All events are free, but due to Covid capacity restrictions all who attend will have to register to visit the exhibition or attend an event (see https://agyu.as.me/ to register). AGYU visitors will be required to pre-screen before coming to campus or attending associated events. You will receive an online questionnaire that will have to be filled out the day of your visit.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22
Knowledge Market, 3 to 5 pm
Hosted by Gudskul
Registration (Oct 30 to Dec 12 sessions)
The Knowledge Market was initially an experimental module designed by Serrum—one of the three collectives that makes up Gudskul—emphasizing learning interactions based on the principles of supply and demand. Experiments were carried out by conducting interviews with people from various professional backgrounds.
“What do you need to learn?”
“If you were given the opportunity to share your knowledge/expertise, what would you share?”
These two questions become the triggers which are then mapped and translated into a curriculum. This supply and demand-based curriculum can be a more effective way to connect people’s interest in knowledge exchange. In its development, the Knowledge Market is more fluid and uses space and time to encourage exchanging knowledge between two or more people. By bringing two people together at random, the negotiation process becomes more open and direct. This event occurs live on October 22, and then continues through asynchronous prerecorded sessions led by Gudskul every Wednesday and Saturday from October 3 to December 12.
New Tradition Music — Edutainment Session, 6 to 7 pm
Hosted by New Tradition Music
Location: Online event
An interactive performance/workshop of traditional and original works hosted by Ruben ‘Beny’ Esguerra featuring Afro-Indigenous Colombian Music from a conscious inner-city perspective.
Ruben ‘Beny’ Esguerra is a multi-instrumentalist, lyricist, arts educator, and community worker who has composed original scores for the CBC, City Life Film, Amnesty International, and the National Film Board of Canada. In 2018, he was nominated for a Canadian JUNO Award for World Music Album of the Year and has presented his music in festivals across Canada, US, Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia, and Chile. Esguerra is currently the music director of several programs in the Jane Finch neighbourhood in Toronto. He is a PhD (ABD) candidate in Musicology/Ethnomusicology specializing in traditional and urban music.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 23
We give away hundreds of kilos of food scraps a year and then buy soil and fertilizer for our houseplants and gardens! What’s with that? Learn about the wonders of small-space composting and start a nutrient loop in your apartment, balcony, or backyard. Bokashi is an odorless fermented composting system which speeds up the pace of the decay, turning waste into compost in a matter of weeks. This workshop explores the bokashi composting methods and techniques for beginners, showing you how to cheaply and effectively start making your own nutrient-rich organic compost. The workshop will start with an overview of bokashi fermentation, followed by a demonstration of how to turn any bucket into a complete fermentation system. Compost is a living thing: the more we feed it, the healthier the soil we will have for our next phase of growth. Join the soil secessionists and turn your kitchen waste into a closed loop.
Bokashi Composting System for Knowledge Garden, ongoing
Hosted by Younger Than Beyoncé and the plumb
The Knowledge Garden Bokashi Composting System will process the leftovers of our collective comings-together into a microbe-rich mulch that will become fertile ground for collaborations to come. Bokashi is an odorless fermented composting system which speeds up the pace of the decay, turning waste into compost in a matter of weeks. To create the most compost over the course of the festival, this project offers a challenge and an opportunity to participating collectives and audience members to rethink the waste cycle of their materials and use as many biodegradable materials in their activities as possible. Compost is a living thing: the more we feed it, the healthier soil we will have for our next phase of growth.
After the festival, the compost will be donated to the York University’s Maloca community garden, where we will use it to plant a bed of garlic and onions to be harvested next summer. Each collective will have their own bokashi composting system to take with them after the festival and continue the process of making healthy soil for their own plantings.
Younger Than Beyoncé (YTB) Gallery is an arts collective for emergent and experimental practices. We are a group of young artists and curators who make space for critical conversations through new configurations of audience, artists, and community. We were founded in 2014 as a DIY response to the New Museum’s first triennial of emerging artists, Younger Than Jesus, that controversially defined our generation by consumption habits rather than production. We support artists, curators, and arts workers born after 1981 with paid opportunities to develop their art careers and grow into artistic leaders. the plumb is a DIY artist-run project dedicated to offering a surplus of space in a city where space is at a premium—particularly for artists, community organizers, and marginalized groups. We are interested in providing exhibition space to emerging artists, fostering dialogues with established voices, and providing a platform for culturally diverse artists and curators. We are also interested in hosting community-based projects and programs such as workshops, performances, public talks, and discussion groups.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 24
Workshop on Workshops, 1 to 4 pm
Hosted by Golboo Amani & Golnesa Amani
Location: Online event
“Whoever teaches learns in the act of teaching, and whoever learns teaches in the act of learning.” – Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of Freedom
Workshop on Workshops is a hands-on skill-sharing on-line event providing tools and techniques for multidisciplinary practitioners who want to facilitate learning environments. This step-by-step workshop will teach you key concepts offering a framework for programming that is both entertaining and educational. This workshop aims to engage online and in person learners with methods that accommodate diverse learning types in order to help instructors feel more confident in teaching what they know.
Golboo Amani is a multi-disciplinary artist best known for her performance and social practice works. Golboo’s work often addresses the conditions of knowledge production that render epistemic violence as invisible, insignificant, and benign. By expanding sites of pedagogy to include the streets, backyards, homes, and public transit, Golboo produces non-hierarchical pedagogical experiences that speak to collective agency and egalitarian epistemology. Golnesa Amani’s pedagogical practice lies at the intersection of art, entertainment, and education, activating the “classroom” as a site for performance-based collaborative learning. She is best known for her movement and musical approach to language acquisition, as well as her theatrical style of presentation. Integral to her teaching method are studies on the mechanics of communication as well as exercises in executive functioning. Golnesa has experience facilitating and instructing creative programs for diverse youth in public and private schools, community centres, festivals, homes, and online. Golboo and Golnesa are both artists and educators with collaborations that focus on alternative forms of pedagogy. By centering access, this sibling duo has created multiple iterations and opportunities for communities to teach and learn from each other.
A DJ’d event with skateboarding performances.
Unit 2 is a QT2S/BIPOC (Queer / Trans, 2 Spirit and/or Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) and friends. This is a radical arts and community space dedicated to building community and building bridges! We are a DIT (do it together) space.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 25
Hanya Memberi Tak Harap Kembali (HMTHK) or To Give and Expect Nothing in Return, 12 to 4 pm
Hosted by Gudskul, featuring give-aways by Barbara Balfour, Lisa Myers, Instant Coffee, YTB, and more…
The title of this activation model from ruangrupa—one of the three collectives that makes up Gudskul—comes from a classic Indonesian children’s song about the endlessness of motherly love. Gudskul translated this “rewardless love” into a marketplace where art collectives occupy the stalls, act as sellers, and give away their respective artworks to the visiting public. No financial transactions happen; instead, reproducible artworks such as stickers, pins, screen prints, postcards, stencils, posters, calendars, digital files containing images and sounds, pictures, graphic materials, stamps and t-shirts, and live prints-on-demand are given away. Through experiencing the model, the meaning of value and transaction (which normally always been delegated to money) come into question.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 26
Join the Department of Public Memory to remember Toronto’s waterfront Tent City (1998–2002) and its role in bringing housing and homelessness in Toronto to international attention. This commemorative event will lead participants through a process of listening, remembering, and sharing their own memories as they learn about Tent City’s struggles and successes. We will then reflect together on the current struggles for affordable housing in Toronto and beyond.
Since 2011 the Department of Public Memory has been working to celebrate and commemorate overlooked and under acknowledged community programs, services and inspiring initiatives of social activism that have worked to make this city a more socially just place to live. Our job at the Department is to make and install street signs honouring these places, organizations and actions. One of our sign honours Tent City and the struggle to create affordable housing in Toronto. Between 1998 and 2002 a community of homeless people made their homes on a piece of industrial land on Toronto’s waterfront. With support from street nurses, housing activists and a few allies at City Hall, they not only managed to build temporary housing on the site but to turn their story into a plea for better housing policies in Canada.
On October 26, the Department will host an event to share what we learned about the struggle, ingenuity, and dedication to fighting for housing during the years of Tent City activism. During our event we will share our Tent City sign, memory quotes, and physical objects from our Memory Archive to celebrate and remember the heroism of housing activists and Tent City residents. Our ceremony will lead participants through a process of listening, remembering, and sharing their own memories as they learn about Tent City and then reflect on the current issues and activism on homelessness and affordable housing in Toronto today.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 27
A collaborative workshop and sharing session that uses woodcut and linocut techniques to explore collective processes of making as practice and metaphor. “Barterin” (live printing) is not only a medium to introduce print works to the public but also to greet the public with special messages. In this context, we would like to greet the public who attend the Knowledge Garden Festival, giving the artworks-as-souvenirs in exchange for something edible.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 28
Farming at the end of the world: conversations about food production, art, and collaboration, 12 to 1 pm
Hosted by Between Collectives
This event will be facilitated by York Visual Art professor Barbara Balfour with guests Lauren Nurse and Shannon Gerard. Lauren and Shannon will talk about how they are redefining the intersection between farm work and art practice within the context of the pandemic and current climate crisis, in terms of caring for and stewardship of the land.
Lauren Nurse is a horticulturist, sessional professor, artist, and the owner and operator of Small Spade Farm. Shannon Gerard is a professor at OCADU and an artist who contributes farm labour at Small Spade as well as producing all the print material, recipes, zines, and labels, for the farm’s CSA program. Between Collectives is loosely held together by Toronto-based Barbara Balfour, who has previously been a member of various collectives including Spontaneous Combustion, Venus Fly Trap, Printellectuals, and Guest Garden. While “between collectives”, she is pursuing independent projects as well as undertaking curatorial projects drawing upon friendships and other affiliations.
Curatorial presentation of the exhibition Re(new)All with VR headset presentation of exhibition on site.
The exhibition Re[new]All explores the creative ecologies of matter and energy. During the pandemic, our physical and virtual spaces have been transformed in service of the emerging needs of personal and community development. The pandemic has been (and continues to be) a trial of endurance, embodying a mix of resignation, urgency, and hope in the alternating waves of emotions over the last years. Our virtual meetings betray the physical cost of physiological and emotional adaptation as a discarnate sublimation of self and the ways overtly visual and auditory stimuli have constrained our sensory apparatus. On a broader level, this crisis has exposed socio-economic imbalances that continue to disproportionately affect racialized and minority groups and exacerbate conditions of mobility and connection that are vital to the health of our communities.
As we cast our sights towards a re-opening, might we define the new ‘normal’ as an opportunity to renew and review our commitment to supporting diversity and alterity; to support the voices that speak out against patriarchy, colonialism, and capitalism? Might we learn through the lessons of interpersonal and inter-species connections to value all our relations? The exhibition Re[new]All begins from a position of discomfort, of the sensory (dis)pleasures of our virtual modes of existence to explore themes of creative worldbuilding, virtual scenographics, and adaptation within the renewed hybridity of online/offline environments. Through a mix of single channel and immersive video, audio tours, performance documentations, and experimental digital spaces, the exhibition aims to create affective narratives and effect a transmutation of space to provoke alternative viewpoints and stories that will challenge, but also renew and energize the visitor.
The exhibition features work of artists and researchers affiliated with Sensorium: Centre for Digital Art & Technology (AMPD) at York University in Toronto, Canada. It will be hosted in an entirely digital form as a custom designed Mozilla Hubs environment with interactive environments that merge form and function to link our online exhibition space with the artists’ unique explorations of the theme.
Aspire to Inspire is an open mic speaker series that uses art therapy and gives artists from the community of Jane Finch inspiration to transcend their own capabilities. Each episode highlights artists and mental health guest speakers with the goal of providing viewers with quality entertainment and a therapeutic conversation.
If you are an artist or mental health advocate who wants to perform, send us an Instagram DM @Janestreetspeaks_ or email Janestreetspeaks1@gmail.com.
Jane Street Speaks is a platform dedicated to supporting local artists from the Jane-Finch neighbourhood in Toronto. They support local artists in recognition of a lack of support for businesses and artists from its community. Their mission is to create safe, positive spaces that encourage art, healing, and therapy through the power of unity by curating and hosting performance and open mic events as well as workshops.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29
The Pavilion (artists Holly Ward and Kevin Schmidt) developed a collaborative pedagogical framework in which York University Visual Arts students respond to the values of the Knowledge Garden to create models of creative engagement with community, sustainability, and artistic agency.
Students of VISA 2032 Sculpture Explorations will interpret the familiar form of a traditional Garden Gnome, a mythological character who embodies luck, good will, and protection for the Knowledge Garden as a sculptural self-portrait project. By engaging with the Gnome as a kind of Avatar, students will develop their sculptures to perform and express their individual identities within this collaborative performance. Each student will present their sculpture to the Knowledge Garden, and in turn perform a collective parade between the Festival tent and the AGYU, where they will reside for the duration of the exhibition.
Holly Ward is an interdisciplinary artist working with sculpture, multi-media installation, architecture, video, and drawing as a means to examine the role of aesthetics in the formation of new social realities. Kevin Schmidt’s work explores photography, video, interactive installation, and performance as a means of de-mythologizing such genres as landscape and blockbuster entertainment in order to dismantle top-down spectacle production. Ward and Schmidt have been collaboratively developing The Pavilion since 2011. During the academic year 2009–2010, Ward was Artist in Residence at Langara College, where she commenced The Pavilion project, a 22 foot geodesic dome serving as a catalyst for artistic experimentation involving artists, writers, designers, and Langara College students. The Pavilion has since been moved to rural Heffley Creek, BC, where it currently serves as a long-term, interdisciplinary life-as-art project by both Ward and Schmidt. The Pavilion seeks to discuss critical aspects of artistic production and agency on the cultural periphery, with a focus on land-based pedagogy, collaboration, and self-reliance.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 30
In this workshop, we are invoking Black futurities of great possibility through meditations on our visions of the world we want to create. We will create two giant puppets and seven giant masks collectively with participants to open the portal that propels us into joyous visions of futurist realms of Black freedom.
The base of the puppet heads and hands and the masks will be prepared in advance. Participants will be invited to glue, tape, sew, pin, and spray paint fabric, mac tac, feathers, and raffia elements to the fabric bodices of the goddesses as well as to the 3 ft tall puppet heads, their hands, and the masks. The main body of the giant puppets will consist of a 12 ft long piece of fabric that will be decorated with strips of coloured satin with contemplations, spells, poems, and declarations of what we desire for our future world written on them. We will then groove with the puppets and masks in the festival village, bringing forth our dreams for the future and celebrating that our visions are already a reality. Let’s raise our vibration to open our imaginations about futures beyond our wildest dreams.
DAWA is a collective of Black women artists who came together in 1989 to curate Black Wimmin: When and Where We Enter, the first exhibition of Black women artists in Canada. Three of the original members (Dzi..An, Mosa McNeilly, and Barbara Prézeau-Stephenson) reformed DAWA in 2019 for the purpose of mounting an exhibition and publication that marked the 30th anniversary of the historical exhibition. Scholar Andrea Fatona has agreed to work with DAWA to curate a 2021 version of the original project at A Space in Toronto.
RURU Radio Berkaraoke, 6 to 8 pm
Hosted by Gudskul
Location: Tent outside of AGYU gallery
RURU Radio Berkaraoke is a karaoke party to celebrate all those who participated and attended the Knowledge Garden Festival activities. It is lead by RURU Radio members who will host and jockey a playlist that will be researched and developed throughout the Knowledge Garden Festival program of events.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 11
Bertukar Sapa Bertukar Karya (BSBK) — Greeting Exchange Artwork Exchange, starting at 6 pm
Hosted by Gudskul
Location: AGYU instagram @a_g_y_u
Greeting Exchange Artwork Exchange is a platform created by Serrum—one of the three collectives that makes up Gudskul—based on Indonesia’s tradition of ‘arisan,’ a raffle party. On the first day of the exhibition, we put a dropbox in AGYU for participants to submit two-dimensional works and videos along with a form of registration. On the closing evening of the Festival, there will be a social gathering of participants where each artist will exchange works by randomly drawing names so that each artist has one work from another colleague as memorabilia of kinship. The works to be submitted and exchanged are not constrained by any particular theme: The works can be anything. The most important thing is that the creator must be identifiable by the work, which can be achieved as simply as being signed. Each exchange between the creator and recipient will be documented with a polaroid that will be exhibited later. MC-ed by Gudskul members and Toronto folks, we will use this event for harvesting the tacit knowledge among the participants through light conversations and exchanges during the exchange process.
Works must be dropped off at the AGYU by December 10, 2021.