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Image caption: The 2021-22 recipients of distinguished research awards are Dr. Gerald McMaster, Dr. Alexis Morris and Professor Ilene Sova.
 

Three faculty members recognized for outstanding achievements in research

Three faculty members are being recognized for their innovative contributions to research with the presentation of awards that celebrate distinguished and early stage research activities at OCAD University.  

Dr. Gerald McMaster, Canada Research Chair (Tier I) of Indigenous Visual Culture and Curatorial Practice, is the 2021-22 recipient of the OCAD University Award for Distinguished Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity. 

This award recognizes faculty members for their outstanding portfolio of research, scholarship and creative activity, and the impact that this activity has had on the broad spectrum of art and design research and practice internationally. The award also recognizes contributions toward undergraduate and graduate research and scholarly training.  

This year, the OCAD University Award for Excellence in Early Stage Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity is being shared by Dr. Alexis Morris, assistant professor in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Ilene Sova, assistant professor in the Faculty of Art and Chair of the Ada Slaight Contemporary Drawing and Painting program. 

This award recognizes promising, recently appointed faculty members for their outstanding promise to be distinguished researchers, scholars, artists and designers within a university context. 
 

OCAD University Award for Distinguished Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity 

Dr. Gerald McMaster

Dr. Gerald McMaster is a curator, artist and Canada Research Chair (Tier I) of Indigenous Visual Culture and Curatorial Practice. He is also a professor in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and director of the Wapatah: Centre for Indigenous Visual Knowledge at OCAD University.  

With more than 40 years of working internationally in contemporary art, critical theory, museology and Indigenous aesthetics, Dr. McMaster has worked at institutions that include the Art Gallery of Ontario, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and the Canadian Museum of Civilization.  

He was selected as the Canadian curator to the 1995 Venice Biennale and 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. He served as the Canadian Commissioner to the 2010 Biennale of Sydney and the Artistic Director to the 18th Biennale of Sydney in 2012. His most recent book is entitled Iljuwas Bill Reid: Life & Work for Art Canada Institute (2020). Dr. McMaster is a nêhiyaw (Plains Cree) and a citizen of the Siksika Nation.  
 

OCAD University Award for Excellence in Early Stage Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity 

Dr. Alexis Morris

Dr. Alexis Morris is the Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in the Internet of Things and the director of the Adaptive Context Environments (ACE) Lab. His research transforms the way we interact with information, each other and the world by interweaving mixed reality and artificial intelligence.  

Dr. Morris is currently leading the talented ACE Lab team of OCAD U students, local researchers and collaborators in the design of mixed reality human-computer interfaces for the Internet of Things – one of the pillars of exponential change connecting our physical and informational worlds.  

An interdisciplinary computer scientist and a passionate techno-optimist, Dr. Morris hails from the Caribbean (Bahamas) and brings an eclectic international background and expertise in computer science to the OCAD University community. 
 

Ilene Sova

Professor Ilene Sova is the Ada Slaight Chair of Contemporary Drawing and Painting in the Faculty of Art at OCAD U. She identifies as mixed race, with white settler, Afro-Caribbean and Black Seminole ancestry. She is also an artist who lives with the disability of epilepsy.  
 
She passionately identifies with the tenets of intersectional feminism and has dedicated her creative career to art and activism. Sova is also the founder of the Feminist Art Collective and Blank Canvases, an in-school creative arts program for elementary school students.  

With extensive solo and group exhibitions in Canada and abroad, Professor Sova’s work has been most notably shown at the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art, the Department of Canadian Heritage and Mutuo Centro de Arte in Barcelona.  

In her academic career, Professor Sova has trained educators on diversity and equity in the arts at the Art Gallery of Ontario and Harbourfront Centre. She also presented on decolonizing art curriculum with her colleague Nadia McLaren at Pratt University, the University of the Bahamas and the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design conference. In 2020, she was lauded in the national press for her development of a third-year studio cross-disciplinary course entitled COVID-19 Responsive Art. 

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The 2021-22 recipients of distinguished research awards are Dr. Gerald McMaster, Dr. Alexis Morris and Professor Ilene Sova.
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3 portraits of OCAD U faculty members from left to right, Dr. Gerald McMaster, Dr. Alexis Morris and Professor Ilene Sova.

Today at OCAD University, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, announced several initiatives to support youth leaders in their efforts to build a more accessible Canada. At the event, Minister Qualtrough announced that OCAD U’s Inclusive Research Design Centre (IDRC) will receive $1.7 million in funding from the Accessible Technology Program. This announcement, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, will support the Coding to Learn and Create project. Coding to Learn and Create will develop new inclusive educational coding tools that will support the participation of students with complex learning needs, and will share critically-needed teaching resources and strategies to help educators teach more inclusively. The program is led by OCAD U’s IDRC, in partnership with Bridges Canada.

As a university that values accessibility, cultural diversity and equitable global citizenship, OCAD U is proud to support the IDRC, under the direction of Dr. Jutta Treviranus. The largest centre of its kind in the world, the centre’s goal is to make sure that everyone can participate in shaping and using the systems and networks that are transforming and connecting our society.

Research Inclusive Design (INCD)
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l-r: Dr. Treviranus, Colin Clark, Associate Director, IDRC and Minister Qualtrough. Photo: Martin Iskander.
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Heather Robson, Acting Director, Research Services, Colin Clark, Associate Director, IDRC, Dr. Treviranus, Minister Qualtrough,
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The recent regulated and confining pandemic years have operated to aggravate already existing anthropogenic anxieties. Climate change – oppressive unpredictable heat waves, uncontrolled forest fires, rising oceans levels – have had an impact on the race that both facilitated it and now roils from its effects. Aggressive urban sprawl bulldozes the land, and we search from among the rubble to find what of “land” remains. In Canada, the colonial project created divisiveness, poverty, and an early death for some, but also vast wealth and proprietorship for others. Can this unsettling situation be unraveled, or have we gone too far?

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113Research, 113 McCaul Street, 5th Floor

OCAD University, Toronto.
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Anthropogenic Anxiety

Exhibit opening September 22, 2022, running to Dec. 2023.
Pam Patterson & Sasha Shevchenko (OCADU), Joanna Black & Sarah Paradis (University of Manitoba)

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On September 2, Dr. David Griffin will be speaking at the University of Huddersfield in the UK about his work with diagrams and Lasers, drawing the largest drawings ever drawn. The event is called “Drawing Conversations: Engaging with Sites of History and Narrative”, a one-day symposium that examines the interrelationships of drawing and engaging with sites of history and narrative. At the heart of this will be drawing as an embodied act, drawing in the expanded field, variable in definition, and as both individual and collective processes.  

The event has 3 keynote presentations, including Deanna Petherbridge (CBE), a practicing artist, curator and writer of The Primacy of Drawing: Histories and Theories of Practice, published June 2010.  

Free Registration 
Register as an online attendee here.

Time
Friday, 2 September 2022  
09:15 to 16:45 BST (04:15 to 11:45 EST)

For further information contact:
Simon Woolham or Jill Journeaux at drawingconversations4@hud.ac.uk.

Download a PDF of the 16 presenters for the Drawing Conversations: Engaging with sites of history and narrative

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Online
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Free Registration
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drawingconversations4@hud.ac.uk
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foa

“Drawing Conversations: Engaging with Sites of History and Narrative”, a one-day symposium that examines the interrelationships of drawing and engaging with sites of history and narrative.

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OCAD U faculty members awarded nearly $2 million in research funding

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) has announced the recipients of several grant competitions, including numerous OCAD University researchers, pursuing investigations in areas as varied as art and archives and end of life care. 

“The incredible range of research topics that this funding supports demonstrates just how multi-dimensional the faculty at OCAD U are and how creative research comes in many forms,” commented Dr. Ashok Mathur, Interim Vice-President, Research and Innovation and Dean of Graduate Studies. 

Awarded almost $2 million, researchers were successful in three SSHRC program streams including, the recently launched Race, Gender and Diversity Initiative as well as the Partnership Development and Insight Grants. Additionally, in May, SSHRC announced that Faculty of Design Associate Professor Sarah Tranum is among one of the three teams that received funding through the Imagining Canada’s Future Ideas Lab: Canada and the Circular Economy initiative. Learn more about the funded projects below.

Race, Gender and Diversity Initiative

Imagining Inclusion: Artists and Arts Workers on EDI in Practice 
$446,606 
Dr. Suzanne Morrissette 
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Arts and Science and Graduate Program Director Contemporary Art, Design and New Media and Art Criticism and Curatorial Practice 

This research project will investigate equity among creative practitioners working in Canada’s artist-run centres. Involving partnerships with non-profit arts organizations across the country, this initiative will help forge networks among racialized artists and arts workers at all stages of their careers. Project co-director Faculty of Arts and Science Assistant Professor Immony Mèn, co-applicant Dean of Graduate Studies and Interim Vice-President, Research and Innovation Dr. Ashok Mathur and collaborator Faculty of Arts and Science Assistant Professor Andrew Gayed, will collaborate with organizations including Hamilton Artists Inc., Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography, South Asian Visual Arts Centre, grunt gallery, daphne and Trinity Square Video. 

ReLearn ReAct ReCreate: Youth Arts Advocacy for Equitable Cultural Policy 
$370,530 
Dr. Alia Weston 
Associate Professor and Acting Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science 

This project will investigate how QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) young people can more actively contribute to the development of cultural policy that affects them. In partnership with young artists and community-based arts organizations, this project will focus on community arts learning and creative advocacy in collaboration with Toronto-based organizations SKETCH Working Arts and Mass Culture. Miriam Kramer, Executive Director, Government & Community Relations at OCAD University will be a collaborator on the project. 
 

Partnership Development Grants

Crossing Fonds -- Pollinating Access and Interpretation 
$197,271 
Dr. Sara Diamond 
President Emerita, OCAD University  

This project envisions a replicable opensource digital archive ecosystem that allows interaction between non-profit, counter and institutional archives with a particular focus on British Columbia. Facilitating the interaction between archives will enable the individual and collaborative study of archival materials. 

Research-Creation for Birth Environment Design Knowledge Mobilization 
$155,086 
Doreen Balabanoff 
Professor Emerita, Faculty of Design 

This research project will investigate the spatial design of birth settings and how they impact birth processes and wellbeing during and beyond labour. Midwives, nurses and diverse practitioners focused on supporting normal or less medicalized birth have repeatedly found through research that birthing women's bodies are often objectified and their emotions deemphasized in conventional birth spaces. This initiative will collect information through a co-creation approach and an exhibition showcasing the project's material outputs. 
 

Insight Grants

Relationships, Reciprocity, Exchange: Indigenous and BPOC relationality and accountability within Indigenous territories 
$368,794 
Dr. Suzanne Morrissette 
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Arts and Science and Graduate Program Director Contemporary Art, Design and New Media and Art Criticism and Curatorial Practice 

Led by Dr. Suzanne Morrissette the research team, Dr. Alia Fortune Weston and York University’s Professor Lisa Myers, will collaborate with artists and non-artists to create tools and experiences that will support the cultivation of decolonial, anticolonial and non-colonial futures for BIPOC communities within Indigenous territories in Canada. The project asks, what does it mean to live ethically within and in critical dialogue with Indigenous people and their territories? This research will take place through the creation of four major artworks, each led by a member of the research team. Additionally, the research team will support three students each year in the production of artworks and curated exhibitions for a total of fifteen student-led research-creation responses. Dr. Ayumi Goto was on the original research team for this project though had to step away due to a sudden change in personal circumstances.

Public Participatory Explorations on End of Life 
$286,571 
Dr. Kate Sellen 
Associate Professor, Faculty of Design and Canada Research Chair in Design for Health 

Using a design research and realist approach, this project will explore how participatory installations on the subject of end of life might open dialogue on end of life choices. Arts-informed and arts-based approaches are increasingly being used in health research and many social scientists, artists, and designers have explored death and dying within their works. Participatory installations have a role to play in both uncovering and mobilizing knowledge on end of life.

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Researchers have received funding from multiple Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) streams.
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Research shows relationship between student commuting and academic success 

President Emerita Dr. Sara Diamond and Faculty of Design Professor Jeremy Bowes, in collaboration with researchers from five universities across Ontario, have announced key results from the largest-ever study on student transportation.  

Launched in 2019, StudentMoveTO sought to understand ways to improve transportation experiences for post-secondary students in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). More than 15,000 students from 10 Ontario-based universities and colleges provided input over three years to inform the findings.  

"Our in-depth interviews...revealed a world of mobility issues that post-secondary students in the GTHA face as they are striving to coordinate school, work and entertainment in their lives,” said York University Professor and study Co-Investigator Dr. Roger Keil.  

“These issues are usually hidden from sight when one looks at student life purely from the point of view of the learning environment...Our findings will provide a plethora of insights for leaders in institutions of higher education and policymakers in the transportation field." 

Post-secondary students in the GTHA account for more than 600,000 daily commuters on an already crowded transportation system. The StudentMoveTO study was designed to help identify the changes required to improve transportation infrastructure and, in turn, increase quality of life for students. 

Here’s what students reported about their experience travelling to school: 

  • 61 per cent said their commute was a barrier to their campus participation 
  • 40 per cent said their commute discouraged them from coming to campus 
  • 48 per cent picked courses based on their commute 
  • 30 per cent viewed their commute as a barrier to their academic success 

Results of the study were discussed at a research symposium held earlier this month, co-hosted by York University and Toronto Metropolitan University. Researchers discussed the implications of the StudentMoveTO study and strategies for creating better transportation services in this region and improving student well-being.

The event included the presentation of a paper by Bowes titled, Visual Sensemaking for Student Mobility Data: StudentMoveTO, which was co-authored by Dr. Diamond. 

The StudentMoveTO study included participation from Centennial College, Durham College, OCAD University, McMaster University, Mohawk College, Toronto Metropolitan University, Sheridan College, Ontario Tech University, University of Toronto and York University from September 2019 to April 2022. 

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Key results have been released from the StudentMoveTO study, completed by OCAD University in collaboration with researchers from five universities.
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Siheng Wang, The Instructor May Want to…2022

Navigating Belonging: Understanding Place and Positionality

Artists: Angie Ma, Vicky Talwar, Siheng Wang
Curator: Ella Taylor
Location: 113Research Project/Gallery, OCAD University, 113McCaul Street, 5th Floor Hallway.
Opens: May 11, 2-3.30 PM and runs until Sept 2022.

Drawing on shared experience, artists Angie Ma, Vicky Talwar, and Siheng Wang in Navigating Belonging explore the complexities of racialized cultural identity through self-reflective creative practices. The individual works present a narrative viewing of the artists’ past and present experiences relating to immigration, belonging, and identity. Viewed dialogically, these artworks offer a framework for engaging with the entangled layers of cultural identity and intercultural relations.

Also, as art educators, the artists consider how the application of creative storytelling in learning contexts can reveal and support the diverse experiences of students. Their uniquely critical and creative approaches can assist their students in acquiring deeper understandings of the complexities of their cultural identities.

Navigating Belonging then becomes a representation of artistic process and acts as a visual manifestation of how art educators can contend with these “troubling issues” in pedagogy.

The exhibition encourages viewers to consider how creative storytelling can facilitate a critical reflection of subject positions and how this reflection may inform or change how we think about identity.

 

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113Research Project/Gallery: 113McCaul Street, 5th Floor Hallway
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Free
Email
research@ocadu.ca
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Siheng Wang, The Instructor May Want to…2022

Navigating Belonging: Understanding Place and Positionality

Artists: Angie Ma, Vicky Talwar, Siheng Wang
Curator: Ella Taylor
Location: 113Research Project/Gallery, OCAD University, 113McCaul Street, 5th Floor Hallway.
Opens: May 11, 2-3.30 PM and runs until Sept 2022.

Drawing on shared experience, artists Angie Ma, Vicky Talwar, and Siheng Wang in Navigating Belonging explore the complexities of racialized cultural identity through self-reflective creative practices. The individual works present a narrative viewing of the artists’ past and present experiences relating to immigration, belonging, and identity. Viewed dialogically, these artworks offer a framework for engaging with the entangled layers of cultural identity and intercultural relations.

Also, as art educators, the artists consider how the application of creative storytelling in learning contexts can reveal and support the diverse experiences of students. Their uniquely critical and creative approaches can assist their students in acquiring deeper understandings of the complexities of their cultural identities.

Navigating Belonging then becomes a representation of artistic process and acts as a visual manifestation of how art educators can contend with these “troubling issues” in pedagogy.

The exhibition encourages viewers to consider how creative storytelling can facilitate a critical reflection of subject positions and how this reflection may inform or change how we think about identity.

 

 

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The two-year pilot supports the SiteLines Reading series held at Toronto's Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, as well as performances, workshops, master classes and events that showcase BIPOC creatives. Additionally, the initiative includes a BIPOC mentorship program and an Indigenous Cultural Leadership initiative. The entire project is led collaboratively by Dr. Ashok Mathur, Dean of Graduate Studies and Interim Vice-President, Research and Innovation at OCAD U and Stephen Foster, Dean of the Faculty of Art. 
  
While the project is based at OCAD U, the focus is on communities outside the University as well as Toronto. To that end, SiteLines will hold events planned from coast to coast, from Victoria, British Columbia to Corner Brook, Newfoundland.

On April 24, SiteLines will welcome Ian Iqbal Rashid at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, located at 12 Alexander St. in Toronto, starting at 7 p.m. for the latest instalment of the Reading Series. Attendees are invited to join Tanzania-born, Canada-raised Rashid for an evening of reading poetry, screening television and film clips and a conversation about the history of his practice with Dr. Mathur.  

Rashid is based in London, United Kingdom. His feature films, Touch of Pink (2004) and How She Move (2007) have screened at festivals including Sundance Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival.

He is best known for the iconic BBC show, This Life for which he won a Writer's Guild of Great Britain award, and the current critical hit Sort Of, which appeared on many best of end-of-year lists after it aired on CBC and HBO Max in late 2021. For Sort Of, Rashid was nominated in the Best Comedy Series Writer category at the 10th Canadian Screen Awards. He was also nominated for a 2022 Writer's Guild of Canada award for the episode "Sort Of Mary Poppins" and received a prestigious Peabody nomination in the Entertainment category in 2022.

He is currently writing a drama series exploring the lives of refugees and asylum seekers in Canada for the CBC. He is the author of three award-winning volumes of poetry.  
 

Buddies in Bad Times Venue Guide 
12 Alexander St., Toronto

Physical Accessibility 
The facility is fully accessible to audience members. Both performance venues offer seating at floor level. The entrance is accessed by ramp for all patrons. Washrooms are located on the lower level, which can be reached by a lift. The lift requires an attendant due to the manual door function and the need for a key to use. 

Washrooms 
Washroom facilities are not designated by gender. The main washroom area is equipped with ten private stalls (including two barrier-free stalls) and communal sinks. In addition, there is a single-user, universal washroom. 

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Buddies in Bad Times Theatre 12 Alexander St. in Toronto
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Free! All Welcome
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gradstudies@ocadu.ca
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4169776000
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SiteLines is an exciting partnership between the Faculty of Art and Office of Research and Innovation at OCAD University and the Canada Council for the Arts, promoting and supporting the creative work of BIPOC artists and writers.  
Ian

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SITELINES FEATURES ESTEEMED POET AND SCREENWRITER IAN IQBAL RASHID
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Arctic / Amazon: Knowledge Exchange Workshop on Contact Zones 
Wednesday, April 13th at 1:00PM (EST) 

Please join Wapatah Centre for a very special Knowledge Exchange Workshop on Contact Zones as part of the Arctic / Amazon project and in support of the upcoming publication – Arctic /Amazon Networks of Global Indigeneity. Co-authors Dr. Gerald McMaster and Dr. Nina Vincent will be joined in conversation by contributing author Tanya Lukin Linklater to discuss the Reclamation of Traditional Knowledge and the notion of the Museum as a Contact Zone. The workshop will also touch on the Knowledge that exists in cultural belongings and the extensive Land Based Artwork of Lukin Linklater with her community in the Alutiiq villages of the Kodiak Island archipelago of southwestern Alaska. 

This virtual event series is hosted with the generous support from SSHRC Connections Grant, The Appleton Foundation, Nancy McCain and Bill Morneau, Kiki Delaney, and Michael Audain, and in collaboration with the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery as part of Wapatah’s Global Indigeneity Initiative and the Arctic/Amazon project that will culminate in several milestones: a major publication titled Arctic / Amazon: Networks of Global Indigeneity, an online educational resource hosted by Wapatah Centre, and a Fall 2022 Arctic / Amazon Exhibition in partnership with the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery and Ryerson Image Centre.  
 

Series at a Glance:  

Spring 2022 | The Arctic / Amazon Knowledge Exchange Workshop virtual series is part of the upcoming publication, Arctic / Amazon: Networks of Global Indigeneity, where co-authors Dr. Gerald McMaster and Dr. Nina Vincent are joined in conversation by leading voices in global Indigenous art, performance, and scholarship, as they examine themes of Land Relations, Contact Zones, Traditional Knowledge, and Indigenous Ontologies.    

Each Knowledge Exchange workshop features Indigenous activists and cultural leaders from the circumpolar arctic and amazon regions, including: Sámi scholar Harald Gaski, Alutiiq performer Tanya Lukin Linklater, activist Ailton Krenak of the Krenaki people in the Brazilian Amazon, and anthropologist João Paulo Barreto of the Tukano people in Brazil.  

Register for the Event:  

Please Register for the event here! This event is free and open to the public.  
 

About the Speakers: 

Gerald McMaster, O.C., is a curator, artist, and author, and is currently professor and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair of Indigenous Visual Culture and Curatorial Practice at OCAD University where he leads a team of researchers at the Wapatah: Centre for Indigenous Visual Knowledge. 

Nina Vincent is a Brazilian anthropologist, researcher, professor, independent curator and currently works at the National Institute of Historical and Artistic Heritage (IPHAN), where she works close to communities to preserve intangible heritage and Brazilian popular/traditional culture. 

Tanya Lukin Linklater is Supiaq/Alutiiq and her homelands are in the Kodiak Island archipelago of southwestern Alaska. Her performances, works for camera, installations, and writings have been shown at Soft Water Hard Stone, the 2021 New Museum Triennial, Soft Power at SFMOMA, ….and other such stories, the Chicago Architecture Biennial 2019, and elsewhere. In 2021 she received the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts for Visual Art.  

Learn more about the Arctic / Amazon project and educational resource

 

Wapatah Team: Natalja Chestopalova, Brittany Pitseolak Bergin, Pedro Portella 

 

Image Source: Tanya Lukin Linklater, WATER, 2013 (video still) 

The Arctic/Amazon Knowledge Exchange Workshops are hosted with the generous support from SSHRC Connections Grant, The Appleton Foundation, Nancy McCain and Bill Morneau, and Michael Audain, and in collaboration with the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery. 

 
 

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Venue & Address
Zoom
Cost
Free
Email
research@ocadu.ca
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Department

Please join Wapatah Centre for a very special Knowledge Exchange Workshop on Contact Zones as part of the Arctic / Amazon project and in support of the upcoming publication – Arctic /Amazon Networks of Global Indigeneity. Co-authors Dr. Gerald McMaster and Dr. Nina Vincent will be joined in conversation by contributing author Tanya Lukin Linklater to discuss the Reclamation of Traditional Knowledge and the notion of the Museum as a Contact Zone. The workshop will also touch on the Knowledge that exists in cultural belongings and the extensive Land Based Artwork of Lukin Linklater with her community in the Alutiiq villages of the Kodiak Island archipelago of southwestern Alaska. 

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Dr. Alexis Morris and his team at Adaptive Context Environments (ACE) Lab receives grant from Meta's Reality Labs Research

Assistant Professor Dr. Alexis Morris is revolutionizing the way we interact with information, each other and the world by developing cutting-edge technologies in the fields of augmented and virtual reality.  

As the Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in the Internet of Things and Director of the Adaptive Context Environments (ACE) Lab at OCAD University, Dr. Morris leads a team of students, local researchers and collaborators to design mixed reality human-computer interfaces and now his research has received a boost from Meta’s Reality Labs Research

Dr. Morris’s ACE Lab is among 17 Canadian research labs each receiving $30,000 of unrestricted funding from Reality Labs. This type of financial contribution provides autonomy and flexibility for labs to pursue their investigations. Once published, their research will be publicly accessible and will drive innovation specifically in the area of the metaverse.  

"I am thrilled that Meta’s Reality Labs Research has generously supported our Adaptive Context Environments Lab research. This is a validation of our core directions in mixed reality,” comments Dr. Morris. 

Making the metaverse a reality will take several major technological breakthroughs. Canadian researchers are already building new technologies for this next digital frontier using industry-leading human computer interaction (HCI) and artificial intelligence (AI). By their side is Dr. Morris, who is shaping how users will interact in these digital spaces by building on his training as a computer scientist. 

“This support gives us resources to further our mission to advance designs that transform, enhance and uplift the human-experience of living in the everyday metaverse eco-system that is about to unfold before our very eyes," he continues.  

The successor to the mobile internet, the metaverse will be made up of digital spaces, including immersive 3D experiences that are interconnected so users can easily move between them. It is believed that the metaverse has the potential to introduce new creative, social and economic opportunities to users across the globe. It’s hoped that in the future, users will be able to access the metaverse from various devices, including VR headsets and the AR glasses that Dr. Morris’s research is helping to make possible. 

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Dr. Alexis Morris, Director of OCAD U’s ACE Lab builds the internet's future with funding from Reality Research Labs.
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