Simone Jones: How Media Count

Simone Jones, Timation (2023). HD video still. Courtesy of the artist.

September 8 – October 15, 2023
The Centre for Culture and Technology, Toronto ON

Opening Reception | September 8, 2023, 5pm – 7pm
Artist Talk | October 2, 2023, 6pm – 8pm

The Centre for Culture and Technology is delighted to announce How Media Count, a solo exhibition by Simone Jones. Produced as part of the second annual Artist-in-Residence Program, this project responds to the Centre’s 2023-2024 programming theme of the same name, which engages questions of quantification, datafication, numbering, and counting in media.

In How Media Count, Simone Jones assembles a collection of works which probe “counting media” from historical, material, and metaphysical perspectives. Through photography, video, performance, printmaking, and sculpture, Jones thinks through and with the paradoxes that arise when we attempt to reconcile abstraction with experience.

Two physical prompts provide entry to this inquiry, through which Jones examines the development of precision and standardization in the language and history of machining: the surface plate and the meter bar. The surface plate is a flat plane which serves as the primary horizontal reference within machine practice. All other precision machine tools are created from the surface plate, a fundamental baseline for dimensional measurement. The “Meter Bar #27” was the US standard of all length measurement until its replacement with a wavelength in 1960. The “Meter Bar #27” could not have been fabricated without the invention of the surface plate, and can be considered a material manifestation of an abstract quantity.

How Media Count also considers some of the key physical substances that underpin the historical and political evolution of counting media – magnetic cores, quartz crystal, and silicon. These materials are both integral and usually invisible within our contemporary digital environment. Jones’ exhibition also serves as the starting point for this year’s programming at the Centre, setting in motion historical and conceptual inquiry in to the ways our contemporary media count and compute.

Throughout the exhibition, time and space emerge as integral players in our need to quantify experience. As such, Jones positions counting at the intersection of perception, memory, and abstraction.

Simone Jones, Magnetic Core Memory (2023). Courtesy of the artist.

About the Artist

Simone Jones is a multidisciplinary artist who works with the moving image, sculpture, programming, and electronics to explore shifting relationships between time and space. A key component of these investigations is the performative nature of the work itself. Jones’ works uncover the tensions that can arise between illusion and reality as they apply to modes of perception, representation, and the body. Jones graduated from the Ontario College of Art (OCA) with a concentration in Experimental Art and received her MFA in Sculpture Installation from York University in Toronto. Jones is a Professor in the Integrated Media program at OCAD University.

About the Centre for Culture and Technology

The Centre for Culture and Technology is dedicated to theoretical, aesthetic, and critical inquiry into the impacts of contemporary media on our interconnected world. This project is informed by the Centre’s location in the Coach House, a multi-use heritage building that was once Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan’s office and salon on the University of Toronto campus. The Centre draws inspiration from McLuhan’s humanistic intellectual and institutional legacy, continuing his stated goal of “investigation into the psychic and social consequences of technologies”.

The Centre promotes the study of media aesthetics in an expanded sense, examining the ways technological media shape contemporary experience by elaborating its histories, its problems, its infrastructures, and its politics. Offering both a setting and a framework, the Centre provides space and programming for scholars working in humanistic media studies across the three campuses of the University of Toronto and in the GTA. The Centre also supports the production of and conversation about contemporary media art, fostering aesthetic experimentation as a mode of inquiry.

U of T Centre for Culture and Technology logo

The Centre for Culture and Technology
39A Queens Park Crescent East, Toronto ON, M5S 3C3

Exhibition Hours | Thursdays, 4-8pm; Fridays & Saturdays, 12-6pm

Facebook @uoftculturetech
Instagram @uoftculturetech

The Centre for Culture and Technology is located on the U of T St. George campus, in a parking lot. Unfortunately, the Coach House building is not currently accessible: the washroom is located on the second floor with stair access only. There is an accessible washroom 5 minutes away in the Kelly Library.