BIO

 

My practice draws a link between language and sculpture via the page, intentionally confusing and conflating the ideas and associations of each. Previous research was concerned with Victor Hugo and Robert Smithson respective equations of a stone=a letter or a brick=a sentence as a means to examine the materiality and immateriality of printed text.

Recent research examines Jonathan Swift’s satire, A Tale of a Tub. Published at a time when print culture and the marketplace began rapidly expanding, there were then—as now—doubts regarding the accountability of “facts” presented by anonymous and unregulated partisan publications. The resulting explosion of information produced unstable meanings: sources often refuted or contradicted one another. The Tub is interesting not only for what it says but also how it says it. Swift hated obtuse, meaningless texts. He purposely wrote what he considered to be a “bad book” by emulating the popular literary, scholarly and journalistic conventions of the time: many of which continue to be used today. These elements have shaped the way that we think about, read about, write about—and by extension—create art. So, if Swift is the judge: are we Yahoos (the “degenerate” inhabitants of an unknown country Gulliver meets in Gulliver’s Travels)? This brings up prescient questions (with regards to my own practice too—I’m guilty of jargon, “hard words,” and textual circumambulation): If art were to speak plainly, what would it say? When we are presented with intellectual precipices and informational sinkholes, where to find a foothold?

Victor Hugo and Robert Smithson are used as a means to examine the materiality and immateriality of printed text; from Jonathan Swift, the idea of instability through grammatical sleights of hand. The bluster of the satirist’s “straw man” (knave, fool, hack, quack, confidence man, duper, duped, or buffoon) is the modis operandi in my role as a researcher and purveyor of “Hard Words” and the production of “Strange Sights.” We are all spinners of tales (such as what you are reading right now). How does one pull wool over people’s eyes? What are the right words to say—when does “artist” turn into “hack”? In positioning myself from within satire, or even as the object of satire, I have more in common with Swift’s straw man than Swift himself.

 

 

 

Lorem Ipsum Type

According to Before and After magazine, it was Richard McClintock, a former Latin professor turned publications director at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, who is said to have recalled seeing Lorem Ipsum in a book of early metal type samples while looking for the elusive Latin word “consectetur.”

However, in an interview with Cecil Adams (www.straightdope.com) in 2001, McClintock admitted to not be able to locate the old type sample. Thus: the authenticity of the fabled hot type source is contested.

These cast bronze letterpress type are in a sense copies of lost originals. They spell out the words LOREM IPSUM purposely not in reverse—as with conventional letterpress type—so that they are in a way “useless” objects: they cannot be printed, or if printed, will be “illegible.”

GSF

Just as Lorem Ipsum is used as a placeholder text in order to visualize layout of a text, this 20-minute video highlights the movement of fingers on a keyboard as they produce the “form” of Lorem Ipsum without being distracted by the keyboard. As the keyboard has been Chroma-keyed out, these gestures are ultimately meaningless: empty gestures or a superfluous task. The typing hands also imply an “economy of writing” of sorts: the “immaterial labour” that we come across on a daily basis whether for business or pleasure: texts, emails, spreadsheets, word documents, PDFs, & etc. The first of the included subtitles are Cicero’s De finibus bonorum et malorum from 45 BC (the source of Lorem Ipsum) translated into English. The bottom text is generated Lorem Ipsum that has been Google Translated.

Between Good & Evil

The premise of this publication is fairly simple: between February and April 2017, I Googled each sentence of Lipsum.com’s description of the history and usage of Lorem Ipsum. From the search results, I took screenshots of five different websites where Lipsum’s text had been used as placeholder text, eliminating any repeated websites or Lipsum.com itself. What’s included here is one screenshot from each website I visited. Available for download as a PDF.

THIS=THAT

This publication was the proto-type that has since evolved into my artist’s statement. Words are replaced by blocks and back again. Includes ideas and quotations from Victor Hugo, Robert Smithson, Le Corbusier, Act IV, scene VI, from King Lear, and Donald Judd. The blocked out text can be seen as an obsufication of words or a play on the idea that words are material, and material are words. This publication takes the form of an 11”x85” folded book and is also available as a PDF.

OPENING SOON

OPENING SOON is a site-specific project for galleries with an upcoming exhibition.

OPENING SOON is a project that piggy-backs on another exhibition—it rides the other’s coattails.

OPENING SOON is like the pre-show or opening act to the main event.

The project consists of a sign which reads

OPENING SOON

that is placed in the gallery’s window or sidewalk nearby duration of the install of another unassociated programmed exhibition. It remains there until the aforementioned

OPENING SOON

after which it will be taken down, and the exhibition inside is left to take its course.

OPENING SOON

acts as an actual advertisement for an upcoming exhibition, but may also be lost within the plethora of signs which take up space in our day to day life.

OPENING SOON

acts as a physical marker of a transitory moment in time and space.

PLATFORM

This text is available as a bound book and a PDF. It was written for the exhibition My work has no meaning unless it is used at G Gallery in Toronto, Ontario. The text was read aloud in its entirety on 14 February 2015. The text itself deals with word play (different readings or misreadings) of four words which are said to etymologically linked with the word “platform”: flat*, form**, plane***, and figure****.

(*“Sacrificing the Third Dimension” examines the different writing revolutions over time and space, **“Uber Ubiquitous” examines the placeholder text Lorem Ipsum ***“Plane as in Plain? The Extra-ordinary” looks at the differences of the presentation between the 1972 and the 1977 editions of the book Learning From Las Vegas and ****“What’s a Figure Without a Ground?” examines the page in its physical and digital contexts.) The text, footnotes, and works cited are presented parallel to each other.

You can view the PDF here.

10 Things I like about Marshall McLuhan

This work has been presented twice: during a residency at RM in Auckland, New Zealand and at Connexion ARC in Fredericton, New Brunswick. This PDF was presented with an accompanying PowerPoint presentation where specific words were linked to the projected images. The PDF includes prompts for the reader (“brief pause,” “drink water” etc.), cues for the next slide, and a description of the images used in the performance/presentation itself. The text covers the sometimes kitschy ideas of Marshall McLuhan and includes such topics as: the similarity of McLuhan’s initials to my own, his use of puns, his “company” Idea Consultants (“A headache is a million-dollar idea trying to get born. Idea Consultants are obstetricians for these ideas.”), the layout of his books and magazines, and his ideas regarding the printed page.

A Guide to McLuhan's Galaxy

A Guide to McLuhan’s Galaxy is a poster/fold-out map of the alphabet taken from the printed matter of Canadian literary critic cum media guru Marshall McLuhan. For all that McLuhan has been summed up with his aphorism, “The medium is the message” and his association with electric communications media, his ideas were heavily steeped in the ways in which print culture has effected our perception and conception of the Western world. For McLuhan, the printing office was the “crossroads” of civilization, and as such many of his books rely heavily on their graphic design and layout as a means for getting their ideas across.

Two terms are integral to the purposes of this project. The first: “crossroads” implicates a complex network of passages, infrastructure, and information—one where we might need a map in order to navigate. The second, “galaxy”—and here we need to take a turn into McLuhan-like thinking—can be matched with the word “space” which can bring us down to earth and into the spaces that we inhabit every day. If we are to stretch this thinking further, we can also think of the space of the page and the space of sculpture.

The publication is printed with magenta, green, and black inks so when viewed with an accompanying pair of 3D glasses, the alphabet appears to be three-dimensional. The map is simultaneously page and sculpture: the collapsing of its boundaries forces us to rethink the ideas and associations around the terms page and object.


5 Postcards after Robert Morris

5 Postcards after Robert Morris is an edition of 50 postcards that take up the following:

If Victor Hugo saw architecture as a language, can we extend this notion to sculpture?

...And if for Marshall McLuhan words are things and things are words,

...Then can we not think of Robert Morris' iconic L Beams from 1962-1965 as literal L's?

It could be said that sculpture is stationary and that postcards are stationery that move.

 

 

We have relocated to serve you better

We have relocated to serve you better was a site-specific installation consisting of two elements. The first is a sign that hangs in the window of the gallery: We have relocated to serve you better. This sign could be read as a kind of ruse (perhaps the gallery has moved?) or as a statement specifically addressing the identity of the "we" and "you" in the ongoing gentrification of Parkdale.

The second element is a chain-link rental hoarding that encloses the front of the building, simultaneously framing the gallery and withholding it fully from view. Hoarding structures are intended to enclose a construction site as a precautionary measure for the public. In preventing the public from entering or looking into the site, these structures are often similar to barricades used for crowd control.

Unsurprisingly, the companies that supply hoarding structures are frequently those who provide barricades. The hoarding structure also is a reflection of areas under transition, whether under the guise of ‘urban renewal’ or ‘urban gentrification’.

 

 

 

This Will Kill That

THIS WILL KILL THAT is an assemblage of sculptures, drawings, and prints that examine the volatility of objects versus the persistence of the page taking as their starting point author Victor Hugo’s admonition of the architecture of the industrial age: “This will kill that, the book will kill the building.”