Geoffrey Shea is a Canadian media artist whose work highlights the intersections and opportunities between technological systems, community and identity. His productions incorporate interactive programming, site-specific installation, mobile phones, a philosophical twist and a critical voice.
Working primarily in video and installation, Shea has demonstrated the effects of scale on depictions of subjectivity, from tiny poetic artworks to large public projections. His work has examined how democratic politics, organized religion and art itself create tensions between individual isolation and community responsibility.
According to writer Michael Tweed, in Shea’s work “the authority of the word, even the comforting sovereignty of the image, is revealed to be what it is: the elegant cloak of our still timid unknowing. Shea does not impose or catalogue the seemingly countless variations of melancholy and despair to which we are prone. What he does provide however is a sort of topography of courage, sketching the geography that stretches between optimism and resignation, hope and despair.”
His artwork has been exhibited widely and was featured at three recent Nuits Blanches in Toronto and the exhibition “Talk to Me” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Shea was a founder, in the 1980s, of InterAccess Electronic Media Art Centre in Toronto and an editor of the video journal, Diderot. Later he was the co-director of the international artist-in-residence program at United Media Arts Studies. He has curated numerous exhibitions and film/video programs, and is currently the Artistic Co-Director of the Common Pulse Art Festival.
Shea is an Associate Professor at OCAD University, where he teaches part-time. He is the Co-Director of the Mobile Experience Lab, and is leading research into the intersections between artistic expression and physical disability, and the potential role of emerging technology.