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Soil was a project of Neutral Ground Artist-Run Centre which is currently not in operation.

SOIL was formed in response to the impact of new tools and technologies on local communities and artists by providing a focus for media arts activity and a public venue for artists to create and exhibit new work.

SOIL assisted artists in acquiring access to the means of production and exhibition of independent media art projects. Soil responded to a broad range of electronic arts practices through research and dissemination.

Programs and services were dedicated to media arts practitioners as well as to artists working in other disciplines for the purposes of researching and testing the impact of digital media on their respective art forms; visual/plastic arts, fine craft, performance/live art.

SOIL aimed to be recognized for its emphasis on research and practice in the areas of Expanded Cinema and Science & Technology including Parascience – often for the purposes of critiquing the impact of technology on social and economic systems in the 21st century. Other areas of interest included but were not restricted to:

  • New technologies and the material culture of archives
  • Geo-mapping and movement in contemporary art and visual culture
  • Women in comics and subcultural identities
  • Directions in transhumanism ie: A.I., programmable matter, ethical technologies
  • National identity through media art and popular culture
  • History, memory, psychological relationship with place and telematics
  • How the performative process impacts on the interpretation of the artifact in video and/or photography
  • Sound theory, installation and process
  • Wearable technologies

Mandate:
  • Creating opportunities for artists to spend more time making their work,
  • Facilitating media arts production by providing artists access to technology and other resources,
  • Supporting the public presentation of media artworks through exhibition, performance, or screenings,
  • Emphasizing professional development for artists and curators in Saskatchewan,
  • Developing new and innovative programming for public engagement,
  • Facilitating research and educational opportunities for artists, curators, organizers, critics and educators,
  • Promoting contact between artists and technicians.
Significant projects in our history:

Since 1997, SOIL funded co-productions with the following artists; all are Canadian except where indicated;

Jillian Mcdonald, Peter Courtemanche, Paul Wong, Garnet Hertz, Eric Hill, Adam Lark, Clark Ferguson, Michael Alstad + Leah Lazariuk, Robert Hillstead, Dana Claxton, Jon Sasaki, Hadley + Maxwell, Lee Henderson, Dominique Rey, Kelly Mark, Robert Saucier, KIT, Carrie Gates, Erik Rzepka, Ian Campbell, Adam Nash (AU), John McCormick (AU), Adam Hyde (AU), Mez Breeze (AU), Adam Burrell (AU), Katherine Liberovskaya, Guy van Belle (EU), Henri Eric Hernandez (Cuba), Jaye Kovach, Felipe Diaz, Sheila Urbanoski, Lynda C. Surjik, Bruce la Bruce, Edward Poitras, Ahasiw Maskegon-Iskwew, Michael Stecky, Erin Gee, Turner Prize*, Nicholas Stedman, Battery Operated (EU), Michelle Kasprzak, Anna Scott, Lynn Acoose & Elwood Jimmy, Huong Ngo, George Monteleone, Jennifer Hamilton, Jen Southern (UK), Robert Saucier, Mark Dudiak, Cedric Bomford, Turner Prize*, Carrie Gates, Ian Campbell, Amy Horvey, Guillermo Gomez-Pena + Roberto Sifuentes, Dorkbot Regina, Sofian Audry (workshops).

Also since 1997, SOIL presented the following artists in exhibitions, screenings or demonstrations of their work;

Steve Heimbecker, Ken Gregory, Sheila Urbanoski, Jocelyn Robert, Queer City Cinema (Festivals 1 through 11, co-sponsored including post-production assitance), Dr. Sheila Petty, John Akomfrah, Wayne Dunkley, Camille Turner, Steve Dietz, Sarah Cook, Anthony Kiendl, Don Ritter, Diane Morin, Jamie Drouin, Brendan Fernandes, Marc Fournel, Katherine Liberovskaya, Diane Landry, David Hoffos, Joe Kelly, Valerie Lamontagne, Odette LeBlanc, Sandee Moore, Petri’s Quadrille, KIT, Robert Saucier, Toby Heys (UK), Deirdre Logue, Joanne Bristol, Rachelle Viader Knowles, Marla Hlady, Robert Pytlyk, Daniel Barrow, Michael Waterman, Ian Birse, Laura Kavanaugh, Charlie Fox, Alexandra Dementieva (EU), Gordon Monahan, Peter Horvath, Guy van Belle (UK), Adam Lark, Jen Deleos Reyes, Sylvia Ziemann, Patrick Bergeron, Pascal Dufaux, Benny Nemoerofsky Ramsay, Rita McKeough, Michele Sereda (Curtain Razors), David LaRiviere, Loretta Paoli, Jon Cates (USA), Soft Turns (Sarah Jane Gorlitz and Wojciech Olejnik), Kim Cascone (USA), Error Benders, crys cole, Jeff Morton, Thomas Couzinier (France), Ted Hiebert, Doug Jarvis, Jackson 2Bears, Chantal Dumas, Tim Brady, Sundar Subramanian, Gary Wasyliw, Iain Emslie, Colby Richardson, Leanne Berger, Ernie Dulanowksy, Christopher Williams and Robin Hayward (EU), Charilie Morrow and Maija-Leena Remes (USA), Bas Jan Ader (EU), Kristi Allik, Jirayu Uttaranakorn, Peter Brass, Terrance Houl.

Media Art Partners:

  • Queer City Cinema, International Film Festival co-host
  • Holophon, Audio Art Collective & members
  • Videographe, Micro-space location and exchange partners, Montreal
  • Dorkbot Regina, Electronic Arts