2021 THEMES

Themes for The Hibernation Project 2021


Want to participate as an artist or spectator? Here’s how.

Welcome to The Hibernation Project in an era marked by COVID-19. While these weird + wild daze require sensitivity to others and careful social distancing, we believe there are lateral ways of making and showing art that have not been fully explored. How can we connect without touching? How can we leverage and subvert widely available technologies for artistic purposes? How can we make new work, apart yet together? Especially in the cold winter months, there is a real danger in self-isolation. With that in mind, we are continuing this annual project in a radically re-imagined format, stretching from domestic spaces to virtual worlds to shared public amenities. The list of weekly themes is below, and while things may shift due to Coronavirus complications, we will do our best to carry on, together.


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THE HIBERNATION STATION: public access (internet) TV from our house(s) to yours!

Saturday, January 23, 2021. Theme by Caitlind Brown & Wayne Garrett.

ARTISTS: Eliza Fernand, Greg Doble, Ian Keteku, Jack Bride, Jett Thunders, Khalid Omokanye, Kino Sum (with thanks to Guillaume Carlier & Gillian McKercher), Mike Hooves, Palm Reader (Kay Gallivan), Sabrina Cannataro, and SCN Swampy Communications Network (featuring Neil Adams, Sean Dunham, Eric Hill, Krystal Lewis, Jeff Meldrum, Amber PB, and Teale Phelps Bondaroff).

Inspired by 70s and 80s DIY television programs, especially Winnipeg Babysitter and Stairway to Stardom, artists from across Canada shared video art, performances, vignettes, and the weather via Zoom “TV.”


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SLIPPERY SLOPE: build-your-own toboggans and tobogganing race

Saturday, January 30, 2021. Theme by Mike Tan.

PARTICIPANTS: Aiden Tan, Andre Rodrigues, Brigid Catjoa, Caitlind Brown, Clare Duckett, Daniel Schaefer, Drea Hunt & Ashlyah, Genevieve Pare, Kamila Eltassi (piloted by Jeremy Kuijer), Khalid Omokanye, Lane Shordee (with wheelbarrow assistance c/o Nikki Martens), Logan Lape (with partner kudos to Svea Ferguson), Maggie Schaefer, Matthew Mark & Mark Erickson, Mike Tan, Wayne Garrett. Thanks to our finish line assistant Chad Saunders for score keeping and safety monitoring.

Participants constructed functional toboggans and brought them to the sledding hill behind Ramsay School for a spread-out slip-sliding adventure. An active, light-hearted adventure in playful thinking, SLIPPERY SLOPE engages all the senses in physical fun.


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SOUNDS FROM THE MYSTIC BEACH: escape winter daze on radio waves

Wednesday, February 10, 2021 on CJSW 90.9 fm Campus & Community Radio. Theme by Caitlind Brown & Wayne Garrett.

ARTISTS: Chris Locke, Crystal Eyes, Jay Heule, Julia Gunst, Luba Diduch, Rachel Ziriada, The Research Council (Rebecca Reid & Ryan Bourne), Wayne Garrett, and Caitlind Brown. Thanks to Jasmine Vickaryous and Adam Kamis.

With this theme, we were thinking about invisible mediums and the power of sound to take you places. There is a role for escapism in surviving winter in Canada. In an era increasingly moderated by screens, digital stimulus, and external communications, we wonder, is “the mystic beach” a paradise outside reality? The utopia within? Or something else entirely?


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POSTPONEMENT POST: mail art makin’ on the ‘net

Saturday, February 13, 2021. *Due to cold weather, SMOKE & MIRRORS is postponed until March 20.

PARTICIPANTS: Audrey Lane Cockett, Maggie Schaefer, Richard Larson, Taryn Montgomery, Caitlind Brown, and Wayne Garrett.


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INSTRUCTIONS & RULES: how to follow the rules, and how to break them

Saturday, February 20, 2021. Theme by Jennifer Crighton.

ARTISTS: Alex Felicitas, Caitlind Brown, Suzen Statz, Who Cares? (Laura Reid & Jiajia Li), and Wayne Garrett.

In a time characterized by prolonged health and safety regulations (and subsequent kickback), Jennifer’s theme invited artists to playfully subvert interactive instructions, creating “a game of rules and adaptations.” Drawing connections with Yoko Ono’s instructional artworks, and Jennifer’s previous Birthday Cake Bake-a-Long, INSTRUCTIONS & RULES blurred the line between artist and audience, and everyone following or breaking rules became an active participant.


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CAR SHOW: mobile exhibition in trunks, back seats, and truck beds

Saturday, February 27, 2021. Theme by Caitlind Brown & Wayne Garrett.

ARTISTS: Gary McMillan, Keith Rodger, Maggie & Daniel Schaefer, and Caitlind Brown & Wayne Garrett.

In an attempt to subvert the car-centric culture of Alberta and utilize the ‘non-space’ offered by the interior of an automobile, CAR SHOW invited artists to install artworks in their own cars, or the cars of their friends. These interiors became safe, socially distanced, micro-galleries to view from the outside. A slow rally of the CAR SHOW vehicles travelled to parking lots around Calgary, creating a mobile exhibition.


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INFINITE CUBE: grand reopening of the newly remodelled Hiber National Gallery

Saturday, March 6, 2021. Theme by Caitlind Brown & Wayne Garrett.

ARTISTS: Brandon A. Dalmer, Caitlind r.c. Brown, Chris Foster, Damian Espinosa, Eric Heitmann, Luba Diduch, Michelle Murphy, Vicki Chau, and Wayne Garrett.

Located in an imaginary (but carefully rendered) contemporary art gallery in virtual space, INFINITE CUBE references both the myth of neutrality in ‘the white cube,’ and the seemingly endless unfolding of digital space in the internet era: imagine a cube, deconstructing itself without end. In a time where virtual reality, fake news, and skillful renderings are almost inseparable from their true counterparts, how can we determine what is “real” and what is imaginary? And why do we care? Hiber National Gallery embraces the potential for creating ‘uncanny architecture’ using common video-sharing app, Zoom. Through the eye of the webcam, an artwork of any scale – whether virtual, sculptural, live, pre-recorded, big, small, etc. – will fill an entire “Zoom room,” homogenized to the scale of each viewer’s computer/phone monitor, yet expanding into the imaginary space of Hiber National.


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AIRBORNE: homemade kites, crafted apart and flown together

Saturday, March 13, 2021. Theme by Caitlind Brown & Wayne Garrett.

ARTISTS: Barb Drake, Caitlind Brown, Chad Saunders & Family, David Kenney & Veronique Arseneau, Logan Lape, Maggie Schaefer, Noel Begin, and Stewart Elton. Special assistance thanks to Phil, Svea, Daniel, Lisa, and all the kids!

In an attempt to restore connotations of delight to the word “airborne,” this theme was intended as a whimsical group performance inviting participants to make and fly a kite.


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SMOKE & MIRRORS: a touchless carnival of the unconscious

Saturday, March 20, 2021. Theme by Rebecca Reid.

ARTISTS: Martha Zweifel, Marie Sulkowski, Rebecca Reid, Ryan Bourne, Susan Clarahan, Wayne Garrett, with ISOLATED BABEL cross-over by Anna Ostberg, Caitlind Brown & Kenzie Housego.

Exploring intersecting roles between stage magic and real magic, SMOKE & MIRRORS invites artists are invited to open “doors to the unconscious, trickery (optical, interpersonal, spiritual, political?), appearing & disappearing, (impermanence, mortality, quantum reality?), floating, secret things, conspiracies (aliens, illuminati, etc.), esoterica and the occult, illusions (the illusory nature of physicality?), spell casting, or a literal exploration of smoke and mirrors as makers mediums.” The final installations will be part of “an outdoor mini ‘carnival’ that one can look at but not touch.”


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VOYAGER RETURNS: alien signals, songs, and sounds, borne by radio to distant ears

Wednesday, March 24 and Wednesday, March 31 on CJSW 90.9 fm Campus & Community Radio.

ARTISTS (Voyager Returns Part 1): Laura Reid & Clinton St. John, Messages from the Stars (Rebecca Reid & marie Sulkowski), Michelle Murphy, Sarah Houle & Shane Ghostkeeper, WKP (Whitney Ota), and Zahra Shahab. Hosted by Caitlind Brown.


ARTISTS (Voyager Returns Part 2): Audrey Lane Cockett, Castle Souns (Patrick Whitten, Rebecca Reid, Rhys Masrani, Ryan Bourne), DJ Kel & The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Jasmine Vickaryous & Jess Arcand, Jenna Swift, Kaunsel (Parker Thiessen), Noel Begin, and OAS (Owen Strasky). Hosted by Caitlind Brown & Wayne Garrett.


Tune in to CJSW 90.9 fm to hear to Part 1 & 2 of VOYAGER RETURNS, sound art, poetry, music, interviews, spoken word, and other audio-based artworks on the radio. This sound-based theme references Voyager 1 and 2, spacecraft that NASA launched in the 70s to capture photos and data from across the galaxy. As these flying objects enter into interstellar space, travelling further than any human-made objects have ever travelled from earth, they each carry with them a golden record of “earth sounds” compiled by Carl Sagan. With VOYAGER RETURNS, we’re imagining that the Voyager has been received or intercepted, and “alien signals, songs, and sounds” have been sent back across the void of space in response, received by radio on CJSW 90.9 fm.


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DIGITAL TRASH: zoom flops, digital stench, and anything else that makes your phone pulse with trepidation

Saturday, March 27, 2021. Theme by Matthew Waddell & Laura Anzola (of AZMA)

ARTISTS: Claire Coutts, David Ferris, Evangelos Lambrinoudis, Galina Shevchenko, Michelle Murphy, Matthew Waddell & Laura Anzola, and Wayne Garrett.

From the minds of artists and animators Matthew Waddell & Laura Anzola comes DIGITAL TRASH, a theme inviting participants to dredge their spam folders, upend their “garbage cans,” dig deep into the annals of the internet, and mine their meme vocabulary for artworks ranging from digital to performative. Part original content and part show-and-tell, nothing is too out there or outrageous for DIGITAL TRASH. There are no wrong answers. Together, we can turn digital trash into digital treasure.


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PROXIMITY: so close, and yet, so far

Saturday, April 3, 2021. Theme by Caitlind Brown & Wayne Garrett.

ARTISTS: Barb Drake, Jennifer Ireland, Michelle Murphy, Nicole Wolf, Nurgul Rodriguez, and Caitlind Brown & Wayne Garrett. Crossover with the latest layer of ISOLATED BABEL by Sarah Slaughter, with assistance from Melody Stang.

Evoking the comedic anxieties of navigating interpersonal space during a deadly global pandemic, PROXIMITY draws from The Future of Touch (a conversation we hosted for artists working in the social sphere during early months of COVID-19). Artists are invited to touch on the risk of intimacy, the difficulty of traversing public places, the dangerous desire for closeness, the unconscious impulse to pull away, the alienating impact of the coronavirus on marginalized communities, the stifling safety of domestic space, the consequences of affection, the renewed need for consent, and so on. Drawing from the absurd overnight inversion of actions which were once “kind” or “hospitable” becoming “thoughtless” or “sinister,” this theme invites artists to explore the funny frustrated feelings that are so close, and yet, so far.


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GATHER BY FIRE: wooden sculptures for burning

(in honour of our friend Matthew Mark 🖤 who loved art, fire, and a little bit of wildness)

  • LOCATION: Caitlind & Wayne’s yard with social distancing
  • DATE + TIME: Saturday, April 10, 2021. *POSTPONED UNTIL MAY 29, 2021* You must RSVP for a time slot in advance.
  • ARTISTS: TBA // Theme by Caitlind r.c. Brown & Wayne Garrett.

The final theme of The Hibernation Project 2021, held over from 2020, is a sculpture burn. A loose tribute to our dearly departed pal Matthew Mark Bourree, this theme is open to all artists and viewers, regardless of whether or not they knew Matt – as we believe he would have wanted. Participants are invited to construct sculptures out of non-toxic, unpainted woods, to share and burn in a communal ritual to ring in the Spring. Hearkening to primal relationships, GATHER BY FIRE was named for an artwork by Sarah Smalik & Matthew Mark Bourree, and speaks to the great and mystical magnetism of people towards light, heat, and each other.

The final week of The Hibernation Project features the culmination of contributions to “Isolated Babel,” a tower sculpture constructed weekly through a series of “blind” collaborations over the 12 week duration of the project.

Learn more about each theme here.


Project description by Khalid Omokanye

WEEK 1 – 12

ISOLATED BABEL: a socially distanced collaboration spanning the 12-week duration of The Hibernation Project

  • DATE + TIME: Every Saturday from January 23 – April 10, 2021
  • LOCATION: Caitlind & Wayne’s yard. Walk-by visitations welcome as the tower is built, but please wear a face covering and practice social distancing. Contact us for location information.
  • ARTISTS (in order of appearance): Khalid Omokanye, Guy Gardner, Wayne Garrett, Lane Shordee, Svea Ferguson & Logan Lape, Lisa Hodgkinson & Stewart Elton, Matthew Kennedy, Mark Erickson & Phil Wilson, Rebecca Reid & Ryan Bourne, Caitlind Brown, Kenzie Housego & Anna Ostberg, Joanne MacDonald, Sarah Slaughter, Alia Shahab & Kamila Eltassi // Theme by Khalid Omokanye

Follow this blog to watch the tower grow!


A snowy Hibernation in early 2020
Inside a projection-installation by Noel Begin during Hibernation 2020. Photo by Matthew Kennedy