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Salmon People

Immerse yourself in a salmon world! Find out about Salmon People, a video-sound installation.

Julie Andreyev and Simon Lysander Overstall

Salmon People considers the shared ecologies of nonhuman and human animals through videos of the survivors of the salmon cycle of life, combined with videos of the Surrey landscape taken from the surrounding waters of the Fraser River. The salmon shown in the project swam for 3 to 4 years, making a counter-clockwise circular migration around the northern Pacific Ocean, returning to their natal stream or river—such as the Fraser River— where they then travelled 40 to 90 miles a day to their spawning grounds. Salmon find their way back to their birthplace as individuals, and they find their particular birth-stream using scent and other perceptional modes.

The project presents a below-water point of view, a realm normally unavailable to human eyes. Nonhuman, human, recorded, and synthesized sounds make up the sonic field that suggests a strange yet familiar world. Salmon People presents a recombinant video-audio panorama, a constantly changing land-sea-scape, signaling the intertwined worlds of humans and nonhuman beings.

Production Team: Julie Andreyev (concept and editing), Simon Lysander Overstall (custom software and sound design), Paolo Pennutti in collaboration with Elisa Ferrari (salmon cinematography), Jonathan Nunes (Surrey cinematography)

Salmon People was made possible through the GRAND AD-NODE Project Fund, Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

Learn more about Salmon People in our Surrey Art Gallery Presents publication.

Salmon People Invite

About the Artists

Julie Andreyev is an artist, vegan, researcher, and educator. Andreyev’s art practice, called Animal Lover, examines animal agency and creativity using modes of interspecies collaboration and relational ontologies. The projects take the form of new media performance, video and sound installation, and relational aesthetics. The Animal Lover projects have been shown across Canada, USA, Europe, and Asia, and are supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Andreyev is Artistic Director of a biannual symposium/exhibition called Interactive Futures.She is co-founder of the art group Vegan Congress. Andreyev is a Joseph Armand Bombardier Scholar completing her PhD research at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. The research examines means for improved awareness and relationships with nonhuman beings and our shared ecologies.

Simon Lysander Overstall is a computational artist working primarily with sound and music, although he also works with visual materials. He develops works with generative, interactive, or performative elements. He produces interactive performance systems and art installations which have been shown in Canada, USA, Europe, and China. He has a BFA in Music Composition from the School for Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver. Currently he is completing an MA in Sound In New Media at Media Lab Helsinki, Aalto University, Finland.

Artist Panel & Onsite Opening Event

Friday, October 23, 2015 7-9PM

Exhibiting artists Julie Andreyev and Simon Lysander Overstall will talk about their collaborative work Salmon People. They will be joined by artists Roxanne Charles, Laura Lee Coles, Polly Gibbons, Jay White, and the Salmon Habitat Restoration Program (SHaRP) Team for presentations.

  • Artist, arts-based researcher, and founder of LocoMotoArt Laura Lee Coles will discuss the interaction of humans, technology, and nature in her practice and be a respondent to the panelists
  • Collaborative artists Julie Andreyev and Simon Lysander Overstall will talk about their project Salmon People, and the shared ecologies of salmon and humans
  • Animator, storyteller, and artist of Mi’kmaq and European descent Jay White will share Coyote Walk and ways that nonhuman entities become entangled with human projects
  • Mixed media artist of Strait Salish and European descent Roxanne Charles will discuss her digital art practice in relation to local aboriginal and environmental issues as an active member of Semiahmoo First Nation in Surrey
  • Surrey Art Gallery artist-in-residence Polly Gibbons will talk about Blackbox Theatre of the Mind (what would a dead salmon think?) and the convergence between science and art
  • Surrey Salmon Habitat Restoration Program (SHaRP) Team will share aquaculture issues and strategies in the City of Surrey and their goal to protect and improve Surrey's natural environment

The panel will take place starting at 7pm at Centre Stage (Surrey City Hall, 13450 104 Avenue), followed by the event at 8:30 pm at UrbanScreen (west wall of Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre, 13458 107A Avenue).

Related Activity: Take the Dip with us!

On Sunday, September 27, 2015, World Rivers Day, people are taking dips all across the City to gather a water quality snap shot to help pinpoint pollution concerns that can affect the habitats of local salmon, trout, and other aquatic bugs and plants. The more dips we get the better chance we have at taking action to support our healthy water habitats.

Pick up your free Dip Kit at Surrey Arts Centre, any Surrey library, and at participating recreation facilities starting mid-September until October 7, 2015. Limited quantities will be available!

If you missed the Take the Dip day you can still participate as a ‘Stream Investigator’ by registering to become a City volunteer. Learn more about the Salmon Marshal Public Program and for more information call 604-591-4383 or email

Image credit: Julie Andreyev and Simon Lysander Overstall’s Salmon People (2015), courtesy of the artists, photographed by Blaine Campbell