The Unknown Artist [Unit 3]: Futures

Exhibition, intervention & projection

BROUILLON GÉNÉRAL!: May 17 – June 9, 2011
Residency & intervention

Reversion to the Original Point:April 15 – May 21, 2011
Opening on Friday April 15, 5pm-21pm
Performative Artist’s Talk on Wednesday April 20 at 5:30pm

Documentary film DATA: May 25, 2011 at 7pm

Project Description

This unit surveys the vast reservoir of unknowns that abound in futures looked upon from a triad of vantage points. Ranging from imagined configurations of our living environment and the emergence of renewed value in a time to come, to a proposal for better work and creation modes down the road, these artworks, documents and dialogic interventions situate the UA figure in the midst of an unmapped territory.

François Deck

In this four-week residency project, the artist-consultant uses a methodology referred to as the Erratic School that brings together three groups of five people from different backgrounds to produce a collective intelligence. The Erratic School is a transitional space created to bridge the division between individuals and problems that exist at the global scale. Getting to know one another by exploring problems as a group is to acknowledge that the differences that exist between our respective perceptions can become the source of new possibilities. The program underlying these gatherings consists in adding value to problems by introducing a concerted delay of their solutions, and subjectifying them in an unpredictable way. The Erratic School program consisted in organizing two half-day meetings per group on two consecutive weeks, followed by three day-long group-wide workshops held on the 3rd week, concluding on the last week of the residency with a public gathering held at the gallery on June 9th, 2011. Though the group was unable to agree on a subject or form for the public presentation, it was not deterred and opened the project to an audience, “invited to an event that had yet to be determined?” on the evening of June 9.

The only documentation of the public event consists of written and spoken testimonials. “On my Experience at L’École erratique” by Patrice Loubier, is a testimonial by a member of the artistic community who had come to listen to a presentation of The Erratic School and who instead, found himself immersed in the experience.


Documentary film on the AU TRAVAIL / AT WORK collective, in the presence of the filmmaker. Screening (61 min.). Screening of both the original French and English sub-titled versions of the film, followed by a conversation. Manifesto, documentary, pamphlet, call-out for disobediance or fable, DATA attacks institutions without ever wishing for their abolition, discusses freedom rather than liberation, proposes autonomy but without separation. It refers to a collective that never meets, a group that works under the cover of anonymity but that enjoys great visibility.

Dustin Wilson

Reversion to the Original Point is a multidisciplinary installation comprised of looped animations and a drawing series that offer a glimpse into an unknown future anchored in the artist’s observation of his home province of New Brunswick. Drawing on the visual idioms of scientific and educational illustrations (diagrams, visual aids) as well as popular culture (comics, animation) this multifarious project explores the contested terrain of possible futures by weaving a narrative in which the personal and situated intertwine with the technical and methodological.


François Deck

Create feedbacks between the workshop’s participants and the public
Free admission.
Presentation of the workshop’s process units.


Dustin Wilson

1. In researching Reversion to the Original Point, I took advantage of the CBC digital archives to help build the tone texture and themes of the project, these two links are particularly relevant:
Provincial territorial politics
Natural disasters

2. The video Hutchison Effect was important to the development of Reversion to the Original Point in a variety of ways. John Hutchison is the blueprint for the development of the mad scientist persona; dry, drab and haggard, trying to convey an important message which is almost completely unintelligible to the audience. In the video we see the fabrication of evidence; the shaky video footage, filmed using magnets and upside-down cameras to ape levitation, does no service to the inventors goals. It is the utterly unconvincing aspect of this video and the seriousness with which it is presented that I aimed to emulate in my project. Also, some of the technologies shown in the video are put to use in the future of Reversion to the Original Point.

3. The introduction to the novel The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin.  This text is a critical essay on Science Fiction. I often think of my approach in art-making in science fiction terms so this text can serve as a criticism of myself and my work on Reversion to the Original Point, and a basis for the interpretation of the work.