“a graph, a lovely tree”, a symposium of artist-led conversations in consideration of intersectional uses and entanglements of computer mediation was held on this page here, June 25th, 26th and 27th 2020. Panel discussions and live performances reflected on the ways in which we use the internet and its' many apparatuses.
*title inspired by a line in Radia Perlman’s poem Algorhyme, written while creating the Spanning Tree Protocol.
THURSDAY, JUNE 25th
12:00 Land Acknowledgement + Opening Ceremony with Albert Dumont
Albert Dumont, “South Wind”, has dedicated his life to promoting Aboriginal spirituality and healing and to protecting the rights of Aboriginal peoples, particularly the young. He is the father of three daughters and grandfather of five grandchildren. Albert is a Poet, Storyteller, Speaker, and an Algonquin Traditional Teacher. He was born and raised in traditional Algonquin territory (Kitigan Zibi). He has been walking the “Red Road” since commencing his sobriety in 1988. He has published five books of poetry and short stories and one children’s book, written in three languages. Several organizations, both native and non-native, are currently featuring his poetry among them are the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health and the Native Veterans Association.
Albert Dumont is part of the Grandparents Counsel for Well Living House, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto (since September 2017). From October 2016 to February 2020 he served his community as one of 13 Elders on the Elders Advisory Committee of the Ministry of the Attorney General. He worked as Elder for the Parole Board of Canada at Elder Assisted Hearings from November 2013 to March 2017. He was the Spiritual Advisor for Aboriginal offenders of J Unit at Millhaven Institution from October 2010 to October 2013. He has served with the Ottawa Native Concerns Committee since 1993 and also served with the Ottawa and District Injured Workers Group for six years (he is a survivor of construction accident). He was awarded the Public Service Alliance of Canada – National Capital Region (PSAC NCR ) 2010 Human Rights Recognition Award. In January 2017 he received the DreamKEEPERS Citation for Outstanding Leadership.
1:00 Panel --} Art, Digitally Networked Spaces
In this panel, we will talk about how artists are using digitally networked spaces in aesthetic ways to produce works that reside either inside or outside of the computer’s box. We will be discussing aesthetics in the service of politics, community, and in consideration of mediated gender constructions. These are only a few themes among many that panelists Christina Battle, Amber Frid-Jimenez and Rihkee Strapp will touch upon.
Christina Battle’s (Edmonton) artistic practice and research imagine how disaster could be utilized as a tactic for social change, and as a tool for reimagining how dominant systems might radically shift.
Amber Frid-Jimenez is an artist whose recent work looks at the intersection of art and AI. She is Canada Research Chair in Art and Design Technology and Associate Professor at Emily Carr University. She studied media arts at MIT and philosophy at Wesleyan University.
Miskogwan Gegek Ndishnikaaz. Wanamani Saa'ikanink ndoonji. Nipissing ndishitaa. Kwinkwa'aake ndoodem. Using the Woodland tradition of mnemonic painting, and vivid colours, Rihkee Strapp juxtaposes the experience of modern living for the rural-born Metis raised on the internet.
moderated by Anyse Ducharme
2:30 Workshop --} Pasta Making
We will hand roll pasta together. No pasta machine required! (if you have a pasta machine, please bring it along). This is an active workshop - everyone works together and eats together.
Below is a list of what is necessary for the workshop. We have outlined quantity of ingredients for 2 servings, please adjust according to your needs.
Ingredients: 2 large eggs (or 3 small eggs) at room temp preferred, 2 cups of all purpose flour (approx. 200 grams plus more for dusting), 1 teaspoon table salt, 1/2 cup tap water (room temperature), 1 tablespoon olive oil, sauce of your choice (this should be ready to heat-up and serve), a big handful of salt for boiling water (not fancy), cheese for grating (optional), hot pepper (optional)
Tools: a sturdy table or counter surface, rolling pin or a long thick dowel or a clean wine bottle (label removed), a sharp knife, a fork (not necessary), a bowl (not necessary), a large wood cutting board (not necessary), an apron, a hand towel for wiping up, a big pot for boiling pasta, tongs, hand food strainer/sieve/spider, stove/hot plate, a pot for warming up your sauce, pasta plate and fork
Tonia Di Risio employs photography, video, collage and installation in her practice. Her work has developed through a critical engagement with ethnicity, home maintenance, food preparation, and interior design. Her practice also includes organizing an artist residency titled Alchemy, which investigates the growing, making, and sharing of food.
3:30 Panel --} Indigital Cultures
Indigenous storytelling is an ancient method of knowledge transference and cultural retention. The contemporary Indigenous narrative is undergoing a complex transformation using audio, video and multimedia. The Indigital Cultures panel takes a thoughtful look at bringing those stories into the digital realm and what that means to Indigenous communities.
Stephanie Pyne is an “artographer”, researcher, writer and teacher working on interdisciplinary applications of critical cartography. This includes her work on the Residential Schools Land Memory Mapping Project (funded by SSHRC), which acknowledges the ongoing legacy of Residential Schools.
Albert Dumont, “South Wind”, has dedicated his life to promoting Aboriginal spirituality and healing and to protecting the rights of Aboriginal peoples, particularly the young.
moderated by Monique Manatch
5:30 Event --} Pasta Supper with Tonia Di Risio
We will be rolling out the dough, cutting the dough, boiling the pasta, saucing the pasta, and eating together.
7:30 Event --} thinking about sound and connection to one another
thinking about sound and connection to one another is a series of audio-visual works that came about from doing just that -- thinking about the ways that sound brings us together in a physical space, how the space is affected by sound, how sound is affected by space and our presence in it. Now in the midst of a pandemic, we are challenged to find ways to present performances and create connections in a way that resembles or replaces what we had before. This is hardly possible. Connecting online to experience and participate in performance ends up reinforcing the space between us. Internet speed, video latency, and the quality of our cameras and microphones all get in the way of a convincing simulation. The breakdown, however, can create interesting byproducts in the space between us.
In this series, media artist and musician Xuan Ye leads us in a group interpretation of their original GIF score S.Q.U.I.R.R.E.L.S, where the audience is invited to interpret the score with sound and bodily gestures (no instruments or musical experience required). We then diffuse a recorded performance of musician Wellington Sanipe interpreting and accompanying the animated work of artist Pansee Atta, originally conceived for a place-specific performance series at Ottawa City Hall that was cut short due to the pandemic lockdown. Finally, Instant Places’ web-based piece Breathing Room uses an algorithm to generate sound and visuals that eliminates the need for human interaction and input, creating a third space that is neither surrounding nor between us. Together these works attempt to create, and simultaneously underline the impossibility of, a mediated connection.
Xuan Ye / 叶轩 (CN/CA) is an artist, musician and web engineer, who makes media poetry synthesizing language, code, sound, body, image, data, light, and time through diagrammatic translations. X’s work has been featured, exhibited and performed internationally.
Pansee Atta is an Egyptian-Canadian artist, curator, and researcher living and working on unceded Algonquin territory in Ottawa. Her work examines themes of representation, migration, archives, and political struggle using diverse media including video, installation, sculpture, and painting.
Wellington Sanipe is an experimental ambient musician, creating lush and blissful synth loops.
The Instant Places collaboration of Laura Kavanaugh and Ian Birse has been their central focus for over 20 years: since 1997 they have realized performances, installations, and telematic works on location across the Americas, Europe, Japan, and Australia.
curated by DEBASER
FRIDAY, JUNE 26th
1:00 Panel --} WEBr: stay-at-home-web-residents in conversation
In the month of May, Knot Project Space hosted Calla Durose-Moya, Jay Havens and artist team Erin Gee & Jen Kutler in a web-based residency. This program was put together in response to COVID 19, in the hopes of creating a space for connection, for art-making, and in order to pay artists - often workers of the gig economy - in this precarious financial time. Group meetings were held once a week to discuss artwork, readings and online lectures. Weekly studio visits were had with independent artists & curators from across the country. All of which culminated in a final web diffusion of the artists’ works, followed by a zoom-vernissage.
We’ve asked the WEBresidents to join us today to share with us a bit of the work that they have created during the residency and to discuss what the process of creating work on residency, at home and online was like.
This was a learning experience for the Knot, and we do hope to offer this program again.
Calla Durose-Moya is interested in examining themes of improvisation and scripting that manifest in choreographic forms. Calla’s practice, past and present, is focused on a dialogue between processes of the materiality of the medium, and the corporeality of presence.
Jay Havens is a two-spirit multidisciplinary artist of Haudenosaunee-Mohawk and Scottish-Canadian ancestry. He produces large scale installations for many different types of situations such as public performance, mural making, and works for display in galleries and museums.
Jen Kutler and Erin Gee are composers and artists who have never met physically, who are now using telematics and the mail to collaborate across the US/Canadian border. Co-constructing instruments for digital music as tools for reconfiguring human embodiment, the artists are materializing queer and feminist quantification through instrumentalized affect and touch.
moderated by Anyse Ducharme
3:30 Panel --} Sex, Body & the Internet
How are artists contending with the ways in which the internet intersects structures and systems imposed on the body, on sex? How does the internet reinforce advanced capitalism’s mediated systems of extraction? Are new structures emerging? How are artists engaging with and subverting these structures in their works? Join us as artists Almond, James Albers and Mélissa Airaudi touch upon these themes among many others during their artist talks.
* Artists' works contain some nudity considered not SFW.
Almond [she/her] is queer, fat, Mad, dis/abled, womxn artist - a SWer activist, porn maker, erotic facilitator & intimacy coach, based somewhere between Toronto & Berlin. A is committed to the expansion of video art, pleasure activism, neuro-inclusivity + slut-celebration.
James Albers is an emerging artist currently working on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded lands of the xwmə0–kwəy’əm (Musqueam) people. He engages with the mediums of video, installation, photography, performance, sound, text, and everything in-between. His practice is concerned with how intersectional identities are constructed and mediated through the analysis of the body in digital spaces.
Mélissa Airaudi est une artiste française née en 1991, diplomée de l’école nationale des beaux-arts de Lyon. Elle a performé et exposé au sein de nombreuses institutions, dernièrement au Palais de Tokyo ou la Fondation Ricard. En 2019 elle est sélectionnée pour la 65ème édition du Salon de Montrouge ainsi qu’à Jeune Création. Elle prône un art pluridisciplinaire et total, renforcé notamment par son expérience en tant que danseuse exotique. Sa pratique artistique s’inscrit dans l’expérience du réel et questionne en permanence la place du récit de soi et de l’auto-fiction dans cette expérience.
moderated by Anyse Ducharme
5:30 Event --} Bits & Bites: Digital Dinner Party
9:00 Event --} TIMEKODE
Starting as an idea between some DJs to expand one city's musical horizons in 2005, TIMEKODE has become a soul/sole movement in the capital, and Ottawa's largest, longest monthly tradition of music and dancing. From humble beginnings at Café Nostalgica, to the warehouse blowouts at Maker Space North, over its long run TIMEKODE has emerged as a beacon for progressive plurality on the dancefloor in Canada.
SATURDAY, JUNE 27th
1:00 Panel --} Labouring Practice: Parenting, Art and the Internet
Mothers, aunties and guardians have always known the difficult and often contested dynamic between our personal, professional and public selves. This is especially heightened in these COVID19 pandemic times as for many practicing mothers, home can also be studio, office, daycare and generally a lot to handle. Mothers with active artistic practices often have to contend with a societal under-valuing of their labour as parents and as artists; norms often fail to recognize their work as “real work.”
In this conversation we would like to consider and recognize the variety, complexity and magic that is “mother/artist.” Panelists will discuss navigating their artistic practice and parenting, obstacles they have faced and how their labour is perceived: past, present and future. This conversation would like to address how prejudiced art spaces have been towards mothers and the choice to become a parent, how much the internet has changed and continues to change artistic practice for parents as a tool for access and support and what resources and advice the panelists would recommend to mothers/artists to deal with expectations surrounding labor, time and access to their practice.
Marisa Gallemit is an Ottawa-born visual artist and culture sponge. Informed by womanhood, motherhood and third culture shock, her practice spans assemblage, site-specific installation and storytelling. Through an ongoing exploration of found objects, repurposed materials and non-gallery art spaces, her work leans deeply into Buckminster Fuller’s query: “Now how do we make this spaceship work?”
Lesley Marshall / LES666 is an award-winning filmmaker and intermedia artist. Projection art by Lesley has been performed at the National Art Centre, Montreal Jazz Fest, and CentrePHI. Lesley is the founder of MAVNetwork a production, media and marketing agency for audio visual design and presentation.
Laura Taler began her career as a choreographer before turning her attention to filmmaking and visual art. In her work she explores the links between movement, memory, and history by using cinematic and choreographic devices to articulate the body’s resilience.
Deborah Margo is a multi-disciplinary artist, investigating the intersections between growth and decay in installations. Teaching part-time at the Department of Visual Arts, University of Ottawa, as well as working as a professional gardener, Deborah is Noah and Eva’s mother.
moderated by Annette Hegel
3:30 Panel --} Building Communities: Queer Networks
In Building Communities: Queer Networks, we will converse with Glenn Nuotio, co-founder of Qu’ART, Kit & Oliver from Transgender Media Portal, and Jennifer Aja Fernandes from the ArQuives to learn about how Queer Networks are created with, how they are influenced by and how these networks have the potential to build communities beyond geolocation with the help of the Internet, both pre and during COVID.
Qu’ART Ottawa Collective formed to boost local 2SLGBTQ+ creation, supporting queer artistic activity, intergenerational sharing and social justice arts initiatives. We strive to centre BIPOC voices by following their leads to build collaborations and programming opportunities for underrepresented artists.
Discussions of transgender film are usually dominated by representations of trans people, not representations made by trans people. The Transgender Media Portal aims to make audiovisual work by trans, Two Spirit, nonbinary, intersex, and gender-nonconforming people more available to artists, activists, festival programmers, researchers, instructors, and the public.
ArQuives: The ArQuives is dedicated to celebrating, preserving, and collecting the stories and histories of LGBTQ2+ people in Canada. Since 1973, we have acquired a wide range of important artifacts that speak to personal experiences and significant historical moments for LGBTQ2+ communities in our country. We’ve grown to be an important institutional service provider for academics who work on our collections. The ArQuives also has a critical role to play as a resource to historians, documentary filmmakers, artists, writers and playwrights.
moderated by Annette Hegel
5:00 Closing Ceremony with Albert Dumont