Temporarily Closed for the installation of Greater Toronto Art 21.

Age of You Public Programmes

September 5, 2019
— December 29, 2019

Guess what this century’s most valuable resource is? It’s you — and all your online behaviours, enriched data sets and millions of meta-data points.

Age of You is a timely exhibition about how the self has become more extreme, and what it means to be an individual today. It is curated by Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland and Hans Ulrich Obrist, with graphic design by Daly & Lyon and over 70 visual contributors from the worlds of art, design, filmmaking, photography, performance and electronic music.

A series of public programmes run in parallel and expand upon the exhibition’s themes. 

Talk

7 pm | All ages

Panel discussion with Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland and Agnieszka Kurant. Moderated by Joachim Johnson

During the opening week of Age of You, we present a conversation that delves into the exhibition’s key concern: data. How have we become our data, and how is our data becoming us? Artist Agnieszka Kurant and two of the exhibition’s curators, Shumon Basar and Douglas Coupland, are joined by moderator Joachim Johnson of HXOUSE to discuss our current and ever-accelerating technological moment.

This panel discussion is presented in partnership with HXOUSE.

Tickets: $10
Members: FREE – Please log in to access member pricing

4 pm

We are excited to have Hans Ulrich Obrist in town on Sunday, November 17. As co-curator of MOCA’s current exhibition Age of You he will talk about the central themes of the show, the coming publication and the future life of the project, in the gallery space at 4 pm.

Obrist is Artistic Director of the Serpentine Galleries in London. He has curated more than 300 exhibitions. His books include Ways of CuratingMondialitéSomewhere Totally Else and Lives of the Artists, Lives of the Architects.

7:30 pm (doors 7 pm)
Location: George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre, Room ENG-103, Ryerson University
245 Church Street, Toronto

Join internationally renowned, Berlin-based artist Trevor Paglen on November 19th for a lecture at Ryerson University. Paglen is an artist whose work spans disciplines including image-making, sculpture, investigative journalism, writing and engineering. Among his chief concerns are learning how to see the historical moment we live in and developing the means to imagine alternative futures. Paglen will discuss his ongoing research into artificial intelligence and the relationships between technology and power.

This event is a co-presentation between MOCA Toronto, Canadian Art and Ryerson University’s School of Image Arts. This event coincides with MOCA’s concurrent exhibition Age of You (September 5, 2019 to January 5, 2020) which features Paglen’s installation Behold These Glorious Times!

Tickets: $10 or PWYC

6 pm
Location: McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology, University of Toronto
39A Queens Park Crescent East

The McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology’s annual theme, HotMessAge, explores how media and technology underlie today’s social, economic and environmental crises while at the same time offering us tools to address these challenges.

Skawennati makes art that addresses history, the future, and change from her perspective as an urban Kanien’kehá:ka woman and as a cyberpunk avatar. Her work has been widely presented in both group exhibitions and solo shows and is included in public and private collections, such as the National Gallery of Canada and the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.

Registration opens two weeks before the talk here.

7 pm
All ages

This talk will draw a line between Mommy’s Basement to Outer Space and offer a feminist alternative to the technological escapism that pervades our present moment, justly termed the Age of You. The lone male in Mommy’s Basement, equipped with technological portals to more habitable worlds, is by now a common cultural trope. But the cliché goes beyond the wounded masculinity that festers in the extreme right wings of the political spectrum. Mommy’s Basement contains a motley crew of men who temporarily descend and retreat from social life, including the hikikomori (Japan), alt-right hate mongers, internet trolls, the new precariat, internet addicts, gamers, enterprising tech-bros, and (maybe) a few geniuses hard at work. But as this talk will argue, Mommy’s Basement isn’t a futile space: it is a powerful media lab, where unjust ideas about gender and social difference become part of the logic of new technological designs.

Sarah Sharma is Associate Professor of Media Theory at the ICCIT/Faculty of Information and Director of the McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto. Her research and teaching focuses on the relationship between technology, time and labour and in particular on issues related to gender, race and class. She is the author of In the Meantime: Temporality and Cultural Politics (Duke UP, 2014) and is currently working on a new book, The sExit, which explores the relationship between technology, gender and cultural fantasies of exit. At the McLuhan Centre, Sarah directs interdisciplinary research and public programming concerned with navigating and understanding the complexities of contemporary digital life.

Tickets: $5
Members: Free

Performances

7 pm
All ages

If I had the words to tell you we wouldn’t be here now uses storytelling, drag and theatrical devices to explore how language not only gives shape to thought, but shapes thought. The performance stages a dialogue with a desiring queer body and a percussionist to illuminate how identity and experience are not only represented but also created and reinforced through language and naming. For the North American premiere of If I had the words to tell you we wouldn’t be here now, Sin performs alongside percussionist Nikki Joshi and wears a specially commissioned oceanic costume by Athens-based designer Dimitra Petsa. The work is site-responsive, changing in composition each time it’s performed. If I had the words to tell you we wouldn’t be here now was first performed at Chi Wen gallery in Taipei and later travelled to the 2019 Venice Biennale.

Victoria Sin is an artist whose work uses speculative fiction within performance, moving image, writing and print to interrupt normative processes of desire, identification and objectification. Drawing upon personal encounters of looking and wanting, their work presents heavily constructed fantasy narratives about the often unsettling experience of the physical within the social body.

Recent presentations include Age of You, MOCA, Toronto (2019); Kiss My Genders, Hayward Gallery, London (2019); Meetings on Art, Venice Biennale, Venice (2019); BCE, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2019); Art Basel, Hong Kong (2019); Park Nights, Serpentine Galleries, London (2018); and Indifferent Idols, Taipei Contemporary Art Center, Taipei (2018).

Nikki Joshi is a percussionist based in Toronto, where she recently completed the 2018/19 Rebanks Family Fellowship at the Glenn Gould School. She holds a Master’s Degree from McGill University, where she studied with Aiyun Huang. During her time at McGill, she received the 2017 Mobility Award, and travelled to Bern University of the Arts in Switzerland to conduct research at the school’s renowned Department of Music Theatre. Joshi holds a Bachelor’s Degree, Performer’s Certificate, Arts Leadership Certificate and 2015 John Beck Percussion Scholarship from the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Michael Burritt. Support from Beverly and Jack Creed.

Tickets: $15
Members: $10

Artists on Artists Tours

MOCA’s Artists on Artists series is a programme where local artists are invited to discuss MOCA’s current exhibitions, or a single artwork, in any format or direction of their choosing.

6 pm
All ages

Shirin Fathi is an Iranian-Canadian artist whose work focuses on cultural changes in relation to gender identity. Through role-play and the use of cosmetics, masks and prosthetics, Fathi uses her own body as a subject to stage ambiguous and often marginalized identities. Fathi will lead a tour and discussion of Age of You, with refreshments to follow.

Free with museum admission. No tickets or registration required.

6 pm
All ages

Hannah Epstein works at the cross-section of textiles, experimental games and video art to reimagine the iconography of popular culture, highlighting the cultural negotiation between bottom-up (folk) and top-down (institutional) storytelling. By blurring the lines between traditional craft, popular culture and contemporary art, she aims to isolate and eliminate notions of hierarchy as archaic relics. Epstein will lead a tour and discussion of Age of You, with refreshments to follow.

Free with museum admission. No tickets or registration required.

6 pm
All ages

Sophia Oppel is an artist and researcher whose work addresses the insidious positions of embedded power in networked infrastructures. Oppel will lead a tour and discussion of Age of You that focuses primarily on the theme of “Post-Work,” drawing connections to her own research on immaterial labour and outsourced or automated work.

Sophia Oppel received her BFA from OCAD University and is currently a co-director of Bunker 2 Contemporary Art Container, a curatorial project assistant at Gallery 44, and a Masters of Visual Studies candidate at the University of Toronto. Oppel has exhibited locally and internationally, including shows at InterAccess, Queen Specific, Gallery TPW, Forest City Gallery and Xpace Cultural Center.

Free with museum admission. No tickets or registration required.

Digital Justice Lab Workshops

The Digital Justice Lab’s (DJL) mission is to focus on building a more just and equitable future. DJL engages with diverse communities to build alternative digital futures. Working alongside technologists, community activists and policymakers, DJL helps to shape a better understanding of technology and its impact on communities across the country. Through capacity building, public engagement and continuous collaboration, DJL supports communities in making informed decisions around digital issues. Digital Justice Lab is a project of Tides Canada, a registered Canadian charity dedicated to providing uncommon solutions for the common good.

Digital Justice Lab Workshop with Nasma Ahmed
6 pm
Ages 16+

This workshop takes a holistic approach to digital security, investigating what it means to find practices to protect yourself in a digital environment. This workshop, led by Digital Justice Lab’s Director, Nasma Ahmed, will explore how we relate to our virtual bodies, and what we can do to navigate and counteract components of hyper-surveillance through digital practices.

We recommend that workshop participants bring a laptop, but it’s possible to partake without one.

Tickets: $5
Members: Free

6 pm
Ages 16+

In this workshop, we will reimagine the digital future of Toronto and what it could look like in 2040. Together we will build narratives about the future and map out local policy recommendations in relation to Sidewalk Labs’ Smart City plans.

Tickets: $5
Members: Free

6 pm
Ages 16+

What does it mean to imagine a feminist digital voice interface? Through a series of speculative design exercises, we will prototype and discuss what voice technologies might look like if we designed them in line with the central commitments of feminism: participation, agency, embodiment, equity, empowerment, plurality and justice. Participants will learn the basics of designing a conversational UI but no prior coding skills are needed.

Tickets: Free

6 pm
Ages 16+

From the apps we use on our devices to the surveillance systems on city streets, we live in a datafied world, in which information about us is being collected on a daily basis. In this workshop, we will navigate the impact of datafication to form a better understanding of our “data bodies” and how they are used, stored and shared by governments and corporations.

Tickets: $5
Members: Free

Drop-in Activities

11 am – 4 pm
All ages

What does the internet look like — to you? MOCA invites you to consider this question while exploring Age of You, an exhibition highlighting such themes as data, artificial intelligence, surveillance and the limitless capabilities of the internet. After exploring the exhibition, head to Floor 1 to draw how you picture the internet in your mind’s eye. You can add your drawing to a cumulative piece that will reveal, over the course of the day, how our visitors see the internet — as an infinite, sprawling collective of images and ideas.

Free. No tickets or registration required.

11 am – 4 pm
All ages

Think you can outsmart facial recognition? In this workshop, participants get to design and construct masks and headpieces inspired by CV Dazzle, a project by artist Adam Harvey that provides information and tips for creating “looks” that can camouflage the face from face detection technology. Using elements such as asymmetry, tonal inverse and the concealment of certain facial features, you will be able to learn and test which design combinations are most effective in hiding from facial recognition technology.

Suggested Donation: $5
No tickets or registration required.

Lead Supporter(s)
The Lindy Green Family Charitable Foundation
Foundational Supporter(s)
Contributing Supporter(s)

Steven and Lynda Latner

Additional Support
The Japan Foundation
Beverly and Jack Creed

Agnieszka Kurant, A.A.I., 2017.
Sculptures built by colonies of living termites from colored sand, gold and broken crystals. Courtesy artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles.

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Age of You 2019
September 5, 2019
— January 5, 2020
Age of You
An exhibition curated by Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland, and Hans Ulrich Obrist