The kid gloves come off at CFAT

Young children become art critics—blunt ones—at the Centre for Art Tapes’ new show, Tiny Takeover


Tiny Takeover: Kid Critics
To August 31
Centre For Art Tapes, 2238 Maitland Street

"I find the general public that's not already interested in the media arts often will use the works that have a narrative to pull them in and get them to have a look at the other work," says Tori Fleming, programming director at the Centre for Art Tapes. "But something I hadn't thought about with this generation—they're all between three and five—that's not a thing with them. The internet has trained this whole new generation that narrative is not necessarily a part of video."

Fleming is standing amidst the five pieces featured in CFAT's just—opened exhibition, Tiny Takeover—named as such because she had the kids at the neighbouring daycare, A Tiny Lab for Early Learning, assess the show and has printed their critiques in a catalogue for purchase. "It was the most fun I've had planning a program in a really long time."

Andrew Coll, who with Craig Lang made Prism—a pyramid of boxes upon which light is projected and manipulated by viewers with elements of sound via iPad—says the show is a much different vibe from the piece's debut at Nocturne 2016.

"Kids are tough critics! They're gonna say what's on their mind and that's really cool but it's terrifying too," he says. "We showed it to them without any of the stuff on it, and asked them what they thought. They were all wondering what was in the boxes, and then we turned it on and they were like 'Whoaaa.' And then they were all fighting over the iPad."

"I thought, 'Are they gonna like this bad feedback? It's funny and I'm enjoying it, but I didn't make this,"' says Fleming of the other artists' reactions. "Every time you get bad feedback it's gutting you and it sucks, and it's because you're not getting an opportunity and that's why you're getting feedback in the first place. But with this, it was really honest first reactions, and they all thought they were hilarious."

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