Professor Yates’ art practice and research revolves around creating sculpture which functions like film stills: objects that hold space like a “pause” so the viewer can examine and inspect them. He creates installation experiences which confound the expectation of knowing-through-seeing, setting the stage for a perpetual mystery. He is particularly interested in crime scenes, in the cold relationship that exists between the tragedy on screen and the scrutiny of the viewer. To echo this gaze, his work often takes the form of highly realistic miniatures. These miniature objects are experienced both as real physical objects but because of their inaccessible scale, they also read as an image.
Before joining the Department of Visual Art & Art History at York, Professor Yates held positions at the University of Oregon, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and University of Victoria. He has exhibited his work throughout Canada and the US.