It will always be about The Art of. . . . and we are getting closer and closer to the art of the environment. We are getting closer to reimagining, rebuilding the physical world but as an art piece. It will be all that lasts. Marshall McLuhan asked us to imagine media as water, a maelstrom he called it in reference to Edgar Allen Poe’s short story. A great tide washing over everything, dissolving any markers, borders, lighthouses, bouys, we are its mercy, there are no signposts. We shall be lost but the hope lies in seeing the patterns of the stream’s behaviour.
In author Matthew Jobin’s "The Skeleth" the character Tom is asked is time a road or a river? A road we make, a river we float on or paddle he replies. Time is a river but we use its currents to propel ourselves forward.
Time as a river is an eroding force. Media as a river is an eroding force. But art, the story, the art of the story can withstand the erosion, for ever.
When borders are eroded peoples are exposed. They can hasten to rebuild the wall or they can step over the dusted fragments and visit with their neighbours. Out of those visits commonalities are discovered and upon those common traits new communities are born.
The artist has been building new communities. The story of modern art is the story of location. Artists are mobile and moving, creating, recreating, making new places, reimagining the physical world. They start inside a frame, the frame becomes the studio, the studio becomes the neighbourhood. The bigger the frame the bigger the neighbourhood.
Luminato is a big frame. Luminato 2016 has created a new neighbourhood inside the Hearn Generating Station. It is what a city would be if artists built it. What would Berlin look like if Larissa Fassler's works were the blueprints. She walks the city and relocates it in her art.
NXNE the music and entertainment festival is also relocating from studios (clubs in other words) to a central hub, a neighbourhood. The organisers intend to keep the club tour and to set up hubs across Toronto but they are focusing on creating a new world within the Portlands.
The artists are building. They are gathering and they are creating a new vision of their city. They are stepping into the inbetween places , the neither here nor there. At the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa Lucie Chan and Jerome Havre are being presented in an exhibit titled Liminal. The show is part of a larger exploration of Placelessness and includes jerm ix photographic essay Knob Hill Farms and LIndsay Lauckner Gundlock Familiarity of the Foreign.
The key word for art is Immersive, not coincidently a word associated in much part with water. The artist is already swimming in the maelstrom, they are exploring the media we are awash in, they are discovering new forms, they are giving themselves up to the eddies and swirls and the joy of discovery, the danger of the unfamiliar. But they leaving a lifeline behind them, pulling us along the river as they paddle ever onwards along the seams between the the streams.