ART, FILM, LITERATURE, MUSIC, SPIRITUALITY

So long, isolation! The best ways to cope with social distancing

Connect, learn, moved and feel inspired with these online happenings.

COVID-19 has pushed us away from one another, physically, but on other levels, people are going to remarkable lengths to connect in exciting ways.

This is a list of a bunch of those ways. It is a living document; I’ll be updating it on the regular. First posted on March 20, 2020; the latest update: April 28. (All times below are in Pacific time zone (PDT) unless otherwise stated.)

* Ash’s note: I’ve remove any site or service that asks you to input a credit card – even if it’s free – because that’s bullshit. If you catch anything below that asks for that, message me and I’ll remove it. Thanks *

Know of any events that deserve to be here? Your suggestions are welcome and appreciated! Hit me up in the comment section!

Nothing like this has ever occurred on earth before. Let’s tune in together. It’s time to fall in love with life again.

Watch


Stop scrolling through Netflix’s mediocre choices! Here’s where it’s at:

Date-specific

April 25 (8-9:30pm) & 29 (7-8pm)

Artist Ryder Thomas White is taking his Burrardview Fieldhouse residency to Instagram. Tune into “Spare Parts, or The Perpetual Becoming” on his channel https://www.instagram.com/ryderthomaswhite/ and the Iris Film Collective’s account, https://www.instagram.com/theirisfilmers/

Thurs, April 30, 8:30pm

Just added: Parks and Recreation will return for a special one-off episode featuring the original cast Thursday, April 30th, at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on NBC. The episode will help raise money for Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund, which is providing additional assistance to food banks around the country during the pandemic. https://www.rollingstone.com/tv/tv-news/parks-and-recreation-reunion-episode-charity-989246/

Until the end of April

Ontheboards.tv is offering all their online performance films for free til the end of April with the promo code ARTATHOME20: https://www.ontheboards.tv/ (Thank you, Megan)

Saturday, May 2

There was a 48 hr, Free Performance Art online fest March 31 – April 1, but we just missed it. Their site says they’ll be back with more on May 2. And it looks like you can link out to their featured artists in from the right sidebar: https://freeperformanceart.blogspot.com/ (Thank you, Julius)

April 16 – May 7, 2020

SFU BFA Graduating Exhibition 2020 will be presented as an artist-by-artist daily series of posts on Instagram. Follow SFU Galleries (https://www.instagram.com/sfugalleries) and the School for the Contemporary Arts (https://www.instagram.com/sfucontemporaryarts) to check it out!

Every Saturday, 6-9pm PDT

Park Sound Virtual Concert Series – Music performances live streamed from @parksoundbc’s Instagram https://www.instagram.com/parksoundbc/ Donate: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/park-sound-virtual-concert-series-april-11-tickets-102132811990 (Thank you, Silvia)

Every Thursday, 12-1:15pm PDT, starting April 16

Distant, Not Disengaged.” Community dialogues with guest speakers, hosted by SFU Public Square, CityHive and the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue. On Zoom. Totally Totally free: http://www.sfu.ca/publicsquare/upcoming-events/distant-not-disengaged.html

Just added: Virtual explorASIAN 2020. Online exhibitions. Artist talks. Lectures. Webinars. Performances. And more! https://explorasian.org/virtual-explorasian-2020/

Watch anytime/ongoing

Just added: Ready to witness the genius of Nick Cave? He’s set up a 24/7 video stream of live performances videos, interviews, and music vids here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbWdmZ7hXY4

Every day, 7pm Paris time / 10am Pacific

Ah yeah! The much loved Take Away Shows have adapted and become Stay Away Shows (ha)! Broadcasting live every day on La Blogotheque’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blogotheque/

The much beloved NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concerts made the shift to Tiny (Home) Concerts on their YouTube playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLy2PCKGkKRVYPm1tBwoX45ocAzuhVyvJX

Saturdays, 8pm-2am PDT

Digital Motion presents SUBculture Sessions: https://www.twitch.tv/DIGITALMOTIONEVENTS Looks like they’re doing this weekly, so keep tuned in.

Social Distancing Festival showcases the work of artists around the world who’s shows have been canceled: https://www.socialdistancingfestival.com/ (Many people recommend)

The Tonight Show – Jimmy Fallon started an “at home edition” where he raises funds for a different cause each night. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peZzbo26fzc&list=PLykzf464sU98lwxyHHBqnqx-r0xtOMLjt

12 World-Class Museums You Can Visit Online: https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/75809/12-world-class-museums-you-can-visit-online

Art21 – a huge inspiration for me, Art21 has been making short films about artists for years and they’re all free on their site: https://art21.org/

45 years of Canadian film and video art at VUCAVU, a site that’s dedicated to getting the work of Canadian filmmakers and video artists be seen by the world: https://vucavu.com/ They will ask you to create an account, but no payment info is required. Update: If you do choose to pay for any non-free content on their site, VUCAVU is paying out 100% of proceeds from their online rentals to artists until April 30th.

60 free film noir movies http://www.openculture.com/free_film_noir_movies

200 documentaries from International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, and they’re all free! https://www.idfa.nl/en/info/watch-films-online

500 virtual tours of museums around the world from Google Arts & Culture: https://artsandculture.google.com/partner (thanks, Masha)

Songkick, whose entire biz is about live concerts, has kindly made a page that links out to the live streams of artists including Big Freedia, Sofi Tukker, Diplo, and many more: https://www.songkick.com/live-stream-concerts

Don’t forget about the National Film Board of Canada, which has been helping filmmakers make the films that won’t necessarily be box office hits but deserve to be made. An incredible collection here: https://www.nfb.ca/

Just added: Maybe you need something a little light hearted and family friendly. Tune into John Krasinski’s YouTube channel, Some Good News: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOe_y6KKvS3PdIfb9q9pGug It’s worth watching, just get past the painful intro song.

If you are going to watch Netflix, do it with others! Join the Netflix Party: https://www.netflixparty.com/ (thanks, Jessica)

Read


Social isolation falls away when you expand your understanding of the world through the written word.

Anytime

Purchase a digital copy of Megaphone magazine for as little as $2 CAD. April issue available now: https://megaphone.nationbuilder.com/electronic_single_issue

Learn about Wuhan in this comic by artist Laura Gao: https://www.lauragao.com/wuhan (thank you, Aman) – Congratulations, Wuhan, on ending your 76-day lockdown today (April 8)!

Order books! Erin Hanson has made an excellent list of all the local (Vancouver-based) bookstores to purchase from: https://www.facebook.com/61005872/posts/10103126269667931/

Just added: Someone made a list of indie bookstores from across Canada who deliver! Bye bye Amazon: https://goo.gl/maps/J2D4Uz9ecRoougc36

Filip released all their back issues of contemporary art criticism journals on line: https://fillip.ca/ (Thank you, Heidi)

Cambridge University Press is making higher education textbooks in HTML format free to access online during the coronavirus outbreak: https://www.cambridge.org/core/what-we-publish/textbooks

Move


It’s super important to keep moving during isolation. Shake off those cobwebs and get your circulation going. A little movement at least once a day will make everything feel better.

Yoga

Every Tuesday, 5:30-6:30pm

Shape Shifter Studio presents yoga with Teresa Prado. By donation: https://www.facebook.com/events/629890871177027/ (Thank you, Char)

Daily yoga

Vancouver’s own Ocean and Crow yoga are live streaming their full schedule of classes (which you can see here: https://oceanandcrow.pike13.com/schedule#/) every day on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/oceanandcrowyoga/

Vancouver’s One Yoga is offering yoga and meditation online classes through their Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/oneyogalions/ (Thank you, Elmira)

Carolyn Anne Budgell is holding spa yoga classes online through her Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carolynannebudgie (Thank you, Elmira)

Practice with Clara – yoga mantra meditation – over 60 classes, 7 days free: https://practice.clararobertsoss.com/ (thank you, Deanna)

Love light yoga has virtual yin yoga classes; they’re around $11-$12 each: http://www.lovelightyoga.com/virtual-yin-studio (Thank you, Heidi)

Workout

Madfit workouts on YouTube. Jessica says Madfit is “really good to get moving in the middle of the day and a lot of them don’t need equipment.” (Ash says: “I just did my first pair of Madfit workouts today (Mar 22) and can testify that they are excellent. No-bullshit, heartrate-raising, sweat-inducing.” Addition (Apr 6): “I’ve done many more in the meantime, they’re all great!”) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpQ34afVgk8cRQBjSJ1xuJQ

Live workout sessions on Formation Studio‘s Instagram. Dance party – Mondays 7:30pm / Crazy in Love by Beyonce routine – Thursdays 7:30pm / Strength and conditioning – Saturdays 9:30am https://www.instagram.com/formationstudio_/channel/ (Thank you, Vivian)

Naomi Joy Fitness has added a 50 minute Full Body Burner: Core, Booty, Cardio video. Free! She uses 2 10-lb weights, I’m sure you can do the workout without those: https://youtu.be/U4bko5KOdNM

Carmel Rodriguez posts workouts you can do from home or without equipment (such as using a tree as your pullup bar). She posts to her Instagram and IGTV: https://www.instagram.com/carmelrodriguezfit/ (Thank you, Mirjana!)

You may not have a whole hour to do Mike Chang’s full morning routine, but he’s kindly broken up the sections in the video’s written description, so you can jump to the Energy Flow, Strength and Endurance, Stretching, or Breathing and Meditation as you like: https://youtu.be/-zE0yb5Hot8 (Tara recommended this to me awhile back; I feel it’s particularly useful now that we’re all at home).

Dance

Sundays Mar 29 & Apr 5 & 12, 4-5:30pm

Improv & contemporary floorwork w/ Sarah Formosa. Pay what you can ($15 suggested donation): https://www.facebook.com/events/2768715073236259/?active_tab=discussion (Thank you, Char)

Harbour Dance Centre are offering an online series of dance classes. Their first vid – Sexy Street Intro with Carlo Atienza – is up (as of March 21) on their YouTube playlist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILyeW1by8Fc&list=PLvnEN_SxpI6E5F3r89SGAUYo1Jh60Qboy (Thank you, Rianne!)

Every Tuesday night from 6:30pm PDT, Vancouver’s Savage & Samuelle are offering free hustle dance classes on their IG and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/SavageandSamuelle/videos/ (thank you, Deanna!)

Choreographer for Sia, FKA Twigs, and many more stars, Ryan Heffington is doing workout/aerobics with a fun, Richard Simmons-vibe on his Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ryan.heffington/ (Thank you, Hailey and Rianne!)

Dance Church. Don’t know much about this, but if Rianne Švelnis recommends, I trust it’ll be great: https://go.dancechurch.com/

Gaga dance classes. They’re offering 6 classes daily, 7 days a week, from 2 different time zones, by teachers in Tel Aviv and New York City. Classes are open to anyone, from anywhere in the world. They recommend $5 donation per class: https://www.gofundme.com/f/gaga-online-classes (Thank you, Rianne!)

Dancing Alone Together – a central resource of online dance classes and performances https://www.dancingalonetogether.org/ (Thank you, Hailey!)

Mellow


Times are cray. Give yourself time to be grounded, tune in, and mellow out.

Every Wednesday, 8-9:30pm

Group Guided Meditations: Free Zoom Live. https://www.facebook.com/events/296673541297582/ (Thank you, Liza)

Every morning, 8:45am-9:30am (PT)

Mindfulness meditation on Zoom while self-isolation orders are in effect. Led by Anthony Maes. By donation. https://www.anthonymaes.com/classes.html (Thank you, Christina)

Anytime

Calm. Soothing meditations, sleep meditations, calm music, soundscapes, and more: https://www.calm.com/blog/take-a-deep-breath

Listen


Music and voice carry life, healing and good energy in the air and around the world.

Listen to “Roman Mars Describes Things As They Are” https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/roman-mars-describes-things-as-they-are/ then check out the rest of the 99% Invisible, which is “about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about.” (Thank you, Rachel. Ash’s note: just listened to this, it’s great! I never knew about window tax or that printers used to ship with fire extinguishers! *shock*)

Listen to Below the Radar for podcasts about environmental and social justice, arts, culture, community-building and urban issues with featured guests: https://soundcloud.com/sfuw-community-engagement (thank you, Rachel and Am)

Actor, writer and comedian Ryan Beil is reading one chapter of Dune every day free of charge: https://soundcloud.com/ryan-beil-30148675 (Thank you, Vinny!)

Podcast: Essential Self-Care During a Pandemic – by Mara Glatzel: https://www.maraglatzel.com/podcast/55/ (Thank you, Christina)

Social Connection Radio – this Facebook group is “dedicated to keeping things fun and funky by doing live broadcasts of some amazing DJs from Southern Ontario and beyond.”
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2444589932520589/

The No Type website has hundreds of hours of free music to stream as well as a web radio you can put on random or curated playlists. Lots of it is Canadian content too: http://www.notype.com/ (thank you, Constantine!)

Endless one hour mixes. I’m compiling a playlist on Soundcloud of my favourite mixes that all clock in at over one hour, so you can choose something that suits your vibe and just let it play, just like the radio station of your dreams. With genres from ambient to upbeat, deep house to drum n bass, I’m sure you’ll find something to suit your mood: https://soundcloud.com/format-no-auto/sets/1-hr-mixes

Laugh


The only way through this madness is to share a lot of hearty laughter.

Every Wednesday & Sunday, 9pm

Vancouver Comedy on Twitch https://twitch.tv/vancouvercomedy/

Courses from now through May, 2020

Blind Tiger Digital Comedy School. Learn improv comedy! Courses are pay only: http://blindtigercomedy.ca/classes

Learn


It’s never a bad idea to create new synapses in your brain.

Every Tuesday for six weeks starting March 24th, 7-9:45pm

I think we could all use a little magic right now. Join “Into The Mystery: an online course in magical creationhttps://www.facebook.com/events/579915832604964/

Anytime

10 university art classes you can take for free online. Study photography, graphic design, the pyramids, and more. Although this list is from 2018, I did a quick check and all 10 classes still seem to be live. https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-10-university-art-classes-free-online (Thank you, Makiko for this suggestion!)

Domestika – “Learn from expert professionals and join the largest online community for creatives.” https://www.domestika.org/ (thanks, Tracey!)

Open Culture invites you to use your time in isolation to learn everything you’ve always wanted to: Free online courses, audio books, eBooks, movies, coloring books & more: http://www.openculture.com/2020/03/use-your-time-in-isolation-to-learn-everything-youve-always-wanted-to.html

FreeCodeCamp compiles 450 Ivy League courses you can take online right now for free: https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/ivy-league-free-online-courses-a0d7ae675869/ (Thanks, Tracey and Heidi)

Other people’s lists of awesome stuff to do during covid times


It’s a bold – and inaccurate – claim, as this isn’t every live concert and band you can livestream, but thanks to CNET for compiling what they have here: https://www.cnet.com/news/every-live-concert-and-band-you-can-stream-from-your-home/

SFU Woodward’s has put together a #StayHome page with 4 videos, 4 podcast channels plus one collection of five radio documentaries: http://sfuwce.org/stay-home-and-stay-engaged/ (Thank you, Rachel)

Even though DOXA had to cancel, their programming director Selina Crammond curated these three films plus two websites so you can have your own documentary film fest from home: https://www.straight.com/movies/1374756/sad-about-doxa-please-enjoy-programmer-selina-crammonds-shut-doc-fest (via The Georgia Straight)

Dorothy Woodend’s “You can’t stop culture” list at The Tyee has everything – music, lit, film, theatre, talks, podcasts… https://thetyee.ca/Culture/2020/03/18/Coronavirus-Cant-Stop-Culture-List

SFU Public Square “Community Engagement in a time of social distancing” list has free resources, tips for parents and for working remotely, and more: http://www.sfu.ca/publicsquare/covid-19-engagement.html

Read, watch, listen, learn and research: The Vancouver Public Library has a whole Digital Library 24/7 section stacked with things for you to do and learn remotely. https://www.vpl.ca/digital (Thanks, VPL, love u 4eva)

///

Thank you for reading. And remember, you should share your ideas. There’s a lot more going on than what’s listed here! Put them in the comments below, thanks v much.

Wishing you and all your loved ones the best health and sanity through these trying times. Peace. Love. Respect.

Cover photo by Daniel Dvorsky on Unsplash

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ART, MUSIC, Uncategorized

Must listen album of 2019, with caveat

One of the most powerful and moving and important albums of the year, you must listen to Lingua Ignota’s “Caligula.”

The caveat? It’s heavy as fuck. The subject matter is dark (read Revolver’s excellent article), but that’s what makes this such an important album: the artist is taking the material on with fierce ferocity.

I witnessed her performance live in Vancouver on Dec 1, and as I tweeted, Vancouver just got Lingua Ignota’d.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

While the audience was awaiting Daughters, the entire venue (Rickshaw) was absolutely transfixed by Lingua Ignota’s performance. Silence during each song, and heartfelt applause after each and every one. We knew this was not a show for shock value. This was the real deal.

In my notes, I wrote:

The piano driven passion of Tori Amos with the impossibly epic goth vocals of Esben and the Witch and theatricality of Zola Jesus. Fucking unreal. Rickshaw was stunned and in love.

If the artist doesn’t agree with any of those references, I must say I mention them with total respect. Of course, you cannot compare anyone of such unique artistic expression as Lingua Ignota to anyone before.

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ART, MUSIC, TECH

Could research tools revolutionize the arts?

Through my current communications and marketing job, I come across a lot of very cool projects. Did I ever mention how satisfying and inspiring it is to realize that researchers are the same as artists – creating new things because they are driven to – only they work in academia, as opposed to nonprofits?

Anyway, the most recent inspiring thing I came across is this: The OSF (Open Science Framework). It’s “a free and open source project management repository that supports researchers across their entire project lifecycle.” In short, it makes researcher’s projects easier to manage, by allowing contributors, with the option to make parts of the project public. It manages files, data, code… streamlining everything to increase efficiency.

Read all about it here: cos.io/our-products/osf/

I want to do the same for the arts! Does anyone know a programmer I could work with and some grants I could tap into? Let’s make this happen!

I’ve been thinking a lot about bringing techniques and tools used by academic researchers into the world of art creation to shake up how artists do what they do. Sure, a lot of artists might not be into it, but I believe there are also a lot who would be! Those artists who already work in digital media or coding, for sure. Then the ones who regardless of their medium are already tweeting, streaming video, or using modern tech to further their careers.

If you’ve got any ideas on this subject or know anyone who’s already doing this, I’d appreciate if you’d share what you know! Send me your comments.

Oh, and I’m rarely going to end a post without some inspiring visuals or music. Here’s what’s been getting me going the last couple of days. New stuff!

Brand new Methyl Ethel album. This Aussie artist is so unique; this new stuff is on another level: Listen to Triage
(track 7 – wow!)

And I’ve always been a sucker for drum and bass, and Nobody Asks by TMSV is where it’s at.

Till next time, peace, love, art and respect!

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Ash For Hire, Ashley Tanasiychuk
ART, FILM, GRAPHIC DESIGN

Ashley Tanasiychuk: Visual Artist. Arts Promoter. Community Builder. Entrepreneur. Here’s my comprehensive CV

You might know that I shoot rad photos. You may know that I shoot rad videos too. Do you know that I’m also a whizz at video editing, writing, and copy editing?

That I can manage a team? Plan an event?

There’s so much I could be hired for, it’s bananas.

From management to design to photography and video, plus a helluva lot more in between, there’s a ton I can offer you, your project, or your business.

So here it is: my comprehensive CV (opens within this page). Enjoy.

Contents

  • Statement
  • Skills & talents
  • Professional experience
  • Formal post secondary education
  • Additional education, workshops, scholarships
  • Volunteer selections
  • Featured work
  • Compliments & accolades
  • Equipment
  • Interests & goals

Please share with anyone who might benefit from my skills and talents.

Link to this page, download from my home site formatnoauto.com (“CV PDF download” link is at left column), or have them contact me directly.

Thank you.

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ART, FILM, MUSIC

Here’s to two thousand more

Two years ago today, I launched a little project called VANDOCUMENT.

vandoc-screen

I created it because Vancouver has a vibrant passionate arts scene – from theatre to visual art, from contemporary dance to music – and the amount of talent here is huge, the amount of fresh content being created is massive.

It deserved to be – it desperately needed to be – documented. To give the artists and galleries and festivals a record of what they’ve done.
To use as promotion.
To build their portfolios.
To help them continue to do what they love to do most.

And to connect Vancouverites with the best local emerging art. To show that there is SO much more happening than what is advertised at the VAG or coming to the Commodore.
To educate our city in it’s own creative culture.
To break down barriers and preconceptions.
To make our local art more approachable, more accessible.

So this is what we’ve been doing at VANDOC since May 10, 2013.

2 years on, this isn’t just my little project anymore. VANDOC is now a team of over fifty people (!): dozens of incredibly talented and dedicated writers, photographers, videographers, sound recorders, illustrators, dancers, designers, painters, editors, party organizers, social media pros, accountants, musicians, students, researchers.

2 years and hundreds of articles later, our collective ears are to the ground; we’re digging into the best and most exciting art created by Vancouver’s local and emerging artists.

Since the new year alone, we’ve published 29 original articles featuring the work of nearly 100 artists at 24 venues across the city. We tell these stores through gorgeous photo galleries, sensory-packed written reviews and interviews, video recaps, and even field audio recordings.

Some 2015 highlights:

  • We continued our relationship with SFU Woodward’s
  • and with VIVO Media Arts, documenting rad experimental events such as the Quiet City series
    QuietCityVivo17_150326-12
  • We triple-teamed Centre A for a photo / video / written opus
    150122_CentreA_-Hong-Kong-Exile-31
  • We helped launch a new artist interview podcast series called 8minuteswith
  • We documented some of the new Field House residencies, adding audio field recordings to our documentation tool kit along the way.
    150206_KristenRoos_thrum_01
  • Hello Kitty-bordered photos landed in our pages(!)
    Scan_20150305-6-e1427870456170
  • and we set a precedence for discussing activist art and culture, with #KMFaces, video, in depth reporting and more
    141212_No-Way-Cabaret_Photo-by-Jakub-Markiewicz_0247-531x800

We’re often asked if we need more contributors, since it seems we have a big team (which we do), but the door is always open:
If you dig art & want to help in connecting Vancouverites to our city’s art, and want to help in celebrating our city’s artists through documentation,
if you want to get your writing, photography, video, or voice published
if you want to expand your network of cool, involved, engaged, creative individuals,
say hi!
sayhi(at)vandocument.com

Here’s to our team of over 50 incredible, amazing, inspiring, talented, a wickedly fun contributors! Here’s to Vancouver’s artists! Here’s to all the supporters of the arts! To all the enablers of the arts – those of you who throw events and make it all happen! Happy Birthday!

Support art. Love yourself. Connect with the people around you.

Big love. Here’s to two thousand more brilliant years of arts documentation.
Ash

VANDOC’s channels
fcbk + twitter + vimeo + tumblr + soundcloud + instagram

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ART

Dreamers + Doers

The following is the speech I prepared for my 5 min talk at a new event entitled Dreamers + Doers

Hi.

I was asked to be here through my current fellowship with RADIUS. I’d like to thank Jenn McRae & Shawn Smith for connecting me with Sarah Shandl, the organizer of this great event.

// INTRO.

I looked up. Lil Wayne’s tattooed body. His gold-filled grin. And amongst the screaming crowd and thumping bass, I asked myself, what the fuck am I doing here?!?

We’ll get back to that, but first,
let’s hop over the rockies, to good ol’ Alberta…

// ORIGINS / MORE THAN JUST 9-5.

I was born in Edmonton.

Although I came from a blue collared working class family, in which “working hard for your money” was drilled into me, it never fit. I was a quiet kid who spent pretty much all day either drawing or reading.
I was an artist, which was considered weird and useless.
I tried working as a helper in a welding fabrication shop during the summer. I worked on construction sites. But I just didn’t fit in.

It wasn’t just that I didn’t fit in with these stereotypically gruff n tough manly Albertan men.
I always thought there must be more than this.

Even though by my early 20s, I hadn’t been anywhere outside Alberta (other than a trip to Disneyland when I was a kid),
I knew there must be more than this.

My imagination, confined to being able to draw cool creatures or writing fantastical stories,  was at best, up to that point, been given a pat on the head.

But what I’ve learned since is that my imagination – my dreaming – has WAY more potential than anyone, myself included, could have imagined.

// SO WHO AM I & WHY AM I HERE?

My name is Ash Tanasiychuk
(tana – SAY – chuck)

I’m a visual artist and the founder of VANDOCUMENT.

You might have seen photos of mine over the years. Since 2010, I’ve shot bands playing throughout the city, which gets us back to Lil Wayne.

How DID I find myself in a photo pit shooting Lil Wayne?

I found myself there because I took a chance.

// SHOOTING BANDS.

In July 2010, I answered a local online publication’s call for gig photographers.
At that point, I had NEVER shot ANYTHING for ANYONE other than myself.
I didn’t even have an SLR.
But it was an unpaid gig, I thought what the hell why not.
I shot the show and I instantly fell in love with live music photography. From that day, I was hooked. I loved what I was doing, and in the photos, it showed.

  • Although I shot tons of bands, including Leonard Cohen at one point – I realized my talent wasn’t really contributing to anything, other than some sweets shots on the sites & publications I was shooting for.
  • That fateful gig in Rogers Arena, shooting Lil Wayne, helped me realize there must be more than this.
  • I realized that my talent to capture a few key moments in time could be shifted to my city’s local artists.

This is where the DOING started to come in.

// STARTING VANDOC.

Once Lil Wayne helped me realize that he didn’t need my photo talent, that my local community did, everything exploded.

I started shooting events featuring local artists. I cycled around, brought my camera everywhere, shot pics of gallery openings, artist talks, bands and performers, posted the pics, and shared them with the artists.

Everyone FREAKED OUT.

So I did it more. This energy fed me.

I shot more and more until I literally couldn’t do anymore. I realized this needed to be a bigger thing.

I brainstormed a name (VANDOCUMENT, obvious, right?) bought the url, found a theme,  populated it with my own work, and launched on May 10 2013.

From there, I spoke to people. In person, online. I invited people to join. And it took no time to gather a small but amazing crew.

This is where my dreams moved from personal to communal.

// COMMUNITY.

It’s a buzz word, I admit.
But I choose it for a genuine reason: community building buzzes me. Electrifies me.

This is a new discovery.
As a quiet kid, I didn’t make an effort to build community.
As an artist, I just made things. I didn’t think I needed community.

But now that my dreaming had moved from simply being an artist to documenting and supporting artists, I was opening myself up to others. I began to expose myself and my beliefs to people.

// WHY THIS MATTERS.

In one of VANDOC’s first posts, entitled “On Why Art Matters”
I introduce the concept and intentions of VANDOCUMENT. Then I ask:

“But WHY? Why does our local talent deserve this attention?”
A couple of the points in particular stick out:

  • Art has the capability to save me from confusion, depression, anger, and other not-so-awesome states because it reminds me that I am not alone. Music, performance, film, etc – shows me a world larger than my own and by so doing, it grounds me, calms me or invigorates me
  • This grounding, calming, invigorating power of art is inherently community-building. It gives us a sense of being HERE. Whether we know the people around us or not, whether we are in a tiny village or a massive metropolis, we are not alone.

I sign off on this post with
“Support art. Love yourself. Connect with the people around you.”

I bore my soul here. By writing this, I was distilling the core essence of my dreaming into a 500 word article.

By baring my soul, I was sharing my dream. I began DOING my dream.

So what did this teach me?

// PURPOSE.

Genuine purpose.
Purpose that extends into & connects with other people’s lives.

In my case, paying tribute to what people do.
If people are going to put themselves on the line, if they’re going to create anything, we should at least give them a nod.
You needn’t love it. You needn’t like it. You needn’t even “get” it. But you definitely need to give that nod. Because each of these creators, even if only for that one time in their lives, have taken a dream and done it.

What we should be asking is what is their story.
What is your story? What matters to you? No, what REALLY matters? If you could realize your dream, what would that look like?

Cuz see, I’m discovering that by putting MY dream out there, by DOING my dream, I’m enabling other people to DO theirs.
I’m inviting people in to share their stories, and their dreams with me.

So, before I leave, I’d like to share:

// WHAT HAVE I LEARNED ABOUT HOW TO DO, IN ADDITION TO DREAM?

  1. Surround yourself with believers, supporters, and participants in your dream.
  2. Thank those who help you, give back to those who give to you, and create opportunities for them. Build and respect your community.
  3. Take chances. Lots of them. As often as possible.

Thank you.

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ART

Posting The Impossible, or, Calling An Arts Admin Position What It Really Is

I’m sorry, ArtsBC, but this is insulting http://www.allianceforarts.com/job-board/executive-director-32
A job posting to be Executive Director, part time?!?!

There is NO fucking way anyone can do this job, and do it even remotely well, on a part time basis.

Not when the Executive Director will be “responsible for the overall day-to-day management and administration of the organization,” to “Establish and maintain strong communication and good working relationships with community and regional arts councils, other arts organizations, government agencies, funding agencies, and to promote ArtsBC and its mission in every way possible” and on and on.

Anyone who has ever worked in the capacity of an arts administrative position knows just how much time these responsibilities take.

Just because you can only pay a $32-$36,000 salary doesn’t mean you should try to convince anyone that they will be working part time hours.

“Part time” means that the employee would have the other part of their time to do another job, or take care of their family, or pursue other projects. This position of ArtsBC Executive Director would not allow any of this time.

Please repost this job position as what it is, a Full Time job. Thank you.

With respect,
Ash Tanasiychuk,
artist & life long supporter of the arts

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ART

VANDOCUMENT – District Dogs in the window

VANDOCUMENT – District Dogs in the window.

Letterpress & linocut business District Dogs gave me a shout out for photographing their live “Artist In The Window” at Bird On A Wire – huge thanks to this rad local creative business!!

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ART, LITERATURE, QUOTES, RULES, SPIRITUALITY

The Benefits Of Doing, The Power Of Action

“When the next step is unclear, the best way to figure it out is to take action. Constant motion is the key to execution.”

– Scott Belsky, Making Ideas Happen

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ART, LITERATURE, RULES

Don’t Get Caught In The Brainstorm: Idea Generation Is Only Truly Efficient With Clearly Defined Beginnings

“Approach every occasion of creativity with a dose of skepticism and a bias toward action. Brainstorming should start with a question and the goal of capturing something specific, relevant, and actionable.”

– introducing the Action Method in Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky

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