Presented by battery opera performance and Unit Pitt Projects. Created and written by David McIntosh and Chris Bose

Seven weeks of free encounters with stories, booze, music, dance, mayhem and paint, “Vancouver, crawling, weeping, betting" is now over. But you can still buy the book here. - It's been nominated for the Vancouver Book Awards. Can we get an Amen for generosity?

Here is what it was:

"At the core of this mini-Vancouver-festival are 12 stories about the city written by David McIntosh and Chris Bose. Everything else is a response to these stories. Because the city doesn't just belong to one or two people. Multiple stories, multiple layers to see, to taste, hear, feel.." SF.

What was it exactly?

  •  a guided encounter with the city of Vancouver
  •  a series of spirit aided improvs
  •  a gallery installation
  •  a book

It was also free! -"That's possibly an act of madness, but it's kind of my ideal one-time-only- mini-Vancouver festival (minus a pig roast). Festivals just aren't festive unless free to the public."-DMc.

Featuring performances by: Chris Bose, David McIntosh, Brian Solomon, Pedro Chamale, Michelle Lui, Aryo Khakpour, Chu-Lynne Ng, Maxine Chadburn, Alec Edward von Henzke, Finn Manniche, Jim Newton, Sean Stubbs, Don Harrison (New! Improved!!), Peggy Lee, Aram Bajakian, Tony Wilson, Kelly McInnes, Sophia Wolfe, Elissa Hanson, Max Murphy, Ron Samworth, Jeff Younger, Ben Brown, Meredith Bates, Chris Gestrin, Russel Scholburg,Carolyn Chan, Molly McDermott, Justine Chambers, Joel Lower, Gary Wildeman, Bruce Freedman, Arash Khakpour, Billy Marchenski, Chris Wright, Allison Denham, Hailey McCloskey, Paras Terezakis, Bracken Hanuse Corlett, Esper, Gone Fishin, Take5, Senaqwila Wyss: Reading Madeline Deighton's history, Tracey Rossi: reading August Jack Khatsalanough' history, Sheryl McGraw: reading Dominic Charlie's history, Cease Wyss: reading Mary Eihu's history, Daina Ashbee, Diego Romero, Michael Turner, Veda Hille, Margo Kane, Henry Tsang and thanks to Keith Higgins and Brynn McNab for hosting it all with us  ...

  • Witching hour solos Thursdays: 11:30pm - 12:30 am  (viewable from the street through live projections on windows). Yvonne Chew's photos of Chris Bose (with Alec Edward von Henzke) here,  Brian Solomon here, Daina Ashbee here. For a random accumulation of video footage, go here.
  •  Bob’s Salon Fridays: 10pm - midnight (interactive art salon for the curious imbiber, featuring guest artists improvising with booze, stories, dance and music). Yvonne Chew's photos: week 1 here, week 2 here, week 3 here, week 4 here, week 5 here, week 6 here, week 7 here. . For a video of week 7 by VANDOCUMENT go here.
  • Guided improvised encounters with the city Saturdays: 12 - 5 pm,  by six performers, based on Bose and McIntosh’s stories and maps. (a stroll and a story). Yvonne Chew's photos with Brian Solomon here,  with Michelle Lui here, with Aryo Khakpour here, with Pedro Chamale here, with Chu-Lyn Ng here,  with Maxine Maxine Chadburn here.

 (all events began at Unit Pitt Projects, 236 East Pender)

About “Vancouver, crawling, weeping, betting"

Chris Bose and David McIntosh, retrace their separate trajectories through the streets of the city. Their memories, reanimated wraiths and the spirits imbibed are recorded in a series of twelve stories and accompanying maps. Installed in the gallery, these reports and boundaries document their embodied experiences of Vancouver. Afternoon guided city tours, late night improvised art salons and witching hour solos, will enable guest artists, citizens and visitors to respond, react or ignore the reflected world of Bose and McIntosh. Bring your ghosts, bring your body, have a drink and take your chances. Join the conversation about this city, your place, our past and its spirits - both the ones that stubbornly linger, and the ones that enable forgetting.

About the Creative Team and Gallery

Chris Bose is a war party baby of the N’Laka’Pamux and the Secwepmec Nations (they hooked-up at St. George's residential school in Lytton). He is a writer, artist, musician, filmmaker and a Scoundrel.

David McIntosh is a settler party baby of a White-Man and a White-Lady (they hooked-up at the Waldorf bar in Vancouver). He is a writer, singer, state-funded-artist, and a Sommelier.

UNIT/PITT Projects (formerly the Helen Pitt Gallery) is a non-profit artist run center dedicated to the promotion of experimental contemporary art that addresses social, political, cultural, and critical issues.

battery opera performance is a performing arts company based in Vancouver. The work of battery opera interrogates the contemporary body as a site of intersecting and displaced cultures, histories and habits. battery opera performance investigates this body, this place, within a contemporary-colonial matrix, cognizant of the interplay between art, power, politics and history.

More Stuff

Chris Bose's Allegory for the Gallery installation:

so, the allegory for this piece is, my story, and thousands of others in the aboriginal community, you leave home, your territory, a bad situation, an abusive one and end up in vancity, homeless, on the streets, and generally fucked. but you go through the forests, the clear cuts, the fires, the mountains and your heart is strong and your desire to change your life guides you, but as you descend into the city, full of promise and hope, gold, silver and copper buildings and wealth everywhere, you realize it's in the hands of the few and you don't have a plan and get swallowed up in the teeth of the city, the monster, the machine.

David McIntosh's Booze notes and pairings:

Friday Jan. 17. Chris Bose. Semi-auspicious blood red. Clotted, no sparkles. Streets are dirty. Nasty. Gum on the sidewalk. It makes you happy and somewhat remorseful at the same time. Disparity viewed while getting shit faced and a lingering finish all the way to Chilliwack. Black Cherry. New world. Where all the Nazis went. Unrepentant howl on the tongue. - Stag's Hollow Hart, 2010, Okanagan Falls. The themes derived on this night were "Cockroids. Ritalin. Bubble Gum on Sidewalk." Dance: Maxine Chadburn, Michelle Lui, Brian Solomon. Music: Finn Manniche, Jim Newton, Sean Stubbs, Don Harrison (New! Improved!!). Yvonne Chew photos here.

Friday Jan. 24th. Michael Turner. Red and Yellow. Orange. In the 70s it was a compliment to avocado green. Liking it. Shedding refinery. Geranium. Interior bath smells. A learned relaxation, wetter, more savory than sweet, it lingers but you can kick it out. Average/Generic. Drink now old world Beyreuth opera house. -Reuilly Pinot Gris, 2012, Denis Jamain, chemin des petites fontaines. The themes derived on this night were "Cocaine Filled Peaches. Old Blood and Carrots. Worn Out Shag Carpet (The End Of Dreams)." Dance: Kelly McInnes, Sophia Wolfe, Elissa Hansen Music: Peggy Lee, Aram Bajakian, Tony Wilson. Yvonne Chew photos here.

Friday Jan. 31st. Margo Kane. White and black. Red and primary Blue. Solid. Geometric pow wow. Green. more impressionistic. The earth. An old basement/building. Cedars brought inside. Scotch and beer. Water. Refreshing. Bitter. Effervescence. Edgy. Poor. Drink now. Turtle Island. Northern Quebec by the edge of a big river.- Le Troudu Diable, L'Imeratrice, 2013, Shawinigan. The themes derived on this night were "Thick Cream. Sweet and bitter tears. The departing van." Dance: Billy Marchenski, Carolyn Chan, Molly McDermott. Music: Max Murphy, Ron Samworth. Yvonne Chew photos here.

Friday Feb 7th. Bracken Hanuse Corlett. A series of black-outs. The contrast between night and day. Opaque bubbles. Dust. Old carpet and wet wind. Basement musk and 50 years of regret. Morning breath. Ashtray. Like an asshole inside your mouth. Lingering. Increasing in intensity. Excellent or Poor. Drink now. New influenced by old. Turtle Island Northwest Coast. - Sea Cider, Wild English, 2013, Saanichton. The themes derived on this night were "Desperate baby medicine. Pissed, drowned, bird on concrete. Leather bound ash hole wallet." Dance: Paras Terezakis, Arash Khakpour, Michelle Lui. Music: Max Murphy, Jeff Younger. Yvonne Chew photos here.

Friday Feb. 14th. Cease Wyss. Dark red salmonberry. A journey to the rain and the sky, blue and white. Greens and brown. Not one thing. Opaque. To be discovered. Bitter sweet. Whiskey keg wood and liquorice fern. The taste of bark, roots and earth. Smooth bitter quality, lingering sweetness. Requires bottle age. Oregon grape. Tahiti. Mondragon Inlet. - Mt Lehman Tempranillo, 2011, Abbotsford. The themes derived on this night were "Terra Nullius Coitus. Disoriented Senses. Industrious Herbs." Dance: Justine Chambers, Alison Denham, Billy Marchenski. Music: crowman - Ben Brown, Meredith Bates, Chris Gestrin. Yvonne Chew photos here.

Friday Feb. 21st. Henry Tsang. A lot of green. Fear that it will turn out brown or grey. Wants to land on green, seemingly natural but artificially enhanced and surrounded by a lot of grey. At angles it can have a sheen. Is it an oasis? Yeah. It’s opaque. Not just one thing. Smells of a certain version of nature and also a business. Natural order of the dominant culture. Sleepy. Confusion. Lack of clarity. Something sour then bitter. Starts off sweet without knowing it. Desires to blend in sweetness to balance the bitterness but fears that it, that he, may not. Good. Requires bottle age. Ricioto. The clash between the two. England. House of Lords. Musqueum. xʷməθkʷəy̓əm. Tantalus Old Vines Riesling, 2011, Kelowna. The themes derived on this night were "Immigrant baby daycare beloved bleached breast. Tastes like a headache. It's a liminal space, the spine." Dance: Daina Ashbee, Diego Romero and Hailey McCloskey. Music: Max Murphy, Ben Brown, Russel Scholburg. Yvonne Chew photos here.

Friday Feb. 28th. Veda Hille. Black in the center. A splash of red, a little bit of pink on a bright sky blue background. Cherry blossoms, Slightly rotten fruit. A day old apple. Something with a bite out of it that's starting to turn. Pot. Familiar. But challenging. Something that I'd have to be able to eat a lot of. Starts light but deepens. Settles into perpetuity. Good. Requires bottle age. Concorde. New Iceland. Nether subterranean root. Kalala Zweigelt, 2009, West Bank. The themes derived on this night were "Young sausages. Spicy popped cherry. Trans Parent Sea. (The power of cunt)". Dance: Arash Khakpour, Aryo Khakpour, Chris Wright, Billy Marchenski. Music: Max Murphy, Joel Lower, Gary Wildeman, Bruce Freedman. Yvonne Chew photos here.



Alexa Mardon's project review in the re-issue of ISSUE magazine can be purchased here

Or read on her blog here

More press:

Some Witching Hour context/review

Previews: Georgia Straight, BC Bookworld

Nice Video and more pics from Ash Tanasiychuk at VANDOCUMENT

Review from Anastasia Scherders: The Source

A review by guy who didn't think Chris or I were all that cool, but really enjoyed: himself.

I like Yvonne's review better:

she went on tour with brian solomon
as her guide this afternoon
the timing perfect
as if the artist way
had carved out this opportunity
brian was the only guide available
at the time she walked through
the door of the unit/pitt gallery
it was serendipity
an older italian man
joined the tour
his name salvador
we walked out through
the back door of the
unit/pitt gallery
into the streets of
the neighbourhood
through the telling of
chapter 1 of the book
salvador said he'd never pass
by the neighbourhood
without looking at it
the same again
she loved her experience
she was having an intimate
experience with two
people who opened up
and started sharing their
own personal stories
she would remember
salvador the wrinkles
around his eyes
how the light shown
in from the window
of the pub we were at
onto brian's hair
most of all she would
remember the trust
being in the presence
of two beautiful beings
young and old
listening to their

Some final words

When I first started working with Chris Bose on this project, I wondered why I was so ignorant of the place I lived. I am a fourth generation Vancouverite, and the heir to eight or nine generations of continental settling, policing and drinking. Why is my inherited knowledge so geographically shallow? The names I know so unconvincing?

At the beginning of our book “Vancouver, Crawling, Weeping, Betting” I wrote the following:


When Catherine the Great was presiding over the biggest phase of Russian Imperial expansion, she knew the value of maps. She instructed that maps of seized territories be quickly incorporated by her cartographers into Imperial maps, then backdated to provide a justification for the conquest just completed. She “…also advised her mapmakers that ‘all wastelands, rivers, streams and other natural boundaries that go by indecent names, especially those of the private parts’ should be renamed in the interests of propriety.”*

This makes me wonder about the place I live.

Could my house be next to a filled in Foul Ass Marsh, beneath Big Titty Mountains, north of where the Chunky Brown Cock Water sluices into the Mildly Cunty Sea?

In ignorance of the restructured geography, I can only hope so.

Now, after seeing this project come to life in seven generous weeks of encounters, stories, booze, music, dance, mayhem and paint, my “terrified tongue”, as Cease Wyss says, still cannot say the words of this place. However, I do know that this place is full of people. Living, dead, and being born, and I want to thank them for letting me walk amongst them.

Thanks also to all who participated, all who dropped in, and all who walked by.

huy ma7lh!

David McIntosh

*From a review in TLS by Adam Zamoyski of Steven Seegel’s mapping Europe’s borderlands.

Photos: Yvonne Chew, David McIntosh.