Western Front Media Arts is pleased to welcome Michael Turner as inaugural Western Front Media Archive researcher-in-residence, as part of Past is Prologue, an ongoing research project considering the Western Front Media Archive. Past is Prologue is a new initiative that will invite artists, writers, archivists and historians to conduct research related to the Western Front Media Archive, an onsite repository of over 1300 tapes, including performance documents, video art and audio recordings.
Building an interest in expanded literary practices in Vancouver, Vancouver based author Michael Turner, conducted research around the Western Front Media Archive’s collection of largely unseen video documentation of literary readings that took place at Western Front in the 1970s and 1980s. This research has culminated in a screening titled Three Readings: Camera, Tape and Sound (Kathy Acker, bpNichol/Steve McCaffery, and Kevin Davies as introduced by George Bowering), and an accompanying essay for free PDF download.
This screening will focus on how each reading is mediated specifically through the camera, audio recording and the qualities of archival video tape. The screening will feature Kathy Acker’s 1977 reading from The Adult Life of Toulouse Lautrec, bpNichol and Steve McCaffery’s 1977 performance of Aupe Relationships and Kevin Davies as introduced by George Bowering, reading from Exhibit A in 1983. This text is the first in a series of “Past is Prologue” writings considering the Western Front Media Archive.
Michael Turner is an award-winning writer of fiction, criticism and song. His books include Hard Core Logo (Arsenal Pulp, Vancouver, 1993), The Pornographer’s Poem (Doubleday, Toronto, 1999) and 8×10(Doubleday, Toronto, 2009), and his criticism has appeared in the magazines Art Papers, Art On Paper, and Modern Painters. He has written catalogue essays on Julia Feyrer (Artspeak Gallery, 2010), Tim Lee (Presentation House Gallery, Vancouver, 2007) and Ken Lum (Contemporary Art Gallery, 2001) and has contributed to the anthologies Intertidal: Vancouver Art & Artists (Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver and MuHKA, Antwerp, 2005), Vancouver Art & Economies (Artspeak, Vancouver, 2007) and Ruins In Process: Vancouver Art in the Sixties (Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver, 2008). A frequent collaborator, Turner has written scripts with Stan Douglas, poems with Geoffrey Farmer, and a libretto with Andrea Young. As the Ellen and Warren Tallman S.F.U. Writer-in-Residence (2009-2010), he curated to show, to give, to make it be there: Expanded Literary Practices in Vancouver, 1954-1969 (2010), Simon Fraser University Gallery, Burnaby, British Columbia.