December 20, 2014

April 1, 2014-March 31, 2015
Art/Science Salon
Subtle Technologies

ArtSci Salon consists of a series of semi-informal gatherings facilitating discussion and cross-pollination between science, technology and the arts. ArtSci Salon started in 2010 as a spin-off of Subtle Technologies Festival ( to satisfy increasing demands by the audience attending the Festival to have a more frequent (monthly or bi-monthly) outlet for debate and information sharing across disciplines. In addition, it responds to the recent expansion in the GTA area of a community of scientists and artists increasingly seeking collaborations across disciplines to successfully accomplish their research projects and inquiries.

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For more information please contact:
Stephen Morris: smorris<at>
Roberta Buiani: robb<at>

Thursday September 25, 2014
6:30-8:30 pm
Plant.Grow. Harvest. Repeat

Artscisalon is pleased to invite you to the first LASER Toronto, part of the Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous series in Canada.

Introduction on behalf of Leonardo
by Nina Czegledy, Governing Board, Leonardo/ISAST.

Where does our food come from? what happens to food when we consume it? how much of it is wasted, discharged or lost? and are there innovative and creative alternatives to make better, tastier, less wasteful use of food? Join us for a discussion on the significance of food, its cycles and its futures with guests Amanda White (interdisciplinary artist), Michelle Coyne (food rescue expert), Amy Symington (nutritionist) and Candace Rambert (culinary technician).

This event will launch the LASER Toronto series, a new international partnership with Leonardo® /ISAST
Poster for this event is available here:
Streaming of this event will be available at

Amanda White is an interdisciplinary Toronto-based artist and a PhD Candidate in Cultural Studies at Queen's University. Her current practice-led research is a body of work investigating the relationships between people and plants. Recent projects include: the Neighborhood Spaces residency program (Windsor), exhibitions at Plug-In ICA (Winnipeg), the Ontario Science Centre, Forest City Gallery (London) and Toronto's Scotiabank Nuit Blanche. This winter she will be participating in the thematic residency; Food Water, Life at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Amanda holds an MFA from the University of Windsor and a BFA from OCAD.

Michelle Coyne earned her PhD from the Joint Programme in Communication and Culture at York University and Ryerson University. Dr. Coyne's research focuses on food waste in Ontario and began with her doctoral research on dumpster diving communities in Toronto through ethnographic research of Toronto's Food Not Bombs. Dr. Coyne has taken this research work and applied it to her current employment with Toronto's Second Harvest, Canada's largest food rescue charity. Dr. Coyne has published her work with academic and popular presses, presented at national and international academic conferences, and is committed to working to reduce food waste and ensure everyone has enough to eat.

Candace Rambert is Culinary and Applied Research Associate at the Food Innovation and Research Studio (FIRSt) at George Brown College. She is an alumni of George Brown College, graduating from the Culinary Management program and the Culinary Arts – Italian Postgraduate Program. She is currently pursuing her Red Seal and the Food Science Certificate at the University of Guelph.

Amy Symington is a Nutritionist and Culinary Professor at the Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts, Liberal Arts and Sciences, School of Nursing at George Brown College. She is a vegetarian Chef and the Nutrition and Kitchen program coordinator at Gilda’s club Greater Toronto.

This event is presented by ArtsciSalon and LASER Toronto. it is supported by the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences and Subtle technologies Festival.
LASER is a project of Leonardo® /ISAST

Monday, July 21, 2014 at 6:00-8:00pm

Open Source Cancer: Hackers and Biodigital Rituals of Sharing
Alessandro Delfanti in conversation with Eric Cazdyn, Irene Healey, Justin Pahara, and Dolores Steinman

Moderated by Roberta Buiani

Presented by Letters & Handshakes and ArtSci Salon
Sponsored by the Dean of Arts Office, Faculty of Arts, Wilfrid Laurier University and supported by the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences

The Fields Institute
University of Toronto
222 College St.
Room 230

Free and open to the public

Please join us for a conversation exploring the politics of cure at the intersection of open science, network culture, clinical practice, and biocapitalism. A presentation by Alessandro Delfanti on the concept of a biodigital ritual of sharing will be followed by talks by theorist Eric Cazdyn and medical artist Irene Healey, with responses from researcher Dolores Steinman and biohacker Justin Pahara.

Alessandro Delfanti | Open Source Cancer: Hackers and Biodigital Rituals of Sharing

Through the website La Cura (the cure), the Italian designer and hacker Salvatore Iaconesi open sourced his cancer. He shared medical data and information related to his brain tumor and received hundreds of thousands of cures from patients, physicians, activists, artists, designers, and other peers. His condition was turned into a global performance of de-medicalization. In order to do this, he had to hack his medical records and convert them into open formats, to make data easily readable and shareable, as well as to construct an inclusive understanding of the word “cure”. Beginning from the case of La Cura, in this presentation, Delfanti will propose the concept of a “biodigital ritual of sharing”, a protocol or script, dense with meaning, that is adapted from hacker cultures’ public practices: hack into data owned by institutions, share them in the open, and build a community which can make unpredictable use of the data. While in the context of medical institutions data represented an objectification of the body, their reinscription through the ritual helped constitute a body politic that could interpret them as a symbol for a reconfiguration of the experience of cancer. Against techno-determinist utopias of distributed innovation, Delfanti analyzes the biopolitical side of open source. Following feminist theory, he suggests that, when facing illness and disability, digital cultures imagine and perform technologies as social and relational rather than bodily prosthesis.

Eric Cazdyn | Cure as Form

Irene Healey | (Re)membering: Observations on the Desire for Restoration After an Altered Identity

Discussants | Justin Pahara and Dolores Steinman


Alessandro Delfanti is a postdoctoral fellow at the research hub Media@McGill at McGill University, where he works on the role of participatory media in biomedicine and teaches a seminar on Online Cooperation. Before moving to Quebec he obtained a PhD in Science and Society and then taught Sociology of New Media at the University of Milan. In Fall 2014, he will begin a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Davis, where he will work on the evolution of scholarly communication. As a journalist he writes about science politics and digital cultures for several Italian newspapers and magazines. His first book is titled Biohackers: The Politics of Open Science (Pluto Press 2013).

Eric Cazdyn is Distinguished Professor of Aesthetics and Politics at the University of Toronto. He teaches courses on critical and cultural theory, psychoanalysis, Marxism, film and video, architecture, illness, literature, and Japan. He has written the following books: The Already Dead, After Globalization (with Imre Szeman), and The Flash of Capital; and is editor of Trespasses and Disastrous Consequences. Cazdyn’s newest book, Nothing (with Marcus Boon and Timothy Morton), is an attempt to reclaim for our present moment three desires that are regularly laughed out of polite conversation: “Enlightenment”, “Cure”, and “Revolution”. Cazdyn is also a filmmaker. His films have been screened and performed in Japan, Canada, the US, Europe and, most recently, in the UK as part of a two-week residency at The Cube Microcinema (Bristol) with Eric Chenaux.

Irene Healey is a practising visual artist and a medical artist who maintains an independent clinical practise seeing individuals for custom made external body prostheses. She combines her knowledge of art and science with medicine and technology. She is a graduate of the Art as Applied to Medicine program in the College of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

Justin Pahara is the cofounder of Synbiota Inc., a leader in the emerging science 2.0 movement. He has more than a decade of bioengineering experience as well as extensive knowledge of synthetic biology tech, markets, and work-flows. Justin learned stuff at the University of Cambridge (PhD, MoTI in JBS), Singularity University (GSP-10, Google Fellow), iGEM (2007, 2008), the University of Alberta (B.Sc., M.Sc.), and of course, the Internet.

Dolores Steinman was trained as a Paediatrician and, upon relocating to Canada, obtained her PhD in Cell Biology. Currently she is a Research Associate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Toronto and a volunteer Docent at the Art Gallery of Ontario. In her research she observes the rapport and the connection between medical imagery and its non-scientific counterparts. Her pursuit is driven by her keen interest in placing increasingly technology-based medical research in the larger context of the humanities.