Beach Talks 1: Steven Maye: Surfaces for Rent: Distraction, Tactility, and the Gallery

August 11, 2012

Steven Maye’s talk considers the idea of distraction as it is presented in the work of Walter Benjamin. Benjamin finds architecture and cinema exemplary of artworks received in distraction, but his writings also suggest that other art forms carry the potential for a distracted engagement. By examining an appeal to tactility in Benjamin’s work, Maye looks for forms of distraction already at work in the gallery setting, and considers how writing about art might facilitate a distracted experience, and what the benefits of such an experience might be.


This talk is the first of a series of weekend talks and performances organized by the Or Gallery and presented on various beaches in the Vancouver area.

Participant Bios

Steven Maye is an incoming PhD student in English and Science and Technology Studies at UBC. His work examines various relationships between literature, media, and other forms of sensory experience, especially in the context of 20th-century poetry.