Parcel Lab is a residency and an hypermediatic project that brings together four authors: Daniel Canty, Chantal Neveu, Jack Stanley and Caroline Loncol Daigneault. The authors will be invited to delve into the grounds of OBORO’s 2009-2010 programming to find trails for thought, matter of fiction, to bridge the meaning of seemingly disparate activities, question the works, the events and the mechanisms and context that surround them.
At the core of the activities taking place inside and outside the gallery walls, the authors of the Parcel Lab will first target a detail. The Lab privileges close-ups to wide angles and interrogates its subject from an intimate perspective in order to isolate and scrutinize chosen details of exhibited works while carefully, intuitively and systematically selecting the context they inhabit. The parceled information collected by each author of the Lab will mesh the multiple and heterogeneous starting patterns for reflection and contributions of a critical and literary nature.
Daniel Canty – The Secret Corridor
OBORO ‘s circular name suits it well. A gallery is, by definition, a place of transit. Exhibitions follow each other. Visitors appear and disappear, mostly without leaving a trace (after all, it’s usually forbidden to touch). In a string of white rooms pierced by light-wells, objects are momentarily arranged, gestures and gazes linger. The pure geometry of these spaces doesn’t really matter. Time passes through the walls and through consciousnesses. This teaches us, against all evidence, to reconcile ourselves to the intimacies of matter.
Words, which are the matter of language, do not exist alone. The word that names the gallery conceals a hollow space we would venture into, if we could only recognize the way in. I see the Parcel Lab as a momentary phantom extension of OBORO’s space, close kin to the hidden rooms whose doors I once caught a glimpse of in the depths of my childhood closet.
First of all, I think of the detail, chosen key of our research, as a form of detachment. This word contains the idea of sampling, a synecdoche of the gaze where a part sheds light on the whole, shifting its evidence, possibly even standing in its stead. Since there will be four of us haunting OBORO’s space and time with our languages, I also read its meaning as a group. Summoned for a mission, we become adventurers of withdrawal, passing through walls, and the substance of words and images, as easily as one, in dreams, traverses to the world at the back of the wardrobe.
Caroline Loncol Daigneault – The Near Edge of Things
Letters fallen on the ground, I’m making an emblem.
I’m passing out cardigans to authors, distributing key rings.
Hunting season on the infinitesimal is open and parcelled.
Exhibitions, events, it’s the subtexts that vie for my attention.
Preparations, while the dust is rising, or the lull, while it falls again.
In the gallery, the studios, the hall or the offices, I’ll go towards the infra. My target, the making of the work and its residual story, the context of its appearing and of its disappearing, through the gestures and the words of artists, of technicians, of coordinators, of employees, of passer-by’s and of the authors, dispersed onsite.
In the Parcel Lab, I’ll be attentive to what fidgets or lies still, along the bottom edge of things, and even underneath.
Chantal Neveu – Local
Within the Parcel Lab, I propose Local, an immersion in writing, onsite, with you. This rendition of Local is a continuation of my writing practice based on scripting, a method of notating what is said, what I hear, and what I perceive. In the manner of direct cinema, I move with you, I keep close, through OBORO’s spaces. Both a witness and a script-girl, I frame and transcribe, literally, sentences spoken and heard, words exchanged between us, words and sentences, details that emerge over the course of work, encounters and over time. A few questions guide my gathering: What do we hear? How do we understand and hear ourselves? How do we misunderstand ourselves? And the way we take advantage of the details and the gaps to welcome what might appear or what might happen. Giving more attention to some words, spoken by all, by each, I draw up the minutes of our encounters, leaving holes. An infra-text in process in progress, abounding, subjective and undifferentiated, giving special attention to what happens or what happens by.
I will build and arrange this verbal materiology, memory-mirror, this mobile and elliptical artefact of mixed and communal orality. With it, I’ll create a textual continuum, a scriptura experience, in other words: my experience via writing, extremely documentary and entirely fiction.
I could present Local on the web, giving it to an atomization and to an additional layer of media, a generation of new gaps, and a manifestation of some unvarying layers. Like words are to language, aren’t we small parcels of water of the same water?
Jack Stanley – Beginnings and Contexts
I am writing from English Harbour. The woodstove is lit because it is a damp cold day. My plans for Parcel Lab? Where to begin? Being here, in a small community in outport Newfoundland. I will be travelling back and forth between Montreal and English Harbour while working on the project. The differences between contexts, between "cosmopolitan" culture and more "provincial/regional" cultural practices and expectations, is bound to play a significant part in my writing.
For a long time I have been concerned about the non-critical use of new media and digital technology by artists. This is one of the reasons why I am so compelled by this project. Parcel Lab will draw me right into the middle of all this. I will get to work closely with folks deeply engaged with new media. I will get to see and feel what happens to my work and that of others when put into this form. I am interested in seeing how the form evolves in response to the content we submit and exchange.
Here, in this bit of scribbling and scratching (bic pencil on yellow paper) I am hearing Heidegger's ramblings concerned with language, identity and difference, nearness and distance, what is a thing, and even his musings on the origin of the work of art. I suppose this project will draw me back to Heidegger's work and that of those who have carried it forward. Phenomenology is my art/life ground. I was drawn to philosophy as a way of finding words to describe what I was experiencing with works of art. Poetry might be better. Which brings me to the work of Cixous. Her writing—fiction, literary criticism, feminist theory—will be beside me throughout this project.
I opened with a reference to "beginnings". Where to begin? I like the relationship between "beginnings" and "the detail". This idea will be a point of reference for me within this project. It will be a continuous point of departure.