April 22, 2022

Big Rock Candy Mountain

Mitchell Art Gallery at MacEwan University

Big Rock Candy Mountain, POPOPOPOPOP, 2021. Soda. Photo: Steven Stefaniuk.

Big Rock Candy Mountain, POPOPOPOPOP, 2021. Photo: Steven Stefaniuk.

Big Rock Candy Mountain, POPOPOPOPOP, 2021. Soda. Photo: Byron Hradoway.

Big Rock Candy Mountain, POPOPOPOPOP, 2021. Soda. Photo: Byron Hradoway.

Big Rock Candy Mountain, POPOPOPOPOP production, 2021. Soda, edition of 3,000. [Photo: Byron Hradoway]

Big Rock Candy Mountain, POPway, 2021. Cut vinyl. Photo: Blaine Campbell.

Big Rock Candy Mountain, POPway, 2021. Cut vinyl. Photo: Blaine Campbell.

Drinkable publication, collaborative public artwork, and exploration of effervescence in sound and soda is available to order here.

The Mitchell Art Gallery and Big Rock Candy Mountain are pleased to announce POPOPOPOPOP; a drinkable publication, collaborative public artwork, and exploration of effervescence in sound and soda. Each bottle of POPOPOPOPOP links by QR code to audio and video tracks where gulps and burps assert musical potential, bubbles act as sound scores, and carbonation becomes percussion.

During the 2020–21 school year, artists Hannah Jickling and Reed H. Reed of Big Rock Candy Mountain convened artists, musicians, a grade six class and MacEwan University students to co-create POPOPOPOPOP. The project evolved through a liquid curriculum of online workshops, presentations and critical soda studies including; ear opening activities with sound artist Brady Marks; an online performance with vocalist Charmaine Lee; and a collaboration with musician Mustafa Rafiq, who interpreted student drawings as a sound score, later animated by Chhaya Naran.

MacEwan University students and musicians Biboye Onanuga and Gareth Gilliland led musical improvisation workshops with the grade six students while sound recording majors Carla Lenfesty and Andrea Shipka taught online workshops in sound editing. Two resulting audio tracks were collaboratively created; SIP SOUND, an ambient track of the acoustic possibilities of soda and POPCAST, an account of the process including the voices and audio compositions of the students. Fine Art alumni, Gina Pasaran was a guest artist and project assistant during the entire development of POPOPOPOPOP.

POPOPOPOPOP was supported by teachers Veronica Chong, Melissa Andrews, and principal Corene Zmurchik at John A. MacDougall Elementary School, a close neighbor of MacEwan University. Participating grade six students were: Adnan, Arnaud, Khaila, Fardosa, Boubacar, Nora, Paul, Lasiya, Ritvik, Ngoc, Sophia, Jonah, Marki, Maryan, Vincent, Angelica, Ben, Ireland, Myka, Fakiya and Ruftael.

About the POPWAY
In the pedway connecting Allard Hall and the Robbins Health Centre on the MacEwan University campus, surround yourself with the artwork of the grade six students, who created graphic notation during the development of POPOPOPOPOP. Their abstractions of written music inspired by the percussive sounds of the carbonated drink were assembled by designer Jeff Kulak into a wild magnum opus of soda sound-as-visual score—as if you are walking through a bottle of POPOPOPOPOP in the collective imagination of the students.

About Big Rock Candy Mountain
Big Rock Candy Mountain is an artist-run flavour incubator and taste-making think-tank initiated by artists Hannah Jickling and Reed H. Reed. Big Rock Candy Mountain produces edible editions, workshops and installations with a focus on sensory experience and cooperative artistic production. In each project, the school becomes a candy factory, where artists and children work to critically riff on the ways that culture addresses young people.

Big Rock Candy Mountain takes its name from the popular folk song that has been rewritten countless times to reflect a changing comic utopia. It strives to be a post-proportionate world where adults, authority, and rationality no longer define the rules and limits of what is possible. From 2015–18, and located within xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh and səlilwətaɬ/selilwitulh Territories, Big Rock Candy Mountain was hosted at Queen Alexandra Elementary School in East Vancouver, with the insight, vision and support of Other Sights for Artists’ Projects.

About the Mitchell Art Gallery
The John and Maggie Mitchell Art Gallery (MAG) is MacEwan University’s public art gallery dedicated to engaging timely conversations and community through contemporary art in Edmonton / Treaty 6 Territory. The MAG supports interdisciplinary, experiential learning for the public and for the university community.

POPOPOPOPOP is a limited edition soda produced by Boocha Beverages on behalf of Big Rock Candy Mountain. Purchase online for local and national orders here. Contact the gallery for international shipping inquiries.

All proceeds from the sale of POPOPOPOPOP will support future art & music programming at John A. McDougall Elementary School in Edmonton.

Thank you!

An email with a confirmation link has been sent to the email address you entered. To complete your subscription, click this link.