Second Front Video Release

Pokémon-A-Go-Go – by Second Front

We are happy to release the latest video from Second Front. The machinima was shot on our simulators at Odyssey and then edited at the Black Bag Media Collective studio. Congratulations to Second Front on another fine production.

About Pokémon-A-Go-Go

What happens when the Pokémon turn?

Years of torment and domination have led to an uprising. While humans have been busy playing — Pokémon have been busy training! Awake! It is a new dawn for Pokémon! Downtrodden and abused creatures of the World — UNITE!


Pikachu – Liz Solo, Purrloin – Bibbe Hansen, Mew – Patrick Lichty,  Umbreon – Yunji Kim Yohanning
With: Phreek Fargis, Yael Gilks, Zesstar Zaymed, Hybrid Fusion, Ruri Rio Mihashi and SaveMe Oh.
Special appearances by: Razzbowski and PewDiePie/Beast Master 64

Second Front creates theatres of the absurd that challenge notions of virtual embodiment, online performance and the formation of virtual narrative.

Machinima shot and edited by Liz Solo

“the machine” Premieres!

fromTheMachinephotoJustinHallAfter a lengthy wait “the machine” – a film shot and edited at the Black Bag Media Collective studio in St. John’s – premiered last week at the 2nd annual TrixXxieFest. There was a lovely crowd in attendance including many members of the cast and crew. The film opened this year’s TrixXxieFest and was followed by a reception. Before the film is made available online it will enjoy a little trip around the world via the film festival circuit – stay tuned to for news of upcoming screenings.

Set in a dystopian future St. John’s “the machine” is a ‘cyberpunk fairytale’  starring Melanie Caines and Liz Solo. “the machine” mixes up HD animation with machinima – shot on our group of online grids known as The Odyssey Simulators.

Congratulations to everyone involved!

Photo on the left and at the very bottom by Justin Hall. Photos from the screening by Rick Tizzard.

machinestillclownalley5Melanie Caines as The Clown.

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.

Red Dog for Freddie Herko

The following video is from a 50th anniversary performance of Al Hansen‘s “Red Dog for Freddie Herko”, performed by the Second Front on the Odyssey Simulator on October 25, 2014.

The original performance was created for dancer Fred Herko by the American artist Al Hansen (father of artist, Second Front member and BBMC alumni Bibbe Hansen). This  video, a re-iteration of All Hansen’s original, was released on the fiftieth anniversary of Fred Herko’s death.

Here is a link to an article about Fred Herko, published this month in the Guardian: The life and dramatic death of an avant-garde hero

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.

the machine

The BBMC studio was transformed this month into a post apocalyptic cyberpunk squat –  the set for the upcoming film the machine by BBMC member Liz Solo.  the machine is a co-production of Liz Solo and the Black Bag Media Collective. The script for the machine has won the NF Joy Award from the Linda Joy Media Arts Society and the Dramatic Script Prize at the NL Arts and Letters Competition.

Set in post apocalyptic St John’s the machine stars Liz Solo (above) and Melanie Caines (below). Photos by Justin Hall.

The crew on set.

What the Linda Joy Media Arts Society said of the machine:

“the machine is a fairytale from a post-apocalyptic future version of St. John’s, Newfoundland, where two survivors meet and form an unlikely bond. Merging multiple media forms including 16mm film, digital media, and animation The Machine represents a new generation of media arts production and makes use of extremely current creative techniques like Machinima which have grown out of contemporary virtual arts movements. In these creative spaces the artist becomes part of the tale and traditional distinctions and boundaries between art and audience can be challenged in ways that are highly relevant to our increasingly virtual or connected lifestyles. The Machine was also the 2009 winner of the Newfoundland Arts & Letters Dramatic Script Award.

Liz Solo is a new media artist, performance artist, and musician and has previously produced short films using digital media and film. She has pursued her practice at the contemporary edge of media arts for many years, exploring, challenging and mixing media and performance techniques within her own work and with artists’ collectives. She is currently a working member of the Black Bag Media Collective, the Second Front Performance Art Collective, among others. She is also the co-curator of the Odyssey Contemporary Art & Performance Simulator (with Yael Gilks and Jane Leffler), an experimental virtual arts space within Second Life. Her work has appeared at major festivals and biennales from Canada to China.”

the machine is scheduled for release this Fall.

Flick Harrison at the BBMC

An enthusiastic audience braved a blizzard to come out and see the screening of work by Vancouver artist Flick Harrison. This even was the first in a series of exchanges between artists working in communities at oppostite ends of the country. Shortly after the Black Bag Media Collective screened Flick’s work the Something Collective in Vancouver screened Liz Solo’s work. After each screening the artists gave a Q and A via Skype.

A favorite of the night was “War Torn Man” – a music video for the song by Rodney Decroo. Flick explained afterwards that many of the effects are hand drawn in Photoshop.

War Torn Man from Flick Harrison on Vimeo.

Here are a couple of pics of Flick’s Skype chat. With some tech minded people present the discussion settled on technical aspects, including changes to Final Cut Pro and a discussion of whether the new FCP interface is more accessible or amounts to a dumbing down of the program.