You are what you repeatedly do.


About Me

My work is in performance and technology. 

When my university wanted to promote my work they took the picture above. Why does holding a sword represent my research? I have no idea, but the picture makes me smile every time I see it.

My work is the study of how we do, what we do, when we do, what we do. I believe studying performance technology should be one of our central practices. For me, ideas are not as important as action. We should study what people do, and not what they say. If we use this approach, we can reflect on our lives, rather than obsessing over what we think about life. It sounds simple, but I find most of us can benefit from exploring how we live.

Technology is my primary focus. When the Ancient Greeks debated the best way to live they spoke of techné. Techné refers to a practice of finding what you are best suited to do, and then dedicating yourself to developing that practice in service of others. It is an important legacy from Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, and the network of information in which they lived. Their school of thought is often labelled Western, but the idea of techné was part of a philosophical network developed over trade and travel routes belonging to both East and West.

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Tracing the development of techné is fascinating. Centuries after the first discussions of techné, the word technology entered the English language. It combines techné and logos, where the latter refers to words and meaning. Technology, or, the techné of the word, entered the dictionary as a result of a revolutionary invention: the printing press. The word technical showed up at the same time, because of another transformative development: the scientific method.

A few generations later, the word technique was added to refer to the refined practice of artists and craftspeople. Recently, the phrase information technology, was introduced to describe digital approaches to knowledge and communication. Using techné as a reference point allows us to explore ideas and practices extending throughout history and around the world.

Latest News



‘No dress rehearsal, this is our life:’ Gord Downie and the Canadian conversation

  Canadians are lucky to have the creative contributions of Gord Downie, frontman for the Tragically Hip, who passed away this week at the age of 53. He embodied a beautiful paradox in our conversation about Canadian culture. He wrote poetry about hockey and our complicated history, quoting both news and literature, and singing those poems to diverse audiences in hockey arenas. Where America’s poet, Walt Whitman, spoke of “containing multitudes,” Downie connected multitudes. Like Downie, the country he loved resists summation. What is Canada? What is Canadian culture? Who is a Canadian? Canadians do not agree on what it means [...]

By |October 27th, 2017|Categories: Featured|0 Comments

What is Japanese for joie de vivre?

Joie de vivre, or the joy of living, is a phrase you probably know. Paris is the world’s most popular tourist destination, and that surely has much to do with the way life operates in that great city, and in the country surrounding it. In Canada, the phrase is used when speaking about Quebec, and for the cities of Montreal and Quebec City, which are among our most popular tourist destinations. Once again, popular [...]

By |October 27th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Let’s Get Friendship Right: The Tragically Hip

http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/747392579715 When the colour of the night And all the smoke in one life Gives way to shaky movements, Improvisational skills In the forest of whispering speakers Let’s swear that we will Get with the times, In a current health to stay Let’s get friendship right Get life day-to-day “It’s a Good Life if you Don’t Weaken,” In Violet Light. Universal Music Canada, 2002. Gordon Downie, Rob Baker, Johnny Fay, Paul Langlois & [...]

By |October 27th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Honourable Senator Murray Sinclair

Have you ever had a moment so perfect you could not believe it? I had one when I served as University Orator honouring the Honourable Senator Murray Sinclair. I study performance. I explore how top performers do what they do best. Being assigned to speak about Murray Sinclair provided me with two years in which I was privileged to studyMizanay Gheezhik (Sinclair’s Ojibway name), and attempt to capture something of who he is, and [...]

By |October 27th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

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