Tag Archives: Experimental Comedy Training Camp

Briony Clarke’s Tones (Banff, Alberta, Canada)


Briony Clarke, an artist based in London, is a recent graduate of the Royal College of Art, with an MA in communication art and design. She also has a BA in architecture and a great sense of humor. I met her last Fall at Experimental Comedy Training Camp, a thematic artist residency program which we both attended at the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada. Briony contributed two sounds to the Locally Toned Archive–a Whoopee Cushion Message Alert:

and her Newtown Ringtone:


Briony’s artistic practice is based on “the fabrication of Set Town–a place realized through archeologies left scattered by its inhabitants throughout the universe.” At the residency, she produced sculptural objects belonging to, and representing, a Set Town inhabitant called the Comedian. Producing practical jokes and preperatory toys (which Briony refers to as “a series of designed objects that prepare one for life experiences”), she made the above Wanking Form. The plastic toy, when shaken vigorously, emits a strange excited, ecstatic Banshee wail. To me, it sounds like someone saying, “Wake-up, wake-up, wake-up, wake-up.” Briony thinks of her objects as souvenirs of Newtown, “I’d love to see them in peoples’ homes, being actively used,” she said.


She thought of her second submission as an archetypal comedic sound. Her Whoopee Cushion Message Alert is appropriate for comedians and 9 year old boys everywhere.


You may recognize Briony from a previous Blog post. She served as performance artist Neil LaPierre’s Office Studio Assistant at Experimental Comedy Training Camp (helping out with his ringtone, too). Thank you, Briony Clarke for your humorous and art-related contributions to Locally Toned!

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Neil LaPierre’s Office Studio Alert Bell (Banff, Alberta, Canada)

Neil LaPierre is 6’3″, 185 lbs, an air conditioner salesman and a performance artist. I met LaPierre at The Banff Centre, within a thematic residency program, Experimental Comedy Training Camp. “I’m from Southern Ontario, Canada, but I ran away to art school in the Maritimes. My favorite dinosaur is the Tyrannosaurus rex. I have my own Blog and I draw inspiration from Tony Little, and Suze Orman.”

LaPierre’s Banff series’ ringtone is related to a series of self-help inspired, one-on-one performances he’s doing at Experimental Comedy Training Camp (ECTC). The concept is simple and fun. “If a person makes an appointment with my receptionist, they can expect a free, personalized and weekly-based themed session that lasts approximately 15 minutes.” Themes within the first month of the residency included Take Control of Your Life, Fantasy Week, and Total Transformation. Participants attending the sessions may receive light therapy, invent new dance moves with the artist, have their fingernails painted, or receive a harsh talking-to.

When The N. LaPierre Office Studio is open, the artist comes into work appropriately attired (suit jacket, shirt and tie, nice shoes). Mr. LaPierre is aided by another ECTC resident, artist Briony Clarke. His ringtone, the Office Studio Alert Bell is a sound you’d hear in one of these sessions. “When I’ve run over the allotted time with a client,” LaPierre says, “Ms. Clarke rings a bell to let us know the session has concluded.”

The gentle bell sound makes for a lovely text message alert. Thanks to Neil LaPierre and his assistant, artist Briony Clarke, for sharing their performative sound with Locally Toned.

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