Stephen Foster

Electra Building Gallery

Stephen Foster is a video artist working with multichannel video installation and digital photography. As a Haida Metis artist, his work deals with issues of representation in mass media. He has taken part in a residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts, holds two college diplomas, BFA and a MFA from York University. He received the Master’s Thesis Prize, one of three given University wide, for his thesis Behind a Street of Glass. Stephen spent two years in charge of the programming at Trinity-Square Video, and programmed, curated and coordinated screenings and events, most notably the nationwide Performance Bytes teleconference and web broadcast performance. In addition, Stephen facilitated Trinity’ video collection and the First Nations Celebration screening in 1998. After leaving Trinity Square Video, he returned as Chair of their Board of Directors. Stephen has also been on the board of the Centre for Aboriginal Media, and the Altenator Gallery in Kelowna, British Columbia. Stephen is currently professor in the Fine Arts Department at the Okanagan University College, where he instructs courses on video production and digital media.


Burn Static and Squelch 

The series of three short videos are mediations on the use of indigenous iconography in pop culture and the possible divergent meanings and repercussions this might have for aboriginal people and society at large. Starting with a basic dichotomy implied in the one word titles, images are arranged to highlight intertextual links between meanings and the social metaphors found in the titles. The titles themselves have conflicting meanings as they are used in different contexts. Burn, static and squelch have specific technological usages, but also have overt connotations to oppressive social actions when perpetrated against marginalized members of society. The work is non-narrative and image based; it is edited for rhythm and emotive effect. Mediating technology is referenced widely through the texturing of the image with the overt use of digital effects. This is meant to draw reference to various forms of mass media and its role in altering our perception of events.