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Adam Lauder

September 20, 2017

Adam Lauder is a Postdoctoral Fellow at York University in Toronto. His current research studies Canadian information art in the 1970s. His exhibition Futurisms, currently on view at Western University’s McIntosh Gallery, pairs contemporary artists exploring the legacies of a broad array of historical futurist movements with the “cosmic” thought of the London, Ontario-based radical psychiatrist R.M. Bucke. He is currently co-editing a special issue of the interdisciplinary journal Imaginations with Dr. Jaqueline McLeod Rogers devoted to the theme of “McLuhan and the arts,” to appear later this fall. He has contributed features and shorter texts to magazines including Border Crossings, C, Canadian Art, e-flux, and Flash Art as well as articles to scholarly journals including Amodern, Art Documentation, Canadian Journal of Communication, Imaginations, Journal of Canadian Studies, The Journal of Canadian Art History, TOPIA, and Visual Resources. He edited H& IT ON (2012), featuring original art by pioneering information artist IAIN BAXTER&, and is the author of chapters appearing in Finding McLuhan (2015), The Logic of Nature, The Romance of Space (2010) as well as Byproduct: On the Excess of Embedded Art Practices (2010).

1. Rita Letendre

When my first daughter was born at Mt. Sinai Hospital in 2012, I discovered a public artwork by Letendre languishing in an out-of-the-way corridor. An interview with the artist, who is of Québécois and Abenaki heritage, for Millions magazine soon followed. In the process of sharing my ongoing research with Omaskêko Cree artist Duane Linklater in February 2015, I learned that another of her public artworks – her decommissioned installation at Glencairn subway station – was finally slated for restoration by the TTC. This development sparked my article on Letendre’s lost public art installations, which included a massive outdoor mural for a student residence at Ryerson University, Sunrise (1971), published by Canadian Art that winter. The work recovered from Mt. Sinai turned out to be the pendant Sunrise II (1973). It is currently in the process of being conserved for presentation as part of an exhibition devoted to Letendre’s public art, opening at YYZ Artists’ Outlet next summer, for which I am in the process of writing a new text. The show’s been coming together for a year and a half. It’s been very inspiring to see new exhibitions and research devoted to Letendre by Linklater and Wanda Nanibush, among others, appear in parallel with this work, and I am constantly learning from others.

2. Reverie

I’m constantly reading and consuming new cultural experiences, but I increasingly enjoy reworking previously acquired information through unstructured play. I also try to convey the integral qualities of reverie through my writing, but this is a challenging goal in a publishing environment that tasks writers – especially academics and curators – with leading readers on a linear path with clear “signposts.” For those interested, I recommend Gaston Bachelard’s classic study The Poetics of Reverie as a counterweight.

3. Francois Laruelle

I’m spending lots of time lately with texts by and about this self-described “non-philosopher.” I find Laruelle to be the most compelling of the new voices that started to appear after 2007 as people began to reconsider, and propose alternatives to, the so-called “linguistic turn” associated with names like Barthes and Derrida. (He’s actually been publishing since the 1970s, but his major works have only begun to appear in translation since 2010.) Laruelle challenges readers to re-think all their assumptions about identity and representation – a provocation that has only grown more urgent amidst contemporary artists’ widespread reengagement with themes of identity during the same period. I especially enjoy his short “experimental” texts.

4. Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist

This show had the ultimate comedic premise: a psychotherapist whose patients are a who’s who of stand-up talent doing their best bits as “sessions” with the doctor. I also appreciate the minimalism of the show’s trademark Squigglevision animation. Timeless.

5. Terry Riley

The longue durée and reverie in musical form! I especially recommend the American minimalist composer’s collaboration with jazz trumpeter Don Cherry on a 1975 live recording from Köln available on YouTube.



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