Street Art

The first thought was about basketball nets. I saw an advert on the sides of several Rocesvalles shops that depicted a person playing basketball.

Create hyper realist paintings or maybe stickers. Maybe actual photographs done to scale of things from learning; basketball backboards, water fountains, doorways, fire alarms, clocks, bell, blackboards, etc. print these out to size and then apply in odd locations, altering the reality of the world via illusion.

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Labour Day

A simplified, final installment of The Task. The title speaks about commitment and work ethic.

Take one skid of standard 8″ concrete block and move the contents to an opposing skid a short distance away. Continue back and forth at a comfortable rate until exhaustion sets in. Breaks will be taken to eat and drink and for the washroom but the simple, repetitive, pointless journey back and forth will continue for as long as possible and at a steady a rate while recording the scene on continuous video/audio. The work should be done neatly if not compulsively. If it can be done for 12 hours, do that. if I can manage 24 so be it.

Perform the piece in the Mercer back gallery space taking care to place the opposing skids in an aesthetically calculated way. The camera set up should work so that the video fits into the final gallery set up in kind. Meaning I want to think about how the process is filmed and how to play it back in such a way that it looks good but the video will display the action like the viewer is looking through a window at it. The work could finish with some block on both pallets. It could finish with one uniform full skid and one empty skid. Once it is complete mount a video screen on the wall of the gallery to play back the real time performance… However long it ends up being. No edits or treatments. One single shot over however long it takes. On the opposite wall there should be a printed label that tabulates all the statistics involved including how many block, how much time it took, weight, etc.

The exhibition will be the static skid that people can touch to gauge the block weight, the other skid – either partially or empty, the video playing on a loop on the wall and the statistics.

The more I think about it the more the skids should be left in mid “job” so that the emphasis is taken off the “goal”. I would like the piece to be viewed as a monument to work itself, not a specific job, task or purpose.

When shooting the video record the sound in super high quality to be played back at a level that mimics the actual sound of the 12 hours of work.

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Learning to Smile

Look for instructions on line on how to get models to look natural for portraiture…teach myself to do it and keep a running photogrpahic record of the process. Self portraits and a commentary of the new knowledge base and disintegration of personal contact in learning.

Do the same process for other things…keeping a record of the process for each;

tying a bow tie

making a complicated sailors knot

obtaining a check mate

performing an exorcism

solving a complicated math proof


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Two Thoughts

1. When the AGO is turning over, or –dream of all dreams– Tate Modern, get access to film. Spend 8 hours repeatedly walking a preconceived route through the transitioning space and film a continuos journey showing tear down and install. This might have to be a 3 or 4 day x 8 hours a day commitment. Simulcast this on a web channel as a minimalist documentary –with or perhaps without sound.

2. Chose an existing exhibition and walk a preconceived route after gallery hours with whatever available lighting there is. Execute from gallery shut down to gallery opening. Start with the last patron and end with the first patron.

If I had an unlimited budget I would set up a track to mark the routes and very slowly track the installation. Forward through the route then backward –over and over again. With a good budget I could steadycam it. With a limited budget I could set up in a prime location and stop motion photograph it.

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Create high quality, very costly, hand made jewelry based on TTC tiles. Make one set for each traditional old school tile colour and utilize the standard subway tile proportions. maybe do some one offs, a ring here, a necklace there in the incidental yet associated colors of the TTC.


The bracelets could be sterling silver. I picture each link to be a chunky high gloss silver rectangular brick with one open side, into which is sunk a ceramic mini-tile in the same proportion and colour as a actual subway tile.


Now I can picture a pretty huge ring as well, portrait style in a heavy silver setting. You could easily do more pieces as well including a necklace and pendant/obelisk earrings. Make it very chunky rather than elegant and petite. Maybe each element is the same size.

Green, grey, yellow, orange, flesh, white, doorway red, safety strip yellow, turnstile stainless, etc ad

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This is another ongoing series. I think I started shooting this stuff about 8 years ago.


The image above was taken quite a while ago. Since that time this little gallery on Queen near Symington has had the blinds drawn and I’ve never been able to capture it again. i’ve probably gone back a few times every year to check. I still really like this image, it’s about art, my aspirations, and the beauty and potential of emptiness.

The pictures in Outside are predominantly taken through window glass. I rest the lens directly on the window and it works as an ad hoc tripod or stabilization tool. This in turn allows me to shoot in low light for long exposures while still hand holding the camera. it gives me a nice depth of field which emphasizes the expository nature of my work. Expository is a word that David Balzer used to describe my Waiting series and I use it all the time now. It’s perfect.


This above piece was part of the Art Gallery of Mississauga’s Eat, Drink, Man, Woman show held last year. Tara Marshall was nice enough to select 3 pieces of mine for this thematic that focused on our relationships to food. This is taken in Little Korea. It’s a shot when the property was up for rent. Now it’s a fully functioning BBQ place. No more pink.


A vacant garage on Dundas West, west of Jane.


A decommissioned small police station on Davenport.

I don’t think I’ll ever grow tired of this series.

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Using pressure and pneumatic principles create a participatory kinetic sculpture based on the principles use in an air gun or nerf water pistol.

Stationary Bike
Fountain System
Adjustable Water Aperture

The public gets on the bike, pedals to compress air which is then stored until a certain PSI is attained. This in turn sets off the trigger which the propels the water straight up like Ole Faithful. The aperture device would allow for different effects
1. Multiple stream shower like burst
2. Sustained single thin stream
3. Wider single powerful burst
4. Slow bubbling for a sustained time

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Ahhh the ubiquitous skull. Symbol of otherness and individuality appropriated by Pirates, Damien Hirst, Keith Richards, Misfits, bikers, Hans Holbein, Cyprus Hill, and 100s other proponents of evil.

It’s a sad overused and cliched symbol of the alternative.

Take all these images pilfered from the web and collage them into a big piece that pokes fun of the serious intentions of those who sport them on t-shirts as symbols of outsiderness and show them for what they are… The boring normalcy of marketing.

Maybe I can use the skulls to created lines then execute contour drawings of things like kittens, smily faces, flowers, text or anything that exemplifies the idea if kitsch.

Could also employ wings, German Gothic style text, guns and any other “evil” symbol exploited by a few brandished by many and so far away from most of the mainstream people that do wear these sort of images personality it’s funny. Like the weekend biker that by day is merely a yes man on Wall Street. everyone sees through your disguise.

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It seems that 2012 is the year that Holi makes it to the masses. the Festival of colour. I’ve seen some spectacular images in the past few months.

Take businessmen on their way to work in full suit and tie in a Bay Street area Spontaneous break out into celebration. In the celebrations of Holi as I rudely understand the strictness of social norms is lowered. So business guys in suits become childlike and joyful as they cover each other in colored powder.

The piece would play on several themes but center around the stereotypical dropping of the serious conservative business facade as well as making an obvious nod to the increasing economic power of India

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Ghetto Christo

Buy five or six tarps of various primary colors. After a heavy snow fall venture out into the wintery freshness and wrap objects with the tarps and take pictures. With the preponderance of white background the created colour sculptures should contrast in a spectacular way


Things to wrap
Telephone boxes
Fire hydrants
Hydro poles

A variation on this theme would be to do self portraits after wrapping myself in the tarps. I imagine this could be slightly sinister. Either simply log roll myself up in a tarp in front of a camera that’s positioned for the purpose, or get someone to help me wrap myself in a way that facilitates using a remote.

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I made it to Vancouver!

My incredible gallery has some of my work up in the summer show in Vancouver. I don’t know about other people, but I really like my gallery and the people who work hard to sell my photographs. It can’t be easy and I feel privileged to be represented by such great people. Gush, gush.

I recently had some respected artist and educator suggesting I stop worrying about my gallery and get off my ass. I would have enjoyed the time to actually explain to him my relationship with the gallery but I don’t think he has the time for that.

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In Translation

I read a lot of books. nothing serious, but none the less I read a lot. Right now I’m reading yet another Swedish crime novel. Yes I’m one of those people that has trouble with non-fiction.

It strikes me that translating from Swedish into English –like anything other translation for that matter–would be hard to do well. Asa Larsson might be a gifted writer in Swedish but her books in English must owe a great debt to the translator. one of her older books was translated by Marlaine Delargy, I wonder if she did the one I’m reading now?

Thinking about this led me to an idea that a simple Swedish sentence must have several different English translations and that the translator must understand the tone, and writing style of the author so well that they can personify that in their work. Maybe this is one of the reason that Nordic crime fiction is becoming so popular in the English speaking world. There’s a sparseness to the pros that feels like how I think. Maybe I should read some other Nordic fiction and see if it retains the same attraction.

Take simple sentences from the Swedish and translate them. Rewrite them about 20 times in different ways. accompany the text with a photograph of a coffee pan. I have this image of people making coffee in Sweden like cowboys.

Do it for Swedish, Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Finland

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I was going to start taking some crazy injectable drugs they call Biologicals at one point to treat my Arthritis. I’d been pre approved by my health insurance provider and had been in several times for preliminary tests. The University medical centre where I’m treated wanted me to help with some related research on pain before and after the treatment so I went in and had some cool tests done. While I was there I started thinking more about the nature of pain.

It’s all psychological. In a way pain doesn’t even exist, just the mind processing information and warning the body, at the same time it’s very real and can be debilitating.

I thought it would be cool to work with the Dr. Who I met and was heading up the study.

My plan is to to ask chronic pain patients if I could take their picture. Do some simple expository portraits and see of the pain is successfully masked in their sitting or if on the face of each subject you can see the pain their suffering from. It might be a neat adjunct to the actual research itself. I think it’s a compelling subject.

Id prefer to seek out chronic pain sufferers who are happy and well adjusted. I wouldn’t want the show to be negative, just informative. Maybe proceeds could go to to the researcher.

It might also be interesting to take the portraits and then take huge macro photographs of their medication used to treat the pain. These would be blown up very large so the pills are as big as the subjects heads in the portraits. For these I can visualize a gallery full of diptychs. 24 inch square photographic diptychs. Each pairing would depict the suffering and the relief.

I never went on the injectable medication, it was just way to serious a drug for me. I’d rather live with the pain than shut down my whole immune system.

05/25/2012 Wear my blue Benetton golf shirt for an artists proof. It’s the same colour blue as my medication. Do the same for the other drugs. Match the colour of the clothing or an accent to the clothing with the drug colour.

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Silent Rock Band

This was a direct offshoot of the Seeing concept. In this proposal I’d like to make something for the hearing impaired community and by researching, learn about that specific demographic and figure out more art to be tailored towards that segment of society.

Take a video of a rock band and removed the actual soundtrack completely, substituting in its place a series of vibrations, air currents, and other feelings or perhaps kinetic sculptures. This would in effect remove the audio, replacing it with visual, or sensory representation.

I picture fans blowing, things swinging, and other non audio mechanics, some of which would utilize vibration to simulate artificially the way that someone who was hearing impaired might experience the actual band if they experienced it.

Is there a way to have a live band perform in a glass sound proof room that I could have hooked up to sensors that could detect the amplitude of the “playing” and translate into visual, other non- aural

Maybe it’s a completely visual representation of the 24 track recording of a song…mike by mike by mike. It would be less like Janet Cardiff’s Forty Voice Motet, and more like a very complicated screen saver or animation.

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A dance performance filmed in TTC Subway cars or buses in which the dancers represent commuters personalities action and thought. This could be linear and narrative based…so she might not be super interested.

100 years ago I saw a dance piece on television that featured men in a pub drinking, fighting and getting drunk. I’ve never forgotten it and think of it in relationship to this piece. After some searching I found tan excerpt from that piece called Enter Achilles by DV8.

Poles, seats doorways sound, laptops, coffee, newspapers, sleeping, chatting, makeup, pan handling, entry, exit, dynamic. it could also be broken into acts that are based on different parts of a commuting day; rush hour to work, rush hour home from work, journey to the club, journey home from the club….repeat.

Although conceived as a filmed piece from different angles within the train, this could become a performance piece for Nuit Blanche where the train is parked in lower Bay and the dancers perform in and on the platform amongst the audience. The doors could actually close and the performers could act as if the train was moving. It could also be done in such a way that the audience participates and becomes part of the event.

I could also devise a way for the wall side windows to act as screens on which video is shown to emulate motion and give the illusion that the train is moving when the doors are closed. I could arrange with Nuit and the. It’s to take 6 video cameras on board a train that traveled after hours and film the windows as the train moves from empty station to empty station.

Work with a contemporary composer to write the music that informs the dancers.

To me this seems more like traditional dance than avant guard. Based on Ballet and Tango?

Specific ideas.
- dancers at one pint might all sit and rise in unison representing the ritualistic commonality of the commute
- music could be based upon the tone that signals the doors closing and could be per-recorded to play over te subway car speakers.
- moves that simulate the stop, start, and drastic jolts of a typical subway ride.
- romance could be an internal theme. Either young lovers or actual flirtation.
- the vagrant drunk, the mental patient, the surely traveler, the children, the iPod listener, the computer user, the kindle reader… etc.
- flickering lights
- delayed train
- rush for seats

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I think the practice of taking average everyday kitchen items and making them into commemorative decoration and objects de art is crazy. I’m talking about plates, spoons, tea towels, tea pots, salt and pepper shakers, etc.

The plan is to make decorative plates, tea towels, and other ephemera– all of which might be considered quintessentially British or American — that would recognize dark periods in those countries colonizing or militaristic pasts. in so doing I hope to point out the ludicrous nature of these objects in and of themselves while calling attention to the inherit blindness of nationalism and the successful silencing of history by the propaganda, government and collective patriotic blindness of society.

Slavery (Africa)
1876 Deccan Plateau Famine (India)
1954 – Mau Mau Revolt (Kenya)
1830 – 50 Tasmanian Genocide
1957 -1959 Bombing of Oman
1960 Evacuation of Diego Garcia

Civil Rights
My Lai (Vietnam Nam)
The Shah of Iran
El Salvador

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I had written this up under the title Demolition. I think flattening is better.

This project could be thought of as a form of deconstruction or the act of taking a 3 dimensional building and flattening it out into 2 dimensions. This idea was inspired by years of staring at the Hydro building across the street from us.

Take a photograph of each portion of the elevation around the exterior of a building from straight on and from the same distance, i.e., 6 feet away from each section of wall. Shoot the entire building Starting at a fixed point and ending at the point. These would also represent the building a t a specific height in it’s elevation, at approximately 6 feet off the ground or eye level. In a traditional building this would equate to flattening out an elevation drawing. each of these shots could then be stitched together in Photoshop to “flatten” out or make 2 dimensional the contours of the surface.

Riff on Alan Paiment’s series of building floor plan photographs taken from the bird’s eye perspective.

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24 Hours

24 Hour Conceptualization Marathon

Could I sit and think of worthwhile and compelling new concepts if I did it as a performance piece in and of itself?

Even if I didn’t add to the library it could be a statement on creative blocks.

I’m picturing me sitting at an interrogation desk in what would look like–or actually be–a police station interview room. The performance could be filmed and seen through 2-way mirrors. maybe there’s a camera suspended directly above the table I write on. With this in mind the aesthetic of looking at a bank of 4 video monitors would be cool. Therefore film it from 4 different angles. directly above looking down at the desk, behind my left shoulder and looking down at approximately a 45 degree angle. straight on from directly across from the front of my body showing under the table as well and maybe a close up on he actual book I’m writing in.

Maybe I’m shackled to the chair. Maybe this is an elaborate set that needs to be constructed in a museum that I could actually sit inside and interact with to “perform”. The audience would have access to what I’m doing thought the two-way mirror in the observation room, a a bank of video cameras in that room that would have a joystick attached to change the views slightly or zoom in closer and an intercom button that that could talk to and here me from.

Food and Drink would be brought on occasion. I would also have to be escorted to the washroom every now and then. Maybe I’m handcuffed as I’m led in and out of the room by a uniformed officer.

Upon playback the viewer would have the ability to zoom in on the document I’m writing. All the time this looks like I’m writing a confession, when in truth I’m creating a book of concepts.

As well as being the statement on concepts and thinking, it’s also a direct statement on the way certain societies think about the criminality of the creative mind and have done throughout history. Finally the title is intended as a play on the popular television series “24″

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When taking the subway I wait until a train arrives that’s not completely rammed with people. I refuse to run or even walk quickly to catch a waiting train.

While waiting I look for ways to change my experience. To depart from the ritual. Sometimes I’ll buy coffee, or I’ll wait for three or four trains to pass. I’ll stand at different parts of the platform, or at different angles than the traditional passenger might. Different angles is so far my favourite

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Make these a series of seemingly simple portraits. They could be of Bill, Lorissa, Danny, Dan, Sarah…or better yet professional actors. Take the pics in the G44 studio using the blasted light effect. Ask each actor to imagine a scene and emote to suit. Creat the drama or narrative in their mind and take the picture as they relate. Crying, flinching, laughing, etc.This will provide the underlying layer for reflections. Shoot 2 more layers. 1 is the reflection of the taller lights on the glass of an empty frame. The 2nd would be the narrative scene mentioned that the actors are imagining. In photoshop this layer would be inverted and overplayed with the others to produce the entire composite image. The no 1 layer could be a film.

Create an empty shadow box. Hang it in an empty gallery. Create narrative scenes within the gallery space and film the reflection of the action in the glass of the empty shadowbox frame.

1.Create my next Bau-Xi show the same way I did learning and play back the created narrative movies over top of the regular images.

2.Show the movies in a series of empty shadow boxes

Create a sense of discomfort in the viewer. When the look at the piece the reflection should seem like action actually happening in the present. Create a sense of paranoia.

Formulated when I looked into Simon Rayner’s office and saw the il divo framed award reflecting his office

2nd thoughts.


Take pictures as if I’m going to simply do another Bau-Xi exhibition. Frame them in shadow boxes like normal but use regular reflective glass. Light the framed pictures in such a way that the room they are in is reflected on the glass. Create tableaus of people, or narrative occurrences in those reflections and reshoot the images or film them now with that “created” reflection in the glass. Print these new pieces with the reflected scene or project the film of these scenes in a framed “screen”.

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Collect empty pill bottles. In a gallery space attach these to every surface of the room, encapsulating the entire space in pharmaceutical containers. Floor, ceiling, walls. Glue them so the bottom end are on the wall and the top removable white lids are the surface. Different height bottles could be used to make the space undulate, different diameter lids to add variety. I would think that by spreading out the surface erratic the weight of the audience could be supported. If not create a sheet of tempered glass to lay on the floor over that layer of bottles.

It might be possible and practical to create this effect by assembling a patchwork of self contained 2 foot square plywood panels, onto which are secured the pill bottles.

Other thoughts
- the panels could contain any number of different size pill bottles, but it would make the best visual if the were all yellow with white safety caps.
- glue the safety cap end down onto the panels.
- actually collect the pill bottles from pain medication patients over a period of months.
- check into bulk prices for say 5000 bottles via Ali Baba.
- the surface of the wall would undulate depending on the variety of pill bottle lengths

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Of course I began thinking about this at my dentists. I’ve always been fascinated with the tools that such professionals use. They seem of a certain quality and obviously meant for specific tasks. I imagine they feel good in your hands.

These could be either simple photographs or I could make relief prints. Maybe these would be more sculptural, I don’t think printing is going to work.

Regardless, it would be great to portray the images as works of art in themselves. I picture these being at most silver on white, optimally white on white.

Tools from dentists and other specialists would be cool. Obstetricians, neurosurgeons, heart specialists, etc.

I’ll contact one of my patrons –that doesn’t sound too wanky!–again and see if he might be able to get me access to certain doctors in certain hospitals

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Could you physically manipulate a vinyl LP to play a certain way by adjusting the grooves?

This would create a dance of sorts via the tone arm and the resulting audio might be something of a remix.
Labyrinth Vinyl

2. Magnify and carefully reconfigure the circular grooves of an LP by cutting and sanding into a huge circular labyrinth. Display as is and in detailed macro photos

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Create an elaborate light-proof set. Populate it with sighted people and get them to perform tasks in that darkness. Every now and then shoot with the flash, the light willgive them glimpses of what they are doing and allow them to organize but also capture each subjects relief for a brief glimpse of the sighted world.

A variation or an adjunct to tis concept is to set up portrait lighting on a given subject. Turn out all light and allow the subject and photographer to acclimatize to complete darkness and then shoot a photograph that focuses on their dilated pupils. In a way this would result in the temporarily blind taking a picture of a temporarily blind subject.

Film the whole thing as well and use the combination of both for the exhibition.

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Exercise for Listening

Record myself murmuring various different manufactured stories and intermix those narratives in a composition that has to be listened to carefully to follow all the various stories at the same time. It will become a coded narrative of seemingly unrelated stories.

see if it’s possible via Thomas and Keen Music to mix the vocals in such a way that each occupies a different place in the mental room. Not Binaural, but maybe just a good understanding of stereo could virtually place each narrative in a different part of the brain or head of the listener. Each story could then be concentrated on as a location to decode the cacophony.

A variation would be to write a single narrative then split that into 10 parts, each of which become different locations in new narratives. Construct the multiple narratives in such a manner that a careful listen would play the original complete story in sequence, but it would jump around locations in the head when listened to. This is hard to describe but it touches on the idea of music and singing in rounds like we use to do in public elementary music class.

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Was the 60s and 70s ice cube subliminal message scare a hoax? Did companies really resort to hidden images of people having sex and naked women to sell stuff?

Recreate famous images that resulted in laws being made to make tis practice illegal in a series of contemporary fine art photographic images. Create my own series of subliminal images, but use humor rather than sex.

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Contact friend photographers and see if they’d be willing to let me take macro shots of their eyes, or one eye. The idea to create a show of these images in super large size, show the differences and title them with the name of the subject.

Eyes are the window to the soul, as well their the photographers tools, more so than the camera. it’s just a box with a hole in it. Without the photographers vision there can be no good photographs.It could also be viewed as a play on the structure of camera lenses. The eye is a natural lens that glassware and technology are always trying to emulate.

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Social Media

I’m interested in words and logos. Taking something that exists and turning it into thoughts or maybe opening up conversation. It might also be a statement of my personal disillusionment with current brands and business.

these are not necessarily cynical, but that also might be a slight reluctance to accept my somewhat cynical nature to popular trends, even those I proscribe to. It’s also a time tested idea.

Play with the following;
- the obey in Sobey’s
- harm in pharmacy
- F icon of Facebook but make it Fuckoff
- b logo of blogger but make it boring
- t or “tweet” into twat
- Etc ad naseum

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The Clock

This was the original thought for the piece I ended up performing last fall in Hamilton.

The Task but using 1 pallet of blocks in a square space that has some access for filming from
directly above.

Place the pallet of block in the in the north center quadrant which will represent 12 o’clock. Move the pallet 12 times over the 12 hour period so that the finished pallets end up in positions representing the hours of a clock.

This task is completed when the pallet is returned to it’s original position at 12 o’clock 12 hours later.

Film onto a computer hard drive so the camera can be suspended and continuously film. Use larger block than Nuit Blanche to manage the hour between hours.

Do this on an actual stage and the audience can sit and observe like the most boring play in the world. Lighting and music included, it would be very cool if there was a trap door I could use as the escape route to washroom and eating. Maybe in the center of the stage?

Only requires 1 full pallet of bricks and an extra pallet to act as the transfer pallet.

Find a theatre that doesn’t have anything going on for Nuit Blanche. Maybe ask the Nuit Folks. The more elaborate the venue the better.

By selling the piece as a wall clock as a large edition. Make the cost of those pieces simply the cost of the drive required to hold/run the film.

I executed a version of this for the 2011 Hamilton Supercrawl. It was weird being in the thick of things, and I would have preferred to be arthritis free, but all in all I think the people enjoyed either discussing the piece or razzing me about it. I think the curatorial staff was pleased as well.

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Art Work

Since the execution of The Task I’ve dreamed up a bunch of other similar performances based around labour and construction. These are all variations on the theme;

1. Hole – dig a hole and then fill it in over a 12 hour period. I see it as a pretty large hole. one that I may end up having to get in and out of with a ladder. The other thing I just realized is I’m thinking of a grave shape. during the process I’d endeavor to control the formation of e walls so they were very uniform.

2. Pyramid – see if it’s possible to make a pyramidal dirt form while emptying a hole. the hole itself should be shaped like the inverse of the pyramid.that will end up the same shape. To execute maybe start with a square short walled sand box type base and pile the dirt but shape it as I go with a bricklayers trowel.

3. Cone – same as above but a more radically sloped shape than what would be creayed by gravity. I envision the final, product as being more topiary in nature.

4. Gravel Cone – get a gravel slinger truck to drop a load of p gravel but have them slowly dump it to form as close to a true conical shape that gravity will form as possible. Move that cone of gravel to a location about 20 feet away by hand with a shovel and a large step ladder. the possibility also exists to use a wheel barrow and set up a scaffold to facilitate dropping the gravel from a point above the cone as it increases in size via that wheelbarrow. This could be a site specific work that unfolded over the period of a week or two.

5. Snow – shovel an entire football field by hand.


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Make a glass cube or use an exiting squash court with a glass viewing wall. Mount four automatic tennis ball canons on a mechanism that’s robotically programmed to rotate and built into the roof of the cube/court. Create a false floor that will funnel the tennis balls into a return mechanism to replenish the canons on a perpetual basis. Fill each machine with different Colours of tennis balls. Stand underneath the canon assemble and viola. The tennis balls are fired and the subject attempts to return or play the balls or ball if at all possible. Move between active optimism and concentrated action to static hang dog dejection as the balls continuously move.

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Picasso AGO

Jill and I went to Picasso last night. It was a bit overwhelming and I think there may be too many works. I left feeling more interested in the way the gallery was set up and how people moved through it rather than how great Picasso was. He was certainly prolific and talented, but I don’t have to like him. I’d like to see Guernica some day and I’m glad I went to the AGO show.

I’d much rather look at contemporary art. There will be always be a vibrant art historical past  but I’m just not as interested in it. I’d rather go see something from a living person then glorify some dead –face it– wanker. What’s the real point in that? I was pretty surprised but I felt the same way about the AbEx show and some of those artist I thought were so amazing 20 years ago.

Maybe I just don’t like really famous artists.

Regardless, I found it interesting to stand in the middle of the larger rooms and watch the audience. The sound was pretty cool as well. I actually ended up taping the sound and no one seemed to care. I’m sure it just looked like I was crazy standing in the middle of the room and smiling.

Picasso Crowd

I’d like to film the gallery when it’s just about as busy as it was last night. There was a steady flow of people and the rooms were lively but you could always see the work. It would be great to tape the motion and sound of the audience then remove all the actual art in post. Everyone would be gathered around nothing and talking about it. Some walls would have so much attention for “nothing”. I might approach the gallery and ask them if this is at all possible. Maybe I should do it in a smaller gallery first where I have a hope in hell of getting permission then use that to show the AGO for permission.


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New York City

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In Manhattan in the mezzanine of the Bowling Green Station there are a bunch of images I shot for Art for Transit. They’ve been up for over a year, actually more like two. I’m pretty sure they’re coming down soon if they haven’t already.

Another group of people who have been so nice to me!

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This was my first real show. I mounted this independently with the very gracious help and support of David McClyment a very wonderful man.

The series of images can be seen on the Bau-Xi Photo website. This show at Centennial College was very quiet, and I would have classified it as unsuccessful at the time. From this show though I started donating work to places like TPW and their Photorama event after Sharon Switzer invited me to participate. I started showing in 2008 with an image of the Bay Street Subway station. This in turn led to me getting Tien at Bau-Xi Photo interested and ultimately becoming a Bau-Xi artist.

So now when I look back on this event I need to thanks, David McClyment and Sharon Switzer.







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Waiting was my first show at Bau-Xi Photo. It ran in the summer of 2010. I got a bit of press including this nice little piece in Eye Weekly by David Balzer.

Here’s my artist statement from way back then.

I’m interested in the potential or possibility of places and objects. His fascination is with things—not for what they are or what they’re proscribed to be—but for what they could be and how they can be seen.

In Waiting, different parts of the Toronto and New York subway systems are captured in various stages of flux. Bereft of people and purpose, these utilitarian spaces are re-imagined and assigned a different aesthetic value. Waiting transforms hectic spots into serene, contemplative sanctuaries.

Waiting itself directly refers to hanging around long enough for foot traffic and people to disappear. It also calls out the converted state of the spaces. No longer intersections of movement or places of mass congregation, the locations now wait to be refilled. Finally, waiting calls out patience and a desire to slow the normal day to day down and transform purposeful but sometimes mindless action into equally productive contemplative silence and peace.

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Learning was my most recent show at Bau-Xi Photo in November of 2011.

20120510-220121.jpg Learning focuses on educational spaces in and around the Toronto environs. Here students have either left for the day, gone for the summer or abandoned the buildings permanently. This work continues to explore the aesthetics of public institutional architecture while at the same time contemplates the artist’s scholastic history and contemporary education into the professional art world.

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Somehow take pictures of people naked in a glass cube surrounded by green screen. Have them strain to push against as much of the cube as possible, which will in turn give their image a sense of the invisible cube. Then take that image of the body and suspend it in the middle of the frame of another landscape photograph. These should then resemble people in cube form suspended magically in mid air in various other scenes.

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Secure a vacant store front in a busy part of town close to existing art galleries. Maybe on Queen. If possiblesome place “vintage” and under renovation/abandoned.

Put an old office desk and chair in the vacant mess facing a large front window to the street. Get a reel to reel and a set of headphones with a monitor speaker and a small fridge for snacks. Typewriter. Hang an obvious old school analog microphone outside up high out of reach that is wired to the recording/monitoring equipment which picks up the sporadic passerby conversation which is in turn recorded on the reel to reel. I can monitor the exterior dialogue/commentary on headphones or the speaker. I can also play back the recording. Figure out if I need 2 reel to reels so I can continually record the conversations.

As people walk by and say stuff I type it out. I transcribe it. Any conversation is written out and recorded. The viewer could be watching me record their conversation or simply watching me complete an earlier transcription if they aren’t saying anything. Regardless the viewer has something of interest to view when they are actually engaged viewing or talking about the subject (me). The audience provides the content and the context of the space. It’s a performance piece that would also be augmented by the typed transcript and the recorded tapes and a series of photos/video.

There’s a 2 way mirror set up behind and over my head that would hide my camera. I could remotely control it by a foot switch set up under the desk. I could therefore document the subjects and the action of what I’m transcribing this way.

Elements of Lives of Others, Krapp’s Last Tape and The Task Also another exercise on the process/meaning of art. Turns the audience into the piece.

I thought about this while performing the task and listening to the audience commentary.

Existential. There is no performance without the audience, the voyeur becomes the subject of observation.

Possible locations
Check where Nuit is happening and explore the possibility of Contact or Luminato.

Part of 170 Bloor West – shop with the walk up and the small round table that I’ve taken pics of. Not bad but the view inside is partially obscured by the hideous door handles.

Identify each passerby in terms of clothing and basic physical. Example Tall, White, Male, Red T-shirt.

Make my attire mimic the time period of my equipment and set. 70s is a good era that speaks to the idea of the Stasi, my youth, and the beginning of the audiophile advances. Is it possible to get 70s stereo equipment?

What about using Camera? Does it still have it’s front curtain.

Another possibility I to set it up on a club or bar in the middle of the floor and wire several locations with microphones. This looses a bit of my initial meaning and concept but it could be a good offshoot. Played back though this could be executed with some of the beauty of the Janet Cardith Motet piece. An aural sculpture mixed to provide snippets of interesting conversation about stills taken of me at the desk. I could hire a team to document what I’m doing then augment that photography and video with the recorded dialogues and the typed transcript.

If Camera is open… I could set up in Bulger’s gallery and rig a mirror so that people could look in through his front door and see me head-on doing the transcription of the stuff I recorded from Camera next door. Fuck, organize the video for the task and have that in a gallery space that people would come look at and talk about while I recorded their commentary on this very Paul Auster / Lives of Others way.

Play Farben Techstar to the people I’m documenting.

Edit and mix the pure vocal tracks to create a symphony of spoken word lyrics. Repeating phrases as recurring themes and slowly layering and unlayerimg them to create a cohesive Peter and the Wolf type piece.

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Seeing is the next body of work I’ll start to build seriously. It’s been in the idea stage for over a year and I’ve researched it quite a bit already. The next steps are pretty daunting. I need to finish building my studio in the basement, apply for various grants, learn how to write well, teach myself how to hand Braille, and devise a way of making large format Braille works.

Seeing is about understanding. Specifically it’s about understanding that visual art –by it’s very nature and the nature of current museum structure– is exclusionary. In the most obvious way visual art is about seeing and it is definitely inaccessible to the visually impaired or blind. Sculpture is the possible exception, but even with sculpture patrons in galleries are not allowed to touch works so even it is inaccessible.

The ideas for Seeing originally struck me as a way to use photography to create text based art. I’ve always liked text stuff. The original idea was simple, I would describe photographs in text and print those descriptions instead of the photographs. I would change how the image is imagined by not letting it be seen at all. In a way this is a show about photography without showing photography. There does however seem to be a lot of text based work around in the contemporary art world. It’s become rather common place.  Because of that I began to think of ways to create pieces that might still be language based but not so stereotypically word art. If, for instance I was to print the text in very light grey on a white page it would make it less legible and less immediately obvious that it was text. This also served the purpose the obscuring the text, and in a way removing the photograph more, while still demanding the viewers attention.

At this point I started to think about Braille and then I kept thinking about Braille and started researching it. I’m now planning to convert my photographs to descriptions for the visually impaired or completely sightless, then translate that further into Braille by use of a software program called Druxbury, then write the Braille on oversized art paper and those panels of white Braille dots will become the actual art work. I’ll do a series of maybe a dozen pieces all in the same dimensions as the photographs they describe.

I had a fixation for months to get aluminum or fiberglass panels created via a CNC Router and a process they call raster Braille, but the costs were astronomical. There was aslo something too cold about manufactured panles. I far prefer the idea of doing the Braille work by hand now

The people at the CNIB have been very helpful and supplied me with this amazing document circa 1980 I’ve included a page of that document here. I love this document, it’s typed!

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In a meadow or on some secluded lawn, subtly mark out a 50′ circle. Preferably in a bit of a depression, valley, or beside a hill.

Set up a video camera and shoot a pic that encompasses the circumference of the circle, also shoot a still image of the secluded lawn prior to the performance.

Start filming as I repeatedly walk around and around the perimeter of the marked circle. Try it for like 6 hours or until a well worn path has emerged. Stop filming.

Take a picture of the newly created path.

Would be really cool in a dirt field in the rain. The mud would exaggerate and amplify the path.

I was toying with the idea of creating and photographing or filming more pathways like ‘circular path” with the same theme. A path that abruptly ends, a path that leads directly into water or over a cliff, one that leads directly into a wall, one that turns with an abrupt right angle, several pathways to parked cars suggesting the same route to a parked car is taken every day, two pathways that head directly towards each other then abruptly end.


June 1st, 2012 addition
Adendum for Paths

Experiment with different methods of giving a birds eye view

Existing structure
Skimmer pole

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