Tom Sherman

Department of Film and Media Arts

Professor, Art Video

Tom Sherman portrait.

005 Shaffer Art Building
Syracuse, NY 13244-1210

Tom Sherman’s accomplishments include: founding co-editor of Fuse magazine, Toronto, 1980; represented Canada at the Venice Biennale 1980; founding Head of Media Arts section of the Canada Council for the Arts, Ottawa 1983-87; international commissioner for Venice Biennale 1986; appointed director of the School of Art and Design, Syracuse University 1991; co-founded Nerve Theory, an international performance art/recording collaborative 1997; awarded the Bell Canada prize for excellence in video art 2003; awarded Canada’s Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2010.

His research and teaching interests include: video by artists, vernacular video, video art history, audio art and radio by artists, performance art, artists’ behavior in the 21st century, information theory, cybernetics, the economics of information and attention, gift economies, the media ecology, biological life (especially insects and birds), viruses and microbes (as biological species and in analogies), person-machine relationships, surveillance culture, social networks, cultural engineering, contemporary messaging, and rural cultural phenomena.


  • Post-graduate equivalent, A Space, Toronto
  • B.F.A., Eastern Michigan University

Selected Publications

  • Kunstradio
  • Shifting Polarities interview
  • Flying in the Face of Abundance and Redundance
  • The Premature Birth of Video Art
  • Before and After the I-Bomb
  • Discordia Review of Before and After the I-Bomb
  • The Finished Work of Art is a thing of the Past
  • “Vernacular Video (expanded version),” in Video Vortex Reader, ed. Geert Lovink, Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam, Netherlands, September 2008.
  • “Enduring Messages: Are Microcommunications an Art Form?,” in Canadian Art, Toronto, Ontario, Vol. 25, Number 3, Fall 2008.
  • “Blanking,” in Re-Inventing Radio: Aspects of Radio as Art, edited by Heidi Grundmann, Elisabeth Zimmermann, Reinhard Braun, Dieter Daniels, Andreas Hirsch, Ann Thurmann-Jajes, Revolver (Frankfort, Germany), 2008, pp. 48-51.
  • “Vernacular Video,” in the “Contemporary filmmaking and the Soviet avant-garde” issue of Chto Delat?, Issue #18, St. Petersburg, Russia; Dresden, Germany (ed. Dmitry Vilensky), October 2007.
  • “Cinematic video: while film is dying, ‘film’ is being born,” in Indie Slate, issue #46, Houston, Texas, November 2006.
  • “Vernacular Video,” in Les Fleurs du Mal, issue #2, Montreal, Quebec, September 2006.
  • “Flying in the Face of Abundance and Redundance,” in Canadian Art, Toronto, Ontario, Volume 23, No. 2, Summer 2006.
  • “Video/Intermedia/Animation,” in The Sharpest Point: Animation at the End of Cinema, edited by Chris Gehman and Steve Reinke, YYZ Books (Toronto, Ontario) 2005.
  • “Once Living in a Healthy State of Paranoia” (with images by Robin Collyer), in Impulse Archaeology, edited by Eldon Garnet, University of Toronto Press (Toronto, Ontario) Summer 2005, pp. 34-35.
  • “Three Texts on Video,” in Canadian Art (Toronto, Ontario), Volume 22, Number 1, Spring 2005.
  • “Artists’ Behaviour in the First Decade,” in Accounting for Culture: Thinking through Cultural Citizenship, edited by Caroline Andrew, Monica Gattinger, M. Sharon Jeannotte and Will Straw, University of Ottawa (Ottawa, Ontario), March 2005.
  • “The Appearance of Voice,” in Sound in Contemporary Canadian Art, Editions Artexte (Montreal), edited by Nicole Gingras, February 2004.
  • “Millennial Spurn,” in Public (Toronto), edited by Deborah Root and Dot Tuer, June 2003.
  • “Always Nice to Be Recognized,” in Fuse (Toronto), edited by Richard Hill, October 2002.
  • “On the influence of Jack Chambers,” in The films of Jack Chambers, Cinematheque Ontario (Toronto), in conjunction with Indiana University Press (Bloomington/Indianapolis), edited by Kathryn Elder, 2002.
  • Before and After the I-Bomb: An Artist in the Information Environment, Peggy Gale, ed., Banff Centre Press (Banff, Alberta), May 2002