Opening Reception: 2020 Temporary Contemporary: Indeterminate Growth at Sheridan College

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Sam Cotter & Fraser McCallum, Indeterminate Growth, 2020. Courtesy the artists.

Opening Reception: Thursday, January 30, 6 pm – 8 pm.
On View: January 6 – April 17, 2020

Sheridan College Trafalgar Library
1430 Trafalgar Rd, C-Wing
Oakville, ON L6H 2L1


Sam Cotter and Fraser McCallum’s Indeterminate Growth engages with Oakville’s local histories by exploring the contemporary relationship between nature and technology. In creating an open-ended artificial growing environment with hydroponic irrigation, lighting, and plants, the artists want us to pay closer attention to the capacity of plants to “delight and surprise,” and consequently, to reclaim the greenhouse as a structure that can respect plant agency.

Indeterminate Growth responds to Oakville’s settler agricultural histories, and in particular, the town’s industrial-scale plant cultivation during the 20th century. If we consider the greenhouse a symbol of environmental management, the artists ask: How can we maintain ethical stewardship of plants in a mediated environment? Through its focus on the unpredictable and slow nature of plant growth, Indeterminate Growth encourages viewers to pause and take note of the work’s gradual evolution amid the day-to-day rush of contemporary life.


Sam Cotter and Fraser McCallum are interdisciplinary artists of mixed and settler Euro-Canadian ancestry living in Tkaronto (Toronto). In their collaborative and individual works, Cotter and McCallum exhume recent histories, with a materialist focus on the media and technologies that have shaped the past and present. Both artists hold Masters of Visual Studies from the University of Toronto.

Launched in 2012, Sheridan’s Temporary Contemporary Program is an annual installation of a new artwork on one of Sheridan’s campuses. It provides creators with the opportunity to incubate and implement new ideas through exchange with Sheridan’s vibrant interdisciplinary community.

The 2019-2020 Temporary Contemporary program invited proposals from artists and designers across Canada to envision and implement a public site-specific installation at the Trafalgar Campus in Oakville. Artists were encouraged to propose works that considered the unique Trafalgar Campus community and respond to its history and surrounding natural landscape.

Indeterminate Growth was produced with the support of Sheridan’s Bachelor of Craft and Design Furniture Studio and School of Skilled Trades & Apprenticeship.

For more information or if you have any questions, please visit the event page or contact Valentyna Onisko, Assistant Curator, Creative Campus galleries.

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