POPOPOPOPOP is a drinkable publication, a public artwork, and an exploration of effervescence in sound and soda. Each bottle of POPOPOPOPOP links by QR code to audio and video tracks where gulps and burps express musical potential, bubbles act as sound scores, and carbonation becomes percussion.

During the 2020 – 2021 school year, artists Hannah Jickling and Reed H. Reed of Big Rock Candy Mountain convened a Grade 6 class, artists, musicians and MacEwan University students to co-create POPOPOPOPOP. The project evolved through a liquid curriculum of online workshops, presentations and critical soda studies; ear opening activities with sound artist Brady Marks, an online performance with vocalist Charmaine Lee, and a collaboration with musician Mustafa Rafiq, who interpreted student drawings as a sound score. 

MacEwan University students and musicians Biboye Onanuga and Gareth Gilliland led musical improvisation workshops with the grade 6 students while sound recording majors Carla Lenfesty and Andrea Shipka taught online workshops in sound editing. Two resulting audio tracks were collaboratively created; SIP SOUND, an ambient track of the acoustic possibilities of soda and POPCAST, an account of the process including the voices and audio compositions of the students.

QR codes on the POPOPOPOPOP bottle link to accompanying sound and graphic files:

POPCAST, an account of the process, in the voices of the students, mixed alongside some of their own audio compositions,

SIP SOUND, an interpretation of soda sounds by students and Musicians Biboye Onanuga and Gareth Gilliland,

MMBOOBLES, a track by musical improviser Charmaine Lee who performed for the class over Zoom, and

BUBBLE SCORE, drawings by the students animated by Chhaya Naran and scored by Mustafa Rafiq.

POPOPOPOPOP was commissioned by the Mitchell Art Gallery and the Edmonton Arts Council and is produced by Boocha Beverages Inc. This project was supported by Ms. Chong, Mrs. Andrews, and Mrs. Zmurchik, teachers at John A. McDougall Elementary School. Participating students were Adnan, Arnaud, Khaila, Fardosa, Boubacar, Nora, Paul, Lasiya, Ritvik, Ngoc, Sophia, Jonah, Marki, Maryan, Vincent, Angelica, Ben, Ireland, Myka, Fakiya and Ruftael.

Carolyn Jervis at the Mitchell Gallery, along with Robert Harpin and Danny Ross from the Edmonton Arts Council, helped to support this project. Gina Pasaran was the Edmonton-based artist-on-the-ground. Guest artists and musicians were Andrea Shipka, Brady Marks, Biboye Onanuga & Gareth Gilliland, Carla Lenfesty, Charmaine Lee and Mustafa Rafiq. Chhaya Naran completed the animation for BUBBLE SCORE and Jeff Kulak provided design assistance.

POPOPOPOPOP can be purchased in Edmonton at Tix on the Square, Hideout Distro, Coffee Bureau and Latitude 53. Catch students from John A. McDougall Elementary selling POPOPOPOPOP at pop-up markets hosted by Habesha Market throughout the summer. All proceeds from the sale of POPOPOPOPOP will support future art and music programming at John A. McDougall Elementary School. More retail locations to be confirmed!

The development of POPOPOPOPOP was grounded in the many lands our contributors and supporters gratefully inhabit: Treaty 6, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil- Waututh Territories.