Yesterday Was Once Tomorrow, Edited by Kegan McFadden

Plug In ICA and Publication Studio Vancouver present: 

Yesterday was Once Tomorrow (or, A Brick is a Tool)
Magazines by artists in Canada during the 1990s  

Edited by Kegan McFadden • Published by Plug In Editions (Winnipeg) with Publication Studio (Vancouver) • Translation provided by Artexte (Montreal) • Foreword by Gwen L. Allen • Introduction by Jenifer Papararo • Insert by Cube


Drawing on a methodology of exhibition-as-research, Yesterday was Once Tomorrow (or, A Brick is a Tool) extends a process of investigation by artist, writer, and curator Kegan McFadden. As an exhibition, Yesterday was Once Tomorrow (or, A Brick is a Tool) acts as a historical look at magazines by artists in Canada that were established and terminated in the 1990s. Specifically focusing on Texts (Calgary, 1989-1993), Flower (Toronto, 1992-1996), Talking Stick First Nations Arts Magazine (Regina, 1993-1994), Boo (Vancouver, 1994-1998), The Harold (Winnipeg, 1995-1997), and Cube (Montreal, 1996-1998), Yesterday was Once Tomorrow (or, A Brick is a Tool), debuted at Plug In ICA (2015), and toured to Artexte (2016) and The Banff Centre (2017). The archival impulse is continued in book form, efficiently capturing an under-explored moment in Canadian art history, situated critically within the global technological context of pre-Internet desktop publishing.

Included, in English and French, is a central essay by McFadden reflecting on his curatorial approach and methodology while the main body of the book operates in a similar manner to the exhibition, consolidating the magazines as content and material. Brief recollections from those involved with each of the six magazines coincide with an index chronicling their output, while covers of every issue are scanned and reproduced for posterity. A prescient essay about the state of art criticism in Canada by Bruce Grenville is re-printed thirty years after it originally appeared, followed by a newly commissioned response from Jeanne Randolph, in addition to artist projects and other poetic excerpts from each of the publications. Yesterday was Once Tomorrow (or, A Brick is a Tool) concludes with an archival gesture – the cataloguing of works included in each iteration of the exhibition.

For more information about the publication, or to purchase a copy of Yesterday was Once Tomorrow (or, A Brick is a Tool), see our online ‘shop’, or contact: Erin Josephson-Laidlaw at

200 pages
1 Color poster insert
16.3 cm x 22.9cm
ISBN: 978-1-927385-48-7

Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art
Unit 1–460 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3C 0E8 • •  • 1.204.942.1043 
Publication Studio Vancouver
8 E Pender St, Vancouver BC Canada V6A 1T1 • or • • 1.604.836.0865

Plug In ICA extends our gratitude to our generous donors, valued members and dedicated volunteers. With special thanks to our Director’s Circle.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council. We thank the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for their support of our 2016 and 2017 program, as well as Payworks and Wawanesa Insurance for the direct support of our youth programs.

Plug In ICA relies on community support to remain free and accessible to all, and enable us to continue to present excellent programs. Please consider becoming a member of Plug In ICA and a donor at or by contacting Angela Forget: