Events > Edition Launch

27 Mar. 2010

Edition launch for Bill Burns's Guard Tower Plans, Prison Cell Plans and the Songs of Guantanamo Bay

Bill Burns
1 pm - 3 pm

Art Metropole is pleased to announce a new edition by Bill Burns titled Guard Tower Plans, Prison Cell Plans and the Songs of Guantanamo Bay. The official Toronto launch will take place at Art Metropole on Saturday, March 27 from 1 to 3 p.m. Bill Burns will be in attendance.

Guard Tower Plans, Prison Cell Plans and the songs of Guantanamo Bay includes a set of oversized instructional diagrams produced in the style of IKEA’s step-by-step furniture assembly guides. These diagrams provide the user with a complete list of materials and methods used to build replicas of the guard towers and prison cells at Camp X-Ray. The edition also includes a large-format, silkscreen printed playlist of the metal, hardcore, rock and pop songs played to prisoners at the camps as well as a set of three long play vinyl records containing songs from the same list. The edition is housed in custom made archival box, in a limited edition of 7, plus 3 A/Ps and 1 production proof.

All proceeds from this edition will benefit Art Metropole.

Bill Burns has also published several books related to animals and warfare. These include Two Boiler Suits and a Playlist: a Guide for Primates, (YYZ, Toronto, 2010). Bird Radio, (KW, Berlin; KWAG, Kitchener and Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther Konig Cologne 2007) and The Guide to the Flora and Fauna Information Service: 0.800.0FAUNA0FLORA (Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, 2008). Bird Radio, describes how to recreate the songs of birds of Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Jordan and Chechnya, while The Guide to the Flora and Fauna Information Service describes how to preserve and protect plants and animals in the same part of the world.

Bill Burns would like to thank the Leon Levy Foundation in New York for its generous support during the production of this project.

The GTMO Playlist

1. Shoot to Thrill by AC/DC
2. Gold by Matchbox Twenty
3. Stayin’ Alive by The Bee Gees
4. Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen
5. Dirrty by Christina Aguilera
6. Sesame Street Theme Song by Joe Raposo
7. March of the Pigs by Nine Inch Nails
8. American Pie by Don McLean
9. Die MF Die by Dope
10. Bodies by Drowning Pools
11. Raspberry Beret by Prince
12. White America by Eminem
13. All Eyes on Me by Tupac
14. Fuck Your God by Deicide
15. Enter Sandman by Metallica
16. America by Neil Diamond
17. We Are the Champions by Queen
18. Killing in the Name by Rage Against the Machine
19. Click Click Boom by Saliva
20. I Love You by Barney the Purple Dinosaur

Bill Burns was born in Regina, Saskatchewan in 1957 and has lived and worked as an artist in Toronto, Canada and London, England. His work consists mainly of conceptual writings, artists’ books and multiples. He studied under Gerard Hemsworth, Jon Thompson and John Latham at Goldsmiths College in London, England. He is known for his Safety Gear for Small Animals (SGSA) which was first shown at 303 Gallery in New York in 1994 and later at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2005/2006 and at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London in 2008. His 2002 project Everything I Could Buy on eBay About Malaria which was shown at the Wellcome Trust in London, England is considered a seminal work in the area of electronic collecting. His work about life in the art world known as Veblen Goods was shown at MASS MoCA in 2012.

Burns has published numerous books including When Pain Strikes (Burns, Busby, Sawchuk), a critical anthology about pain and pain relief, published by the University of Minnesota Press in 1999. Other book titles include Analgesia (Rochefort,Montreal, 1993), How to Help Animals Escape from Degraded Habitats (Optica, Montreal, 1996), Urban Fauna Information Station (Mercer Union, Toronto, 2002), Safety Gear for Small Animals (MOCCA, Toronto and California State University, Fullerton, 2005) Bird Radio (Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther Koenig, Cologne, 2007) and The Flora and Fauna Information Service – 0.800.0.0FAUNA0FLORA (ICA, London, 2008). Burns has also published dozens of guides, posters, and editions. His editions are included in major museum collections throughout the world.

Burns’ work has been exhibited in major museums and biennial exhibitions since the nineteen nineties. His most notable exhibitions include the ICA in London, the MoMA in New York as well as Forum Arte y Vida at the Havana Bienal in Havana, Cuba in 2003, the Bienal del Fin del Mundo in Ushuaia, Argentina in 2007 and the Quebec City Biennial – Manif d’art 5, in 2010.


1: Bill Burns conversing with guest. Ian Balfour and another guest in background.
2: Bill Burns talks with Michael Maranda and Jessica Weiman.
3: Gaye Couillard, Jordan Sonenberg, and Michael Couillard.
4: Bill Burns and dapper guest.

  1. Edition launch for Bill Burns’s Guard Tower Plans, Prison Cell P
  2. Edition launch for Bill Burns’s Guard Tower Plans, Prison Cell P
  3. Edition launch for Bill Burns’s Guard Tower Plans, Prison Cell P
  4. Edition launch for Bill Burns’s Guard Tower Plans, Prison Cell P