Andrew James Paterson is an interdisciplinary artist living in Toronto, Ontario. His work engages in a playful questioning of language, philosophy, community and capitalism in a wide range of disciplines, including video, performance, writing, film and music. Now a senior artist, Paterson has contributed to artist-run discourse for nearly four decades- serving on the boards of Trinity Square Video, A Space, and YYZ Artists' Outlet. He has curated media-arts and other programmes for these organizations as well as Cinematheque Ontario, Mercer Union, Images Festival, Pleasure Dome, and Available LIght in Ottawa. He has edited and co-edited books for YYZ's publishing program; and contributed to anthologies published by Gallery TPW and to periodicals such as FILE, IMPULSE, FUSE< and Borderlines. Between 2011 and 2017 he worked as coordinator for the8fest small-guage film festival. His media-arts works have shown locally, nationally, and internationally over three and a half decades - in Seoul, Bangalore, Montreal, Buenos Aires, Amsterdam, Paris, New York City, and many other centres. Paterson's artist's book Collection Correction was published in 2016 by Kunstverein Toronto and Mousse of Milan. His novelette Not Joy Division was published by IMPULSE B in Toronto in early 2018. In 2019, Paterson received a Governor General's Award for his work in Visual and Media Arts.
Why did you get involved in this project?
No deep reason. Something to get involved with during the pandemic. In other words, why not?
Did the one week turn-around for the work help or hinder your creativity?
Not sure. Probably helped. I found myself asking myself what did I have that could be entered into play. So I donated some downloaded images that I may or may not have later use for; and I came up with a short poem referring to the pandemic lockdown situation outside.
How did you feel about working on a project where you didn’t know who you were collaborating with?
I was okay with this generally. My own work tends to be somewhat self-contained. I don’t really feel that either of the EXC-19 projects I was involved with are my own work in the traditional sense of having the concept, owning the copyright etc cetera.
Has being involved in the project changed your thoughts on creativity?
Not really. Exquisite Corpse Projects weren’t invented yesterday and I’ve seen others that were on a larger scale. This was very much an Internet project in which one contributes their motif and then accepts that somebody or bodies unknown will take your small contribution in a very different direction. EXC-19 was a project for the time, for the pandemic.
If you worked on several videos, what kept you coming back for more and how many did you do?
I remember being approached to contribute to two projects. If somebody approached me for another one, would I have accepted? It depends what I might be expected to contribute. At this moment I don’t have a home editing system.