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Originally from St. John's, Newfoundland, Don Simmons is a conceptual artist based in Toronto, Ontario. His work materializes itself as robotics, electronics, audio, installation and performance. In the tradition of a bricoleur, he approaches his practice as an experimenter open to failure. As a provocateur, Simmons addresses problematic concepts encouraging debate, discussion and discourse. While being concerned with the automation and the psychological effects of stimulated processes; he treats the body as a machine and tool for collecting data/information in his performances. Simmons also creates situations for 'false' emotional states to occur in the audience, in turn questioning the reality of simulated emotions. He is also interested in scatological, littoral and tactical art practices. Usually, he exhibits under his own name, however he also exhibits collaboratively as the Tactical Art Coalition, EMMAX and the Work group.
Simmons has participated in exhibitions across Canada and the US. Including exhibitions at the Walter Phillips Gallery (Banff) curated by Jim Drobnick, the College for Creative Studies (Detroit) curated by Melanie Manos, Video In Studios (Vancouver) as a part of the Signal& Noise Festival and 'One Month' at the Truck Gallery (Calgary). Other past exhibitions have included Western Front (Vancouver) curated Victoria Singh & Velveeta Krisp for That 70's Ho Performance Series, Galerie SAW Gallery (Ottawa) curated by Jason & Stefan St-Laurent for SCATALOGUE: 30 Years of Crap in Contemporary Art with Mikiki, Southern Alberta Art Gallery (Lethbridge) curated by David Diviney, Eastern Edge Gallery (St. John's, NL), Anna Leonowens Gallery (Halifax), Trinity Square Video(Toronto), The Music Gallery (Toronto).
Don Simmons completed his MFA degree at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Fine and Media Arts In 2002. Previously, he had studied art history in Italy while completing his diploma in Drawing and Painting at the Ontario College of Art and Design. His writing has appeared in Parachute (Montreal), Image and Text (New Zealand), and Handheld Media (Calgary).
Currently, he has three audio art CDs available at the New Gallery in Calgary and Artmetropole in Toronto. These are called Don Simmons vs. Marcel duChamp, Beautiful Losers, birthday song EMMAX (Ken Buera & Don Simmons). All can be ordered through Artmetropole.org. Don has forthcoming CD releases with the group, EMMAX, and is currently curating a CD project called DFACE: Dematerializing Spaces through Cardboard box Records. Both due for release this year.
Simmons has taught classes in electronics for artists, sound and media art theory at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and the Alberta College of Art and Design.