January 20, 2019

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 (http://www.subtletechnologies.com) 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.

Visit our blog at http://www.artscisalon.wordpress.com)
Sign up to our listserv here https://listserv.physics.utoronto.ca/mailman/listinfo/artscisalon

For more information please contact:
Stephen Morris: smorris<at>physics.utoronto.ca
Roberta Buiani: robb<at>yorku.cawe

Fields Institute
Room 230
6:00-8:00 pm

click image for full poster

Image: Florence Ornata 2 (detail) - 31 x 21 x 36 cm - nylon 3D printed by Selective Laser Sintering - courtesy of Nervous System

April 10, 2015
From Nature: Exploring Biomorphic Generative Design

The analogy between technology and nature brought us “a particular production of nature” (Haraway 1992), whereby the natural and the artificial intertwine and merge. Thanks to recent computer-controlled manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing, laser cutting, and CNC routing, the duo Nervous-System combines computer graphics, mathematics, and digital fabrication to explore a new paradigm of product design and manufacture. Instead of designing objects, they craft computational systems that result in a myriad of distinct creations.

April’s ArtScisalon will feature Stephen Morris joining Nervous-Systems in explaining the physics of pattern formation and their role as inspiring principles and mathematical models for the creation of new abstract and imaginative design.

Jessica Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg, a.k.a. Nervous System

Nervous System is a generative design studio that works at the intersection of science, art, and technology. Drawing inspiration from natural phenomena, they create computer simulations to generate designs and use digital fabrication to realize products. Website: http://n-e-r-v-o-u-s.com

Stephen Morris, Professor of Physics, University of Toronto

Stephen Morris is J. Tuzo Wilson Professor of Geophysics at the University of Toronto. He specializes in doing experiments with emergent nonlinear patterns in fluids, granular materials and geomorphological systems. Website: http://www.physics.utoronto.ca/~smorris/smorris.html

Past Salons

Fields Institute
Room 230
6:00-8:00 pm

click image for full poster

March 12, 2015
Art/Sci Salon- Beeing Biodiverse - The Art of Spying on Wild Bees

Participating Guests
Laurence Packer (York University, Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies)
Sarah Peebles (composer, improviser and installation artist)

Laurence Packer: I am a melittologist. A melittologist is someone whose main academic passion is the study of wild bees. This means someone who studies bees other than the domesticated western honey bee.It's not that I do not like Apis mellifera, it's just that it is only one out of over 20,000 described bee species. Few people pay attention to the ~20,061 (Discover Life, as of Aug 12, 2014) other bee species, whereas there are whole societies dedicated to the study and culturing of this one. When people find out that I study bees, invariably the next thing they say concerns the honey bee. I will then point out that asking me a question about Apis mellifera is like asking an ornithologist a question about chickens. Audio Bee Booths and Cabinets foster the art and science of observing native bees and their role in pollination ecology. Aesthetically compelling, immersive and informative, these outdoor works intersect habitat interpretation, bio-art, sound installation and sculpture. They allow the public to safely view and listen to solitary-dwelling, native bees and wasps - pollinators which are quite different than European honey bees.

Sarah Peebles is a Toronto-based American composer, improviser and installation artist. Since 2008 she has collaborated with artists, technicians and bee biologists on a series of projects addressing pollination ecology and biodiversity, entitled “Resonating Bodies”. Much of her work explores digitally manipulated found sound, unconventional methods of amplification, and distinct approaches to improvisation on the shoh, the Japanese mouth-organ used in gagaku. Peebles' activities over the past 3 decades have been wide-ranging, and include music for dance, multi-channel sound, radio, video/film, performance art and integrated media, sound installation and improvised performance. Her music is published on Unsounds, Cycling '74, innova Recordings, Spool, Post-Concrète, CBC Music,Sonus.ca and others. Details and recordings are at sarahpeebles.net andresonatingbodies.wordpress.com.

Fields Institute
Room 230
6:00-8:00 pm

Feb. 26, 2015
Art/Sci Salon- Fibers, Textures, Textiles

Kathryn Walter (Felt artist)
Meghan Price ( textile artist)
Rubaiat Habib (Senior Scientist, Autodesk Research)

Location: Fields Institute, Room 230

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

First demonstrated in 1801, the Jacquard Loom was meant to facilitate, by partially automatizing, the production of textiles. Today, its punch cards system is credited for being an important step in the history of computing. But the artistry behind weaving, patterns creation, the ability to add textures and layers in computer graphics and animation applications are also inspired by most un-manufactured natureculture items that surround us. For this ArtSci Salon/LASER event, we are going to explore these mechanisms with an eclectic trio of artists-researchers whose work spells the nature of fibers, textures and textiles in non-conventional ways.

This event will be streamed! visit http://www.fields.utoronto.ca/live

Follow us here: https://www.facebook.com/Artscisalon

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
Kathryn Walter-The FELT Studio is the multi-disciplinary art and design practice of Kathryn Walter who founded the company as a laboratory to explore the material and culture of modern industrial felt through research, architectural projects and a product line. Influenced by her background in sculpture and site-specific installation, Walter has created a body of work ranging from intimate artworks to large-scale commissions.http://feltstudio.com

Meghan Price holds a degree in Textile Construction from The Montreal Centre for Contemporary Textiles (2003) and an MFA from Concordia University (2009). Her work has been exhibited in Canada and the U.S., Turkey, Ukraine, Italy, Cuba, Sweden, Argentina and Australia. Price has been the recipient of awards and grants from institutions including the Canada Council of the Arts, the Conseil des arts et des letters du Québec, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council. She has held residencies at Artspace, Sydney, Open Studio, Toronto and the Scottish Sculpture Workshop. Meghan Price lives in Toronto and teaches at the Ontario College of Art and Design University and Sheridan College. She is represented by Katzman Contemporary. http://www.meghanprice.com/

Rubaiat Habib is a Senior Research Scientist, illustrator and designer in Autodesk Research (Toronto). His research interest lies in the design and development of new forms of art, animation and communication tools for end users, facilitating powerful ways of thinking and communication with playful experience. His background in Computer Science and experience in visual arts gave him a unique perspective about technology for creative thinking and self expression. http://rubaiathabib.me/

Fields Institute
Stewart library
6:00-8:00 pm

Jan. 28, 2015
Art/Sci Salon- Assistive/Adaptive Technologies
Assistive Technology is a general term used to define a variety of assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices (high tech, low tech or DIY) designed to assist people with disabilities, elderly and injured individuals. The term is often used indiscriminately. For instance, it doesn’t tell us anything about the scopes, the narratives and the recipients of these technologies: are they designed to improve the individual’s abilities, thus making his or her body more “efficient”, more “functional”, more “able”? Or to turn the body into a “beyond-human” engine? Who gets to benefit from these technologies? How can technological innovation and the human be integrated? Are today’s DIY technologies and high tech robotics complementary? are they sustainable?

ArtSci Salon asked four guests to address these questions and share their research on this intriguing and ethically charged topic.

Participating Guests:
Adriana Ieraci (DKMI University of Toronto)
Rosalie Wang (Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto)
Ginger Coons (Critical Making Lab & Semaphore Research Cluster, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto)
Ann Heesters (Associate Director of Bioethics at Toronto’s UHN)

Adriana Ieraci is affiliated with the Faculty of Information Science, University of Toronto. She is also Founder of Conveyor Built conveyorbuilt.com and Co-Founder, of Get Your Bot On! Robotics Hackathon getyourboton.com

Rosalie Wang is Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto. Rosalie received her BSc. (OT) from the University of British Columbia and worked as an Occupational Therapist in Canada and England. She completed her PhD in Rehabilitation Science in collaboration with Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto. Rosalie’s research focuses on the user-centred design and implementation of technologies to assist older adults to carry out their valued daily activities. Her projects include smart wheelchairs to help people with physical and cognitive limitations to operate safely, robots for arm therapy after stroke, and robots to help people with dementia to complete everyday activities.

Ginger Coons works at the Critical Making Lab & Semaphore Research Cluster, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto. Using applied research to explore sociotechnical issues, the printAbility project brings together medical practitioners, social science researchers, engineers and software developers. In producing and implementing a toolchain for building 3D-printed sockets for prosthetic legs, the project raises questions about the use and implementation of new technologies in medical and developing world contexts.

Ann Heesters is Associate Director of Bioethics at Toronto’s University Health Network, Chair of the UHN Rehabilitation Science and Medicine Research Ethics Board, and is a Bioethicist with the University of Toronto’s Joint Centre for Bioethics. Ann has been practicing in the field for approximately fifteen years was the Director of Ethics at The Ottawa Hospital before coming to Toronto in 2009. She has an abiding interest in the evolving standards of practice for health care ethicists and, with her colleagues at the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities, helped to author a code of ethics for ethicists. She is also a founding member of PHEEP (Practicing Healthcare Ethicists Exploring Professionalization) and a director of the newly established non-profit Board called CAPHE (the Canadian Association of Practicing Healthcare Ethicists). A former reservist with the Canadian Infantry, Ann periodically reviews research proposals (related to the rehabilitation of veterans and active duty service members) for the United States Department of Defence.

Fields Institute
Room 230
4:30 - 7:30 pm

Jan 22, 2015
Art/Sci Salon- iGEM collaborative event

BioHackathon: a collaboration between iGEM and ArtSci Salon. This is a general brainstorming session to introduce grand open questions in the field of synthetic biology to participants from all fields of study. The scope is to find interesting problems that can form the basis of potential 2015 iGem research projects.
REGISTER for this event by completing this form .

Participating Faculty:
Boris Steipe (Graduate Program in Genome Biology and Bioinformatics, University of Toronto)
Michael Hoffman (Computational Genomics, University of Toronto)
Belinda Chang (Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Department of Cells and Systems Biology, University of Toronto)
Fiona Miller (Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto)
Stephen Davies (Institute for Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto)
Fritz Roth (Donnelly Centre of Molecular Genetics and Computer Science, University of Toronto)

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
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Artscisalon

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 http://www.leonardo.info/isast/laser.htm


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. http://artscisalon.wordpress.com/ http://lettersandhandshakes.org/