Organized by Christof Migone

After learning about all the steps involved in making whisky during a three-month artist residency with Marla Hlady at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Scotland in the summer of 2019 it struck me how inadequate the word ‘whisky’ (root meaning: 'alcohol - water of life’) is because it only captures a small part of the manufacturing process. The resulting expanded 12-word sentence, You And I Are Water Earth Fire Air Of Life And Death, has evolved into a 12-year long project, each year focusses on one word of the sentence and manifests into a yearly 12-hour event on December 12 from noon to midnight.

So far, You (2020), And (2021), (2022). This year: Are (2023). The project has morphed from a modest 12-word text piece to a sprawling curatorial endeavor (up to now, featuring 89 artists from 11 countries across 5 continents). So far the event has happened primarily as an online stream (audio + video), last year the last 3 hours were also live in person at Arraymusic in Toronto. This year will be held in Québec City and Avatar will be the main host institution. This year the entire 12 hours will live streamed as per usual, and the bulk of the second half will also be presented live in-person  (venue tbc). As a founding member of Avatar I’m extremely pleased that the event will be held there, especially given the fact that the organization is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

As mentioned, this year the word is ‘Are’, consequently the focus will be on plurals: multiplicities leading to infinities, polymorphs and polyglots, surrounded sounds, layers upon layers, etceteras upon etceteras. New this year is the inclusion of a subtitle: (Sommes Sonnes)—this translates from the French simply to ‘are sounds’. Also new this year, Myriam Lambert and Alexandre St-Onge are joining the project on the curatorial side.

The first year it started with ‘You’, then in 2021  ‘And’ came to connect you to anything and everything, and last year that point of connection was ‘I’—the porous one, the sole collective. This year with ‘Are’ action enters the fray. What are you and I to do? Well, let’s begin with being, however tenuous or contentious that may be. ‘Are’ points to fact, to status, but it also suggests question marks, suggests that the known might not be as it seems.

Overall, the curatorial premise is intentionally left open as to how the theme is interpreted. Heterogenous experimentation is encouraged. The process is a conversation.

Each year artists and institutional partners are invited to participate. Usually each partnership entails programming one of the twelve hours and providing artist fees, consulting on the curatorial aspect, and spreading the word once the event lineup is confirmed and the promotional material is available. The project’s structure intends to remain nimble and stay as decentralized as possible. What is ‘usual’ is adaptable. Each partnership is unique.

We are aiming to confirm the lineup by May 1st.

Get in touch if you are interested in participating.