A New Book on McLuhan & the Artists He Influenced Published Soon

28May22

Out of School: Information Art and the Toronto School of Communication

By Adam Lauder, PhD

A unique look at the artists inspired by the Toronto School of Communication and the rise of an information society.


Through a series of focused and interconnected case studies, Out of School explores the long history of information art associated with the Toronto School of Communication. It highlights the perspectives of artists inspired by the speculations of Marshall McLuhan and colleagues as well as the philosophical underpinnings of the Toronto School’s ideas about information.

Using pre-Internet media such as telex and the telecopier, the artists explored in this book materialized visionary concepts of information without the aid of computers. Harbingers of contemporary digital culture, Bertram Brooker, N.E. Thing Co., Robert Smithson, Wyndham Lewis, General Idea, and other artists approached information as something embodied, sensorial, and social. Art historian Adam Lauder recontextualizes this qualitative philosophy of information in relation to quantitative discourses and methodologies, which these creative figures make visible – sometimes inadvertently or satirically – through artworks that operate at the interface between art and business. While exploring how utopian information ontologies struggled to account for markers of identity and difference, including Indigeneity, gender, and sexual diversity, this book also highlights instances when information art was able to carve out spaces of agency and resistance.

Offering an essential reassessment of the legacies of the Toronto School of Communication, Out of School broadens the network of practitioners connected to the school to include visual artists active both within and beyond Canada. In doing so, it proposes that artists made significant contributions to theory in their own right.

DETAILS: Part of the McGill-Queen’s/Beaverbrook Canadian Foundation Studies in Art History Series (number 39 in series)
– 320 Pages, 6 x 9
– 42 photos
– ISBN 9780228010869
– June 2022
– Formats: Cloth, eBook

Source for this information: https://www.mqup.ca/out-of-school-products-9780228010869.php#!prettyPhoto

About the Author: Adam Lauder is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at York University in Toronto. He obtained a Ph.D. from the Graduate Department of Art at the University of Toronto in Fall 2016. His current research employs the non-aesthetics of Laruelle to study Canadian information art in the 1970s, as artists began exploring new scientific frameworks and modalities of “fiction.” He has contributed articles to scholarly journals including AmodernArt DocumentationCanadian Journal of CommunicationFuture AnteriorImaginationsJournal of Canadian StudiesTechnoetic ArtsThe Journal of Canadian Art HistoryTOPIA and Visual Resources as well as features and shorter texts to magazines including Art HandlerBorder CrossingsCCanadian Arte-fluxFlash ArtHunter and Cook and Millions. He edited H& IT ON (YYZ, 2012), featuring original art by the pioneering information artist IAIN BAXTER&, and is the author of chapters appearing in Finding McLuhan (2015), The Logic of Nature, The Romance of Space (2010) as well as Byproduct: On the Excess of Embedded Art Practices (2010).



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