X-Camera is a pilot project researching ways of mentoring, co-working, and collaborating for emerging interdisciplinary and new media artists

Inter Arts Matrix is investigating different program formats for interdisciplinary artists, including workshops of various lengths, residencies, ongoing mentoring and project development.

We aim to reach media artists whose practice extends beyond the camera-based tradition of film and video production, and consists of the creative uses of software, projection design, interactive media arts installations, game design, and artistic works based on virtual reality. It is an opportunity for emerging and established interdisciplinary and media artists in Waterloo Region to get to know each other's practice, encouraging learning, skill development and networking, leading to collaborative projects.

X-Camera is designed for artists based in Waterloo Region. The kind of networking and collaboration that occurs naturally in a place like Toronto requires the intentional creation of an artistic community for regional artists. We will be able to share with other regional arts organizations the insights gained from this project.

This project is supported by grants from the Ontario Arts Council Media Arts Projects, the Musagetes Fund at the Community Foundation and by an Ontario Trillium Foundation Seed Grant.

X-camera logo art: © M.Nakamura. http://tessella.sakura.ne.jp/home.index.html

X-camera Speakers:

May 3, 2019 - Matt Borland: Building Community Music Technology

X-camera Speaker Series: Matt Borland

The return to community-based music making has seen a resurgence of choirs, porch-parties, house-shows, and the simple opportunity for people to get together to make music. The work discussed in this talk will reveal observations about the appropriate use of electronic technology in music making, particularly for use in community music settings. Pauline Oliveros’ Deep Listening exercises will also make an appearance for the brave!

May 10, 2019 - Julia Aplin and John Gzowski: Technology, Dance, Music and Theatre-Double Pendulum Collective

X-camera Speaker Series: Julia Aplin and John Gzowski

Double Pendulum Collective has a four-sided unique perspective on creating art. Their new work Synaptic Rodeo has been created in residence at LIVElab and strives to use the technology itself as the starting point of creation. John and Julia will discuss how the collective has developed ideas using EKG, EMG, halo/muse brain waves, and motion capture technology. John and Julia will lead you through some of the challenges and joys they have experienced creating art with technology.

May 17, 2019 - Lindsay Bellaire and Phillip Psutka: Articus: The Art of Fusing Theatre and Circus

X-camera Speaker Series: Articus: Lindsay Bellaire and Phillip Psutka

Articus Productions is a KW based performing arts company that creates innovative theatrical experiences through a fusion of theatre and circus, with a particular focus on aerial work. We aim to craft a fine balance of dialogue, physicality, and the spectacle of aerial work to tell riveting stories that feed the spirit and uplift people of all ages. The potential scale and depth of the work we create is limited only by our access to collaborators and resources. In this talk, we will give an overview of the work we have developed, our current projects, the challenges we are facing, and our vision for the kind of work we hope to create as we grow.

May 24, 2019 - Leslie Ting

X-camera Speaker Series: Leslie Ting

Leslie Ting is a Toronto-based violinist and multi-arts creator. Her live performances as a violinist have been described as creating “fire without smoke” (Strad Magazine). Formerly a practicing optometrist, the death of her mother, who lost her vision before she died, catalyzed the creation of a theatrical concert called, Speculation. Leslie is on the board of MusicWorks Magazine and will be a professional development panelist for the 2019 Toronto Creative Music Lab. She is currently developing a new work with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts about the therapeutic process and how we try to get to know our Selves by going around our conscious minds.

May 31, 2019 - Colin Labadie: Music, Theatre, and Dancing Monsters

X-camera Speaker Series: Colin Labadie

My output in recent years has been eclectic, ranging from more conventionally 'composed' concert music, to sound design for theatre, and from free improvisation to sound art installations. For my talk, I will show and describe a cross-section of these works to give a sense of my overall work as an artist, and I will explore how I have been trying to find ways to integrate these various practices, particularly between the worlds of theatre and concert music. There may or may not also be a rather conspicuous and slightly terrifying plush toy.

June 7, 2019 - David Jensenius: MAML: Media Arts and Machine Learning

X-camera Speaker Series: David Jensenius

A brief introduction to what machine learning is, followed by examples of how it is being used by different artists. The talk will also discuss experiments David is doing with machine learning and sound.

June 14, 2019 - Martin de Groot: Land Acknowledgement form and practice in South Ontario

X-camera Speaker Series: Martin de Groot

Martin de Groot writes: My presentation will offer thoughts and observations from an historical perspective in a regional arts, culture and heritage context. It will draw on my training and teaching experience in Atlantic World and U.S. History, and my work in arts management and cultural journalism in the Greater Waterloo area. The focus on land acknowledgement will be a starting point for broader historical reflections. The aim is to complicate, rather than contradict or replace, prevalent views of settler/Indigenous relations.

June 21, 2019 - Terre Chartrand: Indigenous placemaking in Waterloo Region - A process of digital and arts intervention with youth

X-camera Speaker Series: Terre Chartrand

Terre Chartrand writes: “Five or so years ago, Waterloo Region released a series of ‘Country History Tour Maps’. It was an exquisite package of maps packed into a tri-fold brochure. Upon closer examination, the maps revealed an egregious lapse in history - a painful omission of Indigenous sites and cultural information.

“This omission spurred a project with youth that is past its half way point and is now hitting a critical point where the stories are coming together. Five streams of arts based workshops - digital and traditional, are converging to create our own tour: A digital and passport style zine based paper tour book built by Indigenous youth telling stories through their own expressions about the history of the land.

“This talk will focus on the journey through our process of learning and applying cultural practices in arts based intervention. It will also address culture as a holistic part of indigeneity and our belonging to the land.”

Terre Chartrand is a non-status Algonquin and French-Canadian artist living in Waterloo Region who has a background in theatre, visual arts, technology, and science. Her diverse career has included everything from teaching in a french languages secondary school to working as a research assistant in crop science. Included in her accomplishments are the founding and artistic direction of a collective show that takes over an entire floor of THEMUSEUM in Kitchener, the founding and artistic direction of an inter-arts collective who have seen several shows including IMPACT – an international contemporary and movement theatre festival. Terre is a recipient of an Waterloo Region Arts Award in the open jury category for her commitment to advocacy for the arts in her community, and has received in the past both a Waterloo Region Arts Fund and an Ontario Arts Council grant for projects of her devising. Terre has a polytechnic three-year degree in Computer Science from St. Clair College and has pursued a life long interest in education with a near complete double degree in Communication Studies and Cultural Studies from Wilfrid Laurier University.


June 28, 2019 - Brian Cullen: Audiovisual Composition and Our Technologically Mediated Lives

X-camera Speaker Series: Brian Cullen

Brian will be discussing how special visual and sound effects techniques can be used to examine our technologically mediated lives. During his talk Brian will provide examples of his music, animation, and video game work.

Brian Cullen graduated in Fine Art from the National College of Art and Design Dublin in 2000 where his interests included print making and installation. He received an MPhil in Music and Media Technologies from Trinity College Dublin in 2004, studying cognition, psychoacoustics, video production, and music composition. Brian received his Ph.D. in Electroacoustic Composition from Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland in 2010, during which he explored how computer generate sounds and imagery fuse with everyday experience. Brian recently received funding from the Canada Media Fund and Ontario Creates to create a debut full-length videogame scheduled for release late 2019.

Register here for the talk.

July 5, 2019 - Nathan Stretch: Media Intersections: Towards Community Music

X-camera Speaker Series: Nathan Stretch

Nathan Stretch will describe his evolving artistic practice in music, film, soundscape and installation toward an emerging understanding of “music in the community”.

Nathan Stretch coordinates Commons Studio — a community tools project of The Working Centre that provides access to resources for film-making and digital storytelling. Stretch's band Bass Lions is known for their innovative musical and visual explorations; their most recent recording — a first foray into instrumental music via reimagined classical works entitled “Threes” — culminated in a “video triptych” with installation artist Phil Irish. Stretch is a candidate for an MA in Community Music at Laurier, is a published writer of short fiction, has contributed music and film-based projects to local and national festivals, and toured extensively as a recording artist.


July 12, 2019 - Aislinn Thomas: A seat at the table, a slice of the pie: centering access 

X-camera Speaker Series: Aislinn Thomas. A large, bushy ivy plant hangs in front of a window with cream coloured curtains sucked against the window screen revealing a fan and jars on the window ledge.  The ivy is long, appearing to dangle into the wicker laundry basket below.

In art (as in life) disability and considerations of access don’t have to be “add-on” measures, secondary to a privileged experience of the “real” thing. Access, in fact, can be and is generative.  Many disabled artists are intervening into the conventions of access, revealing institutional and societal limitations and opening up rich new territory for exploration. In this talk Aislinn Thomas will share some of her recent forays into alternative approaches to audio description while making a case for why we should all care about the many ways of being in and experiencing the world.

Aislinn Thomas is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice includes video, performance, installation, and text.  Some of her recent and upcoming exhibitions include the WRO Media Biennale in Wroclaw, Poland; Holding Patterns with Art Spin and Tangled Art + Disability in Toronto; Talk Back at Flux Factory in New York; and a project for the Walter Phillips Gallery in Banff. You can learn more about her work at aislinnthomas.ca.


July 19, 2019 - Nathan Saliwonchyk and Nora Ruddock: Arche Projects

X-camera Speaker Series: Nathan Saliwonchyk and Nora Ruddock

Art collective Arche Projects makes installations that fuse poetry and film, using various technologies to disrupt our patterns of attention and ponder the role of the aesthetic in our current historical moment.

Nathan Saliwonchyk and Nora Ruddock will talk about their collaboration and the possibilities and pitfalls of using poetic texts in media installations. We will show two of our completed projects, Tinderbox and Anthozoa, and facilitate a discussion about using technology to critique technology and social media.

Nathan Saliwonchyk is a filmmaker and media artist living in Guelph. Nora Ruddock is a poet and editor at Broadview Press.


August 2, 2019 - Ciarán Myers: What is Theatre?

X-camera Speaker Series: Cirán Myers.

Ciarán writes: “I'm going to talk about what storytelling is, some storytelling that I've done, and some storytelling that we're all doing right now without thinking about it. From an Inter-Arts perspective, how is storytelling elevated in our community?”

Ciarán Myers is, proudly, the first Playwright-in-Residence at Kitchener's GreenLight Arts. He has written and produced original theatre in London, Edinburgh, Kitchener, and Toronto. Most of his storytelling happens daily around 8pm for the single captive audience of his three-year-old daughter. Ciarán is the Co-Artistic Director of the Informal Upright Theatre Collective, he is a multi-published poet, champion Irish dancer, award-winning playwright, and performance pedagogue to youth and adults locally. www.ciaranmyers.weebly.com.


August 9, 2019 - Kathryn Ladano: The Improvising Musician's Mask

X-camera Speaker Series: Kathryn Ladano

Focusing on Kathryn Ladano's recent dissertation research, this presentation will explore the idea that musical instruments function as masks in the context of collective free improvisation performance. Various theories in drama and cultural studies show that wearing masks can conceal individuals in some ways, but a greater creative and personal expression is often revealed as a result. In collective free improvisation, instruments function in a very similar way, not only facilitating creative expression, but also increasing a musician’s level of comfort. This in turn allows for many social benefits to take place, such as increased connection and communication with others in ways not available through traditional social exchanges.

Dr. Kathryn Ladano is a bass clarinettist and specialist of contemporary music and free improvisation. She is the Artistic Director of NUMUS concerts, Director of the Improvisation Concerts Ensemble (ICE) and instructor of improvisation at Wilfrid Laurier University. Kathryn completed her PhD at York University under the supervision of Casey Sokol and Dorothy de Val; her thesis, “The Improvising Musician's Mask: Using Music Instruments to Build Self-Confidence and Social Skills in Collective Free Improvisation”, was nominated for a dissertation prize. Kathryn will be releasing her second solo album in the fall of 2019 titled “Masked”, focusing on concepts explored in her research.


August 23, 2019 - Scott McGovern: Artists before Audiences - Expanding Approaches to Curation

X-camera Speaker Series: Scott McGovern

Scott McGovern discusses the techniques he has adopted to present successful contemporary art exhibitions. In response to local economic and social dynamics, McGovern has shifted Ed Video programming out of Guelph and into new communities across Canada and internationally. By embracing pragmatic approaches to curation, and rejecting many flawed art-world traditions, this new model has significantly increased audience engagement and future opportunities for artists. Through proactive strategies to exhibition opportunities, McGovern has forged many new relationships between Canadian artists and international audiences. The presentation will conclude with suggestions about how individual artists can broaden the potential of their own practice.

Scott McGovern is a curator, artist, video maker, and educator. He studied video at the Ontario College of Art and Design. Since 2005 he has been the program director at Ed Video Media Arts Centre, an artist run centre in Guelph, Canada, where he has facilitated over 150 exhibitions, events, and concerts. He has curated exhibitions at artist run centres, public galleries, festivals, and art fairs in Canada, USA, Mexico, England, Sweden, Finland, Spain, France, and Greece. McGovern is also the Visual and Media Art Curator of Kazoo! Fest in Guelph since 2010.

Sculpture in photo by artist Patrick Cruz, in Ed Video’s booth at the Material Art Fair in Mexico City in 2016


August 30, 2019 - Laura De Decker: Charting (Im)Probabilities

X-camera Speaker Series: Laura De Decker

Laura De Decker writes: “I write computer programs to create abstract digital images. Tracing my trajectory from the traditional media of painting to interactive digital media, I will discuss my approaches to creating art that intersects with science with an emphasis on intellectual rigour, and artistic intuition. My recent projects, ranging from large-format printed artworks to wall installation to video and interactive virtual reality, have stemmed from my interests in color, the intricacies of quantum mechanics, randomness and using quantum random data as source material, and exploring aesthetic possibilities.”

Laura De Decker: “I earned my MFA in Visual Arts at the University of Victoria. Recently I was Artist-in-Residence for CAFKA-Christie Digital in 2012, and at University of Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing in 2015. I have received several grants from the Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, and Waterloo Region Arts Fund. My artwork and writing were presented and published at the International Symposium on Electronic Arts (ISEA) in Dubai (2014), in the Journal of Mathematics and the Arts (2018), and in the current exhibition “Intersection of Art and Science II” at Purdue University, Indiana.