Controlling sound and animation with gestures

Digital Futures grad student and visual artist Afaq Ahmed Karadia, has designed a machine learning system which uses cognitive data and gesture technologies to recognize and interpret movements of the human body to create sound and animation.

Afaq’s performance uses a “virtual instrument” controlled by gesture-based movements. The instrument creates sound and these sounds create visualizations in real-time. These real-time visualizations replaces pre-made animations using shadow and light.

The prototype is part of his larger research project that examines the non-functional characteristics of gesture, such as expressivity, which remains a challenge for computers.

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Christina Sealey

Christina Sealey is a visual artist and musician. She has exhibited throughout Canada and the UK in both public and commercial galleries and in artist-run centres and regularly performs throughout Europe, North America and in Japan. Her work can be found in private, corporate and public collections.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

In their most recent album-project, Silence, Berlin-based multimedia formation rechenzentrum (Lillevan - video, and Marcus Weiser - audio) unfolds the meditative states of contemplation and speechlessness. Drawing on the self-referential aesthetics of the Orthodox icon painters, and the black and white film on Andrej Rjubljev by Russian director Andrei Tarkowsky, Silence lends itself as a stream of subtly collaged cinematic sentiments, “submerged rhythms of continents never seen, melodies thought lost, and legends from ancient times”. Working through the processes of digital mapping and camouflaging of analog connotations of Lillevan’s black and white drawings, vocals, quartet trumpet, live cello, grand piano and acoustic guitar performed by guest musicians Nicholas Bussmann, Reinhold Friedl, Franz Hautzinger, Maurice de Martin, Akemi Takeya, and Nicolas T. Weiser, Silence uncovers the proximity between the surface of the screen and the lens of the camera in contemporary world, and transforms the technological sublime into visual music and expansive sonic fiction. For more information about rechenzentrum, please visit (

The duration of the screening is approximately fifty minutes. Please note that this is an expanded cinema event so the audience is encouraged to move around freely in and out of venue.

This event at OCAD is preceded by an artist talk by Lillevan (rechenzentrum’s video artist) that will take place at Ryerson University, the School of Image Arts at 4 pm, 122 Bond Street, Room 307, free admission. Lillevan’s talk and visit to Toronto is sponsored by Ryerson University, OCAD's IADE Research Group, and Goethe-Institut Toronto.

Venue & Address: 
Auditorium 100 McCaul St., Toronto, Ontario


Tuesday, October 16, 2007 - 4:00am to Saturday, December 15, 2007 - 5:00am

New media artist OCAD alumna Andres Pang announces the opening of Polyphony, a public artwork which extends from Toronto to New York. Installed at the Ontario College of Art & Design in Toronto and Polytechnic University in New York, Polyphony utilizes state of the art VOIP to broadcast sounds in public spaces from one city to another, allowing the listener-participant to be in two places at once in Real Time.

Through the use of sound, Pang explores the concepts of presence and distance. Not only does sound make a place feel vast, it is a presence whose absence is felt the moment it stops. Both a cognitive and psychological medium, sound as a carrier of elusive information stimulates the mind and memory, and elicits association more effectively than vision. In addition, sound changes as it travels through a space and challenges one's perceptions of that space.

Continuing the historical trajectory that began with the telegraph, Polyphony explores the use of cutting edge sound technology to bridge space and time. Polyphony is a many facetted work that makes the most of a technology's perceptual and conceptual dimensions.

Venue & Address: 
Ontario College of Art & Design 100 McCaul Street, Lobby, Toronto, Ontario

OCAD University celebrates PRIDE with innovative, interactive design

The Swing Lounge under construction at OCAD University
Sayyad Glassford, Rouzbeh Akhbari, and Nelly Goodarzi building the Swing Lounge
Sayyad Glassford installing a swing
Shamina Chherawala enjoying a swing
OCAD University celebrates PRIDE
Friday, June 26, 2015 - 1:15pm

Get ready to swing: This year marks the first time OCAD University is participating in the street fair at Toronto’s PRIDE festival. From June 26 to 28, stop by OCAD U’s Swing Lounge, an innovative booth where visitors can interact with the installation as well as with volunteers – students, faculty, staff and alumni – from across the university.

Unlike conventional booths at the PRIDE street fair, The Swing Lounge invites participants into a 10’ x 10’ space where they can swing from suspended seats while listening to audio recordings representing the diverse experiences and thoughts of students, faculty and staff – including President Dr. Sara Diamond. Shamina Chherawala of OCAD U’s Office of Diversity, Equity & Sustainability says that The Swing Lounge “both disrupts a monolithic understanding of queerness and celebrates our place in the larger LGBTQQI2SA* community.”

The Swing Lounge (pictured here under construction) was conceived, designed and built by Rouzbeh Akhbari, Nelly Goodarzi and Sayyad Glassford. Based on consultations with OCAD U community members, it also showcases the university’s art and design talent, and was created entirely within the university’s own shops and studios. OCAD U’s installation is dedicated to Wendy Coburn, an OCAD U professor, activist and artist who recently passed away.

Be sure to make The Swing Lounge a stop on your PRIDE 2015 celebrations. And tweet your impressions to #OCADU.


*Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, 2-spirit, Asexual/Allies