Monday, March 22, 2010


video still from Commute (2010) Renée Lear

Renée Lear is a Toronto based visual artist currently working with video and video mixing in live environments. She got a BFA from Ryerson University in New Media and an MFA from York University. Her work has been shown in art galleries, film and video festivals, ad hoc public spaces, dance clubs and performance spaces.


Commute (Downsview Station to Spadina Station 5 times)
(2010) Video

I work an hour outside of the city where I live. Every day a commute. Two hours a day. Ten hours a week. The numbers add up over a lifetime. My commute takes up too much time from my life for me to hate it, or to simply let it pass by unnoticed—so I look for ways to engage it. The subway portion of my route is about 18 minutes long. I sit in the front window seat at the head of the first car. It’s the best seat on the train. And, oddly enough, it’s often available. From here, I experience my ride home as a series of window views. Both transparent and reflective, this window is already a creative space for an active viewer, providing a natural layering of inside and outside, in front and behind, on and through. The repeated video recording of this window over five days adds temporal layers to the mix: now and then. The result is an ambiguity of space and time that is immanent—but not readily present—in the commute, an atemporal synchrony of experience, more concerned with the journey as it exists in the present than a future destination.

Alec Newell is a gardener and musician, living and working in Toronto. In his teens he began playing drums in R&B bands across southern Ontario, and kept that up for the next twenty years or so, until he gradually shifted over to guitar as his main instrument. Although he continues to write and record solo projects in his home studio, he semi-retired from performing when his son was born in 1998, to concentrate on being a this Month of Sundays gig is a special event for him.


For this show I'll be playing some recent compositions on acoustic guitar, which I'll be running through some vintage 1980's gear (a Boss DD2 digital delay pedal, and a Roland Cube 20 guitar amp).

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