Tag Archives: Art


First apologies to subscribers who thought they already got this post. Here it is in its entirety.

What do English professors do in the research part of their academic lives? Many, many things, and over the next few posts I’m going to profile some of my colleagues’ research projects.

Professor Marcel O’Gorman’s work crosses the borders of art/theory/rhetoric/digital media. Some of you will know him as the founder and Director of the Critical Media Lab and/or as a much-admired professor who teaches a variety of courses in the English department. But he’s also an artist, and one of his recent creations is on tour.

O’Gorman won the Gamble Award to finance his exploration of the “myth” surrounding famed Canadian painter Tom Thomson and his death on Canoe Lake. He made a 16 foot “ghost canoe” that “revisits the myth of Tom Thomson through the lens of this canoe-man cyborg, producing an electronic sculptural object that is at once tactile and ethereal; an evocative object that technologically refashions the themes of solitude, mystery, and sublimity found both in Thomson’s painting and in cyberculture.”

After months of residence at THEMUSEUM in downtown Kitchener, the ghost canoe travelled to the Tom Thomson Gallery in Owen Sound and is now on display at the Rails End Gallery in Haliburton, Ontario. Read a review of the exhibition published in The Haliburton Echo.

Driving the canoe in a U-Haul from Owen Sound to Haliburton, Pouya at the wheel.

Gallery curator Laurie Jones interacting with the cyber canoe.

O'Gorman cutting thousands of strands of fishing line.

Revisit the making of the ghost canoe by reading Dr. O’Gorman’s project blog, Myth of the Steersman. (Remember you have to scroll through the archives if you want to read from first to most recent post.)

I LOVE the idea of the canoe being portaged around and eventually re-dipped in Canoe Lake. What do you think? Did you know that English professors do such uber-cool things in their research time?


The “Pharmakon” exhibit of works of art dealing with the theme–that which can both kill and cure–was getting a steady stream of visitors when I was there on Saturday afternoon.

Here are just a few pics taken with my iPhone. Once again, I forgot my “good” camera. You can find more information about all of the featured artists at the Critical Media Lab website. Click on each image to enlarge. The art was pretty cool, some of it a bit scary.

Calling all alumni!

Wow! September is full of events and activities. Let me tell you about one of them which is a special event on Saturday September 24, 2011 open to all uW English alumni.

Our own Marcel O’Gorman has brought the presitgious and innovative “Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts” conference to downtown Kitchener. This 25th anniversary conference brings together artists and scholars from an impressive range of disciplines. In addition to over 250 panelists presenting their work, and two internationally recognized keynote speakers, the conference includes an exhibition of art at the Critical Media Lab.

Featured artists are: Paul Roorda, Colleen Wolstenholme, David Clark, Brad Necyk, Brian Cantrell, Alan Egan, Jennifer Gradecki, Kiki Benzon, Maria Whiteman, and Steven Oscherwitz.

Read more about the upcoming conference in The Record. It is, as O’Gorman describes it in the new story, “a city event.”

As an alumnus, you are invited to be part of a very special series of events:

  1. From 2:00 – 3:00 take a tour of THEMUSEUM’s “Rethinking Art & Machine” exhibition.
  2. From 3:30 – 5:00 attend a panel discussion with the artists about their work, which is on display as the “Pharmakon” exhibition at the Critical Media Lab. The panel discussion will take place in Kitchener City Hall council chambers.
  3. From 5:30 – 7:00 Mingle with the artists at a reception, held at the Critical Media Lab. You can view their work, talk to the artists, all with a plate of nibbles and a glass of wine or beer (or soft drink) in your hand.

If you have forgotten the configuration of downtown Kitchener please know that these venues are very close together on King Street downtown.

Purchase your tickets through uW’s online ‘ticket master.’ Cost is $25, all inclusive. You are free to wander in and out, with the exception of the roundtable discussion.

I’ll be there in my capacity as Alumni coordinator. I’d love to meet you and hear what you are up to these days.

It’s uW alumni reunion weekend, but this event is designed just for you 🙂