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InterAccess is a Canadian artist-run centre and electronic media production facility in Toronto. Founded in 1982 as Toronto Community Videotex, InterAccess is Ontario's only exhibition space devoted exclusively to technological media arts.[1] The Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art places the founding of InterAccess as a key moment in both the history of Canadian electronic art but also within a timeline of developments in international art, science, technology and culture.[2]


In 1983, InterAccess was incorporated as a not-for-profit, artist-run access centre, under the name Toronto Community Videotex (TCV). It provided artists access to the Telidon system, a precursor of the World Wide Web. The early conception of electronic art placed the organization within the production cooperative system in Canada.[3] TCV's members created artworks which fell within the more systems-based notions of art production, rather than the beaux-arts[4] aesthetic of the museum.,[5] The name change to InterAccess in 1987 reflected a new focus on Macintosh graphics, multimedia production and a dial-up artists’ network (much like a Bulletin Board System, or BBS) known as Matrix.[6]

InterAccess moved to a larger facility in 1995 allowing InterAccess to offer a gallery and production space that expanded its activities beyond simply access to multimedia production. The exhibitions began to emphasize the finished production and there was a particular focus on establishing an international presence for the centre.[7] The exhibition Pandoras Box, a collaboration between InterAccess and Fylkingen New Music and Intermedia Art in Stockholm, Sweden in 2000, was billed as "the first international interactive encounter with art using remotely controlled robots."[8]

In 2005, InterAccess moved to a renovated two-floor, three thousand square feet stand-alone building, allowing for more production space, a surround sound studio and a machine shop for constructing large-scale physical computing projects and installation.

The exhibition This must be the place: Vera Frenkel, David Rokeby, Nell Tenhaaf and Norman White was a reconsideration of the centre and as well the place of electronic art within art history.[9] The four featured artists are pioneers in electronic and interactive art and have a history with InterAccess as both members and exhibitors.[10]

In May 2006, InterAccess received a Canada Council Media Arts Commissioning Grant for The Networked City, a series of five outdoor interactive installations on Yonge Street in Toronto.[11]



  1. ^
  2. ^ Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art "Timeline of Digital Art"
  3. ^ Shaw, "Cultural Democracy and Institutional Difference", p. 31
  4. ^ Dowler, "Interstitial Aesthetics and the Politics of Video at the Canada Council", pp. 35-6
  5. ^ Hough, "Beyond the Gallery (Electronic Mail Art)", p. 15
  6. ^ Mann, "The Matrix Artists' Network: An Electronic Community", pp. 230-31
  7. ^ Bull, "Radio Art in a Gallery?", p. 162
  8. ^ Herst, "The Disembodied Eye", p. 122
  9. ^ Schilling, This must be the place, p. 7
  10. ^ Schilling, This must be the place, p. 8
  11. ^ The Networked City

Further reading[edit]

  • Bull, Hank. "Radio Art in a Gallery?" TDR Vol. 37, No. 1 (Spring, 1993): 161-166.
  • Dick, Terence. "Controller: Artists Crack the Game Code." Border Crossings 25 No. 2 (June 2006): 113-14.
  • Dowler, Kevin. "Interstitial Aesthetics and the Politics of Video at the Canada Council." 'Mirror Machine: Video and Identity. Janine Marchessault, ed. Toronto: YYZ Books, 1995. 35-50. ISBN 0-920397-13-1
  • Herst, Beth. Pandora's Box. PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art Vol. 24, No. 1, Intelligent Stages: Digital Art and Performance (Jan. 2002): 122-126.
  • Hough, Robert. "Beyond the Gallery (Electronic Mail Art)." This Magazine Vol. 27, Iss. 4 (Nov. 1993): 15.
  • Mann, Jeff. "The Matrix Artists' Network: An Electronic Community." Leonardo Vol. 24, No. 2, Connectivity: Art and Interactive Telecommunications (1991): 230-231.
  • Schilling, Mark. "This must be the place: Vera Frenkel, David Rokeby, Nell Tenhaaf and Norman White." para-para- 022: Parachute Magazine No. 122 (April 2006), 7-8.
  • Shaw, Nancy. "Cultural Democracy and Institutionalized Difference: Intermedia, Metro Media." Mirror Machine: Video and Identity. Janine Marchessault, ed. Toronto: YYZ Books, 1995. 26-34. ISBN 0-920397-13-1

External links[edit]