Overview

The Mobile Arts Curriculum (MAC) is a collection of learning resources or tools, developed by artists and centring decolonial practices through the arts. With each TBA edition, we produce a new set of tools co-created with artists and collaborators. Each tool supports and expands learning curricula, building upon the curatorial ideas explored in a given Biennial edition. Commissioned artists prioritize BIPOC lived experiences and historically marginalized voices and respond to local and Indigenous contexts of Tkaronto/Toronto and its surrounding areas.

Our collection of MAC tools is free and accessible year-round as curriculum supportive digital resources. Curious arts educators, community members, families, and individuals are invited to engage with the tools – by learning or unlearning together – in and outside the classroom. Scroll down to engage with MAC tools from each TBA edition. 

We invite facilitators, principals and teachers to contact us at learning@torontobiennial.org to learn more about bringing MAC tools to your schools and community gatherings in the form of workshops or printed materials.

TBA’s 2024 Mobile Arts Curriculum is made possible with generous support from The Lewitt Family Foundation, Carey Diamond and Tina Urman Foundation, Simon Beaulieu, Canada Council for the Arts, The Rossy Foundation, Equitable Bank, F.K. Morrow Foundation. 

2024: Precarious Joys

The 2024 Biennial aims to showcase the ways artists from different localities respond to the impact and the aftermath of colonialism in everyday life. Taking our cues from artists, the curators Dominique Fontaine and Miguel A. López were guided by their practices including the development of a preliminary list of key directives drawn from the artists’ creative labour such as: “Joy,” “Precarious,” “Home,” “Polyphony,” “Solace,” and “Coded”. The 2024 Mobile Arts Curriculum responds to these contexts through listening, movement, dance, attunement and celebratory moments of gathering, creating a collective dialogue for intergenerational learners led by BIPOC artists around urgent issues of our time. 

Check back here in September 2024 to access our new MAC tools.

2022 MOBILE ARTS CURRICULUM TOOLS

To read more about the 2022 curatorial vision for the exhibition What Water Knows, the Land Remembers, please see here.

View the Printing Guide & Tips for information on how to print and bind specific tools and toolkits. Designed by Tetyana Hetrych, Archive Books, and artists.

Image of the MAC introduction sheet graphic

Introduction
“What is the Toronto Biennial of Art?”, “Where are we?”, “Why “tools”?” Exploration of these questions helps provide a context for the artist-led Mobile Arts Curriculum within What Water Knows, The Land Remembers exhibition and the many approaches that have informed the second iteration of the Biennial.

Web Version
Printable: Low-Colour Simplified Version | Full-Colour Version

Black History Navigational Toolkit
Written by Camille Turner and Yaniya Lee as the Context Brief for the 2022 Toronto Biennial of Art, the Black History Navigational Toolkit presents as a deck of cards, guiding readers through Toronto’s Black histories and personal narratives. Each card explores a neighbourhood, theme, or history —and simply ways in which Black people have existed in the city and beyond.
Designed by Archive Books.

Editorial Sheet | Full Web Version | Plain Text Version

* CORRECTION: “Blackhurst” Card — Copies printed and distributed before February 2024 state that “Blackhurst is a term coined by Chinedu Ukabam”. We would like for the following correction to be acknowledged, “Blackhurst, a term coined by Itah Sadu and Christina Mayers, was the topic of the 2016 exhibition “Welcome to Blackhurst” curated by Chinedu Ukabam.”

True & Functional: DARE (The Shimmering Mixtape)
Engineered by Timothy Yanick Hunter in collaboration with Chiedza Pasipandya, this Mixtape takes form as a vinyl record at 72 Perth Avenue and Small Arms Inspection Building. DARE joins Hunter’s ongoing project “True & Functional”, which explores “shimmerings” and how we may look and listen for them. Hunter uses archival sound from Black diasporic and African artists, novelists, and collectives to tell a story of Black culture, resilience, and art.
Vinyl and design of online version by Timothy Yanick Hunter.

Editorial Sheet
Listen to the Mixtape Online

Your Tkaronto Companion Guide
In collaboration with the Talking Treaties Collective and their introductory text “Treaty Guide for Torontonians”, Your Tkaronto Companion Guide is a series of three booklets exploring place- and arts- based explorations of the complex and contested ways the city of Toronto was established. Each Companion Guide is a passport of compiled activities that takes you from the Mississauga Waterfront to the stretch of Humber River to High Park, allowing you to become an investigator and researcher into Indigenous geographies and how colonialism has impacted both human and non-human connection to the land.

Editorial Sheet
Printable: Booklet 1: Day Trip to Humber River | Booklet 2: Day Trip to High Park | Booklet 3: Day Trip: The Waterfront Boundaries of the 1787 Toronto Purchase (Treaty 13)

Whose Land?: A Moccasin Identifier Activity
In collaboration with Moccasin Identifier, Whose Land? asks visitors the question “How will you know who was here before us?” through a two part activity: stencilling a moccasin onsite at 72 Perth Ave or Small Arms Inspection Building (or at home!) and a cue card activity that takes the time to explore the actions of land kinship through the original caretakers of this land. Share your answers to “Does the land have spirit? Is the land alive?” through drawn or written responses, take them home or leave them in the spaces, and reflect on what it means to Cover Canada in Moccasins.

Editorial Sheet | Web Version
Printable: One-page Version

A Hand Full of Wheat Seeds
Derya Akay invites guests to their installation, a celebration of ancestral, queer, and matriarchal forms. In this booklet—a colouring book, a treasure hunt, and a recipe from the artist’s own grandmother—visitors will experience the preparation for the celebration, encountering artefacts and iconography associated with the artist’s own relations to their communities through the use of textiles, flowers, ceramics, cookies, preserves and other materials.
Drawings by Derya Akay & Digital illustrations by Salem Sharp.

Editorial Sheet | Web Version
Printable: Booklet Version

How to Take A Walk
How do you “walk”? At a pace? With wheels? With purpose? Are you a runner? Take a walk with the Toronto Landscape Observatory, as they invite you to re-examine your perspectives and your relationship with the land. All you need is a paper frame and a tennis ball! Starting on May 1, 2022, the Toronto Landscape Observatory began their residency and collaboration in the Public Programming and Learning at Space. In addition to workshops, walks, talks, learning and observation tools, instruments, and samples, Jane Wolff and Susan Schwartzenberg have created this guide for how to learn more about the surrounding landscape (and more specifically, the Junction Triangle). 

Editorial Sheet
Printable: Booklet and Framing Tool | Framing Tool (Single)

Art Chats with the Textiles Museum of Canada

The Textile Museum of Canada (TMC), curated by Candice Hopkins, presents ᑕᑯᒃᓴᐅᔪᒻᒪᕆᒃ Double Vision: Jessie Oonark, Janet Kigusiuq and Victoria Mamnguqsualuk. Exhibiting from March 9, 2022 to March 31, 2023. Art Chats is an invitation for you to think critically and engage in informal discussions around artworks in Double Vision. A key goal in the TMC’s presentation of Double Vision is to foreground Inuit knowledge and encourage cultural exchange through artistic and educational activities. Art Chats asks you to consider women & mentorship and embracing the inbetween with Inuit Nunavut artists Jessie Oonark (1906–1985) and her daughters, Janet Kigusiuq (1926–2005) and Victoria Mamnguqsualuk (1930–2016)—through four works which highlight a highly distinctive art form called nivingajuliaat that developed out of government-sponsored craft programs in the Arctic, beginning with the sewing program in Qamani`tuaq (Baker Lake) established in the 1960s.

Editorial Sheet
Printable: Prompt Sheets & Images

You can find all of our MAC tools readily accessible above, with printable PDF versions available. View the Printing Guide & Tips for information on how to print and bind specific tools and toolkits.

Introductory Text, all Editorial Sheets and select tools designed by Tetyana Herych.

2019 MOBILE ARTS CURRICULUM TOOLS

Toolbox: Introduction

“What is a Biennial?”, “Where are we?”, “What are tools for learning?” Exploration of these questions helps provide a context for the Tools for Learning Toolbox within The Shoreline Dilemma exhibition and the many approaches that have informed the Biennial process.

Toolbox: Abel and Wilson Rodríguez

The relationship between Abel Rodríguez and Wilson Rodríguez’s lives and work inspires an intergenerational tool for observing and learning from the natural materials around us as well as each other.

Toolbox: Adrian Blackwell

Through a bodily exercise, this tool responds to the ways in which Adrian Blackwell’s Isonomia in Toronto? (2019) reconsiders how we learn with and through the body in space.

Toolbox: Adrian Stimson

As a survivor of the residential school system, Adrian Stimson shows that ways of remembering and sharing knowledge can take many forms through Iini Sookumapii: Guess who’s coming to dinner? (2019).

Toolbox: Arin Rungjang

Sometimes words are not enough to describe an experience. Inspired by Arin Rungjang’s Ravisara (2019), this tool offers a silent space for gestural and embodied modes of expression that go beyond words.

Dana Claxton, Headdress-Jeneen, 2018. Image courtesy of the artist

Toolbox: Dana Claxton

What stories do cultural belongings tell? Dana Claxton’s Headdress fire-boxes offer a meaningful way of representing relationships based on kinship and exchange.

Toolbox: Hera Büyüktaşçıyan

Memories are often hard to transcribe. In the spirit of Hera Büyüktaşçıyan’s Reveries of an Underground Forest (2019), this interview exercise invites you to listen to memories of “home” from another perspective.

Toolbox: Judy Chicago

In response to Judy Chicago’s pyrotechnic Atmospheres (1978–), this tool offers some starting points for creating your own spatial intervention.

Toolbox: Kapwani Kiwanga

How long does it take land to move? This tool invites you to take time in relating to the methods and materials brought together through Kapwani Kiwanga’s Soft Measures (2018-9).

Toolbox: Susan Schuppli

As global temperatures rise, Susan Schuppli’s Learning from Ice (2019) invites us to tune into ice core samples and listen to the wisdom of glaciers.

Toolbox: Maria Thereza Alves

“Remember, the rivers are here,” says Maria Thereza Alves in relation to her site-responsive projects in Toronto’s Bickford Park and Riverdale Park West. This tool continues the process of tracing waterways both above and below ground.


The 2019 MAC tools were developed from works featured in the Biennial exhibition, The Shoreline Dilemma. They were designed by Chris Lee and Ali Qadeer, and can be downloaded individually or in consolidated form HERE.

Additional Tools for Learning

What tools do you need when visiting the Biennial? Maybe a tool for making notes, a tool for finding your way, a tool for looking more closely, or a tool for resting? The word “tool” has been used in many ways, in relation to more practical tasks of making, repairing, and undoing, to political strategies of collaboration and resistance. Through a growing toolbox of downloadable Tools for Learning, we adopt some of these approaches along with many others inspired by the participants and artworks in the inaugural edition of the Biennial.

Exploring Inuit Culture Curriculum

Exploring Inuit Culture Curriculum is one of a host of multimedia units of instruction designed by Isuma—Inuit independent production company—to teach students about the Inuit, native people of the Canadian Arctic, and Nunavut, the newest territory in Canada established in 1999.

In the Making with Adrian Stimson

Acclaimed artist Adrian Stimson collaborates with art legend AA Bronson to address an unsettling family connection on Siksika Nation.

In the Making is an immersive journey inside the creative process. The documentary series follows host Sean O’Neill across the country and around the world alongside some of Canada’s leading artists as they bring new work to life and face pivotal moments of risk and reward. 

In the Making with Curtis Talwst Santiago

Trinidadian-Canadian artist Curtis Talwst Santiago travels through Portugal to explore his ancestry and create artwork to debut at the Frieze art fair in New York.

In the Making is an immersive journey inside the creative process. The documentary series follows host Sean O’Neill across the country and around the world alongside some of Canada’s leading artists as they bring new work to life and face pivotal moments of risk and reward. 

NEVER SETTLE! Activity Booklet

NEVER SETTLE! is an ongoing, collaborative educational effort between Inpatient Press and filmmakers Adam and Zack Khalil of  The New Red Order. NEVER SETTLE! is an activity booklet for minds young and old who are curious about the exciting growing field of SAVAGE PHILOSOPHY. Prepare for a career as an accomplice in the New Red Order with fun games, puzzles, and plenty of brain teasers . NEVER SETTLE! will get you ready to capture culture and commit crimes against reality.

Kayak Magazine: We are all Treaty People

The September 2018 issue of Kayak features guest editor Cynthia Bird (Wabi Benais Mistatim Equay) of Peguis First Nation. This issue is about Treaties and the historic Treaty relationship between First Nations peoples and the British Crown, now represented by the government of Canada. Learning about Treaties gives us a chance to reflect on our shared history and to learn why “We Are All Treaty People.” Understanding this is important for us as Canadians. We need to know how we have each benefited from our Treaty story. It is who we are.

 

Moccasin Identifier Curriculum

 

These Education Kits have been developed by Carolyn King in partnership with Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and the The Greenbelt Foundation, to promote public awareness of significant cultural historic sites and the ancestral presence of First Nations, Metis and Indigenous Communities. Designed in accordance with Ontario Curriculum, the following lesson plan includes: Big Ideas, Overall Expectations and Learning Goals as well as a series of applied classroom activities. Please note that while the Moccasin Identifier lesson plans apply to First Nations and Métis communities of Ontario, the vision is to Cover Canada in Moccasins. So please feel free to adapt the lesson plans to reflect your Treaty Area and Indigenous diversity.