Andrew James Paterson, Media Artist
Andrew James Paterson is an interdisciplinary artist working with video, film, performance, painting, music, and critical and fictional writing. His videos have been shown locally, nationally, and internationally for nearly four decades. Much of his art in various media references tensions between bodies and technologies, including language, as well as anarchic impulses played against formalist tendencies. His videos, films, and performances have been programmed in Berlin, Seoul, Bangalore, Amsterdam, Salzburg, Buenos Aires, New York City, Montréal, and Toronto—among other international centres. Between 1977 and 1982, he was the prime vocalist and writer for the Toronto post-punk band The Government. In 2016, he put out an artist’s book, Collection/Correction, edited by Jacob Korczynski, and published by Kunstverein Toronto and Mousse Publishing Milan. In 2018, he released a novelette, Not Joy Division, published by Impulse B of Toronto. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.
“The impact that Andrew James Paterson has made on the cultural fabric of this city [Toronto] and this country can be described as both distinctive and profound. Most would require whole books to communicate what Paterson conveys with apparent ease in the language of media art. He is a cultural critic, a philosopher, and a visionary, and we have much to learn from his work.”
– Michelle Jacques, Chief Curator, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
“Drawing on many references, including literature, philosophy, queer aesthetics, performance art, and music, the media art practice of Andrew James Paterson has developed in just over nearly 40 years into a complex body of work that defies singular categorization.
With a deft combination of incisive critique and personal reflection, Paterson scrutinizes the broader field of contemporary art. Occupying a constructively critical position within the Canadian media art scene, his work offers meta-critiques of the presumptions of artistic production and the associated conceits of the art world.
His knowledge, skills and influence traverse boundaries as an artist whose practice refuses to rest, and instead pushes further into the contemporary context for media art.”
Scott Miller Berry, Managing Director, Workman Arts, former Executive Director of the Images Festival, and filmmaker
“His knowledge, skills and influence traverse boundaries as an artist whose practice refuses to rest, and instead pushes further into the contemporary context for media art.”
Andrew James Paterson, still from AIDS Has Not Left the Building, 2007, videotape, 1:14 seconds, distributed by Vtape
Andrew James Paterson, still from Controlled Environments, 1994, tape, 33:45 minutes, distributed by Vtape
Andrew James Paterson, Nail on the Head (promotional poster), 1979, performance, 10 min. Photo: Lorne Fromer
Andrew James Paterson, still from Passing, 2013, non-camera animation, 6.5 min, distributed by Vtape