But David Elliott, associate professor in studio arts at Concordia University, isn’t so sure: “In his own way, Sherwin fits into a long history of playing with words and images and performance that goes back to General Idea and now artists like Daniel Barrow, who won the Sobey Prize, and Marcel Dzama,” said Elliott, who was Tjia’s master of fine arts thesis supervisor.“Sherwin didn’t choose the museum-gallery route, but he found an interesting way to be creative and succeed.” Tjia doesn’t really care about belonging to the fine arts club: “I want people to do things together.” Mission accomplished.
Questions also arise in the second half of the film when David escapes from the hotel grounds: we begin to wonder how the invisible dictatorship can possibly be sustained.We had 105 people building 12 elaborate forts with duct tape.It was brilliant, but it wasn’t a feasible event for Sherwin to repeat.” For a promoter, Tjia is notably unconcerned with the bottom line.The enrolment process involves registering, in advance, a sexual orientation, as well as a choice of animal to be turned into should one’s stay not prove fruitful.The system is delightful in its plainness, and not unlike the pen-pushing, jobsworth view of the afterlife seen in .Or why some long-term residents are being hunted at night in the surrounding forests.Perhaps the management just takes a hard line on the theft of its little shampoos and its teeny-weeny soaps.“My social life has become much more interesting since I discovered Slow Dance Night,” reported 30-year-old Lili Kondo, a social worker and doula in Ottawa.“In a society that’s so digitally connected, I think it’s the physical proximity and touch we all crave.” After singing at Crowd Karaoke, Farshid Etemad, a 36-year-old Montreal systems administrator, added, “These events lower the bar for shyness and improve the social fabric of the city.” “You want to know the secret of Slow Dance Night? I like to turn wallflowers into perennials,” said Tjia, who grew up in Scarborough, Ont., watching TV and filling sketchbooks with poetry and illustrations. “My events are more intimate than zany,” said the 35-year-old Tjia, who is a published poet, graphic novelist and trained painter. I’ve learned that the best way to rent a venue is to go have a drink and talk to the bartender. Other popular nights include Crowd Karaoke, Sock Puppet Party, Idea Adoption Agency, Arcade Choir and Slow Dance Night.