Photo of David Mcintosh
Photo of David Mcintosh
David Mcintosh
Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Graduate Studies
416-977-6000, Ext. 1723

Area(s) of Expertise

Media Studies, Digital Theory and Production, Network Theory


David McIntosh is Professor in the Digital Futures Program in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences/School of Interdisciplinary Studies at OCADU. He is also a digital media artist, film producer, script writer, and curator in film, video and digital media. McIntosh communicates his expertise in local media constructions and innovations to an international audience, regularly lecturing at leading universities in Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, and Mexico. He has lived and worked extensively in Canada, Cuba, Mexico, Argentina, and Peru.

McIntosh’s research has multiple points of focus, including: globalization and the political-economies of audiovisual spaces, network theories and practices, new media narrativity, mobile locative media, game theory, digital documents, Latin American media, and queer media. Recent critical texts have focused on a range of art, design and technology subjects including art and design methods as they apply to mobile media, and the role of state policy in mobile media innovation. 

McIntosh has curated film, video and new media programs for the Toronto International Film Festival, Cinematheque Ontario, the Hot Docs Documentary Festival, the National Gallery of Cuba, the National Gallery of Argentina, and the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA). In 2007, he was commissioning curator of Testbed, OCAD's contribution to Scotiabank Nuit Blanche. Testbed's very successful program featured several new media installation works, which included never-before-seen offerings by established visual and digital media artists Robert Houle, Judith Doyle, Noam Gonick and Simone Jones, as well as emerging artists Lorena Salome, Alissa Firth-Eagland and Brenda Goldstein.

As director of the seminal Funnel Experimental Film Centre in Toronto's during the mid-1980s, McIntosh's approach melded creation, curation, publication, exhibition, distribution and new media research.

McIntosh is an award-winning documentary film producer (Tina in Mexico, 2002) and dramatic screenwriter (Stryker, 2004). In 2008, McIntosh became the recipient of the first-ever OCAD Award for Distinguished Research and Creation. This honour is conferred on the basis of having a strong portfolio of research, scholarship and creative activity, and on the impact said activity has had on the broad spectrum of art and design research and practice internationally. The award also recognizes contributions toward undergraduate and graduate research and scholarly training. Eric Nay, former Associate Dean in OCADU's Faculty of Liberal Studies, says “David McIntosh is not only a committed and creative researcher with a phenomenal background that spans many years and many countries, he is also providing leadership and diligently working to establish programs, envision curricula and hire new faculty to further new media studies at OCAD.”

In 2007 McIntosh was the Artist in Residence at the Amauta New Media Centre in Cusco, Peru, where he began the research and development of a distributed, digital documentary based in mobile media uses in Cusco's “informal economy”. In "Mobile Translocal Media Practices: Case studies of the intersection of art and new technologies in Cusco, Peru" (David McIntosh and Patricio Davila), McIntosh discusses the work, its context, and his own points of entry: "The immediate inspiration for my mobile locative media artist's residency was the explosion of cell phone usage in Cusco since 2006. Independent street vendors, almost entirely Quechua people serving as mobile human cell phone kiosks, began to appear in late 2006 selling flat-rate calls. A year later, these individual innovators had developed into a parallel cell phone service provider network, a site of capital accumulation, job creation and new service provision, all within the informal street vendor economy. By the end of 2007, Cusco was swarming with human cell phone booths, an effervescent bottom-up market of providers and users that developed among people traditionally excluded from all forms of technologized communication. They are actors in their own networks, as well as potential actors in an array of new mobile experience networks that we are now designing jointly."

McIntosh has focused on the creation of new mobile media applications to develop a distributed documentary that brings lost Cusco creative histories into public spaces. This has involved extensive primary archival research in photography, film, text and music archives as well as the design of mobile media interfaces. The result is Qosqo Llika (, a mobile media documentary that appears in numerous fragments, on a range of mobile screens in a variety of locations. This innovative new media artwork recuperates and recontextualizes Cusco cultural histories for its 500,000 permanent residents, almost half of them Quechua people, and for the estimated 250,000 tourists that pass through the city each year, almost exclusively for the purpose of visiting pre-Colombian Incan ruins. More recent local cultural expressions have been eclipsed by the needs of the tourism industry, to the point that many Cusco residents are not aware of their own history, except for that history staged as spectacle for tourists. This project renders visible the largely invisible but crucial history of Cusco during the period of 1910 to 1930, a period of radical innovation in cultural production and in the intellectual reformation of the Peruvian nation based in indigenous cultures. McIntosh feels that his own practice helps students see history as a living, changing thing.

In 2007 McIntosh resurrected a bit of Canadian history in The Haunting, a cell phone game designed for use in Montreal's Mount Royal Park. The game, which utilizes park history, notably the real histories of those buried on the mountain, including Canada's last hangman, was a project that developed out of the Mobile Digital Commons Network, a national mobile media research initiative that worked to enhance public park experiences through mobile media. As a creative lead and project director, McIntosh helped to develop what would become an innovative prototype for a location-based mobile documentary ghost-capture game "The Haunting "that delivers an engaging experience for mobile phone users through bluetooth beacons and the Mobile Experience Engine (MEE) software.

McIntosh was the Principle Investigator on a recently completed SSHRC funded research and creation project titled Quipucamayoc. This art and technology project merges a range of contemporary art forms, including gaming, electroacoustical music, dance, experimental theatre, textile, and wearable design to construct a prototype for a new communication network. This network is not based in text or language but is instead embodied, performative, and sensorial. The network is engaged and activated through body sensor arrays, which serve simultaneously as game controllers and musical instruments, and are worn by ten movement artists to co-create live interactive generative narratives and music. The co-located network joining Cusco, Peru, and Buenos Aires, Argentina, is designed to reflect the nature of centuries of interactions between these two cities. The research and creation team for the project includes artists, historians, theorists and technical experts in Peru, Argentina and Canada. The literary and metaphoric aspects of the project are inspired by the Huarochiri Manuscript, a 16th century written compilation of pre-colombian Andean religious rites, which offers a complex and fragmented narrative structure, as well as rich visual and sound passages, to the framing of Quipucamayoc. Quipucamayoc was developed and presented by the collective of 30 people who currently comprise the Ayllu Intiwatana Laboratory. The project culminated in a live video-streamed performance in 2016 and produced a series of 2D digital prints on canvas, adapted from 3D virtual environments.



PhD, York University, Communications and Culture, 2005

MA, York University, Interdisciplinary Studies, 1999

Diploma, Film Production, Algonquin College, 1982

BA (with Distinction), Carlton University & University of Ottawa, Linguistics, 1980

Professional Experience

2016-       , Professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences/School of Interdisciplinary Studies

2005-2016, Associate Professor, Faculty of Liberal Studies, OCAD U

2001-2005, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Liberal Studies, Ontario College of Art & Design

2001-2006, Screenwriter, Wild Boars of Manitoba

2001-2006, Senior Curator, Hot Docs International Documentary Festival

2000-2002, Documentary Film Producer, Gerda Film Productions

1994-2001, Lecturer, Liberal Studies Faculty, Ontario College of Art & Design

1994-1999, Lecturer, Faculty of Fine Art, Film Department, York University

1992-1999, Senior Curator, Canadian Cinema, Toronto International Film Festival

1992-1998, Script Editor, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

1990-1998, Script Editor, Telefilm Canada

1990-1992, Curator, Cinematheque Ontario

1988-1990, Program Director, PEN World Congress

1985-1988, Curator, Latin American Cinema, Toronto International Film Festival

1982-1985, Executive Director, Funnel Experimental Film Centre

Selected Exhibitions

"Quipucamayoc: Translocal, Transmedia Digital Collaboration" Principle Investigator, 2012-2017

“Qosqo Llika,” Mobile Locative Media Documentary, Director/{Producer/Writer, supported by the Canada Council, Telefonica, The Martin Chambi Photographic Archive, The Canadian Embassy in Peru, the Municipality of Cusco. Installed in Cusco Peru, April 2010.

“The Haunting,” Creative Director and Project Lead, Interactive Mobile Game for MDCN, a joint project of the Ontario College of Art and Design, The Banff New Media Centre and Concordia University. 2005-2007

“Stryker,” Feature Dramatic Film, Writer, 2004. World Premiere: Venice International Film Festival, September, 2004. Selected Screenings: Museum of Modern Art/Lincoln Center New Directions Series, NY, 2005; Canadian Film Institute, Ottawa; Frameline Film Festival, San Francisco; Gwangju Film Festival, Korea, August 2005. Canadian theatrical release, July 2005; U.S. theatrical release, August 2005.

“Tina in Mexico,” Feature Experimental Documentary Film, Producer and Story Editor.  World Premiere: Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, 2002. Selected  Screenings: Havana International Film Festival, Official competition; Museo de Arte Latinoamericano (MALBA), Buenos Aires; Rose D’Or Media Festival, Berne, Switzerland; National Gallery, Washington; Guanajuato Film Festival, Mexico. Broadcast Purchases: Bravo!; TVOntario; Independent Film Channel; Swedish Television; Finnish Television. Distribution: Rhombus Media.

“Torn,” Feature Dramatic Film, Story Editor. Written by Sean Postoff; Produced by Sandra Cunningham, 2002.

“Cowards Bend the Knee,” Feature Dramatic Film, Story Editor. Writer/Director: Guy Maddin, 2002.

“The Beguiling,” Feature Dramatic Film, Story Editor. Written by Keith Lock, 2001.

“Hey Happy,” Feature Dramatic Film, Story Editor. Directed by Noam Gonick, 2001, produced by Laura Michalchyshyn. Selected Screenings: Sundance (world premiere), New York Underground Film Festival (opening night film), NSI Film Exchange (closing night film), Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival, MIT, Paris Gay and Lesbian (closing night film), Inside/Out (award – Best Canadian Film), Frameline, Out On Screen, Outfest, Boston Underground Film Festival, National Film Theatre (London), Mix Brazil, Image et Nation, AFM International Independent Film Festival (Istanbul), London Gay and Lesbian (ICA), Atlantic Film Festival. Distribution: Canada (Mongrel Media), USA (Strand Releasing), France (ED Distribution), Germany (GM Films). Broadcast: TMN, Sundance Channel.

“Animal Movies: Fox Past,” Short Experimental Digital Video, Digital Effects Editor and Story Editor. Directed by Judith Doyle, 2000. Premiered: Images Festival. Selected Screenings: Hot Docs, Brooklyn Film and Video Festival, National Gallery of Argentina, Green TV. Awards: Best Experimental Work, Brooklyn Film and Video Festival. Distributed by V-Tape.

“The Fruit Machine,” Feature Dramatic Film, Story Editor. Written by Brian Drader, producer Len Pendergast, 2001.

“Possible Worlds,” Feature Dramatic Film, Editorial Consultant. Written and directed by Robert Lepage, 2001. Distributed by Alliance-Atlantis.

“The Ultimate Good Luck,” Feature Dramatic Film, Story Editor. Written and directed by John L’Ecuyer, produced by Sandra Cunningham, 2000.

Awards \ Grants

SSHRC, Research Creation INsight Grant for Quipucamayoc, 2012

Museum Of Modern Art, New York, Permanent Collection Acquisiton of Feature Film "Stryker", 2009

Canada Council, New Media Production Grant, 2008

OCAD Award for Distinguished Career of Research & Creation, 2005

Heritage Canada, Mobile Digital Commons Network, Ontario College of Art and Design, Interactive Digital Games Researcher and Designer, 2005

Canada Council, Screenwriting Grant, 2004

Telefilm Canada, Screenwriting and Production Grants, 2004

SHRC Doctoral Fellowship (2002-2004), 2003

Canada Council, Curatorial and Travel Grant, 2003

Tina in Mexico, Best Arts Documentary, Official Competition, Havana Film Festival, 2003

Tina in Mexico, Best Arts Documentary, Official Competition, Rose D?Or Media Festival, Berne, Switzerland, 2003

Tina in Mexico, Best Arts Documentary, Best Script, Best Cinematography, 2003

Golden Sheaf Awards, Golden Sheaf Awards, Yorkton, Canada, 2002

Canadian Ministry of External Affairs, Canada-Mexico Professional Exchange Grant


Propiomedia, research, curation of two annual media researchers speakers series, 2013-2015

Testbed, commissioning curator for a program of new media installation works, including new works by established artists Robert Houle, Judith Doyle, Noam Gonick and Simone Jones, as well as emerging artists Lorena Salome and Brenda Goldstein. For Nuit Blanche, 2007

Focus on Serge Giguere, research and curation of a retrospective program of performance documentaries by award-winning documentarian Serge Giguere, for Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, Toronto, 2006

Focus on Larry Weinstein, research and curation of a retrospective program of performance documentaries by award-winning documentarian Larry Weinstein, for Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, Toronto, 2005

Canadian Spectrum, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, Toronto, Senior Programmer. Curation of 30 new works from 300 submissions in open call, liaison with directors and producers, catalogue writing and public presentation, 2000-2005

Focus on Nettie Wild,  research and curation of a retrospective program of four feature documentaries by award-winning documentarian Nettie Wild, for Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, Toronto, 2004

Made in Canada, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires and the Suenos Cortos Film and Video Festival. Research and curation of 4 programs of experimental Canadian films, videos and digital projects. Argentina, 2003

Focus On Shelley Saywell, Retrospective for Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, Toronto. Curation of filmmaker retrospective, liasion with director, catalogue writing and public presentation, 2003

Focus On Zacharias Kunuk, Retrospective for Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, Toronto. Curating 6 part filmmaker retrospective, liaison with director, catalogue writing and public presentation, 2002

Selected Publications

"Quipucamayoc: A translocal interactive digital video and audio performance", paper presented at Toronto International Electroacoustical Symposium, Toronto, August 10, 2017.

“Quipucamayoc: Co-located Digital Media Co-creation between Cusco and Buenos Aires” Keynote speaker, ECI Artes Electronicos, Centro Cultural San Martin, Buenos Aires, October 2012

“Qosqo Llika: A Mobile Locative Media Artwork in Cusco Peru” in the conference “Revisioning the Indians of Canada Pavilion: Ahzhekewada [Let us look back].” Presented by the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective and the Aboriginal Visual Culture Program at OCADU October 16, 2011, OCADU, Toronto.

“Duration and the Constant Present of the Ancients: Storying and Survivance, Simultaneity and Sequenciation” in the conference Durations, August 10, 2011, OCADU, Toronto.

“Mobility and Memory: Towards a Taxonomy of Temporal Multiplicity” in the conference Nomadismos Tecnologicos, Espacio Telefonica, Buenos Aires, October 2009.

“Mobile Media Workshop in a Suitcase: A case study of the transcultural intersection of art and new technologies” in Inter(Praxis). InterAccess, Toronto, February 2008.

“Being There: Uncanny Medium, Methodological Multiplicity and Proliferative Embodied Creativity in The Haunting,” paper presented at the Mobile Nation conference, Ontario College of Art & Design, March 23, 2007.

“Being There: Improvisation and Intensity in Rapid Prototyping Design Charrettes for The Haunting, a Mobile Locative Media Narrative for the Mobile Digital Commons Network,” paper presented at the Canadian Communications Association Conference, York University, June 1, 2006.

 “Kent Monkman’s Postindian Diva Warrior: From Simulacral Historian to Embodied Liberator,” paper presented at Global Queeries: Sexualities, Globalities, Postcolonialities, University of Western Ontario, May 12, 2006.

“Networks and Netwars: Astroturf, Sockpuppets and Total (Terrorism) Information Awareness,” paper presented at Big Talk: Community and Conversations in Art and Design Education, Ontario College of Art and Design, April 30, 2006.

“The Paradoxes and Processes of Netwar: New Social Movements and Digital Anti-globalization Activist Networks in Canada,” paper presented at III Congreso Panamericano de Comunicacion (3rd Panamerican Communications Congress), Buenos Aires, July 12-16, 2005.

“Hollywood, The Canadian State, and the Development of Maquiladora Cinema,” paper presented at III Congreso Panamericano de Comunicacion (3rd Panamerican Communications Congress), Buenos Aires, July 12-16, 2005.

“Changing Subjects in Networked Society: A Framework for Considering Pluralism and Agency,” paper presented at Jerk and Jounce New Technology Conference on Technology, OCAD, February 9, 2004.

“The Rise and Fall of Mexican Cinema in the 20th Century: From the Production of a Revolutionary National Imaginary to the Consumption of Globalized Cultural Industrial Products,” paper presented at Globalization and Popular Culture Symposium, University of Manitoba, 2001.


Professional Affiliations / Boards / Juries

Juror, Film and Video Fellowships, Guggenheim Foundation, New York, 2004

Jury Member, Best Experimental Work Jury, Suenos Cortos Film and Video Festival, Buenos Aires, 2003

Juror, Toronto Arts Council, Annual Grants to Visual Arts Organizations, 1994-1998

Juror, Manitoba Film and Video Awards, various categories, 1998

Juror, Montreal International Short Film Festival, Best Film Award, 1996

Juror, Manitoba Film and Video Awards, various categories, 1996

Juror, Toronto Arts Council, Grants to Visual Artists, 1994

Juror, Ontario Arts Council, Grants to Arts Writers, 1994

Juror, Canada Council, Media Arts, Annual Grants to Exhibition Organizations, 1993

Juror, Ontario Arts Council, Grants to Periodicals, 1993

Juror, Ontario Arts Council, Grants to Media Artists,1993