Digital Futures graduate students exhibit at City Hall anniversary

3D City Magic installation by Mehnaz Aydemir
Tuesday, September 15, 2015 - 4:00am

1965 was a rather amazing year: Canada got its own flag, Martin Luther King, Jr., marched from Selma to Montgomery, Sonny & Cher released their hit single “I Got You Babe” and Toronto’s futuristic new City Hall opened for business.

As part of the 50th-anniversary celebrations for City Hall – one of Canada’s most distinct architectural landmarks – two students in OCAD University’s Digital Futures graduate program created and mounted installations (OCAD U was an official exhibit partner for the anniversary event).

Beam Me Up!

With her interactive installation Beam Me Up!, Monica Virtue sought to transport visitors through time. Inspired by the Star Trek transporter set, Virtue incorporated sensors and wireless radios, as well as videos she created from images drawn from the City of Toronto Archives, Toronto Reference Library and Toronto Film, Television and Digital Office.

3D City Magic

Mehnaz Aydemir’s interactive installation featured a replica of City Hall created on site during the day by a 3D printer. In addition, Aydemir produced a children’s game that involved participants selecting and holding Plexiglas models of 12 historic Toronto buildings and activating a screen that provided information on the structures they had selected.


Memory Capsule at Union Station

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - 5:00am to Friday, March 21, 2014 - 4:00am

Work by Digital Futures Graduate Che Yan (Shino) temporarily installed at Union Station

Che Yan (Shino), an MFA graduate of OCAD University’s Digital Futures program, created this inclusive, interactive installation. It allows visitors and commuters to capture their shadow silhouette on a screen projection, then text a message about their memories of Union Station. The image remains on the screen, and fades as other shadows are created.

Venue & Address: 
Great Hall, Union Station 65 Front Street West Toronto, Ontario


Installation in progress of Stoke by Relay Studio, part of Gather. Photo by Martin Iskandar.

Gather, an independent project presented by OCAD U for this year’s Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, looks at shifting social, cultural and artistic boundaries and the intersections where the natural and the urban overlap. Curated by OCAD U alumna Marissa Neave (Criticism & Curatorial Practice), the installation is an invitation to interact with art in different — and sometimes unexpected — ways.

The annual all-night contemporary art event, held this year on October 5, sees thousands of visitors to Butterfield Park and the Sharp Centre for Design to see work curated and created by members of the OCAD U community. This year’s installation brings together work by four artists and a collective: Marc De Pape; Shannon Gerard; Annyen Lam; Christine Swintak and Relay Studio (Andrew Lovett-Barron, Eliot Callahan, Adam Carlucci and Nick Crampton).

Each piece in Gather requires audiences to interact with it. Neave describes Swintak and Gerard’s work as immersive, while Lam’s requires a more intimate experience of “peeking.” Relay Studio Inc. and De Pape’s pieces are transformed by visitors moving around the space.

“Nuit Blanche is the perfect opportunity to express the playfulness and spectacle in art,” says Neave, who considered focussing the installation on the idea of intervention, but became inspired by conceptions of nature and culture in the artists’ work. “When I started to piece together specific projects, I realized they all played with ideas of nature and culture in different ways. Each of the five artists presents an experience. In some cases, the reference to nature and culture is really prominent; in others, it’s more nuanced.”

Peer inside paper worlds

Lam’s piece in the installation, "Great Good Place," is a series of miniature world sculptures made out of the quotidian material of cut paper and housed in a freestanding wooden structure behind windows and peepholes. “Viewers are invited to enter the work with their own sense of space and scale,” says Lam. “The window/peephole presentation method is meant to dissolve the gallery space from the viewer’s range of vision and to deliver them into the thick of the paper worlds.”

Make a performance happen

De Pape’s "The Chime," was originally part of his graduate thesis project in Digital Futures, but he staged it on a larger scale for Nuit Blanche, with eight channels of audio running all night. “'The Chime' is a responsive instrument, meaning visitors will have an influence on the music. Even if it is not intentional, their presence will impact the performance,” says De Pape. “Either their body heat will cause the temperature in the room to rise and thus shift the composition by a half step, or they will trigger the motion detectors and cast shadows on the light sensors. All these factors contribute to the performance.”

A secret about De Pape’s "The Chime," for OCAD U community members in-the-know is that you can very gently tap the pendulum to trigger different sounds.

Learn more about Gather and its five artist contributors

Scotiabank Nuit Blanche listing

Project description and artist bios

Human Sweat Generator, 2013

Human Sweat Generator (artist rendering), 2013
Saturday, October 5, 2013 - 10:30pm to Sunday, October 6, 2013 - 11:00am

A Scotiabank Nuit Blanche commissioned project by alumus Warren Quigley

Warren Quigley - Ridgeway, Canada

Imagine, a time when the source of cheap energy is exhausted, an end of the great machine age. On the bed of a (tractor) trailer this float contains machines of the future, fundamental and modest in their construction and scope. These machines are dependent on human muscle to produce electricity.

The human- generated electricity will power a multitude of devices, lighting systems, sound systems and projection systems. There will be lit signage, broadcast sound, and projected film. The content of the narrative will be comprised of collected quotes, emergency sirens, original compositions for trumpet, and remembered conversations.

Borrowing from the Theatre of the Absurd, a sensible/nonsensical, but mainly truthful, narrative to disrupt the flow of spectacle will be presented.

Warren Quigley has exhibited across Canada, USA, China, and in France, Brazil, and Japan. His current projects include Office for Future Modification with Millie Chen at Where Where in Beijing, and Wanna be my Survival Buddy at the Tree Museum in Ontario, the Artists Survival Guide & kit for exhibitions at Wharf, Centre d'art contemporain de Basse-Normandie, France, Beyond/In Buffalo, Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit, and Convenience Gallery, Toronto, and is being commissioned for new works at Artfarms in Buffalo for 2013.

Human Sweat Generator (artist rendering), 2013




Venue & Address: 
Queens Park and Wellesley Queens Park Crescent East & Wellesley Street West Toronto, Ontario

A Collective Nightmare

Simulated Projection, 1929/2013
Saturday, October 5, 2013 - 10:30pm to Sunday, October 6, 2013 - 11:00am

A Scotiabank Nuit Blanche independent project with alumna JoAnn Purcell

JoAnn Purcell - Toronto, Canada
Seneca College - School of Creative Arts and Animation - Toronto, Canada

Public viewers are invited to participate in the remaking of a segment from the short film by director Luis Buñuel and artist Salvador Dalí, “Un Chien Andalou” (1929). Students will provide the basic structure by redrawing the frame in B+W as it is projected onto large format paper. The public will be invited to participate using colour markers to draw and write their own reactions to the sequence and nightmares in general, perhaps to cathartic effect! These redrawn composites will be photographed and each put into a sequential timeline. As the night progresses, the growing timeline will be viewed on a large TV. As the remade film segment is played back, the collective nightmares blur together over the re-drawn sequence! A second TV will show the original film (17 min) in its entirety, looped.

JoAnn Purcell, Program Coordinator of Illustration at Seneca College and partner at ACME Pictures will be working with students on this project.

Every 18 minutes one second of the film frame will be projected onto large format paper. The public is invited to draw and write for as many frames as they would like. All marks made are acceptable and become part of the final work. Played back at real time, the marks will all blur in a mass of colour. After the event, the film will be viewable on it's website.

Simulated Projection, 1929/2013




Venue & Address: 
Gladstone Hotel 1214 Queen Street West Toronto, Ontario

GATHER Scotiabank Nuit Blanche at OCAD U

Marc De Pape, The Chime: Scoring the City, 2013
Saturday, October 5, 2013 - 10:45pm to Sunday, October 6, 2013 - 11:00pm

A Scotiabank Nuit Blanche independent project

Marc De Pape:
Shannon Gerard:
Annyen Lam:
Relay Studio:
Christine Swintak
Curated by Marissa Neave:

Teacher and writer John Mohawk, in the book Original Instructions, describes nature as “everything that supports life on the planet.” This spacious definition of nature is a powerful statement that allows for cultural production to be considered within a broader ecology where people—and what they create—are a part of nature as well. Gather explores these conceptual possibilities by bringing together works that collapse the commonly held perception that culture somehow exists separately from nature, while emphasizing the emergent social relationships that are nurtured by various environments. Anchored by a network of sculptural, kinetic and data-driven works that invite the audience to assemble, congregate and interact, Gather playfully complicates the ways that we, as natural objects and cultural subjects, can consider our own roles in a world where the natural and the urban overlap, blend and coexist. In order to emphasize the ecological properties of cultural production, additional roving projects, responding to the real-time events of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche at OCAD University, will contribute a spontaneous, performative and durational element. Scotiabank Nuit Blanche is the perfect catalyst for the blurring, shifting and transforming of social, cultural and artistic boundaries; Gather attempts to explore these ever-changing relationships by emphasizing collaboration, experience and play.

Marc De Pape is a creative technologist, an artist/designer/thinker with a Master's in Design in Digital Futures from OCAD University and a BFA in Digital Image and Sound in the Fine Arts from Concordia University. Between his undergrad degree and his Master's, Marc worked at the Royal Ontario Museum as an audio/video producer while also freelancing as a director/editor primarily for music videos. Previously, he also played in Reverie Sound Revue, where he wrote and produced the band’s 2009 full-length release. While much of his skill set resides in media production, his greater interests lie in the realm of urbanism and situated technologies and how they relate to everyday routines. In essence, duration is his primary material, still relying heavily on media production. His studies however, infuse the work with greater meaning.

Shannon Gerard practice spans a variety of media. She writes and draws books, crochets, makes prints and produces large-scale installations incorporating stop-motion animation and wheat paste. Her work with public projects such as The Carl Wagan Bookmobile and Mountain School Bookhouse employs play as a strategy for walking the line between studio practice and pedagogy. Shannon is a principal collaborator at The Book Bakery (Publication Studio Toronto) and an Assistant Professor in Publications and Print Media at OCAD University.

Annyen Lam is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice includes lithography, book arts and paper-cutting. Drawing inspiration from the primordial world, weather patterns and maps, her latest works have been large-scale installations using paper to create fictitious landscapes. Through her work, she addresses themes of displacement, isolation, permanence and co-existence. A recent graduate of OCAD University with a specialization in Printmaking, Lam currently resides in Toronto. She has participated in exhibitions and print exchanges in Toronto, Ottawa, Japan, Russia and Venezuela.

Relay Studio: creates software experiences for things and places to ask questions about being human. The Studio is a collaboration among Andrew Lovett-Barron, Eliot Callahan, Adam Carlucci and Nick Crampton.

Christine Swintak is a Canadian artist working in variety of media including site-responsive sculpture, installation, performance and video. Approaching the world as her studio, her projects have included moving almost an entire house by hand without the aid of machinery, creating the most banal rollercoaster ever made in the head office of an energy drink corporation, building a full-size ship through collective improvisation, running an election party campaign for the Irish underworld, transforming a city-issued dumpster into a fully-operational luxury boutique hotel and attempting to give a shed consciousness. She has exhibited at galleries, festivals and museums across Canada and internationally, including The Power Plant (Toronto), Kuandu Museum of Modern Art (Taipei), Hessel Museum (New York), HMK Mariakapel (Holland), Model Niland (Ireland), YYZ Artist’s Outlet (Toronto) and Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto). In the past few years she has been awarded the Canada Council International Residency at La Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, a fellowship at the Headlands Centre for the Arts, Alumni New Works Award in partnership with USA Projects and a Chalmers Fellowship from the Ontario Arts Council.

Gather is an Independent Project funded by OCAD University. The complete program for the evening is available on the Scotiabank Nuit Blanche website.

Material Sponsor – Above Ground Art Supplies

Marc De Pape, The Chime: Scoring the City, 2013




Venue & Address: 
Butterfield Park 100 McCaul St. Toronto, Ontario