Art's Birthday

Jan 14 — 20, 2007

Program, Exhibition


Western Front


Art’s Birthday was a tradition started by French Fluxus artist Robert Filliou who declared, on January 17, 1963, that Art had been born exactly 1,000,000 years prior when somebody dropped a dry sponge into a bucket of water. Over many decades, artists have continued to organize annual celebrations in the spirit of Filliou’s “Eternal Network” or “La Fête permanente.”

This multi-day edition of Art’s Birthday celebrated the 100th anniversary of radio: on Christmas Day 1906, Reginald Aubrey Fessenden transmitted music and voice across the Atlantic in the first radio broadcast in history. This broadcast changed the notion of radio as an open system of morse-code style signals to a medium that could be used to deliver the voice of authority to the masses. 

Local and international artists used sound, video, robotics, poetry, images, and performance to celebrate and deconstruct utopian ideas of network, radio, and places. 


Jan 14, 2007
Commencement of Online Diaries by Elizabeth Fischer and Lori Weidenhammer, 2:00 p.m.

Performance of Wiencouver by Absolute Value of Noise, Anna Friz, Glenn Gear, and Volkmar Klien

Jan 16, 2007
Opening of exhibitions, Mawhrin-Skel Robots; and World Briefing (2006) by Oliver Hockenhull with a performance, 8:00 p.m. 

Jan 17, 2007
Livestream events, noon – 6:00 p.m.

Performance of Somewhere a Voice is Calling by Anna Friz, Glenn Gear, and Absolute Value of Noise, 8:00 p.m.

Screening of Petróleo México by Roberto Paci Dalò, 9:00 p.m. 

Videophone demonstration by Hank Bull, 10:00 p.m.

Jan 18, 2007
Performance and screening of Songs of Place by Steve Heimbecker, 8:00 p.m.

Jan 19 – 20, 2007
World Briefing exhibition continued with the addition of screenings of Robert Paci Dalò’s film and Steve Heimbecker’s performance recording, 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. 

Jan 20, 2007
The Velvet Factory stream with Robert Paci Dalò and Steve Heimbecker, 2:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Following the festival, Western Front commissioned an essay by Anna Friz, titled “Traces of Art's Birthday networks at the Western Front 1989 – 2007.”

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Western Front is a non-profit
artist-run centre in Vancouver.

We acknowledge the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations as traditional owners of the land upon which Western Front stands.