Material Workshops

Brice Ammar-Khodja (FR), Vanessa Mardirossian (CA), Matthew Halpenny (CA)

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Sensitive membranes
This video presents three research-creation projects that explore the concept of screen-membranes through different dispositifs: Breath.am, Fossilation, and Blob Detection. Not only connected with their environment and the public but also sensitive with the latter, these works engage relations pertaining to material science, data physicalization, and sensory studies directly bonded with socio-political and environmental problematics. By investigating different materialities in motion linked with the discrete signals of their surroundings, this presentation aims to discuss new ways to rebuild interconnections between the milieux, the human and more-than-human agents and the build environment.

Textile Dyes Workshop
In the „Live Cooking Show“, participants will have the opportunity to design non-toxic and local textile dyes from food waste and bacteria. In the theory part, participants will be introduced to the socio-environmental issues of synthetic textile dyes and the avenues explored by international research in biodesign. In practice, they will design their dyes and dye textile samples of various fibers.

Workshop on Open-Source Microbial Fuel Cells
Microbial fuel cells are types of energy storage devices that slowly harvest energy (ions) from their environment. This workshop details the research-creation process the artist followed during the creation of their open-source microbial fuel cells and explains each step of the recreation process while providing multiple avenues and tools to explore. Halpenny’s interest in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and desire to use them within their artworks led the artist through a garden of pay-walled papers, missing schematics, and illusory parts. MFCs offer us a new sustainable energy harvesting paradigm that works with our natural ecosystems yet their details are often kept from the public.


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Brice Ammar-Khodja: Brice Ammar-Khodja is a graphic designer, artist and doctoral student. His work lies at the intersection of digital art, material science and sensory studies. He is currently pursuing a co-tutored thesis between Concordia University in Montreal (Individualized Program) and EnsadLab (Reflective Interaction, SACRe program).

Vanessa Mardirossian: Vanessa Mardirossian is a textile designer for more than 20 years and concerned about the environmental impact of my industry, I am conducting doctoral research that engages in an iterative dialogue between design, chemistry and environmental health to reflect on a critical approach to textile materiality and address complex issues through colour.

Matthew Halpenny: Matthew Halpenny is an interdisciplinary media artist from Montréal who works between the milieus of biology, society, and technology. Their work seeks to disrupt conventional boundaries around life, evolution, the body, consciousness, and human expression. Such ideas have been explored through use of the human body as a performative instrument, artificial organisms, technological-biological sculpture, and networked cognition performances. Their work is inspired by systems theory, embodied cognition, sense theory, emergent behavior, multi-species being, and media ecologies. They were previously a research member at Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture, & Technology, where they worked within the Speculative Life and Critical Materiality research clusters. They are now working as a research member of Hexagram through the Université de Montréal.