Tom Sherman: Alley 9 and Michael Swim's Catch

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Alley 9 is a pub in Liverpool, Nova Scotia. Every Friday night Alley 9 features Mike Mosher’s Krazy Karaoke. This 2009 video co-authored by Tom Sherman and Jan Pottie, documents the patrons of this pub crossing the line between audience and performer. Karaoke is the quintessential interactive form, bringing the energy of live performance back to bars long-deadened by the canned music of DJs. Karaoke not only permits ordinary people to interpret popular music, it closes the gap between a distant fabricated culture and people’s desire for attention in their local scene. In Alley 9 we witness the joyous transformation of people attaining ownership of the music they love.

The second video documents Michael Swim, Captain of Queen Anne's Revenge, bringing in a catch of fish to Port Mouton, Nova Scotia. The catch of halibut, cod, haddock, pollock, hake, cusk, catfish and skate wings includes a big halibut that weighs 260 pounds. These fish were caught 61 miles South of Port Mouton on the Little La Have Bank.

Tom Sherman moved to Canada in 1972 after completing his B.F.A. at the Eastern Michigan University and went on to become one of this country’s leading figures in video art. He co-founded the artist run A Space Video (1973) and Fuse Magazine (1978). He worked at the Canada Council for the Arts in the early 1980s and founded its Media Arts section (1983). He represented Canada at the Venice Biennale (1980), and has been the subject of several major exhibitions, including retrospectives at the National Gallery of Canada (1983) and the International Festival of Films on Art in Montreal (2005). In 2003, he received the Bell Award for excellence in video art and in 2010, he was the recipient of the Governor Generals’ Award in Visual and Media Arts.

Tom is currently a professor in the Department of Transmedia at Syracuse University and when he’s not teaching, he lives near Liverpool, Nova Scotia.

Image: Tom Sherman, Michael Swim’s Catch, 2011, Video (10:00), Donated to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia by BMO Financial Group,Toronto, Ontario, 2012

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