Dot Tuer. Photo credit, Thy Phu.
Dot Tuer. Photo credit, Thy Phu.
Dot Tuer
Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Graduate Studies

Area(s) of Expertise

Contemporary Art, Latin American Art, photography, New Media, Performance, decolonial and cultural theory, memory studies


Dot Tuer is a writer, artist, and cultural historian whose scholarly and creative work focuses on the intersection of archival traces and visual storytelling in processes of memorialization. She has published widely on Canadian and Latin American art, with a focus on photography, performance, and new media. She also has a long-standing research interest in the history of Guaraní-Spanish transcultural practices in north-east Argentina and Paraguay. She is the author of Mining the Media Archive (2005) and numerous museum catalogue, book anthology, and journal essays. Her curatorial projects include a retrospective exhibition of the Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, Frida and Diego: Passion, Politics, and Painting, held at the Art Gallery of Ontario in 2012-13. 

Tuer has received SSHRC grants for her research practice and arts awards for her writing, including the Toronto Arts Award; Canada Council Senior Artist and Ontario Arts Council Art Critics and Literature Awards; and the Ontario Art Galleries Association Curatorial Writing Award. She is currently a co-investigator on a SSHRC Partnership Grant and SSHRC Insight Grant. In 2013, she received the OCAD University Award for Distinguished Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity. 

Over the last several decades, Tuer has served as a board member for the Power Plant; Toronto Arts Council; Cinemateque Ontario; Funnel Film Theatre; Hemispheric Institute; Prefix Photo; LACAP (Latin American-Canadian Art Projects); Public; Fuse and magazines. She has also served as a juror for all levels of government cultural funding, as well as for international festivals and museums. 

At OCAD, Tuer has served in various administrative capacites, including Acting Dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences; founding Chair of Honours BA Visual and Critical Studies program; Undergraduate Chair of the BFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice;  and Graduate Director of the MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice.

Tuer teaches courses on Latin American art, cultural memory, history of photography and new media art, curatorial practice, and cultural/postcolonial theory. At the graduate level, she teaches courses on postcolonial and contemporary art theory and curating and has supervised students across a range of MA and MFA programs. 


BA (Hons), History, Queen's University, 1981. 

MA., History, University of Toronto, 1995.

Ph.D., History, University of Toronto, 2011.

Professional Experience


Guest Curator, Frida and Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting, Art Gallery of Ontario, October 2012-January 2013

Selector, Art Gallery of Ontario Grange Photography Prize, 2008-9.

Curator, Spotlight Retrospective on Vera Frenkel, Images Film Festival, 1997.

Curator. A Maze of Complicity, YYZ Gallery, 1996

Residency Leader for End of the Nation-State Artists Residency. Banff Centre for the Arts, 1994.

Programmer, Framing Bodies, Framing Technologies. Peterborough International Images Film Festival, 1992.

Programmer, Canadian Film Retrospective, Toronto Festival of Festivals, 1992.

Programmer, High Tech/Low Tech: Bodies in Space, Pleasure Dome, 1992.

Curator, Technology and Autobiography in Video, Video In, 1992.

Curator, Imaging Labour, Ministry of Culture and Communication, 1991.

Curator, Cache du Cinema, Funnel Film Theatre, 1985.

Curator, The Coming of Age, Canada House, London, England, 1985.

Awards \ Grants

SSHRC Partnership Grant (Co-Investigator), Hemispheric Encounters: Developing transborder research-creation practices. 2020-27. 

SSHRC Explore Grant (Principal Investigator), Cultural Memory, Technology, and Commemorative Artistic Practices. 2020-21. 

SSHRC Insight Research-Creation Grant (Co-investigator), Mushkeke uhkeeng/ Hampi Wiñachiq Pacha / Pohã ñana/ Where the Medicine Grows: (Re)Generative Translocal, Transmedia Healing Networks. 2019-23.

SSHRC Partnership Grant (Co-investigator), Canadian Consortium of Performance and Politics in the Americas. 2013-2020.

SSHRC Insight Research-Creation Grant (Co-investigator), QUIPUCAMAYOC: transmedial, translocal game creation with two Andean communities. 2013-16.

SSHRC Partnership Development Grant (Collaborator), Photography and the Transnational Politics of Affect. 2011-2014.

SSHRC International Development Fund (Co-investigator), Affect and Photojournalism. 2008.

Canada Council Senior Grant to Independent Curators and Critics. 2007. 

Ontario Art Galleries Association Curatorial Writing Award. 2004, 1993.

Canada Council B Grant for Critics and Curators. 1994, 1993, 1991, 1988, 1987, 1986, 1985.

Ontario Arts Council Literature Grant: Works in Progress. 1999.

Canada Council A Grant. 1999.

Ontario Arts Council Grants to Art Writers. 1995, 1994, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1988, 1987, 1985.

Toronto Arts Council Writers Award. 1989.

Canada Council Explorations Grant. 1989.

Selected Publications


Frida and Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting, eds. Dot Tuer and Elliot King. Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 2012.

Mining the Media Archive: Essays on Art, Technology, and Cultural Resistance. Toronto: YYZ Books, 2005

Selected Essays (2010-20)

Absent Bodies and the Empty Space of the Image: Reframing the Family Photograph in Gustavo Germano's Ausencias. Prefix Photo 41 (Winter 2020).

Ghostly Traces and Memories of Passage: The Journey to the Atacama Desert and the Ritual of Return. Return to Atacama. New York University, Gestos Hemipress, 2019.

Traces and Erasures: Documenting the Rosario Space of Memory (with Alberto Gomez) Prefix Photo 36 (2017).

Common Ground: The Thematics of Dispossession in Contemporary Arab and Canadian Art.” Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas. Vol. 2, No. 3 (Fall 2016)

Meeting Places: The Decolonial Aesthetics of Ron Benner’s Three Questions,” in Ron Benner: Three Questions. London, Ontario: McIntosh Gallery, 2016. 

Homespun Cinemas & Local Community: The Documentary Photography of John Porter, In John Porter's CineScenes: Documentary Portraits from Alternative Film Scenes, Toronto and Beyond, 1978-2015. Toronto: 8fest Publications, 2015.

A Greeting from the Anishanabe of Canada to the Tzotzil in Chiapas: Decolonizing the Gesture of Friendship between Indigenous Nations. E-hemispheric: Decolonization 11:1 (Winter 2014)

Beyond the New Media Frame: The Poetics of Absence in Vera Frenkel's String Games."In Vera Frenkel, ed. Sigrid Schade. Berlin: Verlag, 2013.

Towards the Darkness (and the Light): Reflections on an ESMA Photograph. Prefix Photo 27 (2013).

Counterpoints Towards a Politics of Provocation: Revolutionary Ideology and Conceptual Art in Tucuman Arde and It's Still Privileged Art. Transmissions Annual Journal (2011).

Looking for Castro. Prefix Photo 23 (2011).

A Certain Regard: The Spectre of the Self (as other). In Suzy Lake: Political Poetics. University Centre Art Gallery, University of Toronto, 2011.

Colonial Legacy of Popular Belief in North-East Argentina. In Transcultural Americas / Ameriques transculturelles. Ed. Afef Benessaieh. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2010.

Professional Affiliations / Boards / Juries

Current Board Positions and Research Affiliations

CERLAC Associate Fellow, York University (2017-)

Editorial Board, Gestures/Gestos Hemipress, NYC (2016-)

Massey College Alumni Fellow (2015-)

Advisory Board, Latin American-Canadian Art Projects, LACAP (2014-)

Board Member, Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics (2013-)

Contributing Editor, Art Canada Institute (2012-)

Editorial Board, Public (2002-)

Advisory Board, Prefix Photo (2000-)

Past Board Positions and Research Affiliations 

Toronto Photography Seminar, (2006-19)

Contributing Editor: Fuse Magazine, (2004-9)

Visual Arts Committee: Toronto Arts Council (2000-3)

Advisory Board, Cinemateque Ontario (1991-1997)

Chair, Board of Directors: Fuse Magazine (1994-1996)

Board of Directors, The Power Plant, Harbourfront (1991-95)

Advisory Board, C Magazine (1991-1993)

Advisory Board to the Minister of Culture, Ontario (1991)

Board of Directors. Funnel Film Theatre (1984-86) Chair (1985-86).