Viriditas (In the Future Perfect)


Viriditas (In the Future Perfect)

An AV Performance-Lecture by Jol Thomson
With audio contributions from Julian Weaver
Wednesday, October 9, 2019, 7pm (20 minutes)
Blackwood Gallery

Followed by a closing reception for Logics of Sense 1: Investigations

A FREE shuttle bus departs at 5:30pm from Mercer Union (1286 Bloor St W, Toronto) and returns downtown at 8:30pm.

Fusion is a promised type of nuclear-plasma energy that is nearly without any waste products. It essentially entails building a miniature star on earth with a heat of approximately 150 million degrees and containing it within powerful magnetic shields. Engineers and physicists have been working on the wicked problems of fusion energy for approximately eighty years now. Despite international multi-billion dollar mega-projects to develop viable fusion energy, it remains thirty, fifty, or even 100 years away—at best. The struggle and drive to attain such a source of clean nuclear power leads skilled and disciplined people from all across the globe to labour for events and infrastructures that they will likely never get to see through to completion, reminding us perhaps of the conviction of medieval cathedral builders, who laboured on projects whose durations were also measured in centuries.

There is an undoubtable link between plasma physics and religion, or between rationality and the ineffable: that which cannot be measured or spoken and which in fact resists these acts. Speaking through the origin of physics’ alchemical/religious histories into a possible future with fusion reactors powering fifteen percent of the planet’s energy needs, Thomson plays with and attends to the hierarchies of knowledge and reality that are fundamental to these disciplines’ traditions, desires, and expectations, perhaps revealing a non-linear chronometry that can transform and renew contemporary modes of logic and sense.

This performance lecture is the partial outcome of research and fieldwork into the state of European fusion energy with sound artist Julian Weaver, a commission awarded by the Royal Holloway Centre for the GeoHumanities’ Creating Earth Futures commission, 2018. The artists travelled for research and fieldwork to the Joint European Tokamak (JET) facilities in the UK and to the multi-billion dollar, global partner construction site of the International Thermonuclear Energy Research (ITER) site in Marseille, France.

For further information about Logics of Sense 1: Investigations visit the Blackwood Gallery website.


#Eco_Techno_Cosmo_Logic – critical quantum geographies of the imperceptible
Workshop and Critical Excursion with Jol Thomson
Thursday, October 10, 12–9pm

Across three sites (Blackwood Gallery, Cobble Beach in Mississauga’s Lakeside Park, and University of Toronto Planetarium) this workshop rethinks environments, times, agents, and space while foregrounding the boundary-making process at the heart of our contemporary crises. How can a sensitive approach to these complex holographic sites open us towards the more-than-non-human? Can the powerful histories and practices of science and technology be resuscitated as allies in critical environmental and decolonial thought?

Open to graduate students, senior-level undergraduates, and emerging artists and researchers with an interest in the intersections between critical theory, physics, environmental studies, artistic research, and histories of science.

Register for the workshop with a brief expression of interest (max 250 words) by October 6, 2019.

Visit our webpage for registration and further information.



Logics of Sense 1: Investigations
On view now through October 19, 2019

As an attunement to the aesthetics of sensation, the exhibition Logics of Sense—presented in two parts at the Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto Mississauga—examines sense-in-the-making, from the surface of incorporeal events to a multiplicity of decentralized perceptions, and from itinerant geo-methodologies to the various disciplinary frames and frameworks that artistic intelligence retrofits for emergent social and political realities.

Logics of Sense 1: Investigations includes works from Ursula Biemann, Mikhail Karikis, Susan Schuppli, and Jol Thomson; their respective videos and video essays address the interactions between land and the atmosphere, changing planetary dynamics, terrestrial micro-events, and the inheritance of knowledge. Moving through modes of prediction, observation, expression, perception, and re-configuration, visitors are invited to explore the becoming-sensuous of technoscience in formation.

For more information, visit


The Blackwood Gallery gratefully acknowledges the operating support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the University of Toronto Mississauga.


Blackwood Gallery
University of Toronto Mississauga
3359 Mississauga Road
Mississauga, ON L5L 1C6
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The Blackwood Gallery promotes LGBTQ2 positive spaces and experiences and is free of physical barriers. For additional accessibility information, visit the Blackwood Gallery website.

Image Credits:
Top: Courtesy Jol Thomson.
Image grid, clockwise: Susan Schuppli, Atmospheric Feedback Loops (film still), 2017; Jol Thomson, G24|0vßß (video still), 2016; Mikhail Karikis, No Ordinary Protest (production still), 2018. Courtesy the artists.