Two years after graduating from Emily Carr University of Art + Design’s Integrated Media program in 2004, Weekend Leisure’s members — including former member Erich Gerl — formed the collective to fulfill their mutual desire to craft karaoke videos. Bringing together their respective backgrounds in media art, design, music, and performance art, the group’s repertoire expanded to explore video culture through a variety of conventions and formats. Weekend Leisure largely draws inspiration from Vancouver’s gentrified cityscape and the “natural beauty” touted by tourism markets, the enthusiastic do-it-yourself spirit that public access television manages to build through its limitations, and the endearing pretensions found in karaoke videos.
Weekend Leisure’s “studio practice” included video screenings at alternative comedy nights, creative collaborations with local comedy groups and musicians, exhibitions in contemporary art centres, and weekly karaoke nights hosted at local pubs. From 2009–2011 the group produced a monthly cable-access television show, “Weekend Leisure Network”, that aired on Novus Now. In 2011, Weekend Leisure co-produced Steel Viper Force, a comedic short film inspired by the over-the-top action movies of the late ’80s and early ’90s that screened at film festivals around North America. The group has also hosted special karaoke events for the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver Public Library, VIVO Media Arts Centre, PuSh Fest, Fringe Festival, and the Jazz Fest, as well as events in Seattle and Portland.
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