These diptychs are samples from Taylor Jolin’s larger body of work, Remote Viewings (2019). This ongoing series is a progressively expanding collection of stills and videos sourced from unprotected web-based global surveillance cameras which are accessible to anyone with an internet connection. The presence of small elements like faraway radio towers or pathways visually contaminate the empty landscape and serve as distant reminders of occupation. As an Indigenous person who was not raised with traditional teachings, Jolin has struggled with her relationship to the land. This ongoing project reflects how she sometimes feels more connected to these disparate places than her home territory through meditations on distance and proximity, loneliness and vastness.
Taylor Jolin is an Ojibwe multidisciplinary artist from Sault Ste. Marie, ON. Her work engages with themes of land and place, non-verbal communication, and surveillance-using these elements as a way of contextualizing overarching investigations about intimacy. Presently, she uses digital media and surveillance technologies in an ongoing process of collecting, analyzing and archiving globally sourced visual data. Jolin received her BFA from Algoma University in 2016 and has exhibited extensively locally and across Ontario. She is currently on the board of directors at 180 Projects, a volunteer-run gallery and experimental project space, and is a core member of the Indigenous Women’s Anti-Violence Taskforce and the Northern Indigenous Artist Alliance.
surface waltz documents the space between physical movements and online digital gestures. This work explores the desire to connect, replicate, extend, dance, and bend. As such, the cursor's movements track the artist's hand: it is made to engage in a digital gesture that is rooted in physical space. When the hand bends, there is digital breakage, and the boundary between physical movements and digital augmentations are blurred. As two tools, the hand and the cursor hover together and work to extend beyond each other in a fragile dance.
Roonie Clark is a Black, female, queer and Canadian emerging artist living and working in Toronto, Ontario. Clarke’s work blends elements of choreography, dance, movement, collaboration, video and installation. She is interested in how language manifests, becomes translated and is mediated in the digital age. She explores the poetics of digital spaces; using movement she investigates how technology plays a role in our interactions with others. She earned her BFA at Western University in London, Ontario. Clarke has performed and exhibited professionally at a number galleries and performance venues such as Forest City Gallery (London), Artlab Gallery (London), Trinity Square Video (Toronto), and Xpace Cultural Centre (Toronto).
Blue Garden Hand is a four-colour collage from a series of screenprints by Noelle Wharton-Ayer which document her grandmother making paratha roti, and her grandmother’s garden. Through the artist’s sustained engagement with process based abstraction, the resulting images are obscured in such a way that suggests a complicated history of an everyday cultural practice: making roti. Details from Wharton-Ayer’s memories of the time she spent with her Grandmother are often fuzzy, like looking at someone through a veil or filter, dreamy, like an early memory.
Noelle Wharton-Ayer is a multi-disciplinary artist currently living and working in Quebec City. She obtained a BFA in visual arts at York University in 2010 and completed her masters in visual arts at Université Laval in 2017. Working primarily in drawing, printmaking and digital collage, Noelle is interested in the way personal narratives can be created, structured and proliferated through the use of patterning and repetition. She is also interested in the exploration of familial relationships through our experience of landscape and of the botanical and through mechanisms of care. Her work has been presented in solo and collective exhibitions in Canada and Europe, and she has participated in artist residencies at printmaking centres in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. Currently, Noelle is the studio technician at Engramme, an artist-run centre in Quebec City specializing in printmaking. Since 2017, she has also been involved in the organization and execution of several community-engaged art projects including 'Ici, le jardin', which will be presented in Quebec City this December in collaboration with Carrefour d’Action Interculturelle and the theater La Bordée in conjunction with the play 'Ici'.
Sapphicpangea is a shared Instagram account between Madeleine Lycheck and Paula Tovar which playfully documents their cross-continental dialogue built around their own interpersonal love language. Tovar and Lychek’s collaborative practice is simple and succinct; viewers can quickly identify the women in the drawings by the shape of their bodies, tattoos, or body piercings. Through omitting their names from individual posts, the artists sought to dissolve their separate identities and locales thereby contributing to the social media platform as one unified entity. Sapphicpangea highlights how the couple has overcome physical distance and time differences in their relationship.
Madeleine Lychek is a queer conceptual artist who uses her body as a platform to create meaningful dialogue. She responds to issues surrounding identity politics, and further challenges preconceived notions about gender, sexuality, and racial ambiguity. Her practice is interdisciplinary and spans performance, video, drawing, printmaking, and artist multiples. During a brief stay in Bremen, as part of a semester exchange to Hochschule für Künste, in Germany she met Paula Tovar, an integrated design student with a minimalist aesthetic and affinity for hankering with antique trinkets.
Top 5 Things To Do In Berlin is a digital postcard from Berlin made by Becca Wijshijer. The artist is multiplied by five and is seen dancing in a desktop to Kraftwerk’s 1981 hit, ‘Computer Love’*. Made while living abroad, the work playfully reimagines postcards using conventions of distance, time, and space by overlapping imagery and video as a nod to early internet aesthetics. Humour, clickbait, and romantic signifiers also reference ways of sending love letters in the digital age.
*... I call this number for a data date…. ~ Computer Love plays softly in the background….
Becca Wijshijer is a research based multidisciplinary artist living and working in Kitchener-Waterloo. Through new media, sculpture and installation they explore mediated intimacies and personas on digital platforms. Utilizing online trends and subcultures, they attempt to deconstruct the computerized body and relationships. Wijshijer received their BFA in Printmaking from OCAD University in 2017 and is a MFA Candidate at the University of Waterloo.
Paper Plane Poetry is an interactive digital interface which poetically inputs user generated text. The program is coded to randomly design the trajectory of paper airplanes travelling across the screen which, when clicked, contain the user’s text. The program prompts the user to answer various questions on a sliding scale of intimacy; some questions are casual, while others may require contemplative reflections. Much like the impermanence of the paper planes, the user’s poetry will also fade out of memory/space/time.
Leia Kook-Chun is a multidisciplinary artist who is studying art and technology at OCAD U’s Digital Futures program. As a creative, she pushes her limits with exploration and experimentation. Currently in second year, she is exploring the possibilities with art and technology, creating art with code in Processing, VR, physical computing, TouchDesigner and more. Inspired by the world and curious to try new things, Leia has experimented outside of OCAD U with jewellery, painting, mixed media, photography, graphic design, sculpture, poetry, and drawing. Her relationship with art is continuously evolving: art started as a hobby, then grew into a form of self-expression, a vehicle to convey a message, a space for self-reflection, and a tool to spark conversation. With her art, Leia hopes to ignite something within her viewers, whether it’s a feeling, thought, action, connection, or realization.
connection_found is an online group exhibition organized by feelSpace featuring works by Ronnie Clarke, Taylor Jolin, Leia Kook-Chun, Madeleine Lychek and Paula Tovar, Noelle Wharton-Ayer, and Becca Wijshijer. At times humorous, and other times tender, these meditations illustrate the quirks of navigating intimacy in the digital realm as it inadvertently relates back to the body in the physical world. As the name connection_found implies, the works within this exhibition understand connection and intimacy in broad subsets: a found connection between an individual and their complicated cultural history (Wharton-Ayer), between lovers separated by an ocean (Lychek and Tovar), between strangers online (Kook-Chun), between the corporeal and the digital (Clarke), between where we are and where we’ve never been (Jolin), and with alternate versions of ourselves (Wijshijer). Together, these works trace and re-trace digital intimacy, touch, and the body as it moves and navigates towards the virtual realm.
More literally, connection_found also suggests the curatorial alignment of these works in a digital context which, in and of itself, requires finding connection. At the core of the exhibition, connection_found simultaneously expands, individuates, and links the collective experience of existing on the internet.
curated by feelSpace
feelSpace is an ad hoc interdisciplinary curatorial collective based in Tkaronto at OCAD University. The collective is interested in the implications and potential of curatorial practice within, through, and around digital spaces.