Edited by Martin Arnold and Christof Migone

144 pages
10.4 x 10.3in., 26.4 x 26.1cm.
ISBN 978-0415772754

15 Tracks
10in. Vinyl, 33rpm
plus digital download
Total Time: 25:33

Image Insert
113 images
150 x 10in., 381 x 25.4 cm.
Full-colour, Two-sided

Published by
Blackwood Gallery (University of Toronto Mississauga) in 2015,
In partnership with the Art Gallery of Alberta, Justina M. Barnicke Gallery (Hart House, University of Toronto), MacKenzie Art Gallery and SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art

$50.00 (+tax)


Volumes is an anthology of writings on contemporary artists’ engagement with sound and music. The publication is composed of artists’ projects and essays drawn from a series of exhibitions that took place between 2003 and 2013. Volumes is a hybrid publication in several respects. First, it includes textual, visual, and audio material from more than one exhibition. The curatorial projects include:  Re-Play (curators Catherine Crowston and Barbara Fischer), Come a Singin' (curator Andrew Hunter), See Hear! (curators Timothy Long and Ben Portis), Video Heroes (curator Sylvie Gilbert) and Volume: Hear Here (curator Christof Migone). All of the exhibitions save the last one took place in 2003, the last one came a decade later. In the intervening decade the presence of sound in visual art has grown immeasurably, and this publication implicitly track this evolution—from the way in which contemporary Canadian artists engage popular music through film, video, performance, and installation that was the focus of the 2003 exhibitions, to the way that sound activates specific phenomenological and ontological questions in the 2013 iteration of this series of curatorial propositions. The progression is by no means linear or continuous, consequently the publication presents a heterogeneous ensemble and does not attempt to draw definitive conclusions from what has become a pluralistic field with a broad set of concerns. In the context of a burgeoning body of literature on the sonic arts, this entry featuring exclusively Canadian artists and authors offers a diverse cross-section of some of the production in the visual arts that centered on sound, music and silence in the last decade.

Book Launch

Wednesday July 29, 5 - 8pm
Hart House Quad
St. George campus, University of Toronto

Please join us for an evening of music and refreshments as we celebrate the long-awaited relesase of this publication.

The music lineup will include DJ sets by:

5-6pm: Martin Arnold
6-7pm: Marc Couroux
7-8pm: Mitchell Akiyama

The publication will be sold for $50.00 + tax. CASH ONLY
(An ATM is located in the basement of Hart House.)

Read Volumes

Hear Volumes

Forward Foreword

This is an epilogue masquerading as a foreword. Not a denouement, rather an addendum. In fact, in
literature, there may a time gap between an epilogue and the main content it is referencing. Here there
is more than a decade to contend with. The attendant contingencies we must face as editors and publishers given such a timespan spill onto the reader, listener, viewer of this multi-faceted publication. As you explore its various components, the proviso therefore is to approach VOLUMES with cognizance of our
conscious decision to pluralize the word. You will pick up threads that extend in surprising ways
throughout and others that go nowhere. The lacunas are plentiful here, the plural eschews the slip to any
universalizing impulse. The reality is that the territories this publication explores has continued, and
continues, to evolve exponentially. The static, arrested features of a publication cannot encompass the breath and scope of such a fertile set of practices.

VOLUMES presents a rare opportunity to adjoin disparate voices (be they authors, artists, or
curators) from the early years of one decade to the early years of the next. This prompts the impulse
to assess how things have evolved and where we are now. We have largely refrained from such encapsulations, and opted to present each contribution within its own original curatorial and editorial context. The links amongst them therefore will be discovered by the reader rather than determined explicitly by editorial fiat. That being said, there are blatant commonalities. For one, this incomplete, sporadic, and heterogeneous overview (underview, sideview) is Canada-specific. In many ways it is a compilation of regional activities that happen to share a country. Again, gaps abound here. Think of this as a sampling proposition with critical edges rather than a milquetoast historical hagiography.

This foreword listens forward and hears a plurality of practices paying attention to the sonic within
visual art discourses and institutions. These include musical genres and tropes, but also features works
that use or reference sound through conceptual and phenomenological strategies. The Blackwood Gallery,
as the lead institution for this project, has played a key role in assembling this eclectic mix. First,
Barbara Fischer, Director of the Blackwood from 1999 to 2005 initiated this endeavour (along with
Catherine Crowston), co-curating Soundtracks: Re-Play in 2003 and gathering the partners (institutional
and curatorial alike) to construct an umbrella ambitious in its scope and reach. During my tenure as
Director from 2008 to 2014, it became clear that to revive the publication required an update, a return of
sorts to the realm of sound-specific curatorial projects, hence Volume: Hear Here in 2013. Finally,
Christine Shaw shepherded the project to its conclusion, the publication you have in your hands. This
lineage of Directors are but one filter through which to examine the unusual progression of this project.
The artists, authors, curators, editors, designers, and partner institutions are all integral to the mix.
The biographies section is a telling meeting place for this gathering, it juxtaposes people who fought in
the First World War to people born in the 1980s, members of the Group of Seven to conceptual artists.
The image foldout will also reveal (and revel in) such contrasts. And it is in the book that the discussions
ensue in their myriad ways. All told, suffice to say that without the contributions of all of those involved
there would not be anything here to read, see, or hear.

– Christof Migone, Co-Editor of Volumes (former Director/Curator of the Blackwood Gallery and curator of Volume: Hear Here)

Table of Contents

Essays and Interviews

20 Jonathan Middleton, Jonathan Middleton in conversation with Brady Cranfield

28 Ihor Holubizky, The Best... of A Hopeless Situation

36 Peter Culley, Let's Go Away For a While: The High Lonesome of Rodney Graham's Rock is Hard

46 Andrew Hunter, Come a Singing!

54 Will Straw, Squawkies


74 Timothy Long, Lost in Two Different Ways: John Cage at Emma Lake

80 Ben Portis, Not Musicians (the Early Years)

86 Michael Turner, Talkin' Yoko Ono, Mother and Language, Art and Music Blues

92 Nicole Gingras, Interviews with Raymond Gervais

102 Christof Migone, Heard and Misheard Notes


Curatorial Texts

116 Andrew Hunter, Come a Singing!

118 Timothy Long & Ben Portis, See Hear!

120 Barbara Fischer & Catherine Crowston, Re-play

122 Sylvie Gilbert, Video Heroes

126 Christof Migone, Volume: Hear Here (Hearing Notes)


Recordings by

Mitchell Akiyama
David Armstrong Six
crys cole
Nikki Forrest
Darsha Hewitt
Marla Hlady
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
Alexis O'Hara
John Oswald
Juliana Pivato
Alexandre St-Onge
Erin Sexton
Charles Stankievech
Holly Ward
John Wynne


Images by

Mitchell Akiyama
David Armstrong Six
Artists’ Jazz Band
John Boyle
Tyler Brett
Joanne Bristol
crys cole
Cranfield and Slade
Stan Douglas
Dave Dyment
Kevin Ei-ichi deForest
Nikki Forrest
Raymond Gervais
Rodney Graham
Pascal Grandmaison
Darsha Hewitt
Marla Hlady
Instant Coffee
Illingworth Kerr
Neil Klassen
Vikas Kohli & Subhadra Vijaykumar
Meesoo Lee
Tim Lee
David Lieberman
Arthur Lismer
Kenneth Lochhead
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
Martha and the Muff ins
Sylvia Matas
Anne McGuire
David Merritt
Tricia Middleton & Joel Taylor
Monique Moumblow & Yudi Sewraj
Ian Murray
Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay
Nicole + Ryan
The Nihilist Spasm Band
Alexis O'Hara
Shannon Oksanen
Shannon Oksanen & Scott Livingston
Daniel Olson
Ryan Park
Juliana Pivato
Gordon Rayner
Rob Ring
Kevin Schmidt
Erin Sexton
Jeremy Shaw
Steven Shearer
Ian Skedd
Kathy Slade
Alexandre St-Onge
Charles Stankievech
Chiyoko Szlavnics
Zin Taylor
Ron Terada
Althea Thauberger
Holly Ward
John Wynne


Published by Blackwood Gallery (University of Toronto Mississauga)
in partnership with the Art Gallery of Alberta, Justina M. Barnicke Gallery (Hart House, University of Toronto), MacKenzie Art Gallery and SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art

Editors: Martin Arnold and Christof Migone
Managing Editors: Christof Migone and Christine Shaw
Audio Editor: Christof Migone
Copy Editor: Joanna Sheridan
Editorial Assistants: Alexandra Coulson, Rosemary Heather, Matthew Morales, Megan Watcher, Juliana Zalucky

Designer: Matthew Hoffman

Translator: Timothy Barnard
Image Processing: Renée Lear, Visual Resource Library (UTM)
Printing: Captain Printworks, Toronto, Ontario
Record: SAMO media, Toronto, Ontario
Audio Mastering: Grey Market Mastering, Montreal, Quebec

Renée Lear, Helen Markellos, Clint Wilson
Photo Credits: Toni Hafkenscheid, and numerous others. We have endeavored to credit all images but
the significant lag between inception and completion of this project has caused some information to go
astray. We regret any missed attributions.

How To Order

To order any of our publications, please send an email including title(s), number of copies, and your mailing address to: michael.dirisio@utoronto.ca

A 20% discount is available to students and members of the Ontario Association of Art Galleries.


Publication of the anthology is made possible by the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the publishing partners: Art Gallery of Alberta, Justina M. Barnicke Gallery (Hart House, University of Toronto), MacKenzie Art Gallery, and SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art.





Justina M. Barnicke Logo

Related Projects

January 16 - March 10, 2013
Curated by Christof Migone

Soundtracks: Re-Play
October 23 - December 4, 2003
Co-curated by Catherine Crowston and Barbara Fischer