Andrew Bailey (York University)
Unforgotten Fantasies: Romantic Play within the Game Art of Angela Washko and Nina Freeman
This paper will work to analyze how affect functions within video games through a comparative examination of Nina Freeman’s and Angela Washko’s game-based artwork. For Freeman I will be specifically looking at her 2015 art game Cibele which functions as an autobiographical simulation of her personal computer during a teenage romance that was sparked within a massively-multiplayer online role-playing game. Alternatively, with Washko, I will be focusing on her 2012 art project Heroines With Baggage which appropriates imagery from a series of role-playing video games from her childhood and that she argues now negatively influences her perceptions of romantic relationships as an adult. Both Washko and Freeman take self-reflective approaches to their art practices that frame video games as more than just an avenue for entertainment. In each of these cases the game becomes a site of assemblage connecting the player’s body and mind to the constructed worlds through a combination of embodiment and affect.
Andrew Bailey is a PhD candidate within the Art History and Visual Culture program at York University. His research focuses on new media art that is in dialogue with video game culture, with an emphasis on works that interrogate how video games are affected both materially and conceptually by the processes of time. Andrew also holds a MA in Art History & Curatorial Studies from York University, and a BFA in Printmaking from OCAD University.
Brayden Burrard (Concordia University)
Fluxus Proximity and Image Bank: Social Emancipation Between 1969-1978
In 1969, Vancouver/Berlin artists Michael Morris (B. 1942, England) and Vincent Trasov (B. 1947, Edmonton) founded the artist project Image Bank with Vancouver artist Gary Lee Nova (B. 1947, Toronto) for the purpose of facilitating a mail-art network which distributed photographs, films, videos, and textual content to and from Vancouver, Canada. This paper presents Image Bank as an important activity during the period following the Trudeau government’s decimalization of homosexuality in 1968 and the contradictory moment in which sexual liberation and homophobic backlash persisted. Between 1969 to 1978, Image Bank’s mail-art service supported artists and a general public who sought to exchange content concerning North American fetish culture, homosexual representations, Canadian and American politics, and collections of photographs during the 1970s.
Brayden Burrard is an art history and occasional curator who is interested in photography, relational aesthetics, and the emergence of conceptual and Fluxus art during the late 1960s. He is completing his doctorate in art history at Concordia University. This research explores artist networks, the distribution of photography, and the development of Canadian art institutions both locally and internationally as aspects of nation building.
Emily Cadotte (OCAD University)
Spaces Between: A Meditation on the Interstice
The concept of interstice emerges in many fields, to the point of ubiquity. It is micro and macro, existing in both human-made and organic systems. Certainly what has come to be recognized as the gallery space is no exception. While the interstice invites contemplation on its in-betweenness and the histories of the destinations it is between, the non-place is a fact of supermodernity. As defined by French theorist Marc Augé, the non-place is a transitive space that eliminates histories except for those in which it makes spectacle. My paper examines approaches of interstitial engagement in the gallery context, and how certain treatments transform the museum into non-place. I consider the space between works on exhibition (their interplay), the temporal interstice (the striking and installation of one exhibition into another), and the architectural interstices of the interior of the gallery or institution. Through a method of contemplation, my paper finds that the spaces between are worthy of the same criticality lended to art objects in an exhibition.
Emily Cadotte is of settler ancestry and is a current Master’s student at OCAD University. Emily completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Concordia University in Montreal. She has worked as an arts administrator, most recently as Assistant Curator of the Thames Art Gallery in Chatham, Ontario.
Angel Callander (Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin)
Tropes of Visibility: Performance art, womanhood, and bodies in semiosis
Attitudes towards women as measures of all deviation from societal norms, beginning with the female body in itself, are often situated into the social conscious that justifies their exclusions from political and economic life. For those whose womanhood intersects with other axes of oppression, such as race or queerness, capitalist society has further embedded traditions of abjection and exclusion for what threatens the purity of whiteness and maleness at the core of universal humanism. In examining these historically anchored conceptions of women’s bodies as monstrous and volatile, analyzing these categorizations in the flesh is much more potent, being forced to confront the traumas of their materiality. This paper investigates how many women in performance art have positioned themselves in such a way to showcase the material conditions of being racially, sexually, and/or ‘naturally’ other.
Angel Callander is a writer and art historian from the Niagara region, currently living in Toronto. She recently completed her M.A. Kunst- und Bildgeschichte (Art History and Visual Culture) at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Under the supervision of Dr. Inge Hinterwaldner, her Master’s thesis focuses on women’s performance art as the locus of historical conceptions for what constitutes “womanhood” as a material, social category, as well as speculating a future ontology of womanhood through post-human theory.
Daniel Evans (University of Alberta)
In an increasingly data-driven and algorithmically automated world, a clearly delineated boundary between physical and virtual existence is no longer possible. Search histories, social media, purchases, medical records, location history, and other forms of commodified information all converge to create externalized profiles beyond the control of their originators, that nonetheless have tangible impact on experiences in the physical world. All too frequently, these acts of profiling reproduce entrenched systems of power and control, even as they obfuscate the process of reproduction. This dual-natured existence evokes the shapeshifting seal figure known variously as selch, selkie, silkie, or kopakonan: a liminal figure that mediates between two worlds, between land and sea, negotiating the boundary by donning and removing its sealskin—an apparatus that both is, and somehow is not, part of its body. This project is a speculative world-ing; a re-imagining of data visualization through the lens of folklore.
Daniel Evans is an interdisciplinary artist from Edmonton, Alberta. Operating in the expanded field of printmaking, he incorporates 3D modelling, rapid prototyping, and virtual- and augmented- reality technologies alongside traditional printmaking and drawing. Evans studied at MacEwan University (Dip.), the Alberta College of Art and Design (BFA), and the North Wales School of Art and Design (MA). He is currently an MFA candidate in printmaking at the University of Alberta.
Angela Glanzmann (University of British Columbia)
A Mom, A Baby, and A Volkswagen Beetle All at Once: Soft Protest Within a Traumatized Body
My symptoms of post-traumatic stress manifest themselves via disassociation, recurring night terrors, having the acutely embarrassing and unpredictable inability to recognize faces. Having a physical fight/flight/freeze response at the sight of generic looking white men or from being in crowded rooms or bars or dance venues. I am either hypersensitive to sudden pain, or I am so hypo-sensitive, that I sometimes think that I am dead. I also haven’t seen my naked body in half a decade without gagging. I see this hypersensitivity and hyper-vigilance as similar to how mothers can summon up freak strength to lift up a Volkswagen beetle to save their trapped baby by themselves in times of distress. Except in this case, I’m the mom, the baby and the Volkswagen all at once.
Angela Glanzmann is a queer settler, artist and art worker currently based in the xwməθkwəy̓ əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations (aka Vancouver, BC). She received her BFA from NSCAD University in 2013 and is in the second year of her MFA at the University of British Columbia. Her practice revolves around video, performance, sculpture and installation. Her research is currently investigating connections of post- trauma, affect, labour, precarity and their latent markings on a body.
Parker Kay (The Archive of Modern Conflict)
Digital Mysticism and Urban Re-Embodiment
Since the release of Age of Empires, and games like it, we have arrived in a time where bandwidth is nearly limitless and the grid is global. There is an undeniable drive towards access to everything, everywhere, all the time. Google Maps, Earth, and Street View have shown us the details and boundaries of the planet yet the desire to indulge in the unknown remains. This can be seen in the recent, and fervent, interest that online communities have shown towards myths, astrology, and conspiracy theories—a phenomenon known as Digital Mysticism. Digital Mysticism leverages the ever-growing data available online and their infinite permutations and combinations in order to augment the unknown in the world around us.
Parker Kay is a multi-disciplinary artist and writer currently working in Toronto, Canada. With a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree in New Media, Kay’s practice looks at the rise of Network Culture and how the proliferation of digital communication has permeated our lives and marked our landscapes. Kay is currently a researcher and collections manager at The Archive of Modern Conflict and on the board of directors at Art Metropole.
Katie Lydiatt (Carleton University)
Engaging the Filmic Other: An Analysis of the Reconfiguration of Spectatorship in Feminist Video Art
Expanding on phenomenology and feminist theory, this presentation will focus on two films; Joyce Weiland’s Water Sark, 1965 and Lisa Steele’s Birthday Suit with Scars and Defects, 1974, as key examples of how new aesthetics and modes of viewing were employed in early video art, in an effort to reshape spectatorship and increase intersubjectivity and body corporeality. Using the metaphor of a skin-like membrane in these works, I will argue that the screen no longer functions as a barrier between subject and viewer, but instead forces the spectator to engage with the film in an act of intimacy, and confront the situation of their body in relation the subject.
Katie Lydiatt is a first year MA student in Art History and curatorial studies at Carleton University. Coming from an interdisciplinary background in art history and communications studies, my interests often encompass contemporary art and new media and their impact on memory and identity. My current scholarly research centres around issues of memory in contemporary Canadian photography.
Adrienne Matheuszik (OCAD University)
Layers of Unseen Information: Augmented Reality and Mixed Race Identity
As a new media artist I have been working with augmented reality as a medium and a tool to explore the liminal space between the physical and digital, as well as the liminal space of mixed race identity. Augmented reality adds an unseen digital layer of information to physical objects, with the digital only being revealed through the use of a mediating device such as a mobile phone or head mounted display. In my work I use science fiction imagery as a way to address narratives about technology, using sterile environments and alien landscapes to explore a possible future, or alternative reality for liminal identities.
Adrienne Matheuszik is a multidisciplinary artist based in Toronto, Ontario. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from University of Ottawa and a Graduate Certificate in Digital Technologies in Design Art Practice. She is currently an MFA Candidate at OCAD University in the Interdisciplinary Masters in Art, Media and Design. She has exhibited in Canada and the United States.
Julia Prudhomme (McMaster University)
Promissory: On Russian Cosmism and Matrilineal Archival Memory
Through the procedural and formal aspects of the artistic works presented herein, which manifest as a digital collage fabric installation and 35mm slide projection montage, I consider the fragmentary yet personal stories, ephemera, and embodied lineage generated by my Great- Grandmothers. Fragments lead to fiction, fiction leads to lacuna, lacuna lead to the radical imaginaries brought forth by both my personal archive turned visual representation and the Cosmist movement’s interest in the archive, art and immortality. Spiritual and material, Promissory approaches archival studies with a feminist spirit between living and nonliving entities in finding an affective place among these culled spectres, and spectral spaces.
Julia Prudhomme is a curator and artist living and working in Hamilton, ON. Julia researches, writes about, and curates exhibitions focusing on artistic process, arts labour, and feminist critical theories, in addition to having completed a Master of Fine Arts (UBC). Julia has contributed to art galleries and artist-run centres in numerous capacities for over ten years and continues this work as a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Communications, New Media and Cultural Studies concomitant with a Graduate Diploma in Gender Studies and Feminist Research.
Mark Terry (York University)
Retraining Our Perception: Semiotic Storytelling in Ecocinematic Documentaries
While acknowledging earlier classic environmental documentaries such as South (1919),Rain (1926), and The Plough That Broke the Plains (1936), and others, ecocinema, or as it is sometimes referred to in the particular, the eco-doc, is a relatively new sub-genre of the documentary film that is developing its own style as it is so closely related with informing both public and power about issues that impact all of us. This goal of audience engagement leading to powerful and influential action is what many scholars believe the eco-doc with its perception-altering mode of storytelling make the sub-genre successful in advancing progressive social change, perhaps one of the most effective styles of social issue documentary filmmaking.
Mark Terry received his PhD from Toronto’s York University defending his dissertation – The Geo-Doc: Remediating the Documentary Film as an Instrument of Social Change with Locative Theory and Technologies. His research has recently been adopted by the United Nations for its annual climate summits.
Daniel Walker (University of Alberta)
Objects of Attention: Ecological Aesthetics in Tomas Saraceno’s “Aerocene” Project
Berlin-based artist Tomás Saraceno’s Aerocene sculptures are lightweight, geometric forms that hover above the earth’s surface in a fragile choreography with wind currents and solar energy. The Aerocene project—of which these sculptures form the basis—is a collaborative, interdisciplinary investigation that seeks to attune participants to the atmosphere in ethical collaborations. This paper investigates Saraceno’s Aerocene sculptures for their relationship to experimental design and aesthetic experience.
Daniel Walker is an MA candidate in the History of Art, Design, and Visual Culture program at the University of Alberta. Walker’s current thesis research explores three experimental art practices with relation to design, ecology, and aesthetics.