Digifest 2021 presentations
Future Ways of Living III Announcement
The Future Ways of Living III announcement invites the global network of innovating city leaders and subject-matter experts in a series of transdisciplinary workshops to help cities from across the globe craft holistic solutions to their most pressing challenges, both pandemic-related and beyond.
Watch the presentation here.
Grove: Embodied and Virtual Space
Keynote Talk: Philip Beesley
Philip Beesley will present the Keynote Talk featuring new work by the Living Architecture Systems Group including the Grove project, a collaborative environment that combines immersive physical architecture, multichannel sound, and a virtual-reality film, currently installed at the 2021 Venice Biennale for Architecture. The project will be used to illustrate how emerging technologies and new aesthetic language can be combined to create expressive new kinds of architecture.
ON-FOOT Mobile App
Feature Startup: Pop Sandbox with Tristan Tiggeloven
With a focus on the ON-FOOT Mobile App, Tristan will focus on what goes into creating geo-locative apps and integrating them with AR/VR elements. He will lead a discussion on some of the amazing ways you can enhance the tourism and exploration experience of a locale and bring life to places of cultural and historical significance. In addition, some of the considerations or obstacles to think about when undertaking the creation of site specific geo-locative apps will also be covered. PopSandbox is an award-winning multimedia studio centered on innovative storytelling across platforms. The ON-FOOT app takes visitors on tours across Toronto combining AR and VR to share historical, musical and facts through tourist spots such as the Distillery Ghost Tour, Graffiti Alley Tour, Spadina Music Tour and the Gaybourhood Music Tour.
Watch the presentation here.
Artist Feature: Scenocosme with Gregory Lasserre and Anais met den Ancxt
The interactive artwork "Distances" virtually brings together people who are not able to touch physically. This artwork was born in April 2020 in response to the Coronavirus crisis that forced us to be isolated and to have physical distances from others. In this installation, 2 persons in 2 separate physical spaces are filmed in real time by 2 devices. They are invited to have contact virtually within the same image bringing them together face to face. The head-to-head proposed by the software of the artwork is trying to constantly reduce the proxemic distance between the two persons. The images of their faces, their hands are attracted and create unique ephemeral meetings with the other. This artwork is participatory in its creative process for the 2 visitors interacting at the same time. This staging is constantly renewed for the other groups of observer visitors who are in the exhibition space.
In this creation, we generate reactions and gestures from the spectators in response to virtual contacts.
Public Poetry Gallery Roundtable
The Public Poetry Gallery is a virtual space that transforms words and images to bring poetry to life. Designed as a set of 12 virtual rooms, each with a different number of walls, it is designed as a multimedia experience to uplift and change our perspectives on poetry.
To take a sneak peak at the virtual spaces and to read the poems click here.
Gianna Patriarca’s Public Poetry room features the shape of a triangle, with 3 sided walls. Gianna’s room features ten books that represent part of her continuing struggle to understand the mystery of her identity and voice as an immigrant Italian woman living in Canada since the age of nine. Her poetry is rooted in the ordinary and extraordinary experience of being human and all that life offers in the light and in the dark. Watch the presentation here.
Alfredo Hildago’s Public Poetry room features a square, with 4 sided walls.
Andrew McLuhan’s Public Poetry room features the shape of a pentagon, with 5 sided walls.The title of Andrew’s room is A Poem In Five Parts. It was written as a poetic expression of the five ‘canons of rhetoric,’ rhetoric being one third of the classic trivium, one of the seven liberal arts. It is part of a larger project expressing each of the seven liberal arts in poetry. Watch the presentation here.
Arianna Mazzeo’s Public Poetry room features the shape of a hexagon, with 6 sided walls.The title or Arianna’s room is The Lover of the Light and it takes the audience into the middle of a skatepark to experience her poems.
Corrado Paina’s Public Poetry room is a heptagon, with 7 sided walls. Corrado’s work combines a poem reading in English and Italian, set with the soundscape of the body through a beating heart. Watch the presentation here.
Samantha Sannella’s Public Poetry room features the shape of an octagon, with 8 sided walls.Her poems are inspired by the fleeting moments in life that most people take for granted. After surviving a near-death experience and losing her family members over time, grief and depression started to consumed her. Samantha was challenged to discover why she was the one to survive. Using poetry and art, she finds joy in the simplest of influences. Watch the presentation here.
Luigi Ferrara’s Public Poetry room features the shape of a nonagon, with 9 sided walls. The title of Luigi’s room is Shadows Of Our Forgotten Ancestors. The poems are about family who were from a particular town in Italy called, Grotte (caves) - this collection of 10 houses that were in caves and now are scattered around the world. Watch the presentation here.
Raffaella Colombo’s Public Poetry room features the shape of a decagon, with 10 sided walls. The tile of Raffaella’s room is
The Garden of Fragility, a series of poems recorded in English and Italian, reflecting night time with clouds on the water and rainwater coming down. Watch the presentation here.
Lori Endes’ Public Poetry room features the shape of a hendecagon, with 11 sided walls. The tile of Lori’s room is Outside In.
This work celebrates the origins of art and design in Nature. The poetry reflects on the strength, beauty and fragility of our natural environment and how humans are either removed from or instinctually connected to nature and the wisdom it offers. Watch the presentation here.
Randy Johnson’s Public Poetry room is a dodecagon (circle room), with 12 sided walls. The title of Randy’s work is A Point in Time (you cannot step into the same river twice). The premise of his work is that Time is dynamic, fluid, unstoppable, relentless. Time is explored in 4 dimensions, not literally but in a representative way - through the combined use of movement (and pauses), speed of sequencing, scale and scale changes, strategic focus or highlighting of key words, and the interplay and coverage of surfaces with the poem's text an examination of time as: dynamic, fluid, unstoppable, relentless. Watch the presentation here.
I Love You Even If There Isn’t Any Me
Artist Feature: Adi Fleisher
In 2021, the rise of AI companions, a subgroup of social robots that attempt to transform interpersonal relationship features, like companionship, love and friendship, and turn them into on-demand supplies, is becoming popular than ever. AI companions, commonly referred to as "emotional chatting machines," are designed to perceive, integrate, understand and express emotions.
They are programmed with open learning algorithms to constantly evolve and learn from the people they interact with. Even though humans are complicated, challenging and unpredictable, they are the closest social environment to them, and the AI's knowledge of social communication is primarily based on examining our interpersonal interactions. Therefore, their behaviour mainly reflects what is going on in human relations. They are a mere reflection of human communication and conversation conventions, programmed to mimic human behaviour as closely as possible. The vast majority of research regarding social robots is examined through a Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) lens. AI companions work by understanding and responding to the mental modes of the human they are communicating with. This is a complex task for the AI robot. We have many cultures, attitudes, expectations, and mental modes. Two species existing together. However, computers can better understand other computers since they have the same rigid and consistent rules and they share the same language. Perhaps, by taking the humans out of the equation and experimenting with machine-to-machine interaction, we could use the social robots as research tools to learn about ourselves through a cognitive-social lens and explore the new ways technologies claim to intervene with and inform our ways of understanding. The research subjects of this experiment were four AI companions named Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta. For a month and a half, the bots interacted daily with each other rather than with humans. Alpha was matched to Beta, and Gamma was introduced to Delta. The conversations that gradually developed between them and the development of their unusual relationship, created a visible window for us to seek the AI’s potential to translate human emotions and ideas of relationships.
Performance with: Danilo Rea and Paolo Scoppola
Italian Interactive media artist, Paolo Scoppola, and renowned jazz pianist, Danilo Rea, collaborate on SoundMorphosis, a dialogue between two artists through a journey of musical and visual art improvisation.
A grand piano, a digital console and a large screen wraps around the stage. Danilo Rea sits at the piano, concentrates and begins to improvise. The notes come out of the piano and turn into coloured signs on the screen. Paolo Scoppola observes them, modifies them using the console and sends them back to the musician's eyes to stimulate his imagination. Thus begins a complex dialogue between the two artists, a journey through a series of improvisations, both musical and visual, each with its own character but linked by the constant desire to discover the deep relationships between the language of sounds and that of images.
Watch the presentation here.
Presented in collaboration with:
Artist Feature: Lingxiang Wu
Digital Landfill is an internet-based ongoing project in response to the increasing aggression in the digital realm. The project experiments with the creative potentials behind the mode of inactivity. Various abstract digital landscapes are created using images fragments collected through social media posts and photographs of physical debris. The project invites viewers to linger and contemplate instead of consuming.
Today's digital communication platform performs like a giant meat market within the phantom of Neoliberal capitalism.
Visual content is stripped naked to accelerate information exchange, thus stimulating instantaneous gratification of desire. Anything that does not perform along with what Byung-Chul Han articulated as the aesthetic of the smooth becomes invisible to the algorithm. Images are now atmospheric yet hypervisible, creating gusts of wind embedded with bold-lettered messages, coming at us from all angles to sway our subjectivity. We are entangled with the algorithmic reflection of the self in this narcissistic room of mirrors. Drowning within the endless cycle of overproduction and overconsumption is orchestrated through the exploitation of the self. Instead of caring for the self and knowing the self, we voluntarily exploit the self in exchanging visibility and likes. How do we form a solid perspective against the ever more complex and diverse operations of power that always demand us to react and align?
Digital Landfill is an internet-based ongoing project in response to the increasing aggression in the digital realm. A stubborn retaliation with the risk of becoming invisible. The project experiments with the creative potentials behind the mode of inactivity. Various abstract digital landscapes are created using images fragments collected through social media posts and photographs of physical debris. The project invites viewers to linger and contemplate instead of consuming. Reclaiming the leisure aspect of our time that it is now so saturated with fillers and routines. Accumulating a certain visual fuzziness, like a wool sweater, comfortable but full of friction and static.
Watch the presentation here.
The Advantages of Tender Loving Care
Artist Feature: Laura Kay Keeling
The Advantages of Tender Loving Care is a virtual exhibition set in a naturalistic outdoor landscape with accompanying audio.
The imagery features scanned/photographed natural elements merged with sourced imagery from books and field guides as well as my own analog photography practice. All works shown in this exhibition have been created digitally though some analog processes were part of the creation of the works. I have always been attracted to the wonders of the natural world, so it would come as no surprise that natural imagery plays a large role throughout all of my works. In 2018, a traumatic accident occured at a place I have spent my whole life visiting and is very near and dear to my heart. This experience led me to think about our connections to place while at the same time, grappling with the fact that somewhere I loved and was very connected to, was now also the site of such a tragedy. I continue to think about and explore concepts relating to reciprocal care and how one might engage and interact with other humans, plant/animals, nature and the land as well as what the relationship of caring for each looks like. I think about how the artist selects and cares for materials throughout the creation of artistic works and in thinking more about these concepts, have begun to shift my practice to include elements from plants and flowers that I have grown or have foraged from other folks' garden clippings.
I scan, photograph, press and repeat.
Reimaging Mourning Exhibition
Artist Feature: SUR Gallery
Guests are invited for a virtual tour of Reimaging Mourning, an exhibition featuring Paolo Almario, Laura Barrón, Claudia Chagoya
and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. The artists in this exhibition construct narratives that discuss the despair faced by loss, especially challenged by the pandemic, while also offering humanity a place for closure.
Link to virtual tour:
The exhibition is on view in Toronto until November 27 and open to the public by appointment only on Fridays and Saturdays. Appointments can be booked online at: www.SurGallery.ca