OCAD University

OCAD and Science Rendezvous invite public to play with

interactive outdoor art on May 10

TORONTO, May 5, 2008—On Saturday, May 10, members of the public will have the chance to play with three dynamic, interactive art installations as part of the Ontario College of Art & Design’s participation in Science Rendezvous, a new daylong festival celebrating cutting-edge science and technology research in the Greater Toronto Area.

“We’re setting up multimedia art installations that people will literally be able to play with,” said Paula Gardner, a principal researcher at OCAD’s Mobile Experience Lab. “It’s a chance for the public to experience first-hand our research into public surveillance and privacy issues and people’s comfort with mobile technology in a way that’s fun and engaging.”

Three installations — all part of a larger research project named “Portage” — will be located on Queen Street West and John Street:

  • Soap Box, a repurposed newspaper box displaying an electronic newspaper that allows people to manipulate its content by uploading their own photos or headlines (via text messaging) using their mobile phones (Location: Pages Books & Magazines, 256 Queen Street West).
  • Sound Sculpture, a three-piece sound installation (with instruments such as cowbells on drum petals and an xylophone) played manually, by singing into a mobile phone or by downloading drum-machine software (Location: corner of Stephanie and John streets, south of Grange Park).
  • Cycle Erasure, a hybrid virtual-mechanical bicycle in a shop window that can be operated with vigorous, on-screen arm or hand movements. Participants are eventually informed that their image has been captured and are given the opportunity to download it to their mobile device, or erase it from the system (Location: Urbane Cyclist, 180 John Street).

WHAT:       OCAD at Science Rendezvous

WHEN:       Saturday, May 10, 2008
                  10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

WHERE:     1.  Pages Books & Magazines, 256 Queen Street West
                   2.  Corner of Stephanie and John streets, south of Grange Park
                   3.  The Urbane Cyclist, 180 John Street

OCAD’s participation in Science Rendezvous will run concurrently with its 93rd annual Graduate Exhibition, “Evolving DNA” (for more information on the Graduate Exhibition, visit www.ocad.ca).

About Portage
Portage is an artist- and designer-driven research project of the Mobile Experience Lab at the Ontario College of Art & Design, led by new-media artist Geoffrey Shea and social researcher Paula Gardner. Portage investigates how innovative mobile-media technologies can be used to facilitate new forms of social interaction. Its researchers are discovering new forms of content creation that stretch the possibilities for mobile technologies, and new ways to deliver meaningful cultural experiences. To learn more, visit www.mobilelab.ca/portage.

About Science Rendezvous
Science Rendezvous is a new, free public event inviting the public into leading science and technology institutes throughout the Greater Toronto Area. Mount Sinai Hospital, the Ontario College of Art & Design, the Ontario Science Centre, Ryerson University, Scientists in School, St. Michael’s Hospital (held at Mt. Sinai Hospital), Treehouse Group, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Mississauga and St. George Campuses, and York University offer the community free events, tours, demonstrations and lectures throughout the day. Science Rendezvous is the first program of its kind in Ontario, modeled after a highly successful European program of public engagement. To learn more, visit http://www.sciencerendezvous.ca/.

About the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD)
The Ontario College of Art & Design (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “university of the imagination.” OCAD is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. The university is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinarity, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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Media Contacts:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Coordinator, OCAD
416-977-6000 Ext. 327 (mobile: Ext.1327)

Leon Mar, Director, Marketing & Communications, OCAD
416-977-6000 Ext. 222

Denise McGarvey, Coordinator, Science Rendezvous

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