Portfolio · August 2007–August 2017

Posted on: 19 August 2017 by John


Installations, publications, collaborative projects and works-in-progess

John Shipman, four images, four installations (2008, 2009, 2016, 2016)
The new portfolio section on features John's collaborative installations with links to project descriptions, comments and much more. We've also updated — take a look! Comments welcome.

Photos · Marcelle St-Amant

30 September 2017 · Save the date

Posted on: 5 July 2017 by John


John Shipman, stacking bowls mockup for Housekeeping, July 2017

Clean. Dust. Mend. Plan. List. Sort. Label. Bag. Tag. Hang. Fold. Shelve. Stack. Organize. Reuse.

You are invited to celebrate 150 + 14850 years of planning, organizing, storing, cleaning and repairing along Lake Ontario's north shore on 30 September 2017. My 12th independent Nuit Blanche project in a listed heritage church, 15000 Years of Housekeeping is a large, participatory installation suitable for all ages.

When · Sunset Saturday, 30 September to sunrise Sunday, 1 October 2017
Where · St. Matthew's United Church, 729 St. Clair Avenue West, Toronto, Ontario
Map, directions and more information ·

Photo · John Shipman

A library implies, a good book is…

Posted on: 22 June 2016 by John


Victor Hugo on libraries, Milton on books, Chicago IL


On north wall of the stairwell leading to what once was the Chicago Public Library's Main Reading Room with its magnificent Tiffany glass dome is this quotation from À qui la faute? by Victor Hugo (1872) in glass mosaic tiles — A library implies an act of faith which generations, still in darkness hid, sign in their night in witness of the dawn — and on the east wall as well above the door leading to the New York Public Library's Main Reading Room, are these words from Milton's Areopagitica (1644) opposing licensing and censorship — A good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.

100 Libraries, 99 Books  ·  October 2016

The library is now the Chicago Cultural Center.

Just delivered & ready to braid

Posted on: 6 September 2015 by John


Delivered earlier this week: 600 feet of 1.5-inch line on a four-foot high reel for The Great Journey of a Lifetime's ten decades-long, braided and knotted StoryRope — photos and more here.

Kumihimo braiding videos on YouTube

Posted on: 19 August 2015 by John


To see / learn more about kumihino braiding, start with this three-minute Michael Cook video (in Japanese).

Braiding StoryRopes

Posted on: 10 August 2015 by John



John Shipman, story rope cards for The Great Journey of a Lifetime (in process), July 2015

Work-in-progress · Selecting texts for the cards hanging from The Great Journey of a Lifetime's ten-decade, 100-metre long StoryRope (2015).

A quick update: The Endless Proverb (the book)

Posted on: 28 July 2015 by John


The Endless Proverb by John Shipman, 2013-2015

The Department of Household Sciences & Advanced Proverbs is pleased to announce its inaugural publication — an illustrated, 300-page first edition of The Endless Proverb, the ten-hour, 10,000 line-long sentence constructed from proverbs from around the world by John Shipman as part of his Nuit Blanche 2013 installation, Ten Models of the Universe — will be available later this summer.

To reserve / order your copies, please contact John.

ISBN: 978-0-9939789-0-6
5.25 x 9 inches
300 pages

Draft pages 58–59 with illustrations by Joy Shipman, 2013-2015

The Endless Proverb · The book

Posted on: 31 October 2014 by John


John Shipman, Department of Household Sciences & Advanced Proverbs logoThe Department of Sciences & Advanced Proverbs is pleased announce the Summer 2015 publication of the print version of John Shipman's The Endless Proverb Model of the Universe, the ten-hour long, ten thousand line-long sentence constructed from proverbs from around the world as presented as part of Ten Models of the Universe (2013).

To become a subscriber and for more info, please contact John.

New conversations about the universe

Posted on: 23 June 2014 by John


The relationship between science and the arts is fraught. Because the abstract mathematical language of theoretical physics intrigues and repels non-scientists we sometimes forget that astrophysicists also talk about peanuts. How can art bring forward a playful storytelling that includes all of us in conversations about the universe?

The Department of Household Sciences & Advanced Proverbs uses the methods of the kitchen, the basement workshop, and backyard play to nourish human understanding through touching, hearing, tasting, seeing and making.

Come explore ten hands-on models of the universe — search for the seven beanets of Beanetary System, play the giant bean-star game, take a bean bath, sound the bean rainsticks, taste seven bean chili, sew a bean bag — at my ninth independent project for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche Toronto, Dried Beans Models of the Universe from the Department of Household Sciences & Advanced Proverbs, at St. Matthew's United Church, 729 St. Clair Avenue West, Toronto on 4-5 October.