The Black Bag Media Collective (BBMC) is comprised of artists working in music and audio, live performance, and New Media. The BBMC produces recordings, performances and works of art by collective members and supports the production, presentation, documentation and dissemination of the work of independent artists – especially those working in independent music, live performance and new media.
The Black Bag Media Collective is production and project focused, especially supporting work that is responsive to current conditions, takes risk and/or explores new tools and emerging technologies. The BBMC promotes DIY practice, the creation of independent, experimental and punk rock music, and is committed to producing and releasing independent recordings. The collective maintains multiple re-configurable, multi-use studio and online presentation spaces for members and associates.
photos of Steve Abbott, Monty Hall, Liz Solo and Mike Kean at the BBMC Studio (above) and from Techno Dream and Nightmare Choir (below) by Rhonda Pelley
HISTORY: The collective was formed in 2004 by seven independent artists – Liz Solo (performance/media artist, composer, musician), Mike Kean (musician, composer, media artist), Marcel Levandier (musician, composer), Ron Anonsen (composer, musician, recording engineer) Montgomery Hall (visual artist), Rhiannon Thomas (musician, composer), James Rose (musician, composer, visual artist). Founded in Newfoundland and Labrador the collective slowly migrated to Ontario and now operates out of Toronto. The BBMC is currently comprised of artists working across disciplines in New Media, audio and performing arts.
For six years (2005 – 2011) the collective collaborated with the Independent Artists Cooperative and many community based groups to produce five incarnations of the Rock Can Roll Independent Music and Media Festival. From 2002 until 2010 the BBMC ran a community access studio and jamspace, serving hundreds of independent musicians and working artists. In 2010 the BBMC produced the Chromatose Anymation Festival, an international program of video screenings featuring new techniques and tools in digital animation. In 2014 and 2016 the BBMC co-produced TrixXxieFest with Roles 4 Women – an International pop-up festival featuring live and networked performance, film and video screenings and live rocks shows highlighting women working in media and performance.
The BBMC have been working with web based technology and online worlds for over a decade. They currently operate The Odyssey Simulators – a group of online sims that host and present artists working in virtual worlds. Through their online work the BBMC collaborate with a wide array of International artists including Tina Pearson, Yael Gilks, The Avatar Orchestra, Patrick Lichty, and Bibbe Hansen. The collective is currently working on the fourth incarnation of the Odyssey Performance Art Festival – a networked event featuring online performance.
The BBMC continue to record and produce independent music and media projects – such as the Techno Dream and Nightmare Choir – a community collaboration led by Liz Solo and BBMC Artist in Residence Tina Pearson (Victoria), with BBMC musicians and musicians from Memorial University’s Ethno-Musicology Department; the collective continues to operate the Odyssey Performance Art Simulator – an online space – and multiple artists are working in BBMC studios developing music, visual art and new media.