Getting Ripped for the Apocalypse

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In a world gone wrong, laid to waste in violent waves of destruction, what will you do to survive?

Join us in cardiovascular glory as we run, kick and punch our way to a better future.

Getting Ripped for the Apocalypse teaches you workouts for each of the nightmare scenarios that are just around the corner; Nuclear, Zombies, Peak Oil, Climate Crisis, Magnetic Pole Reversal, and so much more.

What are you gonna do when the apocalypse comes for you?

Die in fear in the first days like the sluggish office worker and netflix addict you know you are? Or, you can get ready, get prepped, get ripped for the apocalypse!

COMING SUMMER 2019

 

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Cartman Hartnett-Swayze’s Inspirational 2018 Calendar

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lifeisbeautiful

Cartman is a particularly special dog, and he wanted the world to know. He wanted the world to know that no matter what, life is beautiful. 2018 was Year of the Dog, and Cartman’s 12th year on the fine planet, so it was the perfect opportunity to share his well-traveled wisdom. Cartman has been to 33 U.S states, and across Canada from Newfoundland to Yellowknife.

In each photo for every month, Cartman got a lil older. Each month has it’s own special positive quote, handpicked (pawed?) by the mutt himself. (Naw, I’m lying, I made these on Vistaprint and the quotes were part of the template. Still fun though!)

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TL;DR A thesis in a zine!

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thesiszine

Wow! A 168 page MA thesis, transformed into something more people might actually want to read! TL;DR (Internet slang for Too Long; Didn’t Read) is in classic zine folded format (including embracing typos), full-colour, featuring work from five co-researchers from the Moving Home project which explored the embodiment of transience among former youth in care in Canada. It includes a two-page summary of my thesis without any citations, truly a joy to create.

What is the point of creating research that gets stuck behind paywalls, or in a language most people do not interact with? Everyone should make a zine version of their thesis, it honours the written and academic, but transgresses the world of academic publishing into something more community-minded.

This zine is intended mainly as a support for current youth in care, those who work with them, and those interested in arts-based research and creative and accessible research dissemination overall.  This work also makes a contribution to embodiment and mobilities scholarship, particularly with the idea of embodying transience itself. Essentially, considering work on space-time compression, and bringing it to scale of the body.

The TL;DR zine launched August 17, 2017 with a corresponding art show at Critical Distance Centre for Curators. 500 print copies were made, and already distributed freely. There was also a talk at the Ontario Advocate for Children and Youth’s office, who generously supported the printing costs of TL;DR, in addition to other financial support for co-researcher honorariums and art supplies.

Ezine version of TL;DR is here. 

Printable version of TL;DR is here 

For those that want more theory, the research was approached using a framework of the Mobilities Paradigm, Children’s Geographies, and Emotional Geographies. The methods were a combination of Arts-based, Participatory Action Research and Indigenous Methods. Half of youth in care in Canada are Indigenous, and half of co-researchers also self-identified as Indigenous in the Moving Home project. The racism of the child welfare system also shifts geographically across the country, as in Toronto, where co-researchers self-identified as with a statistically representative 40% Black over-representation of youth in care. This is an exploratory Canadian case study model, using Toronto to represent urban-suburban experiences, and Yukon to represent Northern/rural experiences. Colour-coded citations for the Moving Home Project Proposal (2016) are available here. 

The built-in Community Action part of the Participatory Action Research project included four art public shows, two in the Yukon and two in Toronto in 2016 and 2017. These public art shows were all voluntary, with the ability to identify using artist names, First Nation names, initials, anonymous (whatever the co-researchers decided worked best for them). There were ten co-researchers with lived experience in displacing systems such as child welfare, (often overlapping with justice, and shelters) in the Toronto project, and five co-researchers with similar experiences in the Yukon. All art remains the property of the artist co-researchers, digital copies of photos, videos, songs remain in a Moving Home archive. Interesting fact: 80% of the the Toronto co-researchers priced their work for sale, and only 20% initially priced their work for sale in the Yukon (more were made as gifts). The urban hustle is real.

Zine credits: A Merhar, N Ridiculous, X Vautour-Binnette, E M, S N, Meek

Select press on the Moving Home project:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/youth-in-care-art-1.3639421

https://whatsupyukon.com/family-learning/how-foster-care-shapes-lives/

see also https://ameliamerhar.ca/2018/03/01/moving-home-podcast-episode/

 

 

 

 

 

LiveJournal

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Audio Intro via YouTube

Artist Statement: The internet is about connection. Data connection, human connection, intellectual and dating connection and a myriad of more. The anonymity of it allows us to be ourselves in ways we might not feel comfortable in person, and this can be manifested in both positive and negative ways.

performancescript-page-001performancescript-page-002Back in 2000, when dial-up connected us to the World Wide Web, along with aol, chat rooms, and that annoying dancing hamster, LiveJournal emerged as an early social networking site, before that was even a term. LiveJournal is an anonymous and public journal platform, where strangers can comment and discuss your posts.

I will be reading aloud 5 unedited sequential posts from my LiveJournal in the winter of 2001-2002. The journal as an archive is a way to explore, express, and in this case seek support. The issues and struggles of being a daughter and sibling of people with mental illness are performed verbatim. In between each reading of an entry, I will interact with the participant/audience members who have taken the name badges and roles; Social Worker, Family Doctor, Psychiatrist, & Guidance Counsellor, by asking the question, “What should I do?”

Each discipline within the mental health system had different advice. And the truth is, 14 years later I am still asking the same question, along with thousands of other people struggling to support their loved ones with Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia.

By reliving these questions I asked as a teen, I take comfort in the fact that this feeling of not knowing what to do is cyclical, just like mental illness. That time moves at different paces. I see that at present with our societal view of mental illness, there are simultaneously no answers to my questions, and too many that do nothing.

This performance was a final work for a Cultural Production Class, ENVS 6348 at York University, December 2015.

Rejection Collage

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Artist Statement: This piece represents the majority of art in the Yukon, and an innovative way to continue working with and through rejection. Using my last rejection letter from the Advanced Artist Award, and mixed paper acquired at the Visitor’s Centre, this project was created onsite, and speaks for the 70% of Yukon artists whose work does not get funded. Caught in a cycle of paperwork, some projects reapply, and some never end up materializing. Every artist, every human experiences the disappointment of rejection. But we must move forward. This piece meditates on this, simultaneously highlighting all the work that goes on behind the scenes to be order to live and create, and acknowledging all those which do not develop further. By creating this work that is valued at the exact original amount I applied for, this piece becomes conceptual and transforms, exploring the intersection of grants and the creative process, and embodying art’s ability to respond and represent.

This work is priced at $5000, the amount of the grant I was rejected for, and will be submitted yearly to the Yukon Permanent Art Collection Acquisition Call, as the price is part of the concept and life of the work. This piece was originally created in July 2015, as part of the En Pleine Air Festival in Whitehorse, Yukon, put on my Yukon Artists at Work.

Disco

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Disco Meditations

Meditation

This 3-part sound art series set in Dawson City plays with public places, personal relationships to them and landmark identity, using the medium of guided meditations. Satirical, clever and local, each piece is recorded and written on site. At 5 pm each day there will be a public guided meditation.

Friday August 14th at the Snake Pit

Saturday August 15th at the Quigley Landfill Free Store

Sunday August 16th at the George Black Ferry

The background music for each piece is recorded and edited on site,  and a humorous guided meditation script is written. Then synthesizer is added to complete the sound art project. Each piece is approximately 5 minutes long. If you can’t make it to Riverside Arts Fest, then please listen to these relaxing and hilarious guided meditations to connect with Dawson City. To connect with Whitehorse, please see River Guide, my 2014 sound art guided meditation recorded at 5 sites along the Yukon River.

Zine Tree

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A studious opening, with lots of mini-zines ready to go

A studious opening, with lots of mini-zines ready to go

I built a tree out of wood, zines, birch bark, wire, paper mache, branches and a solid typewriter base. This Zine Tree is a community installation designed to grow zine culture in the north, a distro and a creation station all at once. Free photocopying too! This piece plays on the idea of a tree of knowledge, even down to the details, as the zine shelves are collaged with pages from an encyclopedia called The Book of Knowledge.

I am the Whitehorse Public Zine Librarian, and am using the collection as part of the community installation. I feel strongly that zine culture can do well here, I even tabled at the local gun show one year and it was wildly successful. Many in the North live without running water or electricity, by choice, and I see Northern resourcefulness, off-grid aspirations and zines as a great potential threesome.

July is International Zine Month, and I have several free workshops you can come to and make zines at, or just learn more about what a zine is at Northern Zine:  The Zine Tree Project art show at the Edge Gallery at Arts Underground, the show is open Tuesday to Saturday 10-5 pm until July 26th.

Here’s an interview I did with CBC Radio One about the project, zines, and #julyisinternationalzinemonth on July 2nd.

The fabulous ZINE TREE

If you have any zines you would like to donate to the project, please get in touch! amelia.merhar@hotmail.com

Zine Tree will also be at Artist’s Alley at YuComicon in August, and will be participating in Riverside Arts Festival in Dawson City.