Midi Onodera

About

Midi Onodera is an award-winning filmmaker and media artist who has been making films and videos for more than 35 years. She has produced over 25 independent shorts, ranging from 16mm film to digital video to toy camera formats. In 2018 she received the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts. Skin Deep (1995), her theatrical feature, screened internationally at festivals including the Rotterdam International Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival. Her film The Displaced View (1988) was nominated for Best Documentary at the Gemini Awards.

Her experimental narrative project ALPHAGIRLS (2002) was the first Canadian interactive performance art DVD, and since 2006 she has made over 500 vidoodles (defined as bite-sized 30-second to 2-minute video doodles). From 2006–07 she published one a day for 365 days and has since released a video project each year, addressing themes of language, media, politics and everyday life. In 2017 she published an interactive narrative developed from her experience in Afghanistan as a Canadian Forces Artist in 2010.

Onodera’s work is held in collections around the world, and she has given lectures and workshops at galleries and institutions across North America and Japan. She currently teaches and continues to work on experimental media projects in Toronto.

Filmography +

2018

TOO NUTS, 34:21 min. experimental narrative, video

SOLILOQUY, 12 short videos, experimental narrative, video

2017

LONELY VIDEOS, 12 short videos, experimental narrative, video

NUTS, 2:56 min. experimental narrative, video

2016

TO POLL OR NOT TO POLL, 12 short videos, experimental narrative, video

MY 8 DAYS AS A WAR ARTIST, Kosakow interactive video, digital video, photography

REEL ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL ANNIVERSARY SHORT, 2 min.  video directed by Lesley Chan, written by Midi Onodera

2015

ANNUAL REPORT, 12 Short video: experimental narrative, video

2014

THE PERFECT WORD, 13:55 min. Dance performance, choreographed by Peggy Baker for Nuit Blanche.12 hour performance, video, Director

KICKING AROUND, 12 Short videos, experimental narrative, 16mm, Single 8, video

2013

THE CLASSIFIEDS, 12 Short videos: experimental narrative

2012

ODD SOCKS, 10 Short videos: experimental narrative, digital video, iPhone, video

12 x 12 x12: 12 short videos: experimental narrative, media media, video

GRIEF WITHOUT FANTASY 1:22 min.

ON HOLIDAYS 1:20 min.

USE THESE POEMS 55 sec. video

THE GRAND DESIGN, 9:37 min. experimental narrative, Super 8, video

NIGHT GARDEN (2 versions: 3:37 & 13:32), time lapse documentation of a  dance performance choreographed by Peggy Baker for Nuit Blanche. 12  hour performance, video

THE MYSTIC ORACLE, Korsakow interactive video, experimental narrative, mixed media

2011

PROOF, 3:41 min. experimental narrative, moving text-based work, video

24fps: 20 Short videos, experimental narrative, Quad Camera iPhone app. video

2010

BAKER’S DOZEN: 13 Short videos: experimental narrative, mixed media: Canon digital camera, various iPhone apps, video

ALEATORIA (2 versions: 8:23 & 4:27), time lapse documentation of a dance performance for twelve dancers choreographed by Peggy Baker for Nuit Blanche, 12  hour performance, video, Director

ANIMAL CROSSING UNDERGROUND, 43 sec. experimental narrative, Quad Camera iPhone app. video

BLAME WARHOL, 1:18 min. experimental narrative, Canon PowerShot S410, video

IF WISHES CAME TRUE, 1:15 min. experimental narrative, Canon PowerShot S410, video

2009

GOLDEN RULES, 3:20 min. super 8, experimental narrative, b/w, iPhone video, YouTube footage and super 8 film, silent

TRIBUTARIES: REFLECTIONS OF AIKO SUZUKI, 122 min. interactive DVD in collaboration with Grace Channer, Joy Kogawa and Ann Southam

MOVE, (2 versions: 9:11 & 6:39), time lapse documentation of a dance performance for twenty-four dancers choreographed by Peggy Baker for Nuit Blanche. 12 hour performance, video, Director

MOVIE OF THE WEEK 52 Short videos: experimental narrative, digital video, VCam Now

2006-2007

A MOVIE A DAY 365+ Short videos; experimental narrative, digital video, Mattel Vidster, VCam Now

2005

I HAVE NO MEMORY OF MY DIRECTION, 77 min. experimental narrative, digital video, film, super 8, Lomographic Supersampler, Barbie Wireless Videocam, Intel Digital camera, Tyco &  Trendmaster toy video cameras, Surround Sound

2002

NOBODY KNOWS, 3:15 min. experimental narrative, Lomographic Supersampler & Intel Digital camera, video

ALPHAGIRLS, a collection of 3 cyber-performances in collaboration with Tanya Mars, Louise Lilifeldt & Kinga Araya (accompanying web site: www.alphagirls.ca), interactive DVD, Director

2001

SLIGHTSEER, 3:20 min. experimental narrative, Braille and English titles, super 8 film, DV video, Tyco and Trendmasters video, broadcast: PrideVision TV

SIMULACRA, new media prototype, in collaboration with Blair MacKinnon & David Oppenheim

2000

BASEMENT GIRL, 12 min. short experimental narrative,16mm and modified Nintendo Gameboy camera & Intel Play digital microscope, 16mm

1995

SKIN DEEP, 85 min. feature drama, 35mm, Director, Co-writer, Co-producer, Daruma Pictures Inc. (Canadian theatrical release: Aug. 97)

1992

A PERFORMANCE BY JACK SMITH, 5 min. historical documentation 1984-92, 16mm

1990

DAVID CRONENBERG – ARTIST’S PROFILE, 3:50 min. documentary, 16mm. Director/Writer, Toronto Arts Awards Foundation, broadcast: CBLT-CBC

HEARTBREAK HOTERU, 30 min. drama, 16mm, Face To Face Productions, Producer: Chris Bruyere, Writer, broadcast: CBC

1989

GENERAL IDEA – ARTIST’S PROFILE, 3:50 min. documentary, 16mm, Director/Writer, Toronto Arts Awards Foundation broadcast: CBLT-CBC

1988

THE DISPLACED VIEW, 52 min. experimental documentary, 16mm, Executive Producer/Director/Writer, McANO Film Artists Inc. broadcast: TVOntario, Access Alberta, Saskatchewan Communication TV, Vision TV, PrideVision TV

THEN/NOW, 30 min. drama, 16mm, Toronto Talkies Inc., Producer: Paul DeSilva, Writer, broadcast: CBC

1987

MISPLACED DUES, 3 min. super 8 sketch for The Displaced View

1985

TEN CENTS A DANCE (PARALLAX), 30 min. experimental drama, 16mm

MADE IN JAPAN, 2:30 min. experimental narrative, Super 8, broadcast: WTN

THE DEAD ZONE, 2:30 min. experimental narrative, Super 8, broadcast: WTN

AFTER CAR CRASH WOMAN KILLS TWO, 1:30 min. experimental narrative, Super 8

1984

VILLE QUELLE VILLE, 4 min. experimental narrative, Super 8, broadcast: WTN

1983

IDIOT’S DELIGHT, 5 min. experimental narrative, 16mm

HOME WAS NEVER LIKE THIS, 9 min, experimental narrative, 16mm

1982

ENDOCRINE, 15 min. experimental narrative, Super 8

ONE IF BY LAND, TWO IF BY SEA, 10 min. music video, Super 8

1981

THE BIRD THAT CHIRPED ON BATHURST, 3 min. experimental narrative, 16mm

HOME MOVIES, Super 8/blow-up from 8mm, 3 projector installation

FOOD TRILOGY: What’s For Lunch Charley 4 min. experimental narrative, Super 8

One Burger, Hold The Pickle 3 min. experimental narrative, Super 8

Apres Diner 3 min. experimental narrative, Super 8

1980

A FILM, 6 min. experimental narrative with subtitles, Super 8

FILTER QUEEN, 7 min. experimental narrative, Super 8

1979

UNTITLED, 7 min. experimental narrative, Super 8

CONTEMPLATION, 6 min. experimental narrative, Super 8

REALITY ILLUSION , 7 min. experimental narrative, Super 8

Awards +

2018

Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts

2015

Toronto Urban Film Festival, Lifetime Achievement Award

2008

Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, 2008
Honourable Mention, A Movie A Day

2006

Ann Arbor Film Festival, 2006
Honorable Mention Award, I Have No Memory of My Direction
Mobifest, 2006
Honorable Mention Award, If These Walls Could Talk

2001

Best Lesbian Short Film, Sapphos 2001 Movie Award, Girlfriends
Magazine
The Basement Girl

1995

Best Feature Film: Audience Award
Hamburg International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
Skin Deep

1995

Best Short Film: Special Judges’ Award
Hamburg International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
Ten Cents a Dance (Parallax)

1989

Gemini Awards, Nominated for Best Documentary
The Displaced View
Gemini Multicultural Award, Special Citation
The Displaced View

1988

Golden Gate Award, Honourable Mention
The San Francisco International Film Festival
The Displaced View

Solo Screenings +

2018

Wavelengths, TIFF Cinematheque, Toronto, Ont.

2017

Akimbo-TV, Lonely Videos, featured online

2016

Akimbo-TV, To Poll or Not to Poll, featured online

2015

Akimbo-TV, The Annual Report, featured online

2011

Ed Video, Guelph, Ont.

2007

The Factory Hamilton Media Arts Centre, Hamilton Ont.

2006

LIFT’s New Directions In Cinema & Reel Asian

Praxis/Cineworks/Simon Fraser University, Vancouver B.C.

2003

Women’s Art Network, Tokyo Japan

2002

Asian America Film Festival, University of Madison Wisconsin, Spotlight

2001

Toronto ReelAsian Film Festival, Spotlight

2000

Inside/Out Toronto Lesbian & Gay Film & Video Festival, Director’s Series

1996

The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa Ont.

1992

Three Cranes In Flight, Euclid Cinema, Toronto Ont.

1990

Freunde der Deutschen Kinemathek e.V. Berlin, Germany

London Filmmaker’s Co-op, England

1988

The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ont.

Pacific Cinematheque, Vancouver, B.C.

Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers, Alberta

Winnipeg Film Group, Manitoba

1987

Kingston Artists Association, Ontario

1986

The Funnel Film Centre, Toronto, Ont.

1985

The London Regional Art Gallery, Ont.

Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C.

Women In Focus, Vancouver, B.C.

North West Media Network, Edmonton, Alberta

Neutral Ground, Regina, Saskatchewan

S.A.W. Gallery, Ottawa, Ont.

Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers, Alberta

Ed Video, Guelph Ont.

Gallery Installations +

2018

The Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts 2018, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON.

March 29 – Aug 5  Group Exhibition

Curated by Rhiannon Vogl

The Displaced View (1988)

The Basement Girl (2000)

I have no memory of my direction (2005)

Grief without Fantasy(2012)

The Grand Design (2012)

Nuts (2017)

2011

Vidoodles: Intimate Cinema, Concordia University, Department of Communication Studies’ Media Gallery, Montreal Quebec

Sept. 5 – Dec. 19 Solo Exhibition

Curated by Monika Kin Gagnon and Matt Soar

Movie of the Week project 2009 (touchscreen monitor)

Tabletable Viewables 2011 (PHI version)

2010

Tributaries: Reflections of Aiko Suzuki, Japanese Canadian National Museum, Burnaby, B.C.

June 30 – Aug 28 Group Exhibition

Curated by Beth Carter

Tributaries: Reflections of Aiko Suzuki DVD installation

Spatial View of Pond video installation

Portrait of the Artist as a Donkey (DVD Viewing station)

Estuary (DVD Viewing station)

Various artwork by Aiko Suzuki

2010

Archive and Everyday Life Conference and Exhibition, Hamilton Artists Inc. Gallery, Hamilton Ontario

May 1 – 15  Group Exhibition

Curated by Mary O’Connor, Irene Loughlin, Devon Mordell and Simon Orpana

Movie of the Week project 2009 (computer display)

2001

Alphagirls, InterAccess, Toronto Ontatrio

December 6-20 Solo Exhibition

Curated by Kathleen Pirrie-Adams

collaborating artists: Kinga Araya, Louise Liliefeldt, Tanya Mars

Speaking, Teaching, and Jury Engagements +

2018

University of Toronto, Scarborough, sessional instructor, Department of Arts, Culture, and Media

Critical Distance Centre for Curators, Advisory Committee

2016

Toronto Arts Council, media arts jury

2015

Toronto International Film Festival, panelist for Canadian Feature Film Section, Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival

Winnipeg Film Group, Reflecting Light 40 years of Canadian Cinema, panelist: Prairie

Winnipeg Film Group, Reflecting Light 40 years of Canadian Cinema, panelist: Postmodernists & New Wave Pioneers: 1980s Cinema and In Dialogue: Canadian Women Directors

2014

University of Toronto, Guest lecturer, performing for the camera

2013

University of Toronto, Artist Talk, presented by Cultural Pluralism in the Arts and the Department of Arts, Culture and Media

2011

Concordia University, Communication Studies, “War vs. Art: Embedded in the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force), Artist Talk, Montreal, PQ

Concordia University, Communications Studies, Toy Camera Workshop, Montreal, PQ

Art Gallery of Hamilton & The Factory Hamilton Media Arts Centre, Hamilton ON, Talk Media presents: Artist talk

2010

ON.Fire Independent Media Arts Conference, “New Socialisms: Independence or Co-dependence,” Panelist

2009

Canada Council, Bell Award Jury member

2008

Meiji Gaukin University, Tokyo Japan, Guest Speaker, Canadian Cinema

23rd Annual Gemini Awards, Jury member

2007

Reel Asian Pitch Jury

22nd Annual Gemini Awards, Jury member

2006

Reel Asian: The Reel Retrospective 1997-2006, Panelist

Asian/Pacific/American Caucus (APAC) of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference, honoured guest

Gendai Art Gallery, Board of Directors

Ontario Arts Council, Chalmers Art Fellowships, Jury member

Canada Council, mid-career film & video production Jury member

York University, Cineseige Jury member

2005

York University, main campus: Women’s Studies Program, Guest Speaker

York University, main campus: Film Studies Graduate Program, Guest Speaker

2004

York University, main campus: Women’s Studies Program, Guest Speaker

2003

Meiji Gaukin University, Tokyo Japan, Guest Speaker, Gender & Sexuality

Meiji Gaukin University, Tokyo Japan, Guest Speaker, Japanese Canadian Film & Literature Conference

University of Toronto, Cultural Pluralism and the Arts, Guest Speaker

York University, main campus: Women’s Studies Program, Guest Speaker

2002

Toronto Arts Council, Jury Member

Centennial College, Stories & Architecture: Writers and Designers, Guest Speaker

York University, main campus: Women’s Studies Program, Guest Speaker

Association of Italian-Canadian Writers 9th Biennial Conference, “Creativity In Canada” Panelist

York University, Founder’s College, Asian-Canadian Studies, Guest Speaker

2001

York University, main campus: Women’s Studies Program, Guest Speaker

L.I.F.T, Workshop Instructor: “Grant Writing”

2000

York University, main & Glendon campus: Women’s Studies Program, Guest Speaker

Ontario Arts Council, Jury Member, Media Arts Program

Ontario College of Art, New Media Department, Guest Speaker

L.I.F.T., Workshop Instructor: “Hand-made Films”

1999

York University, main campus, Glendon campus: Women’s Studies Program, Guest Speaker

Canada Council jury, Creative Development

1998

York University, main campus: Women’s Studies Program, Guest Speaker

Ontario Arts Council: Jury Member, Film & Video Program

1996

Sheridan College, 3rd Year Film Production, Instructor

Ontario College of Art, New Media Department, Critique Consultant

Cinematheque Ontario, Advisory Council (since 1991)

L.I.F.T., Workshop Instructor: “Workshop for Writer/Directors”

1995

Ann Arbor Film Festival, Festival Juror

Ontario College of Art, New Media Department, Guest Speaker

Revisions: The Winnipeg Women’s International Film & Video Festival, “Workshop for Writer/Directors”

Out On Screen: Vancouver Lesbian & Gay Film & Video Festival, “Fetish, Fantasy and Flesh”, Panelist

1994

Telefilm Canada, Outside Reader (since 1989)

Metro Cultural Affairs, Media Arts Advisory Committee (since 1993)

National Association of Japanese-Canadians, National Gender Sensitivity Conference, Guest Speaker

1993

National Film Board of Canada, Studio D: New Initiatives In Film, Advisory Board  (since 1991)

Canada Council, Explorations Program, Jury Member (since 1992)

University of Southern California Davis, Guest Speaker

A Space: “Keeping Secrets and Other Perverse Practices”, Panelist

Mediawatch: “Politics of Desire: Pornography, Erotica, Freedom of Expression”, Panelist

Canadian Advisory Committee On The Status of Women, “Sharing Our Experience”, Editorial Advisory Committee

1992

Canada Council, Art Bank Jury for films & videos

Gemini Awards – Multicultural Award Jury Member

“Asian Sexuality”, Harbourfront, Panelist

Ryerson University, “The Politics of Identity”, Guest Speaker

1991

Canada Council, Media Arts Advisory Board

Ontario Arts Council, Media Organizations, Advisory Panel

Canadian Film Centre, Summer Lab Juror

Multicultural Dramatic Film Fund, L.I.F.T./O.F.D.C Juror

1990

Toronto International Film Festival: National Film Board Award, Jury Member

Goethe-Institut, Toronto, “Women, Aesthetics, Theory, Practice”, Film Panelist

York University, “Feminisms In The Cinema”, Guest Speaker

Canada Council, Film Production Jury

Full Screen, Toronto, Panelist, “Shooting The System”

1989

Yale University, “Visions Beyond The Screen”, Guest Speaker

Ontario College of Art, New Media Department, Guest Speaker

Northern Visions, “Images ‘89 Film & Video Festival”, Film & Video Programmer, open call submissions

Image & Nation Film & Video Festival, Montreal: “Representation, Responsibility, Movable Margins”, Panelist

In Visible Colours Festival, Vancouver: “Structure & Politics of Film & Video Industries”, Panelist

York University, MFA Graduate Students, “Marginalization in the Arts”, Guest Lecturer

Media & Society: The Rochester Conference, “Lavender Menace: Imaging/Imagining Lesbian Sexualities”, Panelist

Ontario Arts Council, Film Production Jury

1988

Winnipeg Film Group: “Sexual Representation in the Cinema” & “Funding For Independent Films”, workshops

Secretary of State Multiculturalism Jury, Film & Video Projects

1987

Canada House, England “Underground Films”, Program Curator

1986

“The Process of Identification”, Program Curator, cross-Canada touring show

Tyneside International Film Festival, England: Forum Participant

“Artists With Their Work Program”, Art Gallery of Ontario Extension Services 1985-1993

Commissions +

2017

Nuts, Images Festival, Spotlight Artist: Deirdre Logue

2012

The Grand Design, Liaison of Independent Filmmakers (L.I.F.T.) 30th Anniversary

2011

Proof, Studio XX, .dpi, Montreal

2009

Golden Rules, The 8 Fest, Toronto, 2010 Festival

1990

David Cronenberg – Artist’s Profile, Toronto Arts Awards Foundation

1989

General Idea – Artist’s Profile, Toronto Arts Awards Foundation

1984

Ville Quelle Ville, The Funnel, Toronto Sesquicentennial Project

Education +

2007–12

Ontario College of Art & Design, BFA program

2001

Canadian Film Centre, New Media Design Programme

1998

Ryerson University, Photoshop program

1994

Canadian Film Centre, Fall Lab

1989

Robert McKee Writing Workshop

1979–83

Ontario College of Art & Design, A.O.C.A.D