MAS/MLIS.

 

Go to Every Queer Thing

Recollective: Vancouver Independent Archives Week
Publication: “The Anti-Archive as Trans-Archive” by Cait McKinney

Recollective: Vancouver Independent Archives Week announces the launch of The Anti-Archive as Trans-Archive, a new text by Cait McKinney that responds to Trans Archival Futures, a talk and screening event with Chris E. Vargas (M.O.T.H.A.) and Chase Joynt (Co-Director of Framing Agnes) presented at VIVO Media Arts Centre on June 1, 2019.

Cait McKinney is Assistant Professor in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University, the author of Information Activism: A Queer History of Lesbian Media Technologies (Duke, 2020) and co-editor of Inside Killjoy’s Kastle: Dykey Ghosts, Feminist Monsters, and other Lesbian Hauntings (UBC Press and AGYU Press, 2019).

 

Read now

Celebration ’90: Canada’s Gay Games

Online Exhibition: Digital Museum Canada
Launching late 2020

The CDMLA is just wrapping up this two-year bilingual project based on the first-hand experiences of Gay Games organizers, volunteers, performers and athletes. We’re crossing our Covid fingers for a late 2020 launch.

Women & West Coast Labour [Permanent]

Eighty years of action for equity in domestic and workplace labour by women in BC.

Media, documents and ephemera from the Sara Diamond fonds and  Women In Focus Society fonds.

This exhibit in two-parts is drawn from materials in the Women In Focus Society fonds and the Sara Diamond fonds.

 

View the exhibit:

Home page: Women & West Coast Labour
Part I: Chambermaids to Whistle Punks 1900-1970
Part II: Working Women In Focus 1970-1980

Gendered Violence: Responses and Remediations [Ongoing]

Archive/Counter Archive

An Archive/Counter-Archive Case Study. Researchers are investigating our archival collections to develop understanding of the social ecology of collectives and collaborations, solidarities and complex affiliations across generations and through settler and Indigenous community-based movements/initiatives responding to gendered  violence. Doctoral student, Sydney Hart, is creating a searchable database of resources around Gendered Violence for our researchers.

 

Learn more.

2019

Gendered Violence: Responses and Remediations [Ongoing]

Research, Residency, and Publication Project

An Archive/Counter-Archive Case Study. Researchers are investigating our archival collections to develop understanding of the social ecology of collectives and collaborations, solidarities and complex affiliations across generations and through settler and Indigenous community-based movements/initiatives responding to gendered  violence.

 

Learn more.

Every Queer Thing [2019 Residency]

2019 Archivist-In-Residence
Sophie Roberge MAS/MLIS

Roberge has created a digital guide to the queer materials found in the archives, providing insight into the history of queer art and activism at VIVO. Every Queer Thing: A Subject Guide to Archival Materials on Queer Identity & Experience is a valuable tool for researchers seeking queer perspectives. Roberge and the CDMLA organized talks, screenings, and other community events around the topic of queer art and archives. Generously funded by the BC Arts Council’s Early Career Development Program.

 

Go to Every Queer Thing

Cait McKinney, Respondent
Trans Archival Futures [2019]

Research & Publishing Project

McKinney recently relocated to Vancouver and is an assistant professor in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University. We are excited to announce they are this year’s respondent for our Vancouver Independent Archive Week event that featured Chris E. Vargas and Chase Joynt. McKinney’s response joins video documentation of this event online at archivesweek.ca.

 


View Documentation

2018

Elisa Ferrari & Casey Wei, Respondents
Pisces Mid-Heaven [2018]

Research, Digitization & Publishing Project

Vancouver Independent Archives Week [2018]
A response to the  audio cassette collection of Vancouver artist Lenore Herb by Elisa Ferrari and Casey Wei. Transcription project, publication, poster and  mixtape of the voices, issues, and sounds of the Vancouver art scene, 40 years prior.

 

View documentation.

Celebration ’90 Gay Games III

Digitization Project

The archive has digitized 90% of Celebration ’90 video documentation from the Mary Anne McEwen fonds. You can find much of it online. If you are looking for a specific event and cannot find it there, please contact the CDMLA.

 

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