Urban Planner is Torontoist’s guide to what’s on in Toronto, published every weekday morning, and in a weekend edition Friday afternoons. If you have an event you’d like considered, email all of its details—as well as images, if you’ve got any—to firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Will, But No, 2005, acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20″. Courtesy of the artist and Brayham Contemporary Art.
ART: There’s something truly compelling about art that successfully blends text with imagery. Words hold such powerful connotations for all of us and are capable of adding layers of narrative to a work with a mere jumble or string, a curiously chosen sentence or phrase. And words carry an aesthetic of their own—whether scrawled, typed, or doodled, and depending on their colour, size, or font face. In “Text-Based,” ten artists share their unique perspectives on language in art, bringing text into the creative process and rendering it integral to the overall message of their pieces. Each artist featured in the exhibit (including those who comprise the ArtEXCHANGE project) reveals a different relationship with words and text—covering a vast spectrum: poetics, narrative, symbolism, revolution, spelling, grammar, and more. Brayham Contemporary Art (1318 Queen Street East), 7 p.m., FREE.
VIDEO: In his bi-monthly series, “They Shoot Music Videos, Don’t They,” curator Scott Cudmore—a director who’s worked with the likes of The National, Hayden, and Sloan—proposes a unique way to experience the genre. Instead of a straight-up screening, works are viewed on monitors with headphones (as well as on a giant screen), so you can explore each piece on your own terms, much as you would in a more traditional gallery setting. The evening presents music videos as art, to remind us that they represent a unique medium in the world of filmmaking, and will feature recent work by Exploding Motor Car, Patrick Watson, and Salazar Motion Picture Collective, among several others. 107Shaw gallery (107 Shaw Street), 7–11 p.m., FREE.
DISCUSSION: Join key speakers from Sex Professionals of Canada (SPOC), as well as other sex-trade activists and panellists, for a discussion on the “erotic economy” and the regulation of sexual labour in Canada. Organized to coincide with the launch of two U of T Press books on the subject, Burlesque West: Showgirls, Sex, and Sin in Postwar Vancouver (Becki Ross) and Making Work, Making Trouble: The Social Regulation of Sexual Labour (Deborah Brock), the evening will also feature tantalizing performances by Toronto burlesque acts The Saucy Tarts and Cinnamon Hearts. Goodhandy’s Bar (120 Church Street), 7–10 p.m., FREE.
TECHNOLOGY: Celebrate National Digital Media Day (bet you didn’t know it existed, did you?) with two demonstrations and a screening at OCAD. First, check out the basics of the new digital tabletop tool Microsoft Surface, then watch teacher and students demonstrate Walcom’s Cintiq 21UX, which combines an LCD screen and a pressure-sensitive tablet to create a surface on which you can paint directly with a special pen. Also in today’s spotlight is instructor, artist, and visionary Stan Krzyzanowski. Creator of Interval (a massive online archive of video work and one of most comprehensive compilations of time-lapse photography on the web), Krzyzanowski has taught at the school since 1982. His latest project experiments with “the nature of the struggling computer as it contends with its programmed task.” Whatever that means, it should be an intriguing exhibit, showcased prominently on OCAD’s digital board. OCAD main lobby, room 616 (first demo), room 440 (second demo), 100 McCaul Street; first demo: 11 a.m., second demo: 1–2 p.m., exhibit all day; FREE.
MUSIC: Most Torontonians can probably count on one hand the names of Australian musicians or bands they know (Kylie Minogue, check; Nick Cave, check; INXS, R.I.P. Michael Hutchence; Olivia Newton John, don’t care; Midnight Oil, are they even still around?). Expand your knowledge tonight by taking in some current talent from Down Under, as three Australian songwriters set out to prove that Aussie music thrives beyond the mainstream (and the past). Considered one of the hottest new discoveries in Australia, Ashleigh Mannix is here on her first visit to Canada. Fellow Canberra—Australia’s capital city—native Marta has called Toronto home while touring Canada and the U.S. These two artists share the stage with Toronto Star writer and country musician Greg Quill, who left Oz twenty-five years ago. Cameron House back room (408 Queen Street West), doors at 8 p.m., concert at 9:30 p.m., $6.