Episode 7: Brendan Fernandes

Brendan Fernandes,  Encomium,  2015. Performed by Damian Norman (left) and Sky Fairchild-Waller (right). Photo Henry Chan.

Brendan Fernandes, Encomium, 2015. Performed by Damian Norman (left) and Sky Fairchild-Waller (right). Photo Henry Chan.

Resulting from a keynote performance and subsequent panel discussion at OCADu Graduate Conference, The Multiple Li(v)es of Art/ists &... Disciplinary Fuziness and the Future(s) of Art Criticism, this month's episode explores the work of New York-based Canadian Artist, Brendan Fernandes. Probing Fernandes's experience as an artist and a dancer, this episode also documents Encomium, a performance which circles hybrid themes of identity, love, labour, and public space. 

Video of Encomium can be found here, or at brendanfernandes.ca

Theme music for What it Looks Like comes from Paul Weadick, with additional music in this episode from Podington Bear.

Posted on May 22, 2015 .

Episode 6: The Mobile Critical Marathon

On January 7th, 2015, I set out to see and review every show that sent me a press release and had gallery hours that day. I saw 8 shows across Toronto, hoping to chronicle the city’s artistic ecology and perform the frantic activities of critical judgement at a rapid pace, with little time for reflection. I livestreamed my in-gallery conversations with myself, and recorded them for this episode. It became a performance of critical anxiety and inarticulateness, and a manifestation of the critic's scramble to see work, and the artist's scramble to have work seen and documented.

Included here are reviews of “NEXT” at Arsenal; Giles Round, Lis Rhodes, and Tiziana La Melia at Mercer Union; Elizabeth Babyn and P. Roch Smith at loop Gallery; Allison S.M. Kobayashi and Christine Swintak at the Artscape Youngplace Hallway Galleries; Xiaojing Yan at Red Head; “Besides, Your Neighbours” at 8eleven; Suzy Lake at the Art Gallery of Ontario and “TEMPERAMENTAL” at the Doris McCarthy Gallery.

Listen to the full episode here:

I tweeted @WILLpodcast, using the hashtag #mobilecrit. I also livestreamed the entire performance on mixlr, which you can listen to a fractured archive of at Mixlr

Check out the individual reviews below:

Posted on March 11, 2015 .

Episode 5: Understanding Your Biases

What do you like? What does everyone else like? Are there things you think you like only because you like them that might, in fact, be tastes bred into you by the subtle forces of social coercion?

Is art a numbers game? Should it be? What is your responsibility to understand yourself and the way you think about art? This week, What It Looks Like teams up with the fledgling organization CIASK: the Canadian Institute for Art and Self-Knowledge. On the heels of some major international art goings-on with significant blindspots, we're offering an opportunity for self-examination. 

Our theme music comes from Paul Weadick. Other music in the episode courtesy of Lee Rosevere.

Download the form-fillable PDF and follow along with the episode.

Posted on January 27, 2015 .

Episode 4: Regionalisms

Regionalism is a perhaps-necessary complication in a huge country divided by arbitrary borders. But it's also contentious: what does the place we make work say about the kind of work we make? 

This episode, contributions from Amber Christensen and David Yu attempt to untangle regionalism's hold on Canada. Amber Christensen interviews Amy Fung on her touring prairie exhibition, They Made a Day be a Day Here, and David Yu presents a sound work reflecting on the high-performance, corporate-tinged atmosphere of a glitzy Toronto contemporary art party. 

The audio in this episode comes from the first round of submissions to the rolling Regionalisms call for submissions. Our new theme song comes from the amazing Paul Weadick.  Additional background music from Josh Woodward. More about the art critical experiment I'm doing in Toronto on January 7th can be found here

Posted on November 26, 2014 .

Episode 3: Inuit Art

Inuit art has a huge role to play in the art market, especially in Southern Canada. It's to be found in major museum collections, the homes of private collectors, and commercial galleries. It seems like everywhere you look, some website is trying to sell you a soapstone carving. But how much, in the South, do we know about Inuit art? This episode we discuss information and misinformation, repatriation, artistic practice in Northern Canada, and the role of Inuit art's extensive markets.

My guests are Kohila Kurunathan, web communications specialist, Kuzy Curley, artist and outreach coordinator for Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage, and Anna Hudson, Associate Dean, Faculty of Fine Arts, and Principal Investigator on the Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage SSHRC Partnership Project.

The artists Kuzy refers to-- all of whom are creating a collaborative work for the Inuit Circumpolar Council meeting this July-- are Ashoona Ashoona from Cape Dorset, Kathy Kuniliusee from Broughton Island, and Frederick Silas Qulaut from Igloolik. 

Music in this episode comes from Podington Bear and Josh Woodward. That email about my upcoming theme song comes from Paul Weadick. 

Episode 2: Unprofessional Development

This month, we talk about the confines of the professional, and the things that lay just outside those confines: day jobs, religion, biography, internships, scandals, rejecting an art-making formula, and the things that happen in the meantimes and in-betweentimes of art careers. I get confused, tangled, and emotional. Things seem bleak, and then they seem like they may be going somewhere.

Sky Glabush's exhibition, "Display," is on at mkg127 until April 26th. You can find his talk from Canadian Art's Gallery Hop here, and you can find him on Instagram here.

Artist Wanted (Rita Camacho Lomeli, Rodrigo Marti, and Wing Yee Tong) are out and about. Particularly, check out the reading list about artistic labour they compiled here

Music in this episode comes from Chris Zabriskie and BOPD. My beautiful new logo comes from Clara Bee Lavery.


Posted on April 7, 2014 .

Episode 1: What is Art?

What it Looks Like is born! A good introduction starts at the beginning, introduces the concepts, feels out the field, asks some ol' fashioned low-ball questions. But asking what art is can be a bit tedious. Instead, this month's podcast explores moments when people are faced with unusual experiences, and must decide whether or not to call them art. 

Spoiler alert: this is a podcast about art. I have a hunch you might know where this one's going.

This episode includes lovely interviews with Kaari Sinnaeve, Shawna Dempsey & Lorri Millan, and the VSVSVS collective. Music comes from Monroeville Music Centre, Marco Trovatello, and Podington Bear. Sound effects from Razzvio, Herbert Boland, Jim68000, Conradts, and cbakos

Take a listen, and let me know what you think. I'm excited for you all to hear. 

Posted on March 3, 2014 .

A new website, and episode 1 in the works.

What It Looks Like is chugging along. As the website's in production, there are all kind of preparations underway for the podcast launch in March. Here are a few of the exciting things happening so far: many great conversations with friends, mentors, and supporters; a lot of daydreaming about future episodes, content commissions, and themes; and a few exciting interviews for the upcoming Episode 1 stories.

Episode 1: What is Art? is themed around a basic question. But instead of asking the experts, we follow two stories about encounters with art that necessitate asking the difficult and perhaps even over-philosophical question of what "counts" and what doesn't. 

Posted on January 20, 2014 .