William Andrew Finlay Stewart

2017

From Point A to Point B

2017 Series of Drawings, 6"x6"

Transition Motion 1

with Aby Watson

2017 Looping Digital Video

2016

Advance

2016 Digital Video 21:34

Chester Newsstand Blanket Fort

2016 Installation

 

The Arcade Project

2016 Video Installation 6:00:00

2015

The End Is Nigh

2015 VHS Video 7:00:26

Moon King - Roswell

2015 Music Video 4:46

Patience

2015 Installation

Moon King - Impossible

2015 Music Video 4:42

Long Winder #2

2015 Digital Video 7:00:00

2014

Long Winder #1

2014 Digital Video 7:04:01

Carlton Triptych

2014

Box

2014 Digital Video 3:06

Snack

2014 Digital Video 3:06

Booth

2014 Digital Video 3:06

DVP

2014 Digital Video 4:10:00

2013

Memorial

2013 Digital Video 12:00

Omhouse - Gutterbird

2013 Music Video 4:51

Fall (2013)

2013 Looping Digital Video 46:08

2012

Hopscotch

2012 Digital Video 24:18

2010/11

OCAD U Thesis Project

2010-2011

Cycle

2010 16mm Film 11:17

Century Schoolbook

2010 Digital Video 67:44

Class of 1907-2000

2010 Musical Composition by John Spence

From Point A to Point B

2017 Series of Drawings, 6"x6"

A series of 50 unique drawings created for the publication Dispatch Vol.2 by Okay Collective. Each one is a hand drawn map based on verbal or written directions from a friend. They describe how to get between two places they know well, often home, work, school, or other frequently travelled routes. They are not necessarily accurate, and vary in detail and content based on the directions given. They are maps as a translation of a memory and a sharing of knowledge, not as a scientific document.

Transition Motion 1

with Aby Watson

2017 Looping Digital Video

Aby Watson is a Glasgow-based artist, maker, performer, and researcher working in contemporary performance. She is currently competing her PhD "Choreographic Clumsy: Dyspraxia and Choreographic Practice" at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

 

For this piece we collaborated to make a performance video that appears at first glance as a looping GIF or Boomerang video, endlessly repeating a short motion backwards and forwards (above is a still). When viewed closely though, it is in fact a performance that Watson is carefully and meticulously repeating over the course of half an hour, with only slight variation as her body tires.

Advance

2016, Digital video, 21:34

This piece was a site-specific video installation for The Complete Unknown, a group show about the Toronto neighbourhood of Regent Park, at YTB Gallery.

 

As someone not from Regent Park, I've spent enough time there to know there is a depth to the community that as a visitor I cannot fully grasp. There is also a complexity and intense ambivalence within the community around the current transformation, with many different perspectives and nuances.

The piece depicts a drone camera surveilling the new Regent Park playground and original Regent Park housing. Between is the fenced-off construction site dividing them along the former and future Oak Street, known as the boardwalk. The drone is an outsider, hovering tentative and alien, the threat and opportunity of change. Advance conjures both progress and encroachment. While the future of Regent Park may be hopeful, the pain of displacement and change cut deeply.

Chester Newsstand Blanket Fort

2016 Installation

The Artists' Newsstand ran for one year in Chester station, from May 2015-May 2016. It was the brainchild of artist Jess Dobkin with the help of myself and several other amazing artists. We sold snacks and magazines, but we also had a lending library, sold zines and artists' multiples, and hosted exhibitions, installations, performances, and community events. All inside Chester subway station.

In the depths of February I installed this piece, transforming the newsstand into a blanket fort. An oasis of warmth and cozy diffused light inside the hard utilitarianism of the subway.

The Arcade Project

2016 Installation 6:00:00

Site-specific installation for the Long Winter Galleria, a music and art event at the Galleria Mall in Toronto. This piece responded to the arcade cabinets in the mall by taking a video of a perfectly played game of Street Fighter II (thanks and credit to the player Schlauchi and www.longplays.org for providing such an elegant playthrough) and projecting it slowed down until it filled the whole 6 hour duration of the event. On a small monitor nearby, I played a synced video of myself taking notes on the game in the role of a censor, especially noting its violence and racism.

The End Is Nigh

2015 VHS Video 7:00:26

The End Is Nigh is a durational video work created for the Halloween art and music event Ghost Hole 7. The piece depicts the text "The End Is Nigh" painted on paper and mounted on cardboard, and then sprayed with water until the text washes away and the paper collapses. This is played back in reverse so the text emerges and becomes slowly more visible over the course of the night, until it is clearly readable just before the event closes.

Moon King - Roswell

2015 Music Video 4:42

Music video for the song "Roswell" by Toronto band Moon King. Directed and shot by Mac Boucher, edited and assistant directed by William Andrew Finlay Stewart.

Patience

2015 Installation

Patience is a week-long site specific video installation presented at the Artists' Newsstand at Chester subway station in Toronto. The VHS camera captures a still-life tableau of sunflowers in a vase. On one side of the newsstand is projected a short looping video of the fresh flowers, all week. On the other side is projected a live feed from the camera, which sees the flowers wilt and dry up. The installation progresses for a week, so that commuters seeing the piece daily slowly experience the flowers changing.

Moon King - Impossible

2015 Music Video 4:42

Music video for the song "Impossible" by Toronto band Moon King. Directed, shot and edited by William Andrew Finlay Stewart.

Long Winder #2

2015 Digital Video 7:00:00

This piece is another durational video produced for the Long Winter series, for January 2015. It is a 7 hour countdown from 300, the licensed capacity of the main room in the Great Hall where Long Winter is held.

Long Winder #1

2014 Digital Video 7:04:01

This piece is a durational video produced for the Long Winter series' takeover of the Bloor HotDocs Cinema in October 2014. It is a single uninterrupted shot over 7 hours of custom tickets piling up.

Carlton Triptych

2014

Box

2014 Digital Video 3:06

Snack

2014 Digital Video 3:06

Booth

2014 Digital Video 3:06

These three pieces were created for the show I curated for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2014 called "Cinema As Site". The three video pieces explore the essential elements of cinema: Light and Time, and the quiet times in staff members' shifts between times dealing with customers. Each has an original score composed by Steven Foster of the band Omhouse.

DVP

2014 Digital Video 4:10:00

DVP is a long-duration video projection created for the Feast In The East music and art series in Toronto, Canada. The video is site specific, having been shot from the same spot as it was eventually projected. The piece played throughout the entire evening of the event, over 4 hours long, projected on a screen behind the bands. It created a hours-long countdown clock that documented the traffic on the Don Valley Parkway in Toronto.

Memorial

2013 Digital Video 12:00

The piece Memorial is a depiction of an audience in a cinema after a film has ended, as the credits roll. In a movie theatre, the credits are a phenomenon that some choose to participate in and some choose to reject. Many find the seemingly endless scroll of names a waste of time, and an afterthought to the film itself. It is the experience of being told “These names represent people. People who have done something. Remember them”. In this way film credits, like war memorials and post-catastrophe lists of names, overwhelm, but unlike those solemn tributes they are presented in the context of entertainment. Some of the audience stay and watch, some leave. The theatre staff sweep up popcorn and collect garbage. The piece continues to watch the space until several minutes after the audience has all departed.

Memorial by William Andrew Finlay Stewart examines the phenomenon of film credits, and their connections with audiences, as well as remembrance, and loss.

 

Original score is by Jon Lawless of numerous bands including First Rate People and Swim Good.

Omhouse "Gutterbird" music video

2013 Digital Video 4:51

Gutterbird is a music video for the song of the same name by the Toronto band Omhouse. The video depicts a man singing to the camera while he is dragged down a rural road by a strap around his torso. The video depicts the man's genuine expression of pain and struggle, as in the actual shoot only minimal padding was used, and it was a cold and rainy spring day. The man (Omhouse singer Steven Foster) has a brief reprieve during the bridge of the song, before being pulled down the road again. At the end of the song the strap disengages and he is left shivering and torn up on a bridge.

 

 The video was created by William Andrew Finlay Stewart and Adrienne Crossman, with Steven Foster, and shot outside Orangeville Ontario. The song was written by Steven Foster, and performed by Omhouse. It was recorded by Noah Giffin and Nelson Thall at Henry and Nelson Thall Studios, mixed by Noah Giffin, and mastered by Milan Schramek at Lacquer Channel.

Fall (2013)

2013 Looping Digital Video 46:08

The piece Fall (2013) is a looping depiction of a man falling out of a tree. The loop is cut in such a way so that we only see from the moment he loses his last grip on the tree until the moment before he starts to exit the frame. He is forever caught mid-air, never landing. It is a meditation on control, loss, and loss of control. The character is endlessly looping, with a graceful turn that leaves his level of danger or safety ambiguous.

Hopscotch

2012 Digital Video 24:18

Hopscotch is a video installation in which a figure is playing a game of hopscotch in a Toronto alleyway. The audio is of a horn section playing a series of chords. Each square the figure jumps on signals a new chord, and each jump's duration is regulated by how long the musicians can hold the notes before they run out of breath. This brings a human metric to each jump, as each is mediated by the musicians' stamina. The performances are intertwined, with moments of piercing noise and movement, and lengths of suspension and stillness as the figure hangs in the air.

The musical structure of the piece is based on data from Toronto's ward system. The initial image of the hopscotch course was inspired by a map of the wards of Toronto, showing each of the city’s forty-four municipal political divisions outlined and numbered. In the video, each hopscotch square represents one of the wards. The chords that the musicians play are created by matching the election year of each ward's Councillor to a note on a customized musical scale arranged by composer John Spence. For example, Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam was first elected in 2010, so when the figure touches down on the twenty seventh square for Wong-Tam's ward, two of the horns plays the “0” note, one of them plays the “1”, and another musician plays the “2” of the scale.

I made Hopscotch to explore translation between systems and languages, be they musical, visual, or political. I wanted to draw attention to the underlying structures upon which our society is built, including within things as mundane as municipal politics. Whether or not we are aware of them, they play a substantial role in the way we go about our lives and move through our world.

 

Special thanks to performer Elizabeth Joan Potts Tevlin and composer John Spence, as well as engineer Steven Foster and musicians Ewan Kay (trombone), Patric McGroarty (cornet), Edwin Sheard (alto saxophone), and Karl Silveira (trombone).

OCAD U Thesis Project

2010-2011

Cycle

2010 16mm Film 11:17

Cycle is a film installation which uses the site and architecture of OCAD as well as the of graduating dates from the Alumni Guide as a framework to explore narrative structure.

 

The piece is divided into four equal segments, each two minutes forty-nine seconds and four frames long (the amount of usable footage of on each of the three 100 foot rolls of 16mm film). Three of the segments are shots of the current OCAD site, the first showing the subject (artist Liam Wylie) in front of the original OCA building (now the George A. Reid wing) with a head- on close up. The second segment shows the subject from a diagonal angle with a medium shot in front of the Reid wing and the 1957 addition, from further away. The third shows a wide shot in front of the Reid wing, the 1957 addition, and the Sharp Centre, with the camera perpendicular to the subject.The three shots complete a beginning-middle-end narrative arc in a simplistic way, with the fourth black segment contains some credit information, and serves as a warm up/cool down of the arc. Each of the shots has a date counter in the top right corner, counting up from the founding of what is now OCAD University in 1876 until 2010 when the piece was made, with the hopeful anticipation of 2011 for a few frames. Starting with a black frame, for the dates when OCAD did not exist at its current main campus site, each shot introduces a new building in the year it was opened.

 

During all of this, the subject Liam Wylie balances on a unicycle, acting as the entertaining focal point of the piece and as a symbolically loaded figure.

Century Schoolbook

2011 Digital Video 67:44

Century Schoolbook is a video work which presents the first names of all 12183 graduates of OCAD listed in the OCAD Alumni Directory 2001. This information is presented over the course of a 67 minute end-credit-like sequence. It raises questions about the use of the first name as both a very superficial representation of who we are for the purposes of communication, and as something very personal and deeply protected.

 

The OCAD Alumni Directory itself ceased to be published after 2006, likely because of the rising popularity of online social networks and the growing fear of identity theft. I was told by the school's archivist that if they were to give me more names of graduates and I wished to include their full names, I would have to collect a letter of release from each and every one, including replies from the estates of those no longer alive. But is a name such a dangerous thing to be public? Our name is usually chosen for us, often before we are born, and yet it becomes our most direct representation of ourselves to the world. Names are shared as a form of introduction, and used in innumerable consciously public ways. But a name is still very personal, and apparently the sole property of the person who wears it.

 

Each of these names is scrolled at such a speed that each is visible on screen for ten seconds, slow enough to read all of the names. By presenting only the first names of all of the graduates, it causes the viewer to question whether these are people they might know, or know of. Michael Snow, or Michael Martchenko might be artists known by any given viewer, but as they are listed as Michael and Michael, they are indistinguishable from any of the other 166 Michaels (1.36% of all graduates) on the list. Others like Rirkrit Tiravanija have first names unique to the time period and place covered by this data, so may be identified as specific individuals.

Class of 1907-2000

2011 Musical Composition by John Spence

Class of 1907-2000 is a piece of piano music composed by John Spence under a set of restrictions and rules to translate the names and dates of OCAD graduates into a musical experience, as part of William Andrew Finlay Stewart's OCAD U thesis project.

 

The piece can be heard here: