...this time last year we were planning a trip to vancouver for may, to join the kids at Northern Voice 2010... from London to Railtown, I traveled with my soon-to-be husband for his first trip to the Left Coast. We caught seven clear and beautiful days - he met my family for the first time, saw the Pacific, drove the Sea-to-Sky to Whistler, had a Caesar at the Longhorn, crossed to Galiano, rowed in phosphorescence, eagle-spotted at Wreck, had a Siegel's bagel at Granville Island and took the aquabus across False Creek to the tiki patio at the Narrow.
We connected with the self-publishing community on a sunny weekend, under beaming atriums; immersed in this fascinating, specifically and evangelically open subset, to whom "sharing" is a mantra, and blanket documentation is as natural as taking a breath.
I presented a panel on retouching, about the ways I hate it and the ways I love it, really - more of a stream of consciousness rant wherin I took some questions. (photo by nredmond) ...photographers Kris Krug, Bev Davies and Jody Rogac were in house, along with a ton of inspiringly enthusiastic and serious pro-ams with better gear than I.
Ben saw what a really well-lit building full of Social Media Types might actually be like, we all learned the value of high-speed unlocked wifi, and Ben, like a lot of people, probably thought about self-publishing for the first time ever.
Propagation of ideas and images, through a vetted network of creative professionals - ownership of online presence and therein definition - these were some of the ideas that traveled back with us.
Since that time, there's been a festival, a wedding, and a winter, some Vogue and some i-D , some more Vogue, some q&as... all these things leading us to here, early 2011 ...and already it's time to think about going back.
Coming back to Northern Voice this year, would mean a look back at this year and our personal advances in self-publishing over that time - for example, my husband Ben Ashton has since then been maintaining a blog through which he has documented prep for his Feb 2011 solo exhibition at Simon Oldfield Gallery in Covent Garden, as well as other projects from 2010. Ben has been livestreaming the progress on the canvases for his new collection - from blank white shapes to rich and deep domestic divulgences - and using the BenAshtonArt twitter to announce when the stream is live.
Last year's visit was thanks entirely to Northern Voice's travel bursary, and our brilliant homemade blackberry video, shot by Ben, at the beginning of which I believe you can tell I accidentally kicked a little girl. Would be great to hook that up again this year - London to Vancouver is a long, long way.
photos by kk+ (including the wedding shot) and by my blackberry