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Jim Willer

Jim Willer

Former location, Vancouver School of Art, 249 Dunsmuir St.

  • Author: Britt S. Baker
  • Date Posted: Jan 15, 2014
  • Category:
  • Address: Plaque is on lamppost near northeast corner of Dunsmuir St. and Hamilton St.

Jim Willer

Photo credit: Jim Willer estate


Location: Plaque is on lamppost near northeast corner of Dunsmuir St. and Hamilton St.

When professional painter Jim Willer wrote a rare, dystopian novel about “electric government,” Paramind (1973), he became one of three co-recipients of an unprecedented $100,000 literary prize offered by the Imperial Tobacco Company for Canada’s centennial. The prize money was evenly split three ways, enabling him to build a house.

Life is so bludsukking marvellous, isn’t it though? And you can’t express – you can’t set it down. You don’t know where to begin, begin to say, ‘Life, you’re great! Thank you.’

From Paramind

The prophetic novel, similar to Frankenstein, describes how the artificial intelligence of the rogue Computer 27 outstrips human intelligence. Published a few years after Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Paramind was nonetheless written before computers were developed that can beat international grandmasters at chess. In Paramind, the human creator of Computer 27 (nicknamed Kasgar) is killed by his invention before he is able to destroy it. Jim Willer was born near London, England in 1921. He toured Western Canada on a painting expedition with Joe Plaskett and studied for two years in Europe under bohemian conditions. He came to teach at the Vancouver School of Art at the invitation of painter Tak Tanabe in 1964.

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The prophetic novel, similar to Frankenstein, describes how the artificial intelligence of the rogue Computer 27 outstrips human intelligence. Published a few years after Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Paramind was nonetheless written before computers were developed that can beat international grandmasters at chess. In Paramind, the human creator of Computer 27 (nicknamed Kasgar) is killed by his invention before he is able to destroy it. Jim Willer was born near London, England in 1921. He toured Western Canada on a painting expedition with Joe Plaskett and studied for two years in Europe under bohemian conditions. He came to teach at the Vancouver School of Art at the invitation of painter Tak Tanabe in 1964.

Life is so bludsukking marvellous, isn’t it though? And you can’t express – you can’t set it down. You don’t know where to begin, begin to say, ‘Life, you’re great! Thank you.’

From Paramind

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Learn more about Jim Willer at ABC Bookworld