I have been awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship to be held at York University’s Sensorium Centre for Arts and Digital Technology and the Department of Visual Arts and Art History, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design with supervisor Dr. Sarah Parsons. Because of COVID-19, I will be deferring my contract to begin in May 2021, and am very excited to take up my new position and participate in the innovative research community at York AMPD and Sensorium Lab!
In January 2023, I attended the 2023 Winter Writers Retreat at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity with faculty mentors Lisa Robertson and Nasser Hussain, and guest mentor Holly Melgard. I was quite honestly thrilled to have been one of the 12 attendees selected from over 300 applicants to work on my first full-length poetry manuscript, which is now almost complete thanks to my time in the mountains. I can’t recommend applying to work at Banff enough! I’m already thinking about applying for one of their prestigious Leighton Artist Studios for a self-directed writing retreat in the near future, perhaps with access to the gorgeous library and Vistas buffet in mind. I am not usually one for winter travel, but being nestled in the Rocky Mountains in the snow proved to be highly conducive to focusing on my poetry and making new writer-friends — I returned from my 2 weeks in Banff feeling refreshed and ready to publish!
On November 17 2022, I organized and hosted the first event of 2022-23 season of the York University Art History Speaker Series, Preserving Digital Artworks, featuring guest speakers Patricia Falcão (Tate, UK) and Gaby Wijers (LIMA, NL), both international specialists in the conservation of digital media artworks. The attendance for the Zoom webinar-based event was excellent (64) thanks to the support of graduate student staff at AMPD and the Sensorium Centre for Digital Arts and Technology.
I have a chapter in the recently-published book Canadian Critical Luxury Studies: Decentering Luxury (Intellect, 2022), edited by Jessica Clark and Nigel Lezama. The book is the first study of Canada’s historical, economic and cultural relationship to luxury. From the fur trade to Indigenous resurgence, Eaton’s Made-in-Canada campaign to Toronto Fashion Week, Vancouver public artworks to Montréal’s fashiontech sector, this collection explains what makes Canadian luxury.
In my chapter, “Vancouver’s Monuments to Capital: Public Art, Spatial Capital and Luxury,” I perform material analyses of Douglas Coupland’s Digital Orca (2009)and Ken Lum’s Monument for East Vancouver (2010), two public artworks that emerged out of funding initiatives related to Vancouver’s successful bid to host the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Given that public artworks have a unique relationship to their viewership and as such necessitate a different interpretive perspective and framework than other forms of art, I closely consider the spatial and historical contexts for the artworks’ commissions, and explore how they have contributed to the construction of space during a dramatic period of commerce-led development that transformed the city.
On the morning of February 10th, 2021, I successfully defended my dissertation Rematerializing the Immaterial: A Comparative Study of Vancouver’s Conceptual Visual Arts and Writing and became Dr. Julia Polyck-O’Neill. With thanks to supervisor Dr. Gregory Betts, committee members Dr. Linda Steer and Prof. Derek Knight, external examining committee members Dr. Susan Rudy and Dr. Neta Gordon, and defence chair Dr. Brian Roy.
My new chapbook Material, published with Ryan Fitzpatrick’s Model Press in 2020, explores concepts of materiality, embodied realities, and subjectivity. Many of the poems are inspired by Downer, a recent installation by Canadian artist Liz Magor, whose work has captivated my imagination for several decades, mainly because of its radical ambiguity. Notable, I wrote the poems concurrently with the final draft of my dissertation, which resulted in some thematic crossover.
With thanks to editors Christian Berger and Annika Schlitte, my article “Reconsidering the Photographic Encounter: Materiality, Conceptualist Photography, Sublimation, and the Subject” on conceptualist photography and feminist, materialist subjectivity, examining some of Jeff Wall’s photos as a specific case study, has been published in the recent issue of Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und Allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft (The Journal for Aesthetics and General Art History.
MLA citation: “Reconsidering the Photographic Encounter: Materiality, Conceptualist Photography, Sublimation, and the Subject.” Eds. Christian Berger and Annika Schlitte, special issue of Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und Allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft (The Journal for Aesthetics and General Art History) no. 19, 2021, pp. 393-412.
poem | image | self is a continuation of my research creation project exploring ambiguities related to specific works by conceptual artist Adrian Piper and my evolving relationships to these works.
This chapbook was published by Ottawa’s above/ground press in part for my participation in the TEXT/SOUND/PERFORMANCE: Making in Canadian Space conference at University College Dublin, Ireland, April 25-27, 2019.
I published a review of Leah Modigliani‘s Engendering an avant-garde: The unsettled landscapes of Vancouver photo-conceptualism (U Manchester Press, 2018) in issue 40 of Prefix Photo. The text is part of Manchester’s Rethinking Art’s Histories series, edited by Marsha Meskimmon and Amelia Jones (!!!), which “aims to open out art history from its most basic structures. Its function is to foreground work that challenges the conventional periodisation and geographical subfields of traditional art history, and to address a wide range of visual cultural forms from the early modern period to the present.”
I was initially drawn to the book because it relates so strongly to my dissertation work — in fact, at the 2018 Universities Art Association of Canada conference at Waterloo University, I had more than one colleague mention the then-brand new book to me, so I knew it was a must read (and it truly was).
A recent article I wrote, “Lisa Robertson’s Archive, Singular and Collective,” has been published in a special issue on “Pedagogies of the Archive” (Vol. 44, No. 2 (June 2018), pp. 75-100) of the journal English Studies in Canada edited by Dr. Jason Wiens. The article explores genealogical strands of the conceptual art movement as they pertain to Vancouver, with particular attention to Vancouver art’s archival unconscious, and relates the idea of a feminist conceptualist, archival unconscious to the creative and organizational practices of poet Lisa Robertson, using key terms developed by feminist archival scholars Linda M. Morra and Michelle Caswell. The article examines the contents of Robertson’s “maternal archive,” a small, private collection of key texts and textual objects the poet sent her mother in the early stages of her writing career.