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Charrette Roulette: Exposed Collaborative Design Practices LANGUAGE

Publication Studio Vancouver. Photo credit: David Simmonds

A “charrette” is often utilized in design processes as a format to collaboratively workshop solutions, generated by a group of creatives: artists, architects, designers. In this new AGA exhibition series, the format of the “charrette” will be used as a strategy to invert the traditional exhibition process, transforming the gallery into a place of idea formation and generation, a place for the visualization of design questions, rather than for the presentation of finalized products.

Charrette Roulette: Exposed Collaborative Design Practices consists of three thematically related parts presented consecutively in one gallery space from May 19, 2015 to April 2016. This space functions as a workshop and creation site, to expose the processes of design thinking and problem-solving and the evolution of ideas over time. The space will be hosted and activated by guest artists and designers.

Each version of the Charrette Roulette will leave materials and content behind, which can then be incorporated, modified, rejected or assimilated into the next Charrette Roulette project. This process of resource assessment and potential re-use, reflects the reality of contemporary designers, who are given a set of parameters and often work with what is available at hand. Over time, the exhibition space will be inhabited by the cumulative traces of these intensified, collaborative design processes.

Language is the theme of the second Charrette Roulette. Lead artists Kathy Slade and Keith Higgins with Publication Studio Vancouver present Edmonton Edition, a book-publishing project with local artists Sara French, Blair Brennan, Nickelas Johnson, Matt Prins and Brenda Draney.

For two weeks in July, Publication Studio Vancouver has set up shop in the Art Gallery of Alberta. The Vancouver-based artists on-going collaborative project posits publication as an art practice, while blurring the line between curatorial and editorial practice.

For Edmonton Edition, Publication Studio Vancouver printed and bound books onsite together with local artists to produce a series of new artists’ books. Alongside Publication Studio Vancouver’s publication workshop, the exhibition premieres new works by the artists, Slade’s The New Art of Making Books, a three-channel video work based on Ulises Carrión’s essay from 1975, and Higgins’ unbound bookwork Every letter in this copy of the Regina Manifesto was set by hand.

Kathy Slade works in a variety of media and has exhibited in North America, China, Europe, and the UK. Slade’s recent exhibitions include It was a strange apartment full of books… at Galerie au rue 8 saint bon in Paris, IS EVERYTHING GOING TO BE ALRIGHT? at the Audain Gallery, Cue: Artists’ Video at the Vancouver Art Gallery, and Die Perfekte Ausstellung at the Heidelberger Kunstverein. Slade is the Founding Editor of the ECU Press and runs READ Books at the Charles H. Scott Gallery. Slade co-directs The Music Appreciation Society and is in the art band Cranfield & Slade.

Keith Higgins has been producing publications and text-based public interventions since 1978, including records, a literary magazine, posters, broadsheets, pamphlets, internet-based projects, and books. He was a co-founder of Artspeak Gallery and the Pacific Association of Artist-Run Centres (PAARC). Higgins is currently the Director of UNIT/ PITT Projects.

Publication Studio Vancouver is an ongoing project by Kathy Slade and Keith Higgins. It is a laboratory for publication in its fullest sense—not just the production of books, but the production of a public. Publication Studio Vancouver prints and binds books one at a time on-demand, producing original work with artists and writers. It is part of a larger network with sibling studios in Canada, including Toronto, Guelph; across the USA in Portland (OR), San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland (MA), Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Hudson (NY); and internationally in London (UK), Rotterdam (NL), and Malmö (SE).

Kristy Trinier

Kristy Trinier is the former Director of Visual, Digital and Media Arts at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Previously, as the Curator at the Art Gallery of Alberta, Trinier curated Future Station: 2015 Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art, as well as exhibitions at the AGA and Enterprise Square Galleries. Her previous roles include Public Art Director at the Edmonton Arts Council, where she managed the City of Edmonton’s Public Art Collection, related exhibitions and public art programs and Grant Writer at Banff Centre. Trinier has written for Canadian Art, Momus and other arts publications. She holds a Bachelors degree in Visual Art and English from the University of Victoria, and a Masters degree in Public Art from the Dutch Art Institute (DAI, ArtEZ Hogeschool voor de Kunsten) as a Huygens scholar in The Netherlands.


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