It was such a pleasure to work with SFU student, Kimia Yazdi, who just interned with Chimerik 似不像 for the Summer 2018 semester. Our first student intern!
I’d like to share the report and some of the process, documented by Kimia.
In Kimia’s words…
I was thrilled to see that there was an opportunity to have an internship with the collective that he co-founded. Chimerik is an interdisciplinary collective which mainly focuses on video design and new media for a great range of various performances and luckily I had the chance to meet and work with the creative members of this team.
First things first, I must confess that before starting this internship my knowledge and skills in video designing was significantly minor and quite honestly I was not sure if this was the best option for me or not. All that I knew was that I was an emerging sound artist and composer who admired Chimerik Collective’s work and was willing to make the most out of it.
One of the first projects that I was assigned to was assisting Sammy Chienon his solo work-in-progress W(e)aves 0.3 which he was doing it as a residency at Centre A. As I was also involved in the process of creation, I got to learn how an artist faces various obstacles and how they should overcome them and try to move on — sometimes one should completely change what they believed and try to build it from scratch again. W(e)aves 0.3 was performed both in Vancouver Art Gallery’s big art auction and in the PGNB Festival in Victoria Island. My main task was to assist him on setting up the lights, the sound and the projector and since both events were DIY, the set-up was quite challenging.
Vancouver Art Gallery’s Art Auction
PGNB Festival in Victoria
After the Victoria project, we drove to Nanaimo where The Sun and The Moon project was waiting for us. This project was a dance performance show, directed by Holly Bright and Sammy was in charge of the video projection design. The process was extremely intensive and according to Sammy, what we did in four days usually happens in about two weeks. I assisted on finding materials for the design and later edited them. Along with editing skills in the design software Isadora, I learned a great deal about the interactions between a designer and a director and how they incorporate with each other in order to achieve a final design. This performance was premiered in Nanaimo and later was a part of the Dancing on the Edge festival.
The Sun and the Moon
Next was a theatre performance, called Camera Obscura and directed by Lesley Ewan as part of the Queer Art Festival. Sammy was the video designer and I was one of the video operators. The most valuable thing I gained from the process of this performance was meeting extremely talented theatre performers and watching them create art all together, making it a perfect ending for my internship.
Camera Obscura (Hungry Ghosts)
Last but definitely not least, through Chimerik Collective, I got the chance to have a paid opportunity as a Camera Operator/Video Designer for a site-specific dance performance called Against and directed by Paras Terezakis. Through the process, Sammy fully supported me as my mentor and opened a new door for me to get more involved within the art industry.
Now that I look back at my internship I realize that I have gained tremendous experiences. Part of them are skill-wise such as learning how to work with Isadora which is a software for creating and editing video or becoming more proficient with technical set-ups for DIY events. Yet, the greater learning part for me was meeting new people with different artistic backgrounds and establishing connections.
I believe networking is one of the core keys of becoming a successful artist and making your way into the industry. Also, as Sammy Chien is an activist whose artistic work mainly revolves around social issues, I learned many valuable life lessons which I believe made me more aware of all that is happening around the world. At the end of the day, I am grateful for all the moments that I had with Chimerik Collective and now after four months, I can confidently say that I am able to do basic video design and incorporate it in my own field of study which involves music and sound.
Lifetime Connections <3
Cover photo credit: Joshua Ngenda