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“[His] succinct and challenging body of work investigates the nuances surrounding relationships between body, mind and matter…”
— Nominators: Ann Thomas, Jonathan Shaughnessy (National Gallery of Canada), Sophie Hackett, Maia-Mari Sutnik (Art Gallery of Ontario)

Max Dean likes to play; but he doesn’t want to play nice. His experiments with new media and technologies are meant to test his own (and our) physical and psychological boundaries.

Known for his performance art and robotic installations that interact with the viewers, he gives himself over to his work fully and asks us to the same, drawing us into his work and giving us control of it. Our actions may affect him directly through his performance works. Or they may affect the objects he uses to represent thoughts and feelings, from robots made of everyday materials to personal photographs. We experience the consequences of our interactions with his work, in ways that may make us feel unease or humour, but never ambivalence. 

Artist's website


Max Dean, 2014
Digital video, 3 min. 40 sec.

Directed by Zachary Finkelstein 
Presentation of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Independent Media Arts Alliance