Momentarily: Learning from Mega-Events now Available Online

Momentarily: Learning from Mega-Events, Western Front’s latest publication is available in its entirety for DOWNLOAD.

Momentarily: Learning from Mega-Events

Strategic, simplified, spotless, homogenizing representations require a pluralistic response which engages the visual tactically. Unlike the image of Vancouver, the project’s category-defying qualities are not clear-cut nor easily pinned down. This project exists within several forms each increasingly visible: a residency, an exhibition that commissioned two new works, a symposium with more than thirty speakers, and now this publication.

A research process that has unfolded since 2009, Momentarily: Learning from Mega-Events began with a shared interest in the impacts of the 2010 Olympic Games on Vancouver, at a time when this city has been noted as especially livable. Through multiple textual forms – from semi-fiction to interview to theoretical historical examination – this publication explodes first doubts and curiosities.

Starting off, Western Front’s Executive Director Caitlin Jones has expounded upon how this publication fits into a rich organizational history of mail art and public accessibility. Artist collective Bik Van der Pol share a text which has been uttered by the anonymous voices making use of their space for free speech I confess I care. Artists Sabine Bitter and Helmut Weber talk with Jerry Zazlove about radical pedagogy at Simon Fraser University in the 1960s. Art historian and critic Jeff Derksen walks us through the long moment of Neoliberalism and the challenges it poses to representation. Curator Candice Hopkins talks about the works of Bik Van der Pol and Urban Subjects as proposals in the most productive sense.

Activist Am Johal traces the link between development, culture and the State. Myka Tucker-Abramson evokes and analyzes the effectiveness of today’s universities as sites for public learning. Pelin Tan reveals the undercurrents of a recent clash between the art public and a local community within the Tophane neighbourhood of Istanbul. Moments, as defined by urbanist Henri Lefebvre, are expanded upon and illuminated by Stuart Eldon. Arnold Van Bruggen weighs the effects of the Sochi Olympics in Russia and Lize Mogel compares the recent megaevents of Beijing, Shanghai and Vancouver. The questions at stake are grounded in specific, local perspectives that dovetail into the global intertwined relationships of urban development, freedom of speech and public space.

Edited by Bik Van der Pol, Alissa Firth-Eagland and Urban Subjects. Introduction by Caitlin Jones. Featuring texts by Bik Van der Pol, Jeff Derksen, Stuart Elden, Alissa Firth-Eagland, Candice Hopkins, Rob Hornstra and Arnold van Bruggen, Am Johal, Lize Mogel, Pelin Tan, Myka Tucker-Abramson, Urban Subjects and Bik Van der Pol, and Jerry Zaslove with Sabine Bitter and Helmut Weber.

Published by the Western Front with the generous support of a Canada Council for the Arts Media Arts Dissemination Project Grant and the Mondriaan Foundation. The Western Front gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the BC Arts Council through the Government of British Columbia and the City of Vancouver.

For more information please contact Sarah Todd at