MANDATE: The Black Bag Media Collective is an artist-run, not for profit media collective comprised of professional artists working in music and audio, live performance, New Media and media arts. BBMC’s aim is to produce quality recordings, performances and works of art by collective members. The BBMC also supports the production, presentation, documentation and dissemination of the work of independent artists – especially those producing independent music, live performance, and media based works (i.e. video, audio, web-based work).
The Black Bag Media Collective is production and project focused – supporting the efforts of collective members in particular and working artists in general. We promote artist development through regular programming of open stages, open studios, workshops, conferences and symposia.We support risk-taking and the exploration of new tools and emerging technologies.
The Black Bag Media Collective promotes and provides resources for the creation of punk rock music specifically and independent music in general. The collective is committed to producing and releasing independent recordings via our record label, and to maintaining re-configurable, multi-use studio and performance spaces for our members.
photo of Steve Abbott, Monty Hall, Liz Solo and Mike Kean at the BBMC Studio by Rhonda Pelley
HISTORY: The collective was formed in 2004 by seven Newfoundland artists – Liz Solo, Mike Kean, Marcel Levandier, Ron Anonsen, Montgomery Hall, Rhiannon Thomas, James Rose. The BBMC is now comprised of artists working across disciplines in New Media, audio and performing arts. From 2002 until 2010 the BBMC ran a community access studio and jamspace, serving hundreds of independent musicians and working artists. The BBMC now run a studio and performance space for collective members.
photo of Techno Dream and Nightmare Choir by Rhonda Pelley
For five years (2005 – 2009) the collective collaborated with the Independent Artists Cooperative and other community based groups to produce the Annual Rock Can Roll Independent Music and Media Festival. In 2010 the BBMC produced the first ever Chromatose Anymation Festival, featuring an international program of video screenings highlighting new techniques and tools in digital animation. In 2014 and 2016 we 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 that highlight women working in media and performance.
The BBMC have been working with web based technology and online worlds for over a decade. We currently manage and program The Odyssey Simulators – a group of online sims that host and present artists working in virtual worlds. We run independent sims in Second Life, on the open source Craft World and are involved in the development of the new macGRID Simulated Research Project – an independent online resource established by McMaster University. Because of our online work and collaborations the collective now includes a wide array of International associates including Tina Pearson, The Avatar Orchestra, Patrick Lichty and Bibbe Hansen.
The BBMC continue to record and produce independent music, media projects, skills-sharing initiatives and events for the community – most recently the Techno Dream and Nightmare Choir – created during out 2012 Open Studio and Artist Residency projects in collaboration with BBMC Artist in Residence Tina Pearson (Victoria) and musicians from Memorial University’s Ethno-Musicology Department; the collective continues to work on the Odyssey Performance Art Simulator – an online space, and is involved in the development of the new macGRID project – an independent online resource established by McMaster University. Currently multiple artists are working at the BBMC studio developing new work in music, visual art and new media.
The BBMC’s performance/studio space located at 177 Water Street in St. John’s is used for studio work and for presenting live performances, workshops, residencies and special projects. The BBMC is preparing to open a sister studio in the city of Toronto in the Fall of 2016.