Third Space is now seeking project proposals from artists, collectives and organizations to be included in THIRD SHIFT, our annual festival of public contemporary artworks.
Established in 2015, THIRD SHIFT aims to offer citizens a unique opportunity to engage with contemporary art and re-imagine their city. THIRD SHIFT holds space for new experiences and communal exchange through the exhibition of temporary installations, interventions, performances and projections in the heart of Uptown Saint John. Motivated by the potential for deeper engagement, THIRD SHIFT is proud to announce it has expanded its schedule to include two days of artistic presentations and workshops leading up to our signature nighttime exhibition on Friday, August 17th, 2018.
Geographically, THIRD SHIFT takes place within unceded territory of the Wolastoqiyik, Mi’kmaq, and Passamaquoddy First Nations and in Canada’s first incorporated city. In preparation for our fourth year, Third Space is now seeking project proposals from artists, collectives and organizations to be included in our one-night-only exhibition of public contemporary artworks. We encourage proposals that reflect our objectives as an alternative, non-commercial, contemporary artist-run centre. We aim to support efforts that are exploratory, challenging and critical in nature. We encourage emerging and established artists to propose projects that have not yet been realized as well as investigations that have been started or completed elsewhere.
Guidelines for submitting proposals:
Projects must be temporary or ephemeral in nature.
Third Space will be paying selected artists an honorarium fee in accordance to the 2018 CARFAC fee schedule.
Limited production, travel and accommodation funds will be available. Amounts will depend on Third Space’s financial resources for the festival. Funding requirements must be outlined in your proposal.
Please note: Third space does not provide technical equipment for projects such as projectors, screens and cables. We will however help artists secure power sources.
We ask that artists who were selected in 2017 do not apply again until 2019. Please get in touch if you have any questions about this new criteria.
Submissions should include:
Project description (max 500 words)
Technical requirements (access to power sources etc.)
Preferred location (general or site-specific)
Artist bio (max 250 words)
6 to 10 images
Numbered image list, including title, medium and dimensions. If including video and/or audio files please include a weblink.
Please indicate if you are willing to offer an artist talk or workshop in conjunction with your project. Required technical equipment will be made available.
Proposals should be sent by email to the address: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: THIRD SHIFT 2018. Third Space will also accept proposals via phone, video or audio file if email or text-based format is not accessible to the applicant.
THIRD SHIFT is a labour of love and we count on volunteers to bring it all together. We’re looking for individuals to help in the following areas:
1. General Event Set Up: Between 2 pm and 8 pm on the day of THIRD SHIFT (Friday, August 18th). Tasks will include: Lifting materials to project sites, helping with set up, coordinating with artists and THIRD SHIFT committee members. Required Skills: Light to heavy lifting, good communication and problem solving skills. You will be working with artists to turn their brainwaves into reality!
2. Event Guides: Ideally available two weeks before the event to become acquainted with THIRD SHIFT projects. Tasks will include: Leading the public through the event, handing out event maps and giving directions, providing information about the projects. Required Skills: Strong communication skills and good interpersonal skills are required for this task.
3. Parking Patrol: From 12 pm to 7 pm, the day of THIRD SHIFT. Tasks will include: Passing out flyers, posting flyers to cars in the area to inform the public about the street closure and answering general questions about the event!
4. Event Clean Up: Available between 11 pm and 2 am, the night of THIRD SHIFT. Tasks will include: disassembling projects, transporting materials, cleaning up any debris. Required skills: Light to heavy lifting, organizational skills (for loading supplies into vehicles: Tetris players preferred)
ThirdSpace is currently looking for motivated individuals to fill positions on our board of directors! ThirdSpace’s board is a diverse, supportive environment, committed to the representation of local, regional and national contemporary artists, in a professional and inclusive manner.
Board member responsibilities include:
Attendance of a monthly meeting
Approximately 10 hours of volunteer work per month, including research, organizational duties, and active participation in ThirdSpace programming and events.
Working within a team of dedicated members to deliver and disseminate ThirdSpace’s goals and mandate within the community.
If you are interested in filling a position on our board of directors, please email email@example.com and provide a letter of intent stating any skills or previous experience you may have.
Third Space is hiring! If you are an enthusiastic, creative, and organized student, planning to return to school in the fall, you are encouraged to apply for our THIRD SHIFT Festival Associate position! The position runs 8 weeks, for 40 hours per week, $11 an hour with a flexible start date of June 26th.
Job responsibilities include:
Event promotion, including community outreach and social media marketing
Self-starter & strong independent worker
Experience with event planning and/or project management
Excellent communicator with strong organizational and computer skills
Knowledge of artist-run centre culture
This job is funded by the Canada Summer Jobs program through Service Canada which aims to provide work experiences for students. All applicants must be young people aged 15 to 30 years who are full-time students intending to return to their studies in the next school year. Applicants must also be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person to whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; and, be legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant provincial/territorial legislation and regulations.
All applications should be sent to the attention of Emily Saab, Third Space’s Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org with a resume and cover letter with a subject heading of “THIRD SHIFT Associate: Insert Your Name.” Accepting applications until June 9th.
What core purpose does communication serve? We try to attribute meaning to life experiences and it is through the nuanced interactions with those around us that we come to learn more about the world we inhabit. Whether it be through an artistic medium such as poetry or in the mundane conversations we have with each other on a daily basis the search for understanding is everlasting. This quest is innate to us and whether we consciously understand this or not we are bound to explore, investigate, interpret and perceive the energies that surround us. Does the medium through which we choose to communicate matter or does the sharing of energy placate our desire for connection? In her interactive exhibition The Centre for Communication and Poetry Research Annie Wong questions whether the underlying purpose of communication is to elicit an empathic response from another.
In this age of technology in which we are reliant on the fast paced flow of information, the exhibit hypothesizes that genuine communication is more about the linguistic gradations embedded in emotional expression and response and less about the information that is being conveyed. Poetry in and of itself is a means through which writers attempt to convey meaning through the intermingling of words, often in unfamiliar and challenging patterns. Wong juxtaposes poetry with the commonplace telephone conversation; a technology that is becoming antiquated yet continues to be a part of our daily interactions. By reading poetry over the line to a stranger Wong proposes that the meaning of a message is not information but rather the empathic exchange that is conveyed through the tonal shifts and subtle intricacies of the human voice.
Cathy Boyce is a community worker based in Saint John, New Brunswick. She is also a part time freelance writer. Her community practice focuses on social justice issues and currently she works to support people with an intellectual disability to live independently. Cathy’s writing centers on the complexities of human emotion and the practice of empathy within the helping professions and in daily human exchanges.
Cold Calling is an ongoing interdisciplinary series of performance and public installation projects with visiting artists Vanessa Vaughan, Annie Wong, and Brandon Vickerd. This series examines cultural and personal investment in communication technology, and the positions of vulnerability and power stemming from faith in the promises of technological advancement. With empathy as a guiding perspective for audience engagement, Vaughan, Wong and Vickerd identify respective anxieties surrounding privacy, interpretation and progress.
Saint John based artist and Third Space Gallery president, Christiana Myers in conversation with Vanessa Vaughn about unconventional craft, surveillance and the role of humour in contemporary art. Vaughan’s installation, CanTel’s Speak Easy: How Privacy Matters is now showing at 87 Germain Street.
CM: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your art practice?
VV: I am from Wallaceburg, Ontario – a very small town and a first generation Canadian so I had no extended family on this continent. My parents are from the UK; my father is British by way of India. They raised us very traditionally, with a lot of restrictions and an emphasis on proper etiquette! I spent a lot of my life traveling and have lived in Australia, the UK and the USA. My art practice is multi-disciplinary, using video, performance, sculpture and installation. My work examines personal and collective mythologies, transformation and the absurd nature of reality. At the core I am interested in people from all walks of life and I use stories, personas, humour and interventions to make connections with others and reveal hidden tendencies and complex emotional states.
CM: Your artwork often covers very complex and emotionally intense subject matter yet there is always a sense of humour and even absurdity in it. From your perspective, what role does humour play in your work?
VV: Well, it is true humour and the absurd play an immense role in my work. I think it’s difficult with artwork because “the art world” and “academia” tend to take themselves very seriously and will not always engage in artworks that present otherwise. I believe quite deeply in art and its ability to reach people and I am certain it is possible to be incredibly thoughtful yet simultaneously light-hearted. This straddling of the line between meaningful content and humour is something I aim for in my work. I’m not sure if I’m there yet but a majority of my inspiration comes from artists, musicians and writers who embody this. For me, that line between contemplation/reflection and absurd hilarity, is beautiful and brings me great joy. I think humour has the ability to shed light on uncomfortable subjects in very complex ways.
CM: You use ceramics in what most people would consider fairly unconventional ways. What draws you to the material? Does the long history of the medium ever affect the way you approach your work?
VV: I am drawn to clay because it is such an amazing and versatile material. I love that you can see the mark of the hand in pots that may be thousands of years old. It is also a material that can be worked with raw or fired and so initially I was interested in it through the work I do with stop-motion animation. But after firing it with glazes I wanted to create frozen narratives as well as creating pieces to perform with. Its long history is something that fascinates me and it blows me away when I consider that Palaeolithic humans were making objects with the same raw clay and firing processes and not very much has changed since. I am reminded of ceramics rich craft history and materiality especially when I am around other ceramicists, which I greatly respect. But I think I approach ceramics very differently because I am coming from a background in video, animation and performance. So for me this is an advantage because I don’t feel bogged down by that history. I am not so concerned about the typical ceramic considerations such as clay type, surface glazes, building processes and firing techniques. This is not because they aren’t important, it is just that I consider it one component of a larger piece such as an installation, where the end result is not one ceramic object but a series of parts where ceramics may constitute one cog of many other materials.
CM: The project series, Cold Calling, which your project is part of, addresses the vulnerability we feel as a result of technologically based communication and surveillance. Why do you feel this is a common theme that artists are considering?
VV: I read an article in The Guardian last year that said that the more connected we are virtually, the more isolated we become in reality. In fact it called this current time we live in, “The Age of Loneliness”. That struck a cord with me, as I definitely feel vulnerable navigating this technologically advanced world we live in. I also became more aware of the loss of privacy and freedoms that we are expected to give up in order to be “secure” as a society. This is a very timely issue that I think many artists, writers and musicians contemplate because it is changing how we relate to others and prioritizes what we are willing to give up in order to feel safe. The rise of right wing nationalism both in America most recently with the election of Trump and over the past 5 years in Europe in countries like France, Sweden and the UK has served to escalate fear and division. The future is a little scary to me right now so I think it is important to talk about it and expose what we are accepting as societies. Surveillance is so hidden and concealed, just like many of our privacies that we freely give up online. I think many artists want to engage in discussions and dialogues that shed light on what is not always tangible or visible.
CM: What led you to create CanTel’s Speak Easy: How Privacy Matters? Does this project align itself with your other current projects?
VV: I am a private person generally, I never post anything personal on Facebook and I started to feel more and more uncomfortable as I read about the anti-terror legislation of Bill C-51 in Canada. Then I started researching various corporate companies like Google who collect loads of personal data on everyone who uses the Internet and realized how much they know about us as individuals. So I decided to create a project that responded to Bill C-51 in Canada and the anxiety around privacy and surveillance that is prevalent worldwide. I always approach my work with a concept or idea first and then I use whatever mediums I think will best illustrate it. Usually, it involves some performance, sculpture, video or animation. Animation is quite performative, it’s just that the frames with my hand and gestures are absent in the final pieces. And because a lot of my work is collaborative and tries to reach people, I enjoyed going out and about with this ridiculous phone in public, people were interested and found it strange and funny. So even in the process of making this work I had plenty of conversations with people randomly about privacy and surveillance and almost everyone had something to say about it. I think it definitely aligns itself well with my other works, even though it tackles a very specific issue, those complex emotions and vulnerabilities that I uncover in previous works are very much a part of Cantel’s Speak Easy. It’s also very absurd and (hopefully) humourous! The core thesis of this project is really that privacy is absurd, that it is nearly impossible for it to exist anymore unless you use two cans connected with a cord to speak at a distance!
CM: You’ve recently moved to the Maritimes from Montreal. Do you think your work has changed or has been interpreted differently in this region? Do you think CanTel’s Speak Easy: How Privacy Matters might operate differently in Saint John vs. a larger metropolitan centre?
VV: This is an interesting question. I think the Maritimes is a great place because people are very open and friendly and the art scene is still emerging. There is a strong history of craft in the Maritimes and there are lots of venues where this work is very much appreciated and held in high regard. However, at the same time at least in Halifax, it can also lead to very “purist” ideals and so when you do things differently or transform a craft into a conceptual art form, there can be a mixed response because the history is so important here. I definitely think my sense of humour within my artwork is more appreciated in the Maritimes in general which is refreshing to me. I think Saint John is a fantastic city, because there is a wealth of talent and innovation within the younger generations that seems to be infused into the more traditional demographic which gives it a remarkable energy. I am curious to know how this project will be received but I do think Saint John is the right starting place for it because of this curious mix of people in a very historic city. I don’t know if I’ll have the same engagement level in a larger city because people tend to be in such a rush. I would probably need to alter it a bit and push the anxiety and absurdity volume way up!
Cold Calling is an ongoing interdisciplinary series of performance and public installation projects with visiting artists Vanessa Vaughan, Annie Wong, and Brandon Vickerd. This series examines cultural and personal investment in communication technology, and the positions of vulnerability and power stemming from faith in the promises of technological advancement. With empathy as a guiding perspective for audience engagement, Vaughan, Wong and Vickerd identify respective anxieties surrounding privacy, interpretation and progress. Follow this page for feature interviews with the artists and accompanying essays.