Is it Media Art? A Debate

Mod­er­ated by Archer Pechawis

Sun­day, April 12, 2015
2–4 PM
Monarch Tav­ern, 12 Clin­ton St., Toron­to, Ontario M6J 2N8

Pan­elists: Brad­ford Nordeen, Deirdre Logue, Rashaad New­some and Heather Keung

The Images Fes­ti­val annu­al debate, in part­ner­ship with MANO, returns with anoth­er time­ly and con­tentious ques­tion: Is It Media Art? Whether we are look­ing at film and video made by artists in cin­e­mas or increas­ingly watch­ing mon­i­tors, film loops and slide pro­jec­tors by film­mak­ers in gal­leries and muse­ums, the umbrel­la of “media art” is selec­tively applied. With the con­ceit that many time-based exhi­bi­tions treat media tech­nolo­gies in a sculp­tural man­ner, and that media art as a cat­e­gory con­tin­ues to morph and shift across inter­dis­ci­pli­nary forms, when does media art assert itself and when does it sim­ply become a prop? Ques­tions that will be con­sid­ered include: Do we need to know media art his­to­ries in order to know its future? Has the def­i­n­i­tion of media art out– grown its rel­e­vance and what is the def­i­n­i­tion? Who will claim media art? Who knows best: Film his­tory and crit­i­cism or Art his­tory and crit­i­cism? Are fund­ing silos help­ful? Where does media art fit in a post-dis­ci­pli­nary fund­ing land­scape? Does the loca­tion of an artist’s pre­sen­ta­tion his­tory pre­de­ter­mine their future?


Archer Pech­wais (Mod­er­a­tor): Per­for­mance artist, new media artist, film­maker, writer, cura­tor and edu­ca­tor Archer Pechaw­is has exhib­ited across Cana­da, and inter­na­tion­ally in Paris France and Moscow Rus­sia. His prac­tice exam­ines the inter­sec­tion of tra­di­tional First Nations cul­ture and dig­i­tal technology.

Heather Keung (Pan­elist): Heather Keung is a cul­ti­va­tor of arts com­mu­nity, and was the AD at Reel Asian from 2006–2013. In pur­suit of rad­i­cal and artis­tic inno­va­tion, she facil­i­tated numer­ous cross-dis­ci­pli­nary col­lab­o­ra­tions between artists work­ing in media, dance and music. Keung’s cur­rent ven­ture is immersed in an off-the-grid farm house.

Deirdre Logue (Pan­elist): For the past 20 years, the film and video work of Cana­dian artist Deirdre Logue has focused on the self as sub­ject. Using “per­for­mance for the cam­era” as a pri­mary mode of pro­duc­tion, her com­pelling self-por­traits inves­ti­gate what it means to be a queer body in the age of anxiety.

Rashaad New­some (Pan­elist): Rashaad New­some received a BA in Art His­tory at Tulane Uni­ver­sity before study­ing Film at Film Video Arts NYC as well as music pro­duc­tion and pro­gram­ming at Har­vest­works NYC. He par­tic­i­pated in the 2010 Whit­ney Bien­nial, New York; Greater NY 2010, MoMA PS1, New York; Per­forma 2011, New York, and the 2011 Venice Bien­nale, Venice.

Brad­ford Nordeen (Pan­elist): Brad­ford Nordeen is the founder of Dirty Looks, a bi-coastal plat­form for queer exper­i­men­tal film and video. His writ­ing has been pub­lished in Art In Amer­ica, the Huff­in­g­ton Post, After­im­age, Lamb­da Lit­er­ary, Lit­tle Joe and Butt Mag­a­zine, among oth­ers. He lives in Los Ange­les and Brook­lyn, NY.

Co-pre­sent­ed by the Media Arts Net­work of Ontario (MANO)

*Please note this is being held upstairs at Monarch Tavern.