Strategies for Survival (1986)

Strategies for Survival (1986) is an archives project produced by UNIT/PITT Society for Art and Critical Awareness, re-presenting the partial proceedings of Strategies for Survival: State of the Arts/The Art of Alternatives, An International Conference for Artists, organized by the Vancouver Artists League, and held at the Commodore Ballroom, June 9th, 10, and 11th, 1986.

In 1986, the conference was recorded on cassette tape, and the speakers’ papers were distributed to conference participants, with a few even published later on, making their way into archives and libraries, formal and less so. This project began when some of these cassettes and papers were found in the UNIT/PITT archives by our volunteer Archives Committee, who proposed to make these partial proceedings freely available online, as a catalyst for further research and discussion. Funded by the BC History Digitization Program at the University of British Columbia, the audio recordings were digitized by the Western Front, with research supported by artists and community members near and far, and UNIT/PITT will share the digitized audio recordings, supplemented by contemporary readings, and textural and edited transcripts, starting June 9 and through the summer.

June 9, day 1

  • 00 ⌛️ Introduction (2023)
    transcript and audio
  • 01 ⏳ Introduction (1986)
    transcript and audio
  • 02 🇩🇪 Dr. Thomas Deecke (West Germany)
    transcript and audio
  • ☕️ coffee break ☕️
  • 03 🇯🇵 Tatsuo Yamamoto (Japan)
    transcript and audio
  • 🥪 Out to Lunch 🥪
  • 04 🇧🇪 Guy Schraenen (Belgium)
    transcript and audio
  • 05 🇺🇸 Judy Moran (USA)
    transcript and audio
  • 06 🇳🇮 Eye of the Mask, a film by Judith Doyle (Toronto)
    transcript and audio
  • 🍷 wine and cheese 🧀

June 10, day 2

  • 07 🇵🇱 Jerzy Onuch, POLAND
    transcript and audio
  • ☕️ coffee break ☕️
  • 08 🇨🇦 Clive Robertson, CANADA
    transcript and audio
  • 🥙 out for lunch 🌭
  • 09 ☢️ A Twentieth Century Plague, “B” Artists, a performance by Oraf (Vancouver)
    transcript and audio
  • 10 🇸🇻 José Ventura (El Salvador)
    transcript and audio
  • 11 🇨🇦 Canadian Sponsor Panel, facilitated by Rosa Ho, Director, Surrey Art Gallery
    transcript and audio

June 11, day 3

  • 12 🇬🇧 Margaret Harrison (Britain)
    transcript and audio
  • ☕️ coffee break ☕️
  • 13 🇳🇱 Wilma De Jong (Netherlands)
    transcript and audio
  • 🌯 out for lunch 🍕
  • 14 ☣️ Position: suspended (11), a performance by Mona Hatoum (Beirut/London), continuing to the end of the conference
    transcript and audio
  • 15 📑 Keith Kelly, Department of Communications, on the “Status of the Artist”
    transcript and audio
  • ☕️ coffee break ☕️
  • 16 🕳️ Artists’ Summation Panel, facilitated by Danielle Peacock, grunt gallery
    transcript and audio
  • XX 💌 Closing remarks (2023)