Colin Browne

Colin Browne is a Vancouver based writer, filmmaker and teacher. His most recent book is The Shovel (Talonbooks, 2008). Ground Water (talonbooks, 2002), spans 10 years of work and includes poems, an experimental film script and a performance text. He is a co-founder of the Kootenay School of Writing and the Praxis Centre for Screenwriters, and is on the faculty of the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University.


  • Near Miss

    December 1–January 19, 2008

    Kerry Tribe’s filmic practice attends to the formal operations of her chosen media, often deploying it to investigate the subject of memory. Subjectivity and its representation has been a consistent theme throughout her work that engages film’s systems of looping, repetition and duration. Tribe’s work complicates the construction of narrative time from the viewer’s real time experience, often exploring the gray areas between the authentic and the scripted, and the collective and the individual.

    Tribe’s Near Miss is the second work in a trilogy dealing with the phenomenology of memory. It is a five-minute-long filmic attempt to reenact an event the artist experienced a decade ago. In each of Near Miss’ three nearly identical “takes,” a scene is enacted as seen through the windshield of a car in a nighttime snowstorm. The view through the car’s windshield fills the projection screen, the windshield wipers franticly keeping the view clear. From the passenger position, the viewer witnesses the apparent passing of road signage as the car follows blurry taillights. In every take, the car ultimately swerves and spins out, finally coming to a stop. At the point that the car stops, the image cuts to black and another take begins.

    Near Miss can be understood as another examination by Tribe in how to communicate the subjective experience. The film is accompanied by a set photograph and a changing series of textual accounts of the original event as understood by members of the film’s production team.

    Artspeak would like to thank the Vancouver Foundation and Ramada Limited Downtown for their support of this project.

    Postscript 33: Colin Browne on Near Miss (PDF)

Talks & Events

  • Grunt Or Artspeak Readings

    June 13, 1987


  • Retrospect

    Retro backRetro spineRetro front

    Title: Retrospect
    Category: Exhibition Catalogue
    Artists: Melvin Moti, Kerry Tribe, Don Coltman, Kristan Horton, Jack Lindsay, Taras Polataiko
    Writers: Melvin Moti, Susan Sontag, Juan A. Gaitán, Kathleen Ritter, Colin Browne, Althea Thauberger
    Editor: Melanie O’Brian
    Design: Courtenay Webber, The Future
    Publisher: Artspeak
    Printer: Hemlock Printers, Vancouver
    Year published: 2008
    Pages: 122pp
    Cover: Paperback
    Binding: Perfect Bound
    Process: Offset
    Features: 9 colour images, 3 b&w images
    Dimensions: 18 x 11.5 x 1.2 cm
    Weight: 148 g
    ISBN: 978-0-921394-59-4
    Price: $6 CDN

    Retrospect is an examination of the role of memory and imagination in the consideration of disaster. Memory, like history, is subjective and unfixed; the records of both are dynamically unstable, constantly shifting and informed by the present. Imagination—in this case the imagination of disaster—reflects anxiety and unsettles the present. In its representation, disaster is imagined both retrospectively and prospectively, as a memory and as a fear. However, it has been argued that imagining future catastrophes is impossible in that we can only circle back to what is known; we model these cataclysms on what has already occurred. In this way, disaster is always represented in hindsight, even in the sci-fi realms of the future.

    Retrospect brings together visual reproductions of the work in three Artspeak exhibitions held in 2007, two new texts by artist Melvin Moti and art historian/curator Juan A. Gaitán, as well as a reprinted Susan Sontag essay to address the themes of memory, reenactment and disaster. The images are from exhibitions of work by Melvin Moti, Kerry Tribe, and On the Beach (Don Coltman, Kristan Horton, Jack Lindsay and Taras Polataiko). The publication also includes reprinted Postscript texts for the above exhibitions. Postscript authors are Colin Browne, Kathleen Ritter and Althea Thauberger.

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