30 October 2012

 For Immediate Release

    02 November - 08 December 2012

Artist Talk
    01 November @ 12PM, School of Art, University of Manitoba | ARTlab 364

Opening Reception
   Friday 02 November    7PM



PLATFORM centre for photographic + digital arts is pleased to present the solo exhibition, *Best*Amateur*Webcams*, by Toronto-based artist Cheryl Sourkes.

Featuring a new interactive data projection and a selection of digital prints,  *Best*Amateur*Webcams* is the final exhibition in PLATFORM's thematic year where the Centre has presented research stemming from the idea of the palimpsest. This research has attempted to correlate the ancient palimpsest (ie: re-writable history) as a contemporary metaphor for photographic practices.

Sourkes' exhibition explores weighty topics such as voyeurism, connectivity, and the ongoing power-dynamics in image taking  / broadcasting. Her art practice draws on the webcam-o-sphere for inspiration and for material. Over the past decade, webcams have changed from an obscure feature of computer hardware to standard equipment. These cameras provide access to formerly inaccessible or else neglected sites and subjects. Their presence on the Internet clocks quotidian reality and more nearly mirrors everyday life than does any other visual modality. Sourkes re/presents imagery generated by these cameras, while considering their theoretical implications. On the technical level, her production investigates the possibilities of low-resolution images. Typically low-res signals immediacy and urgency. It references Internet communication. Webcams along with cell phones and other wireless mobile devices operate in an ever-expanding zone of distributed consciousness. So on the level of technique, as well as on the level of content, webcam-generated material enacts a noteworthy paradigm shift taking place in visual culture.

Artist Statement

    Webcams automatically produce viral images that disseminate widely at great speed; their output however is completely fugitive. As each manifestation is quickly replaced by the next, these photographs disappear almost as soon as they come into existence. Webcam images are virtual refuse that participate in economies of the discard. They are portals to inaccessible places. Gathered together however, webcam photographs constitute a portrait of contemporary culture, one that interrogates the more readily available, popular media versions. The images in this exhibition have been culled from personal webcams. They show computer and television screens, people sleeping, gamers in Internet cafes, etc. This work embodies absence, delay, substitution, deferral, displacement, distribution, dissociation, dissolution, that sort of thing.

As part of our commitment to critical discourse,  PLATFORM has commissioned a new text by award-winning poet, Rachel Zolf,  to accompany this exhibition. This response takes the form of a one-act play, however the allusions and illusions to online chatter are unmistakable.

PLATFORM is very pleased to be partnering with community organizations, including the Martha Street Studio / Manitoba Printmakers Association, who is hosting Sourkes in a brief residency where she will print new work for her exhibition at PLATFORM; as well as the University of Manitoba School of Art, who are hosting an artist lecture by Sourkes prior to the exhibition opening.

Please join us for the opening reception Friday 02 November beginning at 7PM.  Refreshments will be served.

For more information about this exhibition, please contact the Centre directly:
PLATFORM | 121-100 Arthur Street | Winnipeg, Manitoba | R3B 1H3 | 204.942.8183 | www.platformgallery.org


Veteran of the Canadian art world, Cheryl Sourkes grew up in Montreal and studied psychology and biology at McGill University before moving to Vancouver in 1967 where she became involved with Intermedia, a Dadaist collective that helped spawn the Canadian artist run movement. Following a spell back in Montreal in the late eighties, Sourkes has lived and worked in Toronto where she has been on several boards, curated a not-for-profit gallery and edited visuals for a feminist literary journal. Her exhibition of sampled web cameras, Public Camera recently toured the country stopping for a run at The National Gallery of Canada.In 1996, Sourkes acted as curator for the touring exhibition, Found Missing: Archival photographs and the new historicity, which PLATFORM presented (then known as The Floating Gallery). http://www.cherylsourkes.com/

Rachel Zolf’s writing practice explores interrelated materialist questions concerning memory, history, knowledge, subjectivity, and the conceptual limits of language and meaning. Her fourth book of poetry is Neighbour Procedure (Coach House, 2010). Human Resources (Coach House, 2007) won the 2008 Trillium Book Award for Poetry. She was the founding poetry editor of The Walrus magazine, and her poetry has been translated into French, Spanish, Portuguese, and video art form. Zolf recently wrote the screenplay for New York artist Josiah McElheny’s film, The Light Club of Vizcaya: A Women’s Picture, which will premiere at Art Basel Miami Beach this December. She is an assistant professor in English and Creative Writing at the University of Calgary. She is also a PhD Student at the European Graduate School, under the supervision of Judith Butler. Here is how Butler supervises Zolf: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C50MjBN7a5A

PLATFORM wishes to thank Manitoba Arts Council, Winnipeg Arts Council, and W.H. & S.E. Loewen Foundation for their continued support of our programming; as well as our colleagues at Martha Street Studio, and  University of Manitoba School of Art, in addition to the following individuals for their assistance in this project:  Shawna Dempsey,  Larry Glawson, Mary Reid, and Dominique Rey for their sponsorship and assistance with this exhibition.

24 October 2012

PLATFORM Off-Site Projects continue 
with Tracy Peters' SHED II

Friday 26 October 2012 from 5PM - 8PM 
@ the artist's studio: 63 Albert Street, suite 409

** This building has an elevator and is accessible, five steps maximum from the street**
location shot, SHED research

PLATFORM is excited to announce the continuation of the series of off-site projects programmed in conjunction with our palimpsest year of research.

We understand the palimpsest as a re-writable scroll that is erased only to make room for more information on a continuous basis. The palimpsest, by nature, is both performance and a document – it is an action and a record. The artists we are currently working with conceive of the palimpsest as the collapsing of time (and space), and understand photography and video as the contemporary medium for exploring this concept. The artists whose work we are programming deal with time, record keeping, and collections, in order to problematize easy readings of history, authority, and even consciousness through photography and video.

This month PLATFORM will present the second part to Tracy Peters' site-specific research that took place at a 100 year old shed in Charleswood earlier this summer. Peters has collected data, and gathered material from her four months working in the shed and transposed the findings into an installation in her Exchange District studio comprised of various photographic techniques, including lumen prints,  altered digital prints, as well as video projection.


Tracy Peters, lumen print 2012

About the project:

Tracy Peters  began a four-month site-specific installation in an abandoned shed near her house in Charleswood. For Peters, the shed is a contentious site as it represents a turning point in her neighbourhood (an established community near the edge of the city that is now rife with corporate interest, facing certain deforestation, wild-life displacement, and unappealing suburban housing development). Peters spent the summer months documenting this 100-year old shed as a living palimpsest. The water stained floorboards and broken windows, the clumps of foxtails (a pollen-like loose burr that blankets the floor of the nearby forest, and is sharp to the touch) were all photographed and filmed in order to have the images processed and printed so that she was able to  reconstruct aspects of the shed in her urban studio using experimental three-dimensional photo collage as well as short video loops. This displacement [from the shed to the studio] offers a mirroring or parallel understanding for the deforestation taking place in the shed’s vicinity.

About the artist:

Tracy Peters is a Winnipeg-based artist who uses photography, sculpture and installation to explore connections between lived-in structures, the natural environment and the human body. Many years of darkroom practice initiated her research into fragile materials and the emotive power of surfaces, but her 2010 site-based installation, Transience and Resistance, expanded her investigation into temporary dwellings and the ways that architecture functions as a living system. Through her photographs, Peters works to evoke an experience that moves beyond the physical boundaries of architecture.  She has exhibited at The Pavilion Gallery, Martha Street Studio’s Project Room, and in local, national and international group exhibitions. http://www.tracypeters.ca/