Haru Ji Shows at Sidewalk Labs' Open Sidewalk: Winter warmer Exhibition & Artist Talk

Photodocumentation of Conservation of Shadows. Haru Ji & Graham Wakefield. Requiem for Hybrid Life, Seoul Museum of Art Chang-g
Conservation of Shadows. Haru Ji & Graham Wakefield.  330kg salt, 12 nD::Node Arduino boards, 140 motor-actuated bells, 150m wire, Kinect sensors, projector, HTC Vive HMD.  Requiem for Hybrid Life, Seoul Museum of Art Chang-go, Seoul, Korea. 2017-10-17 - 2017-10-23

Assistant Professor Haru Hyunkyung Ji exhibited work in collaboration with Graham Wakefield at Sidewalk Labs' "Open Sidewalk: Winter warmer Exhibition & Artist Talk" on March 2ndConservation of Shadows: Underworld was one of several pieces curated by Melanie Wilmink for the exhibition, which showcased a series of interactive artworks that use a variety of techniques, including lighting and projection mapping, to reflect on the connection of ecology and urbanism. Read more about the event programming here: https://sidewalktoronto.ca/event/307-open-sidewalk-4/.

Kate Hartman Opens Lakehead University's Research & Innovation Week

Associate Professor Kate Hartman spoke at Lakehead University’s Research & Innovation Week 2019 on Friday, February 22nd. Kate delivered the opening Keynote for the week, the theme of which was "Rise of the Machines". Her talk addressed ways in which technology can interpret, acknowledge, or extend the human form, and how  objects that live in the bodysphere might enhance, inhibit, or mediate our social interactions. An artist and technologist, Kate presented her own work as well as collaborative projects from the Social Body Lab.

Learn more about Kate's talk and Lakehead's event here:

Research Funding Panel Discussion

Photograph of a hand pulling back a red curtain.
Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - 11:00am to 12:30pm

The panelists will be Dr. Dori Tunstall, Dean, Faculty of Design; Dr. Ashok Mathur, Dean, Graduate Studies; and Ryan Rice, Associate Dean, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and SIS. The panel moderator will be our Vice President of Research and Innovation, Dr. Robert Luke.

The topics covered will include:

  • Keys to a successful funding application
  • Navigating reviewers’ expectations
  • Arts funding and Canada Council
  • Experiences with SSHRC 
  • So much more

The event is free and light refreshments will be served.

Venue & Address: 
RHA 120 (205 Richmond St. W., Rm. 120)

Decoding Origins: Creating a Visual Language of Marks featured in Media

Photo of Ladly, Keefer and Chadha presenting on the research, seated in front of a powerpoint projection.
Martha Ladly (left) Katrina Keefer (centre) and Kartikay Chadha (right) present on the research. Photo c/o Katrina Keefer.

The research project Decoding Origins: Creating a Visual Language of Marks,  led by Dr. Martha Ladly of OCAD U and Dr. Katrina Keefer of Trent University, was recently featured in an article by CBC News: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/scarification-trent-ocad-slave-trade-identity-1.5014143).

Dr. Keefer was also interviewed on the CBC Morning radio show, available here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1U4P0OnwH4w7b1Fq_k9RYy969T05llnaQ.

This research project is based on the rich history of applying permanent body marks, such as scarification and tattoos, to represent individual’s membership in African kin groups and local societies. It seeks to trace origins of enslaved peoples of Africa, and to address the obliteration of identities for enslaved individuals, which is one of the lasting legacies of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The researchers received funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).


CRAM Toronto is coming to OCAD U!

CRAM festival poster with dates and times
Friday, April 5, 2019 - 5:00pm to 11:00pm

On Friday, April 5, 2019, Toronto's four universities - OCAD University, Ryerson University, University of Toronto and York University - open their doors to give curious minds from across the city a chance to discover the unexpected ideas revolutionizing the way we think, live and work. In one evening, CRAM will feature 30+ free events, allowing attendees to move between the four university campuses, to explore the city's cutting-edge thinking.

Have you ever asked yourself what's the greatest story never told? How does gravity affect our perceptions of ourselves? What do viruses have to do with gun violence? Will a robot be your new BFF? Register today at www.cramtoronto.com to find out!

CBC Toronto is a proud sponsor.

Time: 5 to 11 p.m.

Location: CRAM events will take place at OCAD University, Ryerson University, University of Toronto and York University campuses. Please see www.cramtoronto.com for specific event locations

Cost: FREE! Space is limited so reserve your seat at www.cramtoronto.com.

OCAD University
Auditorium (room 190)
100 McCaul St.


6 p.m.

Hey Autonomous Vehicle – Can You Tell Me About Yourself? – Sowmya Somanath

Ontario recently approved the testing of autonomous vehicles without a driver on public roads. What will this mean for pedestrians, especially when crossing the street at intersections without signals? People make the decision to cross based not only on vehicle speed, but also using non-verbal cues such as eye contact and hand gestures. What will happen in this new world of driverless cars? I’m excited to share some of the computer interfaces we have prototyped and the lessons we’ve learned from evaluating them.

7 p.m.

Here Today, Here Tomorrow: Reversing Our Throwaway Culture – Michele Mastroeni

“I need a new cell phone even though my old one still works." In current Western society, vast amounts of goods are disposable or easily displaced by “the next new thing.” Old technologies have value in science fiction: inStar Wars, starships can be decades old and droids centuries old. Currently, we’re seeing a rise in subcultures who appreciate long-lasting goods and people are heading to Repair Cafés in an effort to keep waste to a minimum. What can we learn from them? How can we shift our current consumer culture to a more sustainable one? Please join me for a thought-provoking discussion.

8 p.m.

Will Our Future Be A+? Avatars, Agents and Adaptive A.I. Assistants – Alexis Morris

How will we be living in Toronto in the 2020s? I’ll offer an outlook on the technologies that will affect how smart cities and smart citizens interact. We’ll look into the current and upcoming system design challenges for mixed reality (augmented and virtual reality), the internet of things, and adaptive A.I. assistants. Let’s move towards engaging and immersive interactions across highly-connected human-machine environments. The future is coming very soon, so let’s get ready!

9 p.m.

Communities on the Move: Finding a Sense of Place in the City – James Miller

From Oceania to Canada, communities are starting to migrate to urban centres as their ways of life are forever altered by climate change. How will we ensure the cultural continuity of these communities and preserve their way of life? As an architect, environmental design researcher, and a Kanaka Maoli, I am fascinated by how community-based knowledge can mitigate vulnerability and sustain traditions. What if the design of our cities could support the identities of resettled communities and lessen culture loss, rather than alienate new arrivals? I’ll explore possible ways to help climate refugees maintain their identities in their new homes.

10 p.m.

Can I Feel What You See? Multi-Sensory Design – Peter Coppin

We live in a highly visual world that excludes a significant number of people who are visually impaired or blind. Think about all the things around us and the way they’re designed - whether it’s our homes, our workplaces and the city we live in. I’m a visual person but as a researcher it became clear to me that we don’t have a good scientific understanding of design, and why we use certain kinds of representation that exclude people. Who are we designing for? Can we create multi-sensory designs that would allow us to hear a financial chart, feel a soccer game or use multiple senses to perform everyday tasks? We’ll explore these questions.

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University 100 McCaul St. Auditorium, room 190
Free Register at cramtoronto.com


Sepia photo of two male snake charmers sitting on marble steps
Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm

The Office of Research and Innovation and Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies are pleased to present a talk by Assistant Professor Gabrielle Moser, recipient of the 2018/2019 OCAD University Award for Excellence in Early Stage Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity.

Tuesday, March 12th
4:00pm – 5:00pm
100 McCaul St., Room 258
(George Reid Wing Community Room)


This talk meditates on the research methods and archival strategies that developed out of a multiyear project on the Colonial Office Visual Instruction Committee: an unusual scheme sponsored by the British government that used a series of lantern slide lectures combining geography education and photography to teach schoolchildren around the world what it meant to look and to feel like an imperial citizen. Reflecting on the modes of looking
deployed by the viewers of these original lectures and the kinds of looking that are required by a contemporary archival researcher, the talk will introduce some of the themes addressed in Moser’s new book, Projecting Citizenship, which elucidates the impact of this vast collection of photographs that circulated around the British Empire between 1902 and 1945 in classrooms from Canada to Hong Kong, from the West Indies to Australia.

About Gabrielle Moser

Dr. Gabrielle Moser is a writer and independent curator. Her writing has appeared in venues including Artforum, Art in America, ARTnews, Canadian Art, Fillip, Flash Art, Journal of Curatorial Studies, and the Journal of
Visual Culture
. She is the author of Projecting Citizenship: Photography and Belonging in the British Empire (Penn State UP, 2018). She has organized exhibitions for Access Gallery, Gallery TPW, the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Oakville Galleries and Vtape. Gabrielle has held fellowships at the Paul Mellon Centre for the Study of British Art, Ryerson Image Centre, the University of British Columbia and was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar in
the department of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University in 2017. She is a member of the Toronto Photography Seminar, and a founding member of EMILIAAMALIA feminist working group.


This talk coincides with the launch of Dr. Moser’s recent book, Projecting Citizenship: Photography and Belonging in the British Empire, (Penn State University Press, 2018).

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul St., Room 258 (George Reid Wing Community Room)
Sepia photo of two male snake charmers sitting on marble steps; Talk description

Resisting Extractivism, Performing Opposition

9 greyscale photos of protests and activists
Friday, March 1, 2019 - 5:00pm to Saturday, March 2, 2019 - 6:00pm

Resisting Extractivism, Performing Opposition
1-2 March 2019

OCAD University
100 McCaul St.
Toronto, ON
M5T 1W1

*OCAD University is an accessible space.

Please note: all events are FREE and open to the public, but require an RSVP for refreshments; please RSVP at https://goo.gl/forms/EDxC3KYX4YAmmXVq2 by Friday 15 February.

The Canadian Consortium on Performance and Politics in the Americas, York University’s Graduate Program in Theatre and Performance Studies and Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts and Technology, and OCAD University’s Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences & School of Interdisciplinary Studies, with the support of the Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories and Criticism and Curatorial Practice graduate programs and Art and Social Change student volunteers, welcome you to the Resisting Extractivism, Performing Opposition symposium, taking place at OCAD University, 1-2 March 2019.

This interdisciplinary symposium invites activists, scholars, artists, community organizers, and cultural workers to explore collective strategies of embodied and performed resistance to extractivism. While extractivism commonly refers the logic of reducing nature to commodities, and the resultant hyper-exploitation of the mining, oil, and gas industries, we can also think of extractivism as an ideology fundamental to colonialism and capitalism at their most endemic. Resisting Extractivism, Performing Opposition asks: How is (anti)extractivism performed? How have mining-impacted communities and solidarity groups alike mobilized their dissent through creative interventions? How can we, as scholars and artists, perform research that does not similarly extract community/Indigenous knowledge for our own cultural capital? How can we ethically and productively engage communities as co-researchers and collaborators without succumbing to an exploitative model of knowledge and labour extraction?

Resisting Extractivism, Performing Opposition explores extractivism as a vital issue that concerns all Canadians: resource extraction informs Canadian domestic and foreign policy, mandatory investments, and is inherent in how we conceptualize Canadian identities, mythologies, and exceptionalism. Canada’s place in the Americas is inherently tied to extractivism, and we will explore this through creative and innovative research methods, mobilized in conversations across disciplines that reach publics outside of the academy, convening artistic, activist, and scholarly communities.

The symposium begins on Friday evening 1 March 2019 from 5-7 pm with the opening of the exhibition Educate, Advocate, Agitate: The Mining Injustice Solidarity Network’s Creative Interventions. The exhibition documents the Toronto-based grassroots mining justice group’s performative actions and creative interventions, and a recent collaboration with JODVID (Jóvenes Organizados en Defensa de la Vida/Youth Organized in Defense of Life), a youth group based in Mataquescuintla, Guatemala that uses performance and creative tactics to resist Canadian-owned Tahoe Resources’ Escobal silver mine on their territory. The exhibition is realized through the curatorial support of Valerie Frappier, an MFA student in the Criticism and Curatorial Practice graduate program at OCAD University.

Following the gallery opening, at 7:30 pm, we will present Beyond the Extractive Zone, a film screening and discussion co-programmed with the re:assemblage collective and presented with the support of OCAD’s Culture Shifts, that explore anti-extractivism from Indigenous perspectives.

Kiruna – Rymdvägen (Liselotte Wajstedt, Sweden, 2013, 52 minutes, documentary)
The town Kiruna is to be moved. The mining activities underground threaten its foundation. Houses will be moved, or torn down, and new quarters will be built on another site. The director grew up on the Company Site and is in a hurry to catch up with her past, for soon its physical reminders will be gone.

Screening with:
The Case of Gran Colombia Gold - Crude Gold
(Monica Gutierrez, Colombia/Canada, 2014, 10 minutes, documentary)
To Stop Being a Threat and To Become a Promise (Carolina Caycedo, Colombia/UK, 2017, 8 minutes, two channel documentary)

On Saturday 2 March 2019 we open the symposium at 9:30 am with the Indigenous Environmental Justice project. Based at Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, IEJ works to works to develop a distinctive environmental justice framework that is informed by Indigenous knowledge systems, laws, concepts of justice and the lived experiences of Indigenous peoples.

At 10am we welcome Macarena Gómez-Barris, author of The Extractive Zone: Social Ecologies and Decolonial Perspectives (Duke University Press, 2017) and the founder and Director of the Global South Center at Pratt Institute. Gómez-Barris will present a keynote address, “Living and Dying in Extractive Zones,” considering the spaces of ruin in the aftermath of extractive capitalism through discussion of three sites within the Americas, and asking: How does mining, hydroelectricity, oil extraction, tourism, and monoculture disproportionately impact Indigenous territories in the Americas? How do social ecologies find alternative sources of living within the space of catastrophic death? What forms of refusal and social and decolonial praxis find solutions?

The keynote is followed by lunch at 11:30am catered by NishDish (RSVP required) and two panel sessions from 12:30-4:30 pm.

The first panel (12:30-2pm), “Animating Objects, Performing Justice,” features Toronto-based Argentine visual artist Dana Prieto, artist and organizer Maggie Flynn, and Winnipeg-based writer, filmmaker, photographer and professor Warren Cariou, who will share their respective visual art and performance practices. It is moderated by MISN member Merle Davis (PhD candidate, Anthropology, University of Minnesota).

The second panel (2:30-4pm), “Legal Discourse as Performative Resistance,” features Anishinaabe actor and playwright Shandra Spears BombayMarion de Vries, playwright of The Last Walk of Adolfo Ich, and Isabel Davila of JCAP (the Justice and Corporate Accountability Project). It is moderated by Sydney Lang, MISN member and law student at McGill University.

The symposium concludes with a keynote address at 4:30 pm by Kirsty Robertson, Associate Professor of Contemporary Art and Museum Studies at Western University (London, ON) and author of the forthcoming Tear Gas Epiphanies: Protest, Culture, Museums (McGill-Queen's University Press, Spring 2019).

For more information, please contact:
Zoë Heyn-Jones, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Canadian Consortium on Performance and Politics in the Americas

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University, 100 McCaul St.
Free, RSVP Required
Sponsor logos for OCAD U, York U, SSHRC/CRSH, AMPD, Sensorium, Mining Injustice Solidarity Network

Research Funding Opportunities

Please contact research@ocadu.ca for more information on research funding opportunities. You may also visit the Research Funding Opportunities page for a more comprehensive list.

Horizon 2020 Migration call (SSHRC)

Support of Canadian researchers’ engagements with European research consortia funded through the Horizon 2020 research platform of the European Union (EU). The call for proposals encourages Canadian researchers to collaborate with research teams from various EU member states to answer critical social science questions related to migration issues, including the protection of refugees and the integration of migrant children in host countries.

  • $75,000 - $200,000
  • 1-3 years
  • March 12, 2020

Partnership Engage Grants (SSHRC)

Provides short-term and timely support for partnered research activities with a non-academic organization.

  • $7,000 to $25,000
  • 1 year
  • March 15, June 15, September 15 and December 15

NOI to Apply for CFI JELF Funding

For the Internal Notice of Intent stage, the Office of Research and Innovatoin invites eligible researchers to submit research infrastructure projects valued at: $100,000 to $300,000. The Office of Research and Innovation invites eligible researchers to submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) for internal consideration for the June intake of the CFI John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF). This enables researchers to undertake leading-edge research by providing them with the foundational research infrastructure required to be or become leaders in their field. In turn, this enables institutions to remain internationally competitive in areas of research and technology development, aligned with their strategic priorities.

  • $100,000 to $300,000
  • 1 year
  • March 23 (Internal Deadline)

Connections Grant (SSHRC)

Supports events and outreach activities geared toward short-term, targeted knowledge mobilization initiatives. These events and activities represent opportunities to exchange knowledge and to engage on research issues of value to those participating. Events and outreach activities funded by a Connection Grant may often serve as a first step toward more comprehensive and longer-term projects.

  • $7,000 to $50,000
  • 1 year
  • May 1, August 1, November 1, February 1,

Templates, informational slide decks, and application examples are available for these programs. Please email research@ocadu.ca for support material.

**Please note: first drafts are due to the Office of Research and Innovation four weeks before the agency deadline and final drafts are due one week in advance of the final submission.**



Message from the VP

The Strategic Value of Research

A message from Dr. Robert Luke, VPRI, for the 8th volume of PULSE.

In the last issue of Pulse we announced the launch of our new communications campaign, This is Research at OCADU. Since then you may have noticed several posters around campus – featuring Suzanne Morrisette, Judth Doyle, David McIntosh, Kate Hartman, Haru Hyunkyung Ji, and Michelle Gay and Barbara Rauch – that showcase the breadth and depth of research and research-creation that our faculty conduct. You can see these posters online here: https://www2.ocadu.ca/news/this-is-research.

I like that these posters all communicate the complex ideas and knowledges that each faculty member is researching. From the visual to the virtual, and the prototypical to the physical, each poster shows how our faculty are engaging with new forms of knowledge, materials and ideas at the forefront of research and creative practice. And, importantly, they demonstrate to our publics, our students and our partners, the value of ideation, exploration, knowledge and artistic creation.

These concepts are embedded within our new Strategic Research Plan (SRP), which received Senate approval last November. The research priorities articulated in our new SRP include

  • Creative action for social change

  • Relational approaches to place, space, and time

  • Critical mediations and cultural inquiries

  • Making knowledge through material, form and practice

  • Design thinking, Indigenous knowledges, inclusive design, strategic foresight and innovation

  • Art, Design, Science and Technology

These themes and priorities build on the history of research excellence at OCADU while opening avenues to expand for the future.

During the development of our new SRP I benefitted from conversations with many faculty on issues pertaining to Indigenous research and OCAD University’s commitment to decolonization. This was a key topic the that Research Committee discussed.

In discussions with Professors Ryan Rice and Jason Baerg they advanced the idea that the new SRP affords a unique opportunity for the University to demonstrate our commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), in keeping with our commitment to decolonization, diversity, equity and inclusion as articulated in the Academic Plan.

Specifically, there are several ways we can demonstrate our commitment to the TRC Calls to Action that will help to ensure that research at the University adhere to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action. The SRP has articulated our commitment to “Nothing about us without us,” as outlined in our Academic Plan. This principle stipulates that research involving Indigenous peoples must be led by Indigenous peoples. It is supported by the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2 2014) which outlines our responsibilities in Chapter 9: Research Involving the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples of Canada.

Within this context the University can ensure that Indigenous faculty are supported to advance their own research agendas as we continue to build capacity for Indigenous research to grow. Suggestions for how we can enact our commitment include:

  • Validating and valuing different paths to academic preparation and accumulated knowledges, not always vested in specific degrees;

  • Developing capacity for Indigenous researchers to meet the dedicated funding opportunities offered by funders, an example of which is the recent SSHRC funding awarded to Dr Gerald McMaster, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture and Curatorial Practice;

  • Ensuring that Indigenous faculty and communities lead research involving Indigenous peoples and communities;

  • Providing the space and support for Indigenous research at the University;

  • Asking applicants to internal research funding and to our Research Ethics Board to indicate if their research will help OCAD U address the TRC Calls to Action, as one way to build capacity and awareness.

There will be other suggestions for how we can achieve the goals outlined in the SRP that the we can take into account. Taking steps such as these our SRP Implementation will help to ensure that the TRC Calls to Action do not fade from practice. Enacting suggestions like these as part of the SRP Implementation will send a clear signal about our commitment to decolonization, help us educate the broader research community with whom we interact—faculty, students, communities and partners alike—on the importance of the TRC Calls to Action, and help us track progress over time against these goals.  

The SRP implementation is now proceeding, building on the Academic Plan and over two years of development that went into the new SRP. The Research Office is looking forward to supporting the University community as we embark on this exciting next step in our research journey.


Paintings You Can Feel

Dr. Peter Coppin teaches his students how to use inclusive design methodologies to solve real-world design problems. Students test their cross-sensory approaches through prototyping and experimentation. One of Dr. Coppin’s classes collaborated with the Art Gallery of Ontario to examine how design can help visually impaired people enjoy paintings. Students ‘interpreted’ two-dimensional paintings into three-dimensional artefacts using a wide range of materials to convey the shape, texture, and spatial relationships of objects depicted in the paintings. Read more about this unique activity as reported by the Toronto Star here.