UAAC Conference 2014 Call for Submissions

Friday, March 7, 2014 - 5:00am to Friday, March 14, 2014 - 4:00am

Universities Art Association of Canada Conference hosted by OCAD University

OCAD University will host the annual conference of the Universities Art Association of Canada (UAAC-AAUC) this October 23 to 26, and is inviting the submission of session proposals.

Sessions are encouraged that explore — within any geographical and temporal context — issues from the full range of scholarship in the visual arts including art history, visual and material culture, creative practices and research in studio art, design practices and research, theory and criticism, pedagogy, and museum and gallery practices.

The Program Committee welcomes proposals for chaired (or co-chaired) sessions, roundtables and workshops. Please note that only one proposal will be accepted per member, whether that proposal is for a single or jointly chaired session, roundtable or workshop.

Proposals (which can be in English or French) should include a title; a 150 word description of the panel; and full contact information for the session chair(s).

Only members of UAAC-AAUC may chair or co-chair or present papers in conference sessions. Non-members who propose sessions will be required to become members in the event that their proposals are accepted.

Proposals are welcome from full-time faculty, independent scholars/artists, and graduate students: however, members are reminded that only graduate students in terminal degree programs may propose sessions and that a limited number of these will be accepted. Sessions that include a mixture of graduate students and faculty/independent researchers are also encouraged.

Proposals must be submitted by March 14, 2014. Visit the UAAC-AAUC submissions info page for complete details.

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University 100 McCaul St. Toronto, Ontario

Feminist Art Conference

Logo with FAC in the middle in a red font
Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 5:00am to Saturday, March 8, 2014 - 5:00am

A Multidisciplinary Art Conference Inspired by Feminism

Conference Timeline
March 3-8 Exhibition 12:00 - 6:00 pm
Beaver Hall Gallery, 29 McCaul Street

March 6, Reception 7:00 - 11:00 pm
Beaver Hall Gallery, 29 McCaul Street

March 7, Screening 6:00 - 10: 00 pm
OCAD University, 100 McCaul Street

March 8, Conference 12:00 - 7:30 pm
OCAD University, 100 Mc Caul Street

Conference Video

PWCY at the door:

Feature artists include d'bi young, who will open the conference with a keynote, and Suzy Lake, who will close the conference in conversation with Johanna Householder.

Feminist Art Conference (FAC) is a Toronto-based organization that brings together artists, academics and activists to consider feminist issues through art. Founded in 2013
by artist Ilene Sova, FAC began initially as an event to link feminist artists with each other, as well as to provide a forum in which to discuss our content. A call for organizing help was included in the first call for submissions and a large committee
was formed to organize FAC 2013 on March 9th for International Women's Day. The first Feminist Art Conference caught the interest of over 70 participating artists and 175 attendees from Canada and the US. With astounding interest both nationally and internationally, the FAC Committee made an on-going commitment to facilitating interdisciplinary and inclusive arenas for feminist art.

The mission for the Feminist Art Conference (FAC) was inspired by the recent spate of attacks on women’s and transgender rights in Canada, the US and abroad. Issues such as rape culture, trans phobia, racism, violence, media representation, cultural appropriation, reproductive rights, environmental degradation, impact on Aboriginal lands, missing and murdered Indigenous women, and Islamophobic policies are areas of deep concern. These infringements on our right to agency and independence have been occurring in alarming numbers in our governments, in the media and in our communities. This conference provides an opportunity for these issues to be explored and communicated artistically in a unique and inclusive space that encourages sharing, creating and discussing. In the centuries old tradition of people organizing, we believe that by coming together and communicating about these issues through our artistic practice, that we can initiate progressive change.

We aim to showcase like-minded, multi-disciplinary art including: visual art, film, theatre arts, music, dance, design, spoken word and literature. We will create a space that is celebratory, positive, intellectually engaging and provocative. We are committed to this space being trans inclusive, antiracist, and intersectional. Furthermore, by providing an opportunity for feminist artists to meet and share their work, we believe we can provide opportunities for networking and future artistic collaboration that can inspire social change and empowerment. We have the vision that the ripple effect from this type of artistic sharing and learning can provoke positive transformations in both our communities and our minds.

Venue & Address: 
Beaver Hall Gallery 29 McCaul St. Toronto, Ontario  
Registration - PWYC at the door

Museums and the Web International Conference

Image of Florence Italy
Friday, February 21, 2014 - 2:30pm to 5:00pm

With a Masterclass led by Martha Ladly, Associate Dean, Graduate Studies

Masterclass 1: People, Places and Things: how to create connections with audiences

Workshop leaders: Stefania Chipa (Museums and the Web Florence), Alexandra M. Korey (FLOD-The Florentine), Martha Ladly (OCAD University).

This practical workshop examines how cultural institutions can connect with their audiences through storytelling. The masterclass will address specific issues faced by cultural institutions today, using storytelling along with the latest digital tools and techniques, to ask questions and come up with potential answers.

Each participant will bring a real question or problem to the masterclass; case studies and projects involving best practices and outcomes will create a framework for our discussions.

Working in small groups, participants will be guided to develop innovative solutions and a plan to implement them, which will then be presented to and discussed with the larger group.

This class is intended for museum directors, curators, marketing and communication professionals who work in digital departments, fundraisers, journalists and cultural commentators, and anyone interested in using digital tools to make cultural heritage more accessible to audiences.

Masterclass attendees will:

-Be inspired by evocative examples, case studies, and innovative tools
-Gather insights and skills for their own cases and problems
-Learn how to explain their collections through storytelling
-Find out how to choose and use the appropriate tool/s to engage their audiences
-Discuss the most cogent problems and find practical, useful and easy-to-develop solutions
-Identify language and culturally appropriate approaches for different types of audiences, e.g. children, teenagers, families, elders, locals, international visitors
-Create strong links between places, their social communities and their cultural institutions

Venue & Address: 
Piazza della Signoria, 12 Firenze, Italy

Call for Submissions: Workshop Proposals for Feminist Art Conference 2015

Conference logo on an image in red text
Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - 4:00am to Friday, August 15, 2014 - 4:00am

Hosted by OCAD University

Are you a feminist artist, theorist, advocate, activist, collaborator, maker, thinker or all of the above? 

Are you an artist who has always wanted to collaborate with an art historian or cultural theorist, or are you a researcher that has
a printmaking idea? 

Maybe you are an activist that has an idea for a public performance piece that can be workshopped?

Submission Details
We are looking for preliminary proposals to gather ideas for grant applications and other funding.

This call is for people who have ideas for a workshop and want to work with other like-minded but differently-skilled practitioners
to build feminist knowledge and activity out of studio practice.

In 2015, FAC will be returning to OCAD University. OCAD U will be opening up their studio spaces to FAC2015 for workshops
and panels. We would like to reach out to our community for the content of these workshops.

For one aspect of FAC2015, we are looking for workshops based around feminist social justice issues that bring together ideas
and creative practice to address the power of art for social change. We are also looking for ideas that create community

We are asking you to send a brief proposal of your idea and we can help develop it through the use of studios and help to find
collaborators to work with you to present your ideas at FAC2015. 

Time Frame: 3-hour workshops on September 26th and 27th during the conference

Support: Technical assistance from OCAD U technicians

Collaborative opportunities Work with other members of the FAC community in a multidisciplinary framework.

Please submit one paragraph outlining your idea and with the names of the people that would be leading the workshop.

Even if you don’t want to lead the workshop and you have an idea, let us know!

DEADLINE: August 15, 2014




Dr. Sara Diamond enjoys a panel session at the Urban Ecologies conference. Photo by Nicole Torres.
Patricio Davila, Shelagh McCartney, Behzad Sarmadi, Adrian Blackwell, Nicolas Barrette. Photo by Caroline Vani.

Urban environments are the location of ever increasing populations. How can we achieve a sustainable balance between human impact and environmental resilience? What ecological considerations can we apply to the design of urban environments, and how do we use ecology as a source of new theoretical, methodological and metaphorical directions? How do designers reconcile interlocking imperatives, such as social needs and desires, cultural norms and aspirations, economic restrictions and the allocation of natural resources and aesthetics?

These are some of the questions raised and discussed at the first Urban Ecologies conference, by speakers and delegates from a diverse group of backgrounds and professional affiliations—from local, national and international experts to thinkers and practitioners drawn from academic, professional, public service, business and grassroots communities. 

The conference, (June 19-21), included keynote talks, panels and workshops, and was held at OCAD U and the Art Gallery of Ontario, along with offsite event tours to the Evergreen Brickworks, Toronto’s waterfront and the Leslie Spit.

According to the conference co-chairs, Bruce Hinds, Chair, Environmental Design and Jesse Colin Jackson, OCAD U’s sustainability officer and an assistant professor in the Faculty of Design, urban ecologies operate dynamically across time and space and challenge the two-dimensional logic of conventional design methods. “Ecology provides a way of looking at cities that is not new but is extremely important and has the potential to transform the way we understand cities,” says Jackson. The overall goal of the conference was to examine relationships between ecology and urbanity and begin to foster strategies for designing sustainable, inclusive, healthy, engaged and resilient cities. “Urban Ecologies 2013 was an opportunity for us to examine our relationship to the city as a laboratory,” adds Hinds. 

The event was organized around five intersecting themes shaping the future of design in our cities: 

Thinking Systems: Applying knowledge of the urban environment’s complex and dynamic patterns of exchange to design stronger communities.

Visualizing Information: Using advanced visual strategies to improve our understanding of data-intensive human and non-human urban activity.

Regenerating Cities: Developing regenerative urban design strategies to create restorative relationships between cities and their surrounding environments.

Building Health: Bringing integrated concepts of human health, quality of life and inclusion to the design of the urban environment.

Creating Community: Fostering design partnerships between grassroots and professional communities to co-create sustainable urban places.

The conference kicked off with an opening address by Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD U’s president, and included panel talks on topics such as building the biocity, healthy communities by design, lessons from the global south, urban parkscapes, urban botanics as community catalyst and innovation for urban transresilience. Keynote speakers included Kathryn Firth, Chief of Design, London Legacy Development Corporation, Peter Hall, Head of Design, Griffith University Queensland College of Art and Teddy Cruz, Professor of Public Culture and Urbanism, University of California in San Diego.

A sample panel at Urban Ecologies 2013: Lessons from the Global South

Patricio Davila, Assistant Professor, Graphic Design, OCAD U, the panel moderator. 

Shelagh McCartney, Assistant Professor Carleton University, who spoke about slums in Sao Paolo and Manila.

Behzad Sarmadi, PhD candidate, Socio-cultural Anthropology, the University of Toronto, who gave a talk on urban transformation and migration in Dubai.  

Adrian Blackwell, Visiting Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design, Harvard Graduate School of Design, who presented on the ecological paradox of Shenzhen, China.

Nicolas Barrette, graduate student, Architecture at the University of Toronto, who spoke about land reclamation in China. 


"(Whitey) Fern Gulley" by Olivia McGilchrist. Image courtesy State of Blackness Conference.
Work by Abdi Osman. Image courtesy State of Blackness Conference.

OCAD U’s Faculty of Art is host to The State of Blackness, an interdisciplinary event bringing together artists, curators, academics, students and the public to discuss diasporic artistic practice, representation and arts education in Canada. The conference, which takes place Saturday, February 22, combines accessible panels open to everyone with a series of closed working sessions specifically for delegates from across Canada, the U.S. and the Caribbean.

“As a curator, I’m concerned that the visibility of black artists has fallen off,” said conference lead, Andrea Fatona, an instructor in the Criticism & Curatorial Practice program. “The idea of hosting a conference came to me when I was doing my dissertation looking at arts funding, particularly black arts funding in Canada, and I feel it’s important to examine both what’s going on and how we produce knowledge about art.”

Fatona designed the conference program as a means to gather a network together and also create a space for ongoing discussion. She hopes the event will help identify pedagogical innovations and best practices that broaden our understanding of cultural capital in the knowledge economy. 

“We haven’t had a conference like this in a very long time,” said Fatona, who cited cultural theorist Stuart Hall and his recent passing as an inspiration for the conference. Hall was instrumental in thinking through multiculturalism and issues of representation both in galleries and education, and what practices might look like. His work in developing practices around positioning equity and diversity may act as a model for some of the thinking at the conference. “We want to develop practical pedagogical tools not only at OCAD U but also across the country,” said Fatona.

The conference was developed in partnership with The Ontario Arts Council and with support by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Learn more:

Attend the conference

Conference website

Read the New York Times profile of Stuart Hall


Douglas Coupland. Photo by Mark Peckmezian for MONTECRISTO Magazine

Celebrated Canadian novelist, visual artist and designer Douglas Coupland is delivering the keynote address, “Anything is Everything” at the annual conference presented by the graduate program in Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Histories (CADN) at OCAD U on March 6.

Coupland is the author of 13 published novels, a short story collection, seven non-fiction books and various screenplays for film and TV. His first novel was Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, published in 1991. His most recent novel, Worst. Person. Ever. was published in Canada and the UK in October, 2013 and launches in the U.S. in April.

The themes he explores in his visual work are similar to his ideas in print: the synthesis of high and low culture, religion and changes in human existence caused by modern technologies.

The first major survey of Coupland’s visual work, “Douglas Coupland: everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything” will be exhibited at the Vancouver Art Gallery from May 31 to September 1 of this year. The exhibition examines Coupland’s engagement with place, cultural identity and his recognition of a growing ubiquity as access to information, images and technology become more readily available.

The theme for this year’s CADN conference is “Recombinant Creativity: Temporal Intersections, (de) Historicizing Strategies and Contemporary Cultural Products.” The conference will ask about the role of appropriation and interdisciplinarity in critical engagement. Other speakers include theatre artist and communications scholar Lowell Gasoi and senior curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Nicholas R. Bell.

Learn more:

Watch Douglas Coupland on CBC’s Q

Douglas Coupland's website

Attend the Coupland keynote

Find out more about the conference


Douglas Coupland: Museum of the Rapture from inkblot media on Vimeo.


Mobile HCI logo


Mobile HCI logo
This fall OCAD U is hosting Mobile HCI, an international conference on designing the future of mobile. It’s the first time the conference will be held in Canada (and only the second time in North America), and its distinguished team of organizers includes Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD U’s president. Registration for the event, which will take place at Toronto’s Hyatt Regency Hotel, September 23 to 26, is now open.

Mobile HCI, which stands for human-computer interaction with mobile devices and services, is a high profile forum for innovations in mobile, portable and personal devices, and the services to which they enable access. Now in its 16th year, the conference will bring together academics, hardware and software developers, designers and practitioners from around the world.

The conference includes a wide array of keynote talks, workshops, tutorials and a doctoral consortium. There will also be a papers program, demonstrations, a design competition and industrial case studies presentations.

Keynote talks include:

Amahl Hazelton, Producer, Urban Spaces 2.0, Moment Factory

Mark Vanderbeeken, CEO, Experientia

Workshops include:

People, Places and Things: A Mobile Locative Mapping Workshop

Enhancing Self-Reflection with Wearable Sensors

Socio-Technical Practices and Work-Home Boundaries

Re-imagining Commonly Used Mobile Interfaces for Oder Adults

Workshop on Designing the Future of Mobile Healthcare Support

Tutorials include:

Mobile-based Tangible Interaction Design for Shared Displays

Mobile Health: Beyond Consumer Apps

Wearable Computing: A Human-centred View of Key Concepts, Application Domains and Quality Factors

Speech-based Interaction: Myths, Challenges and Opportunities

Learn more

Mobile HCI website



Keep checking the website for program updates, and/or follow the conference on Twitter: @ACMMobileHC

Dr. Rauch presents at UCL’s Joint Faculty Institute of Graduate Studies conference

Animalesque mask-like sculptures made in white, hanging on a wall.
Friday, September 19, 2014 - 3:15pm

Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design Graduate Program Director Dr. Barbara Rauch presented her research on ‘Synthetic Emotions of Hybrids’ in London, UK this week as part of the interdisciplinary conference “Humanity and Animality in 20th and 21st Century Culture: Narratives, Theories, Histories.”

The conference was hosted by University College London’s Joint Faculty Institute of Graduate Studies on September 15 and 16. The event stages an important debate in a field of growing importance in the humanities, where animal studies, post-humanism, and eco-criticism have arisen in recent years. A strikingly varied program of papers and debates chaired by high-profile contributors to this emerging field of study were presented. Dr. Rauch participated as a panel speaker to address theoretical and methodological issues alongside philosophy, history and art practice.

UAAC Conference 2014

Event Poster
Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 4:00am to Sunday, October 26, 2014 - 4:00am

Universities Art Association of Canada Conference hosted by OCAD University

Sessions are encouraged that explore - within any geographical and temporal context - issues from the full range of scholarship in the visual arts including art history, visual and material culture, creative practices and research in studio art, design practices and research, theory and criticism, pedagogy, and museum and gallery practices.

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University 100 McCaul St. Toronto, Ontario