[Anti]disciplinary Topographies

Proximal Fields

Joel Ong (CA), Elaine Whittaker (CA), Nina Czegledy (CA), Roberta Buiani (CA), Kavi (LV/CA), this event is organised by LASER Toronto (CA)

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The Fields Institute was closed to the public for a long time, but it has not been empty. Peculiar sounds and intriguing silences, the flows of the few individuals and janitors occasionally visiting the building made it surprisingly lively. Microorganisms, dust specs and other invisible guests populated the space undisturbed while the humans were away. The building is alive, and the artists created site-specific installations to reflect this condition. Elaine Whittaker and her poet collaborators will take us on a journey with the microbes living in our proximal spaces. Joel Ong and his collaborators will use empty space data recorded in various parts of the building to generate an AR digital organism. Roberta Buiani and Kavi will take the venue outside as an organism through their mobile gallery.



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Joel Ong: Media artist whose works connect scientific and artistic approaches to the environment, particularly with respect to sound and physical space. Professor Ong’s work explores the way objects and spaces can function as repositories of ‘frozen sound’ and, in elucidating these, he is interested in creating what systems theorist Jack Burnham (1968) refers to as “art (that) does not reside in material entities, but in relations between people and between people and the components of their environment.”

Elaine Whittaker: Canadian visual artist. She considers biology as contemporary art practice. Her artworks are an intersection of art, science, medicine and ecology. Her practice is based principally on installation, and includes sculpture, painting, drawing, and digital imagery, incorporating a range of materials: from the traditional -paint, pigment and wax- to the unconventional -mosquitoes, salt crystals, human cells, and live microorganisms.

Kavi: Latvian/Canadian artist operating across multiple disciplines. Besides working as an educator and workshop instructor, Kavi also creates time-based installation pieces, does live VJing for electronic music events and enjoys collaborative projects. She has previously worked and exhibited with Fashion Art Toronto, Kensington Market Art Faire, Toronto Burlesque Festival, Sidewalk Toronto, Nuit Blanche and multiple music venues across Toronto. Kavi is currently pursuing a PhD degree in Digital Media at York University, Toronto, Canada.

Roberta Buiani: Artistic Director of the ArtSci Salon at the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences (Toronto). Her artistic work has travelled to art festivals (Transmediale; Hemispheric Institute Encuentro; Brazil), community centers and galleries (the Free Gallery Toronto; Immigrant Movement International, Queens, Museum of Toronto), and scientific institutions (RPI; the Fields Institute). She is a research associate at the Centre for Feminist Research and a Scholar in Residence at Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts and Technology, at York University.

Nina Czegled: Toronto based artist, curator, educator, works internationally on collaborative art, science & technology projects. The changing perception of the human body and its environment, as well as paradigm shifts in the arts, inform her projects. She has exhibited and published widely, won awards for her artwork and has initiated, led and participated in workshops, forums and festivals worldwide at international events.

LASER Toronto (CA) is organised by ArtSci Salon and The Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences, and is co-chaired by Roberta Buiani and Nina Czegledy. Since 2012, the ArtSci Salon has hosted public discussions, art installations, performances, and workshops to facilitate the cross-pollination between science, technology, and the arts.