2016 CADN Graduate Student Conference: #Trending: Mobilizing Art and Culture

#trending: mobilizing art and culture
#nature: Artwork by featured artist Sean Martindale
#nature: Artwork by featured artist Sean Martindale
Friday, March 11, 2016 - 8:00am to 10:00pm


The influence of trends is undeniable in contemporary culture, but rarely are its implications fully fleshed out. How can a trend mobilize or call others to action? As scholarship in contemporary art, design and new media becomes increasingly focused on networked lives, the digital platforms through which we communicate, interact, and share information demand academic and social inquiry. This interdisciplinary conference looks to the topic of #trending in its myriad meanings as it produces and affects subjects and citizenship, social and political change, visual and material culture. We must consider the longevity, impact, and relevancy of cultural work and research as the implications of cultural trends, their makers, and media are nuanced and complex. Are trends disposable or lasting? How should scholarship respond to trends -- by defining them or following them? What can trends tell us in their sequencing, forecasting, and analysis?

100 McCaul, Auditorium 190

OCAD University

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

Free registration at 100 McCaul

9:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Opening Remarks

Conference Organizer Treva Pullen (CADN)

Dr. Robert Diaz (FoLAS/SIS)

9:30 AM – 11:00 AM

Conscious Fringes: Trends from Ends to Edges

Mark Dudiak, Marc de Pape, John-Patrick Ayson

Moderated by Treva Pullen

Geographical, ideological and cultural ‘fringes’ having shaped much of the twenty-first century’s speculative imaginary and its imagery. Philosophy, art and design have experienced a bursting open of ontological parameters and a surge towards hybridized methodologies. The digitized space of the Internet, which has powerfully influenced these trends is also considered to be a space without border or periphery, where the ‘fringe,’ practices and ideologies of the analog world are able to blossom. This panel looks at such peripheral philosophies and art forms: flickering post-human ontologies, new-media sound art, and tomb design.

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Selfies, Self-Care, Socializing: Constructing and Deconstructing the Online Self

Sophie Bishop, Estelle Wathieu, Lauren Fournier, Margeaux Feldman, Jenna-Lee Forde

Moderated by Andrea Pelletier

Social media provides many tools for constructing digitized yet fully formed online selves. With an influx of self-photographing, self-documenting and self-surveillence technologies, to what extent are our digital avatars both genuine and constructed? How are these identities formed and what are the implications of this online performativity? Responding to questions of age, gender, privacy and beauty through examining artists such as Petra Collins, YouTube make-up tutorials and the discursive trend towards ‘self care,’ this panel looks at how these new considerations of the ‘self’ are affecting visual culture.

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM


1:45 PM – 2:00 PM

Performance: First Things First

Christopher Lacroix, afallenhorse

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

The Word Made Digital

Fan Wu, Mary C. Baumstark, Merray Gerges

Moderated by Katie Connell

As communication via devices becomes ubiquitous, the notion that ‘words are sacred’ is increasingly both a cliché and an untruth. This panel is designed to trouble this notion through interrogating the influence of new media on writing and speaking. With a publishing industry in upheaval, as well as online dissemination of philosophy and viral sharing, writing can be metareflective of these shifts. Words, and our ability to choose the right ones, are extremely important to us when expressing and asserting ourselves in moments of both marginalization and empowerment.

3:45 PM - 5:15 PM

Performance and Solidarity

Barbora Racevičiūtė, Victor Arroyo, Lina El-Shamy, Alina Tigountsova

Moderated by Dr. Robert Diaz

News spreads rapidly and in myriad forms of new media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and blogs are but a few deterritorialized news sources. Additionally, these online forums have become critical sites for the proliferation and explosion of both grass roots activism and international movements. #BlackLivesMatter, #IdleNoMore, #KillBillC51 and the Syrian refugee crisis have taken shape on social media, organizing and inspiring pivotal protests amongst bodies in public spaces. Yet social media has also resulted in both corporatized activism and what has been popularly decried as ‘slacktivism’ – an online attendance to politically charged protests, marches and gartherings that is not physically carried out. This panel interrogates the digital sides of activism, hegemony and the popular media responding to it: surveillance technologies, television and hashtags.

6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Keynote Speaker: Janaya Khan

Opening remarks from Dr. Andrea Fatona (CADN)

Janaya Khan, known as Future in the Black Lives Matter movement, is a black, queer, gender-nonconforming activist, staunch Afrofuturist, social-justice educator and boxer based in Toronto. As the co-founder of Black Lives Matter Toronto, they are committed to black liberation, transformative justice and indigenous sovereignty and operate through a black transfeminist lens. They have previously been featured in the Feminist Wire and RaceBaitR and can be found shutting it down at an action near you.

7:30 PM – 10:00 PM


#nature: Artwork by featured artist Sean Martindale

OCADU Graduate Gallery at 205 Richmond

Sean Martindale is an internationally recognized interdisciplinary artist and designer based in Toronto. His interventions activate public and semi-public spaces in order to encourage engagement, often focused on ecological and social issues. His playful works question and suggest alternate possibilities for existing spaces, infrastructures and materials found in urban environments. Frequently, Martindale uses salvaged goods and live plants in unexpected ways that prompt conversations and interaction.    Martindale has taken part in multiple solo and group exhibitions, and his projects have been shown in cities such as across Canada as well as in Madrid, New York, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Shenszhen, Venice, Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, Oxford, London, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Paris, Angers, Brussels, Berlin and Doha. In 2013, he was the lead artist on the tallest mural in the world, the result of a community project in St James Town, Toronto, with local youth, STEPS and the Toronto Muralists. Sean has continued to lead other notable community arts projects, and has been awarded the 2012 Artist Prize by the Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts.

The 2016 CADN Graduate Conference at OCAD U is dedicated to the perspectives of emerging scholars. The interdisciplinary all-ages conference will promote an open space for dialogue about the art historical, socio-cultural and political trends of the contemporary moment. We hope to foster a welcoming atmosphere that takes into account accessibility, privilege and sustainability thereby encouraging not only inventive and radical conversations during the conference but future collaborations continuing the trend of giving voice to new and exciting ideas.

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul, Auditorium 190 & Graduate Gallery at 205 Richmond OCAD University

2017 Manning Innovation Symposium

2017 Manning Innovation Symposium Poster
Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 11:00am to 2:00pm

Join us at the Symposium, to hear from and mingle with six innovators – four Manning Laureates and two OCAD U innovators. Their brief and dynamic presentations about their pathways to innovation will be followed by a complimentary lunch and a ‘speed innovating’ experience where you can connect one-on-one with these inspiring innovators and more.

For 36 years, the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation has been creating a culture of innovation in Canada by discovering, encouraging and rewarding Canadian innovators and telling their stories. Manning Laureates’ innovations are commercially viable and touch all areas of human endeavour.


On-site registration will begin at 11:00am.

The Symposium will begin at 11:30am.


To register please click here.

Follow us on Facebook here.

Venue & Address: 
The Great Hall 100 McCaul Street, Room 270 Toronto, Ontario M5T 1W1
416-977-6000 x4782

Writing in Dangerous Times: Survival, Resistance, Joy

Saturday, October 28, 2017 - 9:00am to 5:00pm

This event is a collaboration between Canadian Creative Writers and Writing Programs (CCWWP), TIA House (University of Calgary), and OCAD University, Creative Writing, co-sponsored by the Writing and Learning Center and organized in conjunction with the CCWWP board meeting to take place Sunday, October 29th at OCADU.

The October 28th 2017 program is free and open to OCAD University students and faculty, students and faculty from across Turtle Island, CCWWP members, Toronto writers and the general public. Please write cblack@faculty.ocadu.ca to confirm your presence using the subject: Writing in Dangerous Times RSVP.

OCAD U is committed to providing an inclusive and barrier-free experience to students, faculty, staff, and visitors with accessibility needs. This event is fully wheelchair accessible. All panels will take place in OCADU’s Learning Zone, on the ground floor, room #110, 113 McCaul. The Learning Zone is a wheelchair accessible space with two accessible washrooms and no fixed seating. This is a mic’d event.

The Learning Zone is accessible through the McCaul or St. Patrick Street entrance at 122 St. Patrick St. Parking is available in the underground lot directly below the venue, with handicapped parking closest to the elevator at the McCaul Street entrance. The cost of parking is $15 daily maximum, $6 evening maximum.

Please contact 416-977-6000 extension 2205 or accessibility@ocadu.ca for information on the best barrier-free routes on campus, Wheel-Trans pick-up and drop-off points, locations of elevators and accessible washrooms, requests for ASL translators, or information in alternate formats.


Venue & Address: 
OCAD U Learning Zone, 122 St. Patrick Street, Level 1 (also accessible from 113 McCaul Street)
Writing in Dangerous Times Poster

MAAD Speakers Series: David R. Harper

Thursday, October 19, 2017 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

David R. Harper (b. Toronto, Canada / Lives and Works in Sheboygan, Wisconsin) received his BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Fiber and Material Studies. 

His work has been included in group shows at museums in the US and Canada, including MASS MoCA, The National Gallery of Canada and the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and has participated in numerous solo exhibitions including My Own Personal Ghost (John Michael Kohler Arts Center), Plateau (South Bend Museum of Art) Skin and Bone (Textile Museum of Canada). In 2013, the Doris McCarthy Gallery at the University of Toronto Scarborough organized a touring exhibition of his work titles Entre Le Chien et Le Loup.

He has participated in several residencies including he Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Residency (2016), Bemis Center for Contemporary Art (2014), and the Kohler Arts Industry (2012/2014).

Harper's work can be found in a number of notable collections including The Museum of Arts and Design, National Gallery of Canada, The John Michael Kohler Art Center, The Museum of Wisconsin Art, The Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation in Los Angeles, and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia to name a few. 

Venue & Address: 
Room MCA230, 100 McCaul Street
Free. Open to the public
MAAD Speakers Series: Davir Harper
Digital Screen: 

Augmented Assembly for Tessellated Structures

Augmented Assembly
Monday, June 5, 2017 - 9:15am

Environmental Design Sessional Instructor, Parantap Bhatt presented the talk "Augmented Assembly for Tessellated Structures" at the Symposium on Simulation for Architecture and Urban Design, SimAUD 2017, hosted by the University of Toronto (John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design).

Augmented Assembly for Tessellated Structures
Parantap Bhatt, Nicolo Bencini, Spyros Efthymiou and Antoniya Stoitsova

"This paper focuses on describing how augmented reality (AR) and object tracking methods can become tools for overlaying real-time information, for assembly of structures with tessellated geometries. Within this context, guided assembly is explored as an alternative to the energy intensive construction and demolition processes currently used in the building industry. For the research, sheet folding is chosen as the process upon which all assembly data is based on, and object tracking and augmented reality software are used as tools to guide the assembly of the proposed system. Experiments across multiple scales are conducted to study various methods of translating digital geometric information into a series of physical guided manipulations, which form the techniques for achieving a correct degree of folding within the component. Through large scale assembly tests, the viability of using guided assembly techniques as well as the potential of applying them in construction ascenarios is assessed. The paper concludes with a description of benefits and drawbacks in which such technology may be used for, and outlines suggestions for further developments of the system to become a viable tool for construction assembly."

*From SimAUD 2017 program

Future is a Choice, Alex Manu's keynote at Romanian Design Week 2017

Romanian Design Week
Sunday, May 21, 2017 - 2:00pm

Instalart launches Instalart/Object/005 "The future is a choice" theme project, on Sunday, May 21st, starting at 19:00 hrs. The project is part of the Romaninan Design Week event, May 21-27, at Eden Garden. 

In his 5th edition, Instalart invited Alexander Manu, Romaninan designer, who has been living in Toronto, Canada, for over 30 years; tenured professor at OCAD University, writer, and international design event advisor. 

For this year;s Instalart project, Alexander Manu reveals the research "The Future is a Choice" theme statement. 

Guests come up with a project, which can be either a concept, a video installation or an object, Film, video art, poetry, action, performance, etc. The brief for the guests astists is the essence of alexander Manu's conference, which will take place on Sunday, May 21st, at 13:00 hrs. 

Alex Manu Romania

Starting from Scratch: The Future as a Choice by Alexander Manu

Alex Manu Future As a Choice
Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Provocative author, speaker and leading practitioner in the field of strategic foresight Alexander Manu, surveys the fast changing context for incumbent organizations in market spaces where online behaviour is replacing physical proximity, and users seek engagement with platforms and services that allow them to behave, to leave a mark, and to participate in the community of others.

This is a major challenge to incumbent organizations as their markets are being disrupted on an unprecedented scale. To survive and be adopted in the new ecology, incumbents need to understand that this is not about change, but it is about transformation. While Change affects the condition of something in relation with a previous condition, Transformation affects the nature of something, the very structure and working mechanisms of an activity, as well as its relationship to everything around. This is the major provocation of the future, the transformation of all relationships, and how it will affect society, business, culture and consumption models.

The transformation at hand starts with the strategic question: if you were designing your organization today how would you design it? This means Starting from Scratch; it means the ability and agility to create the future from the ingredients of the present alone. In this context the future is not an imagined destination years down the road, but simply a symbol placeholder for an environment that is unlike the environment around us today. This means designing life on Earth at the level of the possibility that surrounds us, and not at the level of our inherited capability.

Manu proposes that we have two clear choices when it comes to our treatment of the future: Choice number one is to stay in the present and let the future flow towards you. Choice number two is to design your path to where the future is, and purposefully claim it as YOUR future. The future is not a Forecast; the future is a Foresight.


  • Future-proofing the organization for the behaviour economy
  • Strategic Ambition
  • New Models: The Subscription Economy
  • Data as Material and the challenge of working without archetypes

Material Innovation Centre presents: Lecture with Tom Bernard

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Wednesday, February 15

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Material Innovation Centre
Room MCA530

Venue & Address: 
Material Innovation Centre. Room MCA530 100 McCaul Street
Octopus Lecture

Decolonizing Conference

Thursday, November 3, 2016 - 5:15pm to Saturday, November 5, 2016 - 5:15pm

"Race, Anti-Racism and Indigeneity: Anti-Colonial Resurgence and Decolonial Resistance"

Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of CIARS and the 10th Anniversary of the "Decolonizing the Spirit" Conference

Join Assistant Professor Audrey Hudson in her workshop titled: "I Got Your Back: Building Black and Indigenous Relationships in the Academy". Co-Presenting with Rebecca Beaulne-Stuebing.

For more information regarding the speakers and the program please visit the Decolonizing Conference website.

Venue & Address: 
University of Toronto / Ontatio Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) 252 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON
Decolonizing Conference Poster with event info and headshots of Keynote speakers

INTERSECTION: Entrepreneurship & Indigenous Art Conference

INTERSECTION is a unique gathering of Indigenous artists, entrepreneurs, academics and students, telling success stories. The keynote speaker is Dr. Jessica Metcalfe. Stemming from enduring appropriation of Indigenous material culture, Dr. Metcalfe will speak about how her blog Beyond Buckskin applied entrepreneurship as a platform to address local and global social issues. Three distinct panels will expand discussions on emerging business ideas and social innovation approaches. A series of practical workshops using design thinking and a NEW flourishing business model methods will allow attendees to practice and test their ideas for scaling up and sustainability.

The conference will:

  • Highlight successful examples of Triple bottom line (Financial, Social, Environmental) enterprises
  • Provide practical tools and workshops for students and aspiring entrepreneurs
  • Provide success stories of income generation for organizations looking for ways to replace government funding
  • Address intersections and breakdown barriers between creative and business types
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Event Program
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Saturday, November 15, 2014 - 2:00pm to Sunday, November 16, 2014 - 10:00pm