SO - some updates, I have moved and am now once again unemployed.  Just about where I was two springs ago.  That summer (2012) proved to be one of the most creatively productive and fertile times in my life to date.  I got the first season of Small Talk running, and brute forced my way into screen printing.  I can only hope this Summer will be comparable.  

My friend Johanna Wienholts is a harpist (You may remember her from the Southern Oracle, if you've known me that long), anyway, when she makes a mistake in class her harp teacher (an elderly master harpist) says, "don't worry, just go home and play it 40 more times".  I love this advice/anecdote - there are so many times when the ascent of a learning curve seems overwhelming, and this is a lovely reminder that with patience and persistence comes mastery.  I think it took me a literal 40 failed screens, washed out with a hose duct-taped to the faucet in the bathtub before I got one I could work with.  Mastery, of course, eludes me still.  

In moving out of dream house, I got rid of a lot of things.  I'd say about half of everything I owned (stuff piles up fast when you have a whole house to fill and no qualms about going through other people's garbage).  I tried to get friends to come by and take things, but even when all of my friends who wanted stuff had taken everything they wanted, I still had boxes and boxes of things.  I put them out by the curb, put up a "free" posting on craigslist . . . and watched people show up, maul the boxes, and get in fist fights with each other over my useless crap.  

Here is a photo that does not show even half the pile, as I spent most of the day afraid to leave my house - cause to reflect disappointedly on the paradox that capitalism feeds on scarcity, but so many of our problems are caused by excess.  

As I went through things and decided what to keep and what to get rid of, I found myself repeatedly thinking, as I was tempted to hang on to some seldom-used object, "don't punish yourself that way." Reminding myself that these objects were not precious containers for my memories, but actual burdens that had to be physically carried around with me seemed to help.  The implication that the memories themselves were burdens also, is worth considering.

This is what I kept - still seems like too much.

In other news, I've joined Site 3.  They're going to house my screenprinting gear for the near future.  I've also started a thingiverse, and a github for new projects, and have re-done my homepage.  All still very much in-progress.  This can all be considered through the lens of learning curves - "go home and do it again 40 more times".


My friend Elle and I spent the past few months scheming to put this together - it already opened, but it's up for another month and a half or so.  Here's the press release - documentation to be posted . . . someday:

A group exhibition in Pari Nadimi Gallery's project space, including works by Rachel de Joode (Berlin), Felix Kalmenson (Toronto), Adriana Ramić (Los Angeles), David Hanes (Baltimore), Elliot Vredenburg (Los Angeles), and Elle Kurancid (Toronto). This show is curated by Toronto-based writer, maker, and activist (me).

The phrase "pics or it didn’t happen" began in web forums as a response to an outlandish or dubious claim like, “Duuuude. Last night I met Miley Cyrus and she twerked on me.” Response: “Pics or it didn’t happen.” Such an exchange is a reminder that our culture equates photos with proof (a flawed proposition).

This is an exhibition of art documentation photos—the digital traces that remain after an exhibition, the self-made archive—presented in place of art itself. But in Pics or it didn’t happen, the art “documented” does not exist. Various artists explore this conundrum and its ramifications, both in and outside of this exhibition, and the art world.

Rachel de Joode has a solo exhibition opening at Neumeister Bar-Am (Berlin) in February, and another at SWG3 (Glasgow) in June. She is the founder and art-director of Meta Magazine. Felix Kalmenson completed the residency at ZK/U Center for Art and Urbanistics (Berlin) in fall 2013. His solo exhibition HLS-F71, opened in January at The New Gallery (Calgary). Adriana Ramić received her BFA from the University of California (San Diego) in 2011. Her recent projects include Craigslist-Assisted Readymade at Stadium (New York) and Architects of Gamma Bad at Sunhoo Industrial Design Park (Fuyang, China). David Hanes received his BFA from the Ontario College of Art and Design University (Toronto) in 2013. His solo exhibition David Hanes: Aware, opens in April at Birch Contemporary (Toronto). Elliot Vredenburg is currently an MA candidate at the California Institute of the Arts (Los Angeles). He is a member of the Toronto collective Workparty, whose project The Little People was installed at Toronto City Hall for Nuit Blanche in fall 2013. Elle Kurancid exhibited in Reputations, a two-person show at Pari Nadimi Gallery in fall 2013. She will start an MA at Goldsmiths (London) in September. (I) organize an interdisciplinary lecture series called Small Talk (Toronto, 2012-3). (My) research interests include modernism, utopian politics/aesthetics, and rapid-prototyping technologies.

Show runs Feb 6 to Mar 29.



. . . in the fort now.  Improving computing, one blankety nest at a time.


Sooooo.  In the summer I went to Montreal and gave a talk about tumblr and art.  Then I recorded this podcast with curator Jamie Woollard.  Give it a listen if you got some time.  I'm full of unpopular opinions.

I spoke on the same day as Charlie Twitch, who made (and told us about the making of) this awesome music video.

ALSO - in case you mysteriously haven't noticed, Michael Toledano and I are making and selling these King of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford shirts.  We partnered with Vice artist Thomas van Ryzewyk to use his image.  Which other people are using too!!  But we have his permission.  

Kristal Jax, who writes for Blog TO called it "the most wearable" Rob Ford shirt. lololololo


From summa . . . 

I was in my pal Alexandra Mackenzie's music video!  Long day full of selfies . . . costume changes . . . bedazzled bikes . . . set build, take down, re-build, etc. etc. Making things.

In other news, can't stop listening

. . .

To be honest, as I make this post and revisit these pictures I feel like I should be happy - I certainly was on the day we shot this video.  But it's difficult when things are so strange and uncertain.

I will be moving out of Dream House in about a month and a half, a bittersweet and possibly overdue ending. What began optimistically has become a burden.  I have skin I need to shed, a heavy old self I need to crawl out from under. This Dream has become a nightmare - yin into yang, as day becomes night.

I don't know how to contextualize this past year and a half but as an experiment.  I have tried out a lot of ideas about what kind of life I want to have, what kind of work I want to make, and why - and I would be lying if I said I have concrete answers.  But I can say without a doubt some things that haven't worked for me.  Being responsible for a house is a burden I am ready for - but unwilling to take on for someone else's profit.  Property is robbery/property is freedom.  The dichotomy has never been clearer to me, and the next house I look after will be my own.

Indeed, I feel the need to say no to many aspects of my life.  I've said yes consistently for the past year when it comes to projects, and I've been rewarded in them any times over - but I now I need to focus, choose, and trust that the nightmare in turn becomes the dream.


Friction fit laser cut plinth I made for my friend Rebecca Fin - clear acrylic topped with iridescent vinyl and handmade milk glass.