Universe In A Glass

SCREENING
2017

Co-curated with Benjamin Edelberg
Co-Presented with Toronto Animated Image Society (TAIS) and the Gardiner Museum

Wednesday May 17th, 2017, 8pm

The Terrace Room at the Gardiner Museum
111 Queens Park, Toronto

There is more life in a drop of ocean water than most major cities on Earth. Yet, this awesome ecology is invisible to the naked eye and goes largely unnoticed. This was the premise for this screening and collaboration with Toronto Animated Image Society while I was Artistic Director of Subtle Technologies. I worked with artist and curator Benjamin Edelberg to craft a program of animated shorts that we felt spoke to the scientific wonders of water as well as the history of animation within the natural sciences as a visualization tool. In keeping with the 'living liquid' theme, viewers enjoyed locally crafted beverages and an experimental probiotic cocktail.

Programme:

David Buob, I can’t go back to yesterday – because I was a different person then (2009-ongoing) 4:55
Kelly Zantingh, Seascape (2016) 2:27
Kamiel Rongen, Waterballet (2014) 8:35
Pedro Ferreira, (UN)evenness (2016) 3:00
Sandra Eber, Dimensions (2016) 5:40
Tess Martin, Part of the Cycle (2013) 8:00
Tomonari Nishikawa, sound of a million insects, light of a thousand stars (2015) 1:51
Eli Schwanz, Flash Splash (2015) 3:41
Tara Dougans, White Shadows (2015) 4:18

Total run time: 42 minutes

See a PDF of the program notes.


Still from Waterballet (2014) by Kamiel Rongen

Still from sound of a million insects, light of a thousand stars (2015) by Tomonari Nishikawa

Still from White Shadows (2015) by Tara Dougans

Still from (UN)evenness (2016) by Pedro Ferreira

All photography by Natalie Logan

Cultivars (Possible Worlds)

EXHIBITION
2017

May 10th–27th, 2017
Opening Reception: Wednesday May 10th, 7-10pm

InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Centre
9 Ossington Avenue, Toronto

Featuring the work of:
Elisabeth Picard
OpenWorm
Stefan Herda
WhiteFeather Hunter


Curatorial Statement

For millennia humans have been making our mark on the earth by selectively nurturing and depleting the natural world. More recently, through scientific innovation, society has moved towards the practice of biotechnologies—decoding and programming nature. Alongside traditional farming methods, we cultivate life in laboratories, synthesize genetic material and sow the seeds of ecosystems that are decidedly manufactured. Through video and interactive installations, the artists featured in this exhibition explore the fantastical possibilities as well as the upsetting implications of our legacy as world makers and propagators of all things possible.

Notes: This exhibition was part of the 20th anniversary edition of the Subtle Technologies festival and its opening served as the festival launch. The focus of the festival that year was on ecology and the exhibition took a speculative approach to this topic, investigating new definitions of aliveness and the generative power of biotechnologies.Although co-presented with InterAccess, this was a solo curatorial effort.

All photography by Natalie Logan.

Installation view of Waitomo Cave (2016) by Elisabeth Picard

Detail view of Waitomo Cave (2016) by Elisabeth Picard

Screenshot of OpenWorm.org, developed by the OpenWorm Foundation

Installation view of OpenWorm.org and blóm + blód (2016) by WhiteFeather Hunter

Installation view (detail) of Pulsus (2016) by Elisabeth Picard

Installation view of Pulsus (2016) by Elisabeth Picard

Installation view of Depression Flowers (2017) by Stefan Herda

Installation view of Cultivars (Possible Worlds) (from left to right):
Waitomo Cave (2016) by Elisabeth Picard; Ur (2016-ongoing), and blóm + blód (2016) by WhiteFeather Hunter; OpenWorm.org (2011-ongoing) by the OpenWorm Foundation

A shot from the opening reception on May 10th, 2017

Still from Crystal Garden (2017) by Stefan Herda

Candid shot of featured artist Stefan Herda with his own work projected onto his face

Opening night attendee, Emma Hapke, views/experiences Aseptic Requiem/Requiem Aseptisé (2014/16) by WhiteFeather Hunter

Still from Requiem Aseptisé (2016) by WhiteFeather Hunter

Picks Per Minute

EXHIBITION
2016

Co-curated with Marissa Neave

May 5th – June 11th, 2016
Opening Reception: Thursday May 12th, 6-9pm

InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Centre
9 Ossington Avenue, Toronto

Featuring the work of:
Phillip David Stearns
Peter Wilkins

Curatorial Statement

Digital media, once thought to be fundamentally intangible, has been shown in recent years to affect the physical world in very real and measurable ways. Data transformed into networked, interactive formats in fact has the power to educate, connect, visualize a politic and produce emotional response. This [inter]web of relations mimics key properties of another technological achievement: textiles. One of the human race's oldest technologies ironically serves as the perfect metaphor for its latest inventions. "Picks Per Minute" references the rate of weaving possible on the Cartwright Loom, a predecessor of the famous Jacquard model, and invokes the paradigm shift in the late 1700s towards an understanding of textiles as mechanically produced and algorithmic in the context of automation. Today, as the digital age presses on and digital media increasingly underpins our physical interactions, artists and industry alike must consider another shift—the possibility of digital textiles. Entangled in narratives of both past and future, what terms can or will define such an ethereal artifact? What does the evolution of textiles from analog to digital media imply or reveal about our own evolution as a species? The artworks featured in this exhibition— woven with light and numbers yet dependent on embodied presence—point to the complexity of these questions and begin to elicit new vocabulary for a more hybrid materiality.

Notes: This show was the banner exhibition for Subtle Technologies v.19, and was a collaborative effort with Marissa Neave, who was then the Programming Coordinator for InterAccess. That year, the festival was concentrated on wearable technologies, which I was determined to explore in both futuristic and historical contexts, working from the premise that all textiles are a form of technology. Marissa and I began thinking about the show by researching artists who were exploring material innovation as a means to bring together discourses of science and art. Ultimately however, and as it should be, the works that resonated with us the most demanded a different angle: an exploration of the very materiality of textiles—something I still want to pursue further, whether in the form of academic or curatorial research.


All photography by Yulia Benivolski.

Installation view of two pieces from the series Fragmented Memory (2014) by Phillip David Stearns and the 2016 iterations of the Built Environments series by Peter Wilkins

Installation view of a A Consequence of Infinitely Discursive Vision Technologies (2014) by Phillip David Stearns and Built Environments: Walking Stripes (2016) by Peter Wilkins

Installation view of a A Consequence of Infinitely Discursive Vision Technologies (2014) and two pieces from the series Vestigial Data (2015) by Phillip David Stearns

Opening reception May 12th, 2016

Opening reception May 12th, 2016

Opening reception May 12th, 2016

Still from Built Environments: Toronto-Subway (2016) by Peter Wilkins

That Teenage Feeling

SCREENING
2014

Curated as part of WADE IN: an international artist-share series of screenings and workshops

December 4th, 2014

Videofag (2012-2016)
187 Augusta Avenue, Toronto

Programme: ALLISON HRABLUIK, This is the way they make us bend (2011) KAILEY BRYAN, Rughooker (2013) MARISA HOICKA, Still Life (2012) PETER WILKINS, Whale (2014) BRIANNA LOWE, Pre-Teen Dreams (2014) WILLIAM ANDREW FINLAY STEWART, Memorial (2013) ADRIENNE CROSSMAN, Heart <br/> (2013) JOSH STUDHAM, Wrecking Miley (2014) CONOR MCGARRIGLE, Breaking Bad: the bitTorrent Edition (2013) PETER RAHUL, Modem Mantra [redux] (2014)

Approximate running time: 55 minutes

Curatorial Statement That Teenage Feeling is a time-based portrait of the teenager archetype. More than a developmental stage of our biology or even a key consumer market, the Teenager is the simultaneously hapless and heroic figure onto which society projects its fears and desires. In times of unrest—politically, economically, culturally—the ever-changing Teenager becomes the discursive site to direct collective hopes and public scrutiny. The works in this screening explore this vulnerable subject position of fluxus through the aesthetics of glitch, mirroring and bodily transformation.

Read the essay that accompanies this exhibition in the writing section.

Notes: This screening was the result of a unique curatorial model—the 'artist share'. The WADE IN festival was the brainchild of curator and artist Mary Macdonald, who was then the director of Eastern Edge Gallery in St. John's, Newfoundland. Over the summer of 2014, curators from Iceland, Ireland and Canada, including myself, contributed to an ongoing 'pool' of artists, by selecting artists that we felt best represented the pulse of video and media arts in our respective regions. That Fall, we were each pleasantly challenged to curate screenings from this collective database that would debut in our home cities and then travel to the other festival hubs.

Stills from Adrienne Crossman's Heart <br/> (2013)

Still from Allison Hrabluik's This is the way they make us bend (2011)

Still from Wrecking Miley (2014) by Josh Studham

Still from Still Life (2012) by Marisa Hoicka

Still from Rughooker (2013) by Kailey Bryan

Stills from Peter Rahul's Modem Mantra [redux] (2014)

All the curatorial essays from the various screenings were collected and printed in 2015 as a fold-out poster/pamphlet:

My section of the pamphlet is below:


Screen Test

SCREENING
2014

Part of the Curatorial Incubator v.11, Stop with the performance already!

January 11 - February 7, 2014

Vtape
401 Richmond Street West, Toronto

Opening: Saturday, January 11, 2014
Reception: 2:00 to 5:00 pm
Screening: 2:00 and 3:30 pm
Curator’s Talk: 3:00 pm


Programme:

TOM SHERMAN, Hyperventilation 2011, 2011, 8:30
RODNEY WERDEN, Say, 1978, 3:00
MARISA HOICKA, Insides Out: Head, Shoulders Knees & Toes, 2012, 7:40
ERIN HAEL, Souvenir, 2013, 4:53
PAUL WONG, Perfect Day, 2007, 7:30
ZEESY POWERS, ERIN—I Will Tell You Exactly What I Think Of You, 2013, 5:40
TAD HOZUMI, Thinking About Someone While Listening to Mariah Carey, 2009, 4:25

Curatorial Statement

Excerpted from the essay of the same name:
“The video performances in this program are not screen tests in this traditional sense. None were shot under the context of an audition or portray a character per se. However, each performance does reveal itself to be a test—a challenge to bridge a carefully constructed reality and awkward moments of intensely human behaviour. By staging intentionally disconcerting acts, each artist positions the viewer as reluctant witness to the completion of a difficult task.”

The essay can be found in its entirety beginning on page 31 in the CI v.11 catalogue. Read the PDF Version here.

Notes This program was the culmination of a six-month residency at Vtape, where I was able to explore their extensive archive of Canadian video art. The special topic of the residency was the performativity that results when the artist becomes the subject of their own work and of the camera's lens. I chose to investigate this dimension of video art by selecting pieces that I felt brought into question the line between performance and documentation, between passive spectatorship and active witnessing of a traumatic event.

Still from Souvenir (2013) by Erin Hael.

Still from Insides Out: Head, Shoulders Knees & Toes (2012) by Marisa Hoicka.

Still from ERIN—I Will Tell You Exactly What I Think Of You (2013) by Zeesy Powers.

Still from Say (1978) by Rodney Werden.

That year, three residents, including myself, were chosen to produce screening programs. A single catalogue was printed in a limited edition to gather all three curatorial essays.

Sharing The Weight

PANEL DISCUSSION
2012

Co-curated with Caoimhe Morgan-Feir
Part of the 2012 Queen West Art Fair

The Gladstone Hotel
1214 Queen Street West, Toronto

Panelists:

ANDREW DAVIES, Executive Director of No.9 Contemporary Art & the Environment
ANITRA HAMILTON, Toronto-based artist
GILLIAN ATKINS, independent private collections management
MICHAEL J. PROKOPOW, Art Collector, Curator & Professor at OCAD University
MIMI JO CARNELLA, Partners In Art

Moderator:

JANE PERDUE, Public Art Coordinator for the City of Toronto

Notes: Sharing the Weight was one of three auxiliary programs that I co-curated for the Gladstone's role in the 2012 Queen West Art Fair. My curatorial partner, Caoimhe, and I decided to focus each of the auxiliary programs on the idea of support. Sharing the Weight focused on patronage as a way of supporting Toronto's large community of emerging artists. In composing the panel, Caoimhe and I tried to represent the various roles and responsibilities involved in the practice of buying and/or commissioning contemporary art. Ultimately, the panel was broken into the roles of artist, private collector, collections manager, private funder and public funder. Moderated by the city's longtime public arts coordinatior, Jane Perdue, the panel explored the status of the collector in the Toronto context and alternative forms of patronage, such as time-shares or collective purchasing of works.

All photos by Janice Tsui

E-vite for the event, shared on social media and (trans)local listservs:

9 to 5: Canadian Artists at Work

EXHIBITION
2011

Co-curated with Katherine Dennis and Mary MacDonald (RIP)

Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)
317 Dundas Street West, Toronto

Featuring the work of:
ANITRA HAMILTON
ED PIEN
GRAEME PATTERSON

9 to 5 was a short but dynamic combination of exhibition, intervention and symposium, staged at the internationally-recognized Art Gallery of Ontario in the spring of 2011. I co-curated this event with my fellow MFA candidates, at the time, Katherine Dennis and Mary MacDonald. Over a series of six months we worked closely with then Curator of Contemporary Art, Michelle Jacques, and still Director of Education, Kelly McKinley. Our idea revolved around demystifing the perception that art is somehow created immaculately, outside the countless hours of labor (and also failure) experienced in other jobs and roles of society. Using the open space of the Irena Moore gallery, we invited three very different artists whose work all shared a love of labour and and lent itself to visible processes. After excavating old cubicles and furniture from the basement of the museum, these three Canadian contemporary artists worked 8 hours a day for a 3 day span while visitors stopped and conversed with them about the nature of work, art and labor.

The 3 day exhibition was followed by a single day symposium, titled Art/Work, that was held in the AGO's Jackman Hall. Educator, writer and researcher Rebecca Duclos was the keynote speaker. You can listen to audio from the curators talk and Rebecca's keynote on the AGO's blog, Art Matters:
http://artmatters.ca/wp/2011/05/artwork-a-symposium-audio/
The curators also created a blog that served both to document the exhibition but also as a platform for the artists to post in real-time about their experiences. You can see that at: artworkishardwork.wordpress.com

All photography by Mary Macdonald and Zach Pearl.

in situ view of 9 to 5

Installation view of the 'exhibition' in the AGO's Irena Moore Gallery.

title signage and 'breakroom'

The curatorial statement was nested in a faux conference/meeting room setting where visitors were encouraged to leave comments and questions on the oversized notepad.

Anitra's calculator

Detail of a puppet/figure that Graeme was working on

Event postcard, co-designed with Mary Macdonald

A series of Post-It-like cards that were given out to visitors by security guards while the event was on