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Surrey Art Gallery’s TechLab celebrates 20 years with gathering of leading digital art thinkers and makers

16nov4:30 pm11:59 pmSurrey Art Gallery’s TechLab celebrates 20 years with gathering of leading digital art thinkers and makers4:30 pm - 11:59 pm

Event Details

Sentient Circuitries Digital Media Arts Symposium

Saturday, November 16 | Noon−4:30 p.m.

Surrey, BC – Surrey Art Gallery announces the 20th anniversary of its TechLab digital media arts program. To mark the occasion, the Gallery is convening a symposium on digital media arts titled Sentient Circuitries on Saturday, November 16 from noon to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free.

The Sentient Circuitries symposium is a gathering of leaders in digital media arts who will take the pulse of the field today and speculate about where art practices are heading. These creative practitioners will examine the theme of interactivity in digital media in the recent past and present, and the direction this art form might take in the future.

Presenters include keynote speaker Beryl Graham, along with Peter Courtemanche, Garnet Hertz, Marc Johnson, Maria Lantin, Thecla Schiphorst, and Leila Sujir. The afternoon will include an interactive performance with Sammy Chien. Artist Brady Ciel Marks and curator Jordan Strom will host the event.

For over 50 years artists have engaged with electronic and digital technology to extend artmaking with interactive and generative capacities. These two dynamic features have radically transformed art, allowing for a new range of interactions between artworks and performers, audiences, and even the environment.

"While generative algorithms have instilled a dynamic flowering to artworks, allowing them to become infinite in length and increasingly complex to the point of resembling biological forms, this is only half the story," says event co-convener Brady Ciel Marks. "Artists working with technology have employed cybernetic sensors to tap into myriad inspirations and link their creative outputs to a vast array of media. Responding to these possibilities, artists have engaged with interactive art in many ways, including as collaborative partners, quasi-intelligent agents, fallible foils and obstinate adversaries."

Drawing from a rapidly growing field of ideas and debates about the nature of art and technology, Sentient Circuitries offers a chance for an engaged public to witness, question, and explore critical pathways to understanding and participating in art through interactive media today.

Since 2008 Surrey Art Gallery has convened symposia on media art practice, history, and theory. While the last decade has focused on sound art, aural experience, and audio cultures, this is the first year the symposium will provide an equal focus on both sound and visual media art. As always, the symposium features leading artists, scholars, and researchers in the field of media arts who experiment with the limits of sound and visual experience.

Since it was founded in 1999 Surrey Art Gallery's TechLab program has presented cutting-edge electronic art, workshops, performances, residencies, film screenings, and more. The TechLab program has featured a wide array of exhibitions including works of interactive art, telerobotic installation, kinetic sculpture, 3D video, augmented and virtual reality, electronic textiles, sound art, and generative art. TechLab has featured the work of more than 200 Canadian digital media artists and many international practitioners in over 60 solo and group exhibitions.

About the presenters

Dr. Beryl Graham is an artist, curator, writer, and educator with a special interest in curating new media and digital art—particularly interactive and participatory art—as well as concepts of audience. She is a research professor at the University of Sunderland and co-founder and co-editor of CRUMB (Curatorial Resource for Upstart Media Bliss).

Dr. Maria Lantin is the Director of the Basically Good Media Lab at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. She has a deep interest in how expression relates to space and awareness, as well as space and movement both physical and metaphorical. These themes are woven through her work in immersive media and interaction.

Dr. Garnet Hertz is a Canada Research Chair in Design and Media Arts and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Design and Dynamic Media at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. His art and research investigate DIY culture, electronic art, and critical design practices.

Peter Courtemanche is a sound and installation artist from Vancouver. He likes to work outdoors with gadgetry, low-level software systems, rain, wind, and solar power.

Dr. Thecla Schiphorst has a background in dance and computing, which forms the basis for her research in embodied interaction and the practical application of theory within technology design. She focuses on movement, knowledge representation, tangible and wearable technologies, media and digital art, and the aesthetics of interaction.

Leila Sujir is an artist and associate professor at Concordia University, where she is also Chair of the Studio Arts Department. Over the last 30 years, Sujir has built a body of video installation artworks using a mix of fiction, fantasy, and documentary with visual and audio collage techniques. She explores migration, immigration, nation, and culture.

Marc Johnson is an artist, architect, and filmmaker who lives and works in Paris. His work has been shown extensively around the world and he has participated in over 50 international film festivals.

Sammy Chien (Chimerik似不像) is a first-generation Taiwanese-Canadian immigrant and queer artist-of-color. He is an interdisciplinary artist, director, performer, researcher, and mentor who works with film, sound art, new media, performance, movement, and spiritual practice. His work has been exhibited across Canada, Western Europe, and Asia.

Brady Ciel Marks is a computational artist concerned with our technological entanglement. She creates kinetic and audio-visual work that demystifies, transgresses, and re-interprets our relationship with technology. Marks has defined her role as “Cultural Prototyper,” trying out new cultural configurations to demonstrate that technology and culture are co-created.

Jordan Strom is Curator of Exhibitions and Collections at Surrey Art Gallery. In addition to the 45+ exhibitions he has organized in Surrey since 2009, Strom has also curated exhibitions for the Vancouver Art Gallery, Kamloops Art Gallery, Presentation House Gallery, and Republic Gallery, among others. He is a Ph.D. student in Interdisciplinary Studies at Simon Fraser University.

About Surrey Art Gallery

Internationally recognized for its award-winning programs, Surrey Art Gallery, located at 13750 88 Avenue in Surrey, is the second-largest public art museum in Metro Vancouver. Founded in 1975, the Gallery presents contemporary art by local, national, and international artists, including digital and audio art. Its extensive public programs for children through to adults aim to engage the public in an ongoing conversation about issues and ideas that affect our communities and to provide opportunities to interact with artists and the artistic process. Admission is free. Surrey Art Gallery gratefully acknowledges that it resides on the traditional unceded territories of the Kwantlen, Semiahmoo, and Katzie peoples. The Gallery also acknowledges the financial assistance of the City of Surrey, Province of BC through BC Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, and Surrey Art Gallery Association.



(Saturday) 4:30 pm - 11:59 pm


Surrey Art Gallary

13750 88 Avenue in Surrey

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