Survival Guide & Kit (Slide Show)

Installation. Convenience Gallery, Toronto, 2010-11

Media: Photo mural, oil drum, mannequin, survival kit supplies, survival guide.
Dimensions: 3mx1.5mx3m

Media: Book with survival tips, recipes for vermin, and invasive species, philosophy, 50 pages
Dimensions: 130cmx180cm

Fictitious retail outlet providing tools for surviving a range of catastrophes. Tools include first aid kit, gas mask, anti-nuclear pills, water purification tablets, maps, compass, binoculars, woodcraft knife, trenching tool and pick, portable chainsaw-in-a-can, flint tool, self-powered weatherband portable radio, waterproof shoulder bag, hermetically sealed non-hybrid seed bank, etc. This installation constitutes one site-specific installment of a series of installations, including at the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit, curated by Nick Tobier, and at the Western New York Bookarts Cooperative, curated by John Massier as part of Beyond/In Western New York biennial 2010.

erratic (Slide Show)


Media: Wood from various trees: ash, oak, maple, walnut, beech, poplar.
Dimensions: 10mx15mx1.3m

erratic is an installation comprised of 37 wooden spheres, ranging in size, egalitarian and random. These spherical shapes are universal and architectonic. Nature favours this shape due to its efficiency, forming the earth, the sun, blueberries, raindrops, and beetle dung, to name but a few examples. Humans are constantly drawn to this shape, forming ball bearings, cannon balls, ping pong balls, and bubble tea, to name but a few examples.

Moveable Garden (Slide Show)

Public art installation: Harbourfront Centre, Toronto. Supported by Sheridan Nurseries and Toromont CAT. 2007

Media: bulldozer, pine, juniper, cedar, larch, winter grasses, rocks, soil Dimensions: 500 sq. ft.

Ten thousand years ago, great sheets of ice came from the north, scraping clean everything in their path. As they receded, rock, gravel and soil were left in their wake. Today, giant earth moving machines scrape and excavate the earth, replacing it with rock, gravel, soil, tract housing and golf courses. Maybe through our interventions the glaciers will return, or maybe they will return anyway, or maybe we shouldn’t worry, just wait. Ten thousand years is a long time.

Moveable Garden
is a landscape on the move, planted as a bermed plot covered with winter vegetation that is visually being pushed along by an earth-moving construction vehicle. Moveable Garden follows in the trail left by my previous garden-based installations, in particular Changing the Landscape (1991, Harbourfront Artists’ Gardens) and When the forest moves (1995, Toronto Sculpture Garden), contemplating the effects of human impact on nature through a cautionary but playful juxtaposition of plant material and constructed forms.

Extreme Centre (Slide Show)

with Millie Chen, 2007

Site specific installation

Media: 32 speakers, 2 pro amplifiers, 16 cd players, fabric-covered built walls
Dimensions: 77 sq. metres
Audio: text - various authors
vocals - various individuals of different ages

Extreme Centre is an audio installation in the form of a maze. As visitors negotiate the twisting passages, they hear a cacophony of whispering, issued from speakers set into the passage walls. The sound of whispering ushers visitors along the passages but also engenders a range of reactions from unease, insecurity and paranoia to intimacy and the conspiratorial. Concentrating on individual speakers, the listener can then decipher text, sourced from a range of authors across vast geographies, epochs and political positions. The common denominator of all the text is the arguable categorization of “extreme.”

Call Centre (Slide Show)

Site specific installation

Interactive audio installation.
Media: office furniture, telephones, office supplies, wall text. Dimensions: 300 sq.ft.

Call Centre sets up an opportunity for interactive exchange based on telemarketing strategies and telephone solicitation. It takes the form of a telephone call centre consisting of two different stations, each furnished with a desk, chair and telephone. At one station at random moments, regular incoming calls cause the telephone to ring, prompting visitors and passersby to pick up the receiver and participate in a scripted survey with a live Call Centre agent. At the second station, participants who pick up the handset are automatically connected to a voice mailbox where they are prompted to respond to a differing pre-recorded survey. Both surveys subtly prod the visitor to participate in an interaction that is simultaneously familiar and uncomfortable, while the intended goals of the surveys remain in the murky boundaries outside of commercial enterprise and statistics collection.


with Andrew Johnson, Paul Vanouse and Millie Chen,
since 2006

More information on PED Website:

… 8, 9… (SLIDE SHOW)

with Millie Chen, 2005

Site specific installation

Media: roadside electronic sign
Dimensions: H:15’ W:15’ D:6’

Working with children in grade 3 at public schools in the Granby area, we conducted an art project that culminated in a public art installation at city hall. Each child was asked to describe their hope and their fear for the future. These expressions were then broadcast, anonymously, onto roadside electronic signs.

Every generation has a zeitgeist, an attitude. Even at an early age, this becomes apparent. What children choose as their unadulterated expression of hopes and fears is telling of the current socio-political climate. Imitating the strategies and appearance of a political campaign, …8, 9… is intended to generate in its young audience awareness of social structures and a sense of empowerment in their capacity to affect the future

Love Motel (SLIDE SHOW)

ARTsPLACE, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, 2005

Installation. Media: neon sign, bed, Polaroids, various furnishings, telephone soundtrack.
Dimension: 30’ x 15’

As we motor down the highway towards our destination, do we seek a safe port, a cheap rent rendezvous, a hideout? We encounter a scenario, a vacated motel room, its temporary inhabitants gone. The bed awaits fresh sheets, the scene awaits new possibilities. Do we wonder about its previous occupants, about secret nocturnal occurrences?

This installation presents an environment of intrigue and suggestion through the arrangement of aspects of a motel room. Referencing bordellos from New Orleans from the turn of the previous century to love hotels of Asia in the 1960s and 70s to the North American roadside motels spawned by car culture, I present a scenario based on a studied ambiance and multiple potential narratives.

The stage is set, the room in disorder, unclean, the smell of Lysol and tobacco hanging in the air. Study the evidence. Pick up the phone and listen. What expectations do we - the new occupants, the next viewers - bring? What does this evoke in us? Are we voyeurs or participants?


Stand-up Beaver (SLIDE SHOW)

“Pool” exhibition
Curated by Carla Garnet
York Quay Gallery, Harbourfront, Toronto, 2001

Site-specific installation. Media: carved foam, fiberglass, epoxy, nickel currency (beaver side up), wood, steel.
Dimensions: H:80cm D:60cm W:100cm

The concept of ‘natural resources’ is contemplated. In the history of Canada as a developing nation, the commodification of both the beaver and of water (fresh water) has played a pivotal role. Long before being adopted as a national icon, the beaver represented an early form of trade through its pelt. As an important source of revenue, the beaver inadvertently helped to bankroll the land exploration and development of Canada. In Stand-Up Beaver, the beaver form is clad in nickel currency and stands to attention in a simultaneously idyllic and threatening manner on a mound that floats on the surface of the pond. The pond, already a fabricated landscape, is further transformed into a wishing well (strewn with nickels). What the public currently desires is not the established icon of the beaver but what lies underneath - water.


companions (SLIDE SHOW)

“Wildlife: a field guide to the post-natural” exhibition
Curated by Lisa Gabrielle Mark
The Textile Museum of Canada, 2000

Sculpture. Media: faux & real fur, steel cages.
Dimensions: H:3m D:1.5m W:1m

For centuries, we have been breeding domestic animals to meet our desired specifications. We create purebred pets for aesthetic gratification, recreation and social status. Our genetic tinkering wreaks havoc with nature’s adaptive mechanisms. What are the limits of our desire for custom-made companions? The faux and real fur spheres in Companions suggest genetically engineered masses, caged to further emphasize controlled nature.


The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (SLIDE SHOW)

“Wildlife: a field guide to the post-natural” exhibition
Curated by Lisa Gabrielle Mark
The Textile Museum of Canada, 2000

Sculpture. Media: stuffed toy, fiberglass, rusted steel filings.
Dimensions: H:17cm W:50cm D:21cm

A mutation.


Greenroom (slide show)

Collaboration with Millie Chen
Toronto Sculpture Garden, 1998
Commissioned by L.L.O. Sculpture Garden Foundation

Site-specific interactive public art installation.
Media: cast gelcoated fiberglass, steel, light fixtures.
Dimensions: 400 sq. ft.

Designed for a small park set in the thick of a large urban centre’s downtown zone, this installation plays with notions of public and private space through the displacement of the most public room in a domestic setting - the living room. The varying hues of green pigmenting the furnishings imitate vegetative outcroppings and also launch a subtle critique on the suspect ‘greening’ (i.e. pseudo ecological) trend of the cultivators of taste.


when the forest moves (SLIDE SHOW)

Toronto Sculpture Garden, 1995
Commissioned by L.L.O. Sculpture Garden Foundation

Site-specific public art installation.
Media: 3 sugar maple trees, cast bronze text.
Dimensions: H: 5m L: 30m W (rootballs): 2m

In When the forest moves, the garden is transformed into an allegorical scenario which parallels a literary classic with current environmental concerns. The ominous predictions made by the apparitions in Shakespeare’s Macbeth foreshadowed the demise of Macbeth through an advancing army camouflaged by moving trees; similarly, the movement of trees in an apocalyptic scenario of global warming warn us of the potentiality of habitat (in this case, the territory of sugar maple) destruction. The installation takes the form of three maple trees, with their burlap-wrapped root bags intact, situated at the end of a sculpted earth furrow which seems to have been dug out by the northbound scraping movement of the trees. Contained in the furrow is a residual trail of cast bronze text; this text, in hand-written script, consists of the story of the advancing trees in Macbeth.


Changing the landscape (slide show)

Harbourfront Artists’ Gardens, Toronto, 1991
Commissioned by Harbourfront Corporation

Site-specific public art installation.
Media: mid-sized automobile, hemlock spruce, blue Colorado spruce, little champion globe cedar, little giant globe cedar, ostrich fern, silver lace vine, English ivy, Boston ivy, goutweed, cutleaf stephanandra, purpleleaf sand cherry, meadow-in-a-can.
Dimensions: 1100 sq. ft.

Named after the automobile sales slogan used in a short-lived television ad in which a bucolic landscape of rolling hills becomes ominously covered by cars, this installation reverses the original intent of commercial monopoly. In the introduced landscape of the outdoor installation, the automobile is consumed by nature. Reclamation occurs dues to its abandonment; the organic growths eventually obliterate the original form of the foreign object.