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date: 21 September 2020

Snow, Michael (James Aleck)locked

(b Toronto, Dec 10, 1928).
  • Elizabeth Legge

Extract

(James Aleck)

(b Toronto, Dec 10, 1928).

Canadian painter, sculptor, filmmaker, photographer, and musician. Snow was born in Toronto, and studied at the Ontario College of Art. From the early 1960s he lived in New York, where he was associated with Jonas Mekas’s Film-Makers’ Cinematheque, returning to Toronto in 1972. Snow worked in film, video, photography, holography, painting, sculpture, jazz, and combinations of these. In 1969 the film theorist P. Adams Sitney said that Snow, along with other artists/filmmakers including Hollis Frampton, Paul Sharits, Ernie Gehr, Tony Conrad, and Joyce Wieland, had established a new “structural film” in which overall shape took primacy over other concerns. Snow later said that his work was concerned with fundamental structural aspects of art, rather than “pictures,” and accordingly constructed the index for the “encyclopedia” of his work, Digital Snow (DVD 2002, website 2012) around “core principles,” which included properties abstracted from any particular medium (“transparency,” “duration,” “surface,” “language,” and “recto–verso”) as well as medium-based categories (“collage,” “photography,” and “painting”). These informed all his work....

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