what is ask? Founded in 1976, the Aesthetik Surplus Kompany remains committed to the production of process-oriented events and structures that question the status quo and celebrate the curious relationships between art, culture, and technology. This page introduces a site including information and image galleries that will always be under construction to various extents.
A.S.K. was established in Vancouver, BC, Canadada in 1976. The A.S.K. manifesto acknowledged that: art was being made when art was being made... period. If art resides within the process of its making, then most of the stuff we normally call art is not, rather, it is the residue of the art-making process transformed into a commodified token of the art , which can be exhibited, bought/sold/traded, admired, discussed, etc. Under these premises, objects of art can more truthfully be designated as aesthetic surplus... while real-time activity which is experienced while the art is happening appropriately warrants the label "art". Art is really a verb, not a noun. I art...you art...we art... (not a biblical reference) ...or...I am arting...
the history During 1976 and 1977 the Aesthetic Surplus Kompany produced a number of performances and "live" exhibitions in Vancouver. These activities served to question and or/prove the postulems presented by A.S.K.. Of primary concern were the relationships between intuitive improvisation and chance activity; both resulting in indeterminant processes resulting from the activation of open-ended structures. In addition to performances like Saw Concert, Xmas Hot Eyce, Crayola Piece, Event for Darkroom, and the WCNCE concert, Two "extended performances" were produced at The Artist's Gallery downtown (for 21 Days), and Pumps (for 8 days) in Chinatown. The Vancouver works were produced by Congo Matabi and Captain Random. Relationships formed during real-time gallery occupations like "Intertwingling: 21 Days Live at the Artists Gallery" led to collaborative activity with bassist/tarot reader Bob Turner, UBC math professor Art Warburten, contact/improv. dancer Leslie Altman, the West Coast New Chamber Ensemble, and various other local arts activists.This year of intense activity and directed chaos was made possible by local support from Rick Ross (aka Plotz Pilot), and a Rotary International Fellowship.
Later, Captain Random disappeared from the scene but not before leaving his indelible mark deep within the working habits of Congo Matabi. Work of this nature continues to this day primarily due to the continued efforts of academic Peter Chamberlain to keep the spirit of Captain Random alive. Congo sticks close but only comes out of the underground closet when desparately needed to fight complacency.
I worked closely with dancers from 1976 through 1980 and created objects and devices that were used in performances....some as costume parts, some as props, some as improvisational cues, some as instruments to be played while dancing.