Demo Model

Entry from Acts of Transfer:
Duration: 21 min 26 sec
Format: ¾” Umatic SP

“…Demo Model is…a demonstration of varieties of communication (an inventory of codes, semiotic analysis), with and through diverse technological devices as well as the performer’s body being both transmitter and receiver; its fragmented ‘narrative’ carried by these various codes.”

– Philip Monk, Is Toronto Burning? 1977 | 1978 | 1979 Three Years in the Making (and Unmaking) of the Toronto Art Scene, Art Gallery of York University, 2014.

Elizabeth Chitty is a Canadian interdisciplinary artist born in St. Catharines ON in 1953 to parents who came to this territory from England in 1951. The territory on which she resides has been the traditional hunting ground of many nations, most recently Chonnonton, Haudenosaunee and Anishnaabeg peoples. Her father worked in the foundry at General Motors and at home worked with wood; her mother taught vocal music and speech arts at home. After graduating with an Honours B.A. in Fine Art, Modern Dance Major from York University in 1975, Chitty spent her early career in Toronto and Vancouver where she was associated with 15 Dance Lab, A Space and Western Front among other artist-run centres. She returned to the Niagara area in 1988 where she has lived since.

Chitty’s artistic practice is interdisciplinary, both in terms of relationships among art media and with other disciplines. It is her intent that her works offer multiple points of entry for public engagement with contemporary art and social discourse. She asks: What does it mean to be in a body, in this place, at this time, with others?

In parallel with her work as an artist, she has played many roles in the arts including serving as Executive Director of national, provincial and local arts service organizations and in a key role developing the first municipal cultural policy for the City of St. Catharines. Chitty taught Creative Process at School of the Toronto Dance Theater for 16 years, practising a pedagogy built on her training as a mediator and facilitator. Her social justice work includes consensus-building (see She also worked as a labourer in the horticultural industry as necessary and raised a daughter.

Original Archive Entry:

Work is performance by Elizabeth Chitty from the Fifth Avenue Network Video Conference in Toronto.