CAFKA Rewind: Don Miller

Monday October 30, 2017 /// 7PM
Waterloo Public Library
35 Albert Street, Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 5E2

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Shelburne, Ontario artist Don Miller will be the featured speaker in the second of our series of CAFKA Rewind presentations at the Waterloo Public Library on Monday, October 30 at 7 PM. 

Don Miller is an idea-based visual artist, intuitive carpenter and poet who lives near Shelburne, Ontario. Miller works in a number of media including performance, video, installation, experimental architecture, snow sculpture and written word. He also works with stone, steel and wood to generate income to fund his artistic pursuits; his creative endeavours tend to infiltrate his life, and his life tends to infiltrate his art. Though the majority of his projects are produced independently, outside the gallery network, Miller has also presented performances, videos, readings and interventions at Ghost Ship (Amsterdam), York University (Toronto), Knock on Woods (Holland), Pleasure Dome/ Cinecycle (Toronto), Engine Gallery (Toronto), Tranzac (Toronto), and Anna Leonowens Gallery (Halifax). His projects include an ongoing series of sensory deprivation and/or sensory enhancement snow caves, a large one of a kind frankenhouse constructed from numerous century old barns, spoken word performances at various venues, and creating what he terms “a strategy for living.” Don received a BFA in 2002 from NSCAD University (formerly the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design).

For CAFKA.14 Don Miller and a number of volunteers took over two condemned houses in Kitchener's Victoria Park neighbourhood, painting one black and one white. The condemned  houses, which were at one time single family homes, had in recent years been converted into rooming houses and had fallen into considerable disrepair. An agreement with the property owner allowed CAFKA to appropriate the houses through the end of the 2014 biennial exhibition. Reaction to the project from some quarters was extrememly hostile. CAFKA's Artistic Director, Karie Liao, and the artist and his volunteers were confronted on the street in front of the houses. Angry letters were directed to the mayor and city council and to Karie Liao. 

“The worst piece of crap I have ever experienced. It is just vile. People lived in those houses. They brought up children in those houses. Why didn’t you just let the houses die their rightful death instead of making a mockery of them? I will NEVER waste my time on CAFKA, or your work ever.”

Don Miller will discuss the genesis of Saturn and Cronus, the process of making it happen and the controversy that attended it. We'll have an opportunity to reflect on what may have accounted for the angry reactions and to assess the fallout. 

CAFKA Rewind has been made possible with the support of the City of Waterloo. 

For more information about CAFKA Rewind and other speakers in the series, please contact us at

Photo of Don Miller by Gordon Hatt