Andrew J. Paterson

Andrew James Paterson is an interdisciplinary artist based in Toronto. Over a period of thirty years, he has worked with video, film, performance, writing, and music. He is best known for his video art. This body of work can be divided into three distinct strains.

The bulk of Paterson’s videotapes or media-works over the past decade have utilized original and manipulated still-images frequently resembling colour-field abstract paintings. Several of these tapes, including Damned and Forgiven (2007) and The Enigma of S.A.P. (2008), contain sections of single-frame or “flicker” editing.

A contrasting strain throughout Paterson’s work is that of black and white Super-8 film transferred to video, with minimal if any processing. These works, including
The Walking Philosopher (1999-2001) and D.O.A/Remake/Remodel (2005), are shot by Paterson while walking behind the camera.

The third strain of Paterson’s body of work is concerned with language and structure. His
tape 12 x 26 (2008) is blatantly structuralist it announces its formal intentions and then executes them . Language has shifted from voice to image. Similarly, A Typical Morning for Green and Blue (2009) contrasts abstract interiors with printed dialogue. These poems and/or dialogues are bordered by pictures. Also, music is central to all of Paterson’s media works it is implied even when inaudible.

Paterson’s work has tended to focus on schisms between private and public realms, and on tensions between bodies and technologies. Ambivalence concerning bureaucracy has also been a consistent trope. Some of Paterson’s work feature himself as performer while, particularly in recent work, his performative impulses have often been displaced into his editing.

Paterson’s tapes have been programmed widely in both festival and gallery venues throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. He has also written extensively on media-arts and cultural politics, and has edited publications for YYZ Books in Toronto. Paterson has also collaged segments of his media-works with live monologues as a performance-piece, titled
Mono Logical.

Artist Code: 127



2023, 04:53 minutes, no dialogue


2022, 05:20 minutes, colour, no dialogue

The Archivists

2021, 15:00 minutes, English

lists and capitals

2020, 11:00 minutes, No dialogue, english text

Framing Device

2019, 27:09 minutes, colour, English

Agora Phobia

2018, 04:30 minutes, Colour, English


2018, 04:30 minutes, COLOUR, English

2 2 2 2 2

2017, 04:12 minutes, colour, English


2016, 07:00 minutes, Colour, English

Time Line

2015, 04:00 minutes, Colour, English


2014, 03:20 minutes, Colour, No language

More or Less

2014, 03:00 minutes, colour, English


2013, 06:25 minutes, colour, English

Seven Segments

2012, 28:45 minutes, colour/B&W, English

Musical Videos Compilation

2011, colour, English

Roman Spring Leakage

2011, 07:00 minutes, colour, English

Trophy Life

2010, 02:00 minutes, B&W, Silent

A Typical Morning for Green and Blue

2009, 08:12 minutes, colour, English

12 x 26

2008, 06:20 minutes, colour/B&W, English

The Enigma of S.A.P.

2008, 09:56 minutes, colour, English

Aids Has Not Left The Building

2007, 01:00 minutes, colour, English

Lady Justice and the Lover Swan

2007, 05:34 minutes, colour, English


2005, 03:00 minutes, B&W, English


2005, 03:00 minutes, B&W, English

Damn That Eternal Basement

2005, 03:30 minutes, colour, english

Eating Regular

2004, 08:00 minutes, colour, English

The Headmaster's Ritual

2002, 03:30 minutes, B & W, English


2001, 02:49 minutes, colour, English

The Walking Philosopher

2001, 03:30 minutes, colour, English

Cash and Carry

1999, 06:00 minutes, colour, English

Name the Speaker, Toast the City

1995, 32:00 minutes, colour, English

Controlled Environments

1994, 33:45 minutes, colour, English

Pink In Public

1993, 20:00 minutes, colour, English

Who Killed Professor Wordsworth?

1990, 19:00 minutes, colour, English


1987, 27:00 minutes, colour, English


1985, 42:00 minutes, B&W, English


1984, 24:00 minutes, colour, English

How Many Fingers?

1981, 07:30 minutes, colour, English

Critical Writing

Video Primer: A Series of 5 Video Programs
by Michelle Jacques. Video Primer, 2001. Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 2001.
Fear and Loathing on the Granting Trail: Canadian Art Versus...
by Hal Niedzviecki. Journal of Canadian Studies, Fall 2000, v. 35, no. 3.
Time, Space & Realities
by Andrew J. Paterson. Time, Space & Realities, Jan. 1995. Toronto: A Space, 1995.
Time, Space & Realities
Corporal Economics, 1995. Toronto: Mercer Union, 1995.
Time, Space & Realities
by Andrew J. Paterson.
Focus on Michael Balser
by Andrew J. Paterson. Canadian Art, Spring 1989, v. 6, no. 1.
Private Parts in Public Places
by Andrew J. Paterson. Fuse, Jan. 1989.
Paulette Phillips: Geoffrey Shea
by Andrew J. Paterson. Vanguard, Feb. 1988, v. 17, no. 1.
Four Redheads: Four New Toronto Videotapes
by Andrew J. Paterson. Fuse, July 23 Fall, 1987, v. 11, no. 3.