Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

Magnetic North

2000

Jenny Lion, editor

Book Default Image

A compelling exploration of experimental video in Canada, one of the most exciting arenas for independent film and video.

Occasionally shocking, often funny, and above all genuinely experimental, this groundbreaking collection explores exciting developments in the field of Canadian video often overlooked in the United States. With critical essays on video theory and practice by senior and emerging media arts critics, theorists, and artists from the United States and Canada, Magnetic North offers an in-depth look at this vital art form.

Contributors: Rebecca Baron, Marjorie Beaucage, Wendy Clarke, Sara Diamond, Peggy Gale, Nicole Gingras, Bill Horrigan, Bruce Jenkins, Gary Kibbins, George Kuchar, Ernest Larsen, George Lewis, George Lipsitz, Victor Masayesva, Sherry Millner, Na Maka o ka ´Aina, Catherine Opie, Yvonne Rainer, Chris Straayer, Carrie Mae Weems, and Lawrence Paul Yuxwelupton.

What is engaging about the overall approach of Magnetic North is its balanced overview, and its maintenance of an intimate and specific tone. Like the cover’s tight grid of frames, each figuring a video still of the many works included, the bulk of the written pieces is brief and sparklingly distinct, responding directly to one or two artists or works.

Border Crossings

Film/Art

A compelling exploration of experimental video in Canada, one of the most exciting arenas for independent film and video.

Occasionally shocking, often funny, and above all genuinely experimental, this groundbreaking collection explores exciting developments in the field of Canadian video often overlooked in the United States. With critical essays on video theory and practice by senior and emerging media arts critics, theorists, and artists from the United States and Canada, Magnetic North offers an in-depth look at this vital art form.

Magnetic North includes early Canadian video art from the 1970s to the present, providing historical perspective and the basis for positioning this work in an international context. More than forty artists are represented, spanning divergent regions, eras, and genres that range from innovative documentary to conceptual art, from experimental narrative to performance video. This compendium not only illustrates an important exhibition of established and emerging Canadian video artists, but also provides new scholarship and criticism in the field of contemporary art practice.

Critical essays by Peggy Gale, Nicole Gingras, Bruce Jenkins, Victor Masayesva, and Chris Straayer create a rich context for the work and cover topics such as the history of Canadian video, voice and language, materiality and hybridity, indigenous aesthetics, and the body and performance. A unique feature is impressions and responses to the work from a number of prominent filmmakers, artists, and writers, including George Lipsitz, Yvonne Rainer, and Carrie Mae Weems, which were commissioned for this volume. Also included are excerpts from scripts and fiction by some of the artists, as well as work in other media.

Contributors: Rebecca Baron; Marjorie Beaucage; Wendy Clarke; Sara Diamond; Peggy Gale; Nicole Gingras; Bill Horrigan; Bruce Jenkins; Gary Kibbins; George Kuchar; Ernest Larsen; George Lewis; George Lipsitz; Victor Masayesva; Sherry Millner; Na Maka o ka ´Aina; Catherine Opie; Yvonne Rainer; Chris Straayer; Carrie Mae Weems; and Lawrence Paul Yuxwelupton.


Published in collaboration with the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and Video Pool, Winnipeg.

Translation Inquiries: Walker Art Center

Book Default Image

Jenny Lion is an independent curator and film/video maker whose works have been screened at museums and festivals internationally. She currently teaches at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Book Default Image

What is engaging about the overall approach of Magnetic North is its balanced overview, and its maintenance of an intimate and specific tone. Like the cover’s tight grid of frames, each figuring a video still of the many works included, the bulk of the written pieces is brief and sparklingly distinct, responding directly to one or two artists or works.

Border Crossings

“Innovatively-designed, Magnetic North contains commentary about the diverse themes and styles employed by serious and not-so-serious film and video makers.” Artichoke

This book is a welcome effort. In addition to increasing the still scarce inventory of available publications on Canadian independent video, it offers a good deal of intriguing and unusual material that rarely gets seen. The book is interesting too as a mirror reflecting back to the Canadian art-video world members the effects of their practices on their counterparts south of the border.

Canadian Journal of Communication

Magnetic North...explores the terrain of video art, ranging across a variety of practices and historical moments whose common feature is that they are Canadian....its busy interweaving of images, interviews, analyses, and historical timelines successfully conveys the rich...legacy of video art-making in Canada over the last thirty years.

Canadian Literature