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Student profile

Treva Pullen-Legassie

Thesis supervisor: Monika Kin Gagnon

Thesis title: 'Tending The Narrows: Curation as research-creation for a processual land-based exhibitionary practice (Tentative)

Treva Pullen-Legassie (she/her) is a PhD candidate, curator, and artist born and based in Tkaronto, Treaty 13 territory. Her research-creation dissertation takes form as an interdisciplinary exhibition that speaks to and from ‘The Narrows’ of the Lower Don Valley in Tkaronto.

A channelized section of the Lower Don River, The Narrows has historically been a site of conflict; from the city’s industrial development around the waterway to its use as a site for discarding waste and detritus, a space of refuge for those pushed to the edges of society, and more recently as a contested site of ecological restoration and rehabilitation. For more than two centuries the river has been harnessed in order to develop Canada’s largest urban metropolis. Engaging in a curatorial practice as research-creation, Pullen-Legassie’s dissertation tends to the many histories and interlocutors of The Narrows as a borderland in Tkaronto/Toronto’s Indigenous and settler colonial histories.

As a curator, her process values embodied and incidental knowledge and a commitment to Land and its vast complexity. Pullen-Legassie is one of the co-founders of the Curatorial Research-Creation Collective. Her writing has been published in Technoetic Arts: A Journal of Speculative Research, PUBLIC Journal, The Senses & Society, InterARTive, JAWS and AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples. She has also curated new media based exhibitions such as Femynynytees (2018), #NATURE (2016) and Influenc(Ed.) Machines and co-ordinated Cheryl Sim’s YMX: Land and Loss after Mirabel. Her doctoral research is supported by the J.W. McConnell Memorial Doctoral Fellowship and FRQSC Doctoral Research Scholarship.

Teaching - Undergraduate Courses

HUMN 3001: Reading Popular Culture (OCAD University)
COMS 368: Media and Gender
COMS 308: Special Topics in Video, Sensing the Moving Image
COMS 310: Media Genres

Selected Refereed Publications:

Legassie, Treva Michelle. “Playing, Performing, Policing: Navigating Avatar Expression in Second Life,” Video Game Art Reader 2.1, 2018. 86-96.

Legassie, Treva Michelle. “Keepers of the Bio Art Laboratory: Mangling Methods and Curating Critically,” RACAR: Special Issue What is Critical Curating? 43.2, 2018. 73-88. Edited by Marie Fraser and Alice Jim.

Pullen, Treva Michelle. “Whimsical Bodies, Performative Machines and Networked Nonhumans: Aesthetics and Affects of Robotic Art,” De Gruyter Open Cultural Studies 1.1, 2017. 514-521.

Pullen, Treva Michelle. “Capricious creatures: Animal behaviour as a model for robotic art,” Technoetic Arts: A Journal of Speculative Research 15.1, 2017. 53-60.

Pullen, Treva Michelle. “Skawennati’s TimeTraveller™: Deconstructing the Colonial Matrix in Virtual Reality,” ALTERNATIVE: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples 12.3, 2016. 236-249.

Selected Curatorial:

Sights of Feeling | Milieux Institute, Montreal, October 19, 2018.

Femynynytees | Arts Visuels Émergents, Montreal, July-August 2018.

YMX: Migration, Lands and Loss after Mirabel | POPOP Gallery, Montreal, April 2017 (exhibition coordinator).

#nature: An Installation by Sean Martindale | OCAD University, March 12-14, 2016.

Genderpoo (installation by Coco Guzman) | OCAD University, March 13, 2016.

Influenc(Ed.) Machines | 49 McCaul, November 17-December 2, 2014.


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