Jay White

Artist Statement: Coyote Walk 

Jay White is an artist of Mi’kmaq and European descent. His work involves walking and camping along state-defined boundaries, and in interstitial suburban and urban areas where property ownership is not enforced. He is interested in altered perceptions of landscape, the interactions between identities and colonial institutions, and the ways that nonhuman entities become entangled with human projects. Unseen and furtive spaces like vacant lots, highway medians, and the edges of waterways are a working-space in his practice. These areas are seen as a marginalized, mysterious, and abundant more-than-human Commons where animals, plants, refuse, and people co-exist in non dominant relations. In becoming intimate with these spaces, White proposes the possibility of maintaining an unstable and transitory identity and an uncertain and displaced sense of home. 

Coyote Walk invites other humans to enter and experience boundary-spaces in their own cities, and to confront the idea that the artist, and others, are hidden in plain sight and living alongside them. While participants are asked to photograph the artist as he attempts to hide in the city, the identity of the photographic subject become blurred, or remains outside the perspective of the camera. Through the lived experience of participants, stories related by the artist, and participant photographs, the sense of urban space as human territory transforms into a sense of overlapping territories that are animated and co-defined by other animals, plants, and the accumulation of human-generated detritus.


Jay White’s work has shown across Canada and internationally, including New Gallery (2015), Istanbul Design Biennale (2014), Yukon Arts Centre Gallery (2013), the National Arts Centre (2013) the University of Glasgow (2011), and PuSH Festival Vancouver (2011). 

Jay’s animated films have won many awards internationally, including Best Animated Short at the Worldwide Animation Festival (2006), and a longlist entry for a Best Animated Short Academy Award nomination. His films have been supported through Canada Council for the Arts, National Film Board awards, BRAVOFact, CBC, and other Canadian grants. As an Art Director, he has helped create Gemini-Award winning animated television series’. 

Jay White has a Bachelor’s in Applied Science (Civil Engineering, UBC) (1996), a diploma in Computer Animation (1997), and a Masters in Applied Arts (Emily Carr University, 2014). He is Sessional Faculty at Emily Carr University.

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