Parallel imports are non-counterfeit products imported from another country or region without the permission of the intellectual property owner. Sometimes referred to as ‘grey’ market products (as opposed to illegal ‘black’ market products), examples include cigarettes labelled as ‘for sale’ only in a specific country, region-specific DVDs, and more recently DRM (Digital Rights Management), where digital content is locked to a specific vendor’s software or device. Parallel Imports evade the restrictive specificities imposed by market controls, in many cases transferring benefit from the producer (or controlling body) to the individual.
Parallel Import was conceived as a way to define the virtual space of Access Gallery by the individuals who use the space as opposed to funding partners and regulatory agencies to which Access reports. Using the empty gallery as an entry point, users of the space provided input through a series of discussions that encouraged creative play. As the whiteboards filled, items from the archive were re-introduced to the space, adding context to the history of the organization and the previous locations it called home. The final product of the residency became a database-driven website that not only reflected the needs of users of the physical space, but also the history and direction of the organization.
From the press release:
Parallel Import: Artist in Residence Russell Gordon
From November 18 to January 17 Access Gallery hosts artist in residence Russell Gordon. Gordon is a Vancouver based artist who works with design as intervention. He is perhaps best known for his performative installations at Cornershop Projects (2007) and Shudder Gallery (2008) where he used specialized counterfeiting equipment to aesthetically reconfigure visitors debit cards. During his residency in the backspace of Access Gallery, Gordon will redesign the Access website, taking his physical presence in the gallery as a starting point for redefining the possibilities of the gallery’s virtual space.
Access Gallery (Original site since archived)