Browsing articles in "Collaboration"
Sep 21, 2012

Street / Screen Encounter (2012)

Write up of the MediaPackBoard experience / involvement with the World Portable Gallery Convention, Halifax, NS. Enjoy!

Sep 15, 2012

MPB at the WPGC (2012)

World Portable Galleries Convention 2012

Halifax, NS

A collaborative work instigated by Daniel Dugas and Valerie LeBlanc

Here is a first glimpse at the project.  We will be adding to the documentation.

For the WPGC we assembled a bamboo ‘fishing pole’ and hooked up a mini-spy cam to it. Valerie put on the MPB and we stepped out to explore views of the city not readily visible to passersby. We talked with other pedestrians and pointed the camera into spaces that they were interested in examining. Several of the WPGC curators and Eye Level Members stepped out with us to try out the apparatus. As images were transferred from the spycam to the MPB monitor, we used a separate camcorder to record what the spycam saw.

With Michael McCormack (fishing pole) and Matthew Carswell (camera)

Michael Eddy (fishing pole) looking at the sign

Valerie LeBlanc carrying the MPB on Argyle St.

Michael Eddy lifting the fishing pole

In front of the Tony’s Pizza on Robie St., diners onlooking

Andrew McLaren on corner of Cunard and Robie, September 7 during the opening at the 161 Gallon Gallery

This project has been made possible with the support of artsnb

and EyeLevel Gallery and its funders

Jan 27, 2012

Artist Talks (2012)

The following are transcripts of the talks Valerie LeBlanc and  I gave at The New Gallery on January 5th 2012 during the opening of our video installation What We Take With Us.



Thank you to:  everyone at the New Gallery who worked to bring us here and to Tim and Jessica for smoothing out crimps during the actual installation of WHAT WE TAKE WITH US.  Special thanks to Tomas Jonsson, Kathryn Blair and John Snow House Director, Shara Rosko.

For any artist, starting a new year, exhibiting an artwork is the best possible scenario.   The chance to visit Calgary is amazing.  It puts me on the spot, to not only say what I have been doing, but also to evaluate what I have done since leaving the city in 2008.

The chance to show this work in Calgary seems so appropriate as Daniel and I continue to think of Calgary as our second home.  But more than that, the initial planning for the installation began in Calgary, early in 2007 while applying to the University of Sydney to carry out the residency.  Another version of the installation was shown – for one day only, in January 2011 at the Galerie E Dans L’A, in Moncton, New Brunswick where we currently live.  So presenting at The New Gallery completes a cycle of intentions embodied in this work.

Sometimes it seems as if living is about managing points – not the points that have synched with all monetary transactions – but those emergency points that drive us from event to event.  WHAT WE TAKE WITH US wants to step back from the edge to place value.

When I first entered the art world, deconstruction was big.  Anecdotes were frowned upon.  In the classroom and gallery, if storytelling was an employed methodology, it was required to appear only in the most pure, most elemental of symbols.  And yet the idea that everything moves in circles – and that there is nothing new under the sun was also brought forward.  We are fortunate to live and work in a time period when visual and audio collage, in all of its forms has place – and that the specific arrangement of elements, with emphasis on time and space are valued.   Since access to digital tools became both available and affordable to artists and consumers, it facilitated possibilities for creation, communication and for description.  As we are well aware, these same tools are utilized in the constant bombardment of marketing.  That presents a complication of finding meaning in creation that dwells within or moves beyond product placement.  In the immersive environment, we are challenged to captivate imagination, or to lay out elements that offer / share inner experience.

This project was based upon travel, personal exploration of specific geographies but also upon meeting people, chance conversations, and interviews.  In the making of the videos and the creation of a format, it was important for each of us to move past the first level of the experience, to allow events to distil over time through memory and impact.  Through the process of building something in time based art; having a cut and paste-able timeline similar to our own ideas of memory and its very complicated architecture, is modern magic.  If memory is a string of events (pearls) stretched out over time, then creating videos or any artwork can be a way of re-stringing the whole poetry of it.

It would seem that an artwork should always exist between reality and dream / influences and changes that become absorbed.  The video loops projected onto the walls of the gallery, and the soundtracks carried by the corresponding left or right headphones work to create an immersive environment for contemplation.  Those soundtracks, texts and visuals are meant to flow and to interact as the projections loop.   The ‘open sound’ heard upon entering the space creates another element closer to actual experience of travel and interaction with others. One of the topics that came up in the interviews is reconciling the feelings of attachment you feel for a place when you are now there, and how it reverses when you go back and leave the second home.

To speak more generally of my practice, basically, I do 2 things:  I create from within, working through thought process and visceral reality; and I ask (interview) others about what they do.  In that, the best that I hope for is to bring out other voices, and to create a dialogue.  2011 was a busy and productive year – something I always strive for, unusual in the mix, was the gift of reaction to some projects.  In particular, I presented videos in 3 European capitals: DOWNUNDER was curated into the She Devil Exhibition at the MACRO – Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome, Italy.  The She Devil screenings ran from June 25, 2011 – January 8, 2012 in the MACRO’s V-Tunnel.  On November 4 & 5, I presented The Renovation, at the Ruins in 20th Century Art and Literature Conference at the Senate House in London, England.  My 2011 video Paper Moon, Cardboard Sky [1], was screened at the 24th Instants Video at the gallery Le 104, Paris, France.

Those 3 presentations rose were facilitated through Internet connections.  What we have seen demonstrated so well with the Internet is that individuals and communities are no longer only linked to geography or birthright, or even common history.  A sense of belonging can rise from topical common interests and affinities.  The reasons for some of those connections might appear obvious by magnitude, and some, although seemingly banal, might ‘hold more water’ than detected in the real time of the moment.    

As important as visual and sound cues are into positing the space of habitation, writing has become very important for me.  Sometimes, it is in a manner of connecting events and thoughts in as orderly a form as an essay.  And sometimes it is in arranging those same events and thoughts into poetry using visuals, sound and texts.  What We Take With Us takes that form; aiming to float and ground in the memory of connections over time.

Audience / participants should be and are – everywhere.  Everyone has a voice and wants to be heard.  Maybe taking part in what happens in an art gallery creates a necessary pause; that kind of pause that can help us step outside of the daily rush and routine.  A new starting point can arrive unexpectedly.  Recognizing it can become a refreshing experience, like celebrating the beginning of a new year.

In 2012 Valerie LeBlanc will be starting a PhD in the Visual Arts at the University of Sydney in Australia.


[1] Also screened in 2011 as part of OIL, EMMEDIA, Calgary, AB July 12, and at the OK.Quoi?!,Contemporary Arts Festival, Sackville, NB July 28.





We have all seen this: a house on fire, an apartment burning, in the middle of the night.  It could have been a short in the attic, a cigarette in a bed, a curtain too close to a space heater.  The firefighters are there.  It’s cold; the residents are outside looking at their houses, their rooms burning to the ground.  As usual there are journalists reporting on the drama, asking questions, trying to figure out what happened.  Some people step forward and brave the spot light.  They have blankets on their shoulders; they look exhausted, fragile as they speak to the rapidity of the fire, the thickness of the smoke.  As the camera pans onto the charred remains, it becomes obvious to everyone watching that some tenants were lucky to get out in time.  But at the end of the interviews, many of the residents come to the sad conclusion that the photo albums; the memories of a lifetime, did not make it.  There is a pause; most break down at the thought of the disappearing images.

In our visual society or ‘optical civilization’ as Paul Virilio likes to call it, the photo albums, analogue and digital, have transcended their mnemonic status, they have become life itself.  They are what we can and cannot remember.


In 1979, at 18 years old, I hitchhiked across Canada and the USA.  I decided not to bring a camera because I thought that taking pictures might interfere with my ability to remember events.  In New Mexico I got a ride with an ex Korean War veteran who was also an ex Hells’ Angel.  As we crossed the border between New Mexico and Texas I made the mistake of commenting on the beauty of the sky and the sunset.  He said that I should take a photograph.  I told him that I did not have a camera and he became quite agitated.  When we arrived in Amarillo, in the panhandle of Texas, we stopped for a beer.  As I sat at the counter, my driver excused himself to go to the restroom.  I drank my beer, waited a while.  Eventually I realized that he was gone with my backpack.  At that moment, his flash of anger became clear to me.  He was planning to steal my stuff and the loot was definitely lessened by the absence of a camera.  Obviously I survived and made my way home from what was a real interesting trip.  But the absence of physical images, of snapshots, of this wonderful sunset for example, has made room for another kind of narrative; one weaved with invention.  A history more saturated if you will.


I am a videographer and a poet and I am both at the same time.  I don’t see a separation between the two activities.  One informs the other in a Ping-Pong way.  When I was ten, I found a flat stone and I started what was perhaps my first art project.  I drew symbols, scribbled on it; some were like drawings, others like letters. I buried the stone in the woods near my home thinking that archeologists might find it one day.  I was thrilled at the idea and could imagine a team of scientists pondering on the origin of this unknown civilization.  When I think about it today, I think it’s funny, and it is.  It’s funny but it is also ironic and subversive. There is a desire to question the establishment, the world, and the memory of the world as its stand in front and around everything.  I recently did a video series called TABLETS [1], a tongue-in-cheek collection of videos extolling the magical properties of technology.  I think that there is a connection between these videos and that buried stone somewhere in Le Bois du Juvénat in Lévis, Québec.

What We Take With Us is about points of view, about memory and memories, about what is collected, recollected, juxtaposed and ultimately imagined.  It is about image and text, about the relation between text and image, about signs, about perception.  It is also a project that took us on a long circle.

As Valerie mentioned, in 2009 we were invited to take part in a research residency program at the Sydney College for the Arts in Sydney, Australia.  The premise of the project was an exploration of internal and external experiences characteristic to travel and displacement.   We met and interviewed people, collected images and sounds.  Later, it became apparent that each of us had processed the experience of seeing and being differently; with our individual filters.  Faced with the same set of circumstances, we were not seeing the same thing, and not reacting the same way.  When we came back to Canada and began examining the material, it took six months of sifting for the idea of a two-channel video installation to take shape.  We each started to build a distinct program of video-poems to be screened side by side.  A funny thing happened, and we realized this only at the end of the creative process.  Valerie’s program starts with a piece called SAMOA while my program begins with RED.  Even though the programs are looped, these two videos function as metaphorical book ends for the whole project.  RED is an account of the dust storm [2] that blew over Sydney a few days after our arrival on September 23.   SAMOA, on the other end of the shelf, is a video that was inspired by the earthquake and the tsunami that rocked the Samoan Islands on September 29.[3]  After the disaster, many islanders came through Australia to visit with family members.  On the day of our departure, at the airport, October 22, a group of Samoans was going back home.  Valerie noticed the gathering and stopped to listen to the singing.  I was already past the gate and did not witness the scene.

We have worked together for 20 years, on different types of collaborative projects, while also carrying out individual practices.  The degree of collaboration often changes depending on the nature of the project.  Some are totally fused and others, as with What We Take With Us, are hybrids; comprised of discrete elements.  One of our longest collaborative endeavors is probably a Dictionary of Definitions, we have been working on it since 1990 and it is still a work in progress.  When we did our Masters Degrees at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, we were accepted as a collaborative team.  Our project was called Memory Bank and was about memory and fragmentation.  We envisioned a giant mirror ball, a kaleidoscope of life made up of numerous poetic documents.  It was supposed to be a large dome-like structure covered with video monitors, each of them showing a looped clip.  At the time, 1991 – 1993, it was a difficult technical and financial challenge and so the project evolved differently.   We worked on smaller scale two-channel and three-channel video installations instead.  And when I look at this installation, What We Take With Us, I cannot but see some aspects of Memory Bank resurfacing.

But projects are like that, aren’t they; like Russian Dolls, nestled in each other, speaking to each other.  On our way back from Australia, on that long flight back to North America, I started to write about being on the plane, about speed, about slowness, about turbulence, about the immensity of the Pacific Ocean, about the darkness of the night and the few dots of life sprinkled here and there, and about the reassuring smell of coffee floating in the cabin.  These texts are now a book of poetry entitled Au large des objets perdus [4].  It was published in October 2011 at Les Éditions Prise de Parole.

Daniel Dugas
Calgary, January 5, 2012

In July 2012, Daniel Dugas will be starting a six-month residency in Sydney with the Café Poet Program [5] of the Australian Poetry.

Jan 12, 2012

What We Take With Us – TNG (2012)

We just came back from Calgary where our video installation What We Take With Us is being presented at The New Gallery. The opening was on January 5th and the exhibition will continue until February 4th 2012.  We stayed at the John Snow House which is administrated by TNG.  It is an extraordinary place loaded with history.

Thanks to everyone at TNG: Tim, Jessica, Noel, Kathryn, Su, Volunteers – and all who came out to the opening!  Our talks will be posted online next week.


Our installation is also part of This Is My City Festival, an interdisciplinary festival of art from the margins.


Excerpt from the essay written by Tomas Jonsson:

Recurrent waves of colonialism and globalization have smoothed and prescribed our encounters with places. For the traveler, points of difference, or of distinction, are sought after, perhaps increasingly so, or patronizingly handed over. Monuments, historical sites and natural landmarks are increasingly oriented to ‘the amused eye’, which the traveler can then compare and develop a discourse “for the comparative connoisseurship of places.”

In What We Take With Us, Dugas and LeBlanc explore a complicated, contingent terrain, whose borders extend into and circumvent geographies, both physical and social, ‘here’ and ‘away’. Encompassing individual catalysts, personal experiences, mental and body memories, the resulting landscape can’t be easily anticipated or defined.

The videos mimic the internal ordering and filtering of places. Each series of vignettes display a personal vision, reflecting the difference in interpretation even by two people so closely aligned. They follow in Dugas and LeBlanc’s collaborative approach in their production and presentation, but in this case the associations are left to chance due to an unsynched running time. The result is a constantly shifting dialogue between the videos, with unknown permutations and combinations. 

Jul 20, 2011

Booklet for What We Take With Us (2011)

Valerie LeBlanc and I are working on a documentation booklet for What We Take With Us. The video installation will be shown at The New Gallery in Calgary in January 5 – February 4th 2012!  Here is a screenshot.


Jan 15, 2011

What We Take With Us – Ce qu’on emporte avec nous (2011)

• Galerie E DANS L’A Gallery, Moncton, NB, 2011

What We Take With Us

In this two channel video installation, each artist created a program of short videos exploring different aspects of memory and presence.  The programs are projected side by side.

An exploration of internal and external experiences characteristic to travel and displacement, the project grew from a research residency at the Sydney College for the Arts in Sydney, Australia – September / October 2009.  During our stay, we researched urban, as well as more sparsely populated coastal and inland geographies of New South Wales.  Starting from our personal exploration and interviews with others, we looked for indications of what it is like to live in a place; to call it home, and at displacement / shifts evoked by the experience of physically repositioning oneself in the world.

The research began from the perspective of examining the concept of home and what it means to individuals.  Over time, a discussion of memory and presence, of being in the world developed toward the realization that what we take with us might not be as important as what, or whom we sometimes leave behind. As the nature of living leads us forward, we are constantly required to face current events and circumstances; to grow and evolve within the present.  Ideas are shaped through interaction; through awareness of the importance of what we take with us in memory, and how interaction within social climates changes the point of view.  According to progress, of meeting life challenges; friends, family and familiar surroundings sometimes move into memory, and that becomes the only way to experience them again.  In essence, this is also part of the discussion of nomadism and contemporary life.

While developing strategies for conveying messages relating to the human experience, we have worked to open up half dream / half waking realities.

For more information see website


Ce qu’on emporte avec nous est une installation vidéo à deux canaux. Chaque artiste a créé un programme de vidéos examinant différents aspects de la présence et de la mémoire.

Ce projet sur le déplacement, la mouvance et le voyage, a pris forme et s’est développé lors d’une résidence de recherche au Sydney College for the Arts en Australie — septembre / octobre 2009. Pendant notre séjour, nous avons effectué une série d’entrevues à Sydney ainsi que sur le territoire de la Nouvelle Galles du Sud.  Nous souhaitions explorer les questions relatives au sentiment d’appartenance à une région, à une collectivité ainsi que sur l’expérience nomade.

Les idées contenues dans ce projet sont nées de l’interaction entre individus, elles se sont développées au travers du filtre de la mémoire et du souvenir ainsi que sous l’effet transformateur du contexte social. Tout en développant des stratégies de transmission relatives à la nature interne et externe de l’expérience humaine, nous avons tenté d’ériger un lien entre ce qui existe et ce qui est senti, entre le rêve et la matérialité.

Notre recherche nous a amenés à réaliser que quelquefois, ce que nous emportons avec nouspourrait ne pas être aussi important que ce qui est laissé derrière.

Pour plus d’information : site web

May 8, 2010

Soundbury (2010)

• Galerie du Nouvel Ontario, FAAS, Sudbury, ON, 2010

Soundbury is a soundmapping project of the City of Sudbury by Valerie LeBlanc and Daniel Dugas. The recordings, collected during 12 hours of walking through the streets, have been uploaded to the website and to a google map.  Additionally, we added a series of thought capsules – red markers on the map.

Soundbury was created during the Fair of Alternative Art of Sudbury on May 8, 2010.


Soundbury est un projet de cartographie sonore de la ville de Sudbury par Valerie LeBlanc et Daniel Dugas. Les enregistrements ont été collectés dans la ville pendant les douze heures du projet et ont été téléversés sur le web.  Simultanément une mappe Google a tracé l’étendue des découvertes.  Nous avons aussi créé une dizaines de pensées-sonores – les marqueurs rouges sur la carte.

Soundbury a été créé lors de la Foire d’art alternatif de Sudbury le 8 mai 2010.
View Soundbury in a larger map

May 3, 2010

Soundbury (2010)

Valerie LeBlanc et moi allons à Sudbury pour présenter Soundbury dans le cadre de la Foire d’art alternatif.

Soundbury est un projet de cartographie sonore, une représentation sonore de la ville de Sudbury. Les enregistrements seront collectés dans la ville pendant les douze heures du projet et seront téléversés sur le web à intervalles réguliers. Simultanément une mappe Google tracera l’étendue des découvertes. La carte sera dessinée de façon intuitive, au hasard des sorties. Qu’y a-t-il dans cette ville où nous marchons? Quels bruits, quelles voix, quels aboiements s’y cachent?

Le coeur ambiant de Sudbury battra au rythme du printemps en offrant la chance d’imaginer les images associées à chaque fragment sonore.

Et qui plus est dans le nom Sudbury, il y a l’unité de puissance sonore (db)!

Blog: Soundbury

Valerie LeBlanc and I are heading for Sudbury to present Soundbury during the Foire d’art alternatif de Sudbury.

Soundbury is a soundmapping project, an aural representation of the City of Sudbury. The recordings will be collected and uploaded to the Internet at regular intervals during the 12 hours of the project, and a Google map will trace the source locations of the entries.

The aural map will be drawn intuitively, with random sample recordings relayed back as signals from ‘out there.’ What’s under that rug we walk on? By peeling it back we might follow the wings of those emerging insects, listen for the dog barking close by or in the distance. And this time, if we ask someone to talk to us, we won’t bring any questions.

And at the root of it all, the ambient heart of Sudbury will beat out its mid-spring rhythm, offering the chance to imagine the visuals accompanying that orchestral essence of sound.

Blog: Soundbury

Jun 9, 2006

La Dauphine (2006)

• Vallauris, exterior projection town square, La Dauphine, Vallauris, FR, 2006
• Emmedia, Calgary, AB, 2007

While preparing for the festival season, a small town in the south of France is surprised to receive a rising star in their midst.
La Dauphine was created during a residency at A.I.R. Vallauris on the Côte dAzur. The video features local residents and the buzz surrounding the Cannes Film Festival.

Une petite localité dans le sud de la France se prépare pour la saison des festivals et les habitants se trouvent surpris daccueillir une étoile montante dans leur ville.

Part 1 of 3 : 4:15 min
French with English Subtitles
Collaboration avec Valerie LeBlanc

May 7, 2002

Une conversation avec Léo Belliveau (2002)

Une conversation avec Léo Bélliveau avec Daniel Dugas, Valerie LeBlanc et Corinne Dugas. Moncton Juin 2002. Sujets abordés : La Chasse, Le téléphone, Le Pont de Shédiac, Euphémies Léger, Narcisse LeBlanc, Léandre LeBlanc, Playing dominos, Isaac Melanson, La p’tite Mazerolle, Les chapeaux, La politique, Claudia Belliveau, L’éducation, Les fraises, Shemogue, La grippe espagnole.
DVD, 43 minutes

Vidéo disponible sur Internet Archives


Daniel H. Dugas

Artiste numérique, poète et musicien, Daniel H. Dugas a participé à des expositions individuelles et de groupe ainsi qu’à plusieurs festivals et événements de poésie en Amérique du Nord, en Europe, au Mexique et en Australie. Son treizième recueil de poésie « émoji, etc. » / « emoji, etc. » vient de paraître aux Éditions Basic Bruegel.

Daniel H. Dugas is a poet, musician, and videographer. He has participated in solo and group exhibitions as well as festivals and literary events in North America, Europe, Mexico, and Australia. His thirteenth book of poetry, 'émoji, etc.' / 'emoji, etc.' has been published by the Éditions Basic Bruegel Editions.

Date : Mars / March 2022
Genre : Poésie / Poetry
Français / English

émoji, etc. / emoji, etc.

Date: Mai / May 2022
Genre: Vidéopoésie/Videopoetry