Dispatch is OKAY Collective's yearly publication of artist multiples, zines, and other things that don't easily fit into galleries.
Dispatch is a grab bag of artist multiples, prints and miscellaneous works made by OKAY Collective and other emerging artists. Dispatch 01 contains the various small things that artists make that don’t always fit in galleries. Through working with artists and makers, the publication encourages people working in this manner to continue their practice, while offering a platform that facilitates those who don’t to find their way in.
Dealing with failure and miscommunication, our inaugural issue expands on the pressures of being in a world that is constantly broadcast. With the minutiae of everyday life always being published in some way, failure seems to be a topic on everyone’s mind. With technologies becoming obsolete faster and faster, our possessions seem to fail sooner than before. Dispatch 01 embraces our collective shortcomings, proposing alternative conceptions of failure.
Sad Log Postcard
Disposition is a series that focuses on the futile. My aim is to photograph objects or moments that break up the banality of the everyday and it is by chance that I stumble upon these bizarre or uncanny scenes. Throughout the series, the subject matter and my use of colour work as signifiers to connote meaning. The project lands somewhere between hope and the futile, between desire and the absurd.
My hope was to take something insignificant and turn it into something vivid and lasting. The absurd lies within the objects of my images, but it is in preserving them photographically that I hope to revitalize my own disposition alongside theirs.
The act of traversing the urban environment to photograph a passing moment speaks to futility. Often, in returning to formerly photographed sites, the object or subject matter would be altered or removed. The act of returning and reshooting had itself become futile. Furthermore, having shot and produced the series in analogue form, I was utilizing a process that is becoming more and more obsolete in our digital age.
An Unshakable Absence
In its genesis, An Unshakeable Absence was intended to be an incendiary device and a spark of motivation, a catalyst for change in the artist’s own practice. In its final manifestation, it instead became a quiet object that speaks to isolation and loneliness.
Housed within in the context of a matchbook, the book's original intent is still tangible, despite the artist’s failure to create a new dialogue. Instead it becomes apathetic and unassuming. It becomes a negation of its own intention.
It becomes the very thing it attempted to extinguish.
An Unshakeable Absence is the companion to an upcoming project Because I Quit, I Can Have One.
Useless No 1 & Useless No 2
Film is sensitive. At first, it is sensitive to light. Then after a skilled agent such as an artist puts the film through a chemical process that allows the film to over come its light sensitivity and develops its features. However, it is still sensitive to touch. An agent should handle film with extreme care – aggressive handling can cause film to be damaged and therefore useless. These works investigate the beauty of a damaged piece of film and aim to discuss the fluidity of beauty, purpose, and correctness.
Altered Passage explores the role of photographers in creating a national identity for Canada. With William Notman's recent inclusion on a stamp issued by Canada Post, , it proposes his practice as one that is archetypical and representative of what photography in Canada should be. The series alters the stamp, redacting portions of the image to create an aestheticized version of the original, similar to Canada Post's glossing over of the problematic aspects of Notman's practice. The stamp changes into an object that may no longer function with the originally prescribed use value, however It can still be used as postage,. It now is a gamble as to if it will be rejected or accepted by the postal workers/machines that receives the altered stamp. If the revised version is accepted, the letter reaches its intended recipient, but if rejected the letter's journey fails and is lost amongst the other message that were unable meet their intended recipients.
Dispatch Feature 01: Help
Brandon Celi (Published in collaboration with OKAY Collective)
Failure can be difficult to cope with. When you really and truly fuck something up, you know it immediately. Your stomach drops out and you start to feel numb. Dread seeps through you and you start to question how you got there. But how do we react when your failure is more subtle? That feeling when years down the road our victories seem less vibrant, our usefulness becomes less obvious and our sense of importance fades. Maybe that goal you scored in gym class as a kid wasn’t such a feat of sporting excellence after all, maybe the toy that brought you such joy as a child doesn’t really need to be kept. Or maybe that cheese grater that you thought did such a good job before it got dull isn’t really useful now. Maybe that former adonis of a kitchen appliance, the one that always had the perfect little shavings that melted so well on nachos, the one whose blades have since dulled, the one that now merely makes weird little lumpy shavings of disappointment just needs a quick revaluation. A time-out where a small tweak, or a minor alteration could occur. Maybe it could do something else just as well as it used to do it’s original job.
Help offers a way around the subtle failures of objects to meet our always changing needs. Although often comical and often having a dark underpinning, these works shed a lighthearted yet critical light on consumer culture and the failures of commodities. From a kleenex box becoming a “steak holder” or a “Cher holder” these works provide a punning yet almost dadaist approach to looking at the potential uses for an object that has outlived it’s intended purposes.
In a time and age where it seems everyone wants to be taken seriously, they end up losing the ability to give themselves credit where it is due. This self-deprecation and harsh lifestyle can take its toll on these individuals. We need to remind ourselves that it is okay to be a failure, and that it’s the first step in order for us to succeed and move on. With that in mind, I’ve decided to turn common rejection letters into fun and humorous mad libs! These are meant to serve as a light-hearted reminder of how serious we all are, and how we all need to fail first in order to succeed.
This work draws reference to the difficulty of recreating images from memory. The image interrogates and reworks the retentiveness of these thoughts into something that has been lost along the way. Seeking to question the cognitive process surrounding, and the intention of the image after it has been created, the artist’s hand plays a role in the translation of these thoughts into a more redolent gesture. With a lack of mark making due to mechanical production, the image speaks to both the language of painting and its artistic shortcomings. The abstractions of thought are lost, and the acceptance of the failed piece remains in a state free from ideation.
Series #1 (Glitch Still)
"Series #1 produces complex visual effects through the application of the deconstructive video editing technique known as datamoshing. By deleting the key frames that comprise digital videos, in this case gleaned from YouTube, Crossman reveals the components that allow them to function while producing stunningly colourful results. These digital yet painterly abstractions connote the visual possibilities latent within digital media. Through the re-presentation of well-known masterpieces, Crossman highlights the anti-canonical nature of the glitch genre and the challenges that face new media art in the context of the conventional art institution. The use of the glitch as applied to these traditional works disrupts notions of the art historical canon, breaking apart its authoritative and exclusive underpinnings. Contrasting these two media forms, painting and glitch video raises questions surrounding the presentation, preservation, and production of digital art works, problematizing typical exhibition practices."
- Shauna Jean Doherty in her writing about SYS.TE/M FAIL.U+RE: Revelations of the Interface, an MFA Thesis Exhibit, March, 2014
When Life Gives You Lemons
When Life Gives You Lemons investigates the compatibility of failure and a lemon. What do these terms have to do with each other, how do they match up, and really what does the word lemon have to do with a lemon? This work explores the failure of language and logic in the written word.
In addition, wouldn’t it be a failure for artist, artwork and buyer to not know the name and renown of the maker? Through a blind printing process, this work investigates both the role of language and the role of the name. In an art market that places value on a name over the work itself When Life Gives You Lemons attacks the idea that name is more important than artwork.