Between Futility and Future

A workshop series w/ Alexis Hogan + Chris Dufour

4 Classes: March 26 – 29, 2024
Tuesday to Thursday: 6:30pm – 8:30pm + Friday: 3:00pm – 5:00pm

TOTAL FEE: $30 for all four workshops OR FEE PER WORKSHOP: $10 – $20 ea.
Sliding scale available with an option to pay it forward for other folks to attend. Register via Google form.

workshop description~~~

“Between Futility and Future” is a workshop series with artists Alexis Hogan and Chris Dufour that entangles ecologically-centered practices of ink making, dyeing, and plant-based film developing alongside the use of the body. The series builds off the duo’s social practice, which includes working with invasive species, making charcoal, community-led sciences, permaculture and studying the places where queerness and ecology meet.

This series of workshops invites participants into studio-based explorations where the artists are encouraging the tangling of different elements of their creative and physical disciplines. The goal of this commingling is to create a new vernacular with which to carry the ongoing dialogue on grief, futility, anxiety, movement and rupture that lives in the roots of their collaborative practice.  During the workshops, participants are invited to share in a collection of process-based practices with the artists and co-participants.

Workshop 1: Fire as Catharsis / March 26th (evening, 6:30-8:30 PM)*
Workshop 2: Dyeing as Indexing / March 27th (evening, 6:30-8:30 PM)
Workshop 3: Striking as Mark Making / March 28th (evening, 6:30-8:30 PM)
Workshop 4: Plant-Based Developing as Recording / March 29th (afternoon, 3:00-5:00 PM)

All workshops take place at Oxygen Art Centre’s facility (#3-320 Vernon St., Nelson, BC, access notes). More details about each workshop below.

*Workshop 1 will begin at Oxygen Art Centre’s facility. The group will then travel on foot to another location to gather outdoors by fire. All registrants will receive additional information about locations, how to prepare, and materials to bring, at least one-week before the workshop series begins.

Note: At the beginning of the workshop series and at each subsequent workshop participants will be introduced to black and white analogue film cameras that they will be invited to use to make images documenting elements of the series, which will be manipulated by the artists in this and subsequent works. The final workshop will include participants developing this film with support from the artists. If possible, we recommend people sign up for the entire workshop series to experience more intimately how the workshops are tied to one another.

register ~~~

TOTAL FEE: $30 for all four workshops
FEE PER WORKSHOP: $10 – $20 ea.
Sliding scale available with an option to pay it forward for other folks to attend.
Register via Google form. Payment forms accepted: E-transfer, Credit card, PayPal, Cheque.

Registration Deadline: March 18, 2024 @ 12:00 PM (Midnight)
(20-25 people max. / Registration occurs on a first-come-fist-serve basis)

Interested in registering for a free, pay it forward placement? Fill out the Registration form and select “Other” in the payment field and enter “pay it forward”. Oxygen’s team will create a waitlist and notify participants up until the registration deadline.

Contact with any questions or support to register.

workshop details ~~~

Workshop 1: Fire as Catharsis March 26th (evening, 6:30-8:30 PM)
Gathering around a fire, creating both a container for introductions and as a site for making, this workshop shares techniques on turning woody plant material into charcoal and ink that can be used for drawing.

Participants are invited to bring wood or plant material of significance to them and stories connected to fire, ecosystems, and place. Participants are also invited to bring things to burn for catharsis (no plastic or items that will off-gas toxic fumes or explode please 😉 ).

Gathering over food and fire, we will produce charcoal to be used in workshops later in the week and share about our art practices and desires for working together. We will also record sounds from charcoal making, including capturing sounds from contact mics near the fire and, with express group consent, parts of our conversations. 

Workshop 2: Dyeing as Indexing March 27th (evening, 6:30-8:30 PM)
Collaborative dyeing will allow participants to create larger swatches of altered fabric together with the artists as we share how to practice dyeing with plants coming from a variety of sites. Dyeing in this workshop focuses on how the practice connects and collaborates ‘beyond the human’ to tell stories related to pigment in our surrounding ecosystems.

Participants will gain introductory knowledge on ‘natural’ dyeing alongside the nuanced histories and approaches to the practice. The pieces dyed in this workshop will be use during the next Striking as Mark Making workshop (Workshop 3). Participants will be able to take home prepared fabric to continue dyeing at home.

Workshop 3: Striking as Mark Making March 28th (evening, 6:30-8:30 PM)
In this workshop participants are invited to learn to move grief and anger through their body via an introduction to striking. Participants will be given tools to make marks through striking and will be invited to release some of the energy stored in their bodies upon substrates that the artists will provide (soft sculptures and 2D surfaces). 

The intro to striking will include entry-level instructions and demonstrations on punching (jabs, crosses, hooks), kicking (front kicks, leg kicks, body kicks), and, potentially, using one’s knees and elbows. After practicing some of these movements, participants will use inks, charcoal and dyes produced in the first two workshops to make marks upon various substrates provided throughout the gallery space. 

Implements to strike with (gloves and mark making tools) will be provided. Please wear clothes you feel comfortable making big movements and getting dirty in. As with prior workshops, participants will be invited to document (w/ consent) elements of this workshop with the b&w cameras provided. 

Workshop 4: Plant-Based Developing as Recording / March 29th (afternoon, 3:00-5:00 PM)
In this workshop participants will learn to develop film using plants as developing agents. Throughout the week of workshops, participants will be invited to take photos on film to be developed in this final workshop. Drawing connections to ecologically-entangled practices, we will be utilizing plants from the dyeing workshop to develop the rolls of film together. Participants will be given introductory knowledge on experimental photo developing, which is integral to the artists’ current practices.

artist bios ~~~

As a duo, Hogan and Dufour have collaborated since 2019 via social & studio practices that are driven by community collaboration, political & queer ecologies, and material practice as a site for both co-regulation and inquiry. In 2022, thoughtful integration of two multi-year projects, Dufour’s 6,000 sq foot permaculture partnership with Artemis Secondary School, and Hogan’s lichen programming space, culminated in the pair’s first exhibition, ‘with busy hands’, supported by Canada Council for the Arts.

Alexis Hogan (she/her) is a queer white settler with Indigenous heritage (Irish & Quebecois on her mom’s side and Irish and Anishinaabe from Sharbot Lake, Ontario on her dad’s). Alexis was born in Indonesia, grew up in Saudi Arabia and has lived as an uninvited guest, on T’Souke, Scia’new, Lkwungen, and W̱SÁNEĆ territories off and on for the past 24 years.  She holds a BFA in Visual Arts (2015) from Emily Carr University of Art and Design with a focus in printmaking, sculpture and critical, cultural theory.
Alexis currently works through the project lichen, which seeks to model its namesake in its capacity for transformation and collaboration; it is a mobile programming and gathering space that is designed to be responsive to place-based and ecologically-centred art practices and communities.  Her practice with and through lichen is driven by collaborative partnership, and tends to focus on site-specific projects, social practice, sculpture and print media.

Chris Dufour is an interdisciplinary social practice artist working between Kanien’kehá:ka and Lekwungen territory. Their work seeks to intersperse explorations of ecology, (non)belonging, and relation within queerness, gender, and climate apocalypse and survival. Chris’ work focuses on social and community engaged practices that have incorporated collaborative projects in ecological stewardship, encounters for relation, and broader community building. Chris uses mediums of plants, gardening, ecological wandering, textiles, installation, darkroom manipulation, leather tanning, and sculpture to process questions of how do we cultivate a sense of belonging within and among systemic power dynamics? How do we push against empire while cultivating resilient communities and cultures of care? What practices of living can we recuperate, develop, and employ within contemporary cultures of crisis?

Of Irish and Quebecois heritage, Chris grew up outside of Kjipuktuk (so called Halifax, Nova Scotia) and has spent the last 8 years working and living across many territories on Turtle Island. After attending the Yukon School of Visual Arts, Chris took on a practice of grassroots learning that brought them to social practice, permaculture, and accessible community-based education. Throughout, Chris values projects which seek to utilize material practices as a facilitator, to process connections and relationships to ecologies, modalities of care, alternative futures, and ruminations about world building.

with thanks~~~

This workshop series is generously supported by the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance.

Above image courtesy the artists, Alexis Hogan + Chris Dufour (2024).

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