Tape Condition: degraded

Tape Condition: degraded

VHS, queer porn and digital histories at the CLGA

June 16 Sept 18, 2016

Hazel Meyer & Cait McKinney

Opening Reception: June 16, 7-10pm

Tape Condition: degraded is an immersive installation and community digitization station that engages with the CLGAs collection of more than 3,000 VHS tapes, about one-third of which are porn. From commercially produced movies, to homemade tapes and hand-dubbed compilations, these cassettes are vital records of the archives role in preserving and protecting queer desires, sexual subcultures, and the pleasures of collecting. As VHS tapes age and degrade, what kinds of digital strategies might bring the histories they record into the present? How might digital interventions broaden, diversify, or queer the kinds of bodies, pleasures, and identities the archives collects?

Throughout the summer, a working digital transfer station will be situated in an immersive installation designed to evoke the CLGA of the 1980sthe heyday of both VHS and Canadian police censorship of queer porn. Hidden behind a false wall that references the archives attempts to protect the porn collection from police raids in the 1980s, this station will be staffed by a technician and available for community-use on select days throughout the summer. New video work by Aidan Cowling titled Landscapes of Infinities will screen on a loop within the installation.

A publication with essay, drawings by Hazel Meyer, comic by Morgan Sea, and Dream Tape archival interventions written by 11 queer and trans artists and activists available online and in print. Publication Designed by Cecilia Berkovic. Dream Tape Contributors: Anthea Black, Derek McCormack, Ginger Brooks Takahashi, Guillermina Buzio, jes sachse, Jessica Karuhanga, Kiley May, Morgan M Page, Nica Ross, Nick Matte, Syrus Marcus Ware.

A series of public programs throughout the summer will invite artists, activists, porn makers and scholars to think about VHS, porn collecting, and digital histories at the archives:

June 16, 7pm 10pm

Opening Party at CLGA, 34 Isabella Street, 2nd Floor

Remarks and Digitization Demo at 8pm

June 18, 10am 4pm

Community Digitization Day @ the CLGA 34 Isabella Street

Bring in your VHS book an appointment

Digitization can occur on 1st floor for those with accessibility needs

July 8

7:30pm, Performance Lecture @ Buddies in Bad Times 12 Alexander Street

Cait McKinney and Hazel Meyer

9pm, VJ Party with tapes from CLGA collection

Nica Ross and Ginger Brooks Takahashi

Accessibility Note: The second-floor gallery space of the CLGA building at 34 Isabella is unfortunately not currently wheelchair accessible; the buildings elevator broke this year and is being rebuilt. All public programming events for this show will be held either on the first floor of the CLGA accessible by ramp at back of building or in off-site accessible venues. Documentation and a take-away publication are also available.

Event image: Hazel Meyer, Tape Condition: degraded Close Shave, 2015.

Generously supported by the Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council.


Tape Condition: degraded

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