Curator's Introduction

I see infinite distance between any point and another. That’s why time has to be eternal. We went to the moon once under a propitious weather and loved each other in ways we couldn’t achieve on our terrestrial habitat.

Once in a while, we laughed.

Etel Adnan, from Sea And Fog, 2012 from The Otolith Group I See Infinite Distance Between Any Point and Another, 2012

Infinite Distance

is an exhibition of fifteen text-based works by ten artist-writers and collectives from across seven cities. Its title makes direct reference to The Otolith Group’s hypnotic and exquisitely observed video, but draws equally upon Etel Adnan’s quietly astounding and unsettling poetry. Examining the relationship between these two formidable artworks — video and poem — and the forms of media they encompass — namely moving image, sound, speech — I am interested in how various interwoven and overlapping kinds of communication can and do function, in and through art and its curation, in ways that foster (or, more problematically, foreclose) greater and more nuanced connection between people, places, things, actions, and ideas.

Thus embracing the im/possibilities that inhere in humanity’s use of language to convey one’s subjective experience to another, INFINITE DISTANCE exemplifies a wide range of artistic approaches to 'the word' — that unruly unit we humans use to construct this storied castle we (perhaps wishfully) call “communication.” Through strategies such as fictioning, humour, transgression, citation, research, confabulation, and collaboration, the artists (and their avatars) verbalize and materialize an extraordinarily diverse array of artworks and writing in the exhibition. This heterogeneity of method (e.g., narrativizing, satirizing, theorizing) and message is an intentional outcome of a curatorial process that desires difference, and seeks to speculatively respond to the artworks with respect to the ways in which they may be witnessed to communicate, each on their own terms, in the hope of some kind of eventual reception.

There are overlaps, intersections, and collisions, of course. Based, as they are, in explorations of language, many of the artworks are grounds for a rich intertextuality seeded by communications from across the span of human existence, from the ruins of prehistory to the future of AI alike. Indeed, artificial intelligence, and the increasing technologization of the body are other aspects of the ever-shifting “I, I, I” that the artworks embody, undo, or exceed. There is always the voice — astonishing in its sheer variety — from the nine year old explaining the universe in Johanna Hedva’s album to then-87 year old Etel Adnan reading from Sea and Fog in 2012. But it is not only the relatively unprocessed recordings that possess this exuberant aurality; between artworks where the voice has been modulated or simulated there is also surprising nuance and complexity, and close listening is rewarded in these cases as well — as it always is when we are talking about communication between humans.

Whether assuming the form of monologue (e.g., Beckett’s character, Mouth, in Simon M Benedict’s video), dialogue (e.g., between Midi and FauxMidi in Onodera’s videos), dissemination (e.g., Black Quantum Futurism’s performance lecture), or polyphony (e.g., SHATTERED MOON ALLIANCE’s collaborative soundtrack) — or somewhere in between (that space which all of the artworks actually occupy) — the common denominator is communication, and how it comes into play within the proliferating worlds we co-construct today, including worlds beyond the human, beyond body, and beyond time. Manifesting within images and conceptions of inner and outer space, gravity and flight — and planets and oceans as well as everyday objects and actions that recur across these works — worlds are what we collectively build through language and living, even if too often unthinkingly.

At a time when media technologies far exceed human capacities to keep pace — and the kinds of distancing that have become normalized are as much political as physical, language remains ever the imprecise tool. And yet — perhaps in acts of speech alone we fabricate our collective reality. What can we do but communicate anyway? There is no definitive answer or ending to this line of inquiry, only continuing questions, observations, and ongoing attempts to converse on these and other emerging questions and observations. Such is the nature of communication itself, as I have come to understand it.

To embrace this infinite distance between us is to accept that an unbridgeable chasm separates the self from any other, and that despite this, the only way forward is to refuse to foreclose on communication with care. Such a stance would see the current burgeoning of social acts of silencing, denial, neglect, or nonresponse for what they are: the grievous negation of our constituent humanity. Against such anti-human endgames of shutdown and shunning, depoliticization and withdrawal, INFINITE DISTANCE assembles and amplifies a multiplicity of voices that speak, sing, gesture, whisper, sample, cite, invite, cajole, converse, warn, wonder, and rail — anything but refuse — to sound a collective call for more human futures.

How might we (gently, consensually, care-fully) occupy each other in the current moment and beyond? Can we enact a politics of mutual affection and regard between us, even across the infinite distance between our individual subjectivities, in ways that materially enact care (transcending even love, in all its abstraction) — despite, or more desiringly, because — of difference? Where the infinite becomes intimate, and vice versa?

Shani K Parsons, Curator TORONTO 2021

This exhibition is dedicated to Etel Adnan (February 24, 1925 — November 14, 2021), whose words will always live on.

The starting point of infinity is always at the centre, where mind resides. Behind an image there’s the image. Nothingness is Being’s foundation, put on stage by poetry, which makes the erotic and the intellect meet. It’s not life, it’s alive.

Etel Adnan, from Sea And Fog, 2012

Important Notes for Your Visit: PLEASE READ

This exhibition is designed for DESKTOP + LAPTOP environments (NO MOBILE)

Artworks, navigations, and interactions are not compatible with mobile devices. Due to the experimental nature of many of the artworks and access features, we made the decision to prioritize a more interactive and durational engagement over convenience and portability. Thank you for your understanding.

Note also: each artist has one page that contains all of their works in the show. To navigate from one work to the other (if more than one), use arrows in the footer — take it from me, the back button will probably not take you to where you are expecting to go.

Finally, stereo speakers or headphones are highly recommended for most works. If your laptop speakers are like mine, you will want to plug in the good sound.


Videos will autoplay with Audio Access features and Open Captions ON. Visitors may turn off Audio Access features and customize or turn off the Open Captions by selecting the AD and CC buttons in the media player control bar.

Recognizing the extraordinary multiplicity and complexity of experience and embodiment that visitors bring to any exhibition, we worked in consultation with participating artists who identify as disabled and are themselves working within disability justice frameworks, as well as professionals working within audio description and captioning, and web development fields to consider and implement multiple approaches to creative access strategies.

Access features were thus customized and developed according to the specificities and opportunities we identified within each work. In some cases the artists provided their own sound descriptions and captions, or voiced their own texts, and in many instances the access features have ended up becoming integral to the artworks in rewarding and surprising ways.

That said, we are also keenly aware that there is always room for improvement and we are committed to learning and developing new and better approaches to access through our efforts in this exhibition. The work of reaching across boundaries of sense, space, and embodiment is essential for better care in communication, and we look forward to receiving feedback on our efforts and experiments during and beyond the exhibition context.


Leave a Note As an exhibition focused on communication, INFINITE DISTANCE asks more questions than it answers, and seeks to further conversations on the artworks and issues brought forward through this presentation. All who visit are invited to sign our virtual register and comment, ask questions, or just let us know you were here.

Submit a Citation Johanna Hedva's Motherfucker Library provides an opportunity for visitors to receive a complimentary copy of their novel, On Hell by submitting a citation toward a collective library. For more information, see the artwork on Hedva's artist page.

Purchase an artwork to benefit MEDICAL AID FOR PALESTINIANS Johanna Hedva's limited edition On Hell screenprints are available for purchase, with all proceeds to be donated to Medical Aid for Palestinians, courtesy the artist. For details, see the Checklist or the screenprints' About the Artwork tab on Hedva's artist page. Each print is unique; to see the full selection and arrange purchase, inquire at

The curatorial essay is FORTHCOMING

INFINITE DISTANCE, like many other exhibitions, has gone through major shifts and re-visionings over the course of the pandemic. In its current iteration, it exists as a kind of chimera, a hybrid between forms (it originated as a site-responsive physical exhibition) and their differing concepts and logics. I believe constant change, whether born of a pandemic or any other chain of events both seismic and subtle, is itself a topic in need of addressing in curatorial theory and practice. Thus my essay will take a reflective position and include an account of what has been a very pragmatic and process-driven, yet experimental approach toward curating within such shifting conditions. Interconnections between the artworks in the exhibition will also be more fully fleshed out. In the meantime, specific information is provided in the About the Artwork tabs for each work. Sources used to develop these texts are listed in the Selected References section, with citations available upon request.


Thank you for taking the time to visit this exhibition. For comments and general questions, please post to the Leave a Note page. For things like broken links, typos, and other glitches, as well as press or other specific inquiries, contact

Checklist of the Exhibition


Waiting Rooms, 2021 Series of four binaural audio compositions with asynchronous “alt texts” Running times variable
  • Alone in the Drone 07:16
  • At Arm’s Length 09:54
  • Shape of a Room 07:04
  • Screaming Baseboards 02:58


Constellation 8/∞ (Octonionic Constellation), 2015/2021 Digital soundscapes with experimental captions 8 tracks of variable duration
  • Metamorphoses I: 01:22
  • Mind Seed 01:34
  • Inkubbus 01:37
  • Kindred 01:52
  • Parable
  • The Autonomy of Shori 02:05
  • Reanimate 01:33
  • The Shift 01:25
Wait Time // Watch Night Service, 2020/2021 Performance lecture video with captions and sound description 08:45 (11:38 with audio described intro)


On Hell (video), 2018/2021 Video with sound 06:34 (07:13 with audio described intro)
On Hell (posters), 2020/2021 Limited edition screenprints; series of 4 designs ink on paper (some with foil) 19 x 25 inches each
Series titles and quantities:
  • Yo yo hey ya my name is fuckall and I'm a wallet qty of 5; print on view: #1-1
  • But to pull out my money and lay it across the counter. Like taking out my dick and laying it across a face. qty of 3; print on view: #2-1
  • The whole body was a genital qty of 3; print on view: #3-1
  • Two eyes and a sack of guts swimming in blood and pain and ambition and frustrated exasperated dreamshit qty of 5; print on view: #4-1
Screenprint sales benefit Medical Aid for Palestinians, courtesy the artist:
  • 100 USD / 87 EUR / 125 CAD per set (4 different prints)
  • 30 USD / 27 EUR / 40 CAD per print (limited quantities)
  • Prints vary; purchasers of sets may customize on a first come, first served basis
  • Shipping not included; local Toronto pickup available
  • Contact to view the whole series and arrange purchase
The Motherfucker Library, 2021 Collective citation exchange
The Sun and the Moon, 2019/2021 Digital album with asynchronous sound description 8 tracks of variable duration
  • Joha 03:29
  • Libration 02:54
  • Beauty (feat. Simone Weil) 02:24
  • Math Isn't Real 02:12
  • The Couch, or The Most Important Source of Energy for Life on Earth 03:28
  • Lunar Maria (high version) 04:45
  • The Knowable Universe 02:55
  • Yellow Dwarf 04:36


you only have a lifetime to escape, 2021 Audio essay and related writing
  • On Vanishing Land, 2013/2019/2021 Audio essay with experimental captions and sound description 45:00; available Saturdays from 1pm-5pm and 8pm-midnight; 2 min excerpt otherwise
  • Outsights: Disappearances of Literature, 2021 Series of interlinked essays and related additional texts


Soliloquy Soliloquy, 2021 Series of 12 videos with sound (accessible versions include text voicing)
  • Jan / Level One: 01:52
  • Feb / Level Eight: 01:25
  • Mar / Level Sixteen: 01:24
  • Apr / Level Twenty: 01:23
  • May / Level Twenty-Four: 01:31
  • Jun / Level Twenty-Eight:01:43
  • Jul / Level Thirty-Two: 01:56
  • Aug / Level Thirty-Six: 01:56
  • Sep / Level Forty: 01:15
  • Oct / Level Forty-Four: 01:46
  • Nov / Level Forty-Eight: 01:51
  • Dec / Level Fifty: 01:15


the still the wash the night the loom the warning the stars the birds the crowd the call the vacuum the fox the shrine the city the signal the goats the unseen the river, 2021 Video, text, audio loop


Not I {after YouTube closed captioning [after Billie Whitelaw (after Samuel Beckett)]}, 2014/2021 Video with sound (accessible version includes synchronous text voicing and captions) 12:06 (12:41 with audio described intro)
Above and Beyond, 2017/2021 Video with sound 09:41 (10:49 with audio described intro)


I See Infinite Distance Between Any Point and Another, 2012 HD Video (accessible version includes audio and sound description) 33:32; on view for one month starting November 19th


Vera Frenkel (Toronto) is an internationally acclaimed multidisciplinary artist and GG laureate. Her installations, videos, performance works and new media projects addressing forces at work in human migration, the learning and unlearning of cultural memory, and the ever-increasing bureaucratization of experience, have been seen at documenta IX, the Venice Biennale, and at major museums and galleries throughout the world.

Ruling Fictions (The Small & Large Betrayals that Haunt Us Once Again), 1984/2021 series of text fragments written and spoken by the artist across a series of TMAC spaces photographed by the curator 17 excerpts across 34 slides

Artist and Curator Bios


Andy Slater (CHICAGO) is a media artist, sound designer, teaching artist, and disability advocate. He is the founder of the Society of Visually Impaired Sound Artists and director of the Sound As Sight accessible field recording project. His current work focuses on advocacy for accessible art and technology, alt-text for sound and image, documentary film, spacial audio for extended reality, and sound design for film and video games.

As a blind member of the extended and virtual reality community his voice as a creator and advocate is helping to shape the industry to be more accessible for disabled people. Last year Andy was acknowledged for his art by the New York Times in their article, "28 Ways To Learn About Disability Culture".

He has exhibited and performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Contemporary Jewish Museum San Francisco, Ian Potter Museum of Art Melbourne, Critical Distance Toronto, Experimental Sound Studios Chicago, Flux Factory New York, and the City Gallery Wellington New Zealand. Andy holds a Masters in Sound Arts and Industries from Northwestern University and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


Black Quantum Futurism (PHILADELPHIA) is an interdisciplinary creative practice between Camae Ayewa and Rasheedah Phillips that weaves quantum physics, afrofuturism, and Afrodiasporic concepts of time, ritual, text, and sound to offer practical ways to escape negative temporal loops, oppression vortexes, and the digital matrix. BQF has presented, exhibited or performed at Serpentine Gallery, Queens Museum, ICA London, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Open Engagement. MOMA PS1, and Bergen Kunsthall, among other venues.

Camae Ayewa (Moor Mother) is a musician, poet, visual artist and workshop facilitator, and has performed at numerous festivals, colleges, galleries and museums around the world, sharing the stage with Claudia Rankine, bell hooks and others. Camae is a vocalist in three collaborative performance groups: Irreversible Entanglements, Moor Jewelry and 700bliss. Recent festival performances include Borealis, CTM Festival, Unsound Festival, Flow Festival, and Rewire.

Rasheedah Phillips, Esq. is a Philadelphia-based public interest attorney, artist, cultural producer, mother, and writer. Her writing has appeared in Keywords for Radicals, Villanova Law Review, The Funambulist Magazine and other publications. Rasheedah is the founder of The AfroFuturist Affair, and co-creator of the award-winning Community Futures Lab, a socially engaged art project exploring housing displacement and gentrification through an afrofuturist lens. Phillips is a recipient of the National Housing Law Project 2017 Housing Justice Award and 2018 Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity.


Johanna Hedva (BERLIN/LOS ANGELES) is a Korean-American writer, artist, musician, and astrologer, who was raised in Los Angeles by a family of witches, and now lives in LA and Berlin. Their work has been shown in Berlin at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Klosterruine, and Institute of Cultural Inquiry, The Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, Performance Space New York, the LA Architecture and Design Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art on the Moon.

Hedva has written about the political and mystical capacities of Nine Inch Nails, Sunn O))), and Lightning Bolt; the legacy of Susan Sontag; Ancient Greek tragedies; and the revolutionary potential of illness. Their writing has appeared in Triple Canopy, frieze, The White Review, Lithub, Die Zeit, and Ignota, and is anthologized in Whitechapel: Documents of Contemporary Art. Their essay “Sick Woman Theory,” published in 2016 in Mask, has been translated into eight languages, and their activism toward accessibility, as outlined in their Disability Access Rider, has been influential across a wide range of fields. They have been mentored by Fred Moten for a 2015 at land’s edge fellowship, Pan Daijing for a 2019 Amplify Berlin residency, and in 2021, they are a Shape Platform artist.


Justin Barton (LONDON, UK) is a philosopher, writer and sound artist. He has published philosophical articles and is the author of Hidden Valleys: Haunted by the Future (2015). With Mark Fisher he made the audio-essays londonunderlondon (2005) and On Vanishing Land (2013).

Mark Fisher (1968-2017) was a writer, cultural theorist and philosopher. He achieved acclaim for his blogging as k-punk, and his books include Capitalist Realism (2009), Ghosts of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures (2014) and The Weird and the Eerie (2016).


Midi Onodera (TORONTO) is an award-winning filmmaker and media artist who has been making films and videos for 35+ years. In 2018, Midi received the Governor General's Award for Visual and Media Arts. Her work is laced with markers of her experiences as a feminist, lesbian, Japanese-Canadian woman. She has produced over 25 independent shorts, ranging from 16mm film to digital video to toy camera formats. Her film The Displaced View (1988) was nominated for Best Documentary at the Gemini Awards. Skin Deep (1995), her theatrical feature, screened internationally at festivals including the Rotterdam International Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival. Since 2006 she has made over 500 Vidoodles (defined as bite-sized 30 second to 2 minute video doodles). Each year since 2009 she has presented an annual video project addressing themes of language, media, politics and everyday life.


SHATTERED MOON ALLIANCE is a living research project exploring science fiction narrative world-building. SHATTERED MOON ALLIANCE is Christina Battle and Serena Lee (EDMONTON/TORONTO/VIENNA). Christina Battle’s research and work considers the parameters of disaster; looking to it as action, as more than mere event and instead as a framework operating within larger systems of power. Serena Lee’s practice stems from a fascination with polyphony and its radical potential and she is currently based in Vienna where she is a PhD researcher at the Academy of Fine Arts. SMA’s work draws from and remixes sound files on the Voyager Golden Record in collaboration with a wide circle of artists and friends.


Simon M Benedict (TORONTO) is an artist and translator of Franco-Québécois and Indigenous (Abenaki) descent working with video, sound, still images, and text. He combines audiovisual material from various archives to examine how fictional and historical narratives inform and stem from our understanding of unmediated reality. Simon M Benedict holds an MFA from the University of Guelph (2016) and a BFA from Concordia University (2011). His work has been shown in Canada, Germany, and the United States. He lives and works in what is now known as Toronto, the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabe, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat.


The Otolith Group (LONDON, UK) was founded in 2002 by Kodwo Eshun and Anjalika Sagar. It engages with archival materials, with futurity, and with the histories of the transnational. They see their work as a series of explorations with image, sound, text, objects and curation that observe different affective and aesthetic registers, allowing for questions of location and disorientation and creating platforms for discussion on contemporary art practice.


Vera Frenkel (TORONTO) is an internationally acclaimed multidisciplinary artist and GG laureate. Her installations, videos, performance works and new media projects addressing forces at work in human migration, the learning and unlearning of cultural memory, and the ever-increasing bureaucratization of experience, have been seen at documenta IX, the Venice Biennale, and at major museums and galleries throughout the world.


Shani Khoo Parsons (TORONTO) is an independent curator, designer, and founding director of Critical Distance Centre for Curators. With degrees in architecture (Temple University, Philadelphia, 1994) and graphic design (RISD, Providence, 2000) she has pursued a multidisciplinary, process-driven practice within independent and institutional contexts, and has produced an eclectic body of work ranging from intimate artist’s books to large-scale exhibitions.

After moving to Toronto from New York, she became interested in creating a hybrid model for curating and exhibition-making, one that provides institutional support for independent curators at all stages in their professional development and advances sustainable practices for curatorial production and publishing, as well as opportunities for community building, professional development, and critical discourse.

Now in its ninth year, Critical Distance has established itself as a not-for-profit space devoted to the support and advancement of curatorial practice and inquiry in Toronto and beyond. With a focus on critically engaged, collaborative, and cross-disciplinary practices, underrepresented artists and art forms, and community outreach and education in art and exhibition-making, Critical Distance is an open platform for diverse curatorial practices and perspectives, and a vibrant forum for the exchange of ideas on curating as a way to connect, engage, and inform people and publics across cultures, disciplines, geographies, and generations.

Independent curatorial projects include solo/group exhibitions and site-responsive installations, public art projects and performances, experimental thematic moving image programs, art book fair presentations, and discursive event series. Research interests include critical and experimental approaches to working with collections and museums, histories and futures of arts publishing practices, creative strategies for improving accessibility in the exhibition context (in situ and online), and cross-disciplinary approaches to research and collaboration. All of the above through processes of communicating (even in critique) with care.

Credits + Acknowledgments

Infinite Distance

is an online exhibition presented in conjunction with the November release for Almanac for Refusal, the digital platform of transmediale festival 2021-22
  • Curator
  • Shani K Parsons
  • Artist-Writers + Collectives
  • Andy Slater
  • Black Quantum Futurism / Camae Ayewa + Rasheeda Phillips
  • Johanna Hedva
  • Justin Barton + Mark Fisher
  • Midi Onodera
  • SHATTERED MOON ALLIANCE / Christina Battle + Serena Lee
  • Simon M Benedict
  • The Otolith Group
  • Vera Frenkel
  • Site Design
  • Shani K Parsons + Donna Gimbel
  • Development + Implementation
  • Donna Gimbel
  • Audio + Image Description
  • Kat Germain + Jennier Brethour
  • Accessibility Consultation
  • Simon M Benedict
  • Jennifer Brethour
  • Emily Cook
  • Kat Germain
  • Andy Slater
  • James Wegg
  • Organizational Partner
  • Charles Street Video
  • Primary Funder
  • Ontario Arts Council
all the gratitude

Thank you, first and foremost, to all of the artist-writers and collectives whose belief in and commitment to this project spans over two years of uncertainty and multiple transformations. Your work in this exhibition not only speaks volumes — it actively amasses (meaning, complexity), traverses (beyond boundaries, across temporalities), and matters (deeply, manifestly) in ways that I am still profoundly touched, unsettled, and enlivened by. I hope that this presentation of it returns, transmits, and amplifies some of the energy and wonder that has been generated in our process of working together.

Massive gratitude goes to Donna Gimbel, the heart, mind, and steadfast hands behind this extremely complex, customized, experimental, and accessible website. Donna’s depth of knowledge, experience, understanding, and openness to everything that was thrown at her is embedded in each pixel, access feature, and interaction that makes this exhibition what it is. Without her, INFINITE DISTANCE would not exist.

Thanks also to the incredibly experienced, dedicated, and responsive team of audio and image describers, captioners, and consultants whose work and care makes this exhibition accessible as well. The generosity with which you've shared your knowledge and advice is so appreciated. All of the artists have been wonderfully supportive and collaborative in developing access strategies as well, with several going above and beyond to provide or adapt accessible materials. Acknowledgments for these extra efforts appear in the About the Artwork tabs on each project page.

Special thanks to Emily Cook for bringing such insight, care, and criticality to every decision and consideration we made toward advancing access in the exhibition environment. It is through her questioning and contributions that I was moved to conceptualize INFINITE DISTANCE as an exhibition that would be accessible by default, shifting the burden of navigating access in a meaningful way.

Thank you to everyone at transmediale for patience and faith in this project. Special thanks to Nora O Murchú for taking a chance on this exhibition, and for incredible kindness and care throughout the project’s (re)development.

INFINITE DISTANCE is indebted to the work of many powerful thinkers, several of whom were brought to my attention by the artists in this exhibition. It is my hope that these intertextualities will make themselves apparent through the experience of the exhibition and eventually in the writing of my curatorial essay. For now, I would like to share the following passage — an echo from a presentation by Sarah Sharma at transmediale in 2017 — which brilliantly encapsulates this exhibition’s main argument in words I wish I had written:

Exit is an exercise of patriarchal power, a privilege that occurs at the expense of cultivating and sustaining conditions of collective autonomy. It stands in direct contradistinction to care. Care is an opposing political force to exit. Care is that which responds to the uncompromisingly tethered nature of human dependency and the contingency of life, the mutual precariousness of the human condition.… [Thus] feminist refusal looks more like recognition of mutual dependency — recognition that there are things that cannot be refused.

Sarah Sharma, from Exit and the Extensions of Man, transmediale 2017

Before the pandemic, this exhibition was in lead-up to opening as a series of site-responsive installations at the Toronto Media Arts Centre (TMAC) in conjunction with the 2020 edition of the Images Festival. Much of the work that went into developing that exhibition (which was titled Postcards from the Antipodes), had to be rethought and re-visioned for the digital environment. However, those ideas and efforts are not wholly lost, as they both inform and maintain a more or less discernible trace in the exhibition’s current incarnation. Thus I would like to thank my previous partners and production team for laying the literal groundwork for this show through their pre-pandemic participation and support, including everyone at TMAC, especially Greg Woodbury of Charles Street Video and Genne Speers of Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre (CFMDC), everyone at Images Festival 2020, and Luke Parsons, Neven Lochhead, and Lee Wilkins.

Special thanks to Steffanie Ling, Artistic Director of the 2020 Images Festival, whose brilliant idea it was to develop the exhibition for TMAC (I had initially proposed a different location). Thanks also to Neven Lochhead, then-Programming Director at SAW Video, which hosted me for a two week curatorial residency in December 2019 during which I developed some of the thematics and logistics for the exhibition.

Thank you to the Ontario Arts Council, especially Zhe Gu, for caring support and generous funding for this exhibition.

Although this is exhibition takes place in the digital sphere, it is inextricable from the physical sphere, the private sphere, the public sphere. Especially as our lives become increasingly abstracted through digitization and quantification, locating ourselves in place and presence becomes crucial, critical, and political. Thus I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge that I work and reside on land that has been the home of Indigenous people and nations for over ten millenia, specifically the Wendat, Mississaugas of the Credit, Anishinaabe, and Haudenosaunee, who continue to live and work here in what is currently known as Toronto. Since the 1700s, this territory has been under the Dish With One Spoon Wampum belt, a peace treaty between the Haudenosaunee and the Anishinaabeg, and a mutual agreement between nations for sharing land and resources. In this spirit I seek to share space and resources through my work and life as well, and to act in solidarity with and support for Indigenous communities in the ongoing process of remaking our relations. Support can look like many things, including working within institutions to dismantle systemic racism and inequity and advocating for Indigenous rights to life, language, and land. A list of Indigenous-run organizations and initiatives working toward these goals is available on request.

So much gratitude and love to all of my colleagues, family, and friends who understand how it is, and are always there.

Finally, thank you to my amazingly patient, good-humoured, and endlessly supportive partner and best friend, Luke Parsons (who still believes, despite this exhibition, that you can really know a person), and Jasper and Jonas, my two hilarious, accomodating, and everloving kids. Believe it or not I love you more than work, and after being up to my post-pandemic ears for far too long I’m back to prove it.

If you’re a visitor to this exhibition and still reading, thank you for that level of interest and dedication lol. But also sincere thanks for spending time with the work. I hope you will leave a note and participate in this ever-changing game that is “communication.” :)

Selected references

  • Acker, Kathy, and Alexandra Kleeman. Empire of the Senseless. Grove Press, 2018.
  • Adnan, Etel. Sea & Fog. (Lambda Literary Award - Lesbian Poetry). Nightboat Books, 2012.
  • Aubrey, Elizabeth. Time Doesn’t Feel Like A Linear Progression: Moor Mother Interviewed. The Quietus, 2017.
  • Balch, Oliver. AI and Me: Friendship Chatbots Are on the Rise, but Is There a Gendered Design Flaw? The Guardian, 12, May 2020.
  • Bakhtin, M, et al. Speech Genres and Other Late Essays. (University of Texas Press Slavic). 2nd Edition, University of Texas Press, 1987.
  • Balsom, Erika. There Is No Such Thing as Documentary, An Interview with Trinh T. Minh-Ha. Frieze, 2018.
  • Barthes, Roland, et al. A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments. Translation, Hill and Wang, 2010.
  • Beckett, Samuel. UbuWeb Film & Video: Samuel Beckett - Not I. UbuWeb, 1973.
  • Black Quantum Futurism. ‘Black Diasporan Temporalities Share Many Parallels with Quantum Principles. Arts at CERN, 25 May 2021.
  • Bodies of Work. Essays by Kathy Acker. Serpent’s Tail, 2021.
  • Butler, Octavia. Interview with Charlie Rose.,
  • Butler, Octavia. Parable of the Sower. Reprint, Grand Central Publishing, 2019
  • Butler, Octavia. Parable of the Talents. Reprint, Grand Central Publishing, 2019.
  • Butler, Rex. On Vanishing Land: The Eerie, WG Sebald, and English Hauntology. The Persistence of Melancholia in Arts and Culture, ed. Andrea Bubenik, 1st ed., Routledge, 2019.
  • Eshun, Kodwo. I See Infinite Distance Between Any Point and Another. The Otolith Group (Fabrica Gallery), 2012.
  • Fisher, Mark. A Love Letter to Collective Listening. DummyMag, 3June 2019.
  • Hedva, Johanna. Belonging in the Mess - Processing Foundation Medium, 14 Nov 2018.
  • Hedva, Johanna. Dan Bustillo and Johanna Hedva in Conversation about On Hell. Entropy, 2018.
  • Hedva, Johanna. On Hell. Sator Press, 2018.
  • Hedva, Johanna. The Mysticism of Mosh Pits, Or, The Mess of Sociality, Or, Have You Ever Seen Lightning Bolt Live? The Third Rail, 1 Nov 2019.
  • I, I, I, I, I, I, I, Kathy Acker. ICA London, 2019.
  • Kennedy, John F. Moon Speech at Rice Stadium. NASA, 1962.
  • Kincaid, Jason. YouTube Launches Auto-Captions For All Videos. TechCrunch, 4 Mar 2010.
  • Kleeman, Alexandra. The Future Is a Struggle: On Kathy Acker’s Empire of the Senseless. The Paris Review, 12 June 2018.
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