Lectures

  • "Hitchbot: A Robot Exploring the World" by David Harris Smith (Artist/McMaster University)
    • In the early hours of August 1, 2015, waiting for its next ride on a Philly park bench, hitchBOT was destroyed by unknown assailants. Arms torn from its body, legs broken, gutted of its electronics, it was ultimately discarded in a park, minus its smiley-LED head. Around the world headlines announced the death of a much-loved robot, children and adults shed tears and held rallies, haters hated on Philadelphia, cartoonists and musicians paid tribute, journalists wrote obituaries, and the publicly-minded rallied to support a rebuild. Come out to hear the story of the life and times of hitchBOT.
       
  • "Affective Play" by Kara Stone (Artist, Crafter, and Programmer/Pragmata)
    • Affective responses in gameplay are not solely a response to the content of the game, but to the physical activity and mechancs of the interaction. Emotions are experienced not only as a consequence of the events in the gameworld but actively expressed by the player. Standard videogame controllers limit the possibility of affective expression, so much so that they regular emotional responses. Most mainstream videogame positions for the player, is largely not encouraged by the gameplay. Emotions are construed as detrimental to gaming mastery. The "rational," un-emotional ideal is favoured. This presentation will discuss normative games as well as the ways in which various art games, hacking, and wearable technology are opening up the affective interaction possibilities in videogames, allowing for diverse somatic responses.
       
  • "Afro-Futurism and Black Future Month 3015" by Danilo McCallum (Visual Artist & Afro Futurist)
    • The over-arching theme of the Annual Afrofuturism Arts Exhibition is the far-off distant future envisioned by Black people. This quantum leap into the future, takes us not only 50 or 100 years ahead, but 1000 years. The distant date is meant to provide a platform that enables Black people to break from the historic ties of oppression still prominent today. Black Future Month 3015 opens the imagination up to the perspective as far as the limits of our psyche will allow. It offers an opportunity to imagine healthy utopic Black realities, as opposed to merely looking into the future world with the advanced technology of hover-boards and flying cards, where Black people still face the same kinds of racial, systemic, and mental oppression. 
       
  • "BioMateria: Biotextile Craft" by WhiteFeather (Bio/Transdisciplinary Artist)
    • The intelligence of the body and the senses, particularly the sense of touch, speaks not only on an immediate digital level in terms of 'hand' technology, but on a subtler cellular level as well. In researching and conceptualizing the haptic activity of human and mammalian cell cultures in vivo, WhiteFeather has come to understand, imagine, and experiment with artistic translations of that communication.
      This paper will discuss the research and creative work undertaken during three years of tissue culture research and artistic production during three different laboratory-based residencies, including: a 15-week residency at SymbioticA International Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts at the University of Western Australia, at the Pelling Lab for Biophysical Manipulation at uOttawa, Canada and at Fluxmedia Lab(s) at Concordia University, Canada. This work, situated within the framework of Feminist Materialist, analyzes the "craft" practice of tissue engineering as a form of haptic epistemology - that is, an embodied enactment/mimicry/redesign through creative and scientific means of the inherent haptic intelligence of the body and its biological systems of growth, repair, and regeneration. 
      This paper will discuss work(s) that seek to generate an artistic and aesthetic knowledge base not limited to theoretical categorization but rather stemming from and centred on the labour of physical laboratory experiments and direct contact with semi-living mammalian microorganisms. Moving away from a focus on discourse/language and yet playing with the polysemic nature of human 'culture' and cell 'culture,' an analysis of cultural information exchange through touch will be core to the discussion. 
       
  • "PrEP and the Culture of Gay Men's Health" by Ian Jarvis (Practicing Artist, Queer Activist, Web Developer)
    • PrEP is a radically new pharmaceutical recently approved by Health Canada and recomended by the World Health Organization - a one a day pill that prevents gay men who are HIV negative from contracting the virus. It's equally effective as condoms and is equated as being as revolutionary to gay men today as the birth control was to women in the 1960's. The fact is gay men no longer need to use condoms or be afraid of contracting HIV. How does this play out in gay male culture and what is the backlash towards the men who are embracing their sexuality without the constant fear of death and disease looming in the background? This talk will examine the important role that cultural projects like the online Hamilton based Polari Project plays in shaping of gay men's psycho-social relationships to healthcare, drugs and the body. We'll look at both current and historically roles that artists and cultural producers have played in shaping harm reduction models. We'll delve deep into the present day often hidden technological, hybrid memes and pharmacological realities of gay men's sex lives. Exploring everything from chemsex to hook-up apps and barebacking, we'll be presented with revolutionary methodologies of how gay men can switch rebellious fantasies into empowering realties. 

Performances

  • "Choral Interventions" by Harold Sikkema
  • "The World's Greatest Looist" by David Gould
  • "Dark Rooms" by Jonah Kamphorst & Jackie Levitt
  • "Field" by Martin Messier
  • "Soft Revolvers" by Myriam Bleau
  • "Vibrafusion Performance" by David Bobier 

Workshops

  • Intro to 3D Printing with Darryl Gold
  • Wearbles: Intro to LED Wearables with Douglas Petican
  • Intro to Isadora 101 with Ryan Webber