The Revolution Will Be Photographed
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The Revolution Will Be Photographed


Photo from one of last year’s CONTACT exhibits by uwajedi from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

Remember Contact? It was made in 1997 and was adapted from a weird Carl Sagan novel about extraterrestrial life and faith—ergo, starred Jodie Foster, plus a pre-indie fame Jena Malone. She’s an outer space–obsessed girl who grows up to be a SETI scientist, receiving alien transmissions while searching for proof they exist, and eventually falling in love with one. It’s among the greatest science fiction films ever made, which does not mean that it’s good. It’s terrible.
Thankfully, this is not about that Contact. It’s about CONTACT, Toronto’s annual super-rad photography festival, and how you can help it happen in 2009. (Hint: involves dressing up and spending money to get free things.) It’s also an acronym. You’ll see, after the jump.

C is for Change

This year’s thematic focus for CONTACT is Still Revolution, zooming in on “the ever-evolving technologies of photography” and its significance and force “as a tool for social and political change.” In our words: expect no memorials to the Polaroid, and instead, complex and provocative re-imaginings of image.

O is for Only in Toronto

Seriously, how cool is it that the world’s largest photography festival is here in our city? And not just in the usual galleries and boutique hotels, but in public, unexpected places scattered all over the map: last year, installations took root in university campuses, bank plazas, and even Pearson Airport. While 2009’s exhibits are still a mystery—we know of a few cool participants, like STUDIO Gallery and the Gladstone Hotel, but most plot points have yet to be revealed—we know they’ll all begin sometime in May and end a month later. And during that month, if you make CONTACT your guide, you’ll find a world of art outside Queen West.

N is for Not-for-Profit

Founded a dozen years ago, CONTACT’s goal is to expose photos—as art, documentation, history, and revolution—to a diverse and ever-larger audience. (Last year, they estimated that a million viewers took part in some way.) It’s not to make money, which brings us to the next point…

T is for Thursday, March 5, 2009

Save the date and spend your dollars: for sure, CONTACT’s first-ever fundraiser is going to be one of the year’s biggest deals. (Not to mention, duh, a total photo op.) Held on the “penthouse” floor of the Burroughs Building, it’s one part preview (you’ll be making CONTACT with some of their special featured artists) and one, more important, part party. Tickets are $75 each and can be purchased online or by calling 416-539-9595. For an extra $25, get entered in an open draw. Prizes include Porter Airline flights, Roots bags, and artist prints.

A is for Alex vs. Alex

This awesome twosome are all work, all play: whether corporate (Puma campaigns) or creative (portraiture), their portfolio pieces show off a nerdy obsession with technique in tandem with a love of fun. On Thursday night, they’ll be inviting guests into their interactive portrait gallery. The surprises will be pleasant, we don’t doubt.

C is for Complimentary

Free eats and drinks will be served all night long—from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m—by Marben Restaurant, the King Street enclave that’s making a name for itself as patron chef of starving artists. (We have fond memories of their first art party, way back in May.)

T is for Toronto Life

As one of the night’s many luminary sponsors, city glossy Toronto Life will be sending its party paps to ensure no well-planned outfit goes to waste. Translation? Clean up nice. You’ll be on “candid” camera.