Robert Bean, Equation 1

Robert Bean, "Equation 1" (2011)
DeLegrange Mathematical Model - Hyperbolic paraboloid Canada Science and Technology Museum



273@345 (brushing information against information)

November 5 - December 3, 2011
Opening Reception: Friday November 4, 2011, 6:00 - 9:00 PM

Circuit Gallery at Gallery 345
345 Sorauren Avenue, Toronto, Canada

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Gallery Hours: Saturdays, 12:00 noon - 5:00 p.m., or by appointment (please don't hesitate to make one)
For more information contact Claire Sykes: | 1-647-477-2487


ROBERT BEAN: 273@345 (brushing information against information)


Circuit Gallery is pleased to present a new solo exhibition by Canadian Artist Robert Bean exploring the relationship between John Cage and Marshall McLuhan.

This exhibition considers the influential relationship that Marshall McLuhan and the composer John Cage shared during their lives. Through the use of sound, images of artifacts, archives and experimental scores, the installation presents an exploration of inscription and technology by "brushing information against information". John Cage makes continuous reference to McLuhan's ideas in his essays, interviews and mesostics. In particular, he frequently quotes McLuhan's observation that in the electronic age, our primary occupation is information-gathering and "brushing information against information".

McLuhan anticipated the transition from anxiety to boredom in the cultural evolution of electronic media and information technology. Observing the transition from content to pattern as well as the non-linear destructuring of reception inherent to electronic technologies, McLuhan perceived an anaesthetic or numbing influence on the human senses. Referencing the Distant Early Warning radar technologies (DEW) deployed during the Cold War, McLuhan described art and artists as a cultural "early warning system". John Cage, attentive to McLuhan's observation that the human nervous system is extended beyond the body by electronic media, endeavored to expand and accentuate human sensorial experience is his experimental and optimistic approach to sound, performance and technology.


Robert Bean, Fontana Mix #112

Robert Bean, "Fontana Mix #112" from 273 Permutations (2011)
John Cage composition score, 1958


Robert Bean, Fontana Mix #78

Robert Bean, "Fontana Mix #78" from 273 Permutations (2011)
John Cage composition score, 1958


Robert Bean, Goudl Cage Envelope

Robert Bean, "Gould-Cage Envelope" (2011)
File Title: Gould, Glenn. n. d.; LAC Archive Reference: MG31, D156: 25-23
The use of all Marshall McLuhan’s Documents is courtesy of the Estate of Marshall McLuhan / All Rights Reserved


See more works available by Robert Bean available through Circuit Gallery.


Artist Bio

Robert Bean is an artist, writer and teacher living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Born in Saskatchewan, he moved to Nova Scotia in 1976 to pursue a career in contemporary art and education. He obtained a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD University) in 1978, and an MA in Cultural Studies from the University of Leeds, England in 1999. He is currently a Professor at NSCAD University. Bean has exhibited his work in solo and group exhibitions in Canada, the United States, Europe, South America and New Zealand.

He has published articles on photography, art and cultural history, written catalogue essays and has completed numerous curatorial projects. Bean has received grants and awards from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Nova Scotia Arts Council. In March 2007, Robert Bean received a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Research/Creation grant to pursue a three-year investigation on the subject of "Obsolescence and the Culture of Human Invention". Robert Bean was the Artist in Residence at the Canadian Science and Technology Museum, Ottawa, Ontario in 2010.

Bean's work is in public and private collections, including the Nova Scotia Art Bank, the Canada Council Art Bank, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and the National Gallery of Canada.

He is represented by Circuit Gallery (Toronto)

Additional details on work by Robert Bean may be viewed at the following websites:


Robert Bean, Equation 4

Robert Bean, "Equation 4" (2011)
DeLegrange Mathematical Model - Hyperbolic paraboloid Canada Science and Technology Museum


Circuit Gallery gratefully acknowledges the support of Edward Epstein and Gallery 345.