Art Gallery of York University virtual series explores present and future of born-digital art

The Art Gallery of York University (AGYU) is hosting two upcoming virtual conversations featuring a group of international artists, writers and curators as part of a four-session online series exploring thought-provoking topics in born-digital art.

…this is not made of language but energy” begins a new stream of programming at the AGYU centred on works of art that are born-digital and primarily experienced online. The series provides a speculative exploration of the present and future of born-digital art through topics including tool-making, modes of circulation, frameworks, and more broadly, our digital lives.

The series title, “…this is not made of language but energy,” is a quote from “Dream 2,” a poem by American poet and writer Eileen Myles

Curated by AGYU Assistant Curator Clara Halpern in collaboration with AGYU Director and Curator Jenifer Papararo and London-based writer Orit Gat, the series emerged from several years of research studying artists, writers and curators who critically embrace the experience of art online – its possibilities, as well as its biases and barriers – and considers the art institution’s slow relationship to supporting art for the internet.

“…this is not made of language but energy” debuted in November with conversations that explored tool-making techniques and how our digital lives have been radically changed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The AGYU will host the next conversation of the series, “Frameworks & Futures,” on Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. Moderated by Paul Soulellis, the conversation will feature artists Tega Brain, Jason Edward Lewis and Tabita Rezaire, who will discuss the importance of the structures and systems that underpin the internet and the way our data is collected and used. Their insights will expose the issues in these larger apparatuses while also proposing alternate frameworks.

The final conversation of the series, “Circulation & Hybrid Practices,” will be held on Dec. 15 at 6 p.m. Artists Julia Weist and Christina Battle will share insights on a hybridized process of art-making – creating individual artworks that are experienced both online and offline, moving fluidly between spaces.

“…this is not made of language but energy” is presented in partnership with InterAccess, a non-profit gallery, educational facility and production studio in Toronto, and Rhizome, an art organization dedicated to born-digital art and culture in New York City.

Register for the series online at

By Ariel Visconti, communications officer, YFile