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Charles Stankievech

February 23, 2010

Charles Stankievech’s project Magnetic Norths opens on Feb 25th at the Leonard & Bina Ellen Gallery in Montreal. A collection of work ranging from the 16th Century to newly commissioned pieces, it includes artists such as Mercator, the US Air Force, Buckminster Fuller, Michael Snow, Glenn Gould, Lawrence Weiner, Laurent Grasso, the Center for Land Use Interpretation and others. In late February, 306090 is publishing a profile of Stankievech's DEW Project mounted in the Arctic for last April's centennial of the North Pole. His current series of performances, Ghost Rockets World Tour, screens at NYC’s Exit Gallery on Feb 25th and as a special project at the Palais de Toyko for the month of March. Stankievech splits his time between Montréal and the North where he co-founded the KIAC School of Visual Arts in Dawson City.

1. Google

Instead of reading this Hit List, you should google five phrases yourself: / Al-Qaeda / Your IP / 82º29’N, 62º15’W / Surprised Kitty. Make sure you use Google Images, Google Video, Google Streetview, Google Translate, Google News, and Google Earth for the searches, all while browsing with Google’s Chrome, gleaning feedback with Google Analytics and virally sending your results to friends with your Gmail account. After that consider getting a Google implant to consolidate your data management and kiss what little privacy you had left goodbye.


Curators should steal more strategies from the military, particularly the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency. Their mission is to “maintain the technological superiority of the U.S. military and prevent technological surprise from harming national security by sponsoring revolutionary, high-payoff research that bridges the gap between fundamental discoveries and their military use.” Just replace a few of the terms, like technology, military, and security.

3. Captain EO

The Birth of 4D cinema? Maybe not, even though creators Michael Jackson, George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, and Disney would like to think so. Exploding onto the scene in 1986 at Disneyland, Captain EO  was a multimedia spectacle involving a twenty minute space opera with music and choreography by Jackson, synched lasers, smoke effects, and starlight projections. Decommissioned in the nineties, Disney just announced it is remounting the spectacle in late February.

4. The Fortress of Solitude

Who wouldn’t want to retreat to a secret ice crystal hideout rivaling Zahid Hadid’s architectural designs or a Caspar David Friedrich ice flow under the Northern Lights with a holographic media centre? Especially if the commute wasn’t a problem like it wasn’t for Superman.

5. Lost

If you can’t make the Magnetic Norths exhibition, the next best thing is to watch the TV show Lost. It has all the same elements: electromagnetic anomalies, nuclear threats, supernatural phenomenon, the “Others,” isolating geography difficult to map, polar bears, troubled relationships, issues of consumption, and playing with the conventions of genre. Granted there are some differences, like an absence of advertising and maybe a slightly more critical framework, but then again, you could just use Google and download a torrent version free of ads.



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