Big on Bloor: BAAF performance

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Last weekend I participated with the Big on Bloor arts festival in Toronto. A “Performance Cube” was created and curated by White House Studio members Basil AlZeri and David Graham. For two days the cube showcased a revolving array of different White House Studio members doing different performances. I performed a new piece called Eye-Catching where I performed the ritualized process of creating these objects I call “Eye-Catchers”. Similar to the idea of dream-catchers, my Eye-Catchers are meant to be used as talismans against the evil eye. Reflective, colourful and flashy, they’re meant to catch one’s first glance, which is thought in superstitions to be the most potent and deadliest of gazes. I performed in my Tarp Ghost persona and gave the Eye-Catchers to anyone in the audience that would hold eye contact with me. Overall, I felt the performance went really well and people seemed very curious about the piece. Video coming soon.



Haven’t posted in a while,
not because I’m not doing anything,
but because I’ve been super busy!

Poster by Alexandra Mackenzie

I’m curating another GHOST HOLE!
This is the 3rd year and it’ll be the biggest one so far!
Working with Whippersnapper and VSVSVS this year as collaborating curators!
It’s been a pleasure so far working with them!
Nothing makes me happier than being able to curate this show every year and work with such amazing artists to bring Toronto the best (if not the only) Haunted Art Show ever!

This year it’s an outdoor event in a huge backyard space behind El Gordo’s in Kensington market. It’s going to be a Ghost Hole of EPIC proportions! Prepare yourselves!

Facebook Event for Ghost Hole III:

Don Blanche 2011

I just got back from an amazing artist residency called Don Blanche. If i had to describe the residency, I think it would be along the lines of an artist’s resort or retreat, since it is very much a rejuvenating and inspiring experience. Don, who owns the property, is a very talented and noble man who has dedicated his life and his practice to the reusing of materials and with what other people consider “trash” he makes the most amazing things. He has made such a beautiful space and invites artists to come and refresh their senses. Not only that but he gives them total freedom to create whatever they want! Not very many people like Don exist on this planet that’s for sure… which is a shame. It’s inspiring to meet others like Don and Swintak who have a deep sense of responsibility (as artists) for the wastes they produce, the way in which their work effects the world, and how we live in it.

I went to Don Blanche with no concrete ideas, however I knew wanted to do something with a sound element. I met another artist named Skye Louis who was also in the same head space as I. We got together and discussed some ideas, then split up to investigate the property and find a good spot to work with. I went through the whole forest without much jumping out at me, but on my way back to the barn I stumbled upon Skye who was standing underneath a group of apple trees. She certainly found a magical space to work with! We decided that one of our main guidelines to the installation was to only use materials found in the space our salvaged by Don. No new products our materials were bought or used during our project.

While Skye started hanging nails and making chimes, I started landscaping the area making it more inviting and safe for visitors. The more dead branches I pruned back, the more the space evolved and the landscape revealed itself to us. There was beautiful rock formations with green moss growing and deep fox holes. After I did the landscaping I joined Skye with making chimes and made dream catchers, or what I liked to call “worm-catchers” which acted as talismans on the trees. Skye had been sticking nails into apples which reminded me of the old English superstition of warding away the Evil Eye by sticking nails into pigs hearts or onions then through the process of binding, protect the space by hanging the talisman in the area.

[these illustrations are taken from the book The Evil Eye by Frederick Thomas Elworthy]

So I took Skye’s apples and bound them, concentrating on positive and protective thoughts, then combined them with the weave process of making dream catchers. I was really happy with the results. I hope to go back to Don Blanche to take a photo of the Worm-Catchers after the apple has decomposed.

For the final touch, I used all the pruned branches to make a fence and spread out hay on the ground to invite people to sit, camp, or nap in the space. Heather Mclean stopped by to help us too by making God’s Eyes and decorative weaves in the trees surrounding the area. Skye’s girlfriend came and visited us and helped by making candle holders out of cored apples. She also brought her thumb piano and played along with the chimes blowing in the wind. The sounds were truly beautiful!

Overall, I was very happy with our collaborative project which I feel not only created a intimate space to meditate and sit, but also replenished the area and revitalized the trees. Working with Skye was a breeze (pun intended!) and our creation of the “Wind Garden” seemed to please all of its guests. At the end of the week, someone by the name of Louis Flapperjack published a cute haiku about our installation in the Don Blanche newspaper:

hey, what’s that noise?
there be nails in those branches
sounds like groovy bliss.

Working Hard in the Summer Heat

Summer 2011 has been an amazingly educational summer so far! I know this might sound lame to some of you, but learning, especially outside of the boundaries of an institution has been empowering. Working for and with other artists has been a total pleasure.

I started this summer off by traveling to Iris Fraser‘s farm where she gave a free landscaping workshop. She taught me about transplanting, identify certain plants/diseases and aesthetic techniques to gardening. Her Dad showed me around his huge glass blowing studio and it was the first time I swam in Lake Eerie. Then back in the city I volunteered with Life of a Craphead helping them with the sets for their upcoming movie: BUGS. I painted cocoons and giant tubes. I also was an extra in the “party scene” where everyone was instructed to go crazy and it turned into quite the bug mosh pit orgy rave. Then I was offered a job working for puppet master Jamie Shannon on Toronto Island, renovating and repairing the new Artscape Boat. Working on the Toronto Island was just magical and the Gibraltar Point Artscape building is a dream filled with wonderful people. I look forward to one day attending the residency. Then in between all of this I have been framing art and traveling to Prince Edward County. I’ve been helping my family with renovations on their country home that they are converting into a Bed & Breakfast. To say the least, this summer has been hectic, but well worth all the effort. All the knowledge i’ve gained and put to use is rewarding unto itself, and not to mention making new friends is always a bonus. Now enough of me blabbering, here are the photos!

My bubblegum bee hive I made at Iris’ farm, salvaged from an abandoned apiary.

More photos after the jump!

Continue reading

RIP Gil Scott Heron

A couple of weeks after quoting the great Gil Scott Heron in my artist statement, he unexpectedly died. It feels very timely and strange. Out of respect, I dedicate this project to him and all who work so poetically for the progress of human rights.

“The Revolution Will Be Web Streamed Live”

Window Installation at Gallery 1313

I will be showing an installation in the window at Gallery 1313 this month.
The piece coincides with the Contact photography show “Raw Memory”.

Title: “Salivating Security” and “The Revolution Will Be Web Streamed Live”

“Interested in the power dynamics of surveillance, Rieger explores the Egyptian revolution through the eyes of surveillance cameras. In Gil Scot-Heron’s poem The revolution will not be Televised he ends with the line “The revolution will be live”. Where television was a passive experience for the audience, the internet and web cameras can empower its viewers, giving them up to the second live coverage and sometimes the control to manipulate the camera. The Egyptian revolution is considered by some to be the first web-based revolution, since facebook and twitter played important roles in organizing the people. Rieger’s two pieces placed together creates a dialogue between the camera (the act of watching/witnessing) and the video footage (the action/revolutionary event).”

“Salivating Security”