Exclusive Memory: A Perceptual History of the Future
Exclusive Memory: A Perceptual History of the Future is a compendium of descriptive, speculative prose and text-images by the Governor General’s Award-winning artist, Tom Sherman. Its contents sweep across five decades, describing radically different periods and environments — from Sherman’s early experiments in Toronto in the 1970s to his recent explorations of text and image in Nova Scotia’s South Shore.
At the core of this volume is “The Faraday Cage,” a text that delivers a vivid cascade of images of the art scene in Toronto at the onset of the video era in the early 1970s. This opening chapter expands into a series of essays in which Sherman pictures a vast horizon of contexts: urban, rural, social, political, economic, and in some cases, simply a beach along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. His ongoing and rigorous investigation into the intersections of art, technology, and life itself is grounded in the converging terrains of mediaspheres and landscapes.
And then, in a quick shift of perspective enter Peggy Gale and Caroline Seck Langill, who charge the book with wide-sweeping conversations about Sherman’s practice: his use of written language and dynamic, critically engaged “pictures,” the expansive reach of his text-based visual works, and the distinctive character of his voice.
The result is a provocative retrospective in book form that both demonstrates and expands upon Tom Sherman’s clear, forward-looking vision.
Tom Sherman is an artist and writer, who works across media (print, video, radio, performance, the web). Sherman represented Canada at the Venice Biennale in 1980, and has been featured in hundreds of international exhibitions and festivals, including the Vancouver Art Gallery, National Gallery of Canada, Museum of Modern Art (New York), Whitney Museum of American Art, and Documenta X. He has published extensively, including Cultural Engineering and Before and After the I-Bomb: An Artist in the Information Environment and was the founding Head of the Media Arts Section of the Canada Council in 1983. In 1997 Sherman founded Nerve Theory, a recording and performance duo with Viennese musician and composer Bernhard Loibner, and the duo has contributed to many radio venues internationally. Sherman has received the Bell Canada Award for excellence in video art, the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Art, and is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Film and Media Arts at Syracuse University.
David Diviney is the senior curator at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax. He is the editor of Close to the edge… The Work of Gerald Ferguson: Collected Writings and Statements, the definitive account of this late artist’s approach to his art and times, and his writing on the art of the 1960s and ’70s, contemporary art, and visual culture has been published widely in journals and exhibition catalogues. Diviney has also taught curatorial studies and fine arts at the Alberta College of Art and Design, University of Lethbridge, Thompson Rivers University, Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, and NSCAD University.
- Paperback, 288 pages
- Published by: Goose Lane Editions with the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and Art Metropole
- Published: April 11, 2023