OCAD University
Jim Drobnick
Associate Professor
Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Graduate Studies
416-977-6000, Ext. 420

Area(s) of Expertise

Contemporary Art and Postmedia Practices, Curating and Criticism, Performance


Jim Drobnick is a critic, curator and Associate Professor of Contemporary Art and Theory at OCAD University. He has held research affiliations at the University of Manchester and the National Gallery of Canada, and served as editor at Parachute for thirteen years. His writings on performance, sound, the senses, and postmedia artistic practices have appeared in journals such as Angelaki, High Performance, Performance Research, Public, and Senses & Society, where he is now an editor. His books include Aural Cultures (2004) and The Smell Culture Reader (2006). He is one of the founding editors of the Journal of Curatorial Studies. In 1994, Drobnick and Jennifer Fisher co-founded DisplayCult, a collaborative framework that organizes exhibitions, performances, conferences and publications. Its main objective is to creatively merge disciplines, media and communities to propose alternative prototypes for display and aesthetic engagement. In 2000, they co-organized the conference Uncommon Senses. Their collaborative publications include CounterPoses (2002), Museopathy (2002), and essays in Trespassers & Captives (2000), Aernout Mik (2005) and FASTWURMS (2008), among others.


2006 Doctor of Philosophy. Humanities Doctoral Program, Concordia University, Montreal. 1986 Master of Fine Arts. Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax. 1981 Bachelor of Arts. Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio.

Professional Experience

2012+ Editor, Journal of Curatorial Studies 2010+, Reviews Editor, PUBLIC 2006+ Associate Professor, OCAD University 2006+: Reviews Editor, Senses & Society 2005-06: Research Fellow, University of Manchester, UK 2001-02: Research Fellow, National Gallery of Canada 1992-2005: Assistant and Senior Editor, Parachute. 1990-2005: Adjunct Faculty, Graduate Program in Fine Arts, Concordia University 1986+ Independent Critic and Curator (DisplayCult)

Selected Exhibitions

2009 NIGHTSENSE, Nuit Blanche, Zone B: The Financial District, Toronto (co-curator, DisplayCult). 2009 MetroSonics, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa–(co-curator, DisplayCult). 2008Odor Limits, Esther M. Klein Art Gallery, Philadelphia–(co-curator, DisplayCult). 2007 Listening Awry, McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton (curator). 2006Do Me!, Toronto–(co-curator, DisplayCult). 2005Aural Cultures, Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff (curator). 2003 reminiSCENT, Toronto (co-curator). 2001Museopathy, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston–(co-curator, DisplayCult). 2000 Vital Signs, Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Montreal–(co-curator, DisplayCult). 1998CounterPoses, Oboro, Montreal–(co-curator, DisplayCult).

Awards \ Grants

Research Grant, SSHRC, 2011-13. Award for Excellence in Early Stage Research, OCAD, 2010. Postdoctoral Fellowship, FQRSC, 2005-6. Research Grant, SSHRC (co-recipient), 2002-04. B-Grant, Independent Critics and Curators, The Canada Council, 2001. Dissemination Grant, The Canada Council (co-recipient), 2001. Publication Grant, The Canada Council (co-recipient),1999. Publication Grant, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec (co-recipient), 1999. Research Grant, FCAR (co-recipient), 1997-2000. Doctoral Fellowship, SSHRC, 1997-2001. Dissemination Assistance, The Canada Council (co-recipient), 1997. Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec (co-recipient), 1996. B-Grant, Canada Council (co-recipient), 1994.

Selected Publications

–The Museum as Smellscape,"in The Multisensory Museum: A Cross-disciplinary Perspective on Multiple Modalities of a Museum Experience, eds. Nina Levent and Alvaro Pascual-Leone, Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2013, 177-196. –To –Feel Breathing–: Duchamp and the Immaterial Aesthetics of Scent,"in Sascha Bru, et al., eds., European Avant-Garde and Modernism Studies, Volume 3, Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2013, 275-289. Sensory Aesthetics, special issue of Senses & Society, 7(2), co-editor, 2012. Civic Spectacle, special issue of Public #45, co-editor, 2012. –Towards an Olfactory Art History: The Mingled, Fatal and Rejuvenating Perfumes of Paul Gauguin,"Senses & Society, 7(2): 197-208, 2012. ––If I Should Die...–: Necrological Meditations in –before I wake,"in The Long Time: 21st Century Art of Steele + Tomczak, Paul Wong, ed., Vancouver: VIVO/On Main (co-author), 11-25, 2012. "The City, Distilled," in Senses and the City, ed. Madalina Diaconu et al., Vienna: Lit Verlag, 2011. "Airchitecture," in Art, History and the Senses, ed. P. di Bello and G. Koureas, London: Ashgate, 2010. "Sense and ReminiSCENT," Canadian Theatre Review #137, 2009. "Body Events and Implicated Gazes," Performance Research 13(4), 2009. "HEXhibitionism," in FASTWURMS: Donky@Ninja@Witch, Vancouver: CAG, 2008 (co-author). 'sonic Intimidation: Santiago Sierra's El Deg–ello,"One Hour Empire, Fall, 72-76, 2008. –Odor Limits,"The Senses & Society 3:3, (co-author), 349-58, 2008. Listening Awry, exhibition catalogue, Hamilton: McMaster Museum of Art, 32 pp. 2007. "Bodies of Interference," in Carolee Schneemann: Split Decision, Toronto/Buffalo: MOCCA/CEPA Gallery, 2007. "From Anechoic Cave to Sonic Chasm," in Su-Mei Tse, Chicago & Luxembourg: The Renaissance Society & Editions Casino Luxembourg, 2006. The Smell Culture Reader, Oxford & New York: Berg Publishers, 2006. "Deborah Hay: A Performance Primer," Performance Research 11(2), 2006. "Platefuls of Air," Public #30, 2004. "Trafficking in Air," Performance Research 8(3), Fall 2003 Museopathy, Kingston: Agnes Etherington Art Centre, 2002 (co-author). CounterPoses, Montreal: Oboro, 2002 (co-author). "Volatile Architectures," in Crime and Ornament, Bernie Miller and Melony Ward, eds., Toronto: YYZ, 2002. "The Servant Problem," in Trespassers & Captives, Jamelie Hassan, ed., London: London Regional Art and Historical Museums (co-author), 2000.

Professional Affiliations / Boards / Juries

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS (Selected) Invited Speaker, Colloque International La Creation Olfactive, Universit"Sorbonne, Paris, May, 2014. Invited Presenter, Conference on International Opportunities in the Arts, organized by TransCultural Exchange, Boston, October, 2013. Invited Lecturer, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 2013. Presenter, College Art Association, 2013. Invited Lecturer, Multimodal Approaches to Learning, 2012. Presenter, European Network for Avant-Garde and Modernism Studies, 2012. Invited Lecturer, Performance Studies Methodologies, 2012. Invited Lecturer, Sounding Cultures: From Performance to Politics, 2011. Invited Lecturer, The Textile Museum, 2011. Invited Lecturer, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 2010. Invited Lecturer, Southern Alberta Art Gallery, 2010. Curatorial Talk, National Gallery of Canada, 2009. Invited Lecturer, University of Vienna, 2009. Invited Lecturer, Ryerson University, 2009. Presenter, Cultures of Display, UAAC, 2008. Invited Presenter, Gallery 1313, 2008. Invited Lecturer, The Power Plant, 2007. Invited Lecturer, University of Manchester, UK, 2006. Presenter, Other than the Visual, Association of Art Historians Annual Conference, Leeds, UK, 2006. Lecturer, Sensory Collections and Display, Montreal, 2005. Invited Lecturer, Sensing the City, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, 2005. Invited Lecturer, Rethinking Exhibitions, Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, 2004. Invited Lecturer, Colloquium on Visual Culture, University of Toronto, 2004. Invited Lecturer, Department of Art & Social Policy, New York University, 2004. Invited Lecturer, Visual Studies in a State of Emergency, Visual Studies Program, Cornell University, 2003. Invited Lecturer, Joan Carlisle-Irving Lecture Series, Critical Curatorial Studies Program, University of British Columbia, 2002. Invited Lecturer, Museums After Modernism: Strategies of Engagement, Toronto, 2002.