Over the last few years, our professors have been immersed in research that advances our understanding of a range of disciplines including fine arts, new media and much more.
Click the links below to see what exactly each of one of them has been working on in their area(s) of specialization.
Research Summary – 2013/14
Lois Claxton Humanities Fellowship
In the modern city, mobile technologies function as social filters. While they can enrich our experience of public spaces, these new technologies can also isolate us from others within those spaces, eroding our sense of empathy, social responsibility and civic engagement. This fellowship supports the further development of a project entitled "Triangulation Device", a mobile application designed to create sonic compositions or 'soundscapes' that will facilitate interaction and collaboration amongst unrelated individuals, and will broadcast those interactions into public spaces. By leveraging mobile technologies to 'give voice to the body', this project will facilitate a critical cross-disciplinary exploration of technology that extends from two interrelated research areas: mobile interface theory and sound studies. It will also provide important insight(s) into i) how pervasive computing enables us to form new communities while distancing us from others; ii) how sound generated though gestural interaction facilitates novel modes of interaction; and iii) how our sense of place, and by extension our place in the world, is shaped by our ability to engage with others. The mobile app is produced with the assistance of Richard Lesco, Ram Sharma and Chris Vandevelde from Systems Engineering, and Jason Cho from GBDA.
|06/2014||UW/SSHRC Travel Grant – ISEA|
"The term Sound Art was coined in the late 1960s to describe sonic activities taking place outside the concert hall: interactive installations, listening walks, environmental recordings, open duration sound events---even "happenings" and performance art were occasionally lumped under this rubric. For many years Sound Art remained an interstitial activity, falling between music and visual art, embraced fully by neither." (Nicholas Collins, Editor)
LMJ23 illustrates the rich diversity of practice that may be categorized as 'sound art' today – including critical and historical essays, scholarly articles and artists' writings. In Mobile Sound and Locative Practice, the artist describes the trajectory of her decade long practice through discussion of walking as creative practice, and walking practices, embodied interaction and networked performance. Leonardo Music Journal (LMJ) is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to aesthetic and technical issues in contemporary music and the sonic arts. The journal, along with its companion, Leonardo, is published by the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology, an organization that facilitates cross-disciplinary research in art, science technology.
Make: Wearable Electronics
Make: Wearable Electronics is intended for those with an interest in physical computing who are looking to create interfaces or systems that live on the body. Perfect for makers new to wearable tech, this book introduces you to the tools, materials, and techniques for creating interactive electronic circuits and embedding them in clothing and other things you can wear. Each chapter features experiments to get you comfortable with the technology and then invites you to build upon that knowledge with your own projects. Fully illustrated with step-by-step instructions and images of amazing creations made by artists and professional designers, this book offers a concrete understanding of electronic circuits and how you can use them to bring your wearable projects from concept to prototype. The book includes Thompson's Freestyle SoundKit', a wearable sound piece that generates electronic bass beats as users move through urban environments.
'Swinging Suitcase' in The Persistence of Peripateticism: Artists' Walks (Curated by Earl Miller, with works by Marina Abramović, Janet Cardiff & Georges Bures Miller, Hamish Fulton, Neil Goldberg, General Idea, Lucy Gunning, Richard Long, Gwen MacGregor, Sandra Rechico, Danica Phelps, Samuel Rowlett and Jessica Thompson) Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs, New York
"In his seminal series This Way Brouwn (1960- 1964), Stanley Brouwn, a Dutch artist associated with Fluxus and Conceptualism, asked passersby to sketch directions that showed him how to travel from one given point to another and was the first artist who claimed walks as art. Indeed, a half-century later, artists' walks have become a paradigm. They have ridden on the high tide of social practice art from the 1990s onward that encouraged art production and sometimes presentation outside studios and galleries. They have gained a wider audience because of their hybridization with other genres and fields, notably performance art, video art, and urban geography. They have been granted increased potential for experimentation by GPS and Google map technologies' provision of new documentary possibilities. Artists' Walks: The Persistence of Peripateticism draws attention to the contemporary cultural imperatives that motivate artists to explore the dimensions of wayfinding and walking, and places them within the art-historical continuum of such walks." – Earl Miller, Curator
Artists' Walks: The Persistence of Peripateticism examines walking within artistic practice through a range of historical and contemporary artworks, placing seminal works by Marina Abramović, Richard Long and General Idea alongside contemporary works by Janet Cardiff & Georges Bures Miller, Hamish Fulton, Lucy Gunning, Samuel Rowlett, and Jessica Thompson.
|11/2013||The Art of the Viewser (Meadville, PA)|
'Swinging Suitcase' in This Could be the Place (Curated by Ivan Jurakic and Bojana Videkanic, with Lisa Birke, Adrian Blackwell, Terrance Houle, and Johannes Zits) UWAG for the 2014 CAFKA Biennial.
This Could be the Place was a six-day public art event on the University of Waterloo campus structured around five-day artist interventions/performances culminating in a one-day public art symposium on the theme of precarious/immaterial labour and its relationship to contemporary Canadian art. 'Swinging Suitcase' is an interactive mobile sculpture that generates and broadcasts the sound of a flock of birds in response to gestural input. When the piece is swung, the "birds" begin to make noise, which calibrate to reflect the rate of swinging---accelerating and multiplying in response to the gesture of the user, and then confounding the interaction when they become "bored." The event was co-organized and co-curated by Ivan Jurakic and Bojana Videkanic.
'Soundwalking' in cMagazine | The Walking Workshops: Sarah Cullen and Jessica Thompson' (Curated by Amish Morrell)
In Noise, Jacques Attali historicizes economic development through sound, arguing that noise serves as a precursor to social and economic change. Conditions within cities are often revealed through sound, indicating territory, demographics or functionality, and politicizing urban space through its ability to invade the acoustic space of others and to affect behavior. As we continue to experience space through the private modes of listening afforded by headphones, we become increasingly uncomfortable with the everyday noisemaking of cities. – Jessica Thompson
In conjunction with issue 121 on walking, C Magazine presented The Walking Workshops, a series of peripatetic workshops on contemporary art and walking in downtown Toronto. For her workshop, Jessica Thompson led participants on a soundwalk in the Parkdale/Liberty Village area of Toronto, a rapidly gentrifying neighbourhood that is currently undergoing physical and therefore sonic transformation.
'Triangulation Device' - International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA), Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) is an annual gathering of the international art, science and technology community. The international symposium includes an academic conference, exhibitions, performances and workshops. The overarching theme of ISEA2014—Location—weaves the local tradition and history of the United Arab Emirates into the global context of new media science, art, and technology.
Triangulation Device is a participatory sound piece that generates improvised soundscapes using the movement of the body as a compositional device. The piece is performed simultaneously between two participants. Each participant is paired with a device, which transcodes its location to the other in real-time, generating sound through the body and creating atmospheric soundscapes that unfold and change in response to their movement and proximity.
'Triangulation Device' and Paper Presentation, Locus Sonus Symposium 8: Audio-Mobility, Aix-en-Provence, France
Locus Sonus audio in art, is a research group whose main aim is to explore the, ever evolving, relationship between sound, place and usage. In an Art/Science tradition our research involves experimentation with emerging audio technologies particularly those relating to sound transmission, mobilization or spatialisation. Maintained by the art schools of Aix en Provence and Bourges in France, Locus Sonus is concerned with practice driven research and trans-disciplinary approaches to the arts of sound.
Keynote Presentation: "Mobile Sound and (Re)Making Place", TransX Transmission Art Symposium, New Adventures in Sound Art, Toronto, Canada
The TransX Transmission Art Symposium, part of the Deep Wireless Festival of Radio & Transmission Art, will focus on Transmission Art, with particular interest in contributions that summarize, examine or reframe traditions and histories of transmission art practices, technology, education and pedagogy.
Paper Presentation: "Mobile Sound and (Re)Making Place", My Location, My Sense of Belonging, International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA), Dubai, United Arab Emirates
My Location, My Sense of Belonging recognizes the importance of public space and the interrelationship of art, technology, design and the city. This program aims to discuss the role and influence of creative disciplines and technology on public interactions and the possibilities for enhancing urban spaces.
|05/2014||Guest Lecture/Workshop, Digital Art and Culture Program, University of Waterloo
(DAC 301 - Designing with Digital Sound, Inst: Karen Collins)
|03/2014||Guest Speaker, REAP, University of Waterloo|
|03/2014||Guest Lecture/Workshop, Department of Visual Arts, University of Western Ontario, London
(VA Studio 2250 – Intro to Contemporary Media, Inst: Christof Migone)
Guest Lecturer, Communication Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo
|03/2014||Trans-X Symposium, Toronto|
|06/2014||Birmingham New Music Festival, Birmingham, UK|
|Recipient of a SSHRC Insight Development Grant for new research project anyWare. Done in collaboration with game designer Cindy Poremba and software engineer/hacker Marius Kintel.|
|Recipient of a Canada Council research/creation grant - Media Arts Section.|
|Re-Collect at ISEA 2014 – Dubai, United Arab Emirates|
|Surveillance & Society Annual Paper Prize for Quantifying the Gamified Self.|
|I was one of the two keynotes at the Canadian Game Studies Association Conference in May. I spoke about the life and death struggles of indie game makers in the startup scene, which is based on my ethnographic work with Execution Labs, a game studio incubator in Montreal.|
|I edited a special journal issue on Games, Play and Surveillance with Bart Simon. It launched last month, and from the metrics is looking to be the most read issue of the year.|
|I also ran a summer games incubator for 16 gamemakers from Canada, the US, and abroad, partnering them with over 40 expert mentors from the game industry. We had our final showcase at Google Montreal on August 15th. This short video is a fun encapsulation of what it looked like, http://vimeo.com/10045226.|
|"Play and Possibility in the Rhetoric of the War on Terror: The Structure of Agency in Halo 2." Game Studies: The International Journal of Computer Game Research 9 (2). http://gamestudies.org/1401|
|"Shooting Games." In M. Wolf and B. Perron, Eds., Routledge Companion to Videogames. NYC: Routledge.|
|"Taking the Player-Avatar Relationship to the Next Level: Male Homosocial Desire as a Pillar of Digital Gaming," at Canadian Game Studies Association, St. Catherines, ON, 2014|
|"Queering Spectatorship: Techno-Eroticism in e-Sports." Console-ing Passions: International Conference on Television, Video, Audio, New Media and Feminism, Columbia, MO, 2014|
|"Daddy Issues: Representing and Performing Father-Daughter Relationships in Digital Games." Console-ing Passions: International Conference on Television, Video, Audio, New Media and Feminism, Columbia, MO, 2014|
|"Gameplay: Retheorizing Play and Game in the Era of Neoliberal Governmentality," at Games of Late Modernity: Homo Ludens 75 Years Later, Tilburg, The Netherlands, 2014|