James MacSwain

James MacSwain was born in Amherst, Nova Scotia. He received a B.A. in English from Mount Allison University and studied theatrical arts at the University of Alberta, Edmonton. After traveling and living in Europe, he settled in Halifax where he began a career in theatre and arts administration. Since 1980, he has been working in film and video, receiving Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council and Nova Scotia Arts Council grants as a media artist. As a visual artist he works in photo and collage-based images that he has exhibited in Halifax and nationally. He is an honorary member of Live Art Dance Productions and the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative. He has been a former board member of the Nova Scotia Arts Council, the Independent Film and Video Alliance, the Linda Joy Media Arts Society and the Canadian Conference of the Arts. Presently he sits on the Exhibitions Committee of Visual Arts Nova Scotia. He has just retired from his employment as the Director of Programming for the Centre For Art Tapes.

Artist Code: 138


The Executor

1996, 10:00 minutes, Colour,B&W, English


1991, 12:00 minutes, Colour,B&W, English

The Medicine Show

1990, 28:49 minutes, colour, English

Amoeba Culture

1989, 04:00 minutes, colour, English

Critical Writing

by Lisa Steele. Mid-Life/Shelf-Life, 2010. Toronto: Vtape, 2010.
Traumatic Landscape
by James MacSwain and Mireille Bourgeois. Traumatic Landscape, 2007. Halifax: The Centre for Art Tapes, 2007.
Garden of Earthy Delights
by Jayne Wark and James MacSwain. Matter/Flesh/Spirit/Ground: An overview of the video work of Wendy Geller, 2003. Halifax: the Centre for Art Tapes in partnership with Dalhousie Art Gallery, 2003.
Weird Geographies: Video Art from the Atlantic Region/Translantique
by Sarah Hollenberg. Arts Atlantic, Fall 2002, v. 19, no. 73 / 4.
Guerrilla Video: Electrons Outside the Vacuum
by M.E. Luka et al. Guerrilla Video, Aug. 14 Summer, 2002.
Guerrilla Video: Electrons Outside the Vacuum
Crossroads, 1999. Halifax: The Centre for Art Tapes, 1999.
The Oxide Mandate: Queer Media in Halifax
by James MacSwain. Queer Looking/ Queer Acting, 1997. Mount St. Vincent: Mount St. Vincent University Press, 1997.
The Fruit Machine
by Thomas Waugh. Cinematheque Film Programme Guide, Fall 1994. Toronto: Cinematheque Ontario, 1994.
Connecting Voices: An Interview with Richard Fung: Point of View
by James Macswain. The Independent Eye, Winter 1991, v. 12, no. 2.
Illuminated Manuscripts: Discovering the myth of transformation
by James Macswain. Xtra!, Apr. 13, 1990, no. 146.