Art's Birthday

Jan 14, 2008

Gathering, Performance


Grand Luxe Hall, Western Front


8:00 p.m.


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.”

To celebrate Art’s Birthday, Western Front created an acoustical re-electronic remix device called “Attic.” It used a variety of speakers and microphones to turn Western Front’s attic space into a giant feedback chamber, tapping into the available ambient sounds such as noises in the street, animals, birds, rain, wind, and creaking.

The artists introduced alien sounds into this acoustic space: webstreams, noises made in the performance space, and tape audio. As the evening progressed sonic currents were used to create a towering "birthday cake of the future," complete with electric discharge, and strange illuminations. Cake and cava were served at the conclusion.

This performance connected with events around the world. Events took place at Radio Kinesonus (Tokyo), Don Chow and guests (Tokyo), FAVA (Edmonton), Laura Kavanaugh and Ian Birse (Calgary), Paved Art + New Media (Saskatoon), Neutral Ground (Regina), Video Pool (Winnipeg), CFMU and the Art Gallery of Hamilton (Hamilton), New Adventures in Sound Art and CKLN (Toronto and Mississauga), CKUT (Montréal), Radio Grenouille (Marseille), Royal Academy of Fine Arts (Antwerp), OKNO (Brussels), Kunstradio (Vienna), Czech Radio (Prague), and more.

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.