Postcommodity: Time Holds All the Answers

Postcommodity: Time Holds All the Answers – Dr. Gerald McMaster, OCADU and Remai Modern collaborate on major exhibition and publication.

Publication at a Glance 

Wapatah Centre for Indigenous Visual Knowledge at OCAD University and Dr. Gerald McMaster are proud to present a major book project in collaboration with Remai Modern museum - Postcommodity: Time Holds All the Answers. This landmark publication features groundbreaking contributions by Gerald McMaster, Roberto Bedoya, Floyd Favel, Bill Kelley Jr., and Elise Y. Chagas. Building on and published in association with Postcommodity’s major solo exhibition at Remai Modern, Postcommodity: Time Holds All the Answers the publication is an important and timely collaboration between Remai Modern, Postcommodity and Otami- Creative Director Sébastien Aubin that grounds the projection of Indigenous Knowledge Systems within the publication design. As a significant contribution to discourse, Dr. McMaster’s essay proceeds through a series of narrative devices to reimagine the ways in which Postcommodity’s practice can be understood in the contexts of today.   

“By connecting Indigenous narratives of cultural self-determination to the broader sphere of public institutions, Postcommodity use art as a wedge to inject Indigenous knowledge and expand common points of reference beyond the colonial worldview. Through their practice of artmaking, binary ways of thinking, such as “us versus them,” can be rendered absurd, leaving the possibility for syncretic modalities to take their place. The results are reconfigured sites primed for reimagined ceremonial possibilities” 

(Dr. Gerald McMaster, Postcommodity: Time Holds All the Answers, 46) 

“During our brief visit, I was reminded of all of those who had come before us. They had comported themselves with the knowledge that they were not the first to be there, nor would they be the last; that those who had come before them were not behind, but, in fact, were in front of them, ahead of them, and that one day they too would be the future of those following the very same trail of primordial crumbs. With those behind them in mind, generations of our ancestors had placed stone after stone with intention, not only to say, “We are grateful for this place,” but to say, “All willing, you will also find your way to receive her offerings.” With us in mind they collectively, cumulatively, and gently marked a windswept hilltop to draw us to a vista, to point the way, to transfer their knowledge, and to be remembered remembering us—all in a spiral of time and space that defies any foolish notions of linearity.” 

(Dr. Gerald McMaster, Postcommodity: Time Holds All the Answers, 84) 

Publication is available for purchase through Remai Modern

Exhibition at a Glance  

Curated by Dr. Gerald McMaster and hosted by Remai Modern in Saskatoon from September 18, 2021 to January 23, 2022, Time Holds All the Answers was Postcommodity’s most significant museum exhibition to date. In addition to two of Remai Modern’s largest gallery spaces, works were featured throughout the building. With a selection of new pieces created for the occasion, the exhibition included architecturally-scaled sculpture and immersive multimedia installations that incorporate sound and text. The exhibition touched on subjects including resource extraction and land use, toxicity and containment, intersections of the global market with human elders, translation across Indigenous and colonial languages, and the mythologies of modern art and architecture. 

Postcommodity deploy a creative methodology of hacking, intentionally breaking predetermined products or structures in order to modify their original use and inspire alternative outcomes. In practice, hacking undoes, reimagines and resets. How can this be accomplished? Using art as a wedge, Postcommodity inject Indigenous Knowledge Systems into the museum space to expand common points of reference. In their work, the artists transform the museum into a site where their concept of re-imagined ceremony takes shape. While ceremony is generally associated with a religious or spiritual gathering that celebrates a particular event, Postcommodity’s approach creates an immersive narrative environment throughout the museum, welcoming visitors into a realm of symbolic exchange that enacts respect, responsibility and reciprocity. 

Curator and Author  

Gerald McMaster is a leading voice nationally and internationally, with over 30 years of experience in contemporary art, critical theory, museology and Indigenous aesthetics. He is Plains Cree from the Red Pheasant Cree Nation and a member of the Siksika Nation. He served as the Canadian Commissioner for the 1995 Venice Biennale, Artistic Director of the 2012 Biennale of Sydney; and Curator for the 2018 Venice Biennale of Architecture. McMaster has served as Adjunct Curator for Remai Modern since 2018. He is a Tier 1 Canadian Research Chair and Director of Wapatah Centre for Indigenous Visual Knowledge at OCAD University in Toronto. 

Exhibition | Artists 

Postcommodity is an interdisciplinary arts collective, currently comprised of Cristóbal Martínez and Kade L. Twist. They create works of art that personify a shared Indigenous lens and voice, examining aspects of 21st-century life to inspire a uniquely Indigenous futurism. Using provocation as a tool, they spark constructive conversations that challenge the social, political and economic processes that destabilize communities and geographies. 

Cristóbal Martínez is a Mestizo artist, scholar and Chair of the Art and Technology Program at the San Francisco Art Institute. In 2003 he co-founded the artist-hacker performance ensemble Radio Healer, and in 2009 he began working as a member of Postcommodity. In 2018 he co-created, with post-Mexican composer Guillermo Galindo, the experimental electronic music duet Red Culebra. Martínez has dedicated his life and career to interdisciplinary collaboration in contemporary art. 

Kade L. Twist is a member of the Cherokee Nation and grew up in Bakersfield, California, home to one of the largest Cherokee communities in the U.S. Twist is a co-founding member of Postcommodity, and a professor in Art + Social Practice at Otis College of Art, Los Angeles. In addition to his art practice, Twist works as a public affairs consultant specializing in American Indian health care, technology and community development. 

Publication | Contributing Authors 

Roberto Bedoya is Cultural Affairs Manager for the City of Oakland. Bedoya is also a poet, whose work has appeared in numerous publications, and an art consultant, with projects for Creative Capital Foundation, the Ford Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the Urban Institute. 

Floyd Favel is a cultural theorist, writer and theatre director.  Favel is the curator of the Chief Poundmaker Museum and director of Miyawata Culture Inc., an Indigenous performance festival held yearly on Poundmaker Cree Nation. He has studied theatre in Denmark and Italy and has traveled worldwide in his research on Indigenous Performance 

Elise Y. Chagas is a Ph.D. candidate studying modern and contemporary art at Princeton University. She is a 2021-2022 Mellon-Marron Research Consortium Fellow at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. 

Bill Kelley Jr. is an educator, curator and writer based in Los Angeles. He holds a Ph.D. in Art History, Theory and Criticism from the University of California at San Diego and his current research focuses on collaborative and collective art practices in the Americas. He holds the position of Associate Professor of Latin American and Latino art history at California State University Bakersfield. 

Publication | Designer 

Sébastien Aubin is a freelance graphic artist currently based in Montréal and a proud member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation in Manitoba. He has worked for Kolegram, one of the most prestigious graphic design studios in Québec, and has done publications for numerous artists, organizations, and art galleries in Winnipeg, Montréal and Ottawa, including Plug In ICA Close Encounters, the next 500 years, Terrance Houle, KC Adams, Carleton University Art Gallery, Thunder Bay Art Gallery, and Art Gallery of South Western Manitoba. Aubin is one of the founding members of the ITWÉ collective that is dedicated to research, creation, production and education of Aboriginal digital culture.  

Supporting Team | Wapatah Centre for Indigenous Visual Knowledge at OCAD University 

Michael Rattray is a Toronto-based creative professional with experience in a wide variety of mediums of expression. As a Postdoctoral Research Fellow under the direction of Dr. McMaster at Wapatah, he acted as the Executive Editor and provided oversight for the editorial, design, and publication process for Postcommodity: Time Holds All the Answers. At OCAD University, he also contributed to projects such as the Virtual Platform for Indigenous Art and Arctic / Amazon: Networks of Global Indigeneity – a major publication in partnership with the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, and the Ryerson Image Centre, for which he managed the publication timeline and editorial process. 

Natalja Chestopalova is a senior researcher and project manager at Wapatah Centre, OCAD University. Her work focuses on immersive installations and new media, animation of museum collections, and blockchain solutions for art and site-responsive projects. At Wapatah, Natalja is providing project management oversight for an array of publications, conferences, and virtual educational projects. These include: Indigenizing the (Art) Museum Virtual Series, HotDocs Series Beauty and Resilience: Indigenous Art in Canada, Arctic/Amazon: Networks of Global Indigeneity exhibition and major publication, and the Virtual Platform for Indigenous Art - a custom digital tool for mobilizing artwork and facilitating Indigenous access and contributions to Indigenous art in museum and gallery collections around the world.  

Brittany Pitseolak Bergin is a research assistant at Wapatah Centre, OCAD University. Raised in Southern Ontario, her family is from Kinngait, Cape Dorset. Inspired by the artists in her family and community, including her great-grandmother and namesake Pitseolak Ashoona, Brittany’s focus at Wapatah is centred in community engagement as she continues to support major projects and outreach initiatives. Her work has been integral to the success of projects such as the Virtual Platform for Indigenous Art, Arctic/Amazon Symposium, Arctic/Amazon: Networks of Global Indigeneity exhibition and publication, and Indigenizing the (Art) Museum Virtual Series. Her most recent conferences include the Frontend Conference (Munich) and Inuit Studies Conference (Montreal). 

Panya Clark Espinal is a multi-media installation artist whose practice investigates the mechanisms of cultural representation and, through site-specific installations, exhibitions and public commissions, explores questions of perception, reproduction, collection, and display. Her CCP thesis titled Between Stories: The Agency of Story and Living Ways was developed while working alongside Elín Agla, a Vernacular Culture Farmer from Árneshreppur County, Iceland. As a senior research assistant at Wapatah, Panya has contributed to writing the Bill Reid publication for the Art Canada Institute and The Entangled Gaze project. 

Alessia Pignotti is a conceptual, multimedia artist and graphic designer whose most recent artistic practice explores the notion of the creative instinct. She holds a Masters of Art from OCAD University in the Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories program, and received an Honours Bachelor of Arts (2017) from the University of Toronto in a joint program with Sheridan College. As a research assistant at Wapatah, Alessia supported a number of projects including the Bill Reid publication project for the Art Canada Institute. 


Coloured barrels stacked inside a gallery
Postcommodity: Time holds all the answers
Indigenous dancers wearing regalia are dancing
Postcommodity - 4
Yellow, red, white and black barrels are stacked floor to ceiling in a gallery
Four people stand in front of a wall of text. Dr. Gerald Mcmaster is second from right.
Yellow, red, white and black barrels are stacked floor to ceiling in a gallery
3D art is displayed in a gallery.
A spread from the Postcommodity book.
A spread from the Postcommodity book.
Work is displayed in a gallery.
Hanging work is displayed in a gallery.
A spread from the Postcommodity book.
A spread from the Postcommodity book.
Musicians perform under purple lighting.
A spread from the Postcommodity book.
A spread from the Postcommodity book.
Work installed in a gallery.
Monday, March 7, 2022 - 10:45am

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: First Generation Student Publication

Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - 9:30am to Friday, November 1, 2019 - 11:45pm

First generation* students from all OCAD U undergrad programs are invited to submit work for an upcoming student publication.

The theme is Educational Worth. The issue of continuing and education has generated conversations about the stress of life-school balance and the uncertainty of future.

Looking for works on personal experience, opinions and thoughts on education. Works submitted can be any medium, including writing. Participants may also contribute through answering a short questionnaire.

If interested, email

Deadline: Friday, November 1, 2019

*You are first generation if your parents/family did not attend a college or university--you are the first.

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul Street
Call for submissions graphic

Journal of Visual and Critical Studies Publication Launch

Friday, May 4, 2018 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Founded in 2016, the Journal of Visual and Critical Studies collects and celebrates some of the best academic writing by students at OCAD University. Comprising critical essays, exhibition reviewsand thesis abstracts, this anthology reflects the unique approaches to art history and visual culture that are being explored at the school.

Venue & Address: 
Room 315, 100 McCaul Street
Visual and Critical Studies Journal Publication Launch poster

Call for Submissions: First Generation Student Exhibition & Publication

call for submissions poster
Friday, December 1, 2017 - 11:15am

OCAD U First Generation students from all undergraduate programs are invited to submit work on the theme of MIGRATION for this year's exhibition and publication. Accepted works will be on display in the Learning Zone from March 22nd to March 30th, and will be printed in our publication. 

This year's theme is Migration, meaning "movement from one part to another". This theme can be interpreted in any medium, including writing. 

To apply, email with the following:

  • one high-resolution colour image (1500x1500 px minimum) of your work. **Note that the publication will be printed in two-tone risography, therefore please keep in mind that your work should read well as a greyscale image.
  • Title, medium, and year of your work.
  • Your full name, student number, program, and year of study. 

Deadline: midnight of January 15, 2018.

*First Generation refers to students who are first in their family to attend university. 

Fundraiser Raffle: OneHourEmpire

Saturday, October 4, 2008 - 2:00am

Students in Professor Eldon Garnet's class are launching a new cultural magazine entitled OneHourEmpire.

To raise funds, raffle tickets are available for $100 each to win one of eight works:

Edward Burtynsky
Shipyard #13, Mounted C Print 18x22 inches, edition 8/25

Noel Harding
Ecolamp, 1999, glass, wire, light parts

Ian Carr-Harris
Mind Reading, 1994, stainless steel, book, light

Suzy Lake
Beauty at a Proper Distance/In Song, 2001, C-print, framed, 23.5x26 inches

Micah Lexier
Virtrine Drawing (blue), 2007, Two-colour letterpress prints on Strathmore paper, 22x17 inches, edition 11/22

Nick and Sheila Pye
Musing, 2006, C-print, 20x20 inches, edition 1/5

Eldon Garnet
If Only for a Moment, 2006, stainless steel, 1.5x22x.125 inches, edition 2/5

Rirkrit Tiravanija
Saddle, 2008, light jet photographic print, mounted, 33.25x21.75 inches, edition 1/3

The work is on display at the Great Hall from Sunday September 21 to Friday October 3. Tickets can be purchased online at

Venue & Address: 
The Great Hall 1087 Queen St. W, Toronto, Ontario

Faculty Member Mark Dickinson Publishes Co-Edited book on Robert Bringhurst

The Arts of Robert Bringhurst
Tuesday, February 16, 2016 - 5:00am

"Robert Bringhurst is often referred to as a Renaissance man. He has done intimate readings of many Native American texts that were written down phonemically early in the twentieth century but barely studied since. Bringhurst is also a unique poet who takes plain English and bends and shapes it like a musician, creating an original verse that cannot be classified but reads splendidly and is not aiming at pleasing anybody. He is a solitary artist and thinker who's in touch with almost everything. These fifteen elegant papers almost do him justice. It's a very good start." Gary Snyder, author of This Present Moment

Contributors include Margaret Atwood, Nicholas Bradley (University of Victoria), Crispin Elsted (Barbarian Press), Clare Goulet (Mount St. Vincent University), Iain Higgins (University of Victoria), Ishmael Hope, Peter Koch (Peter Koch Printers), Dennis Lee, Scott McIntyre, Katherine McLeod (Concordia University), Kevin McNeilly (University of British Columbia), Káawan Sangáa, and Erica Wagner.

Illustration students win big at international 3x3 Student Show No. 12

Illustration by Long Hui Wang
Thursday, June 25, 2015 - 4:00am

Six OCAD U students have won the honour of being published in the 3x3 Illustration Annual No 12. 3x3, The Magazine of Contemporary Illustration, is the first publication devoted entirely to the art of illustration. Published in the United States and distributed worldwide, its goal is to share what’s shaping international illustration.

Congratulations go to the following students whose work was displayed in the 3x3 Student Show:

  • Long Hui Wang (4th year) – Silver Medal/Multiple Merit winner
  • Hong Chen (2nd year) – Silver Medal/Multiple Merit winner
  • Lynden Joudrey (4th year) – Multiple Merit
  • Kaitlin Richardson (4th year) – Merit/Honourable Mention
  • Cornelia Li & Paige Clark (4th year) – Merit
  • Marley Allen-Ash & Heidi Berton (4th year) – Honourable Mention
  • Milena Bassen (3rd year) – Honourable Mention

All medal, merit and distinguished merit winners will appear in 3x3’s annual edition in print and online. Honourable mentions will be displayed online.

Jody Hewgill wins Society of Illustrators gold

Before Midnight by Jody Hewgill
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - 5:00am

Assistant Professor in Illustration Jody Hewgill has recently been awarded a Society of Illustrators gold award for her work Before Midnight. The award was given in the editorial category of the Society’s 57th Annual Exhibition.

The painting was commissioned by Entertainment Weekly creative director Kory Kennedy for a review of the film by the same name by director Richard Linklater for the magazine’s top ten issue. The painting will be exhibited at New York’s Museum of American Illustration opening gala and award presentation on February 6, 2015.

“This is an extraordinary honour in the Illustration profession and a feather in the cap of OCAD’s Faculty of Design,” said Illustration Chair Paul Dallas. The exhibition is considered the premier showcase for illustrators.


Active design in action, image provided by Gayle Nicoll.
Gayle Nicoll. Photo by Christina Gapic.
Active Design: Affordable Designs for Affordable Housing. Image provided by Gayle Nicoll

Good design can improve health by encouraging physical activity. Dr. Gayle Nicoll, Dean of the Faculty of Design at OCAD U, co-authored an important new publication research study, Active Design: Affordable Designs for Affordable Housing. The study looks at cost-effective strategies for incorporating active design principles in affordable housing developments, and these strategies are aimed primarily at increasing physical activity among children aged 3-18. 

The study builds on the award-winning Active Design Guidelines published by New York City in 2010, which Dr. Nicoll also co-authored.  

Gayle Nicoll. Photo by Christina Gapic.“Active design is an environmental design practice that aims to provide opportunities for people to achieve recommended levels of physical activity to promote health and avoid chronic disease within their daily lifestyle,” explains Nicoll. “Active design helps to address the critical health epidemic of our current time — obesity and related chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.”

As a result of advancements in technology and lifestyle changes in work and entertainment North Americans have become increasingly sedentary, leading to higher rates of chronic diseases. But this surge does not affect everyone equally: research shows affluent people are less likely to be overweight or obese than people living in low-income households, in part due to the costs related to access to fresh produce, recreational facilities and programming. Nicoll’s research shows that active design strategies can be economically incorporated into urban, site and building design.

“It’s one of the rising issues of our times,” says Nicoll. “The next generation will likely be the first to have a shorter life span than their parents. It’s so important for us to incorporate opportunities within our public spaces, workplaces and home environments for people to achieve recommended levels of physical activity in our daily lives. This includes physically active recreation and active transportation, such as walking, cycling or using the stairs instead of the elevator.”

In her scholarship Nicoll works directly with health providers and architects. Her focus is on translating the substantial evidence from academic research and best practices related to influence of environment on human behaviour into design practice and public policy. Her new publication has the potential to become one of the most important references for affordable housing providers and designers across North America interested in the active design movement. 

Nicoll and her colleagues hope to continue developing this series of reference publications, delving further into how active design can be incorporated into suburban developments and across diverse populations, including the elderly and those with mobility issues.

Active Design: Affordable Designs for Affordable Housing. Image provided by Gayle Nicoll.
Nicoll co-authored the publication with Dr. Karen K. Lee of the Built Environment and Healthy Housing Program at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Jennifer Du Bose at the Georgia Institute of Technology College of Architecture. OCAD U played an important role in the production of the book: Environmental Design student Parham Karimi produced the graphics; and Graphic Design student Ansel Schmidt provided the graphic layout and production, under the supervision of the Graphic Design Co-chair, Roderick Grant. 

Nicoll and Lee will be conducting a workshop on Active Design as part of the Urban Ecologies Conference at OCAD U in Toronto, June 20-21, 2013.

Download the publication:

Active Design: Affordable Designs for Affordable Housing. 

Read more:

News release 

Active Design Guidelines