Tag Archives: video art

Tim Horton’s Beans in Our Ears

Snapshot 1 (29-01-2015 4-38 PM)

Reid Dickie

Just for fun I’m weighing in on the changes afoot at defining Canadian icon, Tim Horton’s. Snapshot 4 (29-01-2015 4-40 PM)Former defining icon is better now that it’s owned by Brazilian mega-corporation 3G Capital. Tim Horton’s came as part of the 3G deal to buy Burger King which was blessed by the Ref-Con trained seals in Ottawa.

My fake backstory regarding Tim Horton’s revolves mainly around a little brown brick building near Pembina and Grant in Winnipeg. I have habituated this building for centuries. Before it was Tim’s, Robin’s Donuts operated from it as did Loopins and Snapshot 3 (29-01-2015 4-39 PM)Standards. In the 1950s it was The Sassafras, a coffee and malt shop that catered to teens and adults and maintained an uneasy detente between them. During The War, it was Stookie’s, a smoky diner at an important bus stop that led into new suburbs in south and west Winnipeg. During the Dust Bowl days three sisters, all named Thelma, ran it. Of course it was called Betty’s Place so as not to Snapshot 6 (29-01-2015 4-41 PM)confuse people. Just after the First Big War when it was Mike’s you could buy coffee and pie over the counter, booze, hookers and reefer under the counter. Even before the new century began, on this spot Pounder’s Stopping Off was a widening of the Pembina Trail where you stocked up on supplies coming and going. Porridge Pounder always had plenty of guns and ammunition to sell. Before anything took root at the meeting of the rivers, Cree and Saulteaux sometimes used thisSnapshot 7 (29-01-2015 4-41 PM) place as a campsite due to its closeness to the Red River. For thousands of years before that, it was just me and the woolly mammoths drinking from the river with the wind whistling through the willows.

Most of the above paragraph is not true; it is fiction, historical riffing, guff. In that spirit I created a short video to commemorate the assimilation of Tim Horton’s into its new Snapshot 2 (29-01-2015 4-39 PM)corporate maw. I scrounged around on archive.org and found some vintage footage of Brazilian coffee growers and refiners, added Soul Coughing’s The Coffee Song and uploaded it to YouTube. Fellini would appreciate the final few scenes. Click any picture to watch the 2:30 video.

For clarity I have been a long-time customer of Tim Horton’s and witnessed their inevitable decline. Of late, I frequent other coffee shops, local and much more interesting. Comments sections online are filled with people vowing to boycott Tim Horton’s for their recent actions. In my case, the Horts just ran its course after lo, these many thousands of years.


Filed under Guff, Humour, video art

Tesla As a Boy – New Video by Reid

“It will soon be possible to transmit wireless messages around the world so simply that any individual can carry and operate his own apparatus.” – Nikola Tesla October 1909

Snapshot 3 (18-10-2014 11-57 PM)

Another piece from Free Wild Samples, a series of short videos employing found sound and images I made in early 2014. Tesla As a Boy is 3:11. Click pic to watch.

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Guitar Concerto – New Video by Reid

Snapshot 1 (03-10-2014 5-53 PM)

Created entirely from found images and found sound, click any pic to play 4:27 video

Snapshot 4 (03-10-2014 5-56 PM)Snapshot 7 (03-10-2014 5-58 PM)



Snapshot 9 (03-10-2014 5-59 PM)Snapshot 6 (03-10-2014 5-58 PM)


Filed under DickToolery, video art

Grass of the Apocalypse 1:18

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What He Rebels Against – New Video 4:22

Snapshot 2 (30-12-2013 3-53 PM)

Reid Dickie

Two creative techniques converge in this piece: the use of ‘found’ objects and images, in this case, free stock footage gleaned from the internet, along with the cut-up technique pioneered by William Burroughs, in this case, cut-ups from various 1960s and 70s vinyl LPs. Add a can of Peaches and a dash of Herb (Close Your Eyes, 1967 #8), turtles “making love” and stir. Click the pic to watch. Enjoy!

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Filed under Art Actions, Humour, video art

Things I Have Forgotten – The Entirety

Snapshot 2 (08-12-2013 6-11 PM)

Reid Dickie

My memory is what I forget with.

Now you can view Things I Have Forgotten as a complete 34-minute piece of video art, the way I intended it to be seen. If you missed any of the 12 Days, this will fill in the missing pieces. Even if you watched each day, I recommend you watch the whole thing to experience the overall feelings I was trying to convey and to find the context and continuity for its many parts. My use of sound volume and the visual transitions between sections are more evident and effective in the entirety.

This is a very personal piece for me, much more personal than most of my recent video art works. As I mentioned in the Day One introduction I was inspired by early video artists from the 1970s who shared intimate stories and secrets. The memories of the items and events that I share are all true and told from the long view of my 64 years. Age brings changing perspectives on life, love and the past. I wanted to be honest about these items, what they meant to me then and what they mean to me now. I tried to bridge the years between then and now by illuminating the changing meanings of the objects.


This is also a bridge that extends into my future, as in, I should remember these things now before I actually forget all about them due to some form of mental erasure. Call these precautionary memories. Thus, the title Things I Have Forgotten. This has already begun with the Keys whose locks are forgotten albeit through death and inattention more than memory lack but it’s the same result.

Past and future are always an experience of the present moment, we remember and anticipate into the Now. Memory only happens Now, not ago nor as yet. Remembering is an intimate experience, each memory a private part, a pixel in our pattern to be tweaked and turned, to succumb to new meaning, new needs. Memory is more fluid, more organic than we realize. Memory evolves and devolves according to life events, being stepped on, age, diet and a host of factors. Memory is organic. So is forgetting, forgetting to, forgetting about, forgetting of, purposeful forgetting, useful forgetting, involuntary forgetting.







The elements – earth, air, fire, water – are exalted in HD in Things I Have Forgotten, their natural presence reflecting my country roots and signifying shamanic practice, plus wood and lightning as change agents, always in flux.  

The found footage in the montage sequences, stylized by brief snatches, big sound and quick cuts, contrasts with the quiet, serene places where the personal stories are told. I have notes about each story segment as well as the segues but will save those for a later post. Meanwhile, have you forgotten anything? Click here and see.  

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Filed under 12 Days of Christmas 2013, Art Actions, video art

DickTool Co YouTube Channel Second Anniversary Today!

Reid Dickie

Two years have passed since that pivotal moment when the first Dick Tool Co video was uploaded onto YouTube. It was Be An Artist Now, the excellent and disturbing long form coming in at 29 seconds. Sit down and watch it now by clicking the pic.

I have shot, edited and uploaded 49 new videos in the past year bringing the total number on my channel to 167. The number of views has shot up this year by 40,000 bringing the total to around 53,000. This is still remarkable and humbling for me so thank you for tuning in.

 Top Ten Most Viewed Videos on Dick Tool Co Channel 


—    1. Canadian National Railroad Fast Freight  9597 hits

—    2. The Doll House by Heather Benning  6956

1.     3. Giant Manitoba Sinkhole June 16/11  5562

2.    4. Lake Manitoba Flood at The Narrows  1441

8.    5. Caligari’s Mirror – Pere Ubu  1422

—   6. Tim Horton’s Car Crash  1406

7.    7. Go – Pere Ubu 1164

—  8. Manitoba Boogeyman Percy Moggey  946

—  9. Giant Manitoba Sinkhole 2012 Update  858

4. 10. Kangaroo Birth Cycle Coat 841

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Filed under dicktool co, DickToolery, Linda, Love

Sordid Amok (because we’re all just kids in a closet)

Reid Dickie

After an exhaustive, year-long dig working under harsh and inhospitable conditions, a crew of experienced archies has unearthed something rare. Resurrected and dusted for carbon dating, this video relic from the distant past resonates even today in our post-communicative world. 

Decades ago, in the pre-digital Dark Age, Linda and I created a strange but topical promo video for a new fashion trend called Sordid Amok. With the help of several brave friends, we demonstrated the absolute relevance of Sordid Amok, which involves some skin, many forms of plastic, giant crocheted ice cream treats and plenty of office supplies.

As Linda tells you in the script, Sordid Amok shows you “new ways to create envy, infiltrate envy, thwart envy, develop rage, soothe rage” and just in time. Sordid Amok will help you get through life’s “wilderness of mirrors.”  

Since there still are people walking around committing crimes of fashion with no dash in last year’s brown, Sordid Amok’s time has come. “I want a hat with cherries!” Click on any picture to play the short video.

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Filed under Art Actions, BEAUTY, DickToolery, Humour, Linda, video art

DickToolCo Art Page Expanded

The year-by-year history of the art Linda and I created when we first got together now covers seven years. On DTC Art page, you can find our art actions from 1977 until 1983 with plenty of links to the videos we made and other DTC art attractions. Collage, performance, video, audio, fashion, design, public art – DickTool Co used multi-media to probe the world and its all documented. This picture is from June 1985 when Linda and I were married and is a screen shot from a short video of the casual reception. We were happy kids!

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Filed under BEAUTY, dicktool co, DickToolery, Family, Images, Linda, Winnipeg

Zeal Cutlets – DickTool Co Video History on YouTube

       More historic DickTool Co video art from the 1970s and 80s is now on YouTube. Zeal Cutlets documents seven years of DickToolery in 4 minutes and 26 seconds. Edited at the National Film Board, Zeal Cutlets compacts the years 1976 to 82 into 89 images. Besides video and film images, handmade slides, collages, photography and performance are included. The music is Raising the Count by Cabaret Voltaire bracketed with Reveen trying to trance you out. Click pitcher to get your cutlets.

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Filed under Art Actions, DickToolery, Linda, Video, video art

Lifeguard – More DickTool Co Video Now on YouTube

Please Don’t Talk to the Lifeguard  13:38  1981  b/w

click pic to play video 

       In a mythical place at a specific time, beauty is obliterated and ghosts are all that remain. Haunted by memory, pain and utter loss, an inner voice commands and deceives to maintain some warped balance where none is possible. Here a lifeguard strives to find normalcy, simple actions fail under extreme duress, ultimate sorrow ensues. 

            In no way related to the pop song of the same name (Diane Ray, #31 1963)  our video Please Don’t Talk to the Lifeguard or, simply Lifeguard, evolved during its production. At the time, Linda had opened IF… to which she devoted her days, evenings and energy so her involvement with this was limited. The basic idea was mine and grew out of Post Nuclear Primitivism. It was shot in three different environments, all of them under the aegis of Plug-In.

            First we selected a lifeguard by placing a small ad in the classifieds. Of the three men who auditioned, we selected Bruce Mitchell for the role. At the time, Bruce was a student of the Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers, extremely photogenic and had an unusual presence. His charisma is evident but I wasn’t completely successful capturing Bruce’s mystique. Bruce became a professional dancer and choreographer, moved toToronto and died in the early 1990s. The Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers offer a bursary program in Bruce’s name. 

            Artist Terry Hays had an installation at Plug-In at the time in which he built a room inside the gallery and covered its interior completely with fabric. The floor, walls, pillars and ceiling were tufted, wrapped and spread with various coloured fabrics. One reviewer said it felt as if he’d “been deposited inside a huge Charlie Brown sweater.” An elegant wooden path lined with chaser lights ran through his room. It felt like a perfect environment to shoot some of Lifeguard so with Terry’s permission, I went ahead and used his wild “set.” 

            Other scenes were shot outside Terry’s installation in the white gallery space and the final sections were shot at Plug-In’s new location across Main Street on McDermot Avenue. This was before the gallery was set up and just as it appeared when rented with stacks of wood and rubbish all around, a perfect location for the conclusion of Lifeguard

             The DickTool Co All-Night Show premiered Lifeguard. Its first gallery showing was at Plug-In Gallery Dec 9 to 13, 1981 then at Metro Media Vancouver June 25, 1982.

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Filed under Art Actions, DickToolery, Promotion, video art