YYZBOOKS: Book Launch

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YYZBOOKS: Book Launch

September 14, 2012 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Edited by Adam Lauder and featuring IAIN BAXTER&
Published by YYZBOOKS
Distribution: LitDistCo

YYZBOOKS new title probes the turbulent social environments generated by information technologies. In a suite of all-new photo- and language-based works, medicine conceptual artist IAIN BAXTER& (a.k.a. Iain Baxter) stages a satirical theatre of far-from-equilibrium behaviours and trends characteristic of a chronically web-surfing culture. The artist’s intervention loosely adapts the irreverent format of Marshall McLuhan’s 1967 collaboration with graphic designer Quentin Fiore, The Medium is the Massagea constant inspiration to the&Man, as BAXTER& has recently re branded himselfto explore the effects of social media on the contemporary information landscape. But make no mistake, there is nothing nostalgic about BAXTER&’s nod to the McCoolman, as he calls him. As in all his work since 1968, BAXTER&’s approach to information is always hands on. H& IT ON follows BAXTER& as he plays with and repurposes artifacts and affects circulating within the trade routes of the Information Society to create an unruly collage of observation and ideas.

H& IT ON also includes new essays by Adam Lauder and Dennis Durham that, for
the first time, situate BAXTER&’s pioneering, information-based practice historically within a North American context. Lauder’s essay positions BAXTER& within a distinctly Canadian tradition of information art characterized by a persistent focus on affect, embodiment, and the multitude. The first history of information art in Canada, Lauder’s Trade Routes of the Mind explores Canadian artists’ reading against the grain of indigenous formulations of information and the Information Society in the work of Harold A. Innis, McLuhan, and othersfrom Bertram Brooker to General Idea, and beyond. Durham’s essay is essential reading for understanding the international significance of BAXTER&. It compares and contrasts BAXTER&’s art of Visual Sensitivity Information, as creator of the Vancouver-based N.E. Thing Co., with cybernetic representations of entropy found in the contemporaneous work of American artists Robert Smithson and Dan Graham. H& IT ON also includes a preface by renowned McLuhan and BAXTER& scholar, Richard Cavell.


IAIN BAXTER& is Professor Emeritus at the University of Windsor, Canada. BAXTER& (or, the&MAN), has been described as the the visual Marshall McLuhan of our times. He is a member of the Order of Canada, as well as of the Order of British Columbia and the Order of Ontario. He received the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2004. In awarding him the Molson Prize in 2005, the jury stated that, IAIN BAXTER& is widely influential as an artist and teacher. His art has made us question, laugh, re-examine and think. He is one of society’s greatest innovators. His pioneering information art including experiments with Telex and telecopierestablishes BAXTER& as the first Canadian conceptual artist. Moreover, his innovative photographic practice positions him as a founder of the Vancouver School of photoconceptualism. BAXTER& created and founded the conceptual art project and enterprise N.E. Thing Co. Ltd. in 1966. NETCO was legally incorporated in January 1969, and coadministered with Ingrid Baxter until 1978. BAXTER& has worked for the Polaroid Corporation, and as a creative consultant for Sidney Oland, President of Labatt’s Breweries. His most recent work draws on a life-long exploration of the creative fusion of ecology and the contemporary information landscape. BAXTER& has lived in Windsor, Ontario, Canada since 1988 with his wife/collaborator of thirty years Louise Chance Baxter& and their cat Molson.

Adam Lauder is W.P. Scott Chair for Research in e-Librarianship at York University, Toronto, Canada, where he is developing an online catalogue raisonn of the work of IAIN BAXTER&, theIAINBAXTER&raisonnE. He is also the author of a chapter on BAXTER& and the N.E. Thing Co. in the YYZBOOKS title, Byproduct: On the Excess of Embedded Art Practices, as well as a contributor to Border Crossings, C, and Hunter and Cook magazines. Lauder is the author of articles on BAXTER& appearing in the journals Technoetic Arts, The Journal of Canadian Art History, Rampikeand Art Documentation. Lauder has also written a chapter on Bertram Brooker that appears in The Logic of Nature, The Romance of Space: Elements of Canadian Modernist Painting.


September 14, 2012
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


140-401 Richmond St. W
Toronto, Ontario M5V 3A8 Canada