Anakana Schofield – Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky

Rereading the Riot Act & On: Top Canadian art book for fall

This was a bit of a thrill. Rereading the Riot Act & On the book I, in collaboration with Jeremy Isao Speier, published with Publication Studio Vancouver on Workers Day was selected by  Blouin Art Info as a top 6 Canadian art book this fall. 

What was great about this mention is it reminded me of our public actions during the project and of that night, the night we, (Leannej, Carol Sawyer, Lori Weidenhammer, My Name is Scot, Jeremy Isao Speier) reread the riot act at our performance art cabaret as the Riot Act was being read. You couldn’t make this up! And yet, strangely or not so strangely, the media was uninterested in the fact our event took place the same night of the Stanley Cup Riot. I did write a blog for the LRB who were interested.

It also reminded me of the months I spent going through archives and newspapers learning about the labour history events in 1935.

It was also amazing because approximately 5 people will have opened this book.

I want to do more interrogations into local labour history. Working class history seems to be somewhat erased, like many histories.

Thank you Blouin Art Info and to the mysterious writer/reader/critic who opened and read our paste-up book and the others on the list including Coach House one about Will Munro, “Frank Shebageget” from Univ of Winnipeg, “In Different Situations Different Behavior Will Produce Different Results: A Chapbook”  from Paper Pusher & two more.

(Just when you think no-one is reading … the miracle of a single reader)


Saturday will see the launch of the first in the series of publications for Rereading the Riot Act, (published by Publication Studio Vancouver) a project I curated with Unit/Pitt.

The first publication is by leannej and is called Re-Reading the Riot Act. Cycles One through Five. It’s a wonderful book, I am very excited to have it as our Number One.

Each publication will now form a continued departure in the project. I am conceiving of the publications as remixes. They will be paste-up and delivered as incarnations. I’m quite keen to move away from the sequential delivery of information and ideas. Eclipse has been a strong theme throughout this project, so this will also inform the publications.

The publication process prompted me to reconfigure my conception of essays, catalogues as recordings. I am much more curious about a process that facilitates further response and departure. Outwards rather than backwards. I am grateful for what this challenge to my original idea affords and am looking forward to the dialogue that evolves. I’ve been galvanized researching & noticing the forms of publishing in and around labour, labour activity, recording and documentation related to labour and labour history in this city and province. It’s v rich and I do not understand why it’s become obscured rather than explored.

Rereading the Riot Act II. Vancouver, June 15, 2011

Lori Weidenhammer performing one of two of her responses at the Performance Art Cabaret @ The Waldorf.

My Unit/Pitt residency project: Rereading the Riot Act. Vancouver 2011.