The Bureau of True Vision

Featured participant: Tom Richardson

Opening reception: 19:30 Friday February 26, 2016

Exhibition date: February 27 to April 16 23 2016 (EXTENDED)

*Check CINEMA ROOM for programming info


SPARE ROOM presents The Bureau of True Vision, a solo exhibition by Tom Richardson. Working through mythology, technology, and mechanical processes, Richardson brings together 3D animation, print media, sculpture and a soundscape into an installation designed specifically for Spare Room. The exhibition is at once a portrait of a cyborg and an essay on Celtic Druidism, Greek mythology, and Cicada 3301.

“Cicada 3301” is an enigmatic organization that since 2012 has been drawing from Celtic and Greek mythology to form puzzles targeted at the world’s top cryptographers in a quest to recruit “highly intelligent individuals”. The Celt’s believed that our visible world existed within a much larger invisible world, simply called the otherworld. Both worlds were fluid; places and objects could conceal alternate realities. Druid means person of “true vision”; the druids were a group of learned men and women whose function was in dealings with the otherworld. More recently our bureau has harnessed the Internet to make open communications with the otherworld.

Born in the UK, Tom Richardson relocated to Vancouver in 2011. During this time he has further developed a practice as an artist and curator. Richardson holds a BFA from Emily Carr University where he received the 2015 President’s Media Award for best installation. Richardson has exhibited and performed extensively around the globe under the moniker “Tommy Chain”. Tragically, Tommy Chain was lost during a sandstorm en-route to an exhibition in Winnipeg in August of 2015 and hasn’t been seen since.

Richardson’s interest in post-conceptual and narrative strategies is reflected through his works that range from installation, video and music to more subtle conceptual objects and paintings. Through analyzing contexts his works challenge traditional research with their deadpan delivery and atypical associations. These works often inhabit a void between the theoretical digital and the tacit physical worlds wherein politics/fiction, mythology/Internet and performance meld.