Tactile Residency

[Image Description: Two hands, one white and one Black, reach from both sides to touch the grunt gallery logo. The text reads: Tactile Residency.]

grunt gallery 2022 tactile residency

Submissions due: October 31st, 2022, Midnight or 11:59 PM PDT

The following information can be listened to in English by visiting soundcloud or downloading an MP3 from our Google Drive.

What is the grunt gallery 2022 tactile residency?

The purpose of the tactile residency is a dynamic opportunity that provides space for participants to explore non-visual and tactile (touch) responses and adjacent editions to works in the grunt gallery exhibition space and archives. The residency is also open to those who are interested in responding to the physical grunt space in a tactile and non-visual way. It is up to the selected participants how they explore tactile space and how they use tactility as a way of expressing and interacting with contemporary art and artist-run spaces. The residency may or may not produce work that can be showcased, used, or archived by grunt gallery within the context of their space. There is also an opportunity to discuss special editions. The program is designed to be spacious and allow participants to shape the residency.

grunt gallery offers the tactile artist residency as a co-learning opportunity for their staff and our community to explore how tactility can exist and play-out within predominantly visual spaces where touching and interacting with work is discouraged, forbidden, or not considered. Time is built into the residency to allow for artists to share and participate in grunt staff and committee meetings, and members of the Accessibility, Exhibitions, and Public Events (AEPE) department at grunt will be available to support throughout the residency as needed.

In our first year of the residency, we invite expressions of interest from community members working on Coast Salish land, within the colonially named Metro Vancouver area. This residency is limited to those creative people who self-identify as Non-Visual, Blind, DeafBlind, Partially Sighted or Low Vision individuals. We recognize that wellness, ability, and identity is a spectrum, and we ask you to share how you position yourself within your communities, and how your practice is engaged with a non-visual, and tactile discourse.

grunt gallery hosts and makes work on the unceded and stolen ancestral territories of the Hun’qumi’num (hǝn̓q̓ǝmin̓ǝm̓) and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) speaking peoples, as uninvited guests on Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil Waututh lands. We will prioritize applications from host nation creators when reviewing applications. We will also encourage and prioritize experiences by Black, and/or Indigenous, and/or racialized individuals. Please let us know when you apply if you are a part of MST families and nations, or if you identify as a racialized individual.

The grunt gallery 2022 tactile residency project will involve a selection process following an application. The selection will be made from the current grunt gallery AEPE department, grunt’s accessibility committee and 1-2 community assessors.

Artist Fee: 

Artist fee of $2000, with an expectation of about 10-15hrs/week of artistic labour over 6 weeks (including initial discovery phase and project introduction – 2 hours maximum), with any hiring of interveners/interpreters/translators, time spent in additional meetings, and any workshop, community gathering, and research costs covered by grunt. Artists can coordinate time at grunt gallery to work, or work offsite as they wish. Selected artists will coordinate with the Exhibitions and Accessibility Manager, Kay Slater, and the Events and Accessibility Manager, Keimi Nakashima-Ochoa. Invitations to additional staff and committee meetings are optional and up to the artist to decide their capacity.


Deadline for submissions October 31st, 2022.

Jury/Assessment Panel: Week of November 7th, 2022.

Notice of selections: November 16th, 2022.


Applications can be submitted in text, voice, or ASL. When submitting voice recordings, please indicate the language used in the recording.

If this format works for you, please click here to access the google form application.

If google forms are not accessible, these questions are available in Word Doc, OCR PDF, and can be copied from there into an email.

Here is a video presenting the application questions in ASL:


grunt has wide double-entrances (manual) and a wheelchair accessible washroom. Please note, the washroom door on site is very heavy . Here is a video walkthrough of the space which includes visual description. For full access details or to discuss needs and inclusion, please email: access@grunt.ca

If you would like to have a meeting to discuss your application or for any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us.

If you require a translator, intervenor, or other access support, please let us know. Service dogs with certification are welcome in the space. Please note that non-certified support animals are not able to be supported in the space for the sake of staff and visitors and their access needs. Please contact us with any questions.

How can I support this initiative?

If you are not eligible for this residency but still wish to support it, we ask that you share this with your networks, directly invite people that you think would be interested, and if possible, donate to grunt gallery to help us sustain these programs.

Share our invitation on social media, and be sure to write image descriptions in your media captions should they be erased when shared.

Written support can also be sent to access@grunt.ca for us to use in grants, and to help us better our programming and calls for submissions in the future.

Financial support can be provided by donating, or by contacting communications@grunt.ca to become a funding partner for our Accessible Exhibitions, Public Programming and Events initiatives.

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Annual General Meeting 2022


Visible Art Society (dba grunt gallery)


DATE: Thursday September 29, 2022
TIME: 6:30pm
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86067695351

Meeting ID: 860 6769 5351

ADDRESS: #116 – 350 East 2nd Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V5T 4R8, Mainspace Building

Please join us for a fast and fun Annual General Meeting of the Visible Art Society (dba grunt gallery) by Zoom.  We will be meeting for the following purposes:

  1. Presentation of the 2021 – 2022 audited financial statements
  2. Board of Directors’ report
  3. Program Director and Operations Director reports
  4. Election of the society’s officers

Click here to access the 2022 AGM package. 

As a member, you are invited to attend virtually and vote.  If you are not a member, please go to grunt.ca and sign up for our newsletter by 5:00pm on September 28, 2022. There is no cost to membership.

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Cree & D

After many trials and several travels in the great iron birds that skim across the skies and over the canopy towns in the realm of Ministik—wait, wherefore and what-now is Ministik? We’re thrilled to invite you into a new project written by Jessica and Ben Johns. Cree & D has been percolating in the background like the healing tonic of a strong, home-brewed yarrow kombucha. Written in the style of a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, this is a story of love, family, and of course adventure, as these aunties work to preserve the hard won and tenuous peace treaty between the six nations. There’s also Butterball, Auntie Darlene’s werepug familiar.

The first episode of Cree & D launches Friday August 19th, 2022! This campaign follows the story of three cuzzins—Auntie Vera, Auntie Darlene and Auntie Mac—as they search for Kokum Cardinal’s stolen staff and work to preserve the peace in the realm of Ministik. Listen on the player below or follow our channel on PodBean: click here!

Cree & D is produced by These Ones (formerly known as Together Apart) and supported by grunt gallery on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. We record on Treaty 6 at FAVA studios. Art by Abbey Riddle. Music by Matthew Cardinal. Voices by Ben and Jessica with Emily Riddle and Matt Ward.

Image by Abbey Riddle.

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Ho Tak Kee: New Commissioned Work & Artist Talk

One part fairy tale, one part cooking show and one part Cantonese school, Ho Tak Kee by Leung Yiksea 梁亦詩 and Karin Lee 李嘉慈 is an assembly of fragmented memories and imagined conversations of a local wonton house that was lost to fire one Christmas day. The Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen is located on the site of the former Ho Tak Kee Wonton House, and many elements of this project were inspired by conversations with the Ho Tak Kee family and artists in the area who frequented the eatery. This settler story is emblematic of many newcomer/family-run eateries. Click here for details about this new work on the MPCAS.

On Saturday May 28th, join us online for an artist talk with Leung Yiksea 梁亦詩 and Karin Lee 李嘉慈 in conversation with Vanessa Kwan regarding Ho Tak Kee, commissioned by grunt gallery for the Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen. For this presentation we will be screening the work online before the discussion, but if you have the opportunity, please go see the work on the screen at Kingsway and Broadway, as intended! Ho Tak Kee screens throughout the week—click here and scroll down for the MPCAS programming schedule—and will be screening for the full day on Saturdays and Sundays in May and every Sunday in June.

This event will be presented on Zoom, with auto-captioning and a live transcript by otter.ai.

Click here to join the event.

[Image description: a family-sized bowl of wor wontons topped with vibrant green bok choy is centred on a glass lazy susan, on a red-and-white gingham tablecloth. To the left of the bowl is a tray of condiments: soy sauce, chili oil and an diner-style ketchup bottle. To the right are four empty rice bowls and a ladle.]
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Low-Sensory & Voice-off Gallery Hours

We are offering and experimenting with low-sensory and voice-off exhibition visiting hours throughout 2022.

On Thursdays from Noon-5PM, our Exhibitions Manager, Kay Slater, will offer a low-sensory and/or voice-off experience to visitors wishing to visit the space and our exhibitions.

What this will mean:

  • We will ask visitors to come scent-free on Thursdays (no perfume or scented body products—paint your nails a few days before visiting!)
  • You can choose to be voice-off and not converse with our gallery staff. You will not be approached unless you approach us (or if you are in need of assistance). Kay is hard of hearing and will require mask-wearing (mandatory) visitors to communicate by writing, ASL, English sign, or to step outside and remove masks so they can lip read (English or French).
  • Any sound or media pieces will be sound-off or low-volume for visitors. Transcripts and captions will be available for all works.
  • Overhead, exhibition lights will be dimmed, still providing safe passage through the space.

If you have any suggestions, additional requests for a low-sensory day, or would like us to anticipate your visit with additional consideration, please email us at access@grunt.ca — we welcome your feedback!


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Call for Submissions: Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen

We are currently accepting submissions for the Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen, until January 2nd, 2023! We welcome contributions from artists, collectives, curators and other community members, organizations and community festivals. Generally speaking, submitted works should be 10 minutes or less and could include (but are not limited to) still images, time-based media, animations, performance works, archival video, interactive pieces, GIFs, experimental video, and curatorial/screening proposals.

After several years of focusing on the theme of PLACE, the Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen is opening this call to works under any theme. When submitting however, we would like to highlight that we will continue to jury works using these three categories:

/40 – Artistic Merit
/30 – Relevance to place/Mount Pleasant/grunt
/30 – Community Impact

The theme of PLACE has come to be interpreted expansively, including but not limited to: the engagement of unceded territory from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous perspectives, mapping, gentrification, displacement, diasporic identity, digital space and community and contested space. We will continue to honour its initial framing of PLACE, and ask that when submitting, artists and filmmakers continue to consider what it means to display work publicly in this neighbourhood, what it means to take this space, and what communities will be engaging the most with it. The MPCAS continues under a mandate of being a responsive, non-commercial and community-generated project.

Click here for details and submission forms!

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Interview with Ben Bogart

Ben Bogart’s new work, A diffraction of past/stability and present/dynamism, will be featured on the Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen from December 17th—26th, 2021. This beautifully complex work will screen for 7.5 hours/day, you can read more about the project here. We will also be presenting Ben’s work in our gallery, with an artist talk in January, 2022. We’re excited to share this work with you, and wanted to introduce you to Ben’s practice — read on for a mini interview with Ben Bogart!

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your creative practice!

I’m a non-binary agender adisciplinary conceptual artist and as I write this I’m constantly distracted by hummingbirds coming to visit my new feeder and delighted watching their tongues as they flick them out of their beaks after each sip of nectar. For over two decades I’ve focused on computational processes as artistic material; I think of the use of computational processes as following from the instruction works of 1960s conceptual art onward. In my artistic practice I’ve engaged with methods including physical modelling, chaotic equations, feedback systems, evolutionary algorithms, computer vision, and machine learning. I’ve diffracted these methods through bodies of knowledge in computational creativity, cognitive neuroscience, psychology of creativity, and quantum physics, and see continuity between my artistic and scholarly practices. Through these disparate methods and disciplines, my work engages with fundamental questions regarding subjectivity, objectivity, knowledge, meaning, emergence, complexity, autonomy, creativity, and thought. In recent years I’ve been thinking through Karen Barad’s Agential Realism and the ways in which boundary-making is fundamental to natural-cultural (physical-conceptual) processes. I’ve come to realize that my professional practice has always troubled and reworked physical and conceptual boundaries.

How did you become engaged with the technology used in your piece for the MPCAS?

My dad worked with computers his entire professional life, from a thesis written using punch cards, through magnetic reel-to-reel tape, to hard disks. He is also a photographer and for nearly as long as I can remember photography and digital imaging were available to me, but I’m not sure I thought of myself as an artist then. It wasn’t until moving to Toronto in 1999 that I was exposed to the “Electronic Media Art” scene that gave me a precedent for thinking about computation and technology as artistic materials. One of the first people I met outside of university was Camille Turner at the Subtle Technologies Conference in 1999 and it was her who introduced me to Jim Ruxton and InterAccess. I owe so much to artists such as David Rokeby and Norman White for expanding my boundaries of artistic practice and imagining a role for technology in it.

In 2001, I made a work using an evolutionary algorithm inspired by Karl Sims—who made a lot of formative computational art in the 1990s. My ongoing use of the Self-Organizing Map—a simple artificial neural network that rearranges pixels according to colour used in the MPCAS piece—started in 2006. My inspiration for using machine learning in art was George Legrady’s Pockets Full of Memories from 2001 which also uses the Self-Organizing Map. It’s hard to demarcate where machine learning differs from other computational methods such as feedback loops, chaos mathematics, or physical models. In all of my engagements with technology I’m looking to develop processes that have the capacity to surprise me. This surprise could be due to my misunderstanding—or the complexity—of the process. I see machine learning as just another engagement with complexity resulting from a process built up from the interactions of many simple components. From this high-level perspective, there is no difference between a physical model made up of many small mass-spring-damper components and artificial neural networks. I provide this short ~20 year personal history because while the tech industry is very good at emphasizing novelty, it is imperative for artists using tech to see their relation with—and situate their work in—the ~70 year history of artists working with electronic and computational technologies.

What interests you about the Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen?

Having lived in East Van for a decade now I’ve spent a lot of time on the 10th and Ontario bike routes. Walking and cycling to go shopping at the old MEC store, or just to spend time on Main Street, I’ve seen a lot of changes in Mount Pleasant. I can hardly remember what used to be where The Independent now stands. How long will Kingsgate Mall stay around? What changes will we see in the next 10 years? My interest in public art is situated in a preoccupation with the ways an artwork can relate to its site—not only conceptually but also in terms of structure. My approach to public art involves using technologies that allow the structure of artworks to be created in dialogue with place. I see this as a natural extension of my interest in surprise and emergence where the site itself becomes a collaborator and the form of a work emerges from interactions between algorithms, the site, and my intention. Our city is changing so much and so quickly; there is so much potential for public art that literally (re)structures itself through these changes and reflects the city back to itself through an ongoing and evolving relationship. I hope there will be opportunities for even more ambitious multi-year permanent projects where artworks evolve ‘live’ as the city changes around them. Vancouver seems like an ideal place for this kind of work as we embark on large density projects to make staying here more viable.

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grunt gallery Accessibility Committee

The above video is an ASL translation of the text below.

Over time, grunt gallery has explored and supported a wide range of practices including exhibitions, performances, online projects, public art, residencies, media- and time-based works, talks and symposia, publications and community-engaged practices. Our wide range of programming has always included the creation and dissemination of audio/ visual materials and online experiences. With a mandate to support artists and inspire public dialogues, we are committed to doing the work to create an environment that allows for accessible conversation. This aim informs how we develop and build our archive, engage with audiences and look to the future of our organization.

In Spring 2020, we created an Accessibility Committee composed of grunt staff and contractors and chaired by our Exhibitions Manager (and Accessibility consultant) Kay Slater. This committee gathers to audit and review systems, procedures, and policies of grunt gallery to identify, think through, improve, and share the way we show up in our public programming, exhibitions, and for our community. Over the past year, we have drafted guidelines for hosting online and hybrid events, video captioning and transcription, and have begun re-drafting contracts. In Spring 2021, we launched a series of captioning, transcription and non-auditory access workshops offered to our communities for free. This ongoing series includes a mentorship opportunity to learn captioning alongside experienced and practicing access professionals with an invitation for mentees to co-facilitate their own non-auditory access workshops designed specifically for their own communities.

We are informed by anti-oppression practices, a commitment to learning and sharing our findings, and a belief in social justice through the arts. We understand these processes take time, resources and long-term commitment.

If you have questions regarding this work, or suggestions for how we can do it better, please contact us at access@grunt.ca


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Fire Flower Artist Talk: Phone Access

To access the Project Fire Flower Artist Talk via phone:

One tap mobile
+14388097799,,82174264205#,,,,*041337# Canada
+15873281099,,82174264205#,,,,*041337# Canada
Dial by your location
+1 438 809 7799 Canada
+1 587 328 1099 Canada
+1 647 374 4685 Canada
+1 647 558 0588 Canada
+1 778 907 2071 Canada
+1 204 272 7920 Canada
Meeting ID: 821 7426 4205
Passcode: 041337
Find your local number: https://us06web.zoom.us/u/kdGd8qavzI
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