[Text to accompany their exhibition at YYZ Artists' Outlet in 2002. Revised to serve as the "Acknowledgements" in Everybody Loves Nothing.]


Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby


There is no such thing as self-esteem. Self-esteem as a construct is illogical and contradictory, so its frequent deployment as the lynch-pin of New Age discourse seems to me satisfyingly appropriate. I don't trust anyone who doesn't have frequent bouts of self-loathing. There is something truly monstrous about the self-righteous. Eating a well-balanced diet is a horrible act of aggression. Whenever I hear the word "culture" I think of bacteria mutating under an ultra-violet light and I'm happy again for a while. Within the petri dish: unfettered egoless desire, the proliferation of new possibilities, ideas made flesh, uncaring and finally air-borne. Empathy is a tool for making the cruelty more precise. Beauty is independent of taste; the sublime only works for suckers. Whenever I laugh I feel guilty.