The Politics of Sound
(Touring temporary exhibition)
Featuring artworks by jamilah malika abu-bakare, Adam Basanta, Marjie Crop Eared Wolf, Maskull Lasserre, Benny Nemer, Michèle Pearson Clark, and Jessica Thompson. Guest curated by Tyler J Stewart.
As a group exhibition of contemporary artworks, The Politics of Sound investigates the often overlooked (or more appropriately – silenced) role of sound within social relations of power.
When sound is felt, this experience is always influenced by gender, race, sexuality, class, age, ability and other factors. While sound has been used by those in power to motivate, intimidate and dominate, artists have also in turn used sound as a form of resistance against inequitable social structures. The artists in this exhibition challenge normative listening habits, using intersectional approaches that privilege queer, Indigenous, feminist, Black, and anti-colonial forms of sound reception and production.
By exploring the potential of sound-based art to create new meanings and understandings in relation to social issues, this exhibition challenges visitors to question their own location within the soundscape, and what responsibilities that position might ask of them.
The Politics of Sound features many opportunities for interaction. Some artworks have elements designed to be taken home, while others can be worn and taken for a walk, allowing participants to engage deeply and conduct their own sound experiments.
Previously on exhibition at Two Rivers Gallery in Prince George, BC from January 20 until April 10, 2022. On at the Galt Museum & Archives in Lethbridge, AB from Nov 26, 2022 until May 7, 2023. Check out the virtual exhibition opening/artist talk from January 20, 2022 at Two Rivers Gallery here. Thanks to CKPG Today for this exhibition preview and this longer interview, and thanks to CBC Radio’s North By Northwest for this interview as well. Media coverage in Lethbridge also includes pieces by the Lethbridge Herald, Bridge City News and CTV Lethbridge (skip to 12:22).
Detuning Port Hope
(Mobile soundwalk experience)
Commissioned by Critical Mass Centre for Contemporary Art, Detuning Port Hope is a soundwalk focused on critically examining the sounds of Canadian society. Delivered through a custom-built mobile app, this soundwalk experience was developed through more than a dozen audio interviews with local community members between January and July 2022. Participants move around the two of Port Hope, Ontario, in order to contemplate why this place sounds the way it does. Is it possible to listen to and understand Port Hope in different ways? Which sounds are amplified and which have been silenced? Do the sounds of Port Hope resonate in harmony with the sounds of Canada?
Mobile app to be launched soon on both Google Play and Apple iTunes Store. Preview the tracks “Ganaraska River” and “Port Hope Town Hall” to sample a portion of the experience.
Pedal to the Paddle
Filmed entirely on Blackfoot territory, this indie film is a prairie meditation on the importance of water conservation and how we can build meaningful relationships to rivers, land and each other.
Two “pedal-paddle pals,” Miguel and Tyler, attempt a combined cycling and canoeing journey across town. To do this, they must use a second-hand bike trailer to haul their canoe to the riverbank, then load their bikes onto the canoe to float down the Old Man River. The film intertwines commentary from local environmentalists, cyclists, Blackfoot youth and educators, and other community members with the story of the pedal-paddlers’ adventure.
Funded by TELUS Storyhive. Premiered during 2022 Environment Week events by Environment Lethbridge. View the film here on YouTube.
Detuning the Anthem: A “Choose-Your-Own” Audio Adventure
(As part of an MA thesis project at the University of Lethbridge, 2021)
Detuning the Anthem: A Choose-Your-Own Audio Adventure is an interactive web-based artwork that encourages a process of critical reflection and self-education about the role the Canadian national anthem plays in society, examining both the content and context of the anthem’s ongoing lyrical and musical evolution.
Preview the experience here: https://youtu.be/SlLsNWd2Amw
See the full website here: detuningtheanthem.ca
This project was first presented to a public audience at Fort Calgary National Historic Site on July 1, 2021. Thanks to the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for funding the research and development of this project.
Read the full thesis support paper What Does it Mean to “Stand on Guard For Thee?” – Detuning the Canadian National Anthem here.
Into The Streets: Public Art Series
(Presented by the Southern Alberta Art Gallery 2017-2019)
Co-curated by Tyler J Stewart and Jane Edmundson, Into the Streets: Public Art Series is an opportunity to embed art, creativity, livability, and social responsibility into public space; and to facilitate possibilities for creative, engaging experiences that are open to all. From 2017-2019 this public art series engaged large and diverse audiences by combining new artistic experiences with successful local festivals. Temporary art installations and participatory artworks were incorporated into special events to reach audiences beyond those who typically participate in Lethbridge’s formalized arts programming. Through partnership and collaboration, Into the Streets presented an opportunity to engage artists who expand the field of contemporary art through performance, social practice, collaboration, and public art. They moved beyond the physical boundaries of the gallery, bringing a sense of wonder, joy, and amazement to downtown Lethbridge.
• The Deep Dark, Caitlind Brown & Wayne Garrett, Winter Lights Festival, Dec 2019
• Duelling Doors, THE PRGM, Wide Skies Festival, July 2019
• Aerosol Academy, AJA Louden, Upper Vic Neighbour Day Festival, June 2019
• Live Chalk Drawings, Eric Dyck & Carson Morton, Wide Skies Festival, July 2018
• Things I’ve Forgotten, Cindy Baker, Lethbridge Pride Festival, June 2018
• A Light Shower, Anton deGroot, Bright Lights Festival, November 2017
• Ghost House, Lindsay Rewuski, Love & Records Festival, Sept 2017
• Solar Flare, Caitlind r.c. Brown & Wayne Garrett, Love & Records Festival, Sept 2017
• Fuzzy Macro Focus, Shanell Papp, Lethbridge Pride Festival, June 2017
From Pianos to Power Chords
(Temporary exhibition at the Galt Museum & Archives, 2017)
Can you imagine a day without music? It surrounds us each and every day – almost everywhere we go, we can have easy access to music in our lives. But it wasn’t always this way. Over 100 years ago when Lethbridge was just becoming a city, music was much more rare. You had to own an instrument, or know someone who could play one, just to have access to music. Before radios became common, you would likely only hear music during a concert or a parade, which meant that music was a driving force that helped bring our community together.
From Pianos to Power Chords, took a deeper look at how music has helped to unite us. From the first static-filled radio broadcasts to the high-fidelity recordings of today, along with the garage bands, symphonies and late-night jam sessions in between, this exhibition showcases the sounds coming out of Southern Alberta. This exhibition featured illustrations by local artist Eric Dyck, and was adapted into a full-length comic book with expanded content for the exhibition’s closing reception.
National Music Centre
What if a visit to the museum was as exciting as going to a music festival? That sense of excitement, discovering new artists, hearing new sounds and celebrating with friends – this is the approach the National Music Centre took to developing their new exhibitions. Curiosity drives visitors to explore the sounds, light and interactive activities pouring out of the 22 individual exhibition stages, encouraging them to engage in an ever-evolving discussion around music in Canada.
For over two years prior to the opening of this ambitious new facility, I acted as Exhibitions Development Project Manager to supervise the development and production of 21,000 square feet of innovative new exhibitions. This work involved coordinating the national exhibitions advisory committee to determine visitor experience goals, and managing exhibitions contractors from around the world, including exhibit designers Haley Sharpe Design, content developers St Joseph Media, exhibit fabricators Design & Production, and the multimedia interactives created by Make Amazing and RLMG.
RE: Writing Art History
(Temporary exhibition for the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, 2011)
In 1971 art historian Linda Nochlin posed the question “Why have there been no great women artists?” – one of the most loaded questions to possibly ask during the rise of the feminist art revolution. Rather than attempt to answer that question in a singular manner, many writers have focused on the plethora of causes that keep excellent female artists on the margins of the art world, rather than at its core. Curated from the University of Lethbridge Art Collection, this exhibition focused on female artists working during the late twentieth century, before, during and after the apex of the feminist art movement during the 1970s, into the 1980s and early 1990s.