• 03
  • 4
  • 5
THE NEXT 7 DAYS:     EVENTS (7)     +     OPENINGS (7)     +     DEADLINES (3)     +     CLOSINGS (14)
copyright ©2019
hit list

email EMAIL this page to a friend:



Becka Barker

June 11, 2015

Becka Barker is an interdisciplinary artist and educator living in Halifax. She uses drawing, experimental film, and animation strategies to explore the negotiation of identity and tensions in multimodal communication. Her work has been exhibited in venues such as the Ottawa International Animation Festival, Toronto’s Images Festival, the EXiS Festival in Seoul, WNDX in Winnipeg, Echo Park Film Center in Los Angeles, and Nocturne Art at Night in Halifax. Her 16mm film loop installation Wander with Care will be exhibited at this week’s Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival and also from June 16 to 27 at Struts Gallery in Sackville.

1. Rotoscoping

For the past few years I have been obsessed with the animation technique of tracing live-action footage. It’s the principal method I’m using to animate The Evolution of Max (currently in production). I love how it not only mimics the “natural” movement of the subjects in a live-action shot, it also describes hand-held camera movements of the person shooting that footage. I come to animation from drawing, so redrawing each frame by hand makes sense to me. Rotoscoping also seems to be having a bit of a moment right now, at least among some of my peers here in Halifax. I’m not sure if it has more to do with the software we use or if there’s something else we’re unconsciously responding to, but I kind of love it when something like that just seems to be in the air.

2. Invertebrate zoology

I began my adult life pointed towards a career in biology and actually wrote my undergrad thesis about the reproductive organs of a local sea slug (Dendronotus frondosus). All these animals have such complex systems that vary so greatly from family to family – it’s humbling! I’ve been attempting to resuscitate a tiny garden patch in my yard this spring and my four-year old and I love finding all the tiny, squirmy, crawly things that live in the soil. I love knowing we’re surrounded by so many kinds of life.

3. Roasted grape tomatoes

These are included in almost every meal at my house these days. I chuck cast iron fry pans full of them into the oven on 350ºF for about 15 to 20 minutes. Intense, gorgeous flavor – all brought out by nothing more than a bit of dry heat.

4. Performing global Englishes

I took up teaching English as an additional language a few years ago and this put into sharp relief issues and assumptions complicating English as a lingua franca that, to me, are more interesting than the general idea of the English language as a kind of hegemony. Some of my current favourite authors are fond of tying their ideas to Judith Butler’s notion of performativity – that language actively creates social realities (rather than just reflects them). Andy Dong talks about this specifically in reference to contemporary design and Alastair Pennycook uses this as a springboard to propose a rethink of who “owns” English globally.

I teach part-time at NSCAD where the language of instruction is English, and I’ve been working with many of our international students over the past few years. The nuts-and-bolts issues with semantics that come up in my classes are incredibly interesting. As artists and designers, we constantly reflect on and renegotiate meaning both in the work we create and in the language we use to discuss it, which presents a conundrum for artists who may be used to using English in a vastly different cultural context from the one in which I’m teaching. I’m currently involved in an art-based research project that has been stoking this interest even more.

5. Compassion

Seriously, what is so funny about peace, love, and understanding? It bothers me that we humans haven’t figured this one out yet.



back [+]


Comments (newest first)      +click to add comment