Neil Hennessy

Neil M Hennessy is a pataphysician who graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Mathematics in Computer Science and English Literature. He and Derek Beaulieu comprise the Trans-Canada Research Team. His digital poetry originates in Toronto, but is installed on computer screens via UbuWeb, Digital Ephemera at Coach House Books, and [sic]. His critical work on digital poetics has appeared in Open Letter, and will be presented at E-Poetry 2001: An International Digital Poetry Festival at SUNY Buffalo.


  • SIFT: The Reading Room

    April 28–June 2, 2001

    This exhibition will propose a consideration of the gallery space as a reading room, allowing visitors to loiter long enough to engage with work that breaks apart the distinctions between writing, visual art and technological applications. Ryan Knighton’s poetic practice, for example, uses his JAWS voice computer program designed to accommodate his visual impairment as part of the method and content of his work. For SIFT, Knighton’s work will be installed at a computer station, opening up the elaborate process of his practice in an interactive fashion. In addition, materials and publications from Pulley Press will be selected in a curatorial collaboration with Jason LeHeup. His transgressions of the parameters of arcade games have resulted in a series of portraits of the children he would produce should he mate with his male cohorts and this photographic evidence will be included in the exhibition. leannej’s constructs stories that are diagrams, leading the reader/viewer through a labyrinth of conditional outcomes. Previously installed as magazine inserts, these works are reproduced as works on the gallery walls.

Talks & Events

  • Reading/Web Launch

    May 29, 2001

    Artspeak is pleased to host the reading and web launch of “SIFTED: The Read Room” which accompanies SIFT: The Read Room; an exhibition running from April 28th to June 2nd, 2001.


  • SIFTED: The Read Room

    Title: SIFTED: The Read Room
    Writers: Roger Farr & Tessa Lamb, Neil Hennessy, leannej & Jeremy Turner, Reg Johanson, Ryan & Mykol Knighton, Jason Le Heup, Chris Turnbull
    Editor: Artspeak
    Category: CD-ROM
    Design: Mia Thomsett
    Publisher: Artspeak
    Year published: 2001
    Process: Digital
    Features: 50 bw images
    Weight: 54 g
    Dimensions: 18 x 11 x 0.5 cm
    No longer available

    In conjunction with the exhibition SIFT: The Reading Room, Artspeak has produced SIFTED: The Read Room. These projects present the work of Vancouver and Toronto writers who have made forays into visual arts practice, breaking apart the distinctions between writing, visual art and technological applications. With a CD-ROM of images and web projects, Sifted is the culmination of the collaborative work of several writers and their invited colleagues that took place over the duration of the exhibition.

    Ryan Knighton and Mykol Knighton’s project draws on Ryan’s poetic practice and work in the exhibition, using the synthesized voice of his JAWS computer software for the visually impaired as part of the method and content of his work. Their collaborative work, titled Clutch, combines a sequence of photographs of an abandoned car which decompose the functioning car into its parts with text and sound investigating language/machinery, narrative, memory and hyperlinking relationships between image and anecdote.

    Roger Farr and Tessa Lamb’s collaborative and recombinant project Album, a book in process uses hypertext to unhinge the linear syntax imposed on historical and visual narratives by the codex book form. Composed of blurred black and white snapshots and edited diary passages culled from the web, Album makes public the privacy and intimacy usually attributed to the autobiographical genres of the family photograph and the personal diary.

    leannej and Jeremy Turner have created parallel projects that reflect their shared interest in the narrative process and the construction of identity. leanne’s work in the exhibition titled Maybe its Just a Phase, is a installation of diagrammatic text/stories that lead a reader/viewer through a maze of conditional outcomes. Jeremy’s practice and recent writing in FRONT magazine have involved re-creating historical and contemporary figures/identities through the form of the internet chat room, manufactured interviews and diaries.