Friday, May 5th, 12:00 noon, Discovery Centre Media Lab, 482 MacOdrum Library
“Addressing Radio: Space and Place in the Golden Age of Radio in Canada

by Michael Windover, Assistant Professor, Art History, SSAC.

poster image

General Electric advertisement (detail), Winnipeg Free Press, September, 22 1931.

 This lecture coincides with the exhibitions “Making Radio Space in 1930s Canada” at the Carleton University Art Gallery and “Seeing, Selling, and Situating Radio in Canada, 1922-1956” at the MacOdrum Library and discusses some of the spatial complexities brought on by this electronic medium in the early years of broadcasting.

Past talks in the 2016/17 series:

Friday, September 23rd, 4:00 p.m., 412 St. Patrick’s Building
“The Eastman Kodak Company in Canada: Shaping networks, shaping consumers”
by Shannon Perry, Senior Photo Archivist, Government Records, Library and Archives Canada.

poster photo

“W.J. Topley Store, 132 Sparks Street, Ottawa, Ont.” May 1911. Credit: PA-042707 Library and Archives Canada / Topley Fonds.

Within the accepted historiography of photography, the importance of George Eastman and the Eastman Kodak Company (EKC) as revolutionary catalyst in the amateur photographic practice has become unassailable. While the photographic ‘landscape’ and market post 1888 was indeed radically altered, the historiographical dominance of ‘the Kodak story’ has obscured the means through which EKC’s successful technological, industrial and advertising strategies surrounding the EKC-attributed ‘snap-shooter’ operated.

This talk explores the idea that the changes effected by Eastman and the EKC began not with imaging desires, but with Eastman’s acknowledgment of, and profound understanding of, the existing and competing interests within the photographic industry in Canada pre-1900. By tracing the interactions between the various communities and objects which have constructed our current understanding of this period, new avenues for study of photography as part of a global cultural and economic movement are exposed.


Friday, October 14th, 2:30 p.m., 412 St. Patrick’s Building
“‘Art for the Millions’: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Book-of-the-Month Club”
by Mitchell Frank, Associate Professor, Art History, SSAC, Carleton University

Publicity photo from the brochure “Art Seminars in the Home,” c. 1958, Book-of-the-Month Club

Publicity photo from the brochure “Art Seminars in the Home,” c. 1958, Book-of-the-Month Club

In 1948, the Metropolitan Museum of Art began collaborating with the Book-of-the-Month Club on a series of commercially successful mail-order ventures. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Miniatures and the Metropolitan Seminars in Art brought in huge returns to both institutions and were distributed to hundreds of thousands of subscribers. These projects raise important questions about middlebrow culture and art education in postwar America, questions we are still grappling with today in our recent crisis in the humanities and in the age of Mass Open Online Courses. What is the value of an education in the arts and humanities as compared to vocational training? How is art education delivered to a mass audience? Should accessibility, sometimes thought of as “dumbing down,” be a goal of art education, when many think that interpretation involves a type of engagement that is not rule-governed or prescriptive? This talk will explore the details behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art Miniatures and the Metropolitan Seminars in Art and examine some of the tensions that arose between the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a guardian of high culture, and the Book-of-the-Month Club, a commercial enterprise that cultivated middlebrow taste.


Friday, November 18th, 2:30 p.m., 412 St. Patrick’s Building
“’All the bad decisions…’ Art education, art making, and the success of failing”
by Guillermo Trejo, Artist

What determines success in the arts? In this conversation I will talk about my evolution as an artist and how personal and profesional decisions have influenced the way I approach art education.

photo image

Guillermo Trejo, Eclipsing Justice, Or, How We Forgot Justice And No-One Noticed, 2016, video still. Courtesy of the artist.


Friday, March 10th, 2:30 p.m., 412 St. Patrick’s Building
Free Expression: Canadian Video Art and Free Trade in North America”
by Sarah Smith, Assistant Professor, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University

image from video

Clive Robertson, Trade Winds (Canada) Ltd, 1992, video still courtesy of the artist.

The late twentieth century witnessed Canada’s increasing economic integration with the United States and Mexico under progressively larger free trade agreements. Focusing on Canadian video art, in my presentation I will discuss how contemporary artists responded to and commented on issues of free trade, examining their critical engagement with changes in Canada and North America. Through analysis of several video works, I suggest that consideration of cultural production is integral to properly assessing histories of free trade in North America.


Friday, March 17, 2107, 2:30 p.m., 412 St. Patrick’s Building
“Jesse Stewart: site/sight and sound specifics”
by Jesse Stewart, Associate Professor, Music, SSAC, Carleton University

diefenbunker image

Jesse Stewart, Geometries and Auralities of Survival, 2015. Installation view, Diefenbunker, Carp, Ontario. Photo: Jesse Stewart.

In this talk, SSAC faculty member Jesse Stewart will discuss some of his recent work in (and between) the visual and sonic arts. He will focus in particular on his 2015 residency at the Diefenbunker, a decommissioned underground military bunker outside of Ottawa, and on The Listening Tree, a 2016 public sound sculpture by Mixed Metaphors (a creative partnership with Matt Edwards).