Week 10

Summary of work for Week 10:

  1. Create your Food assignment based on feedback from the professor and the class.
  2. Consult Nathan (email him for an appointment or show up for office hours) for technical assistance if needed – and check the resource page for tips and methods in audio, video and photo editing.
  3. Post your completed work with a title and short description for critique in our NEXT class meeting.

Week 9


Summary of work for week 9:

  1. Review all lecture materials and videos below
  2. Write about at least one artwork, or food-culture reference that inspires your next assignment
  3. Post all research notes /images for a FOOD ART proposal – we will discuss your proposals and offer support in the next class.


Look at these approaches to exploring food by artists:

Aislinn Thomas, A Stack of Pancakes to hold up the Ceiling, 2015.

“The pancakes were vegan (flax seeds being a cheaper—and more ethical?—binding agent than eggs) and local (because, although it was more expensive, the local flour was in the bin beside the less-expensive, non-local flour and I couldn’t pretend that I hadn’t seen it). The recipe was for extra fluffy pancakes (for obvious reasons). The apartment smelled very good until the pancakes dried up and shrank away from the ceiling. When I composted them I discovered that the pancakes had become colourful with mold in the places where they were pressed together and still moist.

My partner asked me if I made A stack of pancakes to hold up the ceiling because the ceiling fell two years prior.  I said no, although the question reminded me of the fact that the ceiling did, indeed fall. So perhaps that is the reason. ” AT from https://aislinnthomas.ca/index.php/portfolio/a-stack-of-pancakes-to-hold-up-the-ceiling/

Rod, Bernie, Peggy, Aislinn

Video, 2009

Rapport Report, a video screening curated by Tejpal Ajji, described this video of narrative vignettes:  “Using her kitchen as a set for storytelling, Thomas recounts a family history using recipes representing her father, mother, grandfather, and herself.”  Below is an excerpt of the video.  Rod, Peggy, Bernie, Aislinn was included in CAFK+A.11 and several screenings.

In Love with Patty Chang:

The Hunt, Christian Jankowski, 1997

Christian Jankowski – Bow hunting in the supermarket

Martha Roslet, Semiotics of the Kitchen

Women With Kitchen Appliances

Women with Kitchen Appliances – band

FOOD ART Assignment:

For next class, propose a way to use food in a short video or photographic series that explores aspects of food other than how it tastes –

This might include actions that explore:

  • The tactile/material qualities of food and food-related devices
  • The sounds of food, the smells of food
  • Memories of food
  • Food and emotions
  • Popular representations of food in culture
  • Relationships of food to the body
  • Food and gender
  • Visual aspects of food
  • How food changes in time
  • How food connects us to each other

Think of a series of gestures – working with food on hand and create a work that pushes the limits of how we expect to relate to food.

This can be done in your home, with food and related implements, and/or you may also work with found video/images from other sources in your work.

Week 8

Summary of work for Week 8

  1. Finish and revise ZOOM videos and post to blog
  2. Listen to the podcast and write reflection notes
  3. Acquire ingredients – and prepare them according to video below before Tuesday’s class.


Listen to the podcast:

The Rise and Fall of Bread: a simple staple with a complex legacy

A young girl leaves after receiving free bread from the municipality outside a bakery during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, in Kabul on April 29, 2020. (Wakil Kohsar/AFP via Getty Images)

The Podcast is available at this link here, or using your podcast app on your phone, search for “CBC Ideas – The Rise and Fall of Bread”: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/the-rise-and-fall-of-bread-a-simple-staple-with-a-complex-legacy-1.5564511



What does bread mean to you? What is your family’s relationship to bread? What is the centre of your meal – or your comfort food – if it’s rarely bread? Why do you think so many people have been baking bread during the pandemic? Which aspects of the podcast did you find surprising, or striking and why?


Acquire these inexpensive ingredients and prepare your dough for the oven before our next class.

Each step only takes a couple of minutes – get all your ingredients ready, and begin at 12:30 pm to start mixing!

Quick Bread Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 +1/2 tsp. INSTANT yeast (this is equal to about half of one little envelope)

1 tsp sugar (or you can use 2tsp honey, or maple syrup)

1 cup warm water + a little extra if needed to make a wet dough

1 tsp. salt

Butter for greasing pan

Mixing bowl and spoon

One pan for the bread – I use a loaf pans, you can use a pyrex bowl, cassarole dish, or some other smallish oven safe vessel. Watch video for details….


METHOD: (Each step only takes a couple of minutes)

12:30 pM on Tuesday: Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl: the flour, salt, sugar, and instant yeast. Add the warm water and mix to a wet sloppy dough.

Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1+ 1/2 hours.

Generously butter your pan.

2:PM on Tuesday: Separate dough from bowl, and scoop into prepared pan. Let rest for 20-30 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.

2:30 on Tuesday: Show your dough to the class in class, and together we will stick them in the oven! Set timer for 15 minutes.

When the timer goes off, reduce heat to 375, and set timer again to bake another 20 minutes.

When done, take bread out of oven and pan to cool!

Be prepared to discuss the podcast during class, and to eat and share some bread!

Week 7

  1. Watch the videos below
  2. Write notes on videos based on questions below
  3. Post your final video on the blog with a description

TECH TIME this week will have Nathan consulting on all your video art ideas throughout class. He will promote his DaVinci Resolve workshop and his resources for sizing videos for the web.

More faces in video: works by Pipillotti Rist and Michele Pearson Clarke

Pipillotti Rist, Be Nice to Me (Flatten 04) 2008


Suck Teeth Compositions (After Rashaad Newsome)

3-channel, HD video installation with sound
16 x 9 format, 9:47 | 2018

In Shade Compositions (2005-present), a series of live performances and videos, the African-American artist Rashaad Newsome explores issues of Black authorship, appropriation, identity and belonging by conducting choirs of women (and sometimes, gay men) of colour who snap their fingers, smack their lips, roll their eyes, and cock their heads, creating expressive linguistic symphonies out of the nonverbal gestures and vocalizations of African-American women. Suck Teeth Compositions (After Rashaad Newsome) is a three-channel video and sound installation that both responds to and extends this inquiry by focusing on sucking teeth, an everyday oral gesture shared by Black people of African and Caribbean origin and their diasporas, including those of us who live here in Canada.

(Stills from Suck Teeth Compositions)

Referred to variously as kiss teeth, chups, steups, and stchoops, to suck teeth is to produce a sound by sucking in air through the teeth, while pressing the tongue against the upper or lower teeth, with the lips pursed or slightly flattened. West African in origin, this verbal gesture is used to signify a wide range of negative affects, including irritation, disapproval, disgust, disrespect, anger and frustration. Given that representations of African-American Blackness dominate and define mainstream understandings of the Black experience, when it comes to anti-black racism, most white Canadians are allowed to feel comfortable and are supported in their comfort by the historical and ongoing narratives of “not me,” “not us,” “only them, down there.” Suck Teeth Compositions (After Rashaad Newsome) is thus a response to the frustrations of living within this denial, and an expression of the anger and pain that many Black people often experience living in Canada, where we are always assumed to be better off, if not completely free of racism. (From https://www.michelepearsonclarke.com/suck-teeth-compositions/)

Installation Photo (Royal Ontario Museum, 2018): Peter Schnobb

Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay, Live to Tell, 2002

Basil AlZeri is a Palestian artist based in Toronto working in performance, video, installation, food, and public art interventions/projects. His work is grounded in his practice as an art educator and community worker. He explores the intersections between the quotidian and art, and strives for interactions with the public, using social interactions and exchanges to create gestures of generosity.

AlZeri’s performance work has been shown across the Americas.

The Mobile Kitchen Lab

AlZeri Basil artinfo_mobilekitchenlab_01

With The Mobile Kitchen Lab (2010 – present), AlZeri performs simple and generous gestures, inviting his guests to identify the Palestinian stories of land, resources and labour that are built into his recipes.

Initiated in 2010, his durational performances feature live projected instructions provided by his mother, Suad, via Skype.

Hear a radio interview on the project here.


Michelle Pearson Clark – Suck Teeth Compositions 2018


Make notes on two of the above videos. What strikes you in each of them? Describe the ways artists use the media of video technologies to create affecting experiences for viewers. And What do you think the conceptual prompts/instructions were for the performers?


Record and edit your new work for teleconferencing technologies. You may work together with others from the class. Post your finished work (up to 4 minute excerpt) to the blog with a concise description of the piece.

Get help from Nathan with your editing, and with sizing the video for the web. Nathan’s office hours are Monday and Thursday 1-4, and he is also available by email for appointments. See resources for video on this blog, under Resources.

Week 6

Summary of Work for Week 6

  1. Read the article by Vivian Castro
  2. Watch the videos referenced in the article and the videos below – ,
  3. Create and post a proposal for a ZOOM video-art work and prepare to discuss your proposal with the class. Include images/research in your description.

During Tech Talk time – Nathan will discuss how to download a free copy of Davinci Resolve, and promote Davinci Resolve video editing workshops. All students will need to edit videos for new works soon. See Courselink for dates and times of upcoming workshops, and video workshops on the Resources page in this blog.


See the full text here and watch the videos highlighted in the text!

Candice Breitz

Breitz’s experiments in the field of portraiture can cumulatively be described as an ongoing anthropology of the fan. Beginning with ‘Legend (A Portrait of Bob Marley),’ which was shot in Jamaica in 2005, Breitz has subsequently set up temporary portrait studios in Berlin [for ‘King (A Portrait of Michael Jackson)’], Milan [for ‘Queen (A Portrait of Madonna)’] and Newcastle [for ‘Working Class Hero (A Portrait of John Lennon)’]. The portraits have thus far followed the same procedural logic, and have been governed by the same tight conceptual framework. In each case, Breitz first sets out to identify ardent fans of the musical icon to be portrayed, by placing ads in newspapers, magazines and fanzines, as well as on the Internet. Those who respond to this initial call (typically numbering in their hundreds) are then put through a rigorous set of procedures designed to exclude less than authentic fans of the celebrity in question, in order to arrive at the final group of participants.

The individuals who appear in these works have thus stepped forward to identify themselves as fans, and have been included purely on this basis: all other factors – their appearance; their ability to sing, act or dance; their gender and age – are treated as irrelevant for the purpose of selection. Each of the selected fans is offered the opportunity to re-perform a complete album, from the first song to the last, in a professional recording studio. The conditions are thus set for a typological study, as each of the participants steps into the studio, one by one, to offer their version of the same album under the same basic conditions. Having set the parameters of the experience, Breitz then allows the performances to unfold with little directorial interference. It is left up to each fan to decide what to wear, whether to use props, how to address the camera, when and if to dance, whether and how to follow the lead or backing vocals, how to behave between tracks, and whether to mimic the original recording or seek interpretive distance from it. Diverse as they are, the portraits are collectively characterized by a riveting tension between the somewhat inflexible conditions under which each shoot takes place (conditions which both reflect and reflect upon the severe limitations for creativity within the commodified realm of mass entertainment), and the struggle of each fan to register an idiosyncratic performance despite these conditions. In the process of this struggle, the singers generate an a cappella cover version of the album that scripts the work, a re-recording which might best be described as a ‘portrait’ of the original album. Although the portraits stubbornly insist on the exact format and duration of the original albums that they take as their templates, they specifically exclude the auratic voices and familiar musical arrangements from the original version, so that the star in question ultimately remains present in the work only in the unaccompanied voices of his/her fans.

The portraits evoke their mainstream entertainment counterparts (such as American Idol or Pop Idol), but also take significant distance from their reality television cousins: Breitz promises her subjects neither fame nor fortune. What she offers them is an opportunity to record the songs that have come to soundtrack their lives in whatever way they choose. The non-hierarchical grids that she uses to organize the final presentation of the fans in each portrait, allow Breitz to deliberately sidestep the question of who has fared better or worse under the conditions that she has created for these quasi-anthropological visual essays on the culture of the fan. Whether the fans who pay tribute to their icons in her portraits are victims of a coercive culture industry or users of a culture that they creatively absorb and translate according to their needs, is left to the viewer to decide. If the dignity of the portrayed fans remains surprisingly intact, it is because rather than prompting us to laugh at the fans that she lines up, Breitz forces us to reflect on the extent to which pop music has infiltrated our own biographies. From Candace Breitz


Left: Natalyn Tremblay (born 3 April, 1980).
Right: Jocelyn Tremblay (born 3 April, 1980).

FACTUM TREMBLAY is usually shown as a dual-channel video installation on two vertically-mounted plasma displays hung alongside one another. For exhibition purposes, the footage loops endlessly without beginning or end. For more info on FACTUM and to view other portraits from this series, see Factum

To produce the series of works collectively titled FACTUM (2010), Candice Breitz conducted intensive interviews with seven pairs of identical twins and a single set of identical triplets in and around Toronto during the summer of 2009, footage from which she then edited seven dual-channel video installations (and one tri-channel video installation). Like Robert Rauschenberg’s near-identical paintings FACTUM I and FACTUM II (both 1957), from which the series borrows its title, each interviewee in FACTUM is an imperfect facsimile of their twin: their apparent identicality is soon disrupted by a host of subtle differences.

Breitz chose to work with monozygotic twins (and triplets) who spent their formative lives together and who thus draw on shared memories and experience. Each pair of twins was filmed over the course of one long day in a domestic environment designated by the twins – most chose to shoot in the home of one twin, or in their shared home. In each case, Breitz interviewed Twin A for approximately 5–7 hours in the absence of his/her sibling and then directed the same set of questions separately to Twin B. Designed to give each individual the opportunity to narrate his/her own story as s/he chose, the questions covered intimate areas such as childhood, sibling rivalry and family matters, but also zoomed out to allow each subject to address his/her relationship to the world at large.

Some questions were specifically slanted to shed light on the mysterious terrain of subject formation: the twins were asked to lend comment, for example, on the nature-nurture debate, or to offer their thoughts on evolution versus creation. Other questions invited the twins to share personal anecdotes or key memories. According to their level of comfort before the camera, some individuals were willing to enter into minute and graphic autobiographical detail, while others set distinct boundaries.

Each pair of twins was asked to style themselves as identically as possible for the camera, and left to decide how diligently they wished to fulfill the request. For some the superficial sameness that resulted – almost immediately to be undermined by innumerable small differences that manifest themselves throughout the interview – became an apt metaphor for the projections of sameness that they had been subject to all their lives.

Each pair of interviews was later woven together in the editing studio to create a somewhat stereoscopic dual-channel portrait. Breitz’s edits accentuate the push-and-pull relationship between the siblings. As the twins relate their stories, sharp distinctions in their voices, their attitudes, their body language, and their views on the world become apparent. At times they gravitate towards each other, offering almost the same syntax and gestures to describe memory, while at other moments they differ vastly in their conclusions on topics they both consider vital. Breitz’s presence is strongly tangible in each twin portrait – her jagged editing style distances the works from the truth claims of conventional documentary, suggesting that the intertwining forces of fact and fiction are always at play in auto/biography.

FACTUM raises questions not only about twinship per se, but also about the struggle that each individual must negotiate in defining him or herself as distinct, while facing constant reminders of the relative role of others in the process of self-definition.

Pipillotti Rist,Open My Glade


Post a proposal (with images/research/referenes) for some kind of ZOOM based video artwork you want to make. Play with, and think about this in your notes.

Consider the history of video art – and ways artists have experimented with the medium of video itself right from its early days of mass use. Artists sometimes manipulated the hardware, the software, and used video technologies in ways that were not intended. They found ways to connect video to sculpture, performance, and initiated what we now take for granted as remix culture. They used video to make intimate confessionals, experiment with their own bodies, and explore possibilities for art in public space that was critical of commercialism and conformity.

Explore the platform of ZOOM and consider its intended use for business meetings and class presentations. Experiment and play with the tools to see what other kinds of images, communications, and relationships might happen there. Test its possibilities, and explore how the platforms we learn and socialize and do business on – can lend insight to the medium itself, and to this historical moment we are living in right now.

We will discuss your proposals in class – to refine them and find possible collaborators.

Week 5

Summary of work due AT THE LATEST: TUESDAY OCTOBER 27th, 2020

There is no new work to complete for this week .

I will be checking your Student page on the blog to find the work from the past 5 weeks. This is how your work will be evaluated. If work is incomplete, your will be deducted according to the amount of work incomplete. If everything is complete and the minimum requirements of each assignment are met – you will automatically receive a 75%. If it is completed with above-average level of curiosity, investment, effort and understanding of ideas – you may receive a higher grade.

See each week’s post to find a summary of work that should be on your blog.

Notes for weeks 1-5 (worth 20% of final grade)

Notes will be evaluated for completion, evidence of curiosity and full engagement with material, level of understanding of critical ideas at play.

Exercises for weeks 1-5 (worth 20% of final grade)

Exercises will be evaluated for completion, evidence of historical precedents for the work, understanding of conceptual ideas at play, evidence of technical investment and effort, evidence of experimentation and adventurousness.

TECH TALK TIME: In this week’s class, Nathan will talk about formatting your videos for uploading to the blog, and how to upload media to WordPress. Bring your questions – Nathan will join us for the last 20 minutes of each class.

Week 4

Summary of work for Week 4:

  1. Actively explore and think about the work of Adad Hannah
  2. Make a self-portrait or portrait of someone else in the style of Social Distancing Portraits. Post and describe your 1 minute video.

  1. Explore the website and look at the past work of Adad Hannah:

Adad Hannah was born in New York in 1971, spent his childhood in Israel and England, and moved to Vancouver in the early 1980’s. He lives and works in Vancouver, Canada.

From An Arrangement, Stripes

Focus on these works, and consider his conceptual approach to his videos. Think about the simple concept he begins with, and the prompts and rules he gives to his performers. Consider how when very action happens, all kinds of surprises and meaning happen.

Handheld Case Study:


Burghers of Vancouver:


The Screen:https: //adadhannah.com/2013-the-screen

VIDEOS from Traces:


Look at his most recent project on Instagram – he is collecting portraits of citizens of Vancouver living, working, shopping, protesting, teaching, studying and more – during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

An ongoing collection of works that speak to the historical moment – made in the past, or made today.

Adad Hannah: Social Distancing Portraits 2020:

Visit this link to see the videos in the ongoing collection:

Stills from Adad Hannah: Social Distancing Portraits 2020:

Read the article about the project from the Vancouver Sun:


MAKE and post on blog:

You are going to make two videos – each a 1-minute version of a Social Distancing Portrait – based on the work of Adad Hannah (see link above).

You can make a self-portrait – and or portraits of someone you know, or of someone you don’t know. Strictly follow all public health guidelines during the pandemic at all times – and when you make your work.

Consider Adad Hannah’s examples, look at many of the videos from the past 6 months. What are the kinds of people he observes? How are they different from one another? How do the portraits change over time? How do the portraits witness important moments of the pandemic? What new insights or meaning does he bring with these videos – especially with so many of them?

Also consider the rules he uses to create the videos – in terms of framing, composition, and the prompts he gives his performers. Can you tell his concepts and forumulae for making these pieces? Use his rules – as far as you can deduce them.

We will be making videos with ambient sound – and not adding music to the videos. They will be unedited – just cut at the start and at the end to form an eternal loop. The will each be approximately 1 minute long.

Adad Hannah has given his blessing to students in Experimental Studio to appropriate his methods and make versions of his Social Distancing portraits. He wants to see the best ones – keep it real – and try to make them follow in the spirit of his concept for the series.

Post your 1 minute, one-shot videos on the blog. Include a quote from your model (or self) the way Adad does.

Also include a description of your video, with references to Adad Hannah’s project, reflecting on some of the questions above in BOLD.

Week III

The Three Movements, 2020. By Nathan Kasprzyk-Heuff

This banner was created to represent three major movements that are still prevalent in the 21st century. The bold stencil font was chosen in order to stand out visually and fight against domination, violence, and oppression.

Media: Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, printer paper, string with party cup lights, shot on an iPhone 11 camera

Stylistic Features, 2020. By Nathan Kasprzyk-Heuff

The second banner uses the phrase “stylistic features” with fonts using detailed features including serifs and slabs, italics, red and yellow colours, distortion effects, shrinking and increasing sizes, as well as outlines. A string with party cup lights was chosen to create an illumination effect, shining the light on the text.

Media: Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, printer paper, string, shot on an iPhone 11 camera



Micah Lexier:

  • Ampersand
  • Two Equal Texts
  • Notes-to-Self (2007)

Laurel Woodcock:

  • wish you were here (2003)
  • on a clear day (2010)

Hiba Abdullah

Week 3

Summary of Work in Week 3:

  1. Look at the artworks and videos below

2. Read the article from Canadian Art.

3. Make a banner, hang it, and put a photo and description on the blog. (details below)


LOOK AT: Artists who use text in their work including: Micah Lexier, Lenka Clayton, Laurel Woodcock and Hiba Abdullah.

Micah Lexier:

“Ampersand” is a collaborative installation on the walls of Toronto subway stop Sheppard & Leslie. In this project, Micah Lexier, asked locals to write the name of the station onto the tiles, which he later had installed.
Two Equal Texts sets up the same situation, as each author invokes or points to the other in “his” text. Though one text preceded the other, neither is primary. Lexier emphasizes their equivalence so that resolution to the binary tensions of the work may not be found in the piece itself. It is instead left to the reader, who is positioned within a series of mediating states: between the right- and left-hand columns of the work’s design, between its visual and the verbal tactics and amidst its inquiry into the original and the derivative. From Lined & Unlined. https://linedandunlined.com/archive/at-least-you-can-read-it/
Micah Lexier, Notes-To-Self. 2007, Silkscreen ink on acrylic on canvas.
Laurel Woodcock, wish you were here, 2003
wish you were here (2003), a series of aerial-banner letters, references the popular postcard message. Woodcock draws our attention to ubiquitous phrases and words whose definition we take at face value, and we are happy to find that in a contemporary context, old phrases can be given new life. With her characteristic wit, the artist reveals that nothing is static.”

Image: https://canadianart.ca/news/news-brief-remembering-laurel-woodcock/
Laurel Woodcock, on a clear day, 2010
“Language is more than inspiration for Woodcock: it is raw material, awaiting manipulation and reinterpretation. Rather than invent new phrases or author original prose and poetry, Woodcock explores the ability of common language to become layered with multiple and unexpected meanings; when presented in new contexts, familiar words, symbols and sayings acquire new significance while retaining reference to their primary definitions.
Woodcock treats words as ready-made or found objects, often lifting phrases from songs and screenplays. on a clear day (2010), four sky-blue aluminum panels originally produced for the Toronto Now space at the Art Gallery of Ontario, borrows its title phrase from two films:Gaby Dellal’s On a Clear Day (2005) and Vincente Minnelli’s On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970).”

image and text: https://canadianart.ca/reviews/laurel-woodcock/

Hiba Abdullah: Watch the whole interview below – Hiba makes text works and social practice works – she is also former Guelph grad. She discusses several of her projects pictured below:


2. Read this article from Canadian Art about the word “Interesting”

3. MAKE:

Using the article from Canadian Art above – isolate a few words, or a prhase, or a sentence to make a banner. Each letter should be on a separate piece of paper, and the letters should be strung onto a string or support of some kind. Use any colour, materials, and size of banner, but be ambitious and thoughtful – consider where you intend to hang the banner.

Take your words out of the context of the article, and put them into a new context in your home or neighbourhood. See how the chosen words, the look of your letters, and the scale of your banner affect meaning. See how putting your banner in different contexts expand/inform the meaning in surprising and evocative ways.

Make a banner, hang it up, and document it. Post a photo with a short description on our blog.

Here is a generic “banner” as an example:

Here is one with individual letters, made by a former student:

As always be safe and respectful to yourself and others, and follow public health guidelines. Be creative within the restrictions of the moment.