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COVE is a project funded primarily by the Ontario Trillium Foundation with the goal of transmitting knowledge to the next generation of artistic directors. COVOX is a project funded by Canada Council for the Arts Digital Strategies Fund, and builds on COVE with the goal of experimenting, developing, and sharing knowledge about digital audience engagement with small and medium-sized arts organizations in the Waterloo Region.

1)    A thing usually far away dips towards you, lessening the distance between here and there.

When we speak at the same time we speak the same language
Lauren Prousky 

When we speak at the same time we speak the same language is a collaborative performance-based project about exciting conversation, a wave, momentum and the slippery present. Using linguist Deborah Tannen’s term “cooperative overlapping” as a starting point, When we speak aims to capture the feeling of participating in the type high-involvement intoxicating conversation that wraps participants up and buoys them in a shared present. The work takes the stance that these conversations can suspend time, creating a mutual now in a place of easy reaction. Through the convergence of performance, sculpture, video, text and machine learning, we’re asking: What happens when we give into the flow of these moments? What happens when we are torn away? How do we express ourselves when we are secure in the knowledge that we’ll be understood?

2)    Now we know that the farthest thing is more like us than we thought

a policy of neglect
Julie Hall and Jacob Irish

a policy of neglect is an attempted incantation, a method to place memories where they were made to acquaint our selves now with our selves then. A graveyard in Greysville and an endless boardwalk on the north shore of PEI serve as landmarks for two storytelling voices; the same murky story where the authors dissolve into land, and details fall into the sea.

3)    Near and far are not 2 ends of a spectrum. Instead, they spin on a wheel that lets you touch both ends and what’s in between.

the Monument, or, Reclaiming my Mortification
Joel Becker

The Monument, or, Reclaiming my Mortification, started as a voice note I made on my phone in 2012. I left my school group to explore a domed monument and recorded myself singing an improvised siren song in the massive echoey chamber inside the dome. Although I was initially entranced by the result, I eventually became disillusioned with it (as I did with most things of my adolescence) and would cringe when I remembered playing it for others. The recording had started as a moment of inspiration but ended up on my list of Mortifications.

Years later I was feeling creatively paralyzed and decided to revisit my voice memo. If I could reclaim a recording that made me cringe, I felt, it might give me more courage to take creative risks. So, I harmonized my voice memo with an electric piano, which rekindled the excitement for the recording I'd felt in my teens. I revisited the piece one last time to tie it visually to the monument where it had started. The video combines 3d animation with a video synthesizer and an old television, to fly around an imaginary landscape of monuments, colours, and abstract geometry. While the abstract visuals don't suggest it explicitly, to me the piece is a reminder that even judgements of our selves and our work are not final.”

4)    What if the thing separating up from down fell away too?

Maddie Lychek

Beard (2021) is a performance for video work inspired by the stories of Egyptian Pharaoh Hatshepsut, who created a beard out of pubic hair to solidify her nobility through gender performance.

5)    More like: A consistently straight thing folds in on itself and becomes curved.

A Deal With Dog
Megan Arnold

A Deal With Dog was sponsored by Ed Video for the 2022 online Improvisation Festival, and was based on a previous audio piece where I sang the song “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” while walking up a steep hill in Northwestern England. For this new video iteration, I sang Kate Bush’s song “Running Up That Hill” (the most obvious choice) while walking across rolling hills in rural Southwestern Ontario with my dog, Farley. As I walk and sing through the tall grass in height-of-summer-heat, my breath becomes laboured and my voice starts cracking. Farley and I disappear from view, but our panting remains. The video was improvised and recorded in one take."

6)    More like: Something we rely on is not as reliable as we once thought.

Abisola Oni

“You are never tired, so long as you can see the horizon wide.
I have depth of knowledge as I experience the sea.
I am at peace when I hum to the sound of the buzzing bee, that chirping bird.

The natural world is my reflection: I created this multimedia artwork using photography, video, and sound, learning to trust my instincts like the sun.

I come from a family of immigrant settlers on land cared for by the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and the Haudenosaunee, Huron, and Wendat peoples before them. This work is site specific and site responsive.

Reflection puts forward ideas about spirituality, being in place and time, and the quotidian objects of memory that eerily compose a life. The video engages the piece with a technological interpretation of the theme, activating reflection and projection both as concepts and aspects of visuality. Patty Chang's early work, 1999 Fountain, enlightened me to a discourse of reflection. I pay respect to her visual language and take a hard look in the mirror myself.”

7)    Could this line called horizon slouch even further? What else rigid might be willing to bend?

To play a daredevil’s advocate
Jordyn Stewart  

“To play a daredevil’s advocate is a 6 minute performance for video where I flip through a photo album and discuss each image to the viewer through documentary-style narration. The images are a series of 24 photographs taken personally, as well as found in the Niagara Public Library Digital archives. Together, collected in a photo album found at a tourist shop on Clifton Hill, the photographs speak to tourism and daredevil culture that has surrounded Niagara Falls since the 1820’s. Throughout the video I highlight significant daredevils that were lured to the power of the Falls, specifically focusing on Annie Edson Taylor and her experience as the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel and survive.”