EXHIBITION: Fruitmachine | Aidan Cowling

August 27, 2019 - September 1, 2019


Critical Distance is pleased to present Fruitmachine, the master’s thesis exhibition of University of Guelph MFA Candidate, Aidan Cowling, for our 2019 Summer Session. Since 2016, Critical Distance has demonstrated support for emerging curators and artists by providing space and institutional support for graduating students and recent alumni of local educational programs through this special opportunity.

About this Exhibition:

“Put another way, we are not yet queer. We may never touch queerness, but we can feel it as the warm illumination of a horizon imbued with potentiality. We have never been queer, yet queerness exists for us as an ideality that can be distilled from the past and used to imagine a future.”
— José Muñoz

Queer futurity feels especially poignant at the present moment, when queer archives and histories are being digitized and made readily available online. Fruitmachine uses green screen as a site and a methodology for video installations that steward material remnants of queer history and activate new meaning from them. Each of the works in this exhibition use archival footage and online imagery to engage what has been lost and left behind.

From the “Gay Purge” of Canada’s civil service, to the raids of Toronto’s bathhouses, the exhibition explores the historicization of queer liberation and the ongoing AIDS crisis. From this archival and thematic exploration this exhibition asks: How is technology being mobilized today to conjure a radical queer future? How can the archive inform emerging issues and help us find a way forward?

About the Artists

Aidan Cowling

Aidan Cowling is an artist and educator whose work critically engages and interprets our anxiety around sex and sexuality. He is interested in how technology shapes our contemporary experience and understanding of desire, intimacy and power. His work explores how archival and online material that reflects queer subcultures is weaponized orFind out more