Nature and Culture – Alex Simons

volcano book open 2

volcano book open


My book consists of photographs of lines made by people atop of every volcano mentioned in John Hamilton’s Volcano: Nature and Culture; a book about volcanos  represented in historical paintings and literature.

The hole in the book’s lower corner refers to the volcanos’ form, and is meant to contrast  geologic time against the pace of the social and economic changes that take place on their surface.



here your pardon for the poet, by Andrea Aleman-Pastor

Poetry Book documentation

This book is a collection of Spanish poems which I have translated into English to the best of my ability. Raised speaking both English and Spanish at home, the gaps in my vocabulary are revealed as I attempt to decipher these artistic passages. Even with a perfectly fluent translator, these forms of communication can never be paired bijectively. This book then alludes to all the poetry that has been inevitably lost in translation.

Poetry Book documentation(open)

Cheering for Everything by Alex Simons and Andrea Aleman-Pastor


This performance by Andrea and Alex involved cheering for everything that happened at a social event. At the Artists Bowling party, the artists cheered whenever someone got a strike, bowled a gutter ball, or poured a beer. The performance lasted the entire event without pause, using pre-recorded audio to assist in constant applause. This resulted in elevating unsuccessful or banal occurrences, while devaluing the excitement of a cheer-worthy accomplishments.

Cheering for Everything by Andrea and Alex from Andrea Aleman-Pastor on Vimeo.

Spring Equinox Celebration – Chelsea Birnie & Mikayla Gauthier

We chose to host a social gathering to celebrate the Spring Equinox. The details of the event were as follows:

The celebration was held at 42 Quebec St., Guelph, ON, Guelph Youth Dance, studio A. The space was chosen for its ample sunlight and high ceilings to provide a bright and open space to engage within. The event lasted for two hours and five main spectacles as related to Spring were enacted as a means of heightening the energy of those participating in the experience.

The experience itself was an exercise in self-care. These activities include eating healthily and staying hydrated, physical exercise, listening to music, social interaction, communal ritual, and creative stimulation. These exercises can help reduce stress, anxiety, and SADs, which are particularly prevalent during the winter season.

We provided various fruits and lemonade and covered the space in bundles of flowers. This spectacle is the first of five that was presented to our participants. The fruit and flower provide a pleasurable sensory experience, while also being symbols of abundance and prosperity.

The second spectacle was a ritual celebration of Ostara run by member of the Guelph Hermetic Arts society, Amy McCann. The participants meditated on the concept of the seed and were summoned to germinate that seed with an intention to manifest positivity in the new season. A chant circle finished off the ritual.

The third spectacle was an exercise in play and imagination. We asked our participants to all collaborate on a 2 foot mural. The mural itself is an artifact of the celebration. Other documentation such as a roll of 100 ASA black and white film, as well as digital photography was taken to serve as artifacts of the experience.

Alaina Osborne performed a belly dance routine as the fourth spectacle. Her choice of dress and music was appropriate for the Spring celebration.

The fifth and final spectacle were a number of exercises that engaged all of the participants bodies as a sculptural medium. For one activity each participant pairs up and one of the two uses their partner’s body to create a form that relates to the other participants bodies until one amorphous shape is made. This demands a great deal of trust and respect between the partners and the group as a whole.