Art Moves

A billboard project organized for Nuit Blanche by Paul Butler, the exhibition took place in dozens of 4 x 6 ft advertising poster-frames throughout downtown Toronto for one night only in October, 2009.

Invited artists were instructed to email someone of their choosing and ask them to describe in detail, a single work of art that most moved or inspired them. I corresponded with my friend Laine Gabel.

These emails were then be reproduced as serigraph prints in a mono edition and and exhibited in and outside 24 hr. convenience stores.

See How They Shine: A Simon and Garfunkel Choir (Dedicated to Lori Gordon)

In October of 2007 I was overseeing a major project and felt incredibly overwhelmed and stressed out. I was in a car with Lori Gordon, driving to an event that was part of the project. We were running late and I was in a panic. As we arrived at our destination “Bridge Over Troubled Water” came on the radio. We paused and started to sing along, and by the end of the song our own rendition had an equally big finish. See How They Shine: A Simon and Garfunkel Choir (Dedicated to Lori Gordon) is a tribute to one of my closest friends, and frequent artistic collaborator, Lori Gordon. A choir comprised of Simon and Garfunkel fans in addition to Lori’s friends and family will be brought together to sing “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”

Lori and I don’t have the kind of strained, unstable working relationship that comes to mind when you think of Simon and Garfunkel. There is no power imbalance, no struggle to be the focus of attention. Since 2006 we have worked together on a variety of projects, while also finding ways to push forward the work we do as individuals. This performance, which coincides with a solo-exhibition of Lori’s work at Ampersand International Arts, is no exception.

“You will never be as shiny as today” is my favorite quote from Lori’s Snippets project. For me it speaks to the kind of person that she is and the way that comes through in her artwork. She lets you see your value and the value of others. Her work asks you to appreciate the people around you, whether they be friends, loved ones or strangers who you overhear in public. In the words of Simon and Garfunkel, she lets us see that our time has come to shine.

Neighborhood Chorus

Singing aloud leaves you with a sense of levity and contentedness. And then there are what I would call “civilizational benefits.” When you sing with a group of people, you learn how to subsume yourself into a group consciousness because group singing is all about the immersion of the self into the community. That’s one of the great feelings — to stop being me for a little while and to become us. That way lies empathy, the great social virtue. -Brian Eno

A door to door survey took place in the Sherwood Village area, knocking on doors and asking the homeowners to take the time to fill out a music questionnaire which included the question “What is your favorite song?” Using the information culled from the surveys, choirs of people learned the favorite songs of several members the Sherwood Village area together. A twist on caroling, we returned back to a selection of the homes of the residents who answered the questionnaire and sang them their favorite songs.

Neighborhood Chorus took place the week of June 16-20, 2009. Four songs in total were performed: Left and Leaving by The Weakerthans, God Only Knows by The Beach Boys, I Woke Up Today by Port O’Brien, and I’m On Fire by Bruce Springsteen. Video documentation of the performances are on view at the Dunlop Sherwood Village Branch Gallery from August 1-October 11.

Thank You: Megan Codilan, Eric Hill, Katherine Boyer, Jason Wright, Barbara Meneley, Jeff Nye, Andrea Young, Devon Dozlaw, Braden Henrie, Lauren Fournier, Justin Young, Amanda Scandrett, Nick Bonokoski, Michelle Kruger, Jenelle Remple, Madamme Katz and her grade 3 class, and everyone else that participated in the Neighborhood Chorus.

You Can Have it All

"If you want, want my time, take it baby. And if you want my last dime, take it baby. You can have it all."
— Yo La Tengo

As part of the exhibition No Gallery Left Behind for one day in the gallery a rotating group of musicians played Yo La Tengo’s You Can Have It All and accompanied visitors to the space who wanted to join in and sing. 

Remaking Rumours

Remaking Rumours brought together over 50 people to recreate the Fleetwood Mac album Rumours. For two weeks a recording studio was filled with individuals and bands, many meeting for the first time, each there to rerecord a track from Rumours. Before I started this project, I talked to a curator friend of mine about what I was planning to do. He felt that the project would be more compelling if I had just one group of people recreate the album in its entirety. I told him that for me it was not about remaking the struggle of a small group of specific individuals, but using Rumours as a way of showing the broader difficulties of relationships and working together, while simultaneously highlighting the inspiring results that it can produce.

Sample track from Remaking Rumours album:

3. Never Going Back Again

Ukulele, vocals: Emily McGlynn
Guitar, vocals: Nate Ndosi
Vocals: Sarah Glaser
Mixed: Bennett Smith, Jen Delos Reyes