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Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram: reviews & discussions of visual work & designs

Misfat Al A’briyeen, Hajar Mountains, Oman, 3 January 2004, photograph by Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram

1981. Exiled artists expose queer culture. Coming Up! (San Francisco) (June 1981): backpage, 7. PDF copy available: 1981-exiled-artists-expose-queer-culture-coming-up-san-francisco-june-1981-backpage-p-7

Andrew Palmer. 1991. Staging the self - Photography / Andrew Palmer on the civilised delights of Cindy Sherman and the desperate lives of the Tuareg. The Independent (London daily newspaper) 16 August, 1991: 17. PDF copy available: andrew-palmer-1991-staging-the-self-photography-the-civilised-delights-of-cindy-sherman-and-the-desperate-lives-of-the-tuareg-the-independent-london-uk-16-august-1991-page-17

Sarah Kent. 1991. Gardens of Despair. Time Out (London) (September 11-18, 1991). No. 1099: 42. PDF copy available: sarah-kent-1991-gardens-of-despair-in-time-out-london-september-11-18-1991-no-1099-p-42

Herbert Muschamp. 1994. Architecture View, Designing a framework for diversity. The New York Times, Sunday, June 19, 1994, Sunday Arts Section page 32 (full page). PDF copy available: herbert-muschamp-1994-architecture-view-designing-a-framework-for-diversity-new-york-times-june-19-1994-sunday-arts-section-page-32

Liz Kotz. 1994. Queer Spaces. World Art (New York) November 1994. PDF copy available: liz-kotz-1994-queer-spaces-world-art-new-york-november-1994

Connie Butler. 1994. Queer Space. Art+Text (New York) (September 1994) 49: 83 - 84. PDF copy available: connie-butler-1994-queer-space-arttext-new-york-september-1994-49-pages-83-84

Ann C. Sullivan. 1994. Design Community Celebrates Gay Rights. Architecture (August 1994): 24 - 25. PDF copy available: ann-sullivan-1994-design-community-celebrates-gay-rights-architecture-august-1994-pages-24-25

Philip Arcidi. 1994. Defining gay design, Progressive Architecture (August 1994): 36. PDF copy available: philip-arcidi-1994-defining-gay-design-in-progressive-architecture-august-1994-page-361

John Bentley Mays. 1994. Green passages / Examining the different meanings of urban territory - Queer space. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) September 21, 1994: A13. PDF copy available: john-bentley-mays-1994-green-passages-examining-the-different-meanings-of-urban-territory-queer-space

Mays, John Bentley. 1994. Cities: Redefining urban space (the controversial concept of `queer space’ breathes new life into the arid subject of city planning). The Globe and Mail October 3, 1994: Arts Section - C7. PDF copy available: john-bentley-mays-1994-redefining-urban-space

John Bentley Mays. 1997. Mapping the gay cityscape. Globe and Mail (Toronto)(July 30, 1997): A12. PDF copy available: john-bentley-mays-1997-mapping-the-gay-cityscape

Don Elder. 1997. Queering new space. Angles (Vancouver) (August 1997): 15.

Daniel Gawthrop. 1997. Gay culture gets it straight. Vancouver Sun (November 22, 1997): H6.

Carol LeMasters. 1998. There’s a place for us. Lesbian Review of Books (Spring 1998) IV(3): 16 - 17.

Cassandra Langer. 1998. Queers in space. Women Artists News Book Review (Spring 1998): 59.

Joe Knowles. 1998. The end of straightdom as we know it. Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review (Winter 1998) V(1): 44 - 45. PDF copy available: joe-knowles-1998-the-end-of-straightdom-as-we-know-it-harvard-gay-lesbian-review-_winter-1998_-v_1_-44-45

A. P. 1998. Ouvrages théoriques. Parachute (Montréal) (January - March 1998).

Jonathan Alexander. 1998. Queers in Space. Journal of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Identity 3(3): 259 - 262.

Jon Binnie. 1998. Queers in Space. Sexualities (London) 1 (3): 381 - 383.

Maggie Toy. 1998. Queers in Space. Architectural Design (London) 68 (9/10) (Ephemeral / Portable Architecture issue): xiii.

Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram: publications in criticism & theory

Jason & Jon, Index, Washington, July 1980, 16 inches x 20 inches selenium-toned photograph by Gordon Brent Ingram


Gordon Brent Ingram & Michael Habib. 2004. Re-ordering & after: Editing ecosystems & history in the restoration of heritage landscapes under globalization. in 2004-2005 Series of the Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Working Paper Series 160 (International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments / University of California Berkeley College of Environmental Design).

Ingram, G. B. 2001. Redesigning Wreck: Beach meets forest as location of male homoerotic culture & placemaking in Pacific Canada. in In a Queer Country: Gay and lesbian studies in the Canadian Context. Terry Goldie (ed.). Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press. 188 – 208.

Ingram, G. B. 1997. Marginality and the landscapes of erotic alien( n)ations. in Queers in Space: Communities | Public Places | Sites of Resistance. Ingram, G. B., A.-M. Bouthillette and Y. Retter (eds.). Seattle: Bay Press. 27 - 52.

Ingram, G. B. 1997. `Open’ space as strategic queer sites. in Queers in Space: Communities | Public Places | Sites of Resistance. 95 - 125. discussed Guy Trebay. 1997. No Pain No Gain: The mainstreaming of kink. Village Voice (New York) November 11, 1997 XLII (45): 32 - 36. p. 36.

Ingram, G. B. 1991. Habitat, visual and recreational values and the planning of extractive development and protected areas: A tale of three islands. Landscape and Urban Planning (Amsterdam) 21: 109 - 129.

book editing

Ingram, G. B., A.-M. Bouthillette and Y. Retter (eds.). 1997. Queers in Space: Communities | Public Places | Sites of Resistance. Seattle: Bay Press. 1998 Lambda Literary Foundation Award for the Best Gay and Lesbian Non-Fiction Anthology

editorial essays

· Ingram, G. B., Y. Retter, and A.-M. Bouthillette. Lost in space: Queer theory and community activism at the fin-de-millénaire. 3 - 15.

· Ingram, G. B., Y. Retter, and A.-M. Bouthillette. Part 1 - Narratives of place: Subjective and collective. 53 - 60.

· Ingram, G. B., Y. Retter, and A.-M. Bouthillette. Surveying territories and landscapes. 89 - 94.

· Ingram, G. B., Y. Retter, and A.-M. Bouthillette. Queer zones and enclaves: Political economies of community formation. 171 - 175.

· Ingram, G. B., A.-M. Bouthillette, and Y. Retter. - Placemaking and the dialectics of public and private. 295 - 299.

· Ingram, G. B., Y. Retter, and A.-M. Bouthillette. Making room: Queerscape architectures and the spaces of activism. 373 - 380.

· Ingram, G. B., Y. Retter, and A.-M. Bouthillette. Strategies for (re)constructing queer communities. 447 - 457.

Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram: book, media & design reviews

Near Campo dei Fiori, Rome, June 1994, photograph by Gordon Brent Ingram

1. Ingram, G. B. 1999. What’s public, what’s private: Book explore how lines between public and private sex spaces are constantly shifting. Review of Public Sex Gay Space (1999. William L. Leap (editor). New York: Columbia University Press) Xtra West 147 (April 1, 1999): 20 & Sexualities Journal.

2. Ingram, G. B. 1999. Romancing the stereotype: National Park a natural spot to subvert queer stereotypes. Review of Private Investigations: Undercover in Public Space. Essays by Kathryn Walter and Kyo Maclear. Banff, Alberta: Banff Centre Press. 1999. Xtra West 151 (May 27, 1999): 17.

3. Ingram, G. B. 1999. Out takes: Queer cinema at Out On Screen (Savor a Mi - Claudia Margado-Escanilla, 1997 + interview; SPF 2000 - Patrick McGinn, 1997; Mrs. Craddock’s Complaint - Tony Ayres, 1997; Rash - Vicky Smith, 1997; Everything Will Be Fine - Angelina Maccarone, 1997; Sunflowers - Shawn Hainsworth, 1996; Dirty Baby Does Fire Island - Todd Downing, 1997; Dakan [Destiny] - Mohammed Camara, 1997) & The 1998 Vancouver International Film Festival (Streetheart - Charles Binamé, 1998; Xiu Xiu - The Sent Down Girl - Joan Chen, 1997; Non - Robert Lepage, 1998; Waalo Fendo [Where the Earth Freezes] - Mohammed Soudani, 1997; La vie sur terre - Abderrahmane Sissako, 1997; Taafé Fanga - Adama Drabo, 1997; Surrender Dorothy - Kevin DiNovis, 1998) Border / Lines 48: 44 - 49.

4. Ingram, G. B. 1998. Sentimental journeys. (Review of Paula Martinac. 1997. The Queerest Places: A guide to gay and lesbian historic sites. New York: Henry Holt). Xtra West.

5. Ingram, G. B. 1998. Review of Thomas Waugh. Hard to Imagine: Gay Male Eroticism in Photography and Film from Their Beginnings to Stonewall. 1996. New York: Columbia University Press. in Sexualities Journal (London) 1 (4): 489 - 491.

6. Ingram, G. B. 1997. sex migrants: Paul Wong’s video geographies of erotic and cultural displacement in Pacific Canada. FUSE 20(1): 17 - 26.

7. Ingram, G. B. 1997. Contested landscapes & colliding maps in Pacific Canada topographies: aspects of recent B.C. art Vancouver Art Gallery September 29, 1996 - January 5, 1997. Art+Text (Sydney, Australia) 57 (May - July 1997): 92 - 93.

8. Ingram, G. B. 1997. Review of Ecological Design, Sim Van Der Ryn and Stuart Cowan. Island Press, Washington DC. 1996. Land Forum (Summer Fall 1997): 24 - 25.

9. Ingram, G. B. 1997. Public art & homelessness: Behind the space industry. Review of Evictions: Art and Spatial Politics. Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press, 1996. by Rosalyn Deutsche. FUSE 20(3): 47 - 48.

10. Fatona, A. and G. B. Ingram. 1995. scattered at the margins Out in Context: Work by queer students of Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Vancouver, January 4 to 12, 1995. FUSE 18(4) 30 - 31.

11. Ingram, G. B. 1995. Borders and Fragments Review of Canadas [Semiotext(e) #17, Volume VI issue 2]. 1994. edited by Jordon Zinovich and the CANADAS collective, co-published by Semiotext(e), New York and marginal editions, Peterborough, Ontario. Border / Lines 36: 18 - 19.

12. Ingram, G. B. 1995. Art + theory + activism in a time of AIDS Review of Beyond Recognition: Representation, Power, and Culture. by Craig Owens. Edited by Scott Bryson, Barbara Kruger, Lynne Tillman, Jane Weinstock. 1992. Berkeley, University of California Press and On the Museum’s Ruin. by Douglas Crimp with photographs by Louise Lawler. 1993. Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press. FUSE 18(5): 43 - 44.

13. Ingram, G. B. 1994. Breaking the code: drawing / site / territory.” Review of book and film. They Write Their Dreams on the Rock Forever: Rock Writings in the Stein River Valley of British Columbia. By Annie Zetco York, Richard Daly, and Chris Arnett. Vancouver: Talonbooks 1993. and Bowl of Bone / Tale of the Syuwe by Jan-Marie Martell and Annie Zetco York. Vancouver: Turtle Productions 1992 / 1993. FUSE (Toronto) XVII (3): 37 - 39.

14. Ingram, G. B. 1994. Narratives that subvert site and identity (review of Urinal and Other Stories, John Greyson, 1993, Toronto, Art Metropole + The Power Plant). Angles (Vancouver) April 1994: 26.

15. Ingram, G. B. 1991. Review of Landscape Evaluation: Approaches and Applications. edited by Philip Dearden and Barry Sadler. Victoria, University of Victoria Department of Geography. BC Studies (Vancouver) 91 - 92 (1991-92): 231 - 232.

16. Ingram, G. B. 1990. Review of Design for Mountain Communities: A Landscape and Architectural Guide. by Sherry Dorward, New York, Van Nostrand Reinhold. in Landscape Architecture Review / Revue d’Architecture de Paysage (Toronto) 11(4): 26.

Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram: publications on critical theory in contemporary and indigenous culture, environmental design & community development

Ingram, Gordon Brent. 2013. Repopulating contentious territory: Recent strategies for indigenous North-west Coast site-based & public art. FUSE (Toronto) 36(4): 7 - 8.

Ingram, Gordon Brent. 2012. From queer spaces to queerer ecologies: Recasting Gregory Bateson’s Steps to an Ecology of Mind to further mobilise & anticipate historically marginal stakeholders in environmental planning for community development. European Journal of Ecopsychology 3 (Queer Ecologies issue): 53 - 80.

Ingram, G. B. 2010. Squatting in ‘Vancouverism’: Public art & architecture after the Winter Olympics. [Re-casting The Terminal City part 3]. Reviews of Trevor Boddy’s 2010 exhibit, Vancouverism; the 2010 symposium, Coming Soon: Negotiating the Expectations of Art in the Public Sphere, Audain Gallery, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver; the 2010 symposium Learning From Vancouver, The Western Front, Vancouver; Stan Douglas’s “Abbott and Cordova, 7th August 1971,” s 2009 mural of inkjet on laminate glass, Vancouver; and Ken Lum’s “from shangri-la to shangri-la” site-specific installation, Vancouver. designs for the terminal city http://gordonbrentingram.ca/theterminalcity/.

Ingram, Gordon Brent. 2011. Cruising on the Margins: Photographing The Changing Worlds of Outdoor Sex Between Males. An essay in Chad States. 2011. Cruising: Photographs by Chad States. New York: powerHouse Books. 79 – 87.

Ingram, G. B. 2010. Fragments, edges & matrices: Retheorizing the formation of a so-called Gay Ghetto through queering landscape ecology. in Queer Ecologies: Sex, Nature, Politics & Desire. Cate Sandilands and Bruce Erickson (eds.). Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. 254 – 282.

Ingram, G. B. 2009. False Creek dichotomies: Public art, marketing, and memory. PubliCity (Vancouver) 2 (The Art of Space issue): 13 – 15.

Ingram, G. B. 2007. Unresolved legacies & contested futures: Aboriginal food production landscapes, ecosystem recovery strategies and land use planning for conservation of the Garry oak ecosystems in south-western British Columbia. Undercurrents (issue on Planning, Culture and Space) 16: 15 - 19.

Ingram, G. B. & Lindsay Upshaw. 2004. Setting goals and priorities for restoration strategies in the context of disparate historical interpretations: An example from the Garry oak and Douglas fir mosaic of Mount Maxwell, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Proceedings of the16th International Conference, Society for Ecological Restoration, Victoria, Canada. Victoria: Society for Ecological Restoration and the University of Victoria.

Ingram, G. B. 2001. Redesigning Wreck: Beach meets forest as location of male homoerotic culture & placemaking in Pacific Canada. in In a Queer Country: Gay and lesbian studies in the Canadian Context. Terry Goldie (ed.). Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press. 188 – 208.

Alan Sears. 2002. Queerly Canadian. Review - In a Queer Country: Gay and Lesbian Studies in the Canadian Context. Arsenal Pulp Press. http://www.rabble.ca/news/queerly-canadian

Ingram, G. B. 2000. (On the beach): Practising queerscape architecture. in Practice Practise Praxis: Serial Repetition, Organizational Behaviour and Strategic Action in Architecture. Scott Sorli (ed.). Toronto: YYZ Books. 108 – 123.

Ingram, G. B. 1999. Out takes: Queer cinema at Out On Screen (Savor a Mi - Claudia Margado-Escanilla, 1997 + interview; SPF 2000 - Patrick McGinn, 1997; Mrs. Craddock’s Complaint - Tony Ayres, 1997; Rash - Vicky Smith, 1997; Everything Will Be Fine - Angelina Maccarone, 1997; Sunflowers - Shawn Hainsworth, 1996; Dirty Baby Does Fire Island - Todd Downing, 1997; Dakan [Destiny] - Mohammed Camara, 1997) & The 1998 Vancouver International Film Festival (Streetheart - Charles Binamé, 1998; Xiu Xiu - The Sent Down Girl - Joan Chen, 1997; Non - Robert Lepage, 1998; Waalo Fendo [Where the Earth Freezes] - Mohammed Soudani, 1997; La vie sur terre - Abderrahmane Sissako, 1997; Taafé Fanga - Adama Drabo, 1997; Surrender Dorothy - Kevin DiNovis, 1998) Border / Lines 48: 44 - 49.

Ingram, G. B. 1997. Marginality and the landscapes of erotic alien( n)ations. in Queers in Space: Communities | Public Places | Sites of Resistance. Ingram, G. B., A.-M. Bouthillette and Y. Retter (eds.). Seattle: Bay Press. 27 - 52.

discussed

Guy Trebay. 1999. Queers in Space DUMBA Takes Off. The Village Voice (New York City) (May 11th 1999).

Ingram, G. B. 1997. `Open’ space as strategic queer sites. in Queers in Space: Communities | Public Places | Sites of Resistance. 95 - 125.

Ingram, G. B. 1997. sex migrants: Paul Wong’s video geographies of erotic and cultural displacement in Pacific Canada. FUSE 20(1): 17 - 26.

Ingram, G. B. 1997. Review of Ecological Design, Sim Van Der Ryn and Stuart Cowan. Island Press, Washington DC. 1996. Land Forum (Summer Fall 1997): 24 - 25.

Ingram, G. B. 1997. Public art & homelessness: Behind the space industry. Review of Evictions: Art and Spatial Politics. Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press, 1996. by Rosalyn Deutsche. FUSE 20(3): 47 - 48.

Ingram, G. B. 1995. Art + theory + activism in a time of AIDS Review of Beyond Recognition: Representation, Power, and Culture. by Craig Owens. Edited by Scott Bryson, Barbara Kruger, Lynne Tillman, Jane Weinstock. 1992. Berkeley, University of California Press and On the Museum’s Ruin. by Douglas Crimp with photographs by Louise Lawler. 1993. Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press. FUSE 18(5): 43 - 44.

Ingram, G. B. 1995. Review of Rich Forests, Poor People: Resource control and resistance in Java. By Nancy Lee Peluso. Berkeley: University of California Press. 1992. & In The Realm of the Diamond Queen: Marginality in an out-of-the-way place. by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing. Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University Press. 1993. Pacific Affairs 68(2): 301 - 303.

Ingram, G. B. 1995. Review of Uncontrollable Bodies: Testimonies of identity and culture. Rodney Sappington and Tyler Stallings (eds.). 1994. Seattle, Bay Press. Border / Lines 37: 53 - 54.

Ingram, G. B. 1994. Breaking the code: drawing / site / territory.” Review of book and film. They Write Their Dreams on the Rock Forever: Rock Writings in the Stein River Valley of British Columbia. By Annie Zetco York, Richard Daly, and Chris Arnett. Vancouver: Talonbooks 1993. and Bowl of Bone / Tale of the Syuwe by Jan-Marie Martell and Annie Zetco York. Vancouver: Turtle Productions 1992 / 1993. FUSE (Toronto) XVII (3): 37 - 39.

Ingram, G. B. 1994. Lost landscapes and the spatial contexualizaton of queerness. UnderCurrents: Critical environmental studies (Toronto) (May 1994): 4 - 9 (issue entitled “Queer Nature”).

discussions

John Bentley Mays. 1994. Green passages / Examining the different meanings of urban territory - Queer space. Globe and Mail (Toronto) September 21, 1994: A13.

John Bentley Mays. 1994. Redefining urban space. Globe and Mail (Toronto) October 3, 1994: C7.

Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram: Grants & awards

Mentawai brother & sister, Siberut, Indonesia, March 1988 photograph by Gordon Brent Ingram

GRANTS & AWARDS

· Canada Council Grants: 1981, 1994, 1995 - 1996, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2015, 2017.

· University of California Regents Fellowships: 1981 - 1985.

· Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Arts: 1998.

· Lambda Literary Foundation Award for Best Lesbian and Gay Nonfiction Anthology (with Anne-Marie Bouthillette and Yolanda Retter): 1998.

· Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship (Bahasa Indonesia), United States Department of State: 1987 - 1988.

· British Columbia Cultural Fund Scholarships: 1978 - 1979, 1979 - 1980, 1981 - 1982.


market, Maradi, Niger, November, 1984 photograph by Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram

Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram: arts appointments & activism

Gerard, San Francisco, April 1980

***

2014 and ongoing, KEXMIN field station, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia

2015, Knowledgeable Aboriginal Youth Association (KAYA), Vancouver

2010 to 2013, AWL Vancouver, Artist Work Live space advocates

1999 to 2002, Urban designer on the City of Vancouver Public Art Committee

1997 & 1999, Canada Council juries

1995 – 1997, `queer in space vancouver’, a group of planners, designers and public arts concerned with reconstructing public space

1980-82, a founder of Mainstream Exiles, a San Francisco-based group of activist artists

Device To Root Out Evil (1997) Dennis Oppenheim (1938 –2011). This work was installed for part of the 2000s near Vancouver Harbour and then was moved to Calgary where it is now in storage. photograph by Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram

Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram: arts education & studies

Tomb of Oscar Wilde, Cimetière du Père Lachaise, Paris, April 1995, photograph by Gordon Brent Ingram

***

University of California, Berkeley, 1989, Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Planning. Department of Landscape Architecture, College of Environmental Design.

Studies & research

Design of networks of open spaces and other protected areas and related ecological and aesthetic issues. Major professors: Richard L. Meier a pioneer in urban sustainability; Eldon Beck — the first landscape architect in the planning of Whistler, British Columbia; Michael Laurie a pioneering expert in ecologically oriented public art

Landscape photographic documentation, including landscape photography history - Major professors: William Garnett and Penny Dhaemers

Site planning for public and other site-based art. Major professors: Michael Laurie, Eldon Beck.

Landscape aesthetics and related environmental policy and design processes - Major professor: Burt Litton the orginator of aesthetic analysis and visual resource management in the United States National Forests system

Patterns of use and social issues in urban parks and open space including conflicts around gender, sexuality, and public art - Major professor in participant observe methods for site use evaluation and design: Clare Cooper-Marcus

***

San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, California, 1980, Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) in Photography with studies emphasizing:

documentation of environmental issues and associated communities;

portraits with an emphasis on social issues (especially sexual minorities) within the context of communities; and

combining text with photo-based imagery.

Major professors: Reagan Louie, Linda Connor, and Ellen Brooks

creative residencies

2016 - ongoing, studies as part of the programme in Master Arts Visuels (MFA): TRANS- Art, éducation, engagement, Haute École d’art et de design Genève, Geneva University of Art and Design

2004 Lahore public space, Lead Pakistan

1996-97 Bay Press, Seattle, Curating environmental studies and design graphics

1995 Consulate of Canada, Rome

1991 Royal Institute of British Architects, London

1987, 1989 East-West Center, University of Hawai’i

W?EN,NA?,NEC? is the historic village of the Tsawout Nation that is on the south-east coast of Salt Spring Island a kilometre south of KEXMIN field station, graphic by Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram, 2015

Frank at San Gregorio Beach south of San Francisco in March 1979 the year before he became a nun and changed his name

Saik’uz: Tracing Stoney Creek

a traditional shed for food storage on the property of the family of Mary John


Geoffrey Thomas, Rita Thomas & Susie Antoine at Stoney Creek, Saik’uz First Nation 20 July, 2011

Anita’s kitchen window, Stoney Creek, Saik’uz, July 2011

Stoney Creek, near Vanderhoof, British Columbia, is a historic site of modern aboriginal resistance in Canada with the struggles of the 1980s described in two books by Bridget Moran, Stoney Creek Woman, about activist Mary John, and Judgement of Stoney Creek, about the broader community resistance to police violence and assaults on traditional language and culture. I went looking for overlooked aesthetics of resistance, and a new aesthetic of ‘The Rez’ beyond abjection. I began to find it. And the struggles continue. For example, the Saik’uz First Nation is part of a province-wide coalition to stop the construction of the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline that threatens their lands with some major public interventions such as those below.

“Describing their opposition to Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project as an unbreakable wall, native leaders say they will physically block the project if regulators allow it to proceed.

‘I am going to stand in front of bulldozers to stop this project, and I expect my neighbours to join me’, Jackie Thomas, chief of the Saik’uz First Nation, part of the Yinka Dene Alliance, said on Thursday when asked what will happen if regulators approve the proposed pipeline.”

Wendy Stueck. Oil pipeline: Native leaders vow to block Northern Gateway pipeline. Globe and Mail (December 2, 2011)

“‘Enbridge has always had a strategy of offering money to lots of First Nations. Lots of First Nations have refused this money’, Chief Jackie Thomas of Saik’uz First Nation, said in a statement, adding that Enbridge is using a ‘divide and conquer’ tactic in an attempt to win over its critics.”

Wendy Stueck. 2011. First Nations group signs deal with Enbridge. Globe and Mail (December 3, 2011).

This essay consists of photographs made on an old cell phone with sensors and a lense with very limited accuracy producing a small file. These ’sketchy’ and painterly renderings, taken in the summer of 2011 while I was on an aboriginal team working with the Saik’uz Nation, celebrate the village of Saik’uz or Stoney Creek. South of Vanderhoof BC and about 150 kilometres south-west of Prince George, Saik’uz has a particularly historic place in late 20th Century Canadian aboriginal activism. For years, one of the poor Reserve communities in BC, Saik’uz was one of the first native communities in Canada to consistently challenge the RCMP around abuse and deaths in detention while, not coincidentally, creating community-based institutions to support the local language, the Saik’uz dialect, and culture of the Carrier Dene. One of the community leaders to rebuild the community, Mary John, could one day be remembered as a kind of Nelson Mandela-type figure in the decolonization of north-central BC. Mary John was the subject of two books, from two decades back, Stoney Creek Woman and Judgement At Stoney Creek, copies of which are still not regularly sold in the Vanderhoof area in part because of the portrayal of the area’s violent, apartheid-like conditions that extended into the 1980s.

Today, Stoney Creek is a highly organized and functional community that, as education levels have increased and social marginalization of aboriginals have declined, has been losing population as people move off-reserve for better jobs and opportunities. More traditional kinds of livelihoods and activities and associated skills such as horse-training and guiding are also in decline. Similarly, the landscape vernaculars are changing from traditional shacks to decaying track homes to new, and sometimes more creative forms of contemporary architecture. But after a quarter of a century of efforts to protect the Carrier language, fewer and fewer people are speaking it on a regular basis.

Through this essay, I explore the rise and now decline of the currency of Vancouver-based notions of photoconceptualism. This essay on Sai’kuz traces the disintegration of the photographic imagery, especially the decline in the currency of large-scaled realistic depiction and presentation (huge photographic prints that dominated photographic conversations in the 1990s and early 2000s) and the rise of a culture of digital snap-shots coupled with the fading and ‘re-use’ of indigenous languages and local dialects, such as Saik’uz, as new forms of cultural (re)production. In other words, when a language is not used by a community on a day-to-day basis, and when it becomes increasingly ceremonial, the capability to transmit information, feelings, and metaphors shifts from a highly accurate, big photograph to that more like a sketchy (but sometimes beautiful and powerful) cell-phone snapshot. And both the bits of language and little photograph files are at least partly salvageable and relevant in the context of globalizing culture.

Saik’uz: Tracing Stoney Creek revisits, challenges and then reworks notions of documentaries of aboriginal communities and ethnographies. Visually, we focus on fragments of narratives that are quite different from those associated with earlier forms of photorealism. Focused on combining two media: photography and recorded speech, this project is comprised of three explorations.

1. I couple the continued loss of fluency of one indigenous language (the Saik’uz dialect of Carrier, an Athabaskan language in north-central BC along with ways to assert that language through contemporary culture) and the recent global shift away from highly accurate, photo-realist imagery (including Vancouver-based photo-conceptual) towards small-file, digital photographs (that are evocative of sketches and paintings). While these small images may be less ‘accurate’, they may well be more cogent.

2. I revisit the parallel and intersecting roles of language (spoken and written) in experience and ‘cognition’ of photographic imagery – especially after the primacy of photo-conceptualism. In particular, the exceptional amount of information in big-print, high-detail photographs, often generated through a large print of a detailed file, has sometimes functioned to obscure the role of a simpler visual language in the experiencing of a reproduced image. No manner how precise (or fuzzy) is a particular photographic image, its reading is always linking to experiences of particular language (and set of symbols and concept) – with assertion of local, aboriginal languages acts of cultural resistance.

3. This essay is part challenging the dominant iconography of aboriginal adjection (’The Indian Reserve’ or ‘The Rez’) and asserting a more critical ‘Reserve Aesthetic’ as some aspects of these places are quite beautiful. Next to crack houses and penitentiaries, Indian Reserves are considered some of the most hellish places in the iconography Canada’s media and cultural institutions. Some of this depiction of abjection can be strategic such as in the initial October and November 2011 coverage of the housing crisis in the Northern Ontario, Cree village of Attawapiskat. But the depictions of the dire poverty at Attawapiskat also became an easy way for an embarrassed federal government to penalize native governments. And this heavily cultivated aesthetic of abjection conflated, with despair, often functions to obscure and divert attention from successful and often more creative forms of resistance and community building.

So while these communities may be relatively poor, in terms of cash income, Indian Reserve communities in Canada can still provide new models for community and self-government. And some aspects of life on reserves such as Saik’uz are quite beautiful and warrant wider celebration – for native communities and for all Canadians.

I grew up in a community on southern Vancouver Island that looked a lot like Saik’uz and now live in a artist live work studio in a conflicted building (a former fish warehouse) on a block on Vancouver Harbour to where my father often left our home and went to work and to engage in maritime union organizing. To me, Saik’uz felt a bit like home – and given their political victories of recent decades, curiously reassuring.

roof: Produce Produce: Examining Urban Sustainability: Arnica Artist-Run Centre, Kamloops, British Columbia

a work in the exhibition entitled,

Produce/Produce: Examining urban sustainability,

Arnica Artist-Run Centre, Kamloops, British Columbia

September 17th to October 23rd, 2010

gordon-brent-ingram-2010-roof-in-produce-produce-exhibition-arnica-kamloops