On October 13, 1978, a live feed, slow-scan transmission was made between artists in Vancouver and Toronto on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the seminal Canadian media art collective, General Idea.
Slow-scan was a transmission technology using television equipment with computerised memory to sample a televisual image every few seconds, “freeze” it and send it down a telephone line as an audio signal. Over a period of between 8 and 60 seconds, the system transmitted black-and-white images that would be reconstituted on a monitor at the other end of the signal. Slow-scan transmissions unfolded as events where images were traded back and forth between locations.
The Vancouver event was held at the Video Inn and consisted primarily of Mainstreeters (Carol Hackett, Annastacia McDonald, Charles Rea, Jeanette Reinhardt, Mary Janeway, Paul Wong and Marlene MacGregor), who gathered in costume at Video Inn with Paul Wong acting as a director of scenes. The event unfolded throughout the night as a series of images were sent to General Idea at the CN Tower.
The event in Vancouver featured various vignettes and performative actions, including Annastacia McDonald emerging naked from a cardboard birthday cake, Marlene MacGregor as a dominatrix and Deborah Fong as the president of the Felix Partz Fan Club. The Mainstreeters got roaring drunk and posed for the camera in front of a intimate audience, while the anniversary event in Toronto unfolded with performances by Carol Pope and Kevin Staples of Rough Trade, David Buchan as La Monte del Monte, and the Clichettes. This was General Idea's second slow-scan transmission and the Mainstreeters’ first.