• Artist: Soft Turns (Sarah Jane Gorlitz & Wojciech Olejnik)
  • Medium: Sculptural Installation
  • Project Type: Shoaling
  • Curator: Lillian O’Brien Davis
  • Neighbourhood: Etobicoke

Composed from algorithms created by local students, this installation uses eroded brick and concrete beach rock to trace connections between culture, architecture, and entropy.


Colonel Samuel Smith Park (beach)

  • Address: 3145 Lake Shore Blvd West
  • Physical Access: Wheelchair accessible, uneven surface throughout the viewing area
  • Indoors/Outdoors: Outdoors

The Project

When walking along a shoreline, there is almost an irresistible impulse to run your hand through sand or pick up a pebble — even if it turns out to be an eroded piece of concrete. Beaches can stimulate contemplation and reflection upon oneself and on our natural world. They also can prompt a restorative state of mental alertness called involuntary attention, where slight environmental changes cause the conscious mind to shift focus, which offers a break from goal-oriented “directed attention” of our day-to-day lives. Algorithms have always existed as sets of simple instructions to achieve goals, such as recipes or ceremonies. Now rigidly formalized by science, like artificial intelligence (AI) whose algorithms running their operations sharpen at an exponential rate. Let’s remember that our impulse to find order and classify relates to a troubling tendency to assert ourselves over our environment. How can we include the different more slippery kinds of intelligences found in the natural world and within our own minds? This sculptural intervention searches for alternate patterns of thinking through the complicated materials and histories of an artificial beach.

The Artist

Sarah Jane Gorlitz’s and Wojciech Olejnik’s collaborations reflect on contentious sites of human interaction through intimate video-centred installations. Their work has featured in Canadian Art Magazine and Esse, and shown at the plumb (Toronto), 8eleven (Images Festival, Toronto), The Art Museum (University of Toronto), Oakville Galleries, Centre Clark (Montréal), Southern Exposure (San Francisco), Foundation 3.14 (Bergen), and Videobrasil. Past resident artists at the School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, they are currently in residence at Gallery 44 (Toronto).


  • Exhibition Sponsor

Special thanks to: Bronwyn C., Ivy D., Kalista F., Hugh H.-W., Eva L., Talia M., June O., Aspen O., Saverra S., Eli S., and Niclas S.