New Forms Media Society


Scenes from an Unsound Mind

  • Date: September 12, 2013
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
  • Venue: The Equinox Gallery

Thursday September 12th (5-7pm) at The Equinox Gallery


Scenes from an Unsound Mind

[…] what we’re doing is really nothing new. It’s just modified for the time that we live in – Jeff Mills

In The Return of the Vanishing American (1968), literary critic Leslie Fiedler defined “any true” Western as having (a) an excursion into the unknown, and (b) an encounter with an alterity. By following the history of the Western, from the early imaginations of the “West” by Europeans, through to its renewed popularity amongst the 1960s counterculture, Fiedler viewed the associations to the new and other as perpetually modified and running parallel to the changing directions of western culture. The West as such is rendered mythologically – the mythos of which being the transcendence or transformation of the European (westerner) through a confrontation with, or venture into, an unknown frontier that contests the rigidity of historical and cultural continuity (i.e. the European becoming the trapper, the frontiersmen, the forty-niner, the cowboy, the beatnik, the hippie…).

With frontiers that cross temporal and discursive boundaries; such as those between the perceptible and imperceptible, historical and mythological, inner and outer, the lens of the transformative West can be useful in contextualizing the works presented in Scenes from an Unsound Mind, within a historical framework of breaks, schisms, and discontinuous permutations.

With works from: The Bureau of Inverse Technology, Joachim Koester, Joan Jonas, John Latham, and The Otolith Group

Image: Henri Michaux, Narration, (excerpt) 1927

Curated by Robin Selk and Andrew Rebatta