Category Archives: Speaking

Complex Networks of Desire: Mapping community in Visual Arts Magazines Fireweed, Fuse, Border/Lines

Las complejas redes del deseo: Trazando las comunidades en revistas de artes visuales Fireweed, Fuse, Border/Lines

Co-presented with Tomasz Neugebauer (Concordia University Library) at DH2018 “Puentes/Bridges” in Ciudad de Mexíco, 27 June 2018.

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Full-size English/Español version of the poster.

We present ongoing research using data visualization and complex network analysis to historicize the production of three periodicals: Fireweed, Fuse, and Border/Lines. Computational methods allow for the visualization of metadata describing these magazine issues as a complex network – but what do these visualizations reveal about real social relations involved in the production and circulation of these magazines? Fireweed, Fuse, and Border/Lines emerged between 1976 and 1986 in Toronto, Canada, from a hotbed of lesbian and gay liberation, feminist and cultural race politics, thereby circulating in relation to transnational social, political and cultural movements (Butling and Rudy, Gonosko and Marcellus, Monk, Robertson). Whereas digital art historical scholarship often applies computational methods to the analysis of visual images (Zorich, Manovich), this paper instead applies complex network analysis to bibliographic metadata describing artist-led magazine publishing. We propose that there is a correlation between the magazine as a site of imagined community (as a discursive site where artistic scenes and poetic community are formed) (Allen, 12-17); and the complex networks visualized from metadata describing production teams and content of each printed issue (Knight, Long, Lincoln, Liu).

To read the rest of this paper, see this extract from the DH2018 book of abstracts: Tayler_Neugebauer_dh2018_abstracts

The entire collection of abstracts is also available.

Toronto’s Urban Imaginaries

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Jon Johnson of First Story Toronto leads
Indigenous Roots and Routes Along the Humber River.
Image courtesy of Luis Jacob.

Throughout the 2017-2018 academic year, I had the pleasure of leading a Jackman Humanities Institute Working Group at UofT, alongside Barbara Fischer and Elizabeth Legge. The official description of the Group is up on the JHI site, but in response to questions I have had, I’ve list a more detailed description our activities here.

Meetings
A series of eight meetings took place as public and invitational events working through different presentation formats, with a rotating attendance. At each meeting, core group members were complemented by invited guests including graduate students, scholars, members of community arts organizations, and major public galleries and museums.

September 19. Introductory Show-and-Tell.
Attendance 25

Presenters: Felicity Tayler outlined the goals, objectives and methods to generate interdisciplinary debate within the group over a series of eight meetings-as-events. Barbara Fisher addressed successes and “lessons learned” from the 2015 This is Paradise conference. Rosemary Donegan, Theresa Enright, Elizabeth Legge, Janine Marchessault, Scott Rayter, Dot Tuer, Rinaldo Walcott each presented physical objects and conceptual issues that they would respond to, and work through, in the context of the group.

October 28. Indigenous Roots and Routes along the Humber River.
Attendance 25

This meeting took place as a public event, promoted through the JHI mailing list. Scholar and guide for First Story Toronto, Jon Johnson (French Canadian, with Haudenosaunee and Kichisipirini ancestry), led a walking tour that engaged Indigenous understandings of sovereignty, space, and place as it intersects with the urban geography and settler history of the GTA. Following the protocols of oral tradition, Johnson conveyed Anishinaabe knowledge to the group through a reading of ResurgeFirst Timeline (2017) murals painted by Philip Cote (with Kwest, Nelly Torossian, and Jarus).

November 14. Round Table: Whose Voice? Politics and Identity.
Attendance: 20
Presenters: Andrea Fatona, Rinaldo Walcott, Felicity Tayler
Respondent: Dot Tuer Continue reading

Finding Fireweed

Presented at the Collections Thinking conference 14 June 2018, Concordia University.

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This paper looked at early issues of Fireweed: A Women’s Literary and Cultural Journal as a way into thinking about collecting and collection practices on two registers: Part 1, addressed the magazine as a medium for collecting material in a particular temporal moment, and Part 2, discussed the subsequent act of indexing, or gathering the metadata for the magazine, as another instance of collecting, with a disjunctive temporal relationship to past technologies and organizing practices.

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

Générations et régénérations du livre / The Generation and Regeneration of Books

SHARP 2015: The 23rd annual conference of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing, Longueuil/Montreal (Canada)
Tuesday, 7 July, to Friday, 10 July 2015

Pictured here, a tweet responding to my paper, Imagining the book as counter-environment: Roy K. Kiyooka’s Transcanada Letters (1975),
an excerpt of which can be found below…

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The front and back covers of Transcanda Letters show a multi-coloured illustrated map of Canada, overlaid by black and white snapshots of the east and west coast that are clasped in the left and right hands of the artist. The two snapshots are autobiographical and documentary in style – they confirm Kiyooka’s presence on both edges of the continent at specific times and locations. These images cause the reader to wonder where he is, and what his body is experiencing? The national boundaries of Canada are recognizable in this cover illustration; nonetheless, the map’s swirling amorphous shapes hold out the promise of an expansive psychedelic geography, as if the reader might “trip” through altered states of consciousness into another sense of place. Also note the grid indicating of longitude and latitude. These cartographic measurements typically help to define national boundaries and exploitable national resources contained within. But Kiyooka has placed this grid between his own hands, thereby turning the national territory into a material form that he could use to construct an imaginary space. Is the space that this book produces a national imaginary that Benedict Anderson associates with the hegemony of print culture? – Or is it a post-national space anticipating other media forms?

Can Lit Across Media

Un-Archiving the Temporal Literary Event
5 June-6 June, 2015 Concordia University

A conference questioning the act of reading listening and looking at archives through an expanded take on what is literary. Below, an excerpt from the paper I presented on the panel, Archival Blind Spots and Silences. Co-panelists were Joel Deshaye and Katherine McLeod.

Sound as a Visual – Visual as Sound: Documentary Traces of Literary Events at Véhicule Art in the Early 1970s

A visual record of Véhicule’s elusive linguistic space is accessible through incomplete written records and anonymous photographs held in the Concordia University Archives. To my eye, the photographic remnants depicting Véhicule’s “space” mimic the documentary mode of conceptual photography, just as the administrative documents such as meeting minutes mimic conceptual “aesthetics of administration.” Some of the photographs document intermedial events – such as two events occurring in 1973 that I will address in this talk: The exhibition Sound as a Visual / Visual as Sound organized by Suzy Lake and Allan Bealy; and a video/text/sound performance by painter and poet, Roy Kiyooka.

Bealy was a conceptual artist who used Véhicule’s press to publish DaVinci Magazine and a series of poetry chapbooks under the imprint Eldorado Editions. Lake was one of the 13 founders of the gallery and a painter who left the late 1960s civil unrest in Detroit for Montréal. During this period, Montréal was a site where issues of race and class were equally contested, but channeled symbolically through debates over language use and sovereignty. This paper asks how a linguistic space produced through the combination of architectural structures, administrative protocols, conceptual aesthetics and a printing press might have positioned Véhicule Art as an affective space existing beyond the  “grids” imposed by federally legislated official bilingualism, or provincial legislation designating French as the language of public life.

Lake is recognized for her photographic series that systematically document the performance of identity in the activities of everyday life. In One Hour (Zero) Conversation with Allan B. (1973), the gridded structure is reminiscent of a photographic contact sheet. Lake, depersonalized by the white-face make-up worn by mimes, performs affective moments throughout a conversation with Bealy within the “gaps” in the grid. In the same year 1973, Lake invited poet and painter Roy Kiyooka to return from the West Coast to Montreal to perform an intermedial event at Véhicule Art. At this time, Kiyooka likewise produced gridded photographic series documenting everyday moments of his peripatetic life as in, Long Beach BC to Peggy’s Cove, (1971).

This is Paradise

Art and Artists in Toronto May 28-31, 2015 | Justina M. Barnicke Gallery & University of Toronto

An incredible 3 days of Toronto looking and thinking about the city. I thought about it through the perspective of a visitor from a different place. Below is the video for the panel Artists, Networks, Cities. Adam Welch and E.C. Woodley were co-panelists. I start around 50:00min.

Artists, Networks, Cities from Justina M. Barnicke Gallery/UTAC on Vimeo.

This paper responds to the conference call for:

  • “art-historical accounts of art in Toronto — including accounts of individual artists; artist communities (artists’ scenes and social networks).”
  • “Strategies that focus on local artistic practice within a broader regional, national and international framework.”

Toronto via Vancouver: Image Banks and Filing Systems for Networked Bodies

Existing scholarship acknowledges the connection between Vancouver’s Image Bank and Toronto’s General Idea in the early 1970s; however, their shared publishing activities and exchange of correspondence remains to be explored as it complicates the relationship of reading publics to a notion of “place.” Continue reading