Watt, John

Identity area

Type of entity


Authorized form of name

Watt, John

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence



John Watt was born in Toronto, Ontario in 1952 and studied Fine Arts at Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick from 1971 to 1973. During this time, John worked as a painter, sculptor, and printmaker until he discovered video, a new time-based art form that shifted his attention away from more traditional art media. Watt continued his studies from 1973 to 1974 at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he produced many of his early video performance-for-the-camera works, notably “Peepers” and “I’m a Killer”.

Over the past forty years, Watt has become one of the most internationally respected media producers/directors in Canada and a noted pioneer of Video Art. John’s video art was exhibited and collected as early as 1974 at the Art Gallery of Ontario’s 'Videoscape' and was notably the first major survey of video art in Canada.

In 1979 Watt produced and curated “Television By Artists”, a landmark series of six commissioned television programs by artists. Each program was designed and framed for broadcast television and examined a variety of concerns as objects or events for broadcast television.

Watt’s interest in the advancement of video technology led him to becoming one of first commercial videodisc producer’s in Canada, directing four major installations for the Canadian Pavilion at Expo ’86. This groundbreaking project consisting of fourteen synchronized laser videodiscs and was programmed using a digital image controller over a matrix of one hundred and eight monitors. He has continued to be an innovative video producer, pioneering electronic applications for the Internet and Public Display worldwide.

Watt’s video works have been extensively exhibited and are collected nationally and internationally in museums, galleries, expositions, festivals, broadcasts, including: National Gallery of Canada, Fukui Prefectural Museum of Art, Fukui, Japan, Brighton Polytechnical Institute, England, Centre d’art Contemporain Basse-, France Normanmdie, Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, The Power Plant, Art Gallery at Harbourfront, Toronto, Montevideo, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Blaffer Gallery, Houston, Texas, U.S.A., Koln Art Fair, Koln, Germany, Agnes Etherington Arts Centre, Kingston, Ontario, Obscure Gallery, 729 Cote D’Abraham, Quebec City, London Video Arts, London England, Simon Fraser University, Center for Arts, B.C. Canada, University of Toronto, McLuhan Center, Toronto, High Museum, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A., Maison de la Culture de Brest, Brest, Belgium, Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff, Alberta, Long Beach Museum of Art, Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Hara, Japan, Sydney Biennale, Sydney, Australia, Kijkhuis, Den Haag, The Netherlands, Via della Croce, Rome Italy, Ed Video, Guelph, Canada, Western Front, Vancouver, B.C., Canada.


Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Related entity

Centre for Art Tapes (1978-)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship


Type of relationship

Centre for Art Tapes is the associate of Watt, John

Dates of the relationship

Description of relationship

John Watt presented his work at the Centre for Art Tapes in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Access points area

Subject access points

Place access points


Control area

Authority record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion




History was adapted from the VTape artist index: http://www.vtape.org/artist?ai=141

Maintenance notes

  • Clipboard

  • Export

  • EAC

Related subjects

Related places