ROCKMEET2

Rock and Roll Meeting at Publication Studio, Nothin’ Left to Lose at Dynamo Arts Association

by Stéphane Bernard

In 2007 artists Kevin Romaniuk and Liam Hogan founded The Acid Sweat Lodge, an organization devoted to the preservation and dissemination of outsider culture in all its forms. Through its various programs of archival materials, both online and in print, the research society endeavours to share hidden insights into obscure drinking rituals, brotherhood initiation rights and the true meaning of the Void, among other well-guarded secrets.

Rock And Roll Meeting is an exhibit on view at Publication Studio Vancouver until April 18, 2015. An accompanying book by the same name has also been produced, and it presents visual materials collected since ASL’s inception.

In the interest of furthering Project Space’s mandate to report on all things publication-related, a formal inquiry was made into ascertaining the archival processes of The Acid Sweat Lodge. Several initial exchanges were made, and a meeting was eventually set with one of the committee members in order to be given one-time admission into the research offices of the organization.

With this task at hand, and with a certain apprehension, I made my way to the rendezvous point. Of course, it was a dreary evening to be out on the street as the typical Vancouver rain was beating down, but that wasn’t the issue. My main concern was the seedy character sitting behind the wheel of a pick-up truck in the alleyway across the street. As I stood there waiting in plain sight, the man did likewise and spent a good ten minutes staring at me before driving around the block. Was this the person I was supposed to meet?

Before arriving, I had made sure that no one was following me. I had taken every precaution by doubling back to a vantage point that would let me observe the meeting place without being seen, and only when positive that I was alone did I make my way to the specific spot, as instructed; but no one ever came.

Not wanting to linger too long past the appointed hour, I made my way home wondering if I had followed the steps in the right order. Had I made a wrong turn on Main Street? The Lingerie store was closed, as expected, but I guess there might have been someone hiding inside behind the mannequins. In any case, I sent a message to my contact when I got in, and I was informed to visit an art exhibit the following day.

Dynamo Arts Association: 30 East 6th Avenue, Suite 103. The show is called Nothin’ Left to Lose, and that is exactly how I felt after last nights’ no-show. Problem is though, when I made it to the door of the place, I knocked loudly three times, once again, as instructed, and still nothing.

I had crossed town two days in a row to get more information on the inner workings of this somewhat secret society, and both times I was left out to dry! Let me tell you, it was more than a bit aggravating. Oddly enough, that is when the longhaired man walked by, handing me an unmarked brown envelope nonchalantly.

The contents of this envelope didn’t really explain how the organization proceeded to archive mystic occurrences or any other of ASL’s research interests. But the series of older publications contained therein did enlighten me on several other aspects of life, the universe and everything—and that is the reason I felt compelled to include a few images from this selection below.

ASL2

Nothing Left to Lose is a concurrent exhibition by The Acid Sweat Lodge presented at the elusive Dynamo Arts Association until April 4, 2015.

Images: Cover illustrations/writing are courtesy of The Acid Sweat Lodge; Scans/GIF by Stéphane Bernard