Valérie Belin | Richard Mosse

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Published on : 2014-10-16 01:00:00

DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art is pleased to present two solo exhibitions across three sites:

Valérie Belin, Still life with mirror, 2014. © Valérie Belin, courtesy Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris/Brussels.

Valérie Belin
Surface Tension
October 16, 2014 – February 8, 2015

French artist Valérie Belin creates monumental monochrome or hyper-saturated colour images that meet at the intersections of still life, the studio portrait, and concepts of minimalist sculpture. Her engagement with photography over the last twenty years has allowed her to create a body of work that is singular in its ability to meaningfully consider the plasticity of the medium through an exploration of artifice and illusion, as well as collection and display.

Taking the concept of ‘surface tension’ as a curatorial thread, this solo exhibition will feature images produced throughout the 2000s with an emphasis on her most recent works, which demonstrate the power of digital tools to exponentially increase the possibilities of chromatic intervention. In collaboration with the artist, works chosen for this exhibition are taken from the series Engines (2002), Mannequins (2003), Chips (2004), Masks (2004), Fruit Baskets (2008), Black Eyed Susan (2010), Brides (2012), Interiors (2012), Bob (2013), and Still Life (2014).

The exhibition will take place at 451 St-Jean, accompanied by a satellite presentation at the Phi Centre (407 St. Pierre). In all, the exhibition will showcase over fifty photographs. This is Valérie Belin’s first major survey exhibition in North America.

- Cheryl Sim, Curator

Valérie Belin (b. 1964, Boulogne-Billancourt, France) has exhibited extensively. A major touring retrospective was organized in 2008 at the Huis Marseille, Museum of Photography, Amsterdam; the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris; and the Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne. Her work has been featured in several group exhibitions, including at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Centre Pompidou, Paris. Belin is the subject of numerous monographs, including the volume published by Steidl in 2008 that accompanied the retrospective tour, and Valérie Belin (black eyed susan), with an essay by Tobia Bezzola, published by JRP Ringier in 2011. Her work is in numerous private and public collections, including the Musée d’art Moderne de la ville de Paris; Kunsthaus Zürich; Los Angeles County Museum; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Belin lives and works in Paris.

Valérie Belin: Surface Tension is sponsored by FRIMAS 2014, a cultural program of the French General Consulate in Quebec and the Institut Français.

Artist Talk by Valérie Belin
Thursday October 16th, 2014
7 PM
407, rue Saint-Pierre, Montreal.
Free. First come, first seated.

Richard Mosse, Love Is The Drug, 2012. Image courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

Richard Mosse
The Enclave
October 16th 2014 to February 8th, 2015

DHC/ART is pleased to present the Canadian debut of The Enclave by Irish artist Richard Mosse, first presented at the Pavillion of Ireland at the 55th edition of the Venice Biennial.

Since 1998, over 5.4 million people have died due to the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, yet so little of it has been covered by the Western media. Prompted by this shocking statistic, Richard Mosse first travelled to the eastern Congo in 2010. After many solo trips, he returned in 2012 and 2013 with cinematographer Trevor Tweeten and composer Ben Frost. Slowly and arduously, they implanted themselves amidst armed rebel groups and emerged with material that chronicles everyday life in zones overwhelmed by violence and instability. While much of this footage is unprecedented, what truly sets this project apart is the use of Kodak Aerochrome infrared film, a medium developed by the U.S. military for aerial surveillance, which translates anything green into pulsingly hot shades of pink. The verdant Congolese landscape and the camouflage of rebel army uniforms take on a surreality that thwarts our expectations of images of war.

Presented at DHC/ART’s 465 St-Jean location, The Enclave invites the viewer into a darkened room where six custom made screens are configured to move us around the space, to engage with the work from a variety of perspectives. Ben Frost’s audio composition, made up entirely of field recordings, is played back through the six channels of audio that accompany each screen. The result is a sensory immersion into the deep complexity of the situation in the Congo, presented as it has never been “seen” or heard before.

The installation is also accompanied by the large-scale photographic work Love is the Drug (2012). At a time when the camera’s gaze allows us to discover images from hidden and invisible realms, Richard Mosse’s proposal offers us an opportunity to reconsider what we think we know about war. Not only are we confronted with “looking” differently, we are also forced to acknowledge the power dynamics of that looking, the performance and representation involved in the staring back, as well as the optics and technologies of war. The Enclave problematizes a whole range of questions as the colour pink suddenly takes on a new set of signification.

Cheryl Sim, Curator

Richard Mosse was born in 1980 in Ireland and is based in New York. He earned a Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art from Goldsmiths, London in 2005 and an MFA in Photography from Yale School of Art in 2008. Mosse is a recipient of the Deutsche Boerse Photography Prize (2014), Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism (2014), the B3 Award at the Frankfurt Biennale (2013), an ECAS Commission (2013), the Guggenheim Fellowship (2011), and a Leonore Annenberg Fellowship (2008-2010). Foreign Policy Magazine listed Mosse as a Leading Global Thinker of 2013.

The Enclave by Richard Mosse is supported by Culture Ireland.

Artist Talk by Richard Mosse
Tuesday October 14th, 2014
7 PM
407, rue Saint-Pierre, Montreal.
Free. First come, first seated.


DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art
451 & 465, Saint-Jean Street (angle Notre-Dame, Vieux-Montreal)
Montreal (Quebec) H2Y 2R5 Canada

Opening hours:
Wednesday to Friday from noon to 7:00 PM
Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Phi Centre
407, Saint-Pierre Street
Montreal (Quebec) H2Y 2M3 Canada

Opening hours:
Monday to Tuesday from noon to 6:00 PM
Wednesday to Friday from noon to 7:00 PM
Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Free Admission

Media Contact: Myriam Achard
(514) 844-7474 #5104
General info: | | twitter @dhcart |


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The Scondi Collection

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Published on : 2014-10-16 01:00:00

Presented by Braden Labonte
In collaboration with the Cultural Capital Consortium, the Canada Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, and Katzman Contemporary

Discover the world of outsider artist Annabella Scondi (1921-2005). Katzman Contemporary is delighted to present The Scondi Collection, the premiere exhibition of Ms. Scondi’s life’s work for a public audience, curated by Braden Labonte and the Cultural Capital Consortium (CCC). This exhibition explores the impact of fame on identity as experienced by Ms. Scondi, and how this experience led to a self-imposed exile, and an eventual escape via artistic practice. For this exhibition, the gallery space has been transformed into a particular version of reality that seeks to further illuminate her time of isolation in rural Northern Ontario. Visitors are invited into her world to experience the results of her experiments, assemblages, collections, and creations. Audio guides that link with an interactive website will be supplied to viewers to amplify the understanding of Ms. Scondi’s influences, artistic creations, and historical reflections. We hope you can join us for this event.

October 16 to November 15, 2014

Opening Reception: Thursday, October 16 from 6 – 9p
Braden Labonte, Creative Director, and other members of the CCC, will be present.

Feature Contemporary Art Fair Gallery Tour: Friday, October 24 from 6 – 8p
On the occasion of the Feature Contemporary Art Fair, the Association des galeries d’art contemporain (AGAC) is organizing a Gallery Tour that will include a visit to the The Scondi Collection. Braden Labonte, Creative Director, and other members of the CCC, will be present.

Cultural Capital Consortium (Documentation from the collection of Annabella Scondi), Untitled (detail), Photocopies and Duct Tape, Dimensions Variable, 1972-2002 (Documented 2014)


Braden Labonte: Born in Vancouver, British Colombia in 1982, Braden Labonte earned his BFA from OCAD University in 2006, and his MFA from York University in 2012. Following his formal studies, Labonte took the position of Creative Director for the Cultural Capital Consortium (CCC), an art collective that works to fund and promote artistic research and independent art projects on an international level. In 2013, Labonte and the CCC created the audience interactive, site specific, temporal public installation HOLD ON HOLD ON, SOME THINGS LAST FOREVER in the old BBC London headquarters in England that was slated for demolition. Labonte’s artistic output spans across a diverse field of media from painting and photography, to Internet based projects, as well as immersive installations. His artwork playfully considers the historical moorings and confused identity of contemporary artistic institutions and creative practices. His work has been exhibited in Canada, the United States, Italy, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Labonte is currently based in Toronto, Canada and is represented by Katzman Contemporary.

Cultural Capital Consortium (CCC): The Cultural Capital Consortium is an association of two or more individuals with the objective of financing independent cultural undertakings. The mission of the CCC is to serve the public in an international role by preserving, collecting, exhibiting, and fostering the understanding of Cultural Capital at the highest possible standards. Policies and procedures toward these goals are cumulatively set forth in the Consortium’s legislation, bylaws, trustee action, and members guidelines. For the past 5 years, the CCC has been investing in a wide variety of projects ranging from: public institution funding, product design, digital archiving, collecting, researching, and social involvement. For more information, please visit:

For additional information, or to inquire about this exhibition, preview opportunities, and/or general gallery questions, please contact our Gallery Manager, Erin Canning, at

Katzman Contemporary
86 Miller Street
Toronto, Ontario
M6N 2Z9

Tuesday to Thursday 11 - 5p
Friday to Saturday 11 - 6p
or by appointment

This exhibition is presented with the generous support of:


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Jon Todd: Outsider

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Published on : 2014-10-16 01:00:00


Hermann & Audrey Presents Outsider
Expressionistic Contemporary Portraits by Artist Jon Todd

Oct 16th, 2014 – October 26th
Opening Reception: October 16th 7pm-12am as part of Third Thursday Neighborhood Crawl

Outsider, the latest exhibition by contemporary artist Jon Todd breaks out of conformed style to explore the sentiment of desire without rationality. Inspired by naïve artist values found recently on a trip to Central America, he’s left his process revealed, to unveil hidden abstraction and expressed brush strokes within each of the pieces. Outsider, made up of multi-layered portraits, are adorned in symbolic imagery appearing in light box, lenticular installation, collage and mixed media at Hermann & Audrey, 1506 Dundas Street West in Toronto from October 16th until the 26th.

Scheduled Programming:
October 15th: Private collectors preview 7-10pm
October 16th: Opening reception and feature of October’s Third Thursdays neighborhood crawl on Dundas West. 7pm-12am
October 23rd: Toronto Art Fair Afterhours 9pm-12am
To RSVP for the events or to request a exhibition preview contact

About the Artist: Jon Todd is a Toronto based mixed media artist, combining many mediums, layers and techniques in his art including painting on found objects and distressing finished works. Todd’s recent works are of contemporary portraitures whose intricately painted bodies provide the viewer with a means to decipher the character’s life story, leading to a contrasting blend of rawness and refined beauty.

See the Hermann & Audrey blog post for more information about the exhibit:

Artist Website:
Twitter: @jontoddfineart


Hermann & Audrey.
1506 Dundas St West, Toronto, Ontario.
Twitter: @hermannaudrey


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Published on : 2014-10-16 01:00:00

Prefactio Cum Cantu Mixed Media on canvas. 24x20in.  JEAN-DANIEL ROHRER

October 16 – November 13, 2014
Reception: Thursday, October 16, 2014. 7:30-10pm

Spazio Gallery is pleased to present our first major exhibition as we usher in a new era. Gallery Partners Poet Farrell and Gerry Mamone are delighted to introduce the fine selection of emerging and internationally established artists Spazio now represents.

Featured works by: BARKAS, Eric Charron, Jaga Jarosiewicz¬¬, Barbara Pitcher, Theo Willemse

And it is with great pleasure we also introduce repre¬sentation of artists joining us from Espace 40 in Montreal: Danielle Barbeau, Denis Dulude, Élise Lafontaine, Maryline Lemaitre, Frédérick Ouellet, Jean-Daniel Rohrer, and Claudine Sauvé.

These artists’ works are found across the globe in prominent private, public and corporate collections.

Spazio is a contemporary gallery well known for hosting unique art & cultural events in the thriving centre we call Toronto’s “Lower East Side.” Poet and Gerry are invested in fostering the creative spirit, encouraging, nurturing and supporting artists along their journey.

Join us to see where remarkable meets the ‘Lower East Side.”

For more information please contact Poet Farrell at (416) 821-2707 or


400 Eastern Avenue, Suite 201
Open Tues – Sat 11am - 6pm
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Eye Catcher, the frame that responds to your emotions

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Published on : 2014-10-15 10:45:17

Eye Catcher

Behind the Wall a UR Robot running IAL's own "Scorpion" Software puppeteers the frame

A few weeks ago, i visited the graduation show of The interactive Architecture Lab, a research group and Masters Programme at the Bartlett School of Architecture headed by Ruairi Glynn, Christopher Leung and William Bondin. And it was, just like last year (remember the Candy Cloud Machine and the architectural creatures that behave like slime mould?), packed with very good surprises. I'll report on a couple of them in the coming days.

I'll start nice and easy today with the Eye Catcher, by Lin Zhang and Ran Xie, because if you've missed the work at the Bartlett show, you'll get another chance to discover it from tomorrow on at the Kinetica Art Fair in London.

Eye Catcher

The most banal-looking wooden frame takes thus a life of its own as soon as you come near it. It quickly positions itself in front of you, spots your eyes and starts expressing 'emotions' based on your own. Eye Catcher uses the arm of an industrial robot, high power magnets, a hidden pinhole camera, ferrofluid and emotion recognition algorithms to explore novel interactive interfaces based on the mimicry and exchange of expressions.

A few words with Lin Zhang:

Hi Lin! I think what i like about the frame is that it is so discreet and unassuming. You can pass by it and not even notice it. So why did you chose to make it so quiet and 'normal' looking?

Yes exactly, it's a really normal static object, which exists in everyone's daily life, so the magic happens the moment it begins to move. I was inspired by my tutor's art work finding "life in motion" - not all motion can provide wonder and pleasure in the observer, but playing with the perception of animacy in objects often does. There are many digital interfaces that have the appearance of advanced technologies and compete for our attention, but I think it is better to develop interfaces that rather than standing out, can sit within our normal daily lives and then come to life at the right moment whether for functional or playful purposes.

Magnetic Puppeteer that manipulates the frame from behind the wall

How does the frame respond to and communicate emotions? How does it work?

To start with, the height of passers-by is calculated by ultrasonic Sensors embedded in the ceiling. This is remapped to the robotic arm (controlled using the Lab's opensource controller Scorpion) hidden behind the wall which magnetically drives the frame to align "face to face" with onlookers. A wireless pinhole camera in the frame transmits the video footage of onlookers back to our software (built in Processing and using face-OSC) which analyses 12 values of facial expression such as width of the mouth, the height of the eye-brow, the height of eye-ball etc. That information then drives the reciprocal expressions of the frames fluid "eyes", controlled by four servo/magnets manipulating ferrofluid.

Do you see The Eye Catcher is mainly a work that aims to entertain and amuse or is there something else behind the work? Some novel interfaces, interactions or mechanisms you wanted to explore?

The Eye Catcher project is a method to examine my research question, which is to explore the possibilities for building non-verbal interaction between observers and objects through mimicry of specific anthropomorphic characteristics. It asks to what extend can such mimicry be deployed, specifically utilising eye-like stimuli, for establishing novel expressive interactive interfaces. We found that humans perceive dots, specifically eye-like stimuli, automatically as almost a hardwired ability, which develops at a very early stage of human life. By the age of 2 months, infants show a preference for looking at the eyes over the rest of regions of the face, and by the age of 4 months, they get the ability to discriminate between direct and averted gaze. Therefore, the eye is the foundation of human interaction upon which we build more complex social interactions.

Eye Catcher moves along the wall to approach a visitor

Ferrofluid "Eyes" puppeteered magnetically

What was the biggest challenge(s) you encountered while developing the work?

The biggest challenge is how to make the frame and two dots more animate - to not appear robotic but rather more natural. So we were really exploring how long reactions should take, how to select a suitable behaviour in response to peoples expressions, and how to provide continual unpredictable interaction to keep observers' attention.There's still a lot of questions to be explored, and even though its only ultimately 2 dots we're animating, the limitations are a useful constraint to work within.

Will you modify or upgrade The Eye Catcher for Kinetica?

Yes, we're working on it now for Kinetica Art Fair. We've already built a new frame that moves faster and more quietly. We've updated it with new Wi-Fi camera which provides more reliable facial recognition and smoother behaviour on the wall. The film you've seen is really only a prototype so its exciting to see how the new iteration will perform. We've switched round some behaviour too, to see how the public reacts. For example, at Kinetica we've programmed it to prefer to interact with children which should get them excited when it drops down to see them. In the future we'd like to build a more permanent piece using a 2 axis rail system rather than a robot arm. In theory the frame could then work on a much longer wall which would allow all sorts of new types of interaction.

Thanks Lin!

The Making of Eye Catcher

Check out the Eye Catcher at the KINETICA ART FAIR on 16th - 19th October 2014 at the Old Truman Brewery in London.
The project also references works such as Omnivisu, Opto-Isolator and All eyes on you.

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Feed : Akimbo exhibitions feed
Published on : 2014-10-15 01:00:00

Jon Rafman, Manifolds I, 2014 © Paul Litherland

Jon Rafman

Wednesday October 15, 2014
5 to 8 pm

galerie antoine ertaskiran is proud to present the latest exhibition by Jon Rafman, HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL II. An explorer and archivist of Internet culture, Jon Rafman investigates the changing nature of the self under contemporary conditions as he navigates the boundaries between the virtual and the real, the historical and the personal. His body of digital and physical works traverses the found and the made, the still and the moving, incorporating video, installation, sculpture, printmaking and painting.

In his latest series, Manifolds, Rafman presents us with a radical new way of representing the human form. In an earlier series, New Age Demanded, altered classical Greek busts, totally strange yet somehow familiar, celebrated the human as they integrated the past with visions of alternative futures. Once more digitally conceived, Manifolds have now become full-bodied. Manifolds capture the unease and violence that accompanies the invisible yet irreversible ruptures imposed by extreme technological change. In a snapshot of the mutations brought about by technology, Rafman pauses upon this moment of man’s transformation, somehow revealing the beauty in this forceful moment of change. Although the sculptures are bent, cut, moved, pushed, crushed, twisted, squashed, folded, hacked, and tilted whilst being given durable material expression through three-dimensional printing, their intrinsic humanity is nonetheless immediately recognizable. A figure of a human stands alone: on the verge of becoming other, its abstracted form appears contemporary yet primordial, identifiable yet ambiguous.

In an accompanying installation, Rafman pulls from obscure online subculture and achieves the sublime in the abject - revealing both the possibilities and limitations of digital technologies. In entrusting the online to a greater historical archive, Jon Rafman's work reveals his critical awareness of issues of duration and preservation.

Jon Rafman (b. 1981) lives and works in Montréal. His films and artworks have gained international exposure with his series The Nine Eyes of Google Street View. Rafman has exhibited at the New Museum (New York), Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Saatchi Gallery (London), the Contemporary Art Museum of Saint-Louis and the Power Plant (Toronto). He was nominated for the Sobey Art Award 2014 and the Future Generation Art Prize 2014 and will be participating in an upcoming exhibition at the Pinchuk Art Center in Kiev. In addition, he is preparing a solo exhibition at the Musée d'Art Contemporain de Montréal in 2015. Jon Rafman’s works can be found in many public and private collections, including those of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, the MACRO (Rome), la Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Hydro-Québec, DeVos Art Museum (Michigan), Getty Trust (Los Angeles).

galerie antoine ertaskiran
1892 rue Payette
Montreal, QC H3J 1P3 Canada
tel : +1 514.989.7886

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Jon Rafman, New Age Demanded (Swerveman Graphite), 2014 © Paul Litherland

Jon Rafman, Untitled (cockpit), 2014

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Amanda Reeves: New Paintings

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Published on : 2014-10-15 01:00:00


Amanda Reeves
New Paintings
October 15 - November 15, 2014

We are pleased to announce Amanda Reeves' third solo exhibition of abstract paintings at p|m Gallery.

Informed by an underlying interest in the disconnect between foreground and background, Reeves’ new paintings play with surface and depth through the contrast of graphic shape elements sitting within a delicate, ethereal ground. The apparent structural simplicity of these paintings belies the subtle intricacies of palette and composition. The overlaid shapes are fractured from the unctuous field of colour, rotating around an imagined and increasingly destabilized axis; creating just a hint of tension through their spatial relationship to each other. The vertical shapes, haunting colours and composition of Reeves’ new paintings have created an evocative, complex exhibition of works that are simultaneously stable yet shifting, palpable while remaining intangible.

The exhibition runs from October 15 to November 15, and Amanda Reeves will be present for the reception on Saturday, October 25 from 12 - 4pm. Several of Amanda’s new works will also be available at p|m Gallery’s booth #822 at the upcoming Toronto Art Fair.

p|m Gallery
1518 Dundas Street West
Toronto, ON M6K1T9
twitter: @pmgallery1518
facebook: PMGallery

Image: Untitled 5 2014, Acrylic on canvas, 40" x 40"

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Self-combusting communication for the Wikileaks era

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Published on : 2014-10-13 12:56:06


Last year, news emerged that Russia's agency responsible for the Kremlin security was buying electric typewriters and "expanding the practice of creating paper documents" in a bid to prevent leaks from computer hardware. A few months later, The Guardian was forced to destroy the computer equipment that stored the NSA files provided by Edward Snowden. Diego Trujillo Pisanty saw reminiscence of the Cold War in these two stories and in other current news related to state espionage.

His This Tape Will Self Destruct machine prints self destructing documents. The documents merge images and texts extracted from Cold War fictions with excerpts from current secret documents. A short amount of time after they've left the machine, these documents burst into fire and their content is gone forever.

This Tape will Self Destruct from Diego Trujillo on Vimeo.

What is the paper made of? How come it 'auto-combusts'?

The paper is normal thermal paper used in receipt printers. As the document is printed it is treated with glycerol and a potassium salt. When these two substances mix at the end of the process they react exothermically to produce fire, this reaction ignites the paper and the heat also blackens any unburnt parts of the document as it is printed on thermal paper. The chemistry behind this is actually a common GCSE demonstration so it's nothing too complicated.



i'd also like to understand how the documents are generated. They are "a mixture of images and texts extracted from Cold War fictions paired up with excerpts from current secret documents". Are they generated randomly? do you design them yourself?

I designed (or more accurately curated) the documents myself based on relationships I saw between images and texts. For example one of the documents contains the famous Mission: Impossible (1966) phrase:

"As always, should you or any of your IM force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions."

Presented next to an excerpt from an NSA leaked document reading:
"All publicly available information regarding work on this contract at Mangfall Kaserne will be sanitized so that no association with NSA will be made. This will entail removal of references to Maiyland Procurement Office/MPO, N S A-r elated DODAICs, NSA civilian/military affiliate names, NSA phone numbers, etc. (This is not an all-inclusive list.)"

Other documents focused more on visual aesthetics of devices and architecture, for example the parallel between the circular composition of the war room in Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove and the GCHQ 'doughnut' building.

Where do these images and texts from Cold War fictions come from? And where do you find the current secret ones?

The images and texts from Cold War fiction come from watching many hours of (usually very bad) Cold War film and television and manually curating extracts that relate to previously revised contemporary secret documents. Most of the extracts come from the early 007 films (Dr. No, You Only Live Twice, Moonraker), the Mission: Impossible 1960s television series, Macgyver as well as other fiction films of the era such as The Conversation and Dr. Strangelove.

I initially intended to work with the original files leaked by Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning but even after they have been covered in the news it is very hard to find the primary sources for them. The current secret documents I used come from different places, mainly non-government organizations and news agencies. Many came from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and their repository of NSA primary sources ( Some others came from The Guardian and their similar list of U.S. embassy cables summaries (now taken down but formerly and The Intercept ( Other documents were found throughout the web from all sorts of sources and forums with varying degrees of credibility.



Why did you decide to work with Cold War fictions documents instead of actual CW documents?

I did for a while focus on Cold War declassified documents, for example I did some reading around the STASI archive and even some pre-Cold war sources such as the recently disclosed Manhattan District History ( However most of these documents did not seem as relevant as some of the things discussed in fiction. I think that in the Cold War way of thinking an omniscient machine capable of spying on everyone seemed like a holy grail. This comes across in discussions of satellite imagery and long distance radio networks in many films and television series.

I also find it interesting to think that the rhetoric in these fictions could have done some of the ideological groundwork that led to mass online surveillance. It seems that in many of these franchises (007, Mission: Impossible, Macgyver, etc.) it's fine for the government to spy, impersonate and assassinate local and foreign citizens if they have reason to believe that they are suspicious. The 'good guys' in these series overthrow governments, kill criminals without trial and have no regards for international agreements and human rights, but they do it all for the sake of national security so it becomes justifiable. This is where I see a real link between the fiction and a reality in which citizens are prepared to accept that unregulated surveillance is good because it will stop 'the bad guys'.

Do you see relationship with the 300 Years Time Bomb? because news and secrets are explosive in their own way too..

I see a link in the popular culture that both of these projects take from, I would say that action cinema was very relevant to my generation and that this ends up showing in my work. I also see a relationship in the way I explored the way we assign value to things based on their lifespan. The 300 Year Time Bomb gained historical value by existing 300 years whereas a self destructing document gains value by existing for a very short amount of time, meaning that only a privileged person will be able to read it.

I hadn't actively thought of the secret as explosive but I think it is implicit when I say that "The release of the NSA files will likely be part of this decade's history". I think that Snowden's leaked documents have caused a sort of explosion resulting in an accelerated process of questioning the ethics around online technologies, digital democracies and personal rights online.

Thanks Diego!

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Greg Staats, Artist-in-Residence

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Published on : 2014-10-13 01:00:00


The Art Gallery of Ontario is pleased to announce Greg Staats as the fall’s artist-in-residence.

Photo of Greg Staats by Donny Ditchburn

Greg Staats, Artist-in-Residence
October 13 – December 5, 2014
Art Gallery of Ontario

Greg Staats is a Toronto artist who works in photography, performance, video installation, and sculpture. His current work is engaged in an ongoing process of reconnecting with a traditional Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) restorative aesthetic. This aesthetic, related to condolence ceremonies occurring after the death of a community member or titleholder, relies on the shared repetitive experience of trauma and renewal. Staats’ practice uses language, mnemonics, and the natural world to reconnect with this cultural history.

As artist-in-residence Staats will research the Art Gallery of Ontario’s processes and methods of knowledge through examining its archives, libraries, collections, and conservation techniques. These institutional knowledge structures will be compared to the Haudenosaunee ways of knowing and learning which inform community strategies for memory, health, and mental wellbeing. The juxtaposition of these disparate processes of knowing and remembering will inform new video and photographic works, as well as an online conversation that makes visible this research and residency period.

Born in Ohsweken, Ontario and now living in Toronto, Staats is Kanien'kehá:ka (Mohawk) of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. Staats has received the Duke and Duchess of York Prize in Photography and his work has been exhibited throughout North America. He has also served as faculty for two Aboriginal visual arts Thematic Residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts. The Artist wishes to acknowledge the generous financial support of The Banff Centre during a thematic residency program, The Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario and the Canada Council for the Arts/ Conseil des arts du Canada.

For more information, visit:

Greg Staats, video still from transformer, video and sound, 03:28, Banff Centre


Constantly thinking about this: a reflection of Haudenosaunee worldview, mnemonic continuum, and the retention of knowledge.
Tuesday October 14, 2014
7 – 8:30 pm
Jackman Hall, AGO
Public $12 | Members $10 | Students $8

On October 14, to mark the beginning of Staats' residency, the AGO will host a public talk entitled Constantly thinking about this: a reflection of Haudenosaunee worldview, mnemonic continuum, and the retention of knowledge. Dr. Jolene Rickard, Rick W. Hill Sr., and Greg Staats will discuss the power of reflection, Staats’ recent visual language, the multiplicity of relationships to trauma and renewal, and life experiences. With introduction by AGO Fredrik S. Eaton Curator, Canadian Art, Andrew Hunter.

Rick W. Hill Sr. is Tuscarora of the Beaver clan. He is the former Special Assistant to the Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. He is a professor of American History, an artist, photographer, and a leading authority on contemporary Native American art and Indian images depicted in multi-media. Hill was the Museum Director and principle designer of the new Institute of American Indian Arts, and Museum Director for the Native American Center for the Living Arts. Rick is currently the senior project coordinator for Deyohahá:ge: Indigenous Knowledge centre located on the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. The Cayuga name for the Indigenous Knowledge Centre at SNP is Deyohahá:ge:, meaning Two Roads. In Mohawk it is Teyohahá:ke. The name embraces the concept of two streams of knowledge – Indigenous and Western – coming together in order to advance human understanding of the world around us.

Dr. Jolene Rickard (Tuscarora) Associate Professor, Director of the American Indian Program at Cornell University is a visual historian, artist, and curator interested in issues of Indigeneity within a global context. She is a 2010–2011 recipient of a Cornell University Society of the Humanities Fellowship on the thematic topic of “Global Aesthetics.” Rickard is on the board of the New York State Historical Association, and a member of the College Art Association, Native Art Association and the Society for Photographic Educators. She is also a founding board member of the Otsego Institute of Native American Art History. Her photographic installations have been exhibited internationally. Rickard co-curated two of the four permanent exhibitions for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (2004) and co-curated Across Borders: Beadwork In Iroquois Life (1999–2002).


The Artist-in-Residence Program fosters new connections between the AGO and Toronto-based artists and encourages new forms of expression and audience engagement. Projects can happen anywhere in the AGO and can take any number of forms, including performances, pop-up exhibitions, gallery interventions, events and programs. Visit for more details.

The AGO acknowledges the generous support of the RBC Emerging Artists Project, Signature Partner, AGO Artist Projects.

With a collection of more than 80,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. From the vast body of Group of Seven and signature Canadian works to the African art gallery, from the cutting-edge contemporary art to Peter Paul Rubens’ masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, the AGO offers an incredible art experience with each visit. In 2002, Kenneth Thomson’s generous gift of 2,000 remarkable works of Canadian and European art inspired Transformation AGO, an innovative architectural expansion by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry that, in 2008, resulted in one of the most critically acclaimed architectural achievements in North America.

On now until November 25, 2014: Before and after the Horizon: Anishinaabe Artists of the Great Lakes
On now until January 4, 2015: Alex Colville
On now until January 4, 2015: Aimia | AGO Photography Prize 2014 Exhibition

The Art Gallery of Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO members, donors and private-sector partners.

Art Gallery of Ontario
317 Dundas Street West
Toronto, Ontario
M5T 1G4
Facebook: /AGOToronto
Twitter & Instagram: @agotoronto

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Politika. Art, social justice and activism

Feed : we make money not art
Published on : 2014-10-11 13:54:22

I've known for a while that Manchester is far cooler than London. The Northern Quarter, the art festivals (FutureEverything, Abandon Normal Devices), affordable vegan places, genuine love of alternative culture, etc. Even its National Football Museum has a pretty decent art programme. I can now add a new entry to the list: Ancoats.

Shift//Delete, Suspect Package at Politika. Photo Upper Space

Politika Crypto Party. Photo Upper Space

I had never heard of Ancoats before i went to the Politika event a few days ago. Ancoats is a few minutes (well, rather 20 minutes) walk from the Northern Quarter. The area has been called "the world's first industrial suburb" and nowadays its canals and former mills and glass factories are being turned into spaces for artists and, inevitably, fancy lofts for moneyed office gents and ladies.

Upper Space, a group of 'insurgent arts activists' which engage with social and environmental justice issues, took up the renovated engine room of a former cotton mill in Ancoats to organize a series of exhibition, workshops, screenings, talks and public interventions. Each of the selected works and discussions invited citizens of Greater Manchester to reflect on possible alternative and resistance to consumerism and the disempowerment that it represents. The events explored themes related to the Ancoats community, social network structures used for activism, people's relationship to capitalism, sustainability in urban context, and campaigning effectively for social change.

I wish i could have spent more time at Politika's workshops and other events but i did have a good look around the exhibition and i'd say that the selection of works was really REALLY good. Most of the installations, videos and objects documented actions that were brave, witty and happened in the public space.

Here's a far too short selection:

Robin Hood Minor Asset Management Cooperative representatives at the launch of Politika. Photo Upper Space

Robin Hood Minor Asset Management Cooperative (RHMAM) is an asset management cooperative whose mission is to bend the financialization of economy into the advantage of precarious workers. RHMAM developed what they called a Parasite Algorithm that hooks to the brains of the financial elite at Wall Street and puts their knowledge to work for the cooperative. Profits are then shared with "Robin Hood Projects," including "grants for creative work, no interest loans, or anything else," to be determined by the members of the cooperative. I'm going to investigate that one further because it sounds brilliant. But no need to wait for my follow-up post, just sign up and become a member!

Francisco Tapas (aka Papas Fritas), Ash coins at Politika. Photo Upper Space

In May of 2014, Francisco Tapia - aka 'Papas Fritas', burned $500 million of student loans contracts from the Universidad del Mar, and freed students from their debt. The private, run-for-profit university is a notorious money laundering society for various real estate companies. The Chilean artist and activist sneaked into a vault at the university, removed tuition records and then burned the documents, rendering it nearly impossible for the Universidad del Mar to call in its debt. He later exhibited the ashes inside a camper van as an art show.

Steve Lambert, Capitalism Works for Me. Politika. Photo Upper Space

Intervention at Labour Party Conference, Manchester 2014

As part of Politika, Upper Space collaborated with Steve Lambert and drove the artist's gigantic Capitalism sign on a truck tour to the Labour party conference in Manchester on September 21st. We wanted to engage citizens of Manchester by taking the elephant out of the room, and down to the conference to generate discussion, debate and conversations about our relationships with the 'C' word - Capitalism.

The little truck trip was a great idea because if there's one place where this work belongs it's outside of an art gallery.

Shift//Delete, Act of Parliament

Shift//Delete's Act of Parliament projection is as silly as it is spot on. He turned the Gherkin, the iconic building of London's financial district, into the world's biggest penis. In erection obviously.

Chim Pom, Red Card, 2011

One of the members of Chim Pom worked undercover at the Fukushima nuclear plant and photographed himself dressed wearing a radiation protection suit and holding up a red card in front of the destroyed plant.

Exhibition view (the engine room) of Politika. Photo Upper Space

Why don't we ever see anything like that in London? Why the apathy (please, feel free to contradict me, you'd actually do me a favour)? It's not as if capitalism doesn't give us enough reasons to cry over here, right?

Politika is the starting point of a 4 year community-led project and it is part of a broader reflection involving local residents about the issues that include the loss identity (and place) of the traditionally working class, regeneration policies in the area, the community relationship to wider socio-political ideologies, etc.

More images from Politika:

Politika. Photo Upper Space

Politika launch. Photo Upper Space

Politika launch. Photo Upper Space

Chim Pom at Politika. Photo Upper Space

Urban Foraging for Politika. Photo Upper Space

Workshop outside for Politika. Photo Upper Space

Politika workshop. Photo Upper Space

Politika workshop. Photo Upper Space






Check out also Politika: Art & Local Power In Manchester, UK on Important Cool.

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