03.10.23 - Announcing the 2023-24 Master of Visual Studies Proseminar series

Presented by the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto, the annual MVS Proseminar offers visual studies graduate students in curatorial studies and studio art the opportunity to connect and exchange with field-leading international and local artists, curators, writers, theorists, and other creative scholarly practitioners and researchers.

The 2023-2024 MVS Proseminar series is organized by Zach Blas, assistant professor, and Jean-Paul Kelly, assistant professor and director of the visual studies program at the Daniels Faculty.

All events take place in Main Hall at the Daniels Building at 1 Spadina Crescent (unless otherwise noted) and are free and open to the public. View or download the series poster.

Fall 2023

October 17, 6:30 p.m. ET
Amina Ross
Artist and educator

Amina Ross makes videos, sculptures, sounds, and situations that consider feeling, embodied knowledge, and intimacy as survival technologies for black, queer, trans, and feminine-spectrum people. Ross is the 2023-2024 Estelle Lebowitz Artist in Residence at Douglass College, Rutgers University. They also serve as faculty at Parsons School of Design, The New School, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Art at Vassar College.

November 14, 6:30 p.m. ET
Zach Blas
Artist and writer

Zach Blas works across installation, moving image, theory, and performance, engaging the materialities of computation while also drawing out the philosophies and imaginaries that undergird artificial intelligence, biometric recognition, predictive policing, airport security, and the internet. Blas is an Assistant Professor of Visual Studies in the Daniels Faculty at U of T.

November 21, 6:30 p.m. ET
Tina Rivers Ryan
Curator, art historian, and critic

Dr. Tina Rivers Ryan is a curator, art historian, and critic specializing in art since the 1960s and is widely known as an expert on digital art. Dr. Ryan is a curator at the Buffalo AKG Art Museum. This event is part of the Daniels Faculty's Fall 2023 Public Program in association with MVS Proseminar. Register in advance.

POSTPONED: November 28, 3-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. ET 
Weather Report: Where are we going with art and its institutions? 

Organized by the Art Museum at the University of Toronto and Fogo Island Arts (FIA), this tenth edition of The Fogo Island Dialogues is a series of panel discussions by renowned international museum directors and curators, moderated by significant contributors in the field.  

NOTE: Given the current context, Fogo Island Arts has decided to postpone the Fogo Island Dialogues originally scheduled for November 28, 2023, in Toronto. These remain important conversations that Fogo Island Arts look forward to in the future.

December 5, 6:30 p.m. ET 
Aisha Sasha John
Poet, dancer, and choreographer

Aisha Sasha John is interested in choreographing performances that occasion real love. She’s passionate about the creative potential of surrender and through her work builds structures that allow for experiences of entrancement. The expressive possibilities exclusive to Black being-together is one of her ongoing research interests. A celebrated poet, Aisha is author of the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize nominated collection I have to live.

Winter 2024

January 16, 6:30 p.m. ET
Curatorial collective

Hearth seeks to provide a site to present projects by a diverse range of emerging collaborators within a context that values experimentation and community. Hearth works towards an anti-oppressive, queer-positive environment and welcomes marginalized and racialized folks through programming that celebrates the work of a diverse range of emerging collaborators.

February 13, 6:30 p.m. ET
Corina L. Apostol
Curator, art historian, and editor

Dr. Corina L. Apostol curates and researches at the intersection of art and politics, focusing on artists who create long-term, pedagogical, community-based projects to empower their audiences. Dr. Apostol is the co-founder of the seminal activist art and publishing collective ArtLeaks and editor-in-chief of the ArtLeaks Gazette. Dr. Apostol is an Assistant Professor in Social Practice in Contemporary Art and Culture in the Faculty of the Humanities at the University of Amsterdam.

February 27, 6:30 p.m. ET
P. Staff

P. Staff is a filmmaker, installation artist, and poet, whose interdisciplinary practice explores necropolitics, affect theory, the transpoetics of writers, modern dance, astrology, and end of life care to emphasise the processes by which bodies––especially those of people who are queer, trans, or disabled––are interpreted, regulated, and disciplined in a rigorously controlled society. This event is part of the Daniels Faculty's Winter 2024 Public Program in association with MVS Proseminar. Register in advance.

March 5, 6:30 p.m.

Cassils, Associate Professor of Visual Studies in the Daniels Faculty at U of T, is a transgender artist who makes their own body the material and protagonist of their performances. Their art contemplates the history(s) of LGBTQI+ violence, representation, struggle and survival. Drawing from the idea that bodies are formed in relation to forces of power and social expectations, Cassils’s work investigates historical contexts to examine the present moment.

March 19, 6:30 p.m. ET
Elisa Giardina Papa

Elisa Giardina Papa is a research-based artist whose practice, employing discarded AI training datasets, censored cinema repositories, factitious colonial travel accounts, or fabricated heretical accusations, seeks forms of knowledge and desire that have been lost or forgotten, disqualified, and rendered nonsensical by hegemonic demands for order and legibility. Papa is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University.

All images courtesy of the artists. Image captions: 1) Cassils - Tiresias, Performance Still No. 3 (ANTI Festival, Kupio, Finland), 2012. Photo: Cassils with Pekka Mekinen. 2) Amina Ross - sample animation. 3) Zach Blas Profundior (Lacryphagic Transmutation Deus-Motus-Data Network) Mixed-media installation. (12th Berlin Biennale, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart), 2022. Photo by Mathias Völzke.