William Andrew Finlay Stewart

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

Memorial

2013 Digital Video 12:00

Omhouse "Gutterbird" music video

2013 Digital Video 4:51

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

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. This is a continuation of my exploration of long duration video works.

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: