Can Machines Be Flawed Enough to Be Human?

Wednesday, March 4, 2020 - 6:30pm


Can Machines Be Flawed Enough to Be Human?
Wednesday, March 4
6:30 p.m.

Onsite Gallery
199 Richmond St. West

Free event as part of Onsite Gallery's public event program for CodeX: playable & disruptive futurist eArt.

A panel discussion that will examine our growing dependence on glitchy AI learning for business and culture and how this affects our daily lives.

Panelists: Jimmy Ba, Leyla Imanirad and Dr. Alexis Morris
Moderator: Tom Barker

ASL interpretation will be provided.


Among his many accomplishments, Jimmy Ba developed the Adam Optimizer, one of the go-to algorithms to train deep learning models. Jimmy completed his undergraduate degree, Master’s degree and PhD at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Geoffrey Hinton, Brendan Frey and Ruslan Salakhutdinov. Jimmy’s research focuses on the development of learning algorithms for deep neural networks. He was the second-ever student from a Canadian institution to win a Facebook PhD Fellowship and in 2015, his team achieved the highest place among academic labs in the image caption generation competition at CVPR.

Leyla Imanirad joined Bristol Gate Capital Partners in 2011, bringing her experience of software development and quantitative research from TD Bank. She initially led the data engineering and technology acquisition efforts to build the research infrastructure at Bristol Gate. She further worked on developing predictive models, investment strategy analysis and portfolio construction tools. As a practitioner, she believes in harnessing the power of the artificial intelligence while being cognizant of its limitations. As a communicator, she enjoys raising awareness about the technology and its impact on our collective future. She has a bachelor degree in computer engineering and a master’s degree in computer & biomedical engineering from the University of Toronto.

Dr. Alexis Morris is an assistant professor in the Digital Futures program at OCAD University, and the Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in the Internet of Things. He is the director of the Adaptive Context Environments (ACE) Lab, and is a specialist in the overlapping research domain of software engineering for adaptive systems based on the incorporation of fuzzy human-factors in socio-technical systems and conducts core research on adaptive interfaces and collaborative approaches to context awareness through mixed reality, for a host of domains, including the Internet of Things. His work engages a cross-section of approaches in artificial intelligence (i.e., soft-computing via neural networks and fuzzy logic), virtual and augmented reality, passive brain-computer interfaces, adaptive risk management, multi-agent systems modelling, organizational culture simulations, and pervasive technologies. He also aims to impart insight into the broad impact of rapid technological advances on society, through lecturing and teaching roles that engage and inspire students.

Tom Barker has worked internationally as a multidisciplinary creative in the fields of design, art, and technology for many years. Tom’s diverse and ground-breaking collaborations have included the capsule and boarding design for the London Eye ferris wheel with David Marks Julia Barfield Architects; creating the world’s first Bluetooth headset for Emkay; and projects with the late architect Zaha Hadid for buildings, dance and opera stage sets. He curated The Art of Shopping for the Arts Council of England in 2002. Tom contributed an interactive futuristic 3D walkthrough entitled Masterplanners of the Universe: Brick Lane for the Barbican Arts Centre’s blockbuster global touring show Game On: 2002-2016. Tom collaborated with Langlands & Bell on the digital interactive artwork entitled The House of Osama Bin Laden which won a BAFTA and was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2004. He was the Founding Chair of the Digital Future programme at OCAD University 2012-2015. An author of many book chapters and papers, Tom’s book on Web App design was published by McGrawHill in 2019. A British citizen and permanent resident of Canada, Tom has lived and worked in the UK, Australia and Canada. He is currently the President and Chief technology Officer of Six Trends, a Toronto-based creative digital agency.


CodeX: playable & disruptive futurist eArt
January 22 to April 25, 2020

Jason Baerg
Tom Barker
Rob Elsworthy
Samantha Fickel
Dennis Kavelman
Nick Puckett
Six Trends Inc.
Jane Tingley, Cindy Poremba and Marius Kintel

Curated by Tom Barker

This exhibition of leading-edge digital art, or eArt, investigates the future of human society through technology, innovation and design. It encourages audiences to reflect on the symbiotic relationship between technology and human society, and the resulting possibilities for our future through algorithms, identity and the nature of reality.



Onsite Gallery is the flagship professional gallery of OCAD U and an experimental curatorial platform for art, design and new media. Visit our website for upcoming public events. The gallery is located at 199 Richmond St. W, Toronto, ON, M5V 0H4. Telephone: 416-977-6000, ext. 265. Opening hours are: Wednesdays to Fridays from noon to 7 p.m.; Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. Free admission.


Image: Jimmy Ba, Leyla Imanirad and Dr. Alexis Morris.

Venue & Address: 
Onsite Gallery (199 Richmond St. West)
416-977-6000 x456
Jimmy Ba, Leyla Imanirad and Dr. Alexis Morris.

Atlas of an Ambiguous Utopia: Explorations in Place, Machines and Waste

Atlas of an Ambiguous Utopia: Explorations in Place, Machines and Waste
Saturday, September 15, 2018 - 12:00pm to Sunday, September 16, 2018 - 12:00pm

In collaboration with OCAD U’s Social Body Lab and Autodesk’s Pier 9 Technology Centre, artist and researcher Hillary Predko completed a four month residency in San Francisco focused on global systems of infrastructure, craftsmanship, and computer numeric controlled (CNC) machines. This work explores themes around globalization, waste and cartography through meticulously finished sculptures. Form and structure served as motifs for investigating the material possibilities of advanced manufacturing machines in an artistic context. Using the globalized movement of scrap materials and the impact of China's trash ban from the starting point of the the San Francisco Bay, Predko looks past techno-utopian narratives into a complex network of interconnected factors that shape our daily lives.

A zine collecting images and writing about this work can be found here: 

Gallery Hours - Saturday, September 15th & Sunday, September 16th, 12PM-6PM
Artist Talk -  Sunday, September 16th at 6PM

Location: OCADU Graduate Gallery, 205 Richmond Street West, Ground floor


Hillary Predko is a Canadian designer, researcher and maker who creates beautiful products and experiences. Her practice is informed by human centred design, strategic design, and hands on prototyping. She holds a degree in material art and design from OCAD University, with a focus on textiles. 

Predko worked as a Studio Y fellow at the MaRS Discovery District, tackling systems level problems with design, with Intel + Intel innovators and launched Vega Edge, a wearable cycling light on Kickstarter. Hillary is currently an active leader in the Toronto maker community. She has worked as studio manager at Guild Eyewear and as an instructor specializing in wearable electronics at OCAD University.

Predko’s work with OCAD's Social Body Lab has exhibited at the Stanford D School for TEI 15, and Eyebeam Gallery and she has served as installation director for Way Station (Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, 2010) and as artistic lead for James Street Circus (Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, 2011). As cofounder of Little Dada, Hillary has produced events with Intel and Design Exchange, and exhibited work in North America, Europe and Asia. Her work has been recognized by Vice, CBC, Fast Company and Toronto Life. She is interested in the interplay between industrial production, sustainability and entrepreneurship.

Venue & Address: 
Graduate Gallery, 205 Richmond St. W., Ground Floor
416-977-6000 Ext. 423

EMBEDDED SCRIPT an exhibition by Richard Williams

OCADu Graduate Gallery, April 4-7, 2016 from 12-5pm daily. Opening reception April 7 from 7-10
Monday, April 4, 2016 - 4:00pm to Friday, April 8, 2016 - 2:00am

Embedded Script an exhibition by Richard Williams

Reception: April 7th, 7:00 – 10:00pm


Exhibition Dates: April 4th – April 7th, 12:00 – 5:00pm daily

Embedded Script is an exhibition of recent works, including interactive/immersive installations, experimental web art and a multi-day machine performance. These works each represent both an exploration of and an experimentation with the Human/Computer relationship. While addressed in its full, globalized context, the selected works will engage this relationship at the scale of the individual user and device. Global infrastructures, intersections between technology and nature, the role(s) of digital mapping and other contemporary themes will be explored, presented always as they relate to the daily lived experience of our post-internet world.

Venue & Address: 
OCADU Graduate Gallery 205 Richmond St. W, Ground Floor
OCADu Graduate Gallery, April 4-7, 2016 from 12-5pm daily. Opening reception April 7 from 7-10

Waking the Machines: Assistive Technologies and Prosthetic Agency

Image from Waking the Machines Exhibition
Thursday, August 14, 2014 - 4:00am to Friday, August 15, 2014 - 4:00am

Led by Sara Hendren and Sponsored by the Inclusive Design Research Centre at OCAD University

InterAccess presents a three-part event series led by Sara Hendren, an artist who develops tools, applications and devices that examine adaptive technologies and possibilities for prosthetic agency. The series starts off with a lecture on art, assistive technologies, and performative prosthetics on August 14, continuing the next day with a workshop on August 15 that investigates the hidden, overlooked, deceptively simple technology of the inclined plane—or ramp, followed by a public discussion with multiple stakeholders invested in using this technology for radical leisure and radical access. Joining us for the the second day will be Ariel Stagni, Toronto skateboarder, skating advocate, and urban planning advisor for skate parks globally; Luke Wanders from the Stop Gap project, a barrier-free, wheelchair-ramp design initiative; Jennifer Tharp, Parks Planner from City of Toronto, as well people from architecture and planning professions.

This special off-site program is the first of InterAccess’s Agential Technologies series, which critically challenges predetermined ideas of an ideal or “normal” state by workshopping ways that emerging practices in art and technology may mobilize unexpected forms of agency. A focus for the first event in the series is given to mobility, urban environments and architecture.

The program is also part of Slope : Intercept, Sara Hendren's ongoing research into alternate forms of wheeled mobility, and the deceptively low-tech physics of the inclined plane as an inherent critique of the vertical-and-horizontal organization of many global cities.

Sara Hendren is an artist, design researcher, and writer in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She makes material and digital artworks, writes, and lectures on adaptive and assistive technologies, prosthetics, inclusive design, accessible architecture, and related ideas. Her work has been exhibited in the US and abroad and is held in the permanent collection at MOMA (NYC), and her writing and design work have appeared in the Boston Globe, The Atlantic Tech, FastCo Design, and on National Public Radio (US), among others. She lectures in the Industrial Design and Digital + Media departments at the Rhode Island School of Design, and she writes and edits Abler, a syndicated column now on Gizmodo. As of September 2014, she joins the full-time faculty at Olin College of Engineering as Assistant Professor of Design.

Lecture: Thursday August 14, 2014, 4 to 5 p.m.
Workshop: Friday August 15, 2014, 9 to 11 a.m.
Public Forum: Friday August 15, 2014 11 a.m. to noon

For more information please visit the separate event links below:
Lecture: Waking the Machines
Workshop & Forum: Mapping Access and Wheeled Mobility

Image: Song of the Machine, Superflux

Venue & Address: 
Open Gallery 49 McCaul St. Toronto, Ontario