The Image Bank International Image Exchange Directory claims to have been published by Talonbooks in 1972, but it does not feature in histories of that quintessential west coast press. As a response to this absence, this article explores the intermedial practices and social scenes surrounding the press, Vancouver’s Intermedia Society (1967-1972), and related sites where the city’s countercultures and neo-avant-garde came into contact. A visual analysis of two photographic images printed in the Directory, one urban, one rural, reveals a social imaginary for Vancouver in which the city flips into different registers of semiotic coding at local, national and transnational levels. The city features in the imaginary geographies of a neo-avant-garde interested in the psychological and cultural impact of media technologies, as per Marshall McLuhan’s “global village,” of transnational media space. Conversely, given a context of post-Centennial cultural nationalism, the Directory also indexes the city within a counter-environment where a utopian state of queer futurity could thrive.
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