From 2011-2013 I oversaw programming for Pop Montreal’s film section, Film Pop, which included screenings, talks, workshops, exhibits and installations, including site-specific screenings of The Omen in a church, and Jerzy Skolimowsky’s Deep End with the audience in a pool.
I also mounted the first-ever Canadian exhibition of drawings by Nick Blinko of Rudimentary Peni, and spearheaded a few commission projects including The Auroratone Project: New Frontiers in Psychiatric Cinema and Audio High Rise, in collaboration with Suoni per il Popolo.
THE AURORATONE PROJECT: NEW FRONTIERS IN PSYCHIATRIC CINEMA
The Auroratone Project is a commission of original short films by experimental Canadian filmmakers set to the music of POP Montreal’s 2012 participants, curated by Kier-La Janisse. ‘Auroratones’ were abstract musical films used in mental institutions and army hospitals after WWII as a means of soothing post-traumatic stress disorder and general mental disturbance, invented by film enthusiast Cecil Stokes who was continuing on nearly two centuries of previous pseudo-scientific attempts to correlate colour with musical notes. For POP Montreal, filmmakers Leslie Supnet (Manitoba), Emily Pelstring (Quebec), Jon Rafman (Quebec), Alex MacKenzie (BC), Walter Forsberg (Manitoba), Leslie Bell (Alberta), Jaimz Asmundson (Manitoba), Cheryl Hann (Nova Scotia), Tamara Scherbak (Quebec), Heather Rappard (Nova Scotia) and Sabrina Ratte (Quebec) were approached to create original abstract films guided by the principles of Cecil Stokes’ Auroratones.
My personal favourite of the Auroratones was by Sabrina Ratte, who was paired with the music of Tim Hecker for her project: you can see it on her Vimeo below:
AUDIO HIGH RISE
A large multimedia modular cube structure (approx. 10’ high) simulating a high rise apartment block was designed and erected to house several audio-visual elements. Each of the cube’s four sides featured a central screen upon which the commissioned moving images will be projected on a loop, flanked by 16 lightboxes containing still photographs, and surrounded by mirrors to bolster the three-dimensional quality of the images and to bring viewers’ reflections into the visual realm created by the installation. Films will feature a blend of handcrafted and newsreel and industrial stock footage assembled in an experimental collage technique.
The images were created by artists Matthew Rankin, Walter Forsberg, Dominic Gagnon and Francois Miron. These images were accompanied by sound design which will be looped into the exhibition space through ten speakers spread throughout the room, incorporating field recording, industrial noise, dialogue and original music by analogue synthesist Jeremy Schmidt (composer, Beyond the Black Rainbow).