TrixXxieFest 2016!

TrixxXFest10poster1webTrixXxiefest is Coming!! The Black Bag Media Collective are proud to co-produce this event every year with Roles 4 Women – this year happening June 24 and 25 at the Cox and Palmer Second Space at the LSPU Hall.

See the full schedule here: TrixXxieFest Schedule

TrixXxieFest is a pop-up Festival featuring short films, videos and performances to inspire, challenge and amuse you – powerful voices from around the world and here at home.

TrixXxieFest is a semi-annual traveling Festival created in 2014 by the punk rock band TrixXxie. TrixXxieFest highlights alternative voices by presenting thought-provoking media and performance work from around the world and here at home. This year’s festival is happening from Friday June 24th and Saturday June 25th, 2016 at The Cox and Palmer Second Space at the LSPU Hall in downtown St. John’s, Newfoundland. The weekend will be a jam-packed two days of live performances, installations, screenings, parties and a punk rock show.

This year’s event features an International program of film and video shorts highlighting experimental video, filmmaking, animation, and short documentary. Each evening will open with short monologue performances by some of Newfoundland’s most gifted storytellers – Wendi Smallwood, Ruth Lawrence, Monica Walsh, Jenny Naish and Liz Solo will present short pieces of original theatre. The performances will be followed by a screening of short films and animations from all over the world including pieces by local filmmakers Cara Lee Coleman and Corrine Coleman, Jenn Brown, Jacqueline Hynes, Taylor Stocks, Rock School for Girls, TrixXxie, Caroline Nochasak, Heather Angnatok, Jason Dicker, Jennifer Semigak, Joshua Jararuse, Matmatil Angnatok, Maxwell Saksagiak, Troy Maher, Nancy Nochasak, and Sarah Semigak Lidd.

Our International program of short films and videos includes award winning shorts and world premieres from Heather Freeman (USA), Sepideh Atashin (Iran), Lisa MacLean (Canada), Marina Bruno (USA), Guadalupe Yepes (Argentina), Abbie Birtles (Scotland), Yokiko Nishino (Japan), Zahra Jafari (Iran), Ana Santos (Portugal), Jeanette Buck (USA), Janina Putker (Germany), Sahra Hassan (Ireland), Jasia Kaulbach (England), Lida Sadeghi (Iran), Sonia Gerbeaud and Mathias Panafieu (France), Larissa Corriveau (Canada), Maria Manasterny (Germany), Arijana Lekić-Fridrih (Croatia), Jelena Zlatkovic Velickovic (Serbia), Sarah Ouazzani (France), Shira Moolten (USA), Francesca Silveri (England), Selma Nayebi (Iran), Snejana Herbst (Ireland), SaveMe Oh (The Netherlands).

TrixXxieFest is co-presented by TrixXxie, Roles 4 Women and The Black Bag Media Collective. Very special thanks to our sponsors Pi Gourmet Eatery and Charlottestreet.

Stay tuned here and to for details, schedules and updates.

Techno Dream and Nightmare Choir

The Black Bag Media Collective
in collaboration with the Sound Symposium
a Feisty, participatory Community Art intervention about networked technology.

from the Black Bag Media Collective and artist in residence Tina Pearson

Send us your Dreams (Send us your Fears)

“Techno Dream and Nightmare Choir” is a Feisty participatory Community Art intervention challenging beliefs about networked technology and its impact on … well, everything.

Inspired by the international Complaints Choir movement, the “Techno Dream and Nightmare Choir” invites everyone to participate. You can join the project by sending us messages about your fears and dreams about networked technology; by coming to live sessions at the Black Bag Media Collective Studio; by participating online via Second Life, Skype, email, Facebook, Twitter and LiveStream; and/or by coming to our live performance on Friday July 20th at 8 PM at the LSPU Hall Second Space.

In ancient times, communities regularly gathered together to make collective songs ward off fears, entice beneficial outcomes and to generally make sense of life and its changes through ritual and creative play. We invite you to gather with us to renew that practice in these a-changing networked times. Tell us your fears and dreams, what makes you happy or sad, about today’s networked technology and how it is embedded in your life.

We will create a set of hybrid Songs rooted in St John’s, inspired by contributions from far and wide … and perform them in a suitably hybrid and networked form.

Black Bag Media Collective’s artist in residence, Tina Pearson, along with BBMC founders Liz Solo, Mike Kean and Marcel Levandier are the hosts and facilitators of this investigation. True to the theme of the project, the Techno Dream and Nightmare song cycle will be made using a mix of readily available audio technologies – from human voices, rocks, sticks and acoustic instruments, to electronic instruments, digital instruments, iPhones, and virtual instruments. Participants and performers will be connected through readily available networked technologies – telephone, email, Skype, Second Life and streaming. Participation is open to anyone wanting to participate in St John’s or online. The performance will be co-ordinated at the Black Bag Media Collective studio in St John’s, Newfoundland and will culminate in a live event at the LSPU Hall Second Space on Friday July 20th at 8 PM.


Tina and BBMC members will be presenting workshops and performances as part of this year’s Sound Symposium – Saturday April 14th – Workshop with Tina Pearson, Liz Solo and the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse at 1 PM. Performance at 3:30 PM. Both events take place at the LSPU Hall. Talk to us!

In your communications, please let us know if you are interested in performing in person or online on July 20 at 8 PM local time in St John’s, Newfoundland. (See the questions below for ideas)

Points of contact:
Skype us: theblackbags
Twitter your ideas #bbmc
Email or Text us at
Leave a message on our landline at 709.722.9915
Post a message on our Facebook Wall:

Join us for Daily workshops/interactions – all are welcome at the BBMC Studio
Anytime between 3 – 7 PM Local Time
July 16 – 19
177 Water Street, 2nd Floor

8 pm Friday July 20
LSPU Hall Second Space
3 Victoria Street,
St. John’s Newfoundland
PWYC at the door.

Tina Pearson has instigated and facilitated an eclectic range of art and community development processes. She directed the local and completely acoustic Victoria Complaints Choir as well as the global and hyper technical multi-disciplinary telematic Rotating Brains – Beating Heart collaboration. She has been a facilitator in cross cultural community development and family support projects and in addition to her solo work, regularly participates in collaborative art making and interventions on and offline with musicians, dancers, video and performance artists. She is a member of the global collective Avatar Orchestra Metaverse, the Victoria performance art group OPEN ACTION and the new music ensemble LaSaM.

About the Project Theme
Some of us can recall a time when the old dial up telephones and black and white tube television were the new thing, following radio, the automobile and printing press in giving us unprecedented access to each other and the world … while at the same time perhaps taking us more away from the people and places we were rooted to.

And others of us have been born into an age where constant connectivity through networked technology is the norm, our fingers dancing over the keyboards of networked devices that bring our thoughts and expressions instantaneously to our friends here and away, and to the world. Being connected has given new freedoms – help is only a call away.

The ideas and definitions of “community”, “relationship” and “friend” have been gradually shifting to mean something quite different than they did to our parents and grandparents, no matter which generation we belong to. And when you think about it, we are already hybrid beings, with brain matter altered by television and computer screens; corneas altered by eyeglasses; hearts, knees and eyes replaced by mechanical and computer-enhanced models; and relationships mediated by gravatars and avatars.

Through advances in audiovisual technologies, we can hear the sound of a mosquito rubbing its feet on a blade of grass and see inside a cell. Networked technology now lets doctors operate on us remotely. It lets us listen in to orcas echolocating in the Pacific or humpbacks calling in the Atlantic, or it lets us watch eagles birthing in forests all over the place, just by switching internet sites from our comfy chairs. And it allows us to mix it all together and send it to our friends if we want to.

What does all of this mean to you?
Let us know!

This project made possible thanks to the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Media Arts Section.

Phytophilous Initiative

The Phytophilous Initiative is a project of the Black Bag Media Collective that is engaged in developing our relationship with the earth by facilitating connections that bring us closer to plant life. From June 25th to July 30th, 2011 Liz Solo and Jesse Walker presented a gallery exhibit at Eastern Edge gallery in St. John’s featuring the results of studio work investigating communication with plant life. The show was paired in the gallery with Sandee Moore‘s (MB) Imaginary Gift.

These images are documentation of work from the exhibit by BBMC member Liz Solo.

Harlequin Romance/Plant Jam/Memory Table

This is a text written by Peter Duchemin about the Phytophilous Initiative:

            Science and art, on rare occasions, are known to dance together. Often their affinity goes unrecognized, but in the words of Einstein: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand”. There is a relationship of expansion and contraction, where creative thought opens a territory and rigorous experiment reveals forms and patterns within that territory. Reason gives us constants, and imagination gives us novelty. Sometimes, in extraordinary circumstances, an artful science, or a scientific art will surface. These events are often fragile, too swiftly rejected by peers, and the result of minds and efforts that have pushed themselves into a fertile, but isolated “fringe space” in order to investigate questions that have a real and lasting capacity to transform us. In the spirit of artscience, then, the Phytophylus Initiative asks: Do plants have emotions? Can this be measured? How can we know? Liz and Jesse are not the first either to wonder this, or to test for it. Cleve Baxter, an American polygraph expert, opened a watershed when he decided to test out a lie detector on a houseplant. In multiple, controlled experiments, he showed that plants would register reactions to the unstated intentions of persons around it, were upset by the termination of living beings, and would even respond to a “surprise party” happening for their caretaker in another city!

             The pressing question, when communicating with plants from a scientific perspective, is that of repeatability: is it possible to induce a plant to register an emotional response on a polygraph in such a way that anyone performing the experiment will get the same results? The answer that Baxter gave us was yes, but with a condition: standard, quantifiable results are only seen when adequate measures are taken to “isolate” the factor of consciousness itself. Consciousness is such a sensitive subject that truly isolating it, establishing  “laboratory conditions”, with regards to it, is elusive. As a consequence of this sensitivity, and perhaps for other reasons, Baxter’s research was shelved by mainstream science. To be sure, it has survived, but no longer with the prestige that was initially expected. Plant communication is relegated to the domain of quacks and mavericks. Nevertheless, this opens us to another possibility vis-a-vis the field of bio-communication, in which we enter the domain of the artist. Here, the sharp cuts of certainty can be softened by questions raised through the very act of performance itself. With art, mystery is not a flaw in design, but rather a consequence of success. Thus, for the duration of the Phytophilous Initiative the gallery becomes laboratory and the laboratory becomes gallery. Discoveries can be made and repeatability tested, and yet even without forwarding a scientific claim to a jury of experts, there is a definitive knowledge-seeking experience which may or may not lead the viewer to conclude, with Baxter, that plants have an emotional life.