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PLEASURE DOME IS AN ARTIST-RUN PRESENTATION ORGANIZATION AND PUBLISHER DEDICATED TO EXPERIMENTAL MOVING-IMAGES.
Pleasure Dome (PD) is an artist-run presentation organization and publisher dedicated to the presentation of artists film, video and experimental media. With a curatorial mandate to program time-based work from local, national and international artists, Pleasure Dome presents a variety of different genres, styles, and traditions from those of the historical avant-garde to contemporary post-modern strategies of video/film mixes, and other attempts to re-imagine the modernist experimental tradition. In an effort to foster a diverse and inclusive screening environment which encourages attendance from as many sectors of the public as possible, Pleasure Dome screens innovative works in engaging and “expanded” presentations which include installation and other unconventional exhibition formats. In an effort to exhibit marginalized moving image works, we often program short length and small format work while seeking out and presenting works by women, visible and invisible minorities, First Nations and Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and persons across the spectrum of sexual orientation or gender identity. We believe in artists first, the voice of the artist, and the payment of artists. Everything else follows from that.
Pleasure Dome partners with media art organizations and artist-run centers in Toronto, nationally, and abroad to initiate co-presentations, collaborations, and sponsorships to bring forward culturally diverse and experimental media projects. We are continually looking for ways to enhance the audience experience and welcome new ideas or suggestions for future programming and member interactions. Pleasure Dome is generously supported by the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Canada Arts Council, and by our members, sponsors, and community partners.
The 2019/2020 Board of Directors:
Shahbaz Khayambashi (Co-Chair)
Aljumaine Gayle (Co-Chair)
Pohan Wu (Treasurer)
Rupa Morzaria (Secretary)
1411 Dufferin St, Unit C
Toronto, ON, Canada
(THE PREAMBLE OF PLEASURE DOME)
As of September 14, 2014 as stated in the Corporation’s Patent:
1. To nurture an appreciation within the community at large for art expressed in the media of moving images of all formats, with or without sound;
2. To educate the community at large in the history of artists’ moving images;
3. To make available through public exhibition, local, national and international artists’ moving images that are rarely if ever seen by the general public;
4. To programme and exhibit artists’ moving images for the furtherance of Objects 1, 2 and 3;
Further, towards these objectives, Pleasure Dome:
1. Actively strives to make artists’ moving images, like all other art, as accessible to as many sectors of the public as possible, through making it inexpensive to see and presenting it in innovative and engaging ways;
2. Represents through its exhibition all aspects, genres and types of artists’ moving images on equal terms:
— from those of the experimental film tradition, to those of video art practice, digital aesthetics, expanded cinema, performance, installation, and beyond
— historical and international work, e.g. work representing the central trends and progressions of artists’ moving images,
— to those that are often less shown because of their genre or format,
— and to those that are often less shown because the makers of these works have traditionally been denied access to wide-spread exhibition;
3. Actively seeks out input and suggestions into the selection of its programming from the artistic moving image community and the general public as a whole, and from specific interested parties, such as independent curators, other arts groups, and its membership and audience;
4. Has a membership open to the artistic community and the general public as a whole;
5. Does not exhibit works made by members of its programming collective and as such avoids any conflict of interest in the impartial selection of material for exhibition;
6. Seeks to exhibit a balance of work from diverse moving image media;
7. Fundamentally upholds the rights of freedom of speech, freedom of expression and access to information and therefore disagrees with the censorship or prior approval of any work of art in any form, and as such will not comply with the censorship, prior or otherwise, of works it exhibits.
“We were just bored that’s how I think it started, bored with watching the same new avant pictures hitting the screen by fathers we never wanted, mothers we’d spent our lives saying no to. We thought fringe cinema wasn’t the church but serious fun, strange new emulsions for strange new lives, and wanted to lend a stage to all those queer, trans, post-pop underthings that had been waiting all along for a place to shine.
We loved super-8 and when our friends were dying we gave them cameras and then the punks came and made zinekinos and there were performances by people who were fucking with emulsion not because they could but because they had to, because it was the only way to face the next day…the miles of tape and emulsion keep running past eyes still open for something akin to our capacity for wonder. Welcome to the Pleasure Dome.” Mike Hoolboom, Co-founder of Pleasure Dome
Pleasure Dome isn’t really a place, it’s a state of exhibitionism. Inspired by the muse of experimental film, Kenneth Anger (Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome, 1954), the Pleasure Dome programming collective began in 1989 to programme some of the most innovative and challenging work produced by media artists from Canada and abroad. In the course of over four hundred screenings (including feature-length works, solo screenings, mid-career retrospectives, open screenings, thematic programs, and gallery installations), Pleasure Dome has been presenting year-round experimental media arts screening programs, often curating expanded forms of presentations, installations, and other non-traditional formats. We have an on-going commitment to alternative media arts and artists through commissions and exhibiting shorter length and small format work, and to the public appreciation and critical understanding of experimental media art through the distribution and publishing of critical writing on the art form.
This includes the recent publication Sculpting Cinema (Editors Melanie Wilmink & Solomon Nagler) which documents the intersections of sculpture, architecture, performance, installation art, and expanded cinema within contemporary Canadian art. Through seven pieces of writing and two artists’ projects, a selection of scholars and creatives from across the country have explored the ways that cinema flows off the screen and into physical space. The book embodies this thematic content through a creative design, making it an attractive collectors’ object and critical discourse simultaneously.
Other publications are Sami van Ingen Moving Shadows: Experimental Film Practices in a Landscape of Change (Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, 2012, Helsinki); The Beauty is Relentless; The Short Movies of Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby (2012, Pleasure Dome / MOCCA), a collection of twelve essays, scripts and art projects on the art of Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby; the 2009 catalogue on the work of Toronto media artist Daniel Cockburn, You Are In A Maze Of Twisty Little Passages All Different, edited by Daniel Cockburn and Jon Davies; and the 2008 anthology Cinematic Folds; the furling and unfurling of images, edited by Firoza Elavia. See Publications page for complete list.
Pleasure Dome has emerged as the conduit whereby Toronto audiences can see experimental media art that may otherwise have fallen between the cracks of other institutions mandates. From the likes of Peggy Ahwesh and Linda Feesey in 8mm at the Rex Hotel bar to Marnie Parrell and John Kneller at The Cabana Room, John Porter at The Euclid Theatre, Annie Sprinkle at A Space Gallery, Bruce LaBruce at the Metro Porn Theatre, Matthew Barney at the Bloor Theatre, Mike Hoolboom and Barbara Sternberg at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Sadie Benning at the Latvian House, and Frank Moore, George Kuchar, Alex Bag, Rick Prelinger and many, many others at CineCycle, we inhabit any and all spaces which suit our exhibition needs. In all its modes (curatorial/exhibitionist/critical), Pleasure Dome seeks both to preserve the history of image-making and its surrounding discourse and to clear a space for those who are still bored with pictures that don’t hit the screen hard enough.
Pleasure Dome Programming Collective/ Board Members (1989 — present):
1989/1990 Founding Members
Philip Hoffman, Mike Hoolboom, Jonathan Pollard, Gary Popovich, Barbara Sternberg
Liz Czach, Philip Hoffman, Robert Kennedy, Jonathan Pollard, Barbara Sternberg
Liz Czach, Philip Hoffman, Robert Kennedy, Marnie Parrell, Jonathan Pollard,Barbara Sternberg, Kika Thorne
Liz Czach, Philip Hoffman, Robert Kennedy, Marnie Parrell, Jonathan Pollard, John Porter,Barbara Sternberg, Kika Thorne
Liz Czach, Chris Gehman, Philip Hoffman, Robert Kennedy, Marnie Parrell, John Porter, Kika Thorne
Liz Czach, Chris Gehman, Robert Kennedy, Marnie Parrell, Milinda Sato, Beverly Taft, Kika Thorne
Liz Czach, Chris Gehman, Robert Kennedy, Jeff Moore, Milinda Sato, Beverly Taft, Steve Reinke
Tracy German, Mike Hoolboom, Sarah Lightbody, John McCullough, Scott McLeod, Jeff Moore, Steve Reinke
Larissa Fan, Tracy German, Carolynne Hew, Sarah Lightbody, John McCullough, Scott McLeod, Steve Reinke, Ger Zielinski
Sarah Abbott, Larissa Fan, Tracy German, Carolynne Hew, Sarah Lightbody, Steve Reinke, Ger Zielinski
Jubal Brown, Rob Butterworth, Carolynne Hew, Sarah Lightbody, Tim Muirhead, Steve Reinke, Karyn Sandlos, Stefan St-Laurent, Scott Treleaven, Jacob Wren, Ger Zielinski
Roberto Ariganello, Jubal Brown, Petra Chevrier, Linda Feesey, Chris Kennedy, Steve Reinke, Karyn Sandlos, Stefan St-Laurent, Scott Treleaven, Jacob Wren, Ger Zielinski
Roberto Ariganello, Daniel Cockburn, Linda Feesey, Carolyn Kane, Chris Kennedy, Jinhan Ko, Nadia Sistonen, Stefan St-Laurent, Sylvie Wisniewski, Jacob Wren, Ger Zielinski
Roberto Ariganello, Daniel Cockburn, Arthur Conway, Linda Feesey, Graham Hollings, Carolyn Kane, Chris Kennedy, Jinhan Ko, Louise Liliefeldt, Stefan St-Laurent, Nadia Sistonen, Sylvie Wisniewski
Roberto Ariganello, Elena Bird, Daniel Cockburn, Arthur Conway, Linda Feesey, Graham Hollings, Carolyn Kane, Chris Kennedy, Sunny Kerr, Jinhan Ko, Louise Liliefeldt, Day Milman
Scott Berry, Elena Bird, Daniel Cockburn, Jon Davies, Linda Feesey, Graham Hollings, Carolyn Kane, Chris Kennedy, Sunny Kerr, Jinhan Ko, Day Milman, Michèle Stanley
Scott Berry, Daniel Cockburn, Jon Davies, Claire Eckert, Firoza Elavia, Sameer Farooq, Linda Feesey, Graham Hollings, Jean-Paul Kelly, Chris Kennedy, Erik Martinson, Ben Portis, Michèle Stanley
Scott Berry, Daniel Cockburn, Jon Davies, Claire Eckert, Firoza Elavia, Linda Feesey, Graham Hollings, Jean-Paul Kelly, Jacob Korcynski, Chris Kennedy, Erik Martinson, Ben Portis
Daniel Cockburn, Andrea Cooper, Jon Davies, Firoza Elavia, Linda Feesey, Brenda Goldstein, Graham Hollings, Oliver Husain, Jean-Paul Kelly, Jacob Korcynski, Erik Martinson, Rachel McRae, Ben Portis
Andrea Cooper, Jon Davies, Firoza Elavia, Linda Feesey, Nick Fox-Gieg, David Frankovich, Brenda Goldstein, Graham Hollings, Oliver Husain, Jean-Paul Kelly, Jacob Korcynski, Erik Martinson, Gabrielle Moser.
Andrea Cooper, Jon Davies, Linda Feesey, Nick Fox-Gieg, David Frankovich, Brenda Goldstein, Kevin Hegge, Oliver Husain, Lisa Kennedy, Erik Martinson, Gabrielle Moser, Bojana Stancic
Sharlene Bamboat, Andrea Cooper, David Frankovich, Kevin Hegge, Eli Horwatt, Oliver Husain, Erik Martinson, Alexis Mitchell, Gabrielle Moser, Julia Paoli, Bojana Stancic, Carly Whitefield
Sharlene Bamboat, Andrea Cooper, David Frankovich, Kevin Hegge, Zoë Heyn-Jones, Eli Horwatt, Erik Martinson, Alexis Mitchell, Julia Paoli, Bojana Stancic, Carly Whitefield
Sharlene Bamboat, David Frankovich, Iris Fraser-Gudrunas, Kevin Hegge, Zoë Heyn-Jones, Eli Horwatt, Cressida Kocienski, Erik Martinson, Alexis Mitchell, Bojana Stancic, Carly Whitefield
Sharlene Bamboat, Iris Fraser-Gudrunas, Kevin Hegge, Zoë Heyn-Jones, Eli Horwatt, Cressida Kocienski, Samuel La France, Nahed Mansour, Erik Martinson, Alexis Mitchell, Carly Whitefield, Melanie Wilmink
Sharlene Bamboat, Amber Christensen, Jesse Cumming, Iris Fraser-Gudrunas, Kevin Hegge, Zoë Heyn-Jones, Eli Horwatt, Samuel La France, Cameron Lee, Nahed Mansour, Alexis Mitchell, Tess Takahashi, Melanie Wilmink
Amber Christensen, Jesse Cumming, Clint Enns, Mike Hoolboom, Eli Horwatt, Eva Kolcze, Christine Lucy Latimer, Daniel McIntyre, Daniel Northway-Frank,
Katrina Orlowski, Genne Speers, Tess Takahashi, Melanie Wilmink.
Kami Chisholm, Clint Enns, Alexandra Gelis, Mike Hoolboom, Christine Lucy Latimer, Jorge Lozano, Daniel McIntyre, Katrina Orlowski, Christine Lucy Latimer.
Kami Chisholm, Alexandra Gelis, Mike Hoolboom, Jorge Lozano, Christine Lucy Latimer, Henning Frederik Malz, Leslie Supnet.
SoJin Chun, Shahbaz Khayambashi, Hope Peterson, Madi Piller, Rea McNamara,
Title sequence to Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome, Kenneth Anger, 1954
Alex MacKenzie's Film Performance @ CineCycle, May 31, 2013 Photo: T. Taylor
Marnie Parrell projecting Feb 25/ 1991
Charles Atlas April 11/2008
Alan Licht April 11/2008
Lee Ranaldo Oct 27/ 2007
Tony Conrad & Marie Losier Dec. 11/ 2009
John Kilduff performance Sept.18/ 2009
Liss Platt riding bicycle projector performance Nov 24/ 2007