Libby Leshgold Gallery

The Libby Leshgold Gallery is pleased to present a conversation in conjunction with Misc. Activities Collective’s site-specific work, drift, currently showing on the Emily Carr University Urban Screen.

Faculty member Rita Wong will sit down with Misc. Activities Collective’s Tsēmā Igharas in ECU’s Aboriginal Gathering Place to discuss drift’s call to examine our relationship with water and its relationship to the rapidly changing land.

A screening of the film Klabona Keepers will follow the discussion, with an introduction by Rita Wong.

About the work:

drift observes the shifting nature of water using moments of sublime beauty. Using footage collected during the artists’ two years of travel across continents and waterways, the work combines and remixes the colours, forms and surfaces of water to create imagery that is both dazzling and meditative. Overlooking the pavings of the Wilson Arts Plaza, drift offers an optical reminder of the transformational powers of water and light; expertly filtered through layers of technology, the work is a visual experience tailored to the urban environment, even as it reminds us of its limitations.

drift is on view at the Wilson Arts Plaza at Emily Carr University from 8am - 9pm daily from July 20th, 2023 through January 31st, 2024.

About the speakers:

Misc. Activities Collective, Tsēmā and Jonathan Igharas are an art and design duo working in parallel since meeting at Emily Carr University in 2010. Tsēmā, an interdisciplinary artist from Tāłtān Matriarchy, makes performative sculpture installations connecting materials to mine-sites and bodies to the land. Jonathan is a Filipino-American Industrial and Environments designer exploring the intangible impact objects and spaces have on the human experience. Their practices align in their shared interest in decolonial design, issues relating to water and the creation of a sustainable social and ecological future for their daughter and generations to come.

Rita Wong considers the relationships between contemporary poetics, water justice, ecology, and decolonization. She has co-edited an anthology with Dorothy Christian entitled Downstream: Reimagining Water. A recipient of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and the Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop Emerging Writer Award, Wong is the author of beholden (with Fred Wah), undercurrent (2015), perpetual (with Cindy Mochizuki), sybil unrest (with Larissa Lai), forage (Nightwood, awarded Canada Reads Poetry 2011), and monkeypuzzle (Press Gang, 1998). She is honoured to have been born in Moh’kins’tsis and to currently lives on unceded Coast Salish territories aka Vancouver, where she works as an associate professor in Critical and Cultural Studies at Emily Carr.

About the screening:

The Klabona Keepers is an intimate portrait of the inspiring Indigenous families that succeeded in protecting the Sacred Headwaters, known as the Klabona, northwest British Columbia, from industrial activities. Spanning 15 years of matriarch-led resistance, the film follows a small group of determined elders in the village of Iskut as they heal from colonial wounds to push back against law enforcement, the government, and some of the world’s largest multinational companies. Nestled between scenes of stand-offs and blockades, land defenders reflect on how their history of forced displacement, residential schools, and trauma strengthened their resolve to protect the very land that was so essential to their healing journey.

Canada Council for the Arts RBC Wealth Management


Image: Misc. Activities Collective, drift, 2023. Photo by Michael Love.