Current and Upcoming

Call for Proposals: The Curatorial Incubator, v.16: Living In Hope

Call for Proposals: The Curatorial Incubator, v.16: Living In Hope


The Curatorial Incubator, v.16: Living In Hope

“We live in hope of deliverance from the darkness that surrounds us.” – P. McCartney

The darkness. We each have our own and then there’s the shared sense of despair that bubbles up when we consider the degradation of our Mother Earth through our own polluting ways, the never ending wars that sweep refugees towards borders that close in their faces, the stories that are told, the lies that circulate. There is no end.

And yet we move on. Not in the way the so-called Enlightenment projected – towards greater and more perfect perfection. But just moving: towards love, towards caring, towards hope. At Vtape, we felt that we needed some of this spirit, so we propose that the current Curatorial Incubator look through our holdings to find those works that best exemplify hope. Happy hunting!

Participants in The Curatorial Incubator, v.16: Living In Hope will have an opportunity to hone their curatorial skills in the media arts in a number of important ways: attending specialized workshops conducted by arts professionals; conducting independent research using the rich resources available through Vtape; writing a curatorial essay for their program of selected titles, with invaluable editorial assistance provided by arts professionals; and, finally, presenting their curated program to the public.

If your proposal is selected you will receive fees for both curating and writing and a budget to cover the screening fees for the titles that are included in your program.

Research phase (April – July 2020) includes:

  • workshops conducted by professionals specializing in media arts,
  • free access to the vast research facilities on site at Vtape, with over 6000 titles by
    900+ artists and over 2500 articles on video art, and
  • extensive access to the Vtape on-line preview resource available only to curators and authorized researchers.

Presentation phase (December 2020) includes:

  • an exhibition of all the curated programs with an introduction by the curator, and
  • a fully illustrated catalogue of all the programs with curatorial essays.


Proposals must include:

  • an up-to-date c.v.;
  • a statement of intention (1 page in total) that outlines your interest in video and media artwork and why you want to be part of The Curatorial Incubator, v.16 – Living In Hope
    NOTE: your statement of intention does NOT have to include a list of titles you would include. Rather it should try to clarify your overall area of interest. You will have lots of time to do your research to find the titles you want to include if you are selected for this program.
  • examples of critical writing your have done (published or non-published)
  • examples of any curatorial or organizational work you have done

Other Required Information to Accompany Proposals:

  • indicate your availability for workshops on May 2-3, 2020 (days)
    NOTE: If you are from outside of Toronto, please indicate how you would cover the costs of your travel to the workshops (to be held over 1 weekend) and some additional time for on-site research at Vtape.

And don’t worry; you won’t be held to your original proposal but keep in mind that the jury will need to get an idea of what kind of work you are going to be searching for. Surprises are to be expected along the way. That’s what research is all about.

Send applications to:

Lisa Steele, Creative Director, Vtape
401 Richmond St. West, #452, Toronto, ON M5V 3A8



TAMAMI ASADA, Screaming Videotape #2, (1996)
The first in our on-line screening series selected by the Vtape staff: Dustin Lawernce

April 3 – 9, 2020

Self recognition changes according to the condition of mental health. When the person is not healthy, the image of oneself looks distorted like the ones reflected on a spoon.
Maybe screaming happens when the gap between the ideal self and the reflected self is too big. The person is retrieved when he/she forgets about the ideal.


As we – like most of you – are working from home, we wanted to find a way to keep the amazing artists’ titles we distribute in circulation. While festivals and other screening venues are cancelling or postponing their events, Vtape is still doing business with clients in educational and cultural institutions who are ordering titles that we provide from our remote server. Likewise previews are available for viewing through our portal so programmers and curators and researchers have access to the work of Vtape artists.
For access: wandav@vtapeorg.

But we wanted more. In 2011, Vtape presented a daylong festival and party called CARRIED AWAY (an occasion to celebrate the Premier’s Award we had just been awarded). Our staff made selections and wrote personal statements about each work. It was a beautiful day of screenings, snacks, and conversation followed by a lovely party.

Well, given our social isolation, the snacks and party are out, BUT…

With REFLECTION / REFRACTION we are doing a virtual version of this love letter to our artists. Every Friday we will launch a title selected by one of the Vtape staff accompanied by a personal statement as to why this work speaks to each person. Atomized as we are – isolated from each other, separated from the works of art that we love – we will launch the artworks on Vimeo on our website so that you can see a new title each week. Expect each to arrive on Friday morning.

REFRACTION – the fact or phenomenon of light, radio waves, etc. being deflected in passing obliquely through the interface between one medium and another or through a medium of varying density.

Passing obliquely through, reflected but not accurately, seeing as artists often do what is not obviously visible. This series speaks to the times we are in – not directly, but there. As Dustin Lawrence, says about this first section:

“I often find myself staring out the window, trying to watch the world outside but instead catch myself staring at my own reflection. My reflection always seems to stare disapprovingly, cold eyes and a straight mouth. I feel like I don’t know this person staring back.

“Having haunted me ever since my first viewing, Tamami Asada’s Screaming Videotape #2, made me realize how many others must feel this same way. Looking into mirrors, windows, spoons and wondering who is this staring back? Are they the one screaming? Or is it me?

“Though I don’t struggle personally, or rather openly, with my own mental health, I can feel the separation, the divide between us. Myself and my reflection. I’m trying to understand what it is that connects us. I’m trying to see who I am – really am.”
Dustin Lawrence, Vtape, Technical and Distribution Coordinator


Still: Screaming Video #2, Tamami Asada, 1996



Vtape’s office is closed due to concerns over the spread of COVID 19 in Ontario and worldwide.

We will re-open as soon as possible, and in the meantime we are responding to email and Media Requests, delivering files, and scheduling delivery for future dates.

Artist submissions for distribution remain open during this time, we ask you to send all submissions digitally to

If your visit is due to an urgent matter, please email

We will respond as promptly as we can.