In 2012, SBC launched its new initiative of long-term, research-based programming that focuses on pertinent cultural, social and political concerns. The program includes exhibitions, workshops, screenings, conferences, publications and events aimed towards sustained and extensive discussion around a given subject, and strives to articulate possibilities for creative action and re-assessment of the complexities of present-day political paradigms.
The first of the Focus Programs, Sovereignty, ran from Dec 2012 until February 2015. It approached this topic from a wide range of cultural, academic, institutional, geo-political and judicial perspectives, questions around the sovereign subject remained at the heart of the research. The program engaged with practices that addressed current and historical civic challenges to systems of governance; questions of sovereignty from a global perspective – addressing questions pertinent across Canada and elsewhere; and brought together artists and other interdisciplinary practitioners from around the globe whose interests lie in worrying the fault lines of seemingly entrenched parameters of political life.
The second Focus Program, Água Viva, emerged out of Clarice Lispector’s 1973 book of the same title and sought to expand on SBC's practice of living research: artists, writers, architects, musicians, curators and other cultural practitioners were invited to think together and to develop projects through and around this extraordinary piece of prose. Dispensing with narrative while dwelling in the “secret harmony of disharmony”, the Focus Program, like Clarice's Água Viva, sought to pull at the threads that articulate shifting political subjectivities, modes of address and the complexities between “you” and “I”.
The Focus Programs are suspended for the duration of 2017. SBC is operating until December 2017 as Wood Land School, a project organized by Duane Linklater, Tanya Lukin Linklater and cheyanne turions, with Walter Scott.