Le Petit Gris / The Grey Guide

The Grey Guide to ArtistRun Publishing and Circulation is composed of a series of seven essays, addressing distribution as a key concern for publishing within artistrun culture, alongside complex issues like conditions of production, copyright and fair dealing, and ethical protocols arising from within a community of practice. The Grey Guide was initially distributed as a serialized biweekly ecampaign, from March 1st to June 21, 2017. A print version is now available as of September 2017.
Le Petit Gris : guide de l’édition en art et de la distribution autogérée réunit une série de sept rubriques. Continue reading



Highlighted as a “must see” by Canadian Art Magazine, my solo show Réécrire/Rewriting was co-curated by Tianmo Zhang and Jean-Michel Ross, and co-produced by Z Art Space and Galerie Tomas Henry Ross. 14 June – 12 July.

Art critic Emily Falvey described the exhibition as “the perfect antidote to the 150 and ’60s nostalgia that has descended upon Montréal of late: an interesting meditation on identity politics, conceptual art, Canadian and Québec nationalism, and collage as an artistic strategy. And there are some fabulous mashups of Tom Thompson landscapes and Playboy magazine.”

Images above are courtesy of Itzayana Gutiérrez, one of several who attended a round table event on June 28. Tianmo Zhang, Jean-Michel Ross and Kanwal Sayed spoke alongside me. Their combined interests in the reception of “Chineseness” in contemporary art in North America, Québécois contemporary art, and contemporary art from Pakistan provided prismatic lenses for interpretation of the collage-based works.


Images below courtesy of Jean-Michel Ross.

Libidinal Economies…

Tayler_MainmiseI had the pleasure of organizing (and presenting) on a panel for the SHARP2017 conference at the University of Victoria, 9 – 12 June, 2017.

Libidinal Economies: Networks of Activist
and Countercultural Print Cultures in the Early 1970s
10 June 2017

Recent scholarship in literary studies, art history and history of the book has recognized print culture to be an essential communications technology linking diverse social movements and liberation struggles of the early 1970s. As the civil rights movements and radical nationalisms of the late 1960s adapted to demands for gay and women’s liberation, presses such as Third World Press (Chicago), Broadside Press (Detroit), TISH (Vancouver), Éditions Parti-Pris and Mainmise (Montréal) issued books and magazines which cited textual references and visual imagery drawn from transnational movements. Local content, neo-avant-garde aesthetics and utopian concerns were asserted in relation to these mutable texts and re-contextualized imagery. This panel will take a comparative approach to discussing the network of desires that drive the production of this radical print culture in Canada and the United States. How do aesthetic choices of book design, typography and para-textual elements make visible the conditions of production for these books? What economies of affective labour are (in)visible in this material culture? What modes of affective belonging take form and how does this create new transnational publics and geographies for radical futurities? This panel responds to the SHARP “Technologies of the Book” CFP themes: The role of the book in society and the social history of print and, print cultures and networks.

Chair: Maria Chappell, University of Georgia
Kinohi Nishikawa, Princeton University: “Reframing Blackness: The Installation Aesthetic of In Our Terribleness”
Deanna Fong, Simon Fraser University: ““Oh, that was a nice party”: Listening to Affective Labour in Literary Collectives”
Felicity Tayler, University of Toronto: “Mainmise: Countercultural Geographies in Reproduction”

This paper will propose a single issue of the Québécois countercultural magazine, Mainmise, as a case study of the aesthetics of cheap single-colour printing and remediation, typical of an early 1970s North American “alternative press.” I argue these aesthetics can be read as the material expression of an attempt to achieve cross-cultural solidarity. Issue no. 2, 1971, of Mainmise, features an image captioned, in French, “Tim Leary Alger, aprs son évasion avec Eldridge Cleaver, ministre de l’information des Black Panthers.” Continue reading

Habitat Conversation


This graphic novella was commissioned in conjunction with Luis Jacob’s exhibition Habitat, May 5 – June 10, 2017, at Gallery TPW. It was also used as a talking point during a Saturday afternoon conversation. The graphic novella weaves together references to the representations of Toronto in Jacob’s work Sightlines, ongoing conversations with the artist, and sociologist Pierre Bourdieu’s explanations of social space. Print versions were distributed throughout the exhibition. A PDF can be downloaded from Gallery TPW.


The Spirit of Those Spaces Where Networks Overlap


Underground in the Aether 
Hannah B. Higgins, Vincent Bonin, Allison Collins, Luis Jacob, Jee-Hae Kim, Felicity Tayler
VIVO Media Arts Centre, 2625 Kaslo Street — Saturday, April 8, 10AM – 5PM, 2017

Robin Simpson and Joni Low invited me to participate in Underground in the Aether, a symposium responding to the themes of collectivity, selfhood, and communication circuits in the exhibition Hank Bull: Connexion. Organized by Or Gallery, in partnership with Burnaby Art Gallery, VIVO Media Arts Centre and Doryphore Independent Curators Society, the symposium took place as the closing event for Spring Fever: Vancouver Independent Archives 2017.

My contribution, “The Spirit of Those Spaces Where Networks Overlap,” takes Hank Bull’s article “The Relican Wedding,” (Centerfold, July 1979) as a case study, highlighting the “politics of publicity” that are enacted in a transitional moment for news media, intermedia art, artistic subcultures and national culture. Continue reading

Roy K. Kiyooka’s “Conceptual Art Trips”

Serial Positionings: Roy K. Kiyooka’s “Conceptual Art Trips” Journal of Canadian Art History, Vol. XXXVI:1 (2016), 128-153.

A copy of Roy Kiyooka’s Transcanada Letters (Talonbooks, 1975) sits in a beam of sunlight upon my desk. Canada Post delivered the book from Vancouver to Montreal after I ordered it from an online bookseller. My desire to own a copy of Transcanada Letters arose after a first visit “out West” to the Contemporary Literature Collection at Simon Fraser University, where Kiyooka’s papers are housed. My trajectory, moving east to west, echoed the coast-to-coast narrative of Canadian nationhood. In this narrative, Vancouver currently plays the role of a thriving twenty-first century metropolis, which evolved from its earlier image as a “fantasy dream” at the edge of British Dominion and American Western expansion. Since the 1970s, when Transcanada Letters was published, Vancouver has increasingly adopted the identity of a Pacific Rim city. In this alternate narrative, the city plays the role of an essential node in global trade routes reaching out to Asia, just as its artists are tangled up in the complex cultural, political, and economic factors folded into the term “globalization.” The imaginary space mapped throughout the pages of Transcanada Letters, however, troubles the attempt to link the locality of its narrative, or the identity of its author, to a defined territory.

Conceptualizing ‘Our City’

An abstract for a paper delivered on a panel at the 30th annual 2 Days of Canada Conference: The Concept of Vancouver.

Co-panelists for the “Activist Cultures in Vancouver” session were Markus Reisenleitner and Heather Smyth.


A blurry snapshot of an issue of the Georgia Straight, c. 1968. Note city Alderman Harry Rankin’s critique of urban development on same page as publicity for Intermedia.

A friend gifted me a well-traveled copy of Jeff Derksen’s tract, How High is the City, How Deep Is Our Love? (Fillip Editions, 2011). At the time, I was thinking through Roy Kiyooka’s description of “Our City” in Transcanada Letters (Talonbooks, 1975), which shares an epistolary model of imagined community with Charles Olson’s Maximus Poems. This paper will explore an echo I perceive in Derksen’s call to action for imagining the city through a renewal of neo-avant-garde critical practices and Kiyooka’s description of an imaginary city conjured through the affective accumulation of “poly-morphously peverse” identity shifts. Derksen’s text reflects upon the dialectic arising between the affective relationships generated through the lived experience of a city and the fixed identity categories imposed when our desires are solicited by the governing discourse of urban planning. The inhabitants of Kiyooka’s city have collectively adopted pseudonyms and alter-egos, which, he muses, are part of their shared practice of accessing a “so called real-self” in association with the psychedelic, multisensory and collaborative environment of Vancouver’s Intermedia Society (1967-1972).

Neither a return through restorative nostalgia, nor a projection towards an avant-garde for a future art city, this paper will pay attention to how these past and present calls for mutable identities respond to a continuous process of urban development in Vancouver. Historical context includes a discussion of the final few issues of Tish and the Georgia Straight newspaper, as well as the conflict between Leftist discourses that coincides with the dissolution of Intermedia Society.