(March 10, 2004 / OTTAWA) On Wednesday, at a ceremony administered by Her Excellency the Governor General Adrianne Clarkson at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Canada's national capitol, John Oswald was made a Governor General's Laureate. This is the highest honour this country can bestow on an artist.
When choosing Oswald the jury stated:
"John Oswald has created an art - and vocabulary - of his own in his exceptional and innovative work as a sound artist, image alchemist, composer and media artist... Oswald's art, while often playful, is a serious examination of basic elements. His influence on an entire generation of artists and his international reputation attest to his free-ranging spirit of innovation and exploration."
"It is fortunate that the Governor General should recognize achievements in the 'media arts.' For it is only a term as open-ended in its compass as 'media' that could possibly serve to embrace the wildly multifarious yet utterly particular art of John Oswald. 'Media' is plural, denoting more than one medium. And a medium, in its most basic sense, is a means, any means, of effecting or conveying something, anything. Medium is also a poetically apt word to invoke in the case of John Oswald, as it is directly derived from the Latin word meaning 'the one in the middle.' Oswald throws himself into the middle, or, more correctly, many, many middles."