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planetary ruins & other possibilities – Spring 2022

planetary ruins & other possibilities is a program of experimental films that explore the ecological and geological as forms of media, archival sites, and spaces for speculative mining and mapping.

Curated by Dhvani Ramanujam.

Co-presented by Archive/Counter Archive.

Join us for closing zoom Q&A Wed., May 4, 7:30 pm EST with artist in attendance, moderated by Dhvani Ramanujam.

image credit: Tellurian Drama, Riar Rizaldi (Indonesia/Hong Kong 2020)

This program has expired. Please enjoy the recorded Q&A.

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Domestic Documents: Spaces of Care & Crisis – SPRING 2022

Shifting between physical and generational boundaries, the works in Domestic Documents: Spaces of Care & Crisis take the domestic as a starting point for inquiry, asking how the interactions within these spaces inform female friendships, maternal relations, and intergenerational trauma.

Curated by Lena Chen

image credit: Love and Labor. Intimacy and Isolation. Care and Survival., Maternal Fantasies (Berlin, 2021)

This program has expired. Please enjoy the recorded Q&A.

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Love and Labor. Intimacy and Isolation. Care and Survival., Maternal Fantasies (Berlin, 2021)

Decontamination – Winter 2022

Decontamination (46:38 mins) is a collection of works reflecting universal, but mostly unarticulated angst. We go virtual and optimize our time, our emotions, and our relations; these artists explore fragments of metamodern uneasiness. You can offer up endless data to improve our doppelgängers. An uncanny place, a tragic paradox of getting lost in a glass labyrinth. We want a rational, adjustable, and transformable environment, so we rather decontaminate the unpredictable, we sterilize the unexpected. Life is disinfected, the risks are safer to handle, but the unforeseen side effects of this ongoing transformation are getting stronger and stronger. Our sterilized world is silent and alienating.

Curated by PD Director Zoltan Huber.

Join us for closing zoom Q&A Wed., Dec. 15, 7 pm EST with artist in attendance, moderated by Jillian Vasko, PhD Candidate, Cinema Studies Institute, University of Toronto.

Image Credit: Roaming, Florine Mougel (Austria, 2020).

PROGRAM EXPIRED Dec. 8-15, 2021

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Moving Homeward – Fall 2021

Moving Homeward explores the use of the personal and familial archive as a tool for auto-ethnographic investigation and speculative reconstruction of home, family, and affections. In the context of migration, displacement, and loss, how can artists research, deconstruct, reconstruct and expand archives to work through grief, uprootedness, assimilation, and intergenerational trauma?

Curated by PD Directors Sylvia Nowak and Ana Luisa Bernardez. JOIN US Q&A Nov. 17 at 7 pm EST moderated by Leila Almawy Otherhood Films.

Co-presented by Archive/Counter-Archive
Image credit: Via Karelia, Elian Mikkola (Finland, 2021).
PROGRAM EXPIRED Wed., Nov. 10 to 17, 2021
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Via Karelia, Elian Mikkola (Finland, 2021).

Ecologies of Industry – Fall 2021


Pleasure Dome’s Ecologies of Industry exists halfway between nature and industry, presenting experimental works that exist within this dichotomy. Industry has begun to replace nature by mimicking its aesthetics, creating a simulacrum of humanity’s image.

Curated by Shahbaz Khayambashi (PD Co-Chair)

JOIN US for the closing Q&A Wed. Sept 29, 2021 at 7:00 pm est. moderated by Matt Thompson with artists in attendance.

Co-presented by OPIRG Toronto with a mandate for action, education, and research on environmental and social justice.

Image Credit: The Dreaming Biome, Jeremy Newman (USA, 2020)

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Summer 2021 – Vision Creep


PWYC rental July 15 to 22, 2021

Bringing together a mix of essayistic and formalist video works, Vision Creep takes a bifocal survey of the techniques and technologies of aesthetic perception, tracing their creep and drift, as they form unlikely affinities connecting histories of art, ecology, war, medicine, and magic. A camera obscura could both help plan a renaissance masterpiece and execute a military defense system; advances in X-ray technology could prolong human life and accelerate diamond mining; colour theory could become camouflage.

Image credit: Tricotone 01, Sam Meech (UK, 2019)

PWYC (Pay What You Can)

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Tricotone 01, Sam Meech (UK, 2019)

Summer 2021 – Measures of Motion


PWYC Rental from May 26 to June 2, 2021

Closing Q&A Wednesday, June 2, 7:00 pm EST (zoom link inside!)

At a moment when the space between us is rife with anxiety and risk, the task of moving towards intimacy with comfort or ease can feel next to impossible. How do we move in isolation? Where do we move in spatial constriction? The term “social distance” became a part of our everyday lexicon this past year. But it seems as though our bodies have been rehearsing for remote dances in bedroom theatres and detached duets on sidewalk stages for longer than that. Our phones are keepers of ubiquitous, collective choreographies that we might not even know we’re participating in. Many of the videos in this program were created before the pandemic, and yet the ways in which each one uses choreography and movement to measure intimacy and distance or mediate desire and survival seems very much of this moment. In Measures of Motion, we see a multiplicity of ways that moving bodies resist social and political anxieties through connective gestures, solitary confrontations, and choreographies of care. 

Curated by Pleasure Dome Board Director Jennifer Laiwint.

Sponsored by TO Love-In.

Image credit: Drills, Sarah Friedland (USA, 2020)

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Winter 2021 – Welcome to the Memory Palace

The memory palace is a mnemonic device, whereby one imagines a very familiar building, associating pieces of information with objects or locations within it. The root word for archive comes from the meaning ‘the master’s house’. The films in this program explore history, power, and memory through the architectures of sleep, of the domestic and local, and through ideas of nationality and haunting, the illusiveness of identity, and machine memory.

Curated by Pleasure Dome Board Director Clare Samuel. This event is sponsored by CONTACT Photography Festival and the Ryerson Image Centre. The closing Q&A will be moderated by Samara Chadwick.

Image Credit: Terra Velha, Andrew Lima (Canada, 2019)

This program has expired.

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Winter 2021 – Genre Reawakenings: Experimental Horror Shorts

PWYC Rental from April 21 to 28, 2021

JOIN US for closing Q&A moderated by Mariam Bastani (Rue Morgue) Wed., April 28, 7 pm EST

To reawaken a genre is a type of resurrection. In horror, such resurrections—whether by magic or experiment—never go according to plan, often bringing the haunted or concealed into plain focus. The transgressive or painful results of these confrontations are irrevocably lingering, if not transformative. This program is both a celebration of and commentary on horror; a genre with the capacity to uniquely underscore political and aesthetic concerns. The artists featured here reconfigure the formal and thematic conventions of narrative horror films with an urgency that reminds viewers: when one entity is reawakened, it is rarely alone.

Curated by Pleasure Dome Board Director Katie Connell. Co-presented by Rue Morgue.

Image credit: Incidents, Hajeer Moradi (Iran, 2019)

This program has expired.


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Fall 2020 – Sontag’s Ghost: The Future is Queer

In 1964, Susan Sontag brought the term camp to the mainstream, when before it existed in the minds and hearts of queer communities across the world, people who worshipped at the alter of Dorothy of Oz in the church of Andy Warhol. While some of her points still stand—love of the unnatural, the esoteric and the artificial, an aversion to the ideas of “good taste,” ostentatious aesthetics—there are some points that became outdated within the decade. Camp has bred so many new generations of beauty. In this program, we exhibit some of the newest, videos that celebrate exaggerated queer sensibilities, witchy women, new takes on the mainstream and generally a big old fuck you to hegemonic norms. In times like this, we need some beauty and fun in our lives and we would like to provide that with this program, but as you watch, just remember one thing: a spectre is haunting this program—Sontag’s Ghost!

PWYC Rental at from Wed., Dec. 2 To Wed., Dec. 9, 2020
Closing Q&A + community zoom Wed., Dec. 9 at 7:30 pm EST

Sontag’s Ghost is curated by Pleasure Dome’s co-chair, Shahbaz Khayambashi.

Image credit: Rhapsody in Blueberry, Gaelle Denis (France, 2017)


PROGRAM EXPIRED, but you can watch the Q&A!

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Fall 2020 – Skin Deep

The question of what beauty is and how it can be defined is slippery and multi-faceted. The experience of pleasure in the visual and other senses is something most people find nourishing and even transformative. But under white-supremacist patriarchal capitalism certain bodies are designated as more or less valuable, particularly for feminized bodies this is often in terms of whether they are deemed beautiful or ugly by the dominant culture. This collection of films explores desire, fat liberation, what it means to be ‘feminine’, and how racism intersects with the beauty myth.


PWYC Rental at from Thurs., Nov. 5 to Fri., Nov. 13, 2020
Closing Q&A + community zoom Fri., Nov. 13 at 7:30 pm EDT

Skin Deep is curated by Pleasure Dome’s Board Director, Clare Samuel, with a curatorial essay by Board Director, Yunglin Wang.

Image credit: Wash Day, Kourtney Jackson (Canada, 2019)

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Fall 2020 – Essential Work

The months since the pandemic began have been a time of massive change. As a culture we’re reassessing the types of ‘work’ that hold the fabric of society together, and how they are (or are not) valued. In questioning what is ‘essential’ the necessity of touch and connection to others has become painfully palpable. And there’s a growing realization of the urgent need for the deep systemic work required to make our interconnectedness function in a way that creates genuine freedom and equity for all. These films explore isolation, music, temporary and precarious work, justices won, and the many still to fight for.

PWYC Rental at from Wed., Sept. 23 to Wed., Sept. 30, 2020
Join us for closing Q&A + community zoom Wed. Sept. 30, 2020 at 7:30 pm EDT

Essential Work is curated by Pleasure Dome’s Board Director, Clare Samuel. This event is co-presented by CFMDC and sponsored by Workers United Union. Closing Q&A Moderated by Grayson Alabiso-Cahill.

Image credit: Dream Delivery, Yuan Zheng (China, 2018)


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Screening: Friday October 16, 5pm PT/8pm ET

Artist Talk: Saturday October 17, 12pm PT/3pm ET

PWYC/Free @

DOUBLE BILL: New Vancouver Works & New Toronto Works, two programs that feature recent shorts by emerging and established media artists working in the two respective cities.

Then, on Saturday October 17th, at 12pm PT/3pm ET, tune in for a cross-Canada discussion featuring artists in both programs, moderated by Video Out and Pleasure Dome. This talk will be framed around making and presenting work in the time of the pandemic, as well as the age-old question of East Coast and West Coast sensibilities.

We would like to acknowledge support through the Canada Council for the Arts Touring and Circulation Program.

PWYC (Pay What You Can)

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Summer 2020 – We Need Not an Archive, but Songs

For Pleasure Dome’s 30th birthday, Tak Pham presents We Need Not an Archive, but Songs, a selection of three outstanding artworks from past programs that highlight our efforts in engaging and sustaining with the relevant theme of Migration and Displacement. Tak Pham is a Vietnamese contemporary art curator and art critic.

Double-sided Tape, Bo Fan (2018)
Kunįkága Remembers Red Banks, Kunįkága Remembers the Welcome Song, Sky Hopinka (2014)
We Began by Measuring Distance, Basma Alsharif (2012)

Pay What You Can (PWYC) for 2-day rental access to works and curatorial essay.

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Spring 2020 — New Toronto Works

Pleasure Dome’s New Toronto Works is a high voltage programme of new media artworks: a cinematic screening stitched together by a live wire. Works by Freya Björg Olafson, Sonia Beckwith, Andrew Lennox, Nikole Hidalgo McGregor, Madi Piller, Cody Rooney, Bo Fan, Renee Lear, Sophie Jaworski and Jan Swinburne.

This hour-and-five-minute programme has expired for rental. Enjoy access to Katherine Connell’s curatorial essay and artist interviews by Shahbaz Khayambashi.

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Addendum — Interviews and Discussions

A selection of artist interviews published on the Pleasure Dome website throughout the years. Contributions by Alexandra Gelis, Allyson Mitchell, Brian Kent Gotro, cheyanne turions, Chris Kennedy, Clint Enns, Dina Georgis, Eli Horwatt, Hector Centeno, Jorge Lozano, Kami ChisholmKelly O’Brien, Kika Nicolela, Laura U. MarksMike Hoolboom, Nahed MansourNathalie Bujold, Roy Dib, Stephen Broomer, Steve Reinke, Taravat Khalili, and Willie Varela.

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